03.09.31, Doane, ed., Anglo-Saxon Bibles and "The Book of Cerne"

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Mary P. Richards

The Medieval Review baj9928.0309.031


Doane, A.N., ed.. Anglo-Saxon Bibles and "The Book of Cerne". Series: Anglo-Saxon Manuscripts in Microfiche Facsimile, vol. 7. Tempe, AZ: Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 2002. ISBN: 0-86698-229-9.

Reviewed by:
Mary P. Richards
University of Delaware

Volume 7 of the descriptions and fiches in the series of Anglo-Saxon Manuscripts in Microfiche Facsimile, ed. A. N. Doane, is entitled "Anglo-Saxon Bibles and 'The Book of Cerne.'" Contrary to the other volumes, now nine in total, the contents do not reflect the title. In fact, the one complete Vulgate surviving from pre-Conquest England, now British Library MSS. Royal 1 E. vii-viii, is not included because it contains no Old English. With the Anglo-Saxon Gospels and the glossed Psalters covered separately, the biblical material in volume 7 consists of the two major copies of the Old English Hexateuch (BL Cotton Claudius B. iv) and Heptateuch (Oxford, Bodleian MS. Laud Misc. 509) and four Latin Gospel books with Old English glosses and/or supplementary texts. Neither the Lindisfarne Gospels nor the MacRegol Gospels is included. Together with the biblical materials and the "Book of Cerne" appear an assortment of unrelated fragments and texts itemized below.

Following the format of the series, a history, codicological description, list of contents, and bibliography are provided for each item. Added notes call attention to features in the MS not readily visible on the fiches. For the fragmentary MSS, the contents section usually includes a transcription of the text. This is a valuable addition, for, owing to the depredations they have suffered and the reduced size of the images on the fiches, these fragments are almost impossible to decipher as reproduced. However, the images are certainly useful to convey the mise-en-page. Another helpful feature is the double reproduction of problematic folios, darker and lighter, for the Old English Illustrated Heptateuch, BL Cotton Claudius B. iv, so that both the illustrations and the darker portions of the text can be discerned in detail. Because the series relies upon earlier photographs, the quality of the images varies considerably. In some cases supplementary fiches with better images are provided.

The new codicological descriptions of the MSS are helpful, especially when they present the separate fragments of a single work. Although still incomplete, a picture of the Harley Glossary emerges, for example, from the pitiful remains. Wisely, the editors do not deal at length with vexed questions of origin and provenance. The bibliographies focus on studies dealing with manuscript and text primarily. One major concern regarding volume 7 is the over reliance, in this reader's judgment, upon Hans Glunz's characterizations of Gospel texts, which are outdated and can be inaccurate. More generally, it must be said that the MSS in microfiche facsimile, while handy, in no way substitute for physical examination of these materials.

Apart from minor inconsistencies in notation, two errors are worth noting: on p. 41, item 4b. f. 146 read Gerbert Aurilacensis for Gilbert (correction per Doane); in the heading on p. 44, read 399 for 395. In addition to the booklet of descriptive material (78 pages plus a preface and notes to users), this volume contains 16 packets with a total of 50 fiches covering 14 MSS. A description of the contents follows. According to the introduction, supplementary fiches to ASM 6 and 7 were to be included, but they did not arrive in the packet sent to this subscriber.

63. Cambridge, Corpus Christi College MS 557: Fragments of the "Legend of the Holy Cross before Christ" [Ker 73, Gneuss 117] (with 153: see below)

107. Cambridge, University Library L1. 1. 10: "Book of Cerne," "Prayer Book of Aedeluald" [Ker 27, Gneuss 28]

153. Lawrence, Kansas, Kenneth Spencer Research Library Pryce MS C2:1: Fragment of the "Legend of the Holy Cross before Christ" [Ker 73 Supplement, Gneuss 117] (with 63: see above)

154. Lawrence, Kansas, Kenneth Spencer Research Library Pryce MS C2:2: Fragment of ®lfric's "Sermo in natale unius confessoris" [Ker 332 Supplement; Gneuss 639] (with 385: Oxford, Bodleian Hatton 115)

155. Lawrence, Kansas, Kenneth Spencer Research Library Pryce MS P2A:1: Fragment of an Alphabetical Glossary [Ker 240, Gneuss 436] (with 274 and 392, see below)

182. London, British Library Cotton Claudius B. iv: Illustrated Old English Hexateuch [Ker 142, Gneuss 315]

248. London, British Library Cotton Vespasian D. xxi: 1. "Historia Brittonum"; 2. OE Prose Guthlac; 3. Sedulius [Part 2: Ker 344, Gneuss 657] (Part 2 with 399 below)

274. London, British Library Harley 3376: "The Harley Glossary" [Ker 240, Gneuss 436] (with 392 below and 155 above)

281. London, British Library Royal 1 B. vii: Early Northumbrian Gospel Book [Ker 246, Gneuss 445, Lowe 2.213]

282. London, British Library Royal 1 D. ix: Deluxe Illuminated Gospel Book [Ker 247, Gneuss 447]

339. Oxford, Bodleian Library MS Auct. D. 2. 14 (2698): "Gospels of St. Augustine," "Codex Oxoniensis (O)" [Ker 290, Gneuss 529, Lowe 2.230]

342. Oxford, Bodleian Library MS Auct. D. 5. 3 (27688): Breton Pocket Gospels with OE Glosses [Ker 293, Gneuss 532]

392. Oxford, Bodleian Library Lat. Misc. a. 3, f. 49: Fragment of an Alphabetical Glossary [Ker 240, Gneuss 436] (with 274 and 155, see above)

399. Oxford, Bodleian Library MS Laud Misc. 509 (1042): "OE Heptateuch" [Ker 344, Gneuss, 657] (with 248, part 2, as above)

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Mary P. Richards

University of Delaware