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Oxford » Bodleian Library » MS Auct. F.4.32 (S.C. 2176)

Library Place Oxford
Library Name Bodleian Library
Shelfmark MS Auct. F.4.32 (S.C. 2176)
Folio Range 1st C.U. (fols 1-9)
Date IX 2/4 (c. AD 850)
  • Brittany
  • Wales
  • Glastonbury.
  • Full-page drawing of Christ, with Saint Dunstan at his feet and distich by Dunstan (all added in England) (1r)
  • Accessus to Eutyches, Ars de uerbo, with the title In honomate sumitonantis . ars Euticis gramatici (plus a distich by Eugenius of Toledo, added in England) (1v)
  • Eutyches, Ars de uerbo (incomplete), with interlinear and marginal scholia in Latin and Old Breton (2r-9v).
Old Breton Materials Yes
Irish / Hiberno-Latin materials Yes
Connection with Brittany

This famous MS, also known as 'Saint Dunstan's Classbook' and Codex Oxoniensis prior, is constituted by four codicological units: only the first one (fols 1–9) is of immediate interest in the present context. Bischoff's Katalog (Kat. §3774) attributes these folios to 'Bretagne, unter Tours-Einfluß.'

The Breton origin of this codicological unit is not in doubt. Although written in Caroline minuscule, numerous insular abbreviations can be found herein, especially in the marginal scholia; in particular, the Breton diagnostic ɔ-c for contra can be found in several glosses: e.g., in a gloss occurring on fol. 2r (right margin), the preposition contra appears to be used in the phrase iungitur contra genitiuum as an equivalent of Old Breton gurth (as suggested in Lemoine 1989: 154)—although the same equivalence could admittedly apply also to the Old Irish preposition fri (for the use of this and other specific insular abbreviations in this MS, see Lindsay 1912: 272; Lemoine 1985: 39–41; Lemoine 1989: 146; Lemoine 1992: 144–7; for the sign ɔ-c see also the entry for Rome (Città del Vaticano), BAV, In addition to the Latin glosses, this codicological unit of the Codex Oxoniensis prior contains 58 glosses in Old Breton (cf. Stokes 1860–1: 232–4; DGVB 5; for the importance of these glosses for the recognition of Old Breton as a distinct Brittonic language in the late nineteenth century, see Lambert 2018: 3–7). Finally, another convincing proof of Breton origin can be found at fol. 1v, where the title of the accessus to Eutyches's Ars de uerbo contains the remarkable Hellenizing phrase In honomate sumitonantis: this is a strong Breton diagnostic feature, being found only in MSS from Brittany or anyway strongly associated with that country, namely Angers, BM, MS 24; Luxembourg, BN, MS 89; Paris, BnF, Lat. 6400B (cf. also the phrase En onoma Christi incipit paruum experimentum de luna, occurring as the title of a heavily Irish-influenced series of computistical texts at fol. 22r of Auct. F.4.32, i.e. in the 'Welsh' section of this MS; for discussions of this striking phrase, see Lemoine 1989: 147; Lemoine 1995: 11–13).

It should also be mentioned that the contents of the scholia to Eutyches's Ars de uerbo in this MS appear to be related to the commentary on the same work elaborated in the circle of Remigius of Auxerre possibly on the basis of an Irish model (cf. Jeudy 1974: 430 and 1978: 240); it is perhaps not impossible that the Breton scholia likewise derived from a line of transmission going back to Ireland and 'crossing' the Irish tradition of glossing on Priscian's Institutiones grammaticae (cf. Lemoine 1989: 148–54). This Breton copy of Eutyches must have reached Wales by the middle of the tenth century, and from there it was soon moved to Glastonbury (where it came into the possession of Saint Dunstan), being gradually joint to the other codicological units that eventually constituted 'Saint Dunstan's Classbook' (several of which also contain glosses in Old Welsh, as well as several annotations possibly by Saint Dunstan himself).

Number(s) in Bischoff's Katalog 3774
Essential bibliography

ASM 430–2 (§538); Bauer 2008: 174–8; Bischoff 1990: 90 (n. 44) (erroneously indicated as F.3.32); Bishop 1971: xx, 1; Bradshaw 1889: 412, 455–8, 487; DGVB 5; Hunt 1961 (complete facsimile); Innovating Knowledge; Jeudy 1974: 430; Jeudy 1978: 240; Ker 1957: 355 (§297); Lambert 2018: 3–7; Lapidge 2006: 73; Lemoine 1985: 38–41, 228–48, 289; Lemoine 1989; Lemoine 1992: 144–7; Lemoine 1995: 13 (n. 19); Lemoine 2008: 187–8; Lindsay 1912: 272; Lindsay 1912b: 7; MMOL; OHLP 221, 224–5; Pächt and Alexander 1966–73: I, §421; Paniagua 2018: 164–7; PMSB 307 (§68); Rushforth 2012: 202; Schrijver 2011: 10; Simpson (McKee) in Falileyev and Owen 2005: 89; Simpson (McKee) 2012: 340–1; Smith 1992: 172 (n. 107); Stokes 1860–1: 232–4; Temple 1976: 12, 17, 35, 41 (§11), 42; The Calendar and the Cloister.

URLs for digital facsimile
Last Updated 2021-06-19 16:44:09
Author Jacopo Bisagni
DHBM Identifier #113
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