Selestat, Bibliotheque Municipale 7 (olim 100) Paulus Diaconus, extracts; epitomized historical works; Isidore "Etymologiae;' extracts, etc.; Virgil, Isidore and other Glossaries; "Etymologiae" fragment

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Peter J. Lucas
Angela M. Lucas


465. Selestat, Bibliotheque Municipale 7 (olim 100)

Paulus Diaconus, extracts; epitomized historical works;

Isidore "Etymologiae;' extracts, etc.; Virgil, Isidore and

other Glossaries; "Etymologiae" fragment

[Ker Appendix 33; Gneuss - ]

HISTORY: Written probably towards the end of the first quarter of the 12c, this manuscript is a utilitarian product, probably designed for teaching. The date is confirmed by the fact that the catalogue of popes (item 3) ends at Honorius II (1124-1130) with this entry added in another hand and several lines of blank space after them. The manuscript comprises four contemporary parts (A-D) mainly concerned with glossing and/or Isidore's Etymologiae. A bifolium (Part E, ff. 133-34) dating from the 14c, and containing another fragment of Isidore's Etymologiae, has been added, probably later in the 15c with the present binding. The parts were written by four main scribes. There are more than 3500 OHG glosses, most integral but many interlined, a very few derived ultimately from OE glosses stemming from the "Leiden Glossary" tradition (see Lapidge 1986: 71). The dialect is south-western, Alemannic, the forms preserved from as early as the 8c; a number of the glossaries in Part D are closely related to those in the early 9c Alemannic St. Gall 299 [450], i.e., those related to Leiden 10h, 10j, 10r(iii), 10u, and not related to Leiden 10m, 10r (ii), 10f, 10w, 10x, 10y(I), 10ab, 10ac, 10ah (see Steinmeyer and Sievers 1879-1922 [henceforth StS], ad loc.); Sélestat lists tend to be alphabetized and longer than those in SG 299 (cf. Schroder 1956/57: 197-98).

The manuscript was formerly thought to have been written at Reich en au (founded 902), on account of the indication of the marginal additions on ff. 12v-13v 'Augia', 'Augia insula' and 'Chaugense', so read. These marginal additions are written in the hand of the scribe: on f. 12v/21 'Hui<us> p<a>p<ae> anno S. Pirlminu' s' augia<m> c<on>strux<it>' ; on f. 13r/27 'arnolfi humanitate | in sue uia su<m>ptib<us> pujblicis past<or> in augia | insula e<st> sepultus:; on f. 13v/11 'Tertio hui<us> anno bv<ch>|chaugense cenobiu<m> c<on>structu<m> e<st> Ann<o> incar|nation<is> d<omi>nice .dcccc.if The first two do indeed refer to Reichenau, but, despite the date matching that ofReichenau, the third apparently refers to Buchau am Federsee, a convent already founded in 770. So if the scribe refers to more than one abbey, the case for one of them as the place of origin is compromised. These are not the only scribal additions to be found in the margin: they occur from time to time, notably on ff. 10r-14r, and (probably as part of the text) on ff. 59r- 63v and sideways on ff. 64v, 65v-80r. On f. 15v/15 there is a marginal addition (beside the entry for Pope Urban) in the hand of the scribe: 'Hui<us> p<ri>mo anlno Zwiuilldense cenobiu<m> | constructu<m> e<st>' [1089]. On the assumption that the place of origin was Reichenau some scholars were led to conclude that the provenance was Zwiefalten, but this has not been considered certain: cf. Samaran and Marichal (1965: 659), and earlier Fasbender (1908: 19-20), who argued for either Reichenau or Zwiefalten as the place of origin, dismissing Buchau as a mere nunnery. In fact the place of origin is Zwiefalten, as is indicated by the identity of the scribes with those found in other Zwiefalten manuscripts (Spilling 1989: 85), and see "Contents''. below, item 5.

The late medieval binding is in thick calf, sewn on five bands through the spine (which is therefore tightly attached), so thick that, according to notes kept in the library at Selestat and made by Abbe Joseph Walter (early 20c), who catalogued the library's printed books, he thought the binding to be of hippopotamus skin (Nilpferdleder). The manuscript was heavily annotated in the 17 c, indicating some interest in the contents, as, for example, on f. 8r in the order of the early popes.

Exactly how the manuscript left Zwiefalten ( dissolved 1802) and joined the library at Selestat is moot, although Wackernagel (1845: 318) and Fasbender (1908: 5-9) thought that it must have come via Beatus Rhenanus (d.1547). The abbey at Zwiefalten was plundered in 1525 during the Peasants' War (Bauernkrieg). In any case it has apparently belonged to what is now the Bibliotheque Humaniste at Selestat (Alsace) from late medieval or early modern times. The humanist library at Schlettstadt ( originally founded 1452) was an amalgam of the parochial library, which included manuscripts bequeathed by Jean de Westhuss, enriched by donations from Jean Fabri, Louis Dringenberg, Jacques Wimpfeling, and Martin Ergersheim up to 1535 and then by the library of the famous humanist scholar Beatus Rhenanus, which he bequeathed in 1547 to the town where he was born. Under the terms of the Peace of Westphalia (1648) Alsace became part of France, after which the official name of the place became Selestat. The Bibliotheque Humaniste became the Bibliotheque Municipale after the French Revolution. Alsace was part of Germany from 1870 to 1918, during ASM 18.12 145 which time the Stadtbibliothek was installed in the Halle-aux-Bies, where it remains today as a major tourist attraction. Previous description in Catalogue 1849-1918: 3 (1861), 591; also Steinmeyer and Sievers 1879-1922: 4.612-14; Bergmann and Stricker 2005: 4.1630-35 (no. 849).

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