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Chartres » BM » MS 98 (77)

Library Place Chartres
Library Name BM
Shelfmark MS 98 (77)
Folio Range Fragment (fols 2r-3v, 5v, 167r-168v)
Date X 2/2 or XI 1/2
  • Brittany

Notre-Dame de Chartres


The whole MS (168 fols) contained:

  • Drawings representing the plan of unidentified churches (2r, 168v)
  • Nennius, Historia Brittonum (the fragment in question here) (2v-3v, 5v, 167r-168r)
  • Isidore, various excerpts (4v-5r)
  • Rhabanus Maurus, Commentarii in Matthaeum (6r-165r)
  • Augustine, Sermo 307, De passione sancti Iohannis Baptistae (165v-166v).
Old Breton Materials No
Irish / Hiberno-Latin materials Yes
Connection with Brittany

Unfortunately, only burned fragments of this MS have survived the bombing of the 26th of June 1944. While the bulk of this MS, which contains Rhabanus Maurus's commentary on Matthew's Gospel, was probably written at Tours in the second half of the ninth century (Rand 1929: I, 161), the few folios that contain sections from Nennius's Historia Brittonum were certainly written in Brittany at a somewhat later stage, perhaps in the late tenth or early eleventh century (cf. Dumville 1975: 303–5). It is worth noting in particular the occurrence of the rare abbreviation sign Ɔ-C for contra (e.g. at fol. 2v), which may well be a specifically Breton scribal diagnostic feature (cf. Lindsay 1912: 266; Dumville 1975: 311–12; Lemoine 2008: 190–1). The Chartres fragment preserves what appears to be a distinctive (Irish?) recension of the Historia Brittonum, containing (fols 3r-3v) an interesting mention of Slébéne, abbot of Iona from AD 752/3 until his death in 767: sicut <S>libine abas Iæ in Ripum ciuitate inuenit uel reperit (cf. Anscombe 1897; Wade-Evans 1937: 76–8; Grosjean 1960: 381–9; Dumville 1975: 319–20). Slébéne's visit to Ripon may have taken place in AD 753, as suggested in Ó Cróinín 1983: 84–5 (cf. also Dumville 1975: 322), where it is also argued that the chronological details contained in this passage of the Chartres fragment indicate that 'the author of the original text was using the Irish method of dating, for the ferial and lunar notation is that of the Irish annals. Moreover, the Chartres note suggests an active interest on Slébíne's part in matters chronological and in the salient events of history.' I should finally point out that the script of this fragment (for a useful description of which see Dumville 1975: 304–5, 310–14) and its rather disorderly layout are somewhat similar to those of the computistical collection in the tenth-century MS Paris, BnF, Lat. 6400B, which contains the Computus Hibernicus Parisinus of AD 754.

Number(s) in Bischoff's Katalog 889
Essential bibliography

A la recherche des manuscrits de Chartres; Anscombe 1897; CCfr; CGM 11: 51; Dumville 1975: esp. 300–14; Dumville 2005: 62; Grosjean 1960: 381–9; Fitzpatrick-Matthews, Historia Brittonum; Ó Cróinín 1983: 84–5; PMSB 298 (§24, wrongly indicating the shelfmark as '99 (77)'); Wade-Evans 1937.

URLs for digital facsimile
Last Updated 2021-06-08 08:47:43
Author Jacopo Bisagni
DHBM Identifier #43
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