Louvain, Bibliotheque de l'Universite, Section des Manuscrits, Fragmenta H. Omont 31A Fragment with Medical Recipes

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Rolf H. Bremmer
Kees Dekker


322. Louvain (Leuven), Bibliotheque de l'Universite,

Section des Manuscrits, Fragmenta H. Omont 31 "

Fragment with Medical Recipes

[Ker Supp. 417, Gneuss 523]

HISTORY: A single folio containing medical recipes. Ker dated the leaf to the beginning of the 1 0c. However, in their edition and description of the leaf, Schauman and Cameron (1977: 289-312) have shown on the basis of paleographical, codicological, and morphological evidence that it is much older; the scarcely visible half-uncials on the verso side indicate that the leaf itself dates from the 7c or 8c, perhaps from the continent, while the writing of the recipes dates from between 850 and 900, which puts the text among the earliest "non-documentary" records of the OE language, before Alfred's translations. Schauman and Cameron's examination of the evidence points to a scriptorium with Mercian characteristics for the recipes. In 1949-19 50, the Louvain library acquired it as part of a collection of fragments which had belonged to Henri Omont (1857-1940), Conservateur of the Department of Manuscripts of the Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris. Nothing is known about the earlier history of the fragment. Schauman and Cameron (1977: 289) suggest that it may have been the last blank leaf of a quire which was then used to record recipes, not an unknown practice (Ker, Cat., p. xxxv). The fragment came to their attention in the 1970s through Michael McCormick upon whose communication their physical description depends (Schauman and Cameron 1977: 289).

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