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Rheims » BM » MS 8 (C. 142)

Library Place Rheims
Library Name BM
Shelfmark MS 8 (C. 142)
Folio Range 2nd C.U. (fols 3-102)
Date IX ex.
  • Brittany (?)
  • Western Francia (?)

Saint-Thierry of Rheims

  • Jerome, Letter to Pope Damasus (3r-4r)
  • Instructions for the use of the Eusebian canons, inc. In canone primo concordant quattuor and Sciendum etiam ne quem ignarum (4v-5v)
  • Eusebius, Letter to Carpianus (5v-6v)
  • Preface to Matthew's Gospel (6v-7v)
  • Added text concerning the main Biblical events that happened on 25 March (the old 'Roman' date of the vernal equinox), followed by an annalistic note about the battle of Soissons of AD 923 (7v)
  • Eusebian canons (8r-11r)
  • Erased text with neumes (11v)
  • Gospel of Matthew (12r-44v)
  • Gospel of Mark, preceded by preface (45r-67v)
  • Added text concerning the location of Adam's burial and the Calvary (45v)
  • Gospel of Luke, preceded by preface and depiction of the symbols of the four Evangelists (67v-102v).
Old Breton Materials No
Irish / Hiberno-Latin materials No
Connection with Brittany

Bischoff's geographical ascription of this MS is a laconic 'etwa Bretagne' (Kat. §5248). In PMSB §101, Deuffic stated confidently 'origine bretonne probable', but his position appears to have become more nuanced in his recent ILLB, In25 (p. 70): 'la seconde partie [i.e., fols 3–102] serait peut-être d'origine bretonne.' As a consequence, a Breton origin is possible but remains to be confirmed.

Regardless of this issue, this MS contains some interesting additions (ed. ILLB, In25), which may be only slightly later than the writing of the main text. At fol. 7v, just before the Eusebian canon tables, we can read a fascinating account of the main Biblical events that took place on the eighth calends of April (= 25 March, the old 'Roman' spring equinox), namely: God's creation of light, the Annunciation, the Passion, the sacrifice of Isaac, Jacob's ladder, Jacob's blessing of his sons, the apparition of God's angel in Egypt, God's bestowal of the manna to the Israelites, the Israelites' flight from Egypt and their crossing of the Red Sea, the division of human languages, and the death of James the Apostle 'the Lord's brother' (passus est sanctus Iacobus frater Domini). This curious passage is followed by an annalistic note concerning the battle of Soissons, fought in AD 923 between King Charles III and a rebel coalition led by Robert I. The second addition, which occurs on fol. 45v, concerns the location of Adam's burial and the Calvary, which, 'according to some', might be one and the same place (sunt quidam qui uoluerunt contendere ideo ibi Dominum crucifixum ut sanguis illius super Adam tumulum distillaret)—a rather widespread apocryphal tradition, which, however, is explicitly rejected by the anonymous author of this passage.

Number(s) in Bischoff's Katalog 5248
Essential bibliography

CCfr; CGM 38: 9–14; CMD V, 652; EBGB 13 (n. 1); Fleuriot 1983: 104; ILLB In25; Initiale; Lemoine 2008: 192–3; PMSB 316 (§101).

URLs for digital facsimile
Last Updated 2021-06-08 13:43:08
Author Jacopo Bisagni
DHBM Identifier #182
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