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Würzburg » Universitätsbibliothek » MS

Library Place Würzburg
Library Name Universitätsbibliothek
Shelfmark MS
Folio Range Whole MS (192 fols)
Date VIII ex. / IX in.
  • Brittany (?)
  • Germany (?)
  • Würzburg (?)

Würzburg Cathedral Library

  • Aldhelm, De uirginitate (preface only, added sometime in the ninth century in Alemannic minuscule) (1r)
  • Large drawing of a man holding a stylus and a parchment (possibly an evangelist or Saint Peter?) (1v)
  • Carpet-page in insular style (2r)
  • Probationes pennae (2v)
  • Gospel of Matthew (3r-66v)
  • Gospel of Mark (66v-100r)
  • Gospel of Luke (100r-155v)
  • Small scribal inscription Vvarinvrit scripsit or Vuuarinurit scripsit (138r, lower margin)
  • Gospel of John (incomplete) (155v-192v).
Old Breton Materials No
Irish / Hiberno-Latin materials No
Connection with Brittany

Several scholars have tentatively proposed a Breton origin for this early (i.e. late eighth- / early ninth-century) insular-influenced Gospel-book (Fischer's 'Bw'), written entirely in uncial script and presenting a mixture of Vulgate and Old Latin readings. For example, in CLA vol. 9, §1422, we read that this Gospel-book was 'written in a backward scriptorium under Insular influence on the Continent; ornamentation and possibly also syllabification may suggest Britanny'; in Bischoff and Hofman 1952: 12, this MS is indicated as 'vielleicht bretonisch'; finally, McGurk (1987: 176, 189) stated that 'the Würzburg codex was written in a well-established uncial tradition though reflecting some insular practice' (it should moreover be noted that some sections of this MS offer a pure Old Latin Gospel-text, as shown in Houghton 2009). However, Simpson has argued against the ascription to Brittany and rather agrees with Geneviève Micheli in placing its production in Würzburg (Simpson (McKee) 1999: 278–9). In spite of containing what seems to be a Germanic personal name, the tiny scribal inscription on fol. 138r—possibly reading Vvarinvrit scripsit or Vuuarinurit scripsit—does not really help us to settle the matter, as it was probably not added by the main scribe anyway (it might rather be a somewhat later probatio pennae; cf. Thurn 1984: 53). The question of the origin of this important manuscript is still open and would deserve being investigated in depth.

Number(s) in Bischoff's Katalog 7500
Essential bibliography

Bischoff and Hofman 1952: 12, 63, 109; CLA 9, §1422 = ELMSS; Houghton 2009; ILLB In29; McGurk 1987: 176, 189; Smith 1992: 167 (n. 81); Simpson (McKee) 1999: 278–9; Thurn 1984: 52–4.

URLs for digital facsimile
Last Updated 2021-05-13 14:12:16
Author Jacopo Bisagni
DHBM Identifier #225
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Wolfenbüttel » Niedersächsisches Landesarchiv (formerly Staatsarchiv) » MS 12 Sammlung, Nr. 5