Cambridge, Corpus Christi College 144 "The Corpus Glossary"

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Peter J. Lucas


31. Cambridge, Corpus Christi College 144

"The Corpus Glossary"

[Ker 36; Gneuss 45; CLA 2.122]

HISTORY: This medium-large manuscript was written in a single distinctive hand of the first half of the 9c (Bischoff and Parkes in Bischoff et al. 1988: 22-25) with a particularly clear layout showing crisply defined columns; the paleographical dating is confirmed by linguistic evidence, which places the text, at the earliest, after the middle of the 8c (Ball and Stiles 1983: esp. 20; Morrish 1988: 518). It contains two main items, a short glossary (ff. 2r-3v) of mostly Hebrew and Greek names in A-order (arranged in alphabetical order by their first letter), and an extensive glossary (ff. 4r- 64v) drawn from numerous sources in AB-order (alphabetized by their first two letters), in effect one of the earliest works of a quasi-dictionary format to include English (the "Corpus Glossary"). The glossary was compiled from collections of glosses in turn derived from Biblical, classical, patristic, grammatical and other works, as well as earlier glossaries ( on the batches of glosses and their sources, see Lindsay 19216: 1-43; Pheifer 1974: xxviiixxxi; Pheifer in Bischoff et al. 1988: 49-63; Pheifer 1992: 189-205). The text is related to that found in the glossaries Epinal (Epinal, Bibliotheque Municipale 72 [128]), Erfurt (Erfurt, Stadtbiicherei, Amplonianus f. 42 [129]) and Werden (Werden, Pfarrhof f. 1 v and 5 [ 484] + München, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek Cgm. 187 (e. 4) [325] + Düsseldorf, University ätsbibliothek, MS. Fragm. Kl9:Z9/l [124a] + Münster, Universitätsbibliothek, Paulinianus 271 (719) [329] + Koln-Rath, Fiingling Collection ff. 1-2 [149a]). Corpus is an expanded revision of a precursor of Épinal-Erfurt.

Despite some similarities to Northumbrian styles, art historical analogues for the decorated initials suggest a Southumbrian origin (Budny in Bischoff et al. 1988: 26-28; Budny 1997: 1.100-101; Graham 2009: 180-81), which would accord with the dialect and style of script ( on dialect, see Kuhn 1939). Canterbury is a possible origin (Lapidge 1986: 58; Brown 2012: 165), and the book's decorated initials may have provided models for later book production in the 10c (Alexander 1978: 65; Brownrigg 1978: 257-58). On f. i recto, what is apparently a trial layout of the glossary material for the first item is followed by some Latin words with OE glosses written above; these date to the second half of the 10c. Anglo-caroline pen trials ( 1 0c?) are erased on f. i recto, i verso, and the upper margin of f. 5lr. Dry point material added in an A-S minuscule, perhaps 9c/10c (Budny 1997: 1.101). There are words added in the l lc on ff. i recto ('concrepare' ), 13v and 37v in the lower margins. F. i recto is also headed 'in nomine'. The press-mark of St. Augustine's, Canterbury (second half of the 13c) and librarian's entry appears on f. i recto: 'Di(stinctio). XI. g(radus) |. ret(ro) | elucidat(i)o quar(un)d( am) p(ar)ciu(m) cu(m) A. I iib(er) s(an)c(t)i aug(ustini) Cant(uariensis)', but while the work may not be identified in the medieval catalogue itself (James 1903: !xx; Ker, Cat., 50; Budny 1997: 1.101), Bruce Barker-Benfield has identified this ex libris in the index to the catalogue for St. Augustine's (Barker-Benfield 2008: 52, 229, 1770-71). Some 16c underlinings of OE glosses occur, as well as other marks of study, probably by John Joscelyn (1529-1603), Archbishop Parker's Latin secretary (e.g. f. 16vb/10) (see Budny 1997: 1.102-04 and Graham 2000: passim). 'S.3: on f. i recto refers to its occurrence in Parker's Register of books bequeathed to Corpus Christi College, Cambridge in 1575. Rebound or repaired with a leaf from a 12c Irish copy of Priscian, perhaps in Canterbury or by Parker; the Irish leaf was probably in the manuscript at latest by the 1690s (Budny 1997: 1.789; on the leaf see Gibson 1972: 107; Passalacqua 1978: 35; Dumville 2007: no. 2). Previously bound or repaired in 1748 (Budny 1997: 1.104), the manuscript presently has a binding of 1953 by John P. Gray of Cambridge. Previous descriptions by James 1912: 1.330-31, Bischoff and Parkes in Bischoff et al. 1988: 22-25, and Budny 1997: 1.95-108, no. 6 + 1.787-91, no. 56.

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