Cambridge Corpus Christi College 178 Homilies; Benedictine Rule

Main Article Content

Peter J. Lucas


35. Cambridge, Corpus Christi College 178

Homilies; Benedictine Rule

[Ker 41, Gneuss 54 (pp. 1-270), 55 (pp. 287-457)]

HISTORY: A composite of two originally different manuscripts, Part A (pp. 1-270) containing homilies for general occasions (pp. 1-163) and homilies for major feast days (pp. 164-270), divided as explained on p. 163 (art. 19). Most are by JElfric, and all in the second collection are from the "Catholic Homilies:' Part B (pp. 287-458) contains the Benedictine Rule in Latin and OE and a short text on the seven ages of the world in OE. Part A was written by two scribes of the first half of the l lc evidently working in collaboration with each other, one pp. 1-169, the second pp. 170-270 (cf. Scragg 2012: nos. 83 and 84). The selection and arrangement of the homilies, as well as some of their textual features, are shared by Oxford, Bodi. Lib. Hatton 113 + 114 [ 384a + 384b], Oxford, Bodi. Lib. Hatton 115 [385], and Oxford, Bodi. Lib. Hatton 116 [386]. All three of these manuscripts are from Worcester, suggesting CCCC 178 may also have originated in Worcester, perhaps in the 1030s or 1040s (Stokes 2014: 110). The compilation was unlikely to have been JElfrician; a similar compilation may have been used by Wulfstan (Godden 2004). Part B was written by another single scribe of the first half of the llc (cf. Scragg 2012: no. 89), containing the Rule of St Benedict in Latin and OE (translated by lEthelwold, bishop of Winchester, ca. 970), the OE following the Latin chapter by chapter, lacking the Preface (for a summary of the evidence for JEthelwold's authorship, see Gretsch 1999: 226-33). Both the Latin text and the OE text have chapter titles, but the Latin titles often show different wording from those listed in the table of contents. P. 287 headed in red by a Parkerian hand 'Incipivnt capitvla I explicit Prologvs' followed by chapter headings in Latin from which chs. 63-65 are omitted (as in London, BL Cotton Titus A.iv [235], and Oxford, Corpus Christi College 197 [ 411] ). The short excerpt on the last leaf on the seven ages was added a bit later in a hand characteristic of Worcester (Ker, Cat. 64; Scragg 2012: no. 91).

Both parts show 11c Worcester provenance (and presumably origin), as indicated in Part A under item 31 below, and in Part B under item 2 below; for contemporary scribal activity at Worcester see Gameson (1996). Part B may be listed in a late 11 c Anglo-Norman booklist, Cambridge, Corpus Christi College 367, f. 101v (olim f. 48v) (Lapidge 2001: 130-32); This list may be by the scribe known as Coleman ( c. 1089-1113 ), author of a now lost OE life of Wulfstan, bishop of Worcester (d. 1095) for whom he served as chancellor (Love 1996: cxxi, reporting the unpublished work of E.A. McIntyre, and Budny 1997: 1.548). Coleman's annotations are found in Part B, as well as several other manuscripts (on Coleman, see Ker 1949 and Johnson and Rudolf 2010). Coleman was known to have worked in Worcester into the early 12c. Glosses by the "Tremulous Hand" of Worcester occur throughout both parts (Franzen 1991: 49-51, also Pope 1967-8: 1.185-7). The table of contents on f. ii recto (i.e. in the preliminaries to Part A) is also by the "Tremulous Hand;' and this inventory of the items in Part A may have included items in Part B, as several lines following the last entry are erased (Ker, Cat., 60). The leaf on which this occurs was pricked (and presumably originally ruled) for 22 lines, the number of lines written in Part B, so Ker ( Cat. 64) surmises that this leaf may originally have belonged with Part B, perhaps a blank leaf which followed the Preface (now not present). If so, Parts A and B were already together at this time, or were brought together by the "Tremulous Hand" himself (Budny 1997: 1.548-49) in the 13c.

Matthew Parker possessed the manuscript in the 16c, as witnessed by his table of contents added on a paper leaf (f. iii verso), and his pagination in typical red crayon in the top outside corner of recto pages, pp. 1-75, 79-269, 287-457, and 458 on the verso page (pp. nos 77, and 271-85 not found). On p. 163 a white finding tab has been fixed on the recto side, and on pp. 287-8 a green tape finding tab has been attached, both no doubt under Parker's auspices. On p. 291 in the bottom margin in Parkerian red ochre crayon 'In hoc libro facilius discitur Lingua Saxonica', a reference to the bilingual text (as noted by Page 1993: 100). Used by John Joscelyn (1529-1603) for his wordlists in London, Lambeth Palace 692, ff. l 7r-18r (see Graham 2000: 102-4, 136). Further 16c use is seen in the underlining of ten words on pp. 291-92, probably by Joscelyn (Graham 1997: 38-39). The transfer of eleven leaves, containing Ælfric's "Interrogatio Sigewulfi" originally belonging between pp. 30/33 to CCCC 162 [33] was carried out by Parker (on which see MacLean 1883: 14-18; see also Page 1993 and Graham 1997 and the description [33] in this volume). A quire missing after p. 270 was certainly present in Parker's time, but there were almost certainly more quires originally. If the Parkerian statement on p. [460] that the book contained 568 pages is correct and applies to this manuscript then four or five quires (36 leaves) are missing. Parker's son John also may have studied the manuscript for his work with Joscelyn on their OE dictionary project (Graham 1997: 37; Budny 1997: 1. 549). Several items were copied by William Llsle before 1638 (Lee 2000: 235). Probably rebound for Parker in the 16c, perhaps when the eleven leaves were transferred to CCCC 162. Entered the Corpus Christi College library in 1575. Binding by John P. Gray (Cambridge) 1953, replacing a previous binding of the 18c. Previous descriptions by James 1912: 1: 414-17, and by Budny 1997: 545-56, no. 35 (Part B only).

Article Details

Manuscript Descriptions