Wurzburg, Universitatsbibliothek M.p.th.f. 79 Isidore of Seville, "Synonyma"

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Charles Wright


493. Wiirzburg, Universitatsbibliothek M.p.th.f. 79

Isidore of Seville, "Synonyma"

[Ker 400, Gneuss 946; CLA 9.1246]

HISTORY: The manuscript is thought to have been written in the first half of the Sc in England, "probably in the South or Mercia'' (CLA 9.1246; see also Lowe 1960: 17-18; Thurn 1984: 66; Bischoff and Hofmann 1952: 96- 96; Malzer 1988: 49-50; Bergmann and Stricker 2005: 4.1880-82; Elfassi 2009: xliii-xliv), though McKitterick (1989: 291) considers it possible that it was produced by A-S scribes on the Continent. The text script of ff. lrSv/ 10 is by two hands in A-S uncial showing Frankish influence. For comparable Frankish uncial manuscripts see Hussey 2005: 88-90; Hussey 2013: 23-29 and 32-33 draws special attention to two manuscripts from Jouarre: Paris, BnF lat. 152, fols. 1-8 (s. vii/viii; CLA 5.22) and BnF lat. 17654 (s. viii in.; CLA 5.670); he also (21-23) compares several English uncial manuscripts. Hussey 2013: 31 notes a brief lapse into half-uncial on f. 2r. At f. Sv/11-12 there are two changes of hand, at 'dimicant' and '(confo)deris' (1.33 = Elfassi 2009: 28/309), and the remainder of the text is by several A-S minuscule hands (occasionally becoming cursive at the end of a page), except at f. 24r/20-25, where there is a change to A-S cursive minuscule from 'sensum hebetudo' through 'natura consuetudine' (2.64 = Elfassi 2009: 115/644-116/693). Julian Brown (1993), who dates the manuscript to the first quarter of the Sc, has compared the uncial of Book 1 to the scripts of London, BL Cotton Augustus ii.3, the "Ismere" charter of JEthelbald, 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: no. 183; color facsimile on-line at the Kemble website (Charters on Single Sheets, no. 9) <http://www.kemble.asnc.cam.ac.uk/node/32>. Brown also compares the decorated initial 'I\ on f. 1 v to the initials of a manuscript of Worcester provenance and perhaps origin, Oxford, Bodleian Library Hatton 48 [381] (Gneuss no. 631; CLA 2.240, ca. 700; see Sims-Williams 1990: 202-3, citing Brown's unpublished Lyell lectures, and Brown 1993: 196). According to Bischoff (1966-Slb: 333), it is not certain that the A-S 492. WURZBURG, UNIVERSITATSBIBLIOTHEK M.P.TH.Q. 2 minuscule scripts that continue the text from f. 8v are contemporary with the uncial hands. (See also Hussey 2005: 91 for comparisons to two somewhat later A-S minuscule manuscripts.)

Interlinear and marginal corrections by various A-S uncial and minuscule hands occur sporadically throughout. In the left margin of f. 9r (next to line 21, 'Eu me homo . . : [ = Elfassi 2009: 33/367]) is written 'homo I respondit' and thereafter for the remainder of Book 1 various sections of the text are assigned in the margins (by more than one hand) either to 'homo' or 'ratio' (see Di Sciacca 2007: 112-113; 2008: 18 and 110). Marginal notations have sometimes been partly trimmed off.

OE drypoint glosses (most Mercian or Kentish, with West-Saxon features in two glosses) are entered by several hands, the earliest of which dates from the middle of the Sc (Hofmann 1963: 58-59; Di Sciacca 2008: 224, n. 17). According to Hussey (2005: 96-102 and 2008: 156-57) the character of the scripts, including the glossing hands, suggests that the manuscript was glossed in Southwest Mercia or Wessex.

Early 9c OHG glosses (East Frankish, to Book 1 only) suggest that by the last quarter of the Sc the manuscript had reached a scriptorium in the Rhine-Main region (perhaps Mainz; see Hofmann 1963: 58-59, who edits both OE and OHG glosses at 60-61). It was in the Wiirzburg cathedral library by the 13c, when the ex-libris 'LIBER S<an>c<t>i kyliani' was entered on f. lr. It may have been the 'Liber synonomorum Ysidori' listed in the Wiirzburg library catalogue of about 1000 (ed. Knaus 1979: 987/252; Hoffmann 2009: 233-34, no. 198), though the entry might also refer to M.p.th.q. 28a. If, as Elfassi 2009: xliv suggests, it is the exemplar of M.p.th.f. 33 (see Thurn 1984: 26-27; facsimile at <http://vb.uni-wuerzburg.de/ub/mpthf33/ ueber.html> ), it must have been at Wiirzburg by the first half of the 9c. Its 15c shelfmark was 'Cvii' (f. lr); the 18c shelfmark was 59 (on the shelfmarks and early catalogues of the cathedral library, see Bischoff and Hofmann 1952: 72, 74-75).

The manuscript was among those rediscovered in 1717 by Dean (later Prince-bishop) Franz Christoph von Hutten-Stolzenberg in the cathedral attic, and came to the Universtatsbibliothek in 1805 (see M.p.th.q. 2 (492] under "History"). On the manuscripts with vernacular glosses see Moulin 2009. M.p.th.f. 79 was described in the 18c catalogue of the Dombibliothek, M.ch.f. 644 (see Thurn 1981: 73-74), f. 6lr (facsimile at <http://vb.uniwuerzburg. de/ub/mchf644/pages/mchf644/l21.html>) and by Oegg 1808: 445-47.

There is a digital facsimile of M.p.th.f. 79 at the "Libri Sancti Kyliani digital" website <http://vb.uni-wuerzburg.de/ub/mpthf79/ueber.html>.

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