London, British Library, Cotton Tiberius C. i Computistica; Astronomica; Pontifical; Homilies

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Jonathan Wilcox


231. London, British Library, Cotton Tiberius C. i

Computistica; Astronomica; Pontifical; Homilies

(with BL, Harley 3667 [275])

[Ker 196, 197, Gneuss 376]

HISTORY: Part 1 (ff. 2-42) contains two distinct elements. The first two quires (ff. 2-17 = Part la) originally formed part of a scientific manuscript belonging with London, BL, Harley 3667 [275] , as indicated by similarities of script and quire signatures, described below. Like Harley 366 7, these quires of Tiberius C. i, Part 1, were demonstrably written at Peterborough between 1122and1135, perhaps ca. 1122 (see the account of Harley 3667). This larger scientific manuscript was probably still together and in Peterborough in the late 14c in view of its likely identification with a scientific manuscript noted in a late 14c · Peterborough book-list (item A. ii, ed. James 1926: 34). Subsequently (at the dissolution of the monasteries?) the scientific manuscript was broken up and at least 18 of its quires went missing.

The remaining three quires of Part 1 (ff. 18-42 = Part 1b), containing the illustrated astronomical material, were probably also produced at Peterborough in the 1120s in view of the similarity of script and decoration (as suggested by Ker 1938: 132), although the evidence is less firm: the different size of the writing grid and different ruling practice, described below, confirm that they once constituted a separate manuscript.

Part 2 (ff. 43-203) is made up of a pontifical written by two scribes in Germany probably in the middle of the 11c (see Ker 1959: 263). Material was added to this collection in blank spaces and on added leaves by thirteen scribes writing in England between 1070 and 11 00. References within their work and identification of their hands in other manuscripts demonstrate that the additions by twelve of these English scribes were first made in Sherborne (see the description of ff. 93r/ 18-95r/ 10 below) and then in Salisbury (see the description of ff. 11 2v/ 8-1 16v/ 13 below), to which the episcopate moved in 1075 (see Ker 1959 and 1976). One quire in Part 2 (Quire XVIII, ff. 172-79) was written by an unlocalized English scribe of the late 1 lc whose hand does not occur elsewhere (Ker 1959: 270). The two parts of Tiberius C. i were no doubt joined together under the direction of Sir Robert Cotton (as assumed by Ker 1959: 262). After the two parts were joined, the early modern table of contents on f. lr was added, written in ink on parchment between pencil bounding lines, probably under the direction of Cotton.

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