Cambridge, Trinity College, B.14.3 Arator, "De actibus apostolorum"; Dunstan Acrostic

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Michael Wright
Stephanie Hollis


78. Cambridge, Trinity College, B.14.3 (289)

Arator, "De actibus apostolorum"; Dunstan Acrostic

[Ker 85, Gneuss 175]

HISTORY: A copy of Arator's 6c poem "De Actibus Apostolorum" (NfcKinlay's "C" in Class I of the "coclicum meliorum" (1951: xlii]), written in English Caroline minuscule by several scribes s. x/xi (Keynes 1992: 27). The origin is Christ Church, Canterbury, as shown by the scribe who wrote ff. 22v/5-23r/4 (Bishop's xv; see 1963: 114-16), whose hand appears elsewhere in London, British Library, Royal 6. A. VI (288] (Aldhelm; Gneuss 464), in the marginal gloss in Oxford, BodleianL ibrary, Auct. F. I. 15 [343], pt. i (Boethius; Gneuss 533), and in King Æthelred's charter for Muchelney Abbey (Sawyer 1968: 884). The mark "FF" (above a later shelf-mark, 'Distinctio ii, Gradus xiii') on f. Sr (Keynes 1992: Plate XVI) locates the book at Christ Church in the 12c, James (1903: 506, 25) identifying it as no. 79 in the list of Prior Eastry (1284-1331), "Arator de Actibus apostolorum Petri et Pauli, libri ii." There is an interlinear gloss running throughout the text, and a marginal gloss. In ff. 1-25 a system of syntactical glosses using patterns of dots and letters above words suggests the manuscript may have been used for teaching Latin.

The manuscript was given to Trinity College by George Willmer, ca. 1610; his arms are stamped on the binding. On the inside front cover is a cancelled class mark 'R.10.4', current class mark 'B.XIV.3' and a Trinity College bookplate. On first paper flyleaf is, 'B.14.3 | Arator de Acti<bus> | Ap<os>to<lorum> Petri | & | Pauli' in a 19c hand.

On the verso of a parchment slip at the beginning of the manuscript, ruled as though for a music stave, is the following, scarcely legible, as transcribed by James: "Ericus Benzelius Suevus contuli hunc librum MS praestantissimum cum impressis. 1700. m. Junio." The annotator "was Bishop ofLinkjoping, and chief Librarian ofUppsala. His projected edition of Ara tor never appeared" Qames 1900-1904: 1.405).

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