Oxford, Bodleian Libray, Bodley 180 (2079) "Old English Boethius" (prose); prayer

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Katherine O'Brien O'Keeffe


354. Oxford, Bodleian Library, Bodley 180 (2079)

"Old English Boethius" (prose); prayer

[Ker 305; Gneuss/Lapidge 555.5]

HISTORY: Little is known for certain about this 11/12c manuscript of the prose OE Boethius, whose text probably represents the initial translation of Boethius' "De consolatione Philosophiae" later used for the prosimetrical version extant in London, BL Cotton Otho A.vi [208] (see Godden and Irvine 2009: 1. 44-46). Gneuss/Lapidge dates the manuscript to 11/12c, while Gameson (1999: no. 64 7) dates it to "xii 1" (1110 x 1130 in his sytem of dating). Godden and Irvine (2009: 1.10-13) argue it may fit paleographically in the late 11 c. Annotations show the manuscript was being read in the 14c and 15c (Godden and Irvine 2009: 1.14). The front pastedown has a notation in pencil dated 1884: "12 leaves or fragments of leaves taken out of the binding of this volume are now MS Bodl Add. D. 98:' The same notation is added in pencil on the verso of flyleaf ii. F. 3r of the binding leaves (now Oxford, Bodl. Lib. Add. D.98) adds a title in a 16c hand, "Boecius de consolatione philosophie translated into the Saxonice tong by King Alfred" (Godden and Irvine 2009: 1.16). These leaves are from a 14c copy of the medieval text of Roman law known as the Digest, bks. 19-20 ( Godden and Irvine 1.16; cf. Da Rold 2010). Franciscus Junius made a copy in the late 17c (= Oxford, Bodleian Library, Junius 12 [=S.C. 5124]), which he later collated against London, BL, Cotton Otho A.vi (Irvine 2005: 169-70; Kiernan 1998: 8-9). The editio princeps was published by Rawlinson (1698) using Junius's unpublished collations. "Marks of sewing-cords on the former pastedowns suggest they belonged to a binding with wooden boards, and probably of the fifteenth century or at least pre-Reformation" ( Godden and Irvine 2009: 1.16). The Summary Catalogue records that Bodley 180 was given by Thomas Draper M.A. in 1601 (II.I, 1922: 201). Draper was an alumnus of All Souls' College, Oxford, and took his M.A. in 1588 (Foster 1891: 424; see also Godden and Irvine 2009: 1.16-18).

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