DUL Add.MS. 1950/9Homiliary (fragments)
Held by: Durham University Library: Additional Manuscripts

Two leaves from a large and handsome English Romanesque homiliary written in England, mid 12th century, later reused as a binding cover.


Physical description of manuscript
Support

Parchment

Extent: 2 f sewn together
Size: 310 mm x 203 mm
Layout

2 columns, 38 lines

Script

Written in a rounded Romanesque hand, with a strong ct-ligature.

Decoration

Both leaves with running titles: “Lib. Quartus”, one red rubric “xxi” and 2-line initial “E”.

Corrections and annotation

A lengthy 17th or18th-century inscription in English in the margins of the front leaf of the later binding.


Manuscript history
Creation

Written in England, mid 12th century.

Provenance

The leaves have been stitched together along their gutters to form a binding of a later account book relating to Cranworth (near Thetford, Norfolk), which might indicate that the parent codex was once part of the library of a nearby monastic house. Of the three sites which are close to Cranworth, only Sporle Priory existed in the twelfth century (founded by 1123 as a cell of the Benedictine abbey of Saumur, in the diocese of Angers; suppressed in 1423 alongside other “alien” foundations, with its buildings and goods granted to Joan, queen-dowager of Henry IV, then his endowment of a college at Eton).


Manuscript contents
Modern title: Homiliary
Language: Latin

The first leaf contains parts of two common homilies by Augustine (on John; and another usually recited on Quadragesima Sunday); the second leaf contains two further homilies by the early Anglo-Saxon theologian and historian, Bede (672/3-735) on St John's Gospel (corresponding to material printed under the name of Bede in Patrologia Latina 92.735D-737D and 743C-745A), here labelled “liber quartus”.