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Library Place Paris
Library Name BnF
Shelfmark MS Lat. 6400B
Folio Range 249r(bis)–284v (5th C.U.)
Date X 1/2 (perhaps close to AD 931) or 3/4 (in any case before AD 972)
  • Brittany (?)
  • Loire Valley (probably)
  • Fleury (probably)



A heterogeneous collection of computistical texts and tables titled In honomate filii redemptoris cosmi a m(alo) (or am(en)), including in particular:

  • Insular or insular-influenced materials concerning the bissextus (e.g. 252r-v)
  • An excerpt concerning the noun uesper, based on the writings of Virgilius Maro Grammaticus (260r)
  • Materials plainly related to the Hiberno-Latin De divisionibus temporum (e.g. 263r-264v, 268r-v, 270v-271r, 272r-v)
  • A computistical table for the years AD 931-949 (273r)
  • A long section from the Computus Hibernicus Parisinus of AD 754 (274r-284r).

This codicological unit appears to be incomplete and the last folio (284v), which concerns finger-reckoning, is damaged and now nearly illegible.

Old Breton Materials Yes
Irish / Hiberno-Latin materials Yes
Connection with Brittany

This heterogeneous computistical collection presents strong Breton features. In particular:

  1. the title that opens the collection, In honomate filii redemptoris cosmi a m(alo) (or am(en)), matches the occurrence of the rare and even 'Hisperic' elements in honomate and cosmus in a number of Breton manuscripts (cf. the notes to Angers, BM, MS 24; Luxembourg, BN, MS 89; Orléans, Médiathèque, MS 302; Oxford, Bodleian Lib., MS Auct. F.4.32; see also Lemoine 1989: 146–7);
  2. two Old Breton glosses can be found herein (cf. DGVB 6, 139, 246; Lambert 1984: 206);
  3. Lat. 6400B presents remarkable textual affinities with some of the contents of Angers, BM, 476.

Holtz has suggested that this codicological unit of Lat. 6400B was written in a Breton scriptorium (Holtz and Lambert 1986: 187); some clues, however, rather indicate that this MS may have been copied from a Breton exemplar in a (North-)Western Frankish centre—perhaps at Fleury, which is the provenance of the other units of the miscellaneous codex now bearing the shelfmark Lat. 6400B (cf. Carey 1923: 96–7; LF BF1074–9, esp. BF1078). The most significant elements suggesting that this MS was produced outside of Brittany are:

  1. the fact that the only occurrence of the insular abbreviation for autem (h with a 'hook') is immediately followed by the continental abbreviation for the same word (aut with a stroke on top) at fol. 269r (presumably, such a peculiar dittography would not occur in a centre where insular autem was used routinely by scribes, as was the case in Brittany);
  2. the fact that one of the Old Breton glosses may be somewhat corrupt (cf. Lambert 1984: 206, where it is suggested that loitret could stand for OB *loitnet, 'animals', or the like) and may therefore have been copied mechanically by a scribe who did not speak Breton.

In any case, there is no doubt that this codicological unit must date from the tenth century. The argumentum for the annus Domini at fol. 252v points to a range between AD 972 and 986, but this is because it was clearly updated by a later scribe; therefore, this argumentum actually fixes AD 972 as a terminus ante quem (other argumenta point to dating clauses in the late ninth century, but these were probably copied from an exemplar). The computistical table at fol. 273r covers the years 931–949, so that the MS may have been produced within this chronological range (and perhaps closer to the beginning of this particular 19-year cycle). Alternatively, if this table was copied faithfully from the exemplar, without updates, the MS may then have been written not long after AD 949. In any case, its script seems to point to a date not too late in the tenth century.

The computistica found in this MS present numerous features of interest and deserve to be studied in detail, especially insofar as they exhibit many points of contact with Early Medieval Irish computistical thought. Indeed, fols 274r–284r preserve a long section from the Computus Hibernicus Parisinus of AD 754, an Irish tract that survives only in this MS and in a few folios of Angers, BM, MS 476. Moreover, it is highly significant that some parts of the Computus of AD 754 match contents that occur elsewhere only in Paris, BnF, Lat. 7418A—a MS from eleventh-century Landévennec—and in the early ninth-century codex Laon, BM, 422. There is no doubt that this codicological unit of Lat. 6400B is a key witness for the circulation of Irish computistica in Early Medieval Brittany and for the reconstruction of the route of transmission of such texts between Ireland and the Carolingian empire.

Number(s) in Bischoff's Katalog n/a
Essential bibliography

Bauer 2008: 81–2; Bisagni 2012: 70–2; Bisagni 2013-14; Bisagni 2017: 25–34; Bisagni 2019: passim (esp. 247–56, 268–70); Bisagni 2020a: 32–4; BnF Archives et Manuscrits; Carey 1923: 96–7; DGVB 6; Holtz and Lambert 1986: 184–8; Lambert 1984: 206; Lambert 2018: 35; Lemoine 1985: 290; Lemoine 1989: 12; LF BF1074–9 (esp. BF1078); PMSB 310 (§80); Riché 2004: 21; Schrijver 2011: 9; Vidier 1965: 52; Warntjes 2013–14.

URLs for digital facsimile
Last Updated 2021-09-14 14:30:59
Author Jacopo Bisagni
DHBM Identifier #138
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