Oxford, Bodleian Library, Auct. F. 1. 15 (2455) Boethius, "De Consolatione Philosophiae"; Persius, "Satirae"

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Matthew T. Hussey


343. Oxford, Bodleian Library, Auct. F. 1. 15 (2455)

Boethius, "De Consolatione Philosophiae"; Persius, "Satirae"

[Ker 294; Gneuss 533/534]

HISTORY: A composite volume consisting of two manuscripts from St. Augustine's, Canterbury, written in anglo-caroline minuscule of the later 10c: Boethius' "De Consolatione Philosophiae" and Persius' "Satirae''. The Boethius is glossed with an insular (and incomplete) version of the Remigian commentary, scholia, and glosses (Wittig 2006: 179 and 191) as well as the third "Vita'' and Lupus of Ferrieres' "De metris" (Gibson and Smith 1995: no. 163). The copy is textually related to Cambridge, Trinity College 0.3.7 (90], which represents a fairly full text of the Remigian gloss (Courcelle 1939: 121-22, Bolton 1977a: 381-82, Bolton 19776: 52-53). The copy of Persius' "Satirae" has a version of the "Commentum Cornuti" glosses and scholia, borrowing from the "Tradition B" for the preface and prologue, and reverting to the "Tradition K family of glosses for the satires proper (Pulsiano 2001: 146-49; for the traditions see Robathan and Cranz 1976: 3.215-24). The Persius is closely related to, and may have ultimately shared an exemplar with, Cambridge, Trinity College 0.4.10, and M.R. James suggests this exemplar may derive from a copy found at Theodore and Hadrian's Canterbury school (James 1902: 3.258). T.A.M. Bishop placed the origin ofboth parts of the manuscript at St. Augustine's based on scribal interrelations with other manuscripts (Bishop 1971: no. 9; 1959-63: 415, also Barker-Benfield 2008: 3.1815-16). The Boethius was subsequently but nearly contemporaneously glossed at Christ Church, Canterbury, attesting to close relations between the foundations in the late 1 0c (Bishop 1971: 7).

Leofric probably acquired the manuscripts from Canterbury (Bishop 1959-63: 415; Drage 1978: 271 and 406; Treharne 2009: 524) and certainly donated the two manuscripts to Exeter as separate items in the third quarter of the 11c; both parts are identifiable with entries in Leofric's donation inventory (Lapidge 1994: 134-35; Conner 1993: 232-34), and both have donation inscriptions. The two manuscripts remained as two separate items in the 1327 inventory of Exeter's holdings (Oliver 1861: 329; though cf. Drage 1978: 387). They were perhaps bound together in the 14c or, more likely, in the Exeter refurbishment campaign of 1411-1412 (Clarkson 1996: 164-69; Pollard 1975: 144). The compiled book was probably chained in the Exeter library in the late Middle Ages. New covers were put over the original (but reversed) boards, ca. 1602 (Clarkson 1996: passim and Watson 1987: 270), when it was gifted to the Bodleian, and the book was clipped and chained in the Bodleian in the 17 c. The turn-in of the covers was partly lifted in 1973- 74 at the Bodleian as part of a dendrochronological study (as reported by Clarkson 1996: 165). According to notes and photographs kept in its storage box, the manuscript was refurbished in February of 1977.

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