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An Anglo-Saxon fragment of Justinus's Epitome

  • Julia Crick (a1)


In 1910, Samuel Brandt published a description and photograph of a fragment of Justinus's Epitome of the Historiae Philippicae of Pompeius Trogus. The leaf, whose present location is unknown, belonged at that time to the collection of Ernst Fischer at Weinheim. Fischer dated its script, an Anglo-Saxon minuscule, to about AD 800, which, as Brandt observed, would mean that it antedated the earliest known manuscripts of the text, which are ninth-century. Although E. A. Lowe indicated in his Codices Latini Antiquiores that the fragment was lost, it has continued to attract scholarly attention. Professor Bernhard Bischoff suggested that the fragment could be identified with a copy of Justinus listed among the books of Gerward, palace librarian of Louis the Pious. This implied connection with the Carolingian court, taken together with Alcuin's naming of Justinus's work among the books described in the poem on York and his later association with the Carolingian court, has raised the possibility of an English origin for the Weinheim manuscript and therefore also for the earliest known branch of the text. As L.D. Reynolds remarked, ‘This fragment has a significance quite out of keeping with its size.’



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1 ‘Über ein Fragment einer Handschrift des Justinus aus der Sammlung Fischer, E. in Weinheim’, Neue Heidelberger Jahrbücher 16 (1910), 109–14.

2 Professor Helmut Gneuss has kindly confirmed this in a letter of 12 May 1986. Another lost fragment of potential relevance to my discussion is mentioned by Lindsay, W. M., Notae Latinae (Cambridge, 1915), p. 492 it too belonged to Fischer and was written in Anglo-Saxon script.

3 ‘Über ein Fragment’, p. 110.

4 The entry is marked with an obelus, signifying that the manuscript is untraced: Lowe, E. A., Codices Latini antiquiores, 11 vols. and suppl. (Oxford, 19341971; and 11, 2nd ed., 1972) (hereafter abbreviated CLA) IX, no. 1370.

5 Lorsch im Spiegel seiner Handschriften (Munich, 1974), p. 56.

6 As quoted by Reynolds, L. D. in Texts and Transmission: A Survey of the Latin Classics, ed. Reynolds, L. D. (Oxford, 1983), p. 197, n. 3. See also Lapidge, M., ‘Surviving Booklists from Anglo-Saxon England’, Learning and Literature in Anglo-Saxon England. Studies Presented to Peter Clemoes on the Occasion of his Sixty-fifth Birthday, ed. Lapidge, M. and Gneuss, H. (Cambridge, 1985), pp. 3989, at 46–7.

7 Texts and Transmission, ed. Reynolds, p. 197.

8 Brandt, ‘Über ein Fragment’, p. 109.

9 ‘Wie man aus den Löchern, die durch die Einheftung entstanden sind, ersieht’ (ibid.).

10 ibid. p. 112.

11 Lehmann refers to the Weinheim leaf as ‘ein Bruchstück einer in fuldischer Insulare geschriebenen Handschrift’, Erforschung des Mittelalters, 5 vols. (Stuttgart, 19591962) III, 161.

12 Professor Gneuss, in a letter of 12 May 1986, informs me that ‘among all the leading authorities’ its Insular origin ‘does not seem in doubt now’.

13 For a guide to the various centres and for references to facsimiles see Bischoff, B., Mittelalterliche Studien, 3 vols. (Stuttgart, 19661981) iii, 538. See also his Paläographie des römischen Altertums und des abendländischen Mittelalters (Berlin, 1979), pp. 119–22, and Lowe, , CLA VIII, p. vi. For individual centres see Bischoff, B. and Hofmann, J., Libri S. Kyliani: Die Würzburger Schreibschule und die Dombibliothek im VIII. und IX. Jahrhundert (Würzburg, 1952)Lindsay, W. M. and Lehmann, P., ‘The (Early) Mayence Scriptorium’, Palaeographia Latina 4 (1925), 1539Spilling, H., ‘Angelsächsische Schrift in Fulda’, Von der Klosterbibliothek zur Landesbibliothek, ed. Brall, A. (Stuttgart, 1978), pp. 4798Köllner, H., Die illuminierten Handschriften der Hessischen Landesbibliothek Fulda I (Stuttgart, 1976)Lieftinck, G. I., ‘Le ms. d'Aulu-Gelle à Leeuwarden exécuté à Fulda en 836’, Bullettino dell' ‘Archivio paleografico italiano’ 2nd ser. I (1955), 1117Drögereit, R., Werden und der Heliand (Essen, 1950). Also on this subject see Spilling, H., ‘Irische Handschriftenüberlieferung in Fulda, Mainz und Würzburg’, Die Iren und Europa im früheren Mittelalter, ed. Löwe, H., 2 vols. (Stuttgart, 1982) ii, 876902Autenrieth, J., ‘Insulare Spuren in Handschriften aus dem Bodenseegebiet bis zur Mitte des 9. Jahrhunderts’, in Paläographie 1981, ed. Silagi, G. (Munich, 1982), pp. 145–57 and Baesecke, G., Der Vocabularius Sti Galli in der angelsächsischen Mission (Halle, 1933), but note that Baesecke's comparisons with English material apparently datable to the eighth century require reassessment, since many of the charters which he cites would now be considered copies or forgeries of the ninth and even early tenth centuries (e.g. S 56, S 59, S 264 and S 1188).

14 See also Cróinín's, D.Ó alternative hypothesis in ‘Rath Melsigi, Willibrord, and the Earliest Echternach Manuscripts’, Peritia 3 (1984), 1742.

15 CLA IX, no. 1427.

16 ‘Angelsächsische Schrift’, p. 51.

17 ibid. pp. 94–5.

18 CLAS, nos. 1703 and 1685. This view has been opposed controversially by Ó Cróinín, who regards Rath Melsigi as ‘the scriptorium in which the first-generation Echternach scribes received their formation’ («Rath Melsigi’, p. 42).

19 For example CLA S, no. **1400: Oxford, Bodleian Library, Laud misc. 263 (S.C. 1000).

20 ‘Kurz vor und um 800 ist die Schrift meist gerade, mit langen Unterlängen, oft etwas schwunglos’ (Palāographie, p. 121).

21 Spilling, ‘Angelsächsische Schrift’, p. 93.

22 These additional criteria were suggested to me by Dr M. Lapidge.

23 Der Vocabularius, esp. pp. 18–23. It should be noted that Baesecke was comparing half-uncial and not minuscule scripts.

24 CLA II, no. *196b.

25 CLA I, no. 90.

26 CLA II, no. *196b, col. B, line 7; CLA I, no. 90, line 7.

27 CLA II, no. 139; ed. in facsimile by Blair, P. Hunter (with a contribution by Mynors, R. A. B.), The Moore Bede: an Eighth-century Manuscript of the Venerable Bede's Historia Ecclesiastica Gentis Anglorum in Cambridge University Library (Kk. 5.16), EEMF 9 (Copenhagen, 1959).

28 Bischoff, B., ‘Die Hofbibliothek Karls des Grossen’, Mittelalterliche Studien III, 149–69.

29 CLA XI, no. **1339.

30 Werden und der Heliand, pl. 6 and pp. 25–6.

31 CLA XI, no. 1621.

32 On this manuscript see Parkes, M. B., The Scriptorium of Wearmouth–Jarrow, Jarrow Lecture 1982 (Jarrow, 1983). For fascimiles see Parkes, ibid. pls. 1 and 3, and Lowe, E. A., Palaeographical Papers 1907–1965, ed. Bieler, L., 2 vols. (Oxford, 1972) ii, pls. 95–6.

33 Brown, T. J., ‘The Irish Element in the Insular System of Scripts to circa A.D. 850’, in Die Iren und Europa, ed. Löwe, I, 101–19, at 115.

34 Palaeographical Papers, ed. Bieler, I, 448.

35 The Scriptorium, p. 7.

36 Palaeographical Papers, ed. Bieler, II, 441–9 at 449.

37 CLA II, no. *216.

38 The bifolium now serves as flyleaves for a late tenth-century manuscript which Lowe (in CLA, Ibid.) describes as ‘palaeographically related’ to London, BL, Royal 2. B. v.

39 CLA VIII, no. 1134.

40 See above, n. 30.

41 CLA v, no. 584. Arguments for the Irish origin of a binding fragment from an Echternach volume, now fol. 201 of this manuscript, are put forward by ÓCróinín, ‘Rath Melsigi’, pp. 26–8.

42 ‘dem 8. Jahrhundert angehörenden Codex von Bedas Kirchengeschichte im Britischen Museum’.

43 CLA S, no. 1703; CLA II, no. 191.

44 Gatch, M. McC., ‘John Bagford as a Collector and Disseminator of Manuscript Fragments’, The Library, 6th Ser. 7 (1985), 95114. at 96.

45 ibid. p. 109.

46 Quoted by Wright, C. E., Fontes Harleiani: A Study of the Sources of the Harleian Collection of Manuscripts preserved in the British Museum (London, 1972), p. 59.

47 London, BL Sloane 4040, 347r.

48 Collins, R. L., ‘Two Fragments of Ælfric's Grammar: The Kinship of Ker 384 and Ker 242’, Annuale Mediaevale 5 (1964), 512.

49 ‘Über ein Fragment’, p. 111.

50 Sims-Williams, P., ‘Milred of Worcester's Collection of Latin Epigrams and its Continental Counterparts’, ASE 10 (1982), 2138, at 25, n. 27.

51 Die Bibliothek des Klosters Fulda im 16. Jahrhundert: die Handschriften-Verzeichnisse, ed. Christ, K. (Leipzig, 1933), p. 268.

52 ‘Über ein Fragment’, p. 112–14.

53 ibid. p. 113.

54 ‘Modius, der auf seine Justinausgabe nur wenig Zeit und Fleiss verwandt hat, führt unglücklicherweise seine Handschriften nur sehr selten an’ (‘Die Textesquellen des Justinus’), Jahrbücher für classische Philologie, Suppl. Band 6 (Leipzig 18721873), 1160, at 87–8.

55 Texts and Transmission, ed. Reynolds, p. 198.

56 Lehmann, P., ‘Das älteste Bücherverzeichnis der Niederlände’, Het Boek 12 (1923), 207–13.

57 ‘Sollten wir da den Stammvater der vermutlich im englischen York würzelnden deutschen und französischen Justinüberlieferung haben?’ (ibid. p. 213).

58 Lorsch, p. 56.

59 ‘Studien zu den Annales Xantenses’, DAEM 8 (1951), 5899, at 88. Löwe quotes Einhard's report of a miracle which befell ‘Gerwardus palatii bibliothecarius’ on his return from Nymwegen to the court at Aachen. See below, n. 60.

60 Translatio Sanctorum Marcellini et Petri auctore Einbardo, ed. O. Holder-Egger, MGH, SS 15 (Hannover, 1887), 239–64, at 258.

61 Lorsch, pp. 53–4.

62 Löwe, ‘Studien’, pp. 91–8.

63 CLA I, no. 84.

64 Hofmann, J., ‘Altenglische und althochdeutsche Glossen aus Würzburg und dem weiteren Missionsgebiet’, BGDSL 85 (1963), 27131.

65 CLA VIII, no. 1139. Hofmann, ‘Altenglische und althochdeutsche Glossen’, pp. 50–2. On this manuscript see Parkes, M. B., ‘The Handwriting of St Boniface: a Reassessment of the Problems’, BGDSL 98 (1976), 161–79.

66 Lowe, , Palaeographical Papers, ed. Bieler, I, 239–50.

67 For Levison's view, see ‘Bischof Theutbert von Wijk bij Duurstede’, Neues Archiv der Gesellschaft für ältere deutsche Geschichtskunde 33 (19071908), 517–25, and England and the Continent in the Eighth Century (Oxford, 1946), pp. 62 and 82. One alternative was supported by Lehmann, , ‘Das älteste Bücherverzeichnis’, p. 210: ‘Thiaterd in dem jungen Bischofskatalog des 14. Jahrhunderts ist wohl eine späte Entstellung von Thiatbert, Theutbert’. See also Wattenbach, W. and Levison, W., Deutschlands Geschichtsquellen im Mittelalter. Vorzeit und Karolinger, 5 vols. (Weimar, 19531973) i, 173–4. For a plate of the inscription see Analecta Liviana, ed. T. Mommsen and G. Studemund (Leipzig, 1873), pl. 4. On Theutbert's manuscript see also Brown, T. J., ‘An Historical Introduction to the Use of Classical Latin Authors in the British Isles from the Fifth to the Eleventh Century’, SettSpol 22 (1975), 237–93, at 279.

68 Historia abbatum, §4 (Venerabilis Baedae opera historica, ed. C. Plummer, 2 vols. (Oxford, 1896) I, 364–87, at 367).

69 ibid. §6 (ed. Plummer, p. 369).

70 Cf. also the similar collectíon of Cuthwine, bishop of the East Angles: Whitelock, D., ‘The pre-Viking Age Church in East Anglia’, ASE I, (1972), 122, at 9.

71 ‘Bibliothecam…nobilissimam copiosissimamque’: Historia abbatum, §11 (ed. Plummer, p. 375).

72 Laistner, M. L. W., ‘The Library of the Venerable Bede’, in Bede: his Life, Times and Writings, ed. Thompson, A. H. (Oxford, 1935), pp. 237–66.

73 Brown, ‘An Historical Introduction’, pp. 276 and 286.

74 CLA x, no. 1578a. Cf. Texts and Transmission, ed. Reynolds, p. 309. See also Brown, ‘An Historical Introduction’, p. 275; Alcuin: The Bishops, Kings, and Saints of York, ed. Godman, P. (Oxford 1982), p. 125, n. to line 1549.

75 See Bede, , Historia ecclesiastica, IV. 23. This is Bishop Oftfor whom Sims-Williams associates with the travels of an uncial codex: see below, n. 78.

76 Cf. remarks, Parkes's, The Scriptorium, p. 15.

77 CLA IX, no. 1430a.

78 See Sims-Williams, P., ‘Cuthswith, seventh-century Abbess of Inkberrow, near Worcester, and the Würzburg Manuscript of Jerome on Ecclesiastes’, ASE 5 (1976), 121, especially 13–21.

79 CLA IX, no. 1430b.

80 CLA VIII, no. 1197.

81 Hofmann, ‘Altenglische und althochdeutsche Glossen’, p. 47.

82 On Liudger see Drögereit, , Werden und der Heliand, pp. 6682, especially 66–71.

83 In his review of Werden und der Heliand in Anzeiger für deutsches Altertum 66 (19521953), 712.

84 ‘Die Textesquellen des Justinus’.

85 Texts and Transmission, ed. Reynolds, p. 197.

86 ‘Über ein Fragment’, p. 113–14.

87 M. Iuniani Iustini epitoma bistoriarum Philippicarum Pompei Trogi (Stuttgart, 1972).

88 ibid. pp. vii-viii.

89 My thanks are due to Dr David Dumville for drawing the Bagford fragment to my attention and for subsequent discussions and guidance on the matter, to Professor Helmut Gneuss for his prompt response to my enquiry about Fischer's fragment, and to Professor Michael Reeve, Dr Michael Lapidge and Dr Rosamond McKitterick for their comments after kindly reading this paper in draft. To n. 13 should be added McKitterick, R., ‘The Diffusion of Insular Culture in Neustria between 650 and 850: the Implications of the Manuscript Evidence’, in La Neustrie. Les pays au nord de la Loire de Dagobert à Charles le Chauve ed. H. H. Atsma (forthcoming).

90 There are two scribal marginal notes. Of that on the recto, only the following can be distinguished: ‘[ius iuran]du[m] ?mei [pron]us [ ] sororis’. On the verso ‘ptholemeus filius sororis interficit ipsam post nuptias in exilium mittit’.


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