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Angers » BM » MS 476 (460)

Library Place Angers
Library Name BM
Shelfmark MS 476 (460)
Folio Range Whole MS (68 fols)
Date X med. (AD 926–943, or indeed AD 926)
  • Brittany
  • Redon (?)

Saint-Aubin of Angers

  • Miscellaneous computistica (1r-59r)
  • Breton annals up to AD 919 (now partly illegible) (46v)
  • Bede, De natura rerum (59v-66r)
  • Bede, De temporibus (incomplete, but cf. the entry for Rome (Città del Vaticano), BAV, A in the present hand-list) (66r-68v).
Old Breton Materials Yes
Irish / Hiberno-Latin materials Yes
Connection with Brittany

This is undoubtedly one of the most important compilations of scientific texts to have been certainly written in Brittany. The Breton origin can be established on the basis of the presence of two Old Breton glosses and Breton annals, as well as by the manuscript's very peculiar and heavily 'insular-influenced' Caroline minuscule, described as 'écriture minuscule tirant sur l'anglo-saxonne' in CGM 349 (note also that Bischoff (1990: 90, n. 44) drew attention to the use of 'Insular g, the wynn-rune and thorn (ð)' in the annals occurring on fol. 46v, about which see below; cf. also Dumville 2005: 52, where this script is described as 'a hybrid Insular-Caroline').

This MS shares much material with Paris, BnF, Lat. 6400B, including passages from the extremely rare Computus Hibernicus Parisinus of AD 754 and numerous Irish or Irish-influenced computistical materials.

In his Kat. (§67), Bischoff proposed a dating to the second half of the ninth century, undoubtedly on the basis of the palaeographical evidence. However, this clashes with his own dating to the early tenth century (around AD 919), briefly discussed in Bischoff 1984: 103. On the other hand, the late date indicated by Gautier Dalché (2002: 38–9, 'Xe-XIe siècle?') is due to his erroneous belief that this MS and Angers 477 'portent probablement la marque de l'enseignement d'Abbon, maître de l'école de l'abbaye ligérienne de Fleury à la fin du Xe siècle.' In fact, there is no doubt that this MS dates from the first half of the tenth century: at fol. 1v, a discussion of world chronology indicates annus mundi (AM) 6126 = AD 926 as the praesentem annum in quo hoc librum fuit scriptum (cf. Lambert 1984: 204); the range of years covered by the Breton annals at fol. 46v ends (probably) with AD 919 (cf. Bischoff 1984: 103); moreover, there are computistical argumenta containing dating clauses for AD 944 (fol. 33v, Ipsi sunt anni ab incarnatione Domini nostri Ihesu Christi et sunt anni Domini DCCCCXLIIII; significantly, this date is actually the result of a scribal update, as some of its digits are clearly written on an erasure) and AM 6126 = AD 926 (fol. 34r); finally, the computistical tables at fols 44r–45v cover the period AD 912–1063. The two dating clauses for AD 926 indicate that this MS may well have been written in that year; in any case, even if those dating clauses had been copied from the exemplar, the argumentum at fol. 33v points to AD 943 as an unquestionable terminus ante quem. In conclusion, there is no doubt that Angers 476 was written between AD 926 and 943, and quite possibly in the former year.

The last folio of this MS, previously lost, can now be found in the miscellaneous codex Rome (Città del Vaticano), BAV, MS A, fol. 65: the genealogies added on fol. 65v prove that this MS had reached the abbey of Saint-Aubin of Angers by the end of the eleventh century. According to Bischoff (1984: 105) one of the annalistic entries at fol. 46v (now partly illegible) may refer to the monastery of Redon, so that the MS might have been written there (cf. also Borst 2006: I, 208); admittedly, though, this is far from certain (indeed, Bischoff's suggestion has been described as 'a very uncertain proposition' in Dumville 1993: 12). According to Fleuriot, Angers 476 originated from the same scriptorium where Angers, BM, MS 477 was written (DGVB 11), but this suggestion too remains unproven.

Number(s) in Bischoff's Katalog 67
Essential bibliography

Bauer 2008: 9; Bisagni 2019: 262; Bischoff 1984: 103–5; Bischoff 1990: 90 (n. 44); Borst 2006: I, 207–8; CCfr; CGM 31: 349; Deuffic 2008: 116; DGVB 4; Dumville 1993: 11–2; Dumville 2005: 52 (n. 14); Gautier Dalché 2002: 38–9; Initiale; Innovating Knowledge; Lambert 1984: 204–6; Lemoine 1985: 287; PMSB 292–3 (§6); Smith 1992: 171 (n. 103).

URLs for digital facsimile
Last Updated 2022-06-07 13:13:20
Author Jacopo Bisagni
DHBM Identifier #8
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