First page of Codex Abrogans

The Abrogans, or Codex Abrogans (St. Gall, Stiftsbibliothek, Cod. 911), is probably the oldest extant book written in the German language. It is a manuscript dictionary of synonyms (or glossary, or word-list) from Latin into Old High German dating from the 8th century (765–775). Several copies were made, but only one has survived to the present, that in the library of St. Gallen.

It is named after the first entry: abrogans = dheomodi (Modern German: demütig = modest, humble). It contains about 3,670 Old High German main terms, with about 14,600 examples. The work is sometimes attributed to the Austro-Bavarian prelate Arbeo of Freising (died 783 or 784), the first named German-language author.


  • Codex Abrogans A transcription of the Codex Abrogans (Latin and German) [Requests a username & password]