London, British Library, Cotton Claudius D iii Martyrology, bilingual "Regula S. Benedicti;' Calendar

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A. N. Doane


183. London, British Library, Cotton Claudius D iii

Martyrology, bilingual "Regula S. Benedicti;' Calendar

[(Ker p. xix, Gneuss -]

HISTORY: An early 13c copy of the bilingual "Regula S. Benedicti" with chapters of the Latin alternating with the chapters of the OE translation of RSB by Bishop Æthelwold (ca. 970), bracketed by the "Martyrology ofUsuard" and a Calendar with obits. The manuscript was owned by the Cistercian nunnery of Wintney in Hampshire throughout the Middle Ages. Wintney (or Winteney) was said to be founded by Richard Holte and his wife before 1200 and was always small and poor (and this is its only known book), so it is unlikely that this well-produced and rather deluxe volume was made there (see Knowles and Hadcock 1977: 277). An entry added in a hand later than the main one on the Calendar for 18 Oct. (f. 156v) 'Anno ab incarnacione d(omi)ni millesimo Duce(n)tesimo | Tricesimo quarto. Dedicata est eccl<es>ia de Wi<n>teneia; a reference to the stone church founded at Wintney in 1234, indicates the terminus ante quern for the presence of the book there. As the English is Kentish or Southeastern, Gretsch supposes that the book (and its exemplar) could have been produced at the Cistercian house of Waverley in Surrey or the Benedictine monastery of Reading: members of both houses are mentioned as benefactors in the obits in this manuscript (Gretsch 1978: 346-47) and a French poem on f. 3v, contemporary with the main script, asks for Christ's blessing on Winteney and Waverley (see item 1 b ), while the Symon mentioned there may be the Simon, abbot of Reading, whose obit is 12 Feb. (f. 143r) (other Simons: on 143v [18 Feb.] 'Simon sac<er>dos', on 149r [14 May] "Simon sac<er>dos hui<us> ecc<lesi>e'). The OE language has been slightly modernized but is very conservative for the date of the manuscript and retains the essential syntactical, grammatical, and lexical character of Æthelwold's text, even in passages that have been revised or retranslated, of which there are several ( cf. Gretsch's examples of revision, 1978: 314-21, discussion of language 338-46). Many of the retranslations stem from the "Cistercian" -type Latin text that accompanies this English version (Gretsch 1978: 332-38). The texts, both Latin and OE, have been integrally altered (through the change of pronouns, etc., and the complete rewriting of ch. 62) in the planning of the text for the use of nuns, unlike the text of RSB in Cotton Faustina A. x [193], which was a male text modified for female use by replacements over erasures (on language and revisions see Jayatilaka 2003: 158-66). It is not known how or when the book got from Wintney (dissolved in 1536) into the Cotton collection though the signature 'Ro.: Cotton Bruceus' bottom off. 3r ( old '1 ') is the form used from 1603 when he was knighted. Siglum "W''.

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