Cambridge Corpus Christi College 326 Aldhelm, "De laude virginitatis" (prose) glossed; "Aldhelm" (OE and Latin poem); Abbo of St. Germaindes- Pres "Bella Parisicae Urbis" (extract); various short scholarly texts and colophons

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Peter J. Lucas


53. Cambridge, Corpus Christi College 326

Aldhelm, "De laude virginitatis" (prose) glossed;

"Aldhelm" (OE and Latin poem); Abbo of St. Germain-

des-Pres "Bella Parisicae Urbis" (extract); various short

scholarly texts and colophons

[Ker 61, Gneuss 93]

HISTORY: This copy of Aldhelm's prose "De laude virginitatis;' came from Christ Church, Canterbury. The main text is written very clearly in an English caroline minuscule of the second halfofthe 10c (Ker, Cat., 107; Gwara 1998: 140 and 2001: 109-11*; Scragg 2012: 14-15) or the turn of the millennium (Gretsch 1999: 144; Lapidge 2012: 27; Lapidge and Gneuss 2014: no. 93) in the Style II of the script associated with Canterbury (Bishop 1971: xviii-xxiii; Stokes 2014: 70 and 121). Christ Church origins are confirmed in a network of scribal connections (Bishop 1954-58: 187 and 1959-63: 423; on these see below). At the top of p. 140 there is an inscription in runic characters that is possibly an indication of the name of the scribe. It was read by James (1912: 143) as '-um uilframno s[c]ripsit amen', but Derolez (1954: 421) thinks James's reading 'hardly possible: and refers to Kemble's 1846 reading of'/Edilflred', which James does not mention. There is another scribal inscription on p. 105 'V[i]V[e] V[a]L[e] F[e]L[ix] C[u]M CR[i]ST[o] [A]M[e]N' with dots representing vowels (on both, see Gameson 2002: no. 19, 41). The text of Aldhelm's prose "De laude virginitatis" is the so-called "Class III" (Gwara 2001: 1.109-13* and 187; Lapidge 2012: 29) glossed in both Latin and OE in various hands near the time of its making and later in the l lc; these glosses include syntactical glosses and OE in dry point. Gwara suggests one third of the OE glosses correspond with those found in Brussels , Bibliotheque Royale 1650 [18) and Oxford, Bodi. Lib. Digby 146 [370) (1997: 206-07). Miscellaneous scholarly and scribal texts were added in the 11 c on blank leaves at end, including a bit of Book III of Abba of St. Germain-des-Pres' "Bella Parisicae Urbis;' a text often associated, along with Aldhelm, with the study of recherche vocabulary. The extract of Abbo here is accompanied by the glosses that are always found with it (with one exception) (Lendinara 2010: 107-09 and 2011: 487 and 509). Christ Church, Canterbury provenance is indicated by the pressmark and title on f. ii recto, 'D(istinctio) ii' G(radus) iiij"' demo(nstratio) p(ri)ma I Aldelmus de laude virginum' with the word 'nou(us)' added. The 12c Christ Church pressmark 'de' occurs on p. 1. Probably no. 4 7 in Prior Henry Eastry's catalogue of 1327 (James 1903: 21). The manuscript continued to be read and marked up in the 13c through the 15c with scribbles, dots, and a manicule (Budny 1997: 1. 248). It came to Matthew Parker; Parkerian use is indicated by the initials in red crayon on f. ii recto 'TW', standing for John Twine or Thomas Wotton. 'K 12', also on f. ii recto, as in the Parkerian list of books bequeathed to Corpus Christi College, printed in 1575. John Joscelyn made use of the manuscript while compiling word-lists of OE and Latin, as found in London, Lambeth Palace Library 692, f. 16v headed 'verba hrec desumpta ex Aldelmo de virginitate'. Probably refurbished or rebound in the mid 18c, and the present binding (done at the British Museum?), with the leaves in paper guards, dates from c. 1952, but Budny attributed it to George Bolton and dated it to c. 1980 (Budny 1997: 1.249). Earlier descriptions by James 1912: 2.143-6, Budny 1997: 245-52, no. 21, and Gwara 2001: 1.109-13*).

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