Meet the Dragon

Housed in Northeastern University’s Archives and Special Collections, the Dragon Prayer Book is a German manuscript that was created entirely by hand toward the end of the medieval period, likely after 1461.

The research team named it for the small illustration of a dragon on its first page of prayers. The manuscript is suspected to have been written by and for Dominican nuns in the Convent of Saint Catherine located near the city of Nuremberg in southern Germany. The life of the nuns revolved around this and similar manuscripts, from which prayers were recited approximately every three hours daily.

“Sisters! Be sober and watch, for your adversary the devil goes about like a roaring lion, seeking someone he may devour!” [Sorores sobrie estote et vigilate: quia adversarius vester dyabolus tamquam leo rugiens circuit querens quem devoret (f117v).]

Research into the book is ongoing. The goal of the Dragon Prayer Book Project is to undertake a comprehensive and multidisciplinary study of the manuscript, and in doing so create the first known records of this book.

The origins of the Dragon Prayer Book are still not completely known.


Learn More

You can read more about our project in "Deciphering the Medieval Secrets of the Dragon Prayer Book," published in News @ Northeastern. Or, hear us speak about the project on BYUradio's daily news show Top of Mind.