Durham Cathedral Library, B.IV.9 Prudentius

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Sarah Larratt Keefer


121. Durham Cathedral Library, B.IV.9


[Ker 108, Gneuss 246]

HISTORY: Durham B.IV.9 contains the poems and hymns of the Christian poet Aurelius Pruden ti us Clementus (b. 348-d. after 405). This English Prudentius manuscript can be dated to the end of the 10c or early llc but not assigned to any scriptorium in particular. Durham B.IV.9 is closest in text and resemblance of layout to a 9c Pruden ti us manuscript, Cambridge, Corpus Christi College 223 (44), whose OE glosses are contemporary with the writing of B.IV.9; the Cambridge manuscript is thought to be continental, perhaps from St. Bertin near St. Omer (Wieland 1987: 215-16). Other grammatical and construe glosses, and added accents, make it likely that this manuscript was used as a classbook (Wieland 1985: 170-71; on syntactical glosses in general, see Robinson 1973 and Korhammer 1980, neither of whom mention this manuscript). A number of the texts are neumed. Bergman places this in the best class of manuscripts, family Aa (siglum "D") along with CCCC 223 and Paris, Bibliotheque nationale, lat. 8084 ( 6c, cf. Lowe CLA 571a) (Bergman 1926: xxiii-xxxi; also Bergman 1908; cf. Thomson 1949-1953: l.xiv-xvi); Cunningham (1966: xiv-xix; 1968: 125-26) places this manuscript closest to Leiden Univ. Lib. Burmannus Q 3 in the family he calls "△'

On f. 1r appears a 12c/13c Durham inscription and a 15c title. There is a late pressmark 'l(a).7(1).2(o) fo suadet. Catt. vett: (cf. f. 2r/l 'suadet. quietern'). The main texts were written in perhaps as many as three A-S minuscule hands (changing at f. lO0r and f. 148r [Mynors 1939: 27]) and in addition have a remarkable number of interlinear and marginal glosses, dating from the time of compilation well into the 12c. Six glosses are in OE. The medieval hands comment on and correct the original Latin text and have been extensively edited; still later hands contribute to this process, in particular that of Elias Smith, Durham Librarian in the 17 c, who has added numerous titles, running heads, notes, foliations, and a detailed table of contents.

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