Vatican City, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Pal. Lat. 497 Trier/Paderborn collection of hagiographical material, with an added leaf (f. 71) of OE Orosius (palimpsest)

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Peter J. Lucas


479. Vatican City, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana,

Reg. lat. 497

Trier/Paderborn collection of hagiographical material,

with an added leaf (f. 71) of OE Orosius (palimpsest)

[Ker 391; Gneuss 916]

HISTORY: A collection of largely hagiographical material probably written in the late l lc at Trier, as is evidenced by items 7a, 7c, and 9. T he provision of readings for St. Matthew's day in item 266 suggests the possibility of a connection with the Benedictine abbey of St. Matthias at Trier, but the monastery, previously dedicated to St. Eucharius, was not re-dedicated to St. Matthias until 1127 when relics of the saint were deposited there. However, Hoffmann (in Stiegemann and Wemhoff 2006: 2.333-6, no. 442), noting that the script of the list in item 9 is very close to that of the two documents of Abbot Hamuko von Abdinghof (Paderborn), viz. Munster, Staatsarchiv, Kl. Abdinghof Urk. 21 and Fstm. Paderborn Urk. 72, argues that the manuscript was written in Paderborn rather than Trier. Support for this view is adduced from item 24 on St. Marsus (who was revered in Essen and Niggenkerken, near Corvey) and from item 30, which contains a letter of 1119 addressed to Bishop Heinrich of Paderborn, who because he had been suspended by Pope Paschal II (1099-1118) was unlikely to leave any written trail outside Paderborn. The case for Paderborn does not seem conclusive, as item 9 is a list of archbishops of Trier, and item 30 was added in the 12c. If the manuscript was written at Trier, the presence of item 30 could be explained by it having been transferred to Paderborn in time for the 12c addition.

Originally the manuscript was two booklets, A (ff. 1-71) and B (ff. 72- 163), produced in the same scriptorium and then brought together, the first being incomplete, several quires, probably seven, having been lost at the beginning (see "Collation"), the loss occurring before the 17c table of contents was added on the front fly leaf, and indeed, before the medieval foliation. Several scribes worked together (scribal stints are noted in "Contents"), not always in complete harmony, of whom Scribe 1 was principal, and Scribe 3 his chief associate. These two scribes had different ideas about format and presentation. Scribe l's work is extremely regular and well presented on newly prepared membrane, while Scribe 3 made adjustments, either because of a shortage of good-quality membrane, or because of apparent concerns about the disposition of space, or because he preferred new textual material, and he used membrane that, although already written upon, he re-prepared by removing the original text, as ff. 71, 104-5, 140-55. Prior to f. 71 this scribe, or his associate, Scribe 2, removed whatever was already written after item 5 on ff. 64v-8, as the conjoined leaves in quire IX do not match up well in terms of apparent membrane quality, and Scribe 2 then wrote over the erased material up to the end of the quire. There are marginal additions by Scribe 1, e.g., on f. 44r, 45v, and the same scribe has made erasures and alterations, e.g., on ff. 32v, 46r.

In completing the Life of St. Gertrude (item 6) Scribe 3 needed a single leaf and decided to use a leaf already showing text of the OE Orosius originally written in England (Stokes 2014: 130 suggests script is Christ Church, Cantebury) in the first half of the l lc and brought to Trier. The text of the Orosius (now f. 71) was bleached or erased (apart from a few letters) on the recto side and on the upper half of the verso side, but is still legible on the lower half of the verso side (item 8), space that the Trier scribe did not need.

Glosses, including syntactical glosses, have been added on ff. 49v-50r. On f. 143r the antiphon 'Glo<riosu>s <con>fessor chr<ist>i .N: has been added in the right-hand margin with some neumes suprascript (on which see Bannister 1913: 1.18, no.53). There are pen-trials or doodles on ff. 103rv and 106r. In the 14c folio numbers in ink were added in the centre of the top margin of recto leaves, as 'ii' to 'clxi' (f. 162), but the small leaf f. 136 was omitted from this numbering, and the number on f. 163 was no doubt on the part subsequently cut out. Early modern scholarly annotations occur on ff. 1r, 17r, 84v, and 96r. The manuscript became part of the library of Queen Christina of Sweden, which, following her death in Rome in 1689, went to the Vatican in 1690, where this one received the stamp of Pope Alexander V III (1689-91) on ff. lr and 163v. The binding of plain white vellum was provided in the Vatican and bears the stamp of Pope Pius IX (1846-78). At the same time the manuscript underwent some restorative treatment, with new material fused on to hinges to keep leaves in place. At the time of examination (2003) the binding was very loose. Previous description by Wilmart 1937-45.

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