Cambridge Corpus Christi College 162 OE Temporale Homilies

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Peter J. Lucas


33. Cambridge, Corpus Christi College 162

OE Temporale Homilies

[Ker 38; Gneuss 50]

HISTORY: A handsome, large collection of OE homilies, evidently a careful and thoughtful compilation, liturgically arranged, and particularly rich in items for the period leading up to Easter; of the fifty-one items (excluding the last item in the manuscript, which was added later) thirty-eight are by .IElfric (c. 950-1010), and one more (item 32) shows .IElfrician influence, with textual relationships to several other llc homiliaries (Godden 1979: xxxi-xxxiii; Irvine 2000: 48-49 and 55-56). Only one leaf with text is missing (between pp. 382 and 383), but others presumed blank are missing before p. 1, after p. 136 (2 leaves), before p. 161, and after p. 564 (3 leaves).

Written c. 1000 probably in the South East (Rochester or Canterbury) by a single 'thinking' scribe, who made adjustments as he wrote and inserted corrections ( cf. Scragg 1998 and Treharne 2009; on the date see Ker, Cat., xx-x:xi; Powell 2008: 154-56; and Scragg 2009: 52). The structure of the manuscript falls into three booklets: Booklet A (quires I-VII) comprising items for general occasions; Booklet B (quires VIII-IX) comprising items for Sundays after Epiphany; and Booklet C (quires X-XXXV) comprising items for Sundays and Holy Days from Septuagesima (70 days before the Saturday after Easter = 3rd Sunday before Lent) to Advent (sim. Scragg 1998: 76). The compilation is closely linked with Oxford, Bodl. Lib. Bodley 340/342 (358), which shows Rochester provenance. On p. 563 the nearly contemporary addition of the beginning of a homily on St. Augustine of Canterbury suggests a connection with St. Augustine's, Canterbury. Many alterations and additions by hands of the 11 c, one of which, as noted by Ker (Cat., 51), shows South Eastern spellings, e.g., 'pyode' (p. 299; WS peode), '[a]stered' (p. 331; WS astyrod), 'gebyoton' (p. 359; WS gebeoton), 'geberao' (p. 412; WS gebyrao), 'mren' (p. 458; WS men), 'gelt' (p. 528; WS gylt). Another annotator of the l lc is indicated by later spellings such as 'reiper' for regular OE 'regper' (p. 411); the same annotator probably wrote South East ern 'gelt' added on p. 529. Whether the origin of the manuscript is South Eastern is moot, but the early provenance almost certainly is.

[Note: For attributions and discussion of origins and early provenance in St. Augustine's or Rochester, see Budny 1997: 1.455-56; Godden 1979: xxxi-xxx.iii; Ker Cat., 56; Irvine 2000: 51; Powell 2008: 152-53; Richards 1988: 88-90; Scragg 1992: xxviii-xxix, 1998: 80, in Gameson 2012: 558, n. 21, and 2012, nos. 57-69; Treharne 2009: 406-08.]

The words 'læt' on p. 293 and 'lege' added on p. 294 indicate that the passage between them (Godden 1979: 133/185-204) should be omitted by a reader (as suggested by Ker, Cat., 51). Budny (1997: 1. 466) notes not only the South Eastern spelling corrections of the | le, but '(n]umerous sketches in dry point, ink, and plummet' for that period, and moreover, sketches in dry point or silver-point (pp. 122-23, 228, 252, and 396)' that 'are the work of one or more 12c or 13c hands'. These additions all suggest readership and use up through the 13c. Later medieval quire signatures [added] in ink at the end of quires I-XXXV; modern arabic numbers added in pencil at the beginning of each quire.

James (1912: 368) suggests that the manuscript may have been sent by Bishop John Scory (1559-1585) from Hereford, however, Budny (1997: 1. 467) raises significant questions about this possibility. It is Parker's 'Primus liber homiliarum'; 'S.5: on p. ii refers to its occurrence in Parker's Register of books bequeathed to Corpus in 1575. Parker added pp. 139-60, containing /Elfric's "Interrogationes Sigewulfi;' from Cambridge, Corpus Christi College 178 (35) (described in this volume). The printed illustration of the crucifixion on f. iv recto was no doubt added by Parker, who liked frontispieces. Pagination, on recto pages only, in Parkerian red crayon, 1-569 (257 used twice). Possibly rebound for Parker in London, where an older 16c London document, a leaf from a missal printed in the 1520s or 1530s, and the woodcut frontispiece were added as endleaves, and possibly the homily (now pp. 139-60) from CCCC 178 as well (cf. Budny 1997: 1. 466-67). Marginal marks made by later readers (probably mostly 16c) drawing attention to content occur throughout. On p. 387 in the righthand margin a note by Parker in red crayon ' in Libello | Impresso' referring to A Testimonye of Antiquitie [1566], which printed /Elfric's homily "In die Pasce;" a finding tab has been attached to the bottom of the leaf. Another hand of 16c has written in the margin just above Parker's annotation 'pag. 10 verso 2'. Underlining of text with the passages marked by 'X' in the margin likewise attests to 16c use. A passage on p. 226/8-23 bracketed for exclusion from the printed homily is marked by a marginal '+'. Drawings in the bottom margins of pp. 298, 343, and in the outer margin of p. 524. Scratched designs on pp. 58-9, 122, 123, 228. Several items were copied by William L'Isle before 1638 (Lee 2000: 232-4). Embryonic index by Abraham Wheelock (1593- 1653), pp. ii-vi, 565-7.

Binding by J.S. Wilson (Cambridge) 1952 replacing a previous binding of 1748-50 (Budny 1997: 1.468). A half leaf was shifted by R.I. Page, Parker librarian, in 1970, according to a note on the modern paper endleaf at back. Previous descriptions by James 1912: 1: 363-8, and by Budny 1997: 1.463-73, no. 28.

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