Wurzburg, Universitatsbibliothek M.p.th.q. 2 Jerome, "Commentarius in Ecclesiasten"

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Charles Wright


492. Würzburg, Universitatsbibliothek M.p.th.q. 2

Jerome, "Commentarius in Ecclesiasten"

[Ker 401; Gneuss 944; CLA 9.1430a-1430b]

HISTORY: This 5c Italian uncial manuscript (CLA 9.1430a; Bischoff and Hofmann 1952: 88-89; Thurn 1984: 86-87) of Jerome's commentary on Ecclesiastes was in England in the 7c, when six of its original 114 leaves were replaced by an English scribe who attempted inexpertly to reproduce the uncial script of the original ( = CLA 1430b; see Lowe 1960: 17) and who sporadically introduced syllable- or word-separation in contrast to the original's scriptura continua (Parkes 1985: 26). In the words of Patrick SimsWilliams, "it is the oldest extant uncial manuscript that could have served as a model for the development of 'English uncial' in an English scriptorium'' (1990: 195; see also Sims-Williams 1976). This manuscript served as the base manuscript for the critical edition of M. Adriaen (1972), who normalized some spellings; for corrections to Adriaen's readings, see Thurn (1989).

On f. 1r the manuscript bears an ex-libris in A-S majuscule datable to ca. 700: 'Cuthsuuithae. boec. | thaerae abbatissan' ("books of Cuthswith the abbess" = Name 3 (Ker), B28.3, see DOE List; Hofmann 1952a; Lowe 1972: 1.243; Thurn et al. 2004: 12). She has been identified (though not with certainty) as Cuthswith, abbess of "Penintanham'' (Inkberrow) in the Hwiccian diocese of Worcester (Sims-Williams 1976, with reference to earlier literature). Brown (2001: 48) thinks it possible that the inscription is in Cuthswith's own hand, and that the supply leaves "might be the work of one of the nuns in her charge:' Sims-Williams (1976: 14-16) speculates that the book may have been brought to England and given to Cuthswith by Oftfor, a Northumbrian monk who was consecrated as bishop of the Hwicce by Wilfrid; Oftfor attested the "Penintanham" foundation charter (S 53 <http:/ /www.esawyer.org.uk/charter/53.html> ), and according to Bede ("Historia Ecclesiastica" 4.23) he travelled to Rome, where he could have acquired the Jerome manuscript ( on Oftfor see also Sims-Williams 2004). The manuscript probably remained in the Worcester diocese down to at least the first third of the 8c, since certain letter-forms in some uncial pen-trials on f. lr ('adonai d(omi)ne d(eu)s') and f. 113v ('omnium Inimicorum suorum dominabitur' and 'd(omi)n(u)s tamquam') are similar to those found in the scripts of London, BL Cotton Augustus ii.3, the "Ismere" charter of .tEthelbald, king of Mercia (S 89 <http:/ /www.esawyer.org. uk/charter/89.html>) dated 736 with a subsequent endorsement before 747 (Engelbert 1969: 410-11; ChLA 3.183; color facsimile at the Kemble website, Charters on Single Sheets, no. 9 <http:/ /www.kemble.asnc.cam.ac. uk/ node/32> ). On the use of Ps. 9:26 as a pen-trial see Bischoff 1966-81: 1.78; Sims-Williams 1976: 4-5; 1990: 192; Cain 2009: 187-88).

By the last quarter of the 8c, however, the manuscript was probably at Wiirzburg, since the spellings and letter forms of other pen-trials on f. 1r (particularly the form of r and the voicing of the initial consonant of"dominabitur" in 'om[] nimicorum suorum suit tominabitur') seem to have been imitated in a pen-trial of that date in a continental manuscript (M.p.th.f. 27, f. 90v: <http:/ /vb.uni-wuerzburg.de/ub/mpthf27 /pages/mpthf27 /180. html>) that was certainly at Wiirzburg by the second quarter of the 9c ( CLA 9.1407; see Sims-Williams 1976: 3). Lowe's tentative identification of the book with an entry "commentarium ad Holzkirihhun" in a Wiirzburg cathedral library booklist of ca. 800 is rejected by Bischoff and Hofmann (1952: 89, cf. Lapidge 2006: 149), but it is likely to be the item "Eclesiasten: Hieronymi" in another Wiirzburg booklist of ca. 1000 ( ed. Knaus 1979: 985/ l 82; Hoffmann 2009: 221 no. 48). It is unknown precisely how the book came to Wiirzburg, though it was undoubtedly in the context of the A-S missions to the Continent. Sims-Williams ( 1990: 239-41) suggests two possible intermediaries: Milred, bishop of Worcester (d. 774 or 775), who visited Boniface in 753; or Burghard, the first bishop of Wiirzburg (742-753), who corresponded ca. 740 with a certain Cyneburg who may have been abbess of Bradley (near Inkberrow) and a relation of Cuthswith's. Its 15c shelfmark was 'C' (f. 8r), the 18c shelfmark '47' (on the shelfmarks and early catalogues of the cathedral library, see Bischoff and Hofmann 1952: 72, 74-75). The manuscript was among the 170 rediscovered in 1717 by Dean (later Prince-bishop) Franz Christoph von Hutten-Stolzenberg in the cathedral attic, where they had been hidden sometime after 1611 (when the protocols of the cathedral chapter still contained records of a functioning library) and probably during the war with Sweden in 1631 to prevent their plundering (see Schannat 1723: 227-28; Bischoff and Hofmann 1952: 63-65; Knaus 1979: 970-71). The manuscripts of the cathedral library came to the Universtatsbibliothek in 1805 as a result of the secularization of 1803, though some were subsequently dispersed. M.p.th.q. 2 was described in the 18c ASM 24.8 175 catalogue of the Dombibliothek, M.ch.f. 644 (see Thurn 1981: 73-74), f. 49r (facsimile at <http:/ /vb.uni-wuerzburg.de/ub/mchf644/pages/mchf644/97. html>), by Hufeland 1805: 9-27, and by Oegg 1808: 313-20. For the surviving manuscripts of the cathedral library see Bischoff and Hofmann 1952; Kramer and Bernhard 1989-90: 2.851-56; Thurn 1992; on its A-S manuscripts see Hofmann 19526. On the history of the manuscript collections of the Universitatsbibliothek see especially Handwerker 1909; Thurn et al. 2004: ix-xxvi. There is a digital facsimile of M.p.th.q. 2 at the "Libri Sancti Kyliani digital" website <http://vb.uni-wuerzburg.de/ub/ mpthq2/ueber.html>.

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