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Copenhagen » Det Kongelige Bibliothek » MS Thott 239 2o

Library Place Copenhagen
Library Name Det Kongelige Bibliothek
Shelfmark MS Thott 239 2o
Folio Range Whole MS (10 fols)
Date AD 907-955 (probably AD 907/908)
  • Brittany
  • Landévennec

Cluny (or a daughter-house of Cluny)

  • Calendar and computistical tables (incomplete, January-August only) (1r-9v)
  • Lunar table, added in the eleventh century (8r)
  • Easter tables for AD 908–955 and (in a slightly later hand) AD 956–1005 (10r-10v)
  • Computistical argumentum containing a dating clause for AD 907 (10r).
Old Breton Materials No
Irish / Hiberno-Latin materials No
Connection with Brittany

In addition to containing the names of numerous Breton saints in its calendar, with particular emphasis on Saint Winwaloe of Landévennec (3 March, 28 April, 13 May), this fragment is especially famous for preserving (fol. 10r) an annalistic note for AD 913, mentioning the destruction of the monastery of Landévennec on the part of the Northmen (Eodem anno destr<uctum est> monasterium sancti <Uuinua>loei a Normannis). The Easter table on fol. 10r, written by the main hand, covers the years 908–955 (where, importantly, AD 908 is the 16th year of a 19-year cycle); moreover, a computistical argumentum occurring on the same folio offers a dating clause for AD 907; this indicates that the MS was probably written at Landévennec within that chronological range, most likely in AD 907/908 (the above-mentioned annalistic entry for AD 913 could have been added by the same hand a few years later, perhaps shortly after the Viking attack). On fol. 10v, further data were added by a different hand for years 956–1005 (with corrections in yet another hand for the years from AD 970 onwards; note also that the lower part of that folio is now nearly illegible). Several secondary entries in the calendar show that this MS reached the abbey of Cluny (or, less likely, a daughter-house of Cluny) at an early stage, possibly already in the (late?) eleventh century (cf. Deuffic 1985c: 1). It should also be pointed out that the Abbonian lunar table on what is now fol. 8r was probably added at a later stage, probably sometime in the eleventh century (whether in Brittany or at Cluny is hard to tell): in all likelihood, this folio was originally the first recto of the whole MS, so that it was initially left blank in order to serve as cover; indeed, this MS is now bound in the wrong sequence (the original sequence of the quaternion that has survived must have been 8, 9, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, while fols 1 and 10 are singletons, and their original position in the MS can no longer be determined).

Remarkably, several technical features occurring throughout this calendar are normally considered by modern scholars to be innovations first introduced by Abbo of Fleury shortly before AD 1000. However, if the early tenth-century dating of this fragment carries conviction, then Abbo must have borrowed at least some of those features from computistical materials that reached Fleury from Brittany in the course of the tenth century. Clearly, this matter will require detailed investigation.

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

Deuffic 1985a: 272–4; Deuffic 1985c (with facsimile); Duine 1906: 137–41; ILLB Q228; Kerlouégan 1982b: 317; L&S §973; Lebecq 2015b: 159; PMSB 298 (§27); Smith 1992: 175 (n. 120).

URLs for digital facsimile
Last Updated 2021-05-11 13:28:00
Author Jacopo Bisagni
DHBM Identifier #47
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