Oxford, Bodleian Library, Additional C. 144 Grammatical Compilation

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A. N. Doane


336. Oxford, Bodleian Library, Additional C. 144 (28188)

Grammatical Compilation

[Ker App. 22, Gneuss -]

HISTORY: Of central Italian origin, the manuscript is written in carolingian minuscule, but the hand slips into Beneventan script (or shows Beneventan symptoms) several times (at f. 33r/3-8, 13-14, f. 33v/l-14, 22, 35v/29-40; Brown 1978: 266). An epitaph on f. 144v dated 996, written for the mother of Bishop Hubert of Fermo, in the Marche, may date and place it pretty nearly. According to Irvine (1994: 280-83) the texts on ff. 63v-68v are from an early insular collection of grammatical treatises utilized in the 7c in the same order as but independently of an Irish-influenced insular grammatical text, "Anonymus ad Cuimnanum;' preserved in a unique A-S manuscript, St. Paul in Carinthia, Stiftsbibliothek, 2/1 (25.2.16) (Gneuss, Handlist no. 933), ff. 2lva-42rb, of the first half of the 8c (cf. Law 1982: 87-90); nearly the same texts in the same order are found in Paris, B.N., lat. 13025 (Corbie, s. ixin), ff. 59r-62r. An early A-S origin for the core of the collection is further suggested by the 31 imbedded OE glosses on f. 153v, which stem from an 8c A-S exemplar (Gneuss 1994: 63); Dionisotti (1996) has shown that the glossary-collection preceding this item is an A-S compilation earlier than the Erfurt/Corpus glossary tradition and suggests that the A-S glosses were originally written on a flyleaf of an early exemplar. This compilation was augmented by items composed or popular in the carolingian era. Though the manuscript is a codicological unity, Irvine divides the manuscript into three contemporary parts, 1) ff. 1-46, written in a single hand, being a collection of Donatus and Donatus-related texts; 2) ff. 47-155, written by the first hand and another hand, alternating, which seems to be a compilation of earlier collections; 3) ff. 155-167, a copy of "Synonyma Ciceronis" written by a third, contemporary, hand (but this point is disputable, see collation). All the Beneventan symptoms occur within a few pages of each other in the first part, which might indicate a separate Italian exemplar for that part. The very poor quality of the vellum, the crudity of decoration and rubrication, and the instability of the hand( s) suggest that the manuscript was at a minor house with limited resources, which might accord with an origin at a provincial center such as Fermo. It passed through Italian humanist circles in the 15c to judge by textual connections (cf. items 8, 9, 16d, and 36 and de Paolis 2000: 188-89), which supplied learned annotations in humanist hands; the effaced note on f. 168r 'Jste liber est domini Lelij de Valle' indicates that it was owned by Lelio della Valle (d. 1476), a lawyer and papal advocate of an important Roman family who had strong literary and antiquarian interests, and it may have been he who wrote several distichs on a front flyleaf (ii recto) and entered glosses on ff. 54v, 55r, 56v, 128v, and 131 r (also notes on ff. 68r and 78r). Bianchi and Rizzo (2000: 2.615, 617) make this identification, and also identify the writing on the original back flyleaves (ff. 168v- 169r) as 15c Roman accounts of Francesco da Fiano, a member of the papal curia ca. 1479-1519. The S.C. attributes the 16c binding (on the basis of the blind stamping, cf. Hunt 1975: 47) to the Augustinian Priory of Sts. Martin and Gregory at Louvain. It was bought by the Bodleian in 1825 for £21. On f. ii recto are old Bodleian shelfmarks in successively later hands: 'Auct. | TV 11: 'Auct. | T [J?]. Infr. C and 'Auct. Addit. | BB 10: above 'Bodl. Addit. | C. 144'.

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