A Reused Part-Leaf from Bede’s Homilies on the Gospels

October 30, 2016 in Abstracts of Conference Papers, Manuscript Studies

Bede on the Gospel of Mark

asdcv1 cropped to leaf improved

Recto of the Part-Leaf

A Part-Leaf from a 14th-Century Large-Format Copy
of Bede’s Homilies on the Gospels
(Perhaps Other Texts Too)
in Double Columns of 26 or More Lines
in Latin,
Perhaps Made in France,
Reused as a Part-Cover for Something Else, Now Discarded & Lost

Yes, we know.  Don’t know much about this part-leaf.  Why should we bother you?

You might know something, and/or, you might like to know something.  (My Kind of Person.)

I’m going ahead on the principle that Something Is Better Than Nothing.  (Ever the Optimist.  Gotta Hope For Something Good.)

Here Goes.

[Continuing our series on Manuscript Studies, Mildred Budny reports the identification of a reused and cut-down vellum Latin manuscript leaf extracted from a copy of Bede’s Homilies on the Gospels, made probably in the first half of the 14th century, perhaps in France.  Identifying the text makes it possible to recognize which side of the leaf was the original recto, and which the verso.  And there’s more to tell.]

Poster 2 for the 2016 'Words & Deeds' Symposium at Princeton University, with 2 images from the Otto Ege Collection, The Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. Photography by Lisa Fagin Davis. Reproduced by permission. Poster set in RGME BembinoThe extracted and reduced leaf was converted through reuse into part of the cover or wrapper for some volume or other, now unknown.  At some point, at least by the year 2016, the part-leaf was removed from that interim position and offered for sale on its own online.  It has come to its present owner recently, without record of the provenance of the leaf, or the nature and contents of its former volume, let alone of its original manuscript.

As characteristic for the problems presented by such discarded and commercially transferred medieval manuscript materials, we must resort to examining the evidence of the material itself.  Good thing, it may be, that we and other colleagues have some experience with such tasks.

Have a look, for example, at the discoveries reported in our our blog on Manuscript Studies and our colleagues’ contributions to meeting the challenges which dismembered and dispersed fragments pose, as for our 2016 Symposium on Words & Deeds and its downloadable Program Booklet.

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