Cambridge Corpus Christi College 285 Tito Livio Frulovisi, "Life of Henry V "; Aldhelm, "Carmen de Virginitate" with OE Glosses, "De octo vitiis"

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Peter J. Lucas


46. Cambridge, Corpus Christi College 285

Tito Livio Frulovisi, "Life of Henry V "; Aldhelm,

"Carmen de Virginitate"

with OE Glosses, "De octo vitiis"

[Ker 54, Gneuss 82]

HISTORY: Two manuscripts from different periods have been incongruously combined, probably in the 16c: Part A, a 15c copy of Tito Livio Frulovisi's Latin "Life of Henry V" and Part B, an llc copy of Aldhelm's verse "Carmen de Virginitate:' The later manuscript, Part A (ff.1-74), is a deluxe copy of the Latin life of King Henry V by the Italian humanist, Tito Livio Frulovisi of Ferrara ( c. 1400-c. l 456; on his life and career, see Arbizzoni 1998 and Merisalo 2009: 379-84). The "Life of Henry V" or "Vita Henrici Quinta" was written during Frulovisi's short stay in England in 1437-38 at the request of Humfrey, Duke of Gloucester (1390-1447) (on Frulovisi's work with Humfrey and career in England, see Saygin 2002: 254-59). Written in praise of Henry V and in support of his claim on the French throne, the work is largely derived from the "Vita et Gesti Henrici Quinti" by the pseudo-Elmham (Rundle 2008 and Merisalo 2009: 384-92). The manuscript is a fair copy in the hand of the author, as noted by Previte-Orton (1932: xviii-xix), who notes also that the rather splendid decoration on f. 4v is by the same artist as the one whose work is found in Cambridge, St. John's College 60, containing Frulovisi's Comediae. The present manuscript is probably that intended (or adapted?) for presentation to Henry VI, although Previte-Orton considered the actual presentation-copy lost (1932: xix; see also Hunt and de la Mare 1970: 3-4, no. 44; Krochalis 1988: 72n.43; Sharpe 2001: 689; Rundle 2008: 1129). It is unknown how the manuscript came into ownership of Matthew Parker, who bequeathed it to Corpus. There occurs some occasional annotation, as on ff. 24r and 32r. Annotation in an English 16c hand occurs on f. 64r.

Part B (ff. 75-131) is an early I le English copy of Aldhelm's verse "Carmen de Virginitate''. This particular textual recension is a 'second and later redaction' associated with the Benedictine revival of the 10c in England and may ultimately stem from Oxford, Bodleian Library Rawlinson C.697 [405] (Lapidge 2012: 34). According to T.A.M. Bishop (1971: xxv, 18), the main scribe made additions to Cambridge, Pembroke College 88 [70], a continental manuscript that may have been at St. Augustine's, Canterbury in the second half of the 1 0c (Rella 1980: 111; but the attribution is rejected by Barker-Benfield 2008: 1824); furthermore, the glossing hand found in CCCC 285 may be that of a scribe named 'John' who glossed a number of books, including Worcester, Cathedral Library Q.8 + Add. 7 with later medieval provenance in Worcester, El Escorial, Real Biblioteca E.Il.l [129a] found in the later 11 c in Horton, and Oxford, Bodleian Library Bodley 311 [356], found later in llc Exeter (cf. Dumville 1993: 53-55 and Budny 1997. 1.460), though this identification is uncertain (Dumville 1993: 54-55 and Stokes 2014: 60). John's peregrinations do not allow an ascription of origin or provenance. The OE glosses were added by at least two scribes in the first half of the llc (Scragg 2012: nos 153 and 154). Later medieval provenance and ownership unknown. The manuscript appears to have circulated for a time unbound, as wear and darkening on its outer leaves shows (ff. 75r and 131v; see Budny 1997: 1.460).

The two distinct manuscripts were probably bound together in the 16c by Parker or his circle and the endleaf (f. 132), taken from a 16c document, may have been added at that time. Parkerian use is indicated by chapter numbers (1-26) added in red crayon in Part A; the numbers were later continued in black ink sporadically up to 100 on f. 72v. 'N.31' on ff. 1 v and 2v refers to its number in the printed list of books bequeathed by Archbishop Matthew Parker to Corpus Christi College in 1575. The book was repaired or rebound in 1748-50 (Budny 1997: 1.461) and rebound again by J.S. Wilson and Sons in Cambridge in 1952 as a note on the modern paper binding leaves shows. Previous descriptions by James (1912: 2:51), and by Budny (1997: 1.459-62, no. 27 (Part B only)).

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