Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS. Hatton 48 (4118) "Regula S. Benedicti"

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Christine Franzen


381. Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS. Hatton 48 (4118}

"Regula S. Benedicti"

[Ker 327, Gneuss 631, 653]

HISTORY: Hatton 48 contains the oldest surviving copy of the "Regula S. Benedicti" (7 /8c). Part of the last chapter is missing and a section of f. 48 has been cut out, but otherwise the text, all in Latin, is complete. Two scribbles, described below under "Early additions" are the only OE in the manuscript. The book is beautifully written in a formal uncial script, with well-executed decorated initials. It was clearly a lavish production in its time and must have been associated with a center where the Rule had special significance. The script and decoration are unmistakably English, but they cannot be assigned with cen;ainty to any particular center. Recent speculations include Bath (Sims-Williams 1990: 204-5). The binding leaf (f. 77), a fragment of the "Enchiridion" of St. Augustine, was written in Worcester in the middle or early in the second half of the 11c (see Ker 1941 and Farmer 1968: 21); the manuscript must have been in Worcester by then. It was still in Worcester in 1622- 1623 when Patrick Young catalogued the Worcester Cathedral Library (see Atkins and Ker 1944: no. 216 and p. 8). Sometime before August 1644 Christopher, Lord Hatton, borrowed it along with several other Worcester manuscripts, none of which was ever returned. After his death in 1670 Hatton 48 and most of the rest were sold to the London bookseller Robert Scot from whom the Bodleian Library obtained them in 1671. Formerly known as Hatton 93.

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