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Bern » Burgerbibliothek » MS 207

Library Place Bern
Library Name Burgerbibliothek
Shelfmark MS 207
Folio Range Whole MS (195 fols)
Date VIII ex. (AD 779-797?)
  • Loire Valley
  • Fleury



Numerous grammatical tracts and some computistica, including:

  • Beda, De temporum ratione, I (fol. 1Ar-v)
  • Various alphabets (fols 1Av-1Br)
  • Easter table, followed by De titulis pascalis Aegyptiorum and De indictione (fol. 1Bv)
  • Donatus, Ars minor and passages from Ars maior, I and III (fols 2r-17r)
  • Julian of Toledo, Ars grammatica (fols 18v-77v)
  • Servius Honoratus, De centum metris (fols 77v-80v)
  • Julian of Toledo, De partibus orationis (fols 81v-101r)
  • Donatus, passages from Ars maior, II (fols 101r-112r)
  • Anonymous, De littera (fols 112r-113r)
  • Ars Dieziana, excerpts from Donatus's Ars minor, excerpts from the Ars Petri (fols 113r-127r)
  • Asper minor, Ars grammatica (fols 130r-140r)
  • Sergius, Explanationes de prioribus Donati (fols 140r-148r)
  • Peter of Pisa, Ars grammatica (148r-168r)
  • Excerpts from Isidore, Etymologiae, I, II, III, VI (fols 168r-194v)
  • Cursus lunae per duodecim signa (fol. 194v).
Old Breton Materials No
Irish / Hiberno-Latin materials Yes
Connection with Brittany

Holtz (1981: 364) offers an eloquent description of this MS: 'L'ensemble du manuscrit formait sans doute un manuel des arts libéraux dans lequel la place de loin la plus importante était réservée à la grammaire.' A paschal table occurring on fol. 1Bv covers the years 779 to 797: this MS could therefore date from the very end of the eighth century. Paris, BnF, Lat. 7520, fols 1-26, originally constituted fols 212–35 of the same MS, and Ganz (1990: 140) suggests that fols 23r-25v of Paris, BnF, Lat. 14088 may have also belonged to the same codex. This MS presents very significant Irish affiliations, in terms of abbreviations, script and decoration (cf. e.g. fol. 2r); moreover, it contains Old Irish glosses at fols 146v and 148r (cf. Lindsay 1923; Bronner 2017: 2; Lash 2019), a most interesting and exceedingly rare use of the Ogam alphabet at fol. 1Br (cf. Derolez 1951), and the title In nomine Dei summi incipit ars Donati grammatici urbis Romae at fol. 2r (the formula In nomine Dei summi is often associated with the transmission of insular texts). Mostert (LF BF110) states that this MS offers 'an example of the "Bildung hybrider keltisch-festländischer Schriften aus Fleury", on a Breton substratum' (a reference to the view formulated in Bischoff 1990: 90; another Fleury manuscript from c. AD 800 presenting significant insular palaeographical features is the flyleaf of Wolfenbüttel, Herzog August Bibliothek, Helmst. 455, about which cf. CLA 9, §1380; Kat. §7333; Bischoff 1990: 114, n. 11; LF BF1538). In view of the clearly 'insular' character of Bern 207, it is perhaps not inconceivable that at least some of its contents (e.g., the above-mentioned text in Ogam) were copied from a heavily Irish-influenced Breton exemplar. However, overall, it must be acknowledged that the link between this important MS and Brittany is tenuous at best.

Number(s) in Bischoff's Katalog 551a
Essential bibliography

Bischoff 1990: 90; Bronner 2017: 2; CLA 5, §568, and vol. 7, **568 = ELMSS and ELMSS; Derolez 1951; Derolez 1953: 174–92; E-Codices; Ganz 1990: 140–1; Hagen 1875: 255; Holtz 1981: 361–4; Innovating Knowledge; Lash 2019; LF BF110; Lindsay 1923; MIrA; Munzi 2007: 15–7; PMSB 295 (§13); Pellegrin 1988: 287–9, 333; Vidier 1965: 42 (n. 112.7), 56 (n. 195.8).

URLs for digital facsimile
Last Updated 2021-06-19 16:24:30
Author Jacopo Bisagni
DHBM Identifier #22
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