Seminar on the Evidence of Manuscripts (5 June 1992)

September 8, 2016 in Manuscript Studies, Seminars on Manuscript Evidence

“Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, MSS 23 and 223:
A Workshop” on
The Corpus Prudentius and the Saint-Bertin Prudentius

Prudentius MSS Seminar Invitation 2 June 1992 with border

Invitation Letter for 2 June 1992

Prudentius MSS Seminar Invitation 2 June 1992 RSVP form with border

RSVP Form

5 June 1992
In the Series of Seminars on the Evidence of Manuscripts
The Parker Library, Corpus Christi College, Cambridge

Invitation in pdf.

The previous Seminar in the series considered
“Anglo-Saxon Writing Materials and Practices”
Parker Library, 11 January 1992

[First published on 8 September 2016]

Focused on the 2 early medieval manuscripts at the Parker Library with collections of the works of the Spanish poet Aurelius Prudentius Clemens (348 – after 405 CE), this workshop considered the evidence of Corpus MS 23 and MS 223 in the light of their relatives and their contexts, and in the company of gathered specialists, who had come from England and abroad.

Front cover of the assembled booklet with the Profile of the Research Group on Manuscript Evidence and the full set of 5 Annual Reports to the Leverhulme Trust, which funded the 5-year major Research ProjectThe month of June in 1992 — during the 3rd year of the 5-year Research Project on “The Archaeology of Anglo-Saxon Manuscripts” funded by the Leverhulme Trust, and during the 5th year of full-time research at the Library by its outside-funded Senior Research Associate, Mildred Budny, specifically directed toward an integrated approach toward the Anglo-Saxon and related manuscripts in the collection — was the first

Kauf von Amoxil

, and only, time during the full Series of Research Group Seminars (and Workshops) on the Evidence of Manuscripts (1989–1995) that 2 workshops or seminars were held in the same month.

The work of the Research Project is described in the detailed Annual Reports to the Leverhulme Trust. As listed among our Publications, the Reports were reprinted and circulated, together with the then-current Profile (updated as appropriate during those years) of the Research Group on Manuscript Evidence.

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The Plan

© The British Library Board. Additional MS 24199, folio 18r. Reproduced by permission.

© The British Library Board. Additional MS 24199, folio 18r. Reproduced by permission.

Issued in the name (and with the abbreviated signature) of R.I. Page, the 1-page Invitation Letter sets out the parameters.

We plan to hold a workshop on Friday, 5 June, concerning Corpus Christi College, MSS 23 and 223, which contain collections of works by Prudentius, with many glosses.  MS 223, a medium-format copy made in Northern France in the late ninth century, apparently belonged to the Abbey of St. Bertin.  It reached England by the late tenth century, to judge by entries by various Anglo-Saxon hands.  MS 23, Part I, a luxurious large-format copy made in Southern England in the late tenth or early eleventh century, apparently belonged to Malmesbury Abbey by the mid-eleventh century.  It contains a magnificant cycle of illustrations for the Psychomachia, rendered in coloured outline drawing and accompanied by some Latin and Old English titles.  Both its place of origin and function, whether as a ‘classbook’ or meodu-borde book, remain controversial.

Both manuscripts have been the subject of detailed study in the course of our research at the Parker Library.  We hope to produce a facsimile of MS 23, and we are preparing studies of particular aspects, to analyse its texts, layout, language, codicology, palaeography and art.  As part of this exploration, the workshop will discuss the problems of both manuscripts and related subjects.  We hope you might attend to give your advice and help.

As usual, “we aim to run the workshop on informal lines, as a round table, with the following main speakers”.  The intended sequence:

Malmesbury Abbey viewed from the graveyard to the South Porch. Photograph by Adrian Pingstone via Wikipedia Commons.

Malmesbury Abbey viewed from the graveyard to the South Porch. Photograph by Adrian Pingstone via Wikipedia Commons.

Gernot Wieland will discuss these two collections of Prudentius’ texts and their glosses.

Patrick Wormald will examine the possible connection between MS 223 and Grimbald of St. Bertin.

Mildred Budny and I [=R.I. Page] will comment on the structure, layout, illustrations, glosses and titles of MS 23.

Richard Gameson will report on the evidence which its decorated Type II initial holds for the place of origin.

Jane Rosenthal will comment on the cycle of illustrations in the light of its Continental and Anglo-Saxon context.

As always, “we hope that others will contribute to the discussion from their areas of specialisation and interest”.

The Manuscripts and Some Relatives

Not forgetting the Objects Lesson.

“Both manuscripts will be available for examination during the workshop.  Others too will be on hand to illustrate various points”.  Their list:

MSS 57, 198, 326, 356 and 411 with outline drawings, [Wormald’s] Type II initials and/or monumental display capitals

MS 173, Part B, as an example of an Anglo-Saxon ‘classbook’

MS 193 as a Continental import to England with added flyleaf sketches

and MSS 44, 178, and 383 with sixteenth-century entries and restorations comparable to those on the first, confected ‘bifolium’ of MS 23.

As usual, “other manuscripts may emerge for inspection as they occur to us in the course of the session”.

Some relatives elsewhere were represented by partial facsimiles in print, as with Richard Stettiner, Die illustrierten Prudentiushandschriften (1895), and Helen Woodruff, The Illustrated Manuscripts of Prudentius (1930). By such means were represented, for example, the other surviving Anglo-Saxon manuscripts or fragments of Prudentius’s works with illustrations. The principal survivors are London, British Library, Additional MS 24199, from Bury Saint Edmunds; and Cotton MS Cleopatra C VIII, folios 4–37, from Canterbury.
The former case is now (like many other manuscripts of many kinds) represented online in full digital facsimile in colour. By May 1992, a black-and-white facsimile of the illustrated pages of the latter case appeared in print in Thomas H. Ohlgren, Anglo-Saxon Textual Illustration: Photographs of Sixteen Manuscripts with Descriptions and Index (1992), Number 15 (plates 15.1–53). (About this publication and its relationship with some of our photographic work and publications, see the 1992 Congress.)  As always, in manuscript studies, and the studies of manuscript fragments, we work with the materials we have, or can find.

Given the conditions of access to the Parker Library in former years or decades, the 2 June 1992 Workshop was the first occasion that some of the participants could look at the Corpus manuscripts directly — even some experts who had studied them in detail already only from a distance and through those black-and-white plates of Stettiner and Woodruff.

And so to work on the day — a sunny, bright, and windless summer day.

© The British Library Board. Additional MS 24199, folio 18r. Reproduced by permission.

© The British Library Board. Additional MS 24199, folio 18r. Reproduced by permission.

© The British Library Board. Additional MS 24199, folio 20v. Reproduced by permission.

© The British Library Board. Additional MS 24199, folio 20v. Reproduced by permission.

© The British Library Board. Additional MS 24199, folio 21r. Reproduced by permission.

© The British Library Board. Additional MS 24199, folio 21r. Reproduced by permission.

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The Participants

Invitations were sent to:

David Wilson, Christine Fell, R.I. Page, Mildred Budny, Leslie French, Tim Graham, Nigel Wilkins, Nicholas Hadgraft, Catherine Hall, Jane Rosenthal, Gernot Wieland, David Farmer, Patrick Wormald, Richard Gameson, Malcolm Godden, Vivian Law.

Present (according to notes and to the returned RSVP forms in the Research Group Archives:

David Wilson, Christine Fell, R.I. Page, Mildred Budny, Leslie French, Tim Graham, Nigel Wilkins, Nicholas Hadgraft, Catherine Hall, Jane Rosenthal, Gernot Wieland, Herbert Broderick, David Farmer, David Ganz, Richard Gameson, Malcolm Godden, Vivian Law.

The Representative

Remnants of the Abbey of Saint-Bertin, September 1993. Photograph © Mildred Budny. Reproduced by permission.

Remnants of the Abbey of Saint-Bertin, September 1993. Photograph © Mildred Budny.

Patrick Wormald, although expected to speak, was unable to attend.  (As at another of our Seminars, on Corpus MS 201, in June 1993, where he was also represented by proxy.)  At short notice, David Ganz agreed to stand in his place, and so spoke about “Carolingian Manuscripts from St. Bertin”.  He provided a full-page handlist which gives “a first list” of them culled from “Manuscripts now in St. Omer”.  The Research Group Archives contains this and the other handouts, as well as notes on the day for several of the presentations.

David introduced his own presentation by saying, with a wry smile, that he was “Patrick Wormald”, or, anyway, would set “to impersonate him”.  Rather than reporting what Patrick might have said, however, David presented his own preliminary (and cumulative) research, with the proviso at the foot of his handout that “This list derives from the Catalogue des MSS des Departments Vols III & IV and I have not examined the volumes in Boulogne or St. Omer”.  He left us with the tantalising question as to whether Grimbald — who had come from Saint-Bertin to England at the invitation of King Alfred for teaching purposes and ended his life (at age 83 on 8 July 903) as abbot of the New Minster at Winchester — had owned or handled or imported MS 223, the Corpus Saint-Bertin Prudentius, itself.  Doodles and scribbles, perhaps, among these processes?

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Prudentius MSS Seminar Invitation 2 June 1992 with borderFor the Record

All but MS 383 among the listed manuscripts have their own entries, and plates, in the Illustrated Catalogue of Insular, Anglo-Saxon, and Early Anglo-Norman Manuscript Art at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge (1997), reporting results of the long-term, collaborative, and integrated research at the Parker Library.  This co-publication is the largest so far of the Publications by the Research Group on Manuscript Evidence.  In sum, these manuscripts on the table at the Seminar hold these places in the Illustrated Catalogue:

  •  MS 23, Part I = Budny Number 4 (The Corpus Prudentius)
  • MS 44 = Budny Number 46 (The Corpus Canterbury Pontifical)
  • MS 57 = Budny Number 25 (Benedictine Monastic Texts for Abingdon Abbey)
  • MS 173, Part B [or II] = Budny Number 4 (The Corpus Sedulius)
  • MS 178, Part II = Budny Number 35 (Bilingual Rule of St. Benedict
  • MS 193 = Budny Number 8 (The Corpus Hexameron and Its Added Endleaves)
  • MS 198 = Budny Number 21 (Old English Homilies by Ælfric and Others, Supplemented probably at Worcester)
  • MS 223 = Budny Number 10 ((The Saint-Bertin Prudentius)
  • MS 326 = Budny Number 21 ((The Corpus Aldhelm)
  • MS 356 = Budny Number 19 (Latin Abba-Glossary)
  • MS 389 = Budny Number 23 (The Vitae of Saints Paul and Guthlac by Saint Jerome and Felix)
  • MS 411  = Budny Number 22 (“Archbishop N.’s and Thomas Becket’s” Latin Gallican Psalter, with Canticles and Litanies)

Copies available here.

Next Steps

Invitation to 'Anglo-Saxon Manuscripts in Cambridge and Oxford' Seminar Invitation 20 June 1992 Page 1

Invitation Letter Page I for 20 June 1992

Invitation to 'Anglo-Saxon Manuscripts in Cambridge and Oxford' Seminar Invitation 20 June 1992 Page 2

Invitation Letter Page 2 for 20 June 1992

The next Seminar in the Series, which took place at Oxford University for the first time (of 3 times in total), considered:

“Research on Anglo-Saxon Manuscripts in Cambridge and Oxford”
20 June 1992

Held at Pembroke College, and hosted by Malcolm Godden, that seminar included the first of the travelling exhibitions by the Research Group on Manuscript Evidence. This exhibition presented a selection of photographs of manuscripts and other materials, as a way to represent, by proxy, the originals, while the seminar considered their evidence and its challenges. The exhibition set a new standard, or tradition, in the migratory events of the Research Group on Manuscript Evidence, which, where appropriate, include Photographic Exhibitions.

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The first Seminar in the Series, had featured the Corpus Prudentius as one of the principal manuscripts for consideration in the light of some questions concerning Illustrations Versus The Real Things in Daily Life:

“Manuscript Illustrations as Evidence for Anglo-Saxon Life”
20 May 1989

© The British Library Board. Additional MS 24199, folio 16v. Reproduced by permission.

© The British Library Board. Additional MS 24199, folio 16v. Reproduced by permission.

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Postscript

"The Bible and the Visual Arts" Symposium 1995Carolingian Bible Symposium Announcement (1996)Later on, after the Research Project came to its appointed completion on 30 September 1994, and the Research Group on Manuscript Evidence moved its principal base to the United States, as planned (see our events for the 1994 Congress), but not to the contracted place — because of unexpected and contradictory changes to the appointment at late notice at that end — it was Jane Rosenthal, who had attended the Prudentius Manuscripts Workshop on 5 June 1992, who invited Mildred Budny to organize a symposium for the Spring of 1995 at Barnard College and Columbia University in New York City.

That event, devoted to “The Bible and the Visual Arts”, launched another Series of scholarly events organized by the Research Group on Manuscript Evidence: Symposia on “The Transmission of the Bible”.  From that series, as well as other activities, there emerged the New Series of Seminars, Colloquia, Workshops & Symposia.

Over time, these events and the other activities led to the formation of the Research Group on Manuscript Evidence as a nonprofit educational corporation (1999–), comprising an institution without a building, paid staff, or much of an endowment.  For information about its accomplishments under such circumstances, with many generous donations by volunteers, contributors, hosts, sponsors, and friends, see our 2015 Appeal Letter, Donation Form, our CARA Reports for 2015 and 2016, and our Business Agendas for 2015 and 2016.  Please join us!

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© The British Library Board. Additional MS 24199, folio 5v. Reproduced by permission.

© The British Library Board. Additional MS 24199, folio 5v. Reproduced by permission.

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