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Cambridge » Gonville and Caius » MS 144/194

Library Place Cambridge
Library Name Gonville and Caius
Shelfmark MS 144/194
Folio Range Whole MS (43 fols)
Date X 1/2
  • Brittany (?)
  • England (?)
  • Canterbury (?)

Canterbury (Saint Augustine's Abbey)

  • Remigius of Auxerre (?), Scholia on Sedulius's poetry (pp. 1-73)
  • Remigius of Auxerre (?), Scholia on the Disticha Catonis (74-75)
  • Anonymous sermon on fasting written on a vellum slip (76-77)

The MS alson contains (pp. 78-86) a collection of poetry, probably added at a later stage, including:

  • Prudentius, Hamartigenia
  • Hibernicus Exul, Verba philosophiae
  • Dungal (?), Monosticha Catonis (partial copy)
  • Venantius Fortunatus, selection of lines from Carmina III, VIII, IX
  • Pseudo-Columbanus, Praecepta uiuendi
  • Prudentius, Dittochaeon (78-86).
Old Breton Materials No
Irish / Hiberno-Latin materials Yes
Connection with Brittany

This MS is mentioned by Simpson (McKee) (2012: 340, nn. 5 and 6) as one of the Breton books that reached England at an early stage (c. AD 1000). This view is probably based on brief published notes in which Bishop discussed this MS together with Cambridge, Corpus Christi College, MS 221. Indeed, Bishop argued that 'some features common to both MSS., including the hand of a common scribe, show that they were written in the same continental scriptorium' (Bishop 1955: 187); furthermore, Bishop (1955: 189) concluded that 'indications of strong insular influence in a not remote past are confirmed by the remarkable hand of the third scribe in the Corpus MS. [= Corpus Christi 221], who is the second scribe in the Caius MS. [= Gonville and Caius 144].' Given that Bishop himself acknowledged (ibid.) that 'much of the script [of these two MSS] belongs to a type of rapid, sloping, informal minuscule which is not easily dated or placed', an origin in Brittany in the first half of the tenth century certainly remains a possibility, but we cannot exclude that our MS was rather written in England, perhaps at Canterbury, around the second half of the same century (the latter does seem to be the majority view; for example, in Lapidge 2006: 134, Gonville and Caius 144 is simply described as an 'Anglo-Saxon manuscript'). Anyway, regardless of this manuscript's origin, it is important to stress that the poetic miscellany occurring at pp. 78–86 undoubtedly represents a later addition, dating probably from the eleventh century (ASM 123), by which time Gonville and Caius 144 had certainly reached England.

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

ASM 123–4 (§120); Bishop 1955: 187–9; James 1907–8: I, 161–3; Lapidge 2006: 134; Simpson (McKee) 2012: 340, n. 6.

URLs for digital facsimile
Last Updated 2021-05-26 15:53:31
Author Jacopo Bisagni
DHBM Identifier #37
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