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Troyes » BM » MS Fonds ancien 960

Library Place Troyes
Library Name BM
Shelfmark MS Fonds ancien 960
Folio Range Whole MS (151 fols)
Date AD 908-909
  • Brittany
  • Landévennec (?)
  • Rospez (?)
  • Rospez (Côtes-d’Armor) (?)
  • Besançon (?)
  • Clairvaux
  • Collection of the Bouhier family (AD 1721).
  • Crucifixion scene and dating clause (1r)
  • Jerome, Letter to Pope Damasus (1v-2r)
  • Jerome, Preface to the four Gospels (2r-v)
  • Eusebius, Letter to Carpianus (3r-v)
  • Pseudo-Jerome, Letter inc. Sciendum etiam (3v)
  • Preface and capitula for Matthew's Gospel (3v-5r)
  • Eusebian canon tables (5r-10v)
  • Gospel of Matthew (acephalous) (11r-41r)
  • Gospel of Mark, preceded by preface and capitula (41r-66v)
  • Portrait of Saint Mark (43v)
  • Gospel of Luke, preceded by preface and capitula (66v-107v)
  • Colophon of Matian and Digrenet (71r)
  • Portrait of Saint Luke (71v)
  • Gospel of John, preceded by preface and capitula (107v-136v)
  • Portrait of Saint John (108v)
  • Capitulare euangeliorum de circulo anni (136v-147r)
  • Additional Gospel readings for various occasions (e.g. pro ubertate pluuiae, pro sterilitate pluuiae, in commotione gentium, etc.) (147v-148r)
  • Added notes on various subjects: eclipses; a passage on the nature of the soul attributed to Augustine but possibly taken from the Epistola ad Grimaldum by Ermenrich of Ellwangen (d. AD 874); a series of triads concerning shadows (inc. Tria sunt in facienda umbra, id est lux corpus locus); the course of the Sun (148v)
  • Glossary (149r-v)
  • List of expenses for the preparation of various kinds of food, added in the 14th or 15th century in the region of Besançon (150r-151v).
Old Breton Materials Yes
Irish / Hiberno-Latin materials No
Connection with Brittany

This MS, which belongs to the so-called 'Landévennec group' of Gospel-books, can be confidently ascribed to Brittany thanks to the colophon on fol. 71r (on which see below); moreover, it can be dated very precisely to the end of AD 908 / beginning of AD 909 thanks to the chronological indications provided on fol. 1r, on both sides of a striking depiction of the Crucifixion.

The colophon on fol. 71r, which appears to have been written by the main scribe, reads as follows: Hę literule narrant quod dedit Matian et Digrenet coniux sua hos libros IIIIor euangeliorum D(e)o pro animabus suis ecclesiae Rosbeith. Et quicumque hoc euangelium uim forte duxerit ex ipsa ecclesia nisi discipulus scribere aut legere anathema sit. Am(en). While connections with both Saint-Gildas of Rhuys and Landévennec have been proposed in the past (e.g. Lemoine 1994b: 366–7; Lemoine 1995: 15), Deuffic may well be right in drawing attention to a possible link with the Trégor, if the place-name Rosbeith mentioned in the colophon corresponds indeed to modern-day Rospez, a parish in the diocese of Tréguier (ILLB In27, p. 85). It is unclear whether Rosbeith indicates the place where the MS was written, or only the abbey to which the MS was donated by a Breton lay couple, Matian and Digrenet, after having been produced elsewhere in Brittany. Regardless, on account of its precise dating and its certain Breton origin, Troyes 960 offers a particularly useful benchmark against which other Gospel-books can be fruitfully evaluated in terms of palaeography, iconography and textual tradition (Kitzinger's studies of the Crucifixion scene and the evangelists' portraits in this MS are good steps in the right direction; cf. Kitzinger 2012 and 2013b). It is worth noting here the curious occurrence of a hybrid insular-continental abbreviation on fol. 147v, line 5: the insular sign for secundum is here followed by the letter c.

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

Alexander 1985: 271; CCfr; CGM 2 (in quarto): 394–5; CMD V, 489; EBGB 14 (n. 3); Fleuriot 1983: 104; Guillotel 1985: 12, 22–4; ILLB V214 (mention), In27 (description); Initiale; Kerlouégan 1982b: 318; Kitzinger 2012; Kitzinger 2013b; Lemoine 1994b: 366–8; Lemoine 1995: 15; Lemoine 2001: 265, 268; Lemoine 2005: 15, 18, 21; Lemoine 2008: 187–8, 192; MPF §94; OHLP 257; PMSB 319–20 (§119); Simpson (McKee) 1999: 284, 289–90; Wikipedia.

URLs for digital facsimile
Last Updated 2021-06-12 09:33:06
Author Jacopo Bisagni
DHBM Identifier #219
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