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Cambridge » Corpus Christi » MS 279

Library Place Cambridge
Library Name Corpus Christi
Shelfmark MS 279
Folio Range Whole MS (188 pages)
Date IX ex. / X in.
  • Loire Valley
  • Tours (?)


  • First Synod of Saint Patrick (Sinodus episcoporum id est Patricii Auxilii Issernini) (1-11)
  • Canons and patristic excerpta affiliated to the Collectio Canonum Hibernensis (11-105)
  • Liber ex lege Moysi (106-148)
  • Blessings, maledictions and Biblical quotations (148-154)
  • Canons about baptism and extracts from Hibernensis, IV, concerning bishops (155-157, with one certainly Old Breton gloss at p. 156)
  • Excerpts from the Collectio Canonum Hibernensis, recension A (157-188).
Old Breton Materials Yes
Irish / Hiberno-Latin materials Yes
Connection with Brittany

As for the manuscript's date, the range offered here is an attempt to combine the elements presented in Simpson (McKee) 1994: 109–11 (the most detailed study of this MS available in print), and the dating indicated in Bischoff, Kat. §818. It is highly probable that this MS was written in Western Francia, probably at Tours (cf. Simpson (McKee) 1994: 109–11, pace Ganz, who has recently included this MS among 'copies of the Irish Collectio Hibernensis copied in Brittany' in OHLP 257). Interestingly, CCCC 279 contains eleven Old Irish glosses and at least one Old Breton gloss, or possibly two (cf. Thes II, 38; Simpson (McKee) 1994: 117–18; Lambert 1994: 98), especially concerning the Liber ex lege Moysi; to these clearly vernacular glosses we should add several 'Latin' glosses which may in fact contain corruptions of Old Irish words, as well as Hiberno-Latin features (as shown in Lambert 2020). Thus, it is most likely that these vernacular glosses were copied in Tours from the same exemplar from which the main texts were taken. The evidence suggests a three-step process of transmission: (1) composition of an Irish archetype with Old Irish glosses; (2) production of a copy in Brittany, with addition of at least one or two Old Breton glosses; (3) writing of the extant MS, probably in one of the scriptoria of ninth-century Tours (cf. Simpson (McKee) 1994: 113–16). It is quite possible or even probable that CCCC 279 was copied directly from a Breton exemplar: Meeder (2009: 184) points out, in relation to the copy of the Liber ex lege Moysi contained in this MS, that Corpus Christi 279 'is probably closest to the original version in contents.' Accordingly, Dumville's definition of this MS as a 'ninth century Turonian manuscript with Hiberno-Breton antecedents' seems perfectly accurate (Dumville 1994: 91). Indeed, Lambert (2020: 56) has recently concluded that this MS 'présente des caractéristiques indiquant qu'il vient de Tours, mais les gloses bretonnes et irlandaises dénoncent un modèle breton et un archétype irlandais'.

Number(s) in Bischoff's Katalog 818
Essential bibliography

Ambrose 2011: 55; ASL 167–8; ASM 96–7 (§81); Bauer 2008: 132–3; Bieler 1963: 15, 21, 24; Bradshaw 1889: 415; Bronner 2017: 5–6 (esp. n. 11); CLH 768 (§601), 789–90 (§620); DGVB 6; Dumville 1994: 88, 91, 93; Elliot 2013: 104–5; James 1912: II, 42–4; Lambert 1994: 98; Lambert 2018: 22; Lambert 2020; Lemoine 1985: 290; Lemoine 2005: 21; Meeder 2009: 182–9; MIrA; OHLP 257; PMSB 297 (§20); Schrijver 2011: 11; Simpson (McKee) 1994; Simpson (McKee) 1999: 287; Smith 1992: 168 (n. 83); Thes II, xi, 38.

URLs for digital facsimile
Last Updated 2021-06-07 10:24:32
Author Jacopo Bisagni
DHBM Identifier #34
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