4. Antwerp, Plantin-Moretus Museum MS 16.2 (47 [32]; Salle iii. 68)

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“Excerptiones de Prisciano”; the Antwerp-London Glossary [Ker 2, Gneuss 775]
(with London, British Library Additional 32246 [164])

HISTORY: A late 10c or early 11c manuscript containing a 10c compilation of Donatus’s “Ars maior” and Priscian’s “Institutiones grammaticae”, known as and entitled ‘Excerptiones de Prisciano’, existing in two other copies (Paris, Bibliotheque Nationale nouv. acq. lat. 586 [437] and Chartres, Bibliotheque municipale 56). It was compiled in the tradition of Carolingian adaptations of works of classical grammar (Law 1997: 201-2), presumably by AElfric—either alone or together with others—whose method of cutting, pasting, and rearranging Latin source texts is clearly at the basis of this work (Porter 2002: 23-29). AElfric used this adaptation as a basis for his OE “Grammar” (Law 1987; 1997: 203-6; Porter 2002: 31-33). Forster (1917) pointed out that the Plantin-Moretus copy could not have been AElfric’s exemplar; nevertheless, the method of its compilation, the presence of AElfric’s “Colloquy” in the margins, and a collection of OE glosses here that is also found in manuscripts of AElfric’s “Grammar” suggest a connection between the latter work and this manuscript.

The manuscript (now divided between Antwerp and London [British Library, Add. 32246 (164)]) was, in all likelihood, written at Abingdon, although Gwara (1997) has recently shown connections of the “Abingdon group” with Canterbury. Ker (Cat., p. 3) notes that it is certainly from the same scriptorium as Antwerp, Plantin-Moretus MS 16.8 (Boethius) [5] and Brussels, Bibliotheque Royale 1650 (1520) [18] (a glossed Aldhelm), and may well have formed part of a single 242-folio manuscript. Moreover, a ‘Wulfgar’ addressed on f. 2 of the original undivided manuscript (now BL Add. 32246, f. 1) can be identified with Wulfgar, abbot of Abingdon between 989 and 1016.