(p.369) Appendix I Manuscripts and Editions
(p.369) Appendix I Manuscripts and Editions
At the risk of proliferating manuscript sigils, for clarity’s sake I have adopted sigils based on the initial letter of the name of the manuscript. For example, M is Monte Cassino MS 204, and P is Paris MS BN 17626. Manuscript sigils H, VB, and A below stand for Heffernan, Van Beek, and Amat respectively.
Names and Sigils of the MSS of the Passio
Monte Cassino 204
St. Gallen 577
Bib. Nat. 17626
BL Cotton Nero E.I
Salisbury Cathedral 221Olim Fell.4
BL Cotton Otho D.VIII
Jerusalem 1 (olim S. Sepulchri Greek)
(p.370) A. The Textual Tradition
The manuscript tradition of the Passio is late, and the surviving exemplars exhibit a complex skein of relationships. There are nine surviving Latin manuscripts and one Greek manuscript. None of the extant manuscripts can be reliably dated before the ninth century CE. The Greek MS, MS H, which some have argued represents the language of the original composition, is actually a fourth-century translation of a non-extant Latin text. I have studied all the extant manuscripts in situ, and I provide their first full description both codicologically and palaeographically in this Chapter. Up to the present time, the understanding of the status of and the relationships among the manuscripts has been only partial. For example, van Beek was the first one to discuss the confusion and subsequent misidentification of S as having a Salzburg provenance, when in fact it is from Salisbury. And as recently as Amat’s edition, MS S was still being identified as Codex Oxoniensis Fell 4. S, however, is a product of the scribes working in the Salisbury Cathedral scriptorium in the late eleventh century. James Ussher, the Archbishop of Armagh, borrowed it from Salisbury Cathedral Library in 1640. It was subsequently deposited in the Bodleian Library around 1650, where it remained for 335 years—hence the Oxford provenance—until it was returned to its rightful owner, Salisbury Cathedral Library, in August 1985.
The earliest surviving text is MS G (figure 7.4), and on palaeographic grounds it can be dated to the late ninth century—early tenth century. It was written at the Benedictine Abbey of St. Gall and is a Legenda Sanctorum and Passionale with a strong representation of local saints. Although it is beautifully written in a careful Caroline hand, unfortunately the text of the Passio in G is defective, and ends with the words ab urso vexati sunt from XIX.13 (f.174va). It also lacks the prologue. MS G is most closely related to the only other extant Swiss Benedictine exemplar, MS E (figure 7.5), from the monastic house Our Lady of the Hermits in Einsiedeln in the Canton of Schwyz. E is a twelfth-century Legenda sanctorum, and the Passio is in the fourth volume of a handsome four-volume collection used at Einsiedeln for liturgical purposes, likely for readings at matins or in the refectory on the saint’s day. Unfortunately, the version of the Passio in E, like its counterpart G, lacks the prologue and also ends defectively, concluding with the words gloriosiorem gestaret coronam from XIX.2. E, however, then continues the narrative, but at this point adds textual material from the Acta: Acclamante vero turba positi sunt in medio … (Acta IX.3), ending with the concluding lines of the Acta, quod est benedictum in saecula saeculorum (IX.5). E’s conflation of the Passio with Acta text suggests that the exemplar which the single scribe of E copied from was itself corrupted and was therefore not that of the related MS G family. Therefore, E was not copied from G or an immediate ancestor of G, but they both likely descend and branch off from an earlier exemplar.
Yet while G and E do share an earlier common exemplar and share the bulk of their readings, they do differ among themselves, indicating that their immediate exemplars were different. The obvious instance of such difference is E’s use of the Acta to complete the Passio where G simply ends defectively without adding material. Three additional examples will suffice to illustrate the separate traditions of E and G. First, the incipit to E is written in large majuscules and states Incipit Passio Sanctorum Revocati, Saturini, (p.371) Perpetue & Felicitatis. Although other MSS also vary the order of the martyrs’ names in their incipits, E is the only MS to place Revocatus first. The incipit to MS G reads differently and omits the masculine names altogether, stating Incipit Passio Sanctarum Perpetuae et Felicitatis. This is a more common incipit. My second example concerns Chapter XI of the Passio, which introduces the narrative of the dream of Saturus, Perpetua’s teacher and the leader of the small band of condemned. It is the only other autobiographical section in the Passio and was justifiably popular with medieval readers and thus important textually. E correctly attributes the dream to Saturus: Sed et Saturus benedictus hanc visionem suam … (emphasis added). MS G, alone of all the nine Latin MSS, mistakenly identifies the dream as the narrative of the other male martyr with a similar name, Saturninus, and writes Sed et Saturninus benedictus hanc visionem … (emphasis added).
However, despite these differences E and G share readings which differ sufficiently from all the other extant Latin exemplars to place them in a related, separate line of descent. For example, in VII.1, Perpetua notes that in surprise she uttered the name of her long dead brother Dinocrates, stating, subito media oratione profecta est (MS M, my emphasis). E and G alone share the reading for this line as subito media oratione perfecta est (emphasis added). Lastly, E and G alone reverse the word order in Deinde post paucos dies Pudens miles. All other MSS read Deinde post dies paucos Pudens miles … (IX.1).
MS M (figure 7.2), which has been the basis of the great modern edition of van Beek and most recently that of Amat, I would date to the last third of the eleventh century. It is the most complete text of the Passio extant and the least vexed by corrupt readings or additions from the Acta. Although the Passio excerpt in M has long been thought of as an original part of the manuscript and therefore a product of the great late eleventh-century scriptorium of Monte Cassino under the guiding hand of Abbot Desiderius and written in a Beneventan hand, my study of the manuscript suggests a different provenance. Let us consider M. It is an important collection of the letters of Cyprian. The Passio selection is the last quire gathering in the manuscript, and although the hand is contemporary with the rest of the manuscript, the hand of the Passio is not Beneventan. The quire containing the Passio was written by a scribe trained outside the Beneventan area. The parchment in this quire is thicker and darker than those preceding, suggesting they may have been planned for a different book and may have lain exposed before being bound in M. I have been unable to determine the provenance of the hand of the Passio quire, but I am certain that it is written by a scribe trained in a convention different from that of the Beneventan or other south Italian scripts. The scribe who copied the Passio selection may have been a visitor working in the monastic scriptorium of Monte Cassino. The Passio quire was early bound with the rest of M, as the edges of the leaves of all the MS fols. have been stained with a medieval rose-colored decorative pigment, consistent with such rubricating practices of this period. The Passio excerpt is unlike anything else in M, which, as I said, is an important early copy of Cyprian’s letters. It may have been bound with the rest of M because the Cyprian Epistolae and the Passio were seen as originally having an African source.
M is the earliest of the manuscripts to contain the most complete text of the Passio. It is the manuscript copy of the Passio found by Holstenius and printed by Valois from (p.372) Holstenius’s notes and transcriptions in 1664. It has served as the copy text since that time. While M shares more readings with E and G than any of the other Latin exemplars, it derives from an exemplar different from either of the Swiss manuscripts and the other five extant Latin exemplars. For example, M uniquely contains the opening prologue, which neither E nor G has. Furthermore, the important claim that R makes concerning the autobiographical nature of the section attributed to Perpetua (conscriptum sua manu)—extant in E, G, P, O, A, N, S—occurs uniquely in M as conscriptum manu sua, thus reversing the word order. In Chapter XI, M alone identifies this section with the title Visio Saturi. In that same chapter the large garden visited by Saturus and Perpetua is described by M, E, and G with a variant of grandis (M, spacium grandem), whereas all others use a variant of magnus (N, P, S spatium magnum). In the dramatic confrontation between Hilarianus and Perpetua’s father, all the other Latin manuscripts read ab Hilariano proici; M alone reads ab Hilariano deici. The list of variant readings singular to M could be greatly expanded.
As I suggested above, it is curious in the extreme to have a single quire of a saint’s passion bound with a collection of a patristic author’s letters. I can only conjecture that it was copied in Monte Cassino roughly contemporaneously with the copying of M, and it was added to the Cyprian collection because there were some in the community who saw an affinity between the two African saints, both of whom were martyred in Carthage in the third century. Finally, M derives from an exemplar that contained a complete version of the Passio, including the prologue. It is highly unlikely that M was copied from a third-century exemplar and much more likely that it was copied from a Passionale used in a monastic liturgical setting, likely a product of the Carolingian resurgent interest in such texts.
MS A appears to have derived from β, and, as the Bollandists and van Beek have suggested, it also shows a relationship to MS H. I have hesitated to indicate such an affiliation, as I remain uncertain of their claims for such a relationship.
Four of the manuscripts (C, N, O, and S) have an English provenance: C (figure 7.10) and O (figure 7.9) from the scriptorium of Christ Church, Canterbury, N from the Benedictine priory of St. Mary’s Worcester, and S from the Cathedral Library of Salisbury. C is a collection of manuscript leaves which survive from the dismemberment of what was once a handsome seven-volume Passionale for the entire liturgical year, written in Christ Church scriptorium before 1128. It was dismembered in the late sixteenth century and used for rent receipts and mutilated. The present volume in Canterbury contains leaves from at least four of these volumes and was bound together in 1890. The Passio survives only as a twenty-three-line acephalous excerpt beginning … prior reddendo spiritum Perpetua (XXI.8). However, although C is not particularly useful in constructing an edition or in determining manuscript relationships, I have compared the lines with the other exemplars. MS O, also with a Christ Church Canterbury provenance, is an elegantly written multivolume Passionale produced between 1130 and 1150. That indefatigable sixteenth-century bibliophile Sir Robert Cotton purchased it, and it became part of his extensive library. Unfortunately, O was severely damaged in the horrific fire at Ashburnham House on October 23, 1731, which destroyed as much as a quarter of Cotton’s manuscripts (p.373) and books. The text of the Passio was badly charred from the fire, and the intense heat caused the parchment leaves to shrink into a tight ball. The Victorian conservators, hoping to recover textual material, sliced into these balls in an effort at flattening them for binding. Unfortunately, this caused even more loss, since sometimes they sliced through lines of text. While MS O does contain the entirety of the Passio, it is so severely damaged that much of it cannot be read even with the assistance of ultraviolet light. I have used the readings selectively where legible, but I have been unable to collate this exemplar in extenso. N (figure 7.7) is the first volume of a handsome two-volume Passionale written for the monastic community of St. Mary’s Priory, Worcester, toward the end of the eleventh century. Although it too was in the Ashburnham fire, it was little damaged, and here the serious damage is restricted to the first three fols. It was evidently intended to contain other readings in addition to passions and martyrologies, as is evident in Saint Augustine’s sermon on the “Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mother” (f.142rb, l.15). S (figure 7.8) appears to have been written as a liturgical Passionale for the community of canons resident in Salisbury Cathedral at the end of the eleventh century. It is a workaday volume, as is evident in the quality of the parchment, presumably intended as a daily office book. For example, fols. 98 and 106 contain holes—a not uncommon finding in parchment leaves—which were present when the parchment was prepared and readied for writing. The scribe simply wrote his text around them.
While there is a strong affiliation among the texts of the Passio in the manuscripts with English provenance, these four MSS derive from different exemplars. N and S often share a reading which all other MSS do not. For example, N and S both read post paucos dies (VII.1), and they share uniquely with P the reading of the verb profero where the other exemplars employ proficiscor. N and S alone agree in their reading of et Satyrus benedictam (XI.1), against all others which read et Satyrus benedictus (emphasis added). However, N and S also disagree in a number of readings, which indicate they descend from a different exemplar. N alone reads occurrit quod audiremus (V.1) where S, agreeing with all the other Latin exemplars, reads cucurrit quod audiremur. N uniquely notes (combining letters and numerals) that the four angels who assist Saturus and Perpetua are ab ipsis iiiior angelis (XI.5). All other texts read quattuor. In the important discussion about delaying Felicity’s execution because she was in the eighth month of her labor, N alone omits mention of the precise month—and thus misses the significance in Roman law of pregnancy in the execution of a woman—reading pro naturae difficultate mensis (c.xv.5). All other Latin exemplars read octavi mensis.
The exemplar of the Passio in MS P is contained in a collection of saints’ lives (fourteen in total) for the month of March. As I state in my commentary, it was undoubtedly part of a much larger collection, perhaps running to as many as a dozen volumes. Its provenance is the Benedictine Abbey of Saint-Corneille in Compiègne and was written for use in the monastery toward the end of the tenth century. The gathering of these fourteen lives only represents a part of the calendar for March and suggests that some texts were lost before the nineteenth-century rebinding. While P agrees most often with the most complete English manuscripts, and while it is somewhat earlier than either N or S, it was not part of the tradition from which they were copied, as the three exemplars can be (p.374) shown to disagree. For example, both N and S name and identify the city where the martyrs are from as Turbitana. P, however, lacks any mention of the city. P alone of the manuscripts does not open the second paragraph with the mention of their arrest (M, Apprehensi sunt adolescentes cathecumini …) but begins acephalously: Revocatus et Felicitas conserua eius. P appears to agree more often with S than it does with N. For example, N begins c.xviii.1 Inluxit dies where P and S read Illuxit dies. However, P can differ from either N or S, as in its use of the present tense in c. xxi.5, eius petit where N and S adopt the perfect petiit. P uniquely reads per infirmitatem cancerata where N and S and all the other exemplars read infirmitatem faciem. In that same line, P reads annorum vii where N and S read annorum septem.
I have adopted MS M as the copy text for the present edition because of its completeness and comparative lack of textual corruption. I have provided lemmata at the bottom of the page citing noteworthy variants (Chapter 4). I have also placed significant textual emendations in the commentary (see I.1, repensatione). The stemma below begins with what might be called the three Urtexts, those of Perpetua, of Saturus, and of the Christian editor R. It is impossible to say in what form R received the two autobiographies. However, I think it likely that he received them in a form close to what we have today, as the Latinity of the three narratives is sufficiently different in lexicon, syntax, and style. R constructed the present version of the Passio, incorporating the narratives of Perpetua and Saturus, sometime before the end of the first decade of the third century. R’s hybrid text is the version I have labeled autograph. Six centuries separate the autograph version of the Passio from the earliest extant manuscript, G. Comments from Augustine, Quodvultdeus, and others underscore the popularity of the Passio in the mid-fifth century among the populace and thus speak to the existence of a considerable number of manuscripts in circulation. Despite such apparent cultural presence in early medieval Africa, it is virtually impossible to account for the textual tradition during the half millennium separating its composition from the earliest extant manuscript. The paucity of manuscripts from the period of composition until the ninth century is due in part to the subsequent destruction of these late antique Christian Latin manuscripts of African provenance in the Vandal depredations and the Muslim conquests of the mid-seventh century. The study of the dispersal of Christian Latin manuscripts from Africa to Europe after the Muslim conquest is only now being undertaken, and one hopes with greater study more manuscripts with an African provenance will come to light, as well as the paths of their migration from Africa to Europe.
The stemma below shows that the Greek text is a translation of a no longer extant Latin text that was closely related to M, as the translated text was also derived from α. In trying to account for the differences between M and all subsequent Latin exemplars, I see at least three distinct later traditions, which all derive from exemplar β. Manuscript A seems to be the most closely dependent on β, while the Swiss manuscripts G and E are dependent on an additional exemplar which I have labeled γ. The second important exemplar is δ, and it is the ancestor of P. The manuscripts of English provenance are descended from δ, but I postulate that another exemplar closely related to P influenced the copying of S, N, O, and C. While there are strong similarities, as I indicted above, between P and some of the (p.375) English manuscripts, there are sufficient textual divergences to assume that there may have been a no longer extant English exemplar between δ and the four extant English manuscripts.
While the descriptions below follow a similar format, if there is no instance of a particular phenomenon or if it proves to be of little significance for an individual MS, for example MS repairs or erasures, I do not list the category (see MS M). Although it would have been preferable to treat every MS with a uniform format, the state of preservation of the MSS sometimes precluded this. Hence, for example, MS C has an entry for “largest folio” because its leaves were dismembered in the sixteenth century, and they have been reset in modern parchment surrounds and rebound. Hence also the entry “Modern Conservation” for MS C. The bibliography cited after each MS description is not intended to be exhaustive but rather to provide access to the better discussions of the MSS, and it is provided in chronological order. All measurements are in millimeters unless stated differently.
B. The Manuscripts
Subject: (1) Epistolae Cypriani, fols. 1r–164r. (2) Dispositio cene nuptialis facta a Cecilio Cypriano, fols. 164v–168v. (3) Passio, fols. 170r–175r.
Provenance: Disputed. Fols. 1–169 are Beneventan script and are likely Monte Cassino. Fols. 170–75 are in a different hand. The scribe writes a Caroline script, but these fols. do not follow Beneventan conventions, and could have been written by a visiting monk, (p.376) or have been brought to the monastery from outside, perhaps southern France. Newton believes they exhibit some signs of a South Italian influence (pp.317, 325, 366–67).
Date: ca. last third of the eleventh century. Fol. iv verso: Written in ink on fol. iv verso is “saec xi, ul-vis (E.A.L.).” The initials inside the parenthesis are those of E.A. Lowe. Fol. v recto: written here is “Codex seculi X. post annum 950.” This script is older than that on fol. iv verso.
1. Fol.1r 164r Incipit Epistola Cipriani ad Silvanum et Regianum. It ends correctly with an explicit.
2. Fol. 164r–168v: Incipit cena nuptialis facta a Cecilio Cypriano. At fol. 164r there then begin four fols. of lists of names. The names and accompanying descriptors are written in four columns down each leaf. The list contains Biblical patriarchs and their spouses, men and women from the New Testament and some non-Scriptural personalities such as Thecla. Each name is (p.377) followed by a phrase. For example, in the first column on 164v, there is the name “Eva” [Eve] followed in the second column (but immediately to the right of “Eva”) the phrase “super folium.” To the right of “Eva” on this same fol. is the name “Iacobus” followed by the phrase “super Reab.” A few names below we see on fol. 164v: “Moyses” followed to the right by “super lapidem” and to the right of that is Rebecca and to Rebecca’s right “pallium,” followed by fol. 165r “Danihel” and to the right “Leoninam,” “Adam” and to the right “Pelliciam,” “His,” and the right “Columbinam.” The lists end on fol. 168v with “Explicit Cena Cypriani.”
3. Fol. 168v–169v. At the bottom of fol. we read: “Incipit Oratio Cipriani.” Fol. 169r: this fol. is darkened, and the script heavily abbreviated and difficult to read. The first line begins: “D[omi]ne s[an]c[t]e pa[ter] agios d[ominus].” The scribe ran out of space or for other reasons did not wish to begin a new quire and so changed the number of lines on the verso side. Fol. 169r contains twenty-nine lines, but on fol. 169v he squeezed in forty-six. The last word written in the lower inside margin of fol. 169v is “Felicia” with an abbreviation mark over the final a, perhaps Feliciam or Feliciae?
4. Fol. 170r. The Passio begins. It has neither an incipit nor a header which would provide an identifying title. The Passio begins “Sive Tera fidei exempla et dei gratiam Testificantia.” Note that the first two words are written separately: “Sive [space] Tera” (for Si vetera). See section on collation below.
Number of Folios: v + 175 + v. Note that of these five end sheets, only two are old—that is, end leaves iv and v. The other three (i, ii, iii) were added at the time the manuscript was rebound in the twentieth century (?), and the paper is discernibly newer.
Material: Good-quality parchment throughout. Most of the leaves are of high quality—white and thin. The layout shows the arrangement of fols. according to flesh-flesh, hair-hair in most instances (for example, fols. 147r flesh, 147v hair, 148r hair, 148v flesh). The leaves are uniform in thickness except for those of the Passio, which are thicker and darkened, suggesting they may have had a different placement in this volume or in a different composition or they may have been unbound prior to being placed in this manuscript. They are consistently thicker than those used for the Cyprian letters.
On a few occasions the scribe has employed leaves which were defective from the time of their making. For example, on fol. 122 the lower right-hand side is missing a piece, which is scalloped out in a curving fashion (140 cm long × 38 cm at widest at the bottom of the fol.). The scribe has simply written around this curve in the parchment. For example, on fol. 122v we read written on the edge of the curve (de locis pagina liberata). Fol. 99 has a similar shaped scalloping, but it is bigger, measuring in length 180 mm and in width 30 mm. On fol. 12, there is a hole measuring 24 mm in length × 26 mm wide in the inside margin, which the scribe has simply written up to.
Columns: Single columns throughout, except for fols. 164r–168v.
Lines per Folio: Selection 1, the letters of Cyprian, average between 25 and 29. Selection 2, 29 lines per fol. Selection 3, 32 lines per fol., last fol. 175v, 22 lines.
(p.378) MS Size:
Average size: width 181 and 270 length
Largest fol.: 11r width 186 and 272 length
Reconstructed: width (not damaged) and (not damaged) length
Passio average: width 183 and 270 mm length.
Pricking: Visible throughout in outside margin very close to the edge.
Catchmarks: Only one instance apparent on fol. 8v.
Foliation: 1–58, 67, 77, 8–168, 177, 18–198, 204, 218, 221, 234. The quires were all eights, save for 20. Quires 6 and 7 are missing a fol. each. Quire 17 is missing either 139 or 140 depending on which numbering system one adopts. Quire 20 has only four fols. Quire 22, which contains the Passio, is somewhat different. Fol. 170 is a singleton; fol. 171 has been cut away, and all that remains is a 12.7 mm stub in the gutter; fol. 172 begins a new gathering of four leaves. We cannot be certain from a codicological standpoint why 171 was excised. The excision was likely done prior to the actual composition, as 171 was deemed unnecessary. They would have had to end on a single fol., given the line length of each fol., and it made better sense in putting the quire together to have the singleton where it was than at the end of the quire. I will follow the modern pencil numbering which appears in the middle bottom margin of every recto.
There are three numbering systems used on the leaves; none are medieval, and all are Arabic rather than Roman. The earliest system is written in ink in the upper right-hand corner of every recto and may be eighteenth century. Directly beneath this is a pencil number written very faintly (perhaps faded). The two numbering systems are rather different. The early one numbers fols. in the traditional manner, recto and verso. The pencil records leaves as page numbers, numbering both recto and verso as different page numbers. For example, fol. 154 (old numbering) is page number 309 (in pencil). In the lower central margin of every recto fol. there is a new modern pencil number. For this same page it gives the fol. as 156r.
Quire numbers followed by fol. number they begin on: 1–9r; 2–17r; 3–25r; 4–33r; 5–41r; 6–49r; 7–55r; 8–63r; 9–71r; 10–79r; 11–87r; 12–95r; 13–103r; 14–111r; 15–119r; 16–127r; 17–135r; 18–142r; 19–150r; 20–154r; 21–162r; 22–170r.
Running Heads: None.
Lineation: (ink quality, etc): The ink is typically black, and the contrast with the white parchment makes it most legible. Occasionally there are fols. where the ink is faded and not easy to read, for example fols. 125v–126r. Perhaps the ink in the quill was insufficient for fol. 125v, because it is dark again on fol. 126v.
Capitals: There are few large capitals. For example, on fol. 148v in the lower left-hand side of the fol. at the beginning of Cyprian’s letter to Stephen, the initial C in Cyprian is in red ink and large, measuring 39 mm high × 20 mm in width. The C has a distinctive shape with its middle pinched and looks like a backwards 3. Here is how it appears: “Incipit ad Stephanum de Concilio…. 3yprianus. (The waist of the C is pinched as indicated above, and the pinched C in his name is 29 mm long × 19 mm wide.) This majuscule C is used elsewhere; see the rubricated Cyprianus on fol. 161v. Note that this same capital C beginning Cyprian’s name is the majuscule which begins the work on fol. (p.379) 1r. There the incipit begins Incipit Epistola Cipriani ad Silvanum et [in] regionem in Mettallo Constitutos. Cypriani Martyribus et Confessoribus ihesu Christi domini nostri in Domino.
Historiated Capitals: None.
Rubrics: The rubricator is the same hand throughout. For example, compare the rubrics on fols. 56v, 57r, and 134v. There is no one single strategy employed in the use of rubrics. They are used sometimes to depict incipits (fol. 1r and 134v), but sometimes they are not used for incipits; see fol. 139r and fol. 17v. In other instances, selections of the text extending from three to five lines of Cyprian’s letters are rubricated without any apparent reason; see fols. 95r and 144v. Furthermore, there is no consistent use of rubrication to highlight the beginning of capitals or paragraphs.
Corrections: The texts are comparatively free of corrections. There are instances where an entire line has been removed through abrasion with pumice (see last line fol. 45r). Words left out in copying are added as superscripts in a small script; see fol. 3v, line 15. The corrector has often simply drawn a line through otiose or incorrect copying to be deleted; see 118v and fol. 41r, where an entire line beginning “In opere elemosinis …” has been drawn through.
Punctuation: There is punctuation in the MS. The Passio consistently uses the punctus to end a sentence, for example fol. 137r, l.19. The punctus elevatus is also used, but less frequently (see fol. 148r, l.14), and it suggests less of a pause. The Passio scribe uses the punctus almost exclusively, save in two instances: fol. 172r, l.20 following vicerit and 174r, l. 22 following quidem.
Marginalia: There are few marginalia. The longest extended marginal comment appears on fol. 5v. In the margin next to the incipit Divi Caecili Libellus unus Fortunatum … we read the marginal notation Io Maria Genuesis, lectori. Cum videre candide lector in hoc libro Diivi C. Cypriani, tum titulum, tum principium desideravi, Longobardis nihilominus figurae depicto, tamen quia †se puis† evenit ut de emendatis inemendata et non †num† quibus emendata corrigantur ne liber […] falo esset, titulum et principium ex Erasmiana correctione impressis exemplaribus apposui. There are small circles with an oblique line drawn through them, which often appear in the margin denoting an incipit. There are no figures, doodles, pointing hands, fingers, nota bene signs, etc.
Margins: Cropping is evident on fols. 150 and 151, but it was likely minimal elsewhere, since the manuscript leaves were clearly prepared for this size from the outset. For example, on fol. 150 a marginal annotation written perpendicularly to the text was cropped, and thus now only part of the letter forms remain. This was done after the fol. was written, since it is hardly likely that the annotation would have been prior to the main text.
The outside edges of the leaves have been decorated with colored ink. Holding the manuscript shut, the edges appear as muted reds, violet, and black. All the fols. of the manuscript are so treated, and this suggests that the entire volume was together when this was done, including the leaves of the Passio. It is a decorative feature.
Width: outside 30–35 mm, inside 15 mm.
(p.380) Length: top 10–15 mm, bottom 30–35 mm.
Written Surface: width 135 mm, height 220 mm.
Drypoint: Used throughout. There is no lead point used. Fol. 104r is a nice example as the drypoint continues beyond the written lines of text into the margin and is very visible. See also fol. 153r, which is entirely blank and only shows the drypoint awaiting the scribal text, which was never written. The drypoint layout for the leaves shows a difference after fol. 154. Prior to 154r there is one vertical line, which frames the inside and outside margin. After fol. 154 there are two lines approximately 6 mm apart, which frame these margins. The quality of the parchment changes at this point, being thicker and likely less select.
Hands: There are two hands. Hand number one is responsible for the bulk of the manuscript from fol. 1r through 169v. Hand number two is responsible for the entire text of the Passio from fol. 170r through 175v. Although scribe number one can vary the size of his script when necessary, for example, to complete a text of a given piece of parchment, it is nonetheless the same hand, as the letter forms are the same, albeit smaller. The standard size of his lowercase letters is 2.5–3 mm. Those letters like s and r, which have desenders, or f, which has an ascender, are typically 5 mm; see fol. 85r for examples of these. When he chooses to reduce his letter size, the lowercase letters are 2 mm, and those with descenders and ascenders are 3.5 mm; for examples see fol. 162r.
The second hand does not seem to employ Beneventan script. The ductus of the two hands are strikingly different. Hand number one has an upright ductus and a formal look, with the letters individually shaped, and has an angular appearance. Hand number two has an artfully done ductus which leans to the right and provides the feeling of a cursive influence in the script. Even the letter sizes are different. The letter sizes of hand number two, particularly the nondescenders and ascenders, average about 1 mm larger than those of hand 1, and are approximately 3.5 mm in height.
The scribe of the Passio employs a Caroline script but does does not use the standard Beneventan script. His letter forms for lowercase a, r, d, t, e, and n are distinct from the rest of the manuscript. His majuscules are also different; see for example his distinctive use of capital Q compared to the Beneventan script throughout. The ampersand is also distinctively different.
Binding: The manuscript has been recently bound, perhaps in the twentieth century. The binding is brown wooden boards with brown calf leather covering the entire spine and folding midway around both front and back wooden covers. It is a utilitarian binding.
Reifferscheid, August, “Die Bibliothek von Monte Cassino,” Bibliotheca Patrum Latinorum Italica, 2. Aus den Sitzungsberichten der Philogische—Historische Classe der kais. Akademie der Wissenschaften, 2, ix (Vienna: 1871): 91–97. He only lists Cyprian’s works but does dates the entire MS x–xi cent (91).
Ramsey, H.L., “Our Oldest MSS of St. Cyprian, III: The Contents and Order of the Manuscripts LNP,” JTS 3 (1902): 585–94. He refers to MS 204 as N and makes the singular observation that the Passio passage is “in a later (post-Lombardic) hand.”
(p.381) Codicum casinensium Manuscriptorum cura et studio Monachorum S. Benedicti. Vol. II, pars 1 & 2 (Monte Cassino: 1928–34), pp. 4–5, dates the MS as eleventh century but notes that the fols. of the Passio are earlier and in a Caroline hand “etiam pagina integra sed littera Carolina saec. x–xi sunt descriptae,” with which judgment I agree.
Shewring, W. H., “En marge de la Passion des Saintes Perpétue et Félicité,” in Revue Bénédictine 43 (1931): 15–22. Shewring, in a discussion of MSS variants, dates M as eleventh century and dates MSS P (tenth), S (which he believed lost: “le ms est perdu”), A (end of tenth), and H (tenth).
Newton, Francis. The Scriptorium and Library at Monte Cassino, 1058–1105. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999. pp. 317, 325, 366–67.
Manuscript Name: Ambrosiana C 210, infer.
Subject: A collection of miscellaneous texts, including Augustine on the Psalms (fols.119 through 134), a collection of saints’ festivals, and Pope Leo’s treatise on the Translation of St. James, concluding with an acephalous and as yet unidentified treatise on the faith.
(p.382) Provenance: The monastery of San Savino of Piacenza. Fol. 1r records the provenance in faint tan ink of eight lines and in a hand of the same period as the texts of the MS.
The donation to the Ambrosiana is written on flyleaf iii in a contemporary hand of the seventeenth century and states that the manuscript came to the Ambrosiana in 1603. Fol. iv (my numbering 1) states that before the manuscript was given to the Ambrosiana it was owned by James Bechetus, the Secretary to the Duke (of Milan?) and that he gave it to the Franciscan house in Milan (though the precise location of the house is not stated) on 22 February 1572, with the proviso that they agree to say mass and the divine office in his memory in the chapel of Saint Ludovicus: MDLXXII die XXII februarii hunc librum donatur magnificus d. Iacobus bechetus ducalis Secretarius Conventui Sancti Francisci in eius defunctorum suorum memoriam ad hoc ut fratres dicti couentus celebrent missas as diuina offitia in eius capella nuncupata sancti Luodouici.
Contents: fourteen miscellaneous items.
1. fol. 1ra–63va: Augustini in Psalmos 119:134
2. fol. 63vb: Augustini ad Valerium
3. fol. 81ra: Passio Sancti Barnabae
4. fol. 83ra: De Natali Sancti Matthaei
5. fol. 87vb: De Natali Sancti Vincentii
6. fol. 88vb: Augustini de Natali Missa Candidatorum
7. fol. 89rb: Augustini de libro Cypriani de Sancto Quadrato
8. fol. 92ra: De Natali Petri et Pauli
9. fol. 93ra: Homilia Sancti Augustini
10. fol. 95ra: In Natali Confessorum
11. fol. 96vb: Augustini de Natali Virginum
12. fol. 100va: De Martyribus Hyacinthi et Eugeniae
13. fol. 109vb: Passio Sanctarum Perpetuae et Felicitatis
14. fol. 115ra: Papae Leonis de Translatione Sancti Iacobi
15. fol. 117ra: An acephalous text beginning ut quidem et melius est alicui ut aliqua atrocissima pena condempnatur temporalem mortem. It ends as a fragment with the sentence: Quia dixerat dominus ue esse homini per quem.
Number of Folios: ii + 116 + ii. There is a seventeenth-century system of foliation in Arabic numerals in the upper right-hand corner of the recto of every leaf. This same hand numbered the flyleaves as well. The first three paper flyleaves are numbered correctly as i, ii, and iii. However, the next leaf is parchment, and it is actually part of the first quire, yet it nonetheless is numbered as number iv as if it were a part of the front matter flyleaves. The scribe does not begin his text of Augustine on this recto iv/1ra but on 2ra. Presumably the first leaf was kept blank for a dedication page and also to protect the first fol. of Augustine’s Ennarationes in Psalmos from wear. The result of this old fol. numbering system is off numerically by two leaves, since the enumerator did not count either the flyleaf leaf or number 10, which is but a stub. Hence his leaf 117, his last leaf, is actually 119, since the first parchment leaf is not front matter but an actual leaf, and he has missed number 10 in the first quire.
(p.383) Material: Good parchment throughout, except for the last fol., which is worn and aged from exposure.
Columns: Double throughout.
Lines per Folio: 37
Average size: width 260–65 mm and 360 mm length
Reconstructed: width 260–65 mm and 365 mm length.
Pricking: Yes, throughout.
Catchmarks: Yes. There are six extant catchmarks: Fol. 56v, aliquid; fol. 80vb, peccata conpuncta sum; fol. 88v, ergo anima eorum dominum; fol. 96, hodie volui recitare; fol. 104, me[eis?] libertata fuissem solatio; fol.112v, et conturbauerunt eos.
Quire Signatures: There are four extant quire signatures in Roman numerals left on fols. 24v (iii), 32v (iiii), 40v (v), and 48v (vi). The others must have been cropped off.
Foliation: 110 (missing leaf 10, only stub in gutter), 2–15.8 Quire 15 is missing leaves 1, 5, and 6; 5 and 6 are stubs in the gutter and have stuck together from being mashed together over the centuries.
The quire number plus the recto fol. it begins on is given in the parentheses which follow: 1(1), 2(9), 3(17), 4(25), 5(33), 6(41), 7(49), 8(57), 9(65), 10(73), 11(81), 12(89), 13(97), 14(105), 15(113).
Running Heads: None.
Lineation (ink quality, etc): The ink is a faded sienna color throughout.
Initials: There are decorated initials throughout.
Capitals: There are eleven large decorated capitals; five of them are of figures. The quality of the drawing is not of the highest order, but the figures do have a naive charm.
Historiated Capitals: Fol. 1ra, unidentified letter B or L; fol. 6ra, capital letter; fol. 12ra, rampant unidentified beast; fol. 17va, letter A; fol. 26ra; fol.38rb, rampant horse; fol. 43rb, letter P; fol. 46va, letter O; fol. 63vb, letter P; fol. 81ra, dragon twined on letter A; fol. 100va, letter S; fol.109vb, letter A.
Illuminations: Although there are various figures of beasts and one of a man struggling with a beast (fol. 29rb, man against dragon), these letters have backgrounds done in red, green, yellow, and sepia ink and often use the parchment itself to depict the skin of the figure.
Rubrics: There is no systematic use of rubrication throughout the manuscript. Incipits are typically rubricated, fol.163va. Some explicits, fol. 21vb, are rubricated but not all. See fol. 83ra, where the explicit for St. Barnabas is not rubricated, but the following incipit for the feast of St. Matthew is. Section number 2 alone uses rubricated majuscules (20 mm high × 12 mm wide) to mark the beginnings of new paragraphs.
Corrections: The MS is comparatively free from corrections. Those corrections which appear are made above the element to be corrected. For example, fol. 37rb, qui is inserted above quia in the phrase hoc dico quia excutit. Marginal corrections are far fewer. See fol. 21va, line 15, where sedendo fatigatur appears in the margin with two small carets indicating its appropriate placement in the line. The corrections are occasionally made in different ink and possibly in a different hand. See fol. 31ra, line 22, exsufflaret.
Punctuation: The punctus is principally used to end a thought throughout. See fol. 24. Hands three and four used the punctus elevatus as well; see fols. 15ra, and 117rb.
Outside: 65 mm
Top: 65 mm
Bottom: 75 mm
Gutter: 24 mm
The space between the columns varies and measures 15–20 mm.
Drypoint: Used throughout. Ruled on one side only, and the subsequent depression in the leaf was sufficient to allow lineation on both recto and verso.
Hands: There are four hands present: (1) fols. 1r–75rb; (2) 75va–114vb; (3) 115ra–115vb; (4) 117ra–117vb. The hands are in Italian Caroline.
Binding: The spine is a worn brown leather, which is wrapped and extends over front and rear boards some 45 mm. The boards themselves appear to be a heavy cardboard covered in worn white parchment.
Boscha, Petrus Paulus, Bibliothecae Ambrosianae Hemidecas ad Eminentissimum Principem S.R.E. Cardinalem Federicum Borromæum (Milan: Ludouici Montiae, 1672), pp. 3, 15, 48; Boscha provides an important early account of the library’s history and discusses acquisitions.
Montfaucon, de Bernard, Bibliotheca Bibliothecarum manuscriptorum nova, 2 vols. (Paris: Briasson, 1739): I, 521, simply notes “S. Perpetuae passio, pergam.”
Reifferscheid, August, “Die Ambrosianische Bibliothek in Mailand,” in Bibliotheca Patrum Latinorum Italica, in Aus den Sitzungsberichten der Philogische—Historische Classe der kais. Akademie der Wissenschaften, 2, ix (Vienna: 1871): 467–568. Reifferscheid does not discuss C.210, inf.
Ceruti, A, “Un codice del Monastero Cistercense di Lucedio,” in Archivio Storico Italiano serie V, 8 (1881): 365–89.
“Catalogus Codicum Hagiographicorum Latinorum Bibliothecae Ambrosianae,” in Analecta Bollandiana, XI, 2 (1892):74–78, 278–82. The Bollandists give a brief description of C.210, inf. and provide the variant readings that it offers as against that of Monte Cassino 204 and Paris, Bibliotheque Nationale Latin 17626 [Bollandist not named]. See also in the same issue of Analecta Bollandiana on pp. 369–73, where a favorable comparison of C.210, inf. with the Greek variant printed by Robinson is given. The Bollandists find that MS C.210, inf. is closer to the Greek than either Monte Cassino or the Paris exemplar. They note that C.210, inf. came to the Ambrosiana via the earlier ownership of one James Becheto, who left it to the Franciscans in Milan (donation noted in a fifteenth-c. hand on fol. 1v): MCCCCCLXXII, die XXII Februarii. Hunc librum donavit magnificus d. Iacobus Bechetus, ducalis secretarius, conventui sancti Francisci Mediolani.
Cipriani, Renata, ed., Codici Miniati dell’ Ambrosiana (Milan: Neri Pozza, 1968), p. 197: dates manuscript as thirteenth c.
Gengaro, Maria Louisa, and Gemma Villa Guglielmetti, eds., “Inventario dei Codici decorati e miniati (saec. vii–xiii) della Biblioteca Ambrosiana,” in Studia e Documenti 3 (p.385) (Firenze: Leo S. Olschki, 1968), pp. 85–86, provide a brief description with a date of beginning of the thirteenth century and a list of miniatures. They argue against the former librarian Ceruti’s date of twelfth c. on the basis of the colors used in the illuminations.
Paredi, Angelo, ed., Inventario Ceruti: Dei Manoscritti dell Biblioteca Ambrosiana. 5 vols. (Milan: Etimar, 1973), p. 315: Paredi prints Ceruti’s handwritten descriptions of the library’s manuscripts. Ceruti provides a one-line description of the manuscript, dates it as thirteenth c., and gives a list of the contents, the Passio being number 13, fol. 109ff.
Merrile Ferrari, “Per una storia delle bibliothece francescane a Milano nel Medioevo e nell’Umanesino,” in Archivum Franciscanum Historicum 72 (1979): 444–45.
Paredi, Angelo, A History of the Ambrosiana, trans. Constance and Ralph McInerny (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame, 1983); see pp. 101–10 for a discussion of the groupings of the Latin manuscripts of the Ambrosiana.
Marcora, Carlo, ed., Catologi dei Manoscritti del Card. Federico Borromeo nella Biblioteca Ambrosiana (Milan: Biblioteca Ambrosiana, 1988), pp. 113–14, 136–37; Borromeo’s collectors were actively collecting books of saints’ lives, including passionals and martyrologies, but MS C.210, inf. was not in the library when this catalogue of 146 manuscripts was compiled.
Jordan, Louis, and Wool, Susan, eds., Inventory of Western Manuscripts in the Biblioteca Ambrosiana, 3 vols. (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame, 1984–89). Although they only discuss the superior manuscripts, their bibliography on the manuscripts of the Ambrosiana is very good, and it should be consulted.
Manuscript Name: MS St. Gallen 577.
Subject: A Legenda Sanctorum and Passionale, with a strong representation of local saints.
Provenance: The monastic scriptorium of the Benedictine abbey of Saint Gallen.
Contents: The complete contents are given in Scarpatetti (pp. 90–6).
The first vita, the Vita Sancti Ermenlandi Abbatis, may have lost lines. The last line written in pencil on page 7 ends enim in ea oratorium inpar. This parchment leaf is followed by two paper leaves. The next parchment leaf (pencil 21a) begins †uamine† velocius consummasset.
Liturgical Calendar: Page 3 has a calendar listing the vita and the passiones contained in the MS. The calendar begins with the following sentence written in capitals (4 × 4 mm) in red ink: “In nomine Domini Salvatoris incipiunt capitula libri sequentis.” The items are listed as follows: first in the left margin, with their number of occurrence (i, ii, iii) followed by the title of the text. Following the name is a fol. number written in a tiny cursive fifteenth-century script. The last item given written in red is the date in the calendar in which the item appears, hence viii. K apr.
Here are the first two and the forty-eighth item as examples:
i. Vita Sancti Ermenlandi Abbatis fol. primo viii K apr.
ii. Passio Sancti Meginradi heremite xix xii K Febr.
xlviiii. Item de sancto Dyonisio Episcopi cccl vii Id Oct.
(p.386) There is another medieval table of contents on page 5, which lists twenty items, none of which, however, are saints’ feasts. The items in this table have a decidedly monastic orientation, for example: De cella in qua amore vite contemplative se reclausit & de. None of these items, however, are found in the present manuscript.
Number of Folios: 754 pages. The codex is substantial and was paginated in the late twentieth century. Although the evidence of the medieval foliation is no longer legible, the presence of medieval quire signatures (page 22b) suggests it was foliated at the time of composition (see Foliation below).
Material: Good-quality parchment, but it has darkened through use. The manuscript does not follow any consistent format of matching flesh-flesh, hair-hair.
Columns: Double columns throughout.
Lines per Folio: 28, average.
Average size: width 255 mm × 345 mm length
Largest fol.: p. 451, width 260 mm × 345 length
Foliation: 18 (lacking 1,2,7,8), 28, 312 (lacking leaves 4, 9, 12), 48, 56, 68–88, 914 (lacking leaves 5, 6, 7), 108, 118, 128, 138, 148, 158, 168, 172, 188, 198, 206, 218, 228, 238, 248, 258, 268, 278, 288, 296, 308–368, 378 (lacking leaves 7, 8), 38–398 (39 lacking leaves 7, 8), 408–488 (48 lacking leaves 3, 6, 7, 8).
The manuscript begins with a recto leaf, which is numbered 3 in a modern hand in pencil. The manuscript is paginated continuously from 3 to 754. There is also a fifteenth-century system of foliation written in the middle of every recto page in roman numerals. Quire signatures are provided in a twelfth-century hand in the bottom margin (see p. 22b). The first leaf of the manuscript (p. 3 in pencil) contains no medieval numbering. The first medieval fol. number to appear is 1, written on a verso. This verso leaf also contains the penciled number 6.
The first gathering is an 8 but is lacking the first and last leaves (i and viii). Between the first and the second gathering are two thick blank paper pages, likely late sixteenth-century paper. The first gathering is sewn mid-quire between penciled leaves 10 and 11 and joins the quire to the spine. Page 11 contains the correct fol. number iiii in the top margin.
Pages 3 through 5 were not assigned fol. numbers in the fifteenth century. The reason for this is that these leaves contain a festal calendar only and are not part of the actual text. The fifteenth-century fol. numbers only appear on the text leaves. Hence the first full leaf of actual narrative text, the Vita sancti Ermenlandi Abbatis, is in pencil on number 6 (a verso). The first medieval fol. number (ii) begins correctly on p. 7. My analysis of the foliation agrees with the mid-quire sewing, with the medieval fol. numbering and the quire signatures. Quire number 2—twelfth-century quire signature “b” appears in the bottom margin—begins correctly on page 21; this page also shows the fifteenth-century fol. number vii of this leaf number.
Running Heads: None.
Lineation (ink quality, etc): The quality of the ink is good throughout, with little fading.
Capitals: Typically, a rubricated capital is the first letter of the first word which begins the actual text immediately following the incipit. For example, p. 427b has a capital S (45 mm × 29 mm), which begins the Passio Felicis et Fortunati. On page 198a, there is a capital Dominus (50 mm × 50 mm), which begins the text for Willibald’s preface to De Vita Actibusque Sancti Bonifacii Archiepiscopi (see Scarpatetti, 91).
Historiated Capitals: None.
Rubrics: There is no consistent use of rubrics other than that discussed above under capitals. For example, the Vita Sancti Cassiani, which begins on page 244, uses capitals to mark every paragraph. These small capitals average 15 mm high. There can be some slight variety in this, however, depending on the letter shape. For example, a T (p. 245a), measures 16 mm h × 15 mm w, while an M (p. 245b) measures 15 mm h × 24 mm w.
Outside—50 mm (from last letter of text)
Between columns—18 mm.
Drypoint: Used throughout. Page 70 is a blank leaf, completely drypointed and ready for writing. Two vertical lines form the uprights for the margin columns. These are bisected at right angles by horizontal lines at the top and bottom. The depressions formed by the stylus are deep, and one can see how readily the scribe wrote in these depressions.
Hands: There are at least ten hands in the manuscript (see Scarpatetti, p. 90). The scribe who copied the Passio was also responsible for fols. 153–83. There is at least one instance when two hands appear on the same leaf: on p. 367, hand one in column 1a copied the Gesta Sancti Germanii Episcopi, while another hand in column 2b copied the Passio Sancti Thrutberti Martyris.
Corrections: There is evidence of a corrector’s hand.
Punctuation: The punctus is the most commonly used sign to terminate a complete thought, see page 468a, the Vita Sancti Augustini Episcopi: Scio item non solus. There are two scribes who employ the punctus elevatus represented in the Passio sancti Peregrini Episcopi; see the line on page 351b: ubi tunc temporis custodia obscurrissima habebatur.
Marginalia: There are no marginal doodles, drawings (apart from the capital letters), or nota bene signs in the leaves. There are a handful of instances when, because of space constraints, the rubricator was forced to draw a roman numeral in the margin; see page 319b, where he has written xviiii. There is but one marginal note in the entire codex, and that is in the Vita Sancti Pirminii (p. 641a): Hinc colligitur q[ue] Sanctus Bonifacius †maguntur† sedis archiepiscopi & sanctus Perminius.
Binding: The binding is medieval. It is made of pine boards with white parchment stretched over the exterior. The parchment is turned over and covers some 40 mm on the inside of the perimeter of each board. Five raised leather straps from the spine are visible, anchored in corresponding grooves cut in the boards. Parchment leaves were formerly glued over the inside surface of the both boards, as they have left their textual imprint on the boards. Three clasps originally locked the manuscript, but presently only one leather clasp survives. The strap is crudely nailed into the top board and fastened to a metal pin on the bottom board.
Scherrer, Gustav, Verzeichniss der Handschriften der Stiftsbibliothek von St. Gallen (Halle: Waisenhauses, 1875), pp. 187–88: dates the MS “ix/x.”
Munding, P. Emmanuel, “Das Verzeichnis der St. Galler Heiligenleben und Handschriften in codex Sangall. No. 566,” Texte und Arbeiten Erzabtei Beuron, vols. 3/4 (1918): provides the contents for MS 577 on pp. 99–101 and dates the MS “ix/x.”
Bruckner, Albert, Scriptoria Medii Aevi Helvetica: Denkmäler Schweizerischer Schreibkunst des Mittelalters, 14 vols. (Geneva, 1935–78), III: p. 112: dates the MS “ix–x s.”
(p.389) Von Scarpatetti, B. M., Die Handschriften der Stiftsbibliothek St. Gallen, Band 1. Abt. IV: Codices 547–669. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2003.
Manuscript Name: MS Einsiedeln 250 (382).
Subject: Codex Einsiedeln 250 (382) is the fourth volume in a substantial collection of saints’ lives and martyrs’ passions for the liturgical year. The other three volumes that comprise this collection are Einsiedeln manuscripts number 247(379), 248 (380), and 249 (381). Glued to the inside board of E 250 (382) is a label which identifies this volume as “Vitae Sanctorum Ms 250 (382).”
The physical layout of all four volumes is the same, indicating that they were undertaken as a single project. Every aspect of the volumes is similar: the way marginal corrections are made, the particular dark black ink, the use of pricking, the disposition of the running heads, the use of marginal pointing fingers as nota bene signs, the addition of a table of contents on the first or second page of each of the four volumes, the drypoint ruling for the frame, the number of lines (twenty-five), the single columns throughout, (p.390) and even the sewing to repair parchment damage. The quality of the parchment is remarkably uniform throughout, and the leaves are the same size for all four volumes, averaging 300 × 230 mm. The letters are consistently the same size, averaging 4 mm for lowercase to 5–6 mm for descenders and ascenders. The use of large rubricated capitals, which begin each saint’s life or passion, is also the same. The bindings are virtually identical: a light, almost white, parchment stretched over old boards, which contain closing clasps, and leather straps at the top and bottom of the spine for additional strength. Athough there are different hands present, the bulk of the composition is the work of one principal scribe. Codices 247, 249, and 250 all appear to be in one hand. However, MS 248 (380) is written by two different scribes—hand one from page 1 to 480, and hand two from 481 to 488.
MS E 247 provides a rubricated calendar for the saints’ festivals, assigning them their liturgical importance—for example, assigning them either the status of semi-duplex or duplex for this volume. This calendar includes feasts that appear in some of the other three volumes. However, a note in this calendar (p. 6), written in a different hand in brown ink following the “Passion of Saint Narbor,” suggests that the lives which follow “Narbor” are to be found written in the other volumes.
The calendar lists the saints’ festivals under their respective months. The entries are incomplete. Under February, we have only Dorothy, Polochronia, Montanus, and Nestorius. For March, the calendar is also limited, providing the names of only six feasts: Albinus, Focus, Deacon Apollonius, Pionus, Teoderius presybter, and Acasius. The calendars in the other volumes are not as elaborate, nor do they assign the solemnity of the feast day, and they are more in the manner of lists than festival calendars.
Date: s.xii. See Bruckner, Scriptoria V, pp. 49, 53, 57, 70, 88, 180. There is a possible dating remark on page 2 in MS 247. There we read: “Ex consilio Bonifaci Papae qui quartus a beato greg[orio] fuit quid liceat monachis bene sacerdotali officio ministrare.” Could this be a reference to Boniface VIII or IX? A brief two-page treatise then follows.
Contents: This is a legenda Sanctorum. It contains a table of contents on page 2, which lists thirty saints’ lives and passions and five treatises, which are the last five items in the MS.
1. p. 3: Vita Sancti Syri et Niuentii Episcoporum
2. p. 25: Passio sanctae Eullalie Virginis
3. p. 31: Passio Sancti Valenti Episcopi
4. p. 38: Passio Sanctarum Marie et Marthe et Valentini
5. p. 49: Passio sanctae Iuliane Virginis
6. p. 61: Vita sanctae Walpurge Virginis
7. p. 74: Passio Sanctae Magre Virginis
8. p. 78: Passio Sanctarum Perpetue et Felicitatis
9. p. 90: Passio Sanctorum Quadraginta Militum
10. p. 102: Passio Sanctae Gerdrudis Virginis
11. p. 129: Passio Sancti Pimenii Presbiteri
12. p. 136: Vita sancti Leonis Pape
13. p. 214: Passio Druthperti Heremite
(p.391) 14. p. 224: Vita Sancti Athansii Episcopi
15. p. 232: Vita Sancti Iuuenalis Episcopi
16. p. 236: Passio Sancti Quiriari Episcopi
17. p. 247: Passio Sanctarum Virginum Fidei, Spei, et Caritatis
18. p. 257: Passio Sanctorum Septem Fratrum Filiorum Sanctae Felicitatis
19. p. 277: Translatio Sancti Alexandri M[artyris]
20. p. 286: Vita sancti Arbogasti Episcopi
21. p. 292: Vita Sancti Abrahem heremite
22. p. 310: Penetentia sanctae marie neptis eius [Abrahem heremite]
23. p. 322: Passio sancti Felicis
24. p. 332: De Puero †aseam† Maria Liberato
25. p. 333: Epistola Chromati, et Helidori, ad Ierominum
26. p. 334: Epistola Beati Ieromini ad eosdem
27. p. 336: De Infantia Sanctae Marie et Christi Salvatoris
28. p. 362: De Dormitatione S. Marie
29. p. 375: Festa Salvatoris Nostri
30. p. 412: Epistola Herodis (concerns a letter that Herod sent to Pontius Pilate about John’s death)
31. p. 413: De Origene (a short treatise on the errors of Origen)
32. p. 414: De XII Lectoribus (a tract identified as by Jerome the Priest directed to Desiderius, containing twelve readings: Augustine, Hylarius, Orienes, Eusebius, Helidorus, Ambrosius, Dardamis, Paulinus, Pelagius, Souianus, Iulianus, Fannonius)
33. p. 418: De Antichristo
34. p. 421: De Die Iudicii (a brief commentary on the signs foretelling the Day of Judgment)
Number of Folios: 426 pages. There is a system of numbering in the MS, but it is confused. It begins by assigning page numbers. Hence, written on the recto side of the first leaf in ink is the number 1, and on its verso, also in ink, is the numeral 2. The next leaf, which is number 2, following this system of pagination is numbered 3. Thus far it is a correct system of pagination. However, on the verso side of this leaf, which is numbered 3, instead of the page number 4 there is written (now in pencil in a modern hand) 3,a. The next leaf is 3b (a recto), and on the next leaf the verso is 4. From this point on the numbering system is paginated correctly to its end at page 426. The problem lies in assigning the leaf numbers 3a and 3b. These should have been simply pages 4 and 5. Thus the pagination is off by two pages. The old pen numbering appears again at the end (see pp. 424, 425, and 426).
Material: Good quality white parchment throughout. It is difficult to determine if the system of flesh facing flesh is used, as the quality of the parchment is uniformly an undarkened white.
Columns: Single columns throughout.
Lines per Folio: 25.
(p.392) Size of Text Letters:
Lowercase: 4 mm
With descenders and ascenders: 5–6 mm
Uppercase: 7 mm; see pages 25, 63. These uppercase letters are only used in the first word of the text after the rubricated letter. For example, on page 49 in the Passio Sanctae Iulianae virginis, the first word of the text is Martyrum. The M is a rubricated capital (60 mm h × 69 mm w), while the rest of the letters are capitals, not rubricated, and measure approximately 7–8 mm.
Average size: width 230 mm and 295 mm length
Reconstructed: width 230 mm and 300 mm length
The leaves show some evidence of loss of identifying headers, which give saints’ names. It appears that they were cropped approximately 3–5 mm. Fol. 108v has only the very bottom of the letters for the name Gerdrudis, but on its facing fol. 109r the entire name appears at the top of the top margin.
Pricking: Yes. See fol. 181.
Quire Signatures: Quire signatures are marked with small Roman numerals from ii through xiii; xiv is not marked; xv is; xvi is not; xvii–xx are marked; xxi through xxiv are not; and xxv and xxvi are marked. The last gathering is not marked, since this is the last leaf and very damaged, and none were intended to follow.
Foliation: The MS consists of twenty-seven quires of eights, 1–278. It is only lacking three leaves. Gathering 25 (quire 25) is lacking leaf number 6, which, following the pagination system, should be pp. 393–94. However, the enumerator has simply passed over the stub and numbered the next full page 393 and 394. Quire 26 is lacking leaf 7, which would be page numbers 411 and 412, but once again he passed over and continued numbering the next leaf 411 and 412. Quire 27, the last quire, is also lacking leaf 7, which would be pages 425 and 426, but it is passed over and the last leaf numbered 425 and 426.
Running Heads: Throughout. The name of the particular saint is written in the top margin in the middle of the leaf. In some instances, these have been lost due to cropping. However, see page 109 for the name Gerdrudis. In some instances the verso contains part of the title and the recto the rest. For example, page 34 (which is actually a verso) reads Passio S[ancti] and page 35 (a recto): Valentini Episcopi.
Lineation (ink quality, etc): The ink is a rich black color throughout and has not faded.
Initials: Are used.
Punctuation: The punctus is used throughout (see page 80, l. 25 in the Passio). The punctus elevatus is also used, but seems to indicate a less-than-full stop; see page 96, l. 8, in the text of the Passio Sanctorum Quadriginta Militum: Tunc duos iussit eos duci in carcerem! [punctus elevatus here] ut cogitaret aliquid de eis [punctus].
Capitals: Large red-ink capitals are used throughout as the initial letter with which to begin the saint’s life. For example, on page 31, a capital P (101 mm high × 68 mm wide) begins the Passio Valentini, with the opening word Propheta. In the Vita Sanctae Walpurge (p.393) Virginis, page 61, the text begins with a 70 × 70 mm capital D with the opening word Domino. Additionally, there are occasional uses of large red capitals scattered throughout the texts. For example, in the life of Saint Walpurga, there is a capital P (42 mm h × 38 mm w) beginning the word Postquam. There are smaller capitals in the Life of Gerdrudis. For example, see on page 112, line 7, Erat (12 mm h × 11 mm w) and scattered randomly throughout the MS; see page 158, line 24, Victoriosus (12 mm h × 20 mm w) in the Vita Sancti Leonis Pape. One section of the life of Saint Leo, which purports to indicate the miraculous signs after his burial, employs many of these small capitals. For example, on page 209, ten appear, most of which are 12 × 12 mm.
Historiated Capitals: None.
Rubrics: Incipits are rubricated in red ink, but explicits often are not. Page 224 contains the rubricated incipit Vita Sanctorum Alexandri et Athansii Episcoporum, but the explicit, written immediately above this incipit, is not rubricated and simply reads: Finit Passio Sancti Thrutperti [Heremite].
Corrections: The composition has been put together with care. Cuts in the parchment have been carefully sewn; see page 159 in the lower margin, where a 35-mm tear has been sewn, and page 119, where two such repairs have been made. Textual omissions are supplied in the margins. In the margin of page 88, the scribe has written the text of a passage to be inserted and has indicated with three dots in the margin and on the line where the insertion is to go. Another example of this use of dots is on page 334 with the word uiris (to be placed after the phrase domini †armenuis†) in the outside margin. Corrected letters are occasionally marked above the letter to be replaced with a dot below the offending letter. See page 127, in sancto exemplo radians, where the incorrect “e” in radiens has a dot beneath it and an “a” directly above it in the line. Sometimes entire words are simply careted in where they should be. See page 201, where the phrase in corruptorum is careted in before the word sacramentorum.
Marginalia: The margins are comparatively free from marginal annotations. However, there is a consistent use of the nota bene sign of the long, pointing finger.
Outside: 50 mm from drypoint ruled mark to edge of leaf
Top: average 20 mm
Bottom: average 55 mm
Gutter: average 25–30
Drypoint: The MS is entirely in drypoint. There are no lines for formatting text lines in the MS. The drypoint ruling consists of two vertical framing lines approximately 8 mm wide, which run the length of the leaf. There are two horizontal lines, also of 8 mm, which form the frame for the top and bottom lines.
Hands: There is only one hand in the MS for pages 1 through 423. The last two pages, 424 and 425, however, are in two different hands. The texts on page 424 are of the twelfth century, and copies of these texts were made in the thirteenth century on page 425. Page 424 contains the Salve Regina misericordie, Vigilate omnes, with neumes, Alma redemptoris mater, and ends fragmentarily. Page 425 contains the Iuxta trenum Jeremie [Trental of Jeremiah] … nec habebit iudicem, Vigilate omnes with neumes for singing the Salve (p.394) Regina … O dulcis Maria. The twelfth-century scribe wrote these items on page 424, and they were subsequently copied in a thirteenth-century hand on page 425.
Provenance: Einsiedeln or a related Swiss Benedictine house. There are no ownership attributions in the MS.
Binding: The MS is in its original medieval board binding with white suede-like leather stretched over the boards. The spine has two additional modern brown leather straps at the top and the bottom to strengthen the binding. The top is 18 mm wide and only goes 35 mm into the front and back of the board; the bottom strap is 32 mm wide and goes 45 mm onto the boards. In addition, the MS binding has two leather straps with clasps for closing the MS.
Meier, P. Gabriel, Heinrich von Ligerz Bibliothekar von Einsiedeln im 14. Jahrhundert (Leipzig: Harrassowitz, 1896), pp. 29, 56: dates the MS as XII cent.
———, Catalogus Codicum Manu Scriptorum qui in Bibliotheca Monasterii Einsidlensis, Vol. 1 (Einsideln: Harrassowitz, 1899), pp. 215–19: provides very abbreviated desription, dates it to twelfth cent. and lists contents.
Lang, Otto. Das Commune Sanctorum in den Missale-Handschriften und vortridentinischen Drucken der Stiftsbibliothek Einsiedeln (Ottobeuren: Winfried-Werk, 1970), pp. 8–15.
Albert Bruckner, Scriptoria Medii Aevi Helvetica: Denkmäler schweizerischer Schreibkunst des Mittelalters, 14 vols. (Geneva, 1935–78), V: p. 181: dates the MS “xii s.”
Manuscript Name: MS BN Latin 17626.
Subject: Thirteen saints’ lives for March. In the top margin of fol. 1r, in a hand of the sixteenth or seventeenth century, we read Vitae sanctorum q[ui] mense februar. In the top outer margin, badly faded, there is a list of the contents of the saints whose texts appear in the manuscript, beginning with [Vita] S. Yuentii and ending with S. Cyriaci.
Provenance: There are two ownership attributions in the margins on fol. 1r. They are in a seventeenth-century hand and read S. Corneille Compiègne in the top margin in black ink, and “Comp. 40 bis” at both the top and the bottom of the outer margin in black ink. Similar annotations concerning ownership provenance exist on fol. 1r in the sister manuscript BN Latin 17625, which was received by the Bibliothèque Nationale from the Benedictine house of Saint-Corneille Compiègne in 1802.
Contents: A selection of saint’s lives for the month of March. This volume is part of a much larger and no longer entirely extant legenda sanctorum. For example, BN Latin 17625 (v+ 261 + iv fols.) is, I believe, sister to this volume but not presently identified as such. The two codices, BN 17625 and BN 17626, are virtually identical in layout, quality of parchment, format, and rubrication, and the same scribal hands appear in both volumes. BN 17625 and 17626 also use the same rubricator for incipits as well as capitals (see fol. 62 capital Beatorum in BN 17625, a capital which, in style, is very similar to the Revocatus in the Passio in P). The codices share the same provenance, the Abbey of (p.395) Saint-Corneille in Compiègne (but see L. Bieler in bibliography). There is an ownership attribution (seventeenth century) in the front margin and on the last fol. 261v of BN Latin 17625, which cites Saint Corneille as the place of composition.
However, MS BN Latin 17625 is considerably larger, as it contains thirty-three lives and passions for the month of January. BN 17626 is smaller than one would suspect for a legenda sanctorum for March, and evidently material has been lost from the original composition. Assuming that these two volumes are part of a complete, but no longer extant, legenda sanctorum for the entire liturgical year, the original collection would have been massive, likely running to some dozen codices.
1. Fol. 1r: Sanctus Amandus (seventeen-line fragment, beginning “Alia quidem sunt multa que †pereura† dominus operari dignatus est nobis & quia incognita…. Anno incarnationis domini ihesu Christi dclxi In die[m] iiil †Epact† xv Concurr[it] iiil Termino xii KL aprlis pascha v KL aprlis Luna xxi [uil or iiiil?] id[us] febr die dominico luna i. Obit sancti Amandus plenus annorum circa xc.”)
2. Fols. 1r–4v: Sancti Yuenti
(p.396) 3. Fols. 4v–22v: Vita Beatae Euphrasie
4. Fols. 2v–25v: Passio Sancti Nestorii Episcopi et Martyris
5. Fols. 25v–31v: Vita vel Obitus Sancti Vodoali cognomento Benedictus
6. Fols. 32r–40v: Epitomes for March saints. It begins with an epitome of these saints for March. The epitomes average nine to twenty-one lines in length. The epitome for Perpetua begins: “In Mauritania ciuitate tuburbitanorum passio sanctarum martyrum Perptuae & Felicitatis.”…
7. Fols. 40v–41r: These fols. contain the festival calendar for the saints celebrated in March. The calendar list does not correspond to the saints’ narratives which follow and may indicate some damage to the manuscript. “Kl mensis martius habet dies xxxi Mar Romae sanctorum martyrus cclx temporibus Claudii qui via salaria harenam fodientes dampnati fuerant per Christi nomine.”
8. Fols. 41v–46r: Sancti Albini
9. Fols. 46r–55v: Sancti Adriani
10. Fols. 56v–64r: Sanctae Foce
11. Fols. 64r—71r: Passio Sanctae Felicitatis et Perpetuae
12. Fols. 72r–85v: Vita Sancti Patricii
13. Fols. 85v–115v: De Vita vel Miraculis Venerabilis Benedicti
14. Fols. 115v–122r: Passio Cyriaci
Note that Delisle’s list appears very much out of order. Could the MS have been rebound differently after he saw it?
Number of Folios: ii + 122 + ii. The end leaves are all nineteenth-century paper contemporary with the binding.
Material: It is good-quality parchment throughout. There is some deliberate pairing of flesh facing flesh leaves (f = flesh and h = hair; see fols. 29v–30r h; 30v–31r f; 31v–32r h; 53v–54r h, and 54v–55r f). Care was taken in the MS’s composition and layout. The parchment varies in quality. Many of the leaves are rather thick and stiff. The thicker fols. are more prevalent at the beginning (fols. 1–17) and at the end (fols. 112–122). These fols. are slightly thicker than the bulk of the interior leaves (fols. 62–64).
Columns: Single columns throughout.
Lines per Folio: 22
Average size: width 222 mm and 295 mm length
The size of the leaves is reasonably uniform and consistent throughout.
Pricking: There are no pricking holes in the manuscript.
Catchmarks: There are no catchmarks or quire signatures.
Foliation: 1–148, 156, 164. The MS was tightly rebound at the end of the nineteenth century. We read written on paper leaf ii: “Volume de 122 feuillets. Les feuillets sont mutilé 16 mai 1870.” The rebinding was so tight that it is impossible to determine, without damage to the manuscript, whether the original stitching was maintained after every fourth leaf. It is likely, as the first two gatherings and 15 do illustrate where the stitching separating the midpoint of the quires is visible. The quire number is followed by the fol. (p.397) number it begins on in parentheses: 1(1), 2(9), 3(17), 4(25), 6(41), 7(49), 8(57), 9(65), 10(73), 11(81), 12(89), 13(97), 14(105), 15(113), 16(119). The last leaf, 122, has been backed with paper on the verso side.
Quire Signatures: It appears that the first 14 quires are all 8’s, and the last two contain six and four leaves respectively.
Running Heads: There are no running headers.
Lineation (ink quality, etc): The ink is a clean dark color throughout (see fol. 64r) and has not faded.
Initials: There are eight large capitals which are not mere rubricated intials.
1. Fol. 1r, Postquam (50 mm h × 40 mm w)
2. Fol. 4v, In (92 × 25)
3. Fol. 32r, KL (40 × 45)
4. Fol. 41v, Religio (30 × 25)
5. Fol. 55v, Sanctorum (43 × 24)
6. Fol. 64r, Revocatus (55 × 75); the most decorated initial of all, employing black and red ink and some foliated design within the R.
7. Fol. 86v, Fuit (53 × 25)
8. Fol. 115v, Tempore (43 × 53).
Historiated Capitals: There is only one, a capital F in the shape of an animal’s body and the head of a beast on fol. 22v (100 mm h × 55 mm w).
Illuminations: There are no illuminations.
Repairs: There are contemporary repairs, stitching long diagonal cuts on fols. 24 and 25.
Rubrics: For incipits to lives, see fol. 56v, Sanctae Foce, and Passio. In the piece on Benedict, the names Petrus and Gregorius are rubricated throughout. Throughout the narrative on Benedict (fols. 85v–115v), small capitals (20 mm h × 15 mm w) are randomly rubricated (see fol. 104v).
Punctuation: Punctus exclusively. I found no use of the punctus elevatus. The punctus does not function like a modern period but often simply acts as a brief pause, rather like a comma.
Corrections: The manuscript is remarkably free from marginalia, corrections, and commentary. There is not a single marginal annotation in the entire 122 leaves of the manuscript. The single mark in the margin appears on 30v and is a bracket in the margin enclosing ll. 13–18, and in the margin there is written what appears to be the letters ol.
Erasures: I have only found eight erasures in the entire MS. On fol. 39r, l.4, the rubricator has written a small capital A in an erasure area. On fol. 46v, l.14, an erasure was made and the word “fingere” written in place; fol. 50v, l.17; fol. 72r, l.1; On fol. 105v, l.16, the scribe has scratched out and erased his repetition of the words above inter eos qui communionem; see also fol. 106v, l.20; fol. 107r, l.4; fol. 118v, l.13.
(p.398) In line: I have found only six corrections in a text line, and they are all made above the word in question. For example, in fol. 60v, l.12, the scribe has careted ti above the end of the word Omnipoten; on fol. 63r, l.16, above the line is in following quasi non fuisset; On fol. 78v, l.15, there is the single correction that appears to not be in the scribe’s hand: the word diebus is inserted above ego vobis cum sum omnibus [diebus]. The last three are all this sort of correction: fol. 81r, l.13; fol. 99v, l.3; fol. 101v, l.7.
Outside: varies between 35–50 mm; for example, fols. 21 & 87 are 40 mm.
Top: average of 30 mm but can be smaller (20 mm, fol. 21v), and at times larger (35 mm, fol. 93r).
Bottom: 60 mm, fols. 1r and 15v.
Gutter: 35 mm, fol. 88r.
Drypoint: Drypoint is used throughout. The layout of the drypoint consists of two outside vertical lines which run the height of the text. These vertical lines are 7 mm apart, and they are bisected by one horizontal line at right angles at the top and bottom of the grid.
Hands: There are three hands present. They are all carefully and professionally written and all of the same date. They are on the following fols.:
Hand one—Fol. 1–30v.
Hand two—Fol. 31r–48v.
Hand three—Fol. 49r–122v
Lowercase: average 2.5 mm
Descenders and ascenders: lowercase 4–5 mm.
Binding: Full tan leather bound at end of nineteenth century. The binding has four ribs across the spine. The top of the spine is dyed in purple, where Vitae Sanctorum is written in gold.
Delisle, Léopold, “Inventaire des manuscrits latins de Notre Dame et d’autres fonds conservés à la Bibliothèque nationale sous les nos 16719–18613,” Bibliothèque de l’École des chartes: Revue d’érudition, vol. 31 (1870): 464, 567: dates MS as “xii s.”
———, Le cabinet des manuscrits de la Bibliothèque Nationale. Vol. II. Paris, 1874, pp. 264–65.
Bieler, Ludwig, ed., “Libri Epistolarum Sancti Patricii Episcopi: Introduction Text and Commentary,” in Classica et Mediaevalia 11 (1950): 8.
Manuscript Name: Cotton Nero E.1, pt.1.
Provenance: Benedictine Priory of St. Mary of Worcester.
Contents: This manuscript is currently bound in two parts. I provide a detailed description of Part I only, since that contains the Passio text. Part I begins with two (p.399) parchment fols. (ff.1r–2v) providing a table of contents. The hand of the table of contents is seventeenth-century—almost certainly that of Richard James, Sir Richard Cotton’s librarian, who died in 1638—and in a black ink commonly used at the time. James lists 146 saints’ festivals, the majority of which are the passions of the saints. The original composition was a Passionale, which followed the liturgical calendar. James’s table begins with item number 1, the Vita sancti Oswaldi on fol. 3ra, and ends with item number 50 on fol. 208va, the Passio sancti Phylippi apostoli. The manuscript does contain some few texts that are not passions, however. For example, fol. 142rb contains Augustine’s sermon on the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mother. The Passio sanctarum Perpetuae et Felicitatis is listed as item number 37 [fol. 161ra].
There is a second table of contents, contemporary with the composition of the manuscript and likely the original one, which dates from the late eleventh century. This table begins on fol. 55ra. This festal list does not always agree with that of James on fol. 3. For example, the Passio sanctarum Perpetuae et Felicitatis in this, the original table of contents, is listed with an item number in Roman numerals followed by its liturgical date and (p.400) the name of the feast, thus: XXXII: Non mar passio sanctarum perpetue et felicitatis, but it is not James number 37. Moreover, this original table of contents records 108 items of Libri passionales, beginning with number 1, the passio sanctae Martinae, and ending with number 108, Vita sancti Hieronimi presbyteri. James’s table of contents, on the other hand, begins with the Vita sancti Oswaldi Ebor[acensis] Archiepi[scopi]; the passio sanctae Martinae is James number 5, and the life of Saint Jerome, Vita actus q[ue] B. Hieronymi presbyteri, is James number 119 and not 108 as in the original table.
These differences suggest that the manuscript had already been altered when James compiled his table, thus accounting for the differences in the two lists of contents. Comparing the original table of contents against that of James, we can speculate with some accuracy on what the original composition contained, however. Specifically, the eleventh-century table of contents does not list the first four items in James’s table:  fols. 1–23vb, Oswald;  fol. 23ra, Saint Ecgwin (the headers on this life are written in gold capitals);  fols. 35ra–52vb, Lanfranc’s, Life of Saint Swithun;  fol. 53va, de virtutibus sancti Andreae Apostoli (item 4 is in a different hand from the first three items). The first vita that both tables of contents have in common is that of the Passion of Saint Martin, which begins on fol. 55r.
While all four of the above items were written in the eleventh and twelfth centuries, there is nonetheless a question as to whether these initial four items (fols. 1–53v) were a part of the original composition, which begins on fol. 55r. The texts are not named in the eleventh-century table of contents, which itself appears more than ample to have filled a significant volume of liturgical festivals. It is more likely that these four items were added to this manuscript later, after the completion of the original composition (s.xii2). This surmise is strengthened by the fact that hand number four for fols. 53r–54v is from the second quarter of the twelfth century and thus at least a half century older than the principal hands in the manuscript. Other codicological evidence also strengthens this view. For example, the fol. containing the late eleventh-century table of contents (fol. 55r) shows darkening and wear, suggesting that it was originally at the beginning of a volume of the original passionale, and consequently, since it was used to locate individual texts, received greater wear. The manuscript was assembled in its present state during the Middle Ages, and items were added to it after the bulk of the composition was completed but before James saw it. Furthermore, the initial four selections that begin the present manuscript also differ from the texts which follow in their considerable length and subject matter. They are more typical of Vitae sanctorum, since they celebrate the saints’ deeds rather than their witness and suffering for the faith. The latter is typical in a passionale.
Material: Good-quality vellum. Although this manuscript has been partly damaged by the Cotton fire, there is very little loss of text. Some scribal glosses have been lost on fol. 13va in the outside margin, as the parchment shrank from the heat of the fire. The outer margins have likely shrunk approximately 25 mm. For example, the outer margin on fol. 86r is 19 mm at line 23 (almost midpoint), while it is 43 mm at the very bottom of this fol., a difference of 24 mm.
Number of Folios: There are at least three systems of fol. numbers throughout, and none original to the composition. I am following the latest foliation that is in pencil. An (p.401) example of the three numbering systems can be seen on fol. 102r. The modern pencil gives 102r, the next most recent in pen (eighteenth-century) states 100, and a somewhat earlier hand (c. early seventeenth-century?) but not medieval states 47. The foliation is not exact since, as I have suggested above, this is a reassembled manuscript and does not reflect its original state of composition.
Size: The size is h: 390–400 mm × w: 243–280 mm. The fols. vary in size a bit as they show a consistent pattern of being cut in a crescent-moon pattern from top to bottom. The center of the fol., can be 25 mm less than the top and bottom corner of the same fol. On average, the width of the upper right corner of the recto averages about 275 mm, while the middle of the fol. recto side is 257 mm and the lower recto corner is 275–80 mm. This cutting is consistent throughout the manuscript and may have been an effort to remove the charred outer margins (see Material below). Hence, the uppermost recto corner is slightly wider than the middle of the fol., and the lower recto corner is the widest.
Reconstructed Size: 410 mm × 280 mm.
Use: It was perhaps used for public reading in the monastery, like that in the refectory, or at chapter or for the second Nocturn in Matins, when such lives were typically read.
Pricking: While there is evidence of pricking, it was not used to lay out the individual lines for text (see fols. 30rb in the margin and 70rb in the margin, where the holes are approximately 25 mm apart). Pricking was used to establish the general grid outline for the outside margins and for the double columns.
Leaded Lines: are used infrequently for text guides (ff. 35r, 102r, and 208vb).
Drypoint: Drypoint ruling is the principal layout for lineation. Fols. 18r, 64v, and 164v have clearly visible drypoint for the text lines. The gutter in 164v still preserves the outline of a frame in drypoint 13 mm outside the nearest lettering. The right-hand column (b) on fol. 53r contains only fifteen lines of text, and while the remaining twenty-three lines are empty, the lines have been drypointed.
Outside 40 mm
Top 25 mm
Bottom 40 mm
Gutter 40 mm
The top margin averages 25 mm above the first line of text. However, these top margins do show some variation, particularly in those earlier fols. that exhibit the results of the fire and have lost their margins; see fol. 43r/v. The bottom margin averages 40 mm below the last line of text, though in some instances it is considerably larger, and fol. 37r has the largest margins in the manuscript at 58 mm. Gutter margins average 40 mm (see fol. 3r).
Columns: Two columns throughout (Part II, fols. 185v and 186r–v).
Lines per Folio: The fols. contain an average of forty-three lines in each column. This can sometimes vary, particularly when a new text is begun or ended and when the scribe is writing the incipit and explicit in slightly larger rubricated letters. For example, fol. 162r, containing the incipit to the Passio, illustrates this larger rubricated script and has fewer lines on the leaf. The rubricated letters are on average 2 mm larger than the script employed in the text.
(p.402) Line Width: They are approximately 100 mm per column. The middle margin, which separates the columns, is on average 17 mm wide.
Running Heads: The top margins of the fols. record the name of the item number and the saint or martyr in an insular script, the number and name corresponding to the original table of contents on fol. 55rv. Thus fol. 162v records in the top margin XXXii passio Perpetue et Felicitatis, which is also found on fol. 55ra. These headers are written in a late eleventh-century hand. Written across the top margins on fols. 28v and 29r in gold-lettered capitals is the title VITA SCI ECGWYNI EPI[SCOPI]. The capitals average 10 mm in height. These fols. (fols. 1–55) were not bound with this original volume, but all the fols. in this legenda are approximately the same size and share the same layout, rubrication, and ordinatio. This suggests that they were intended for a related composition.
Lettering: Every text begins with a large initial capital, often rubricated in red and green. See fol. 47r, in the “Life of Saint Swithun,” where the rubricator used two initial red capitals and two initial green capitals to begin the four paragraphs on that fol. The size of these rubricated capitals varies throughout the manuscript (see also fols. 44vab and fol. 45rab). The largest green capital is on average 40 mm tall, while the smallest is approximately 15 mm. On fol. 185ra in the incipit for the Vita sancti Guthlaci, the opening lines are rubricated in the standard red, but in addition the interior spaces of the letters are filled in with blue ink. Gold capitals are used by scribe number one alone. Fol. 23r has a beautiful capital E almost 33 mm tall beginning the name Eþelwinus. On Fol. 26r, beginning at the bottom of column a, and in the first nineteen lines of column b, every line begins with a gilded initial (5 mm high) of the first word of the sentence.
Historiated Capital: There is only one in the entire manuscript, a handsome capital R, the first letter in the word “Regnante” (150 mm × 150 mm) on fol. 55v, which begins the Life of Saint Martin. The initial contains what appear to be six dog- or bear-like faces; three eagle heads and one very large monster face shown swallowing the left descender of the R. The initial is illuminated in red, yellow, green, and blue and makes effective use of interlace design.
Hands: Part I. Hand one: fols. 1 & 2, seventeenth century (a list of the contents); hand two: fols. 3r–34v, 35r–52v, third quarter of the eleventh century; hand three: 35r–52v, third quarter of the eleventh century; hand four: fols. 53r–54v, second quarter of the twelfth century; hand five: fols. 55r–174v, third quarter of the eleventh century; hand six: 175r–208v (see below Anomalies in Calendar).
Part II: hand one, fols. 1–155v, 166ra–174vb, 177ra–180vb (these three sections are part of same composition as pt. I); hand two, 156ra–165a (Feast of St. Frideswide; not part of pt. I), 174vb–177vb; 187ra–188vb (first half thirteenth century); hand three, 181ra–186v (Old English cartulary from Westbury on Trym Monastery; see Ker); hand four, 189ra–222vb (mid-thirteenth century). Part III then contains three sections from the legenda passionalium from the second half of the eleventh century in part I, and three miscellaneous texts added to this collection. The bulk of the legendary material may have been completed by John of Worcester.
(p.403) Corrections: Although the texts in the passionalia were gone over by a contemporary for lacunae, spelling errors, line repetitions, omissions, and other forms of error, they are remarkably free from corrections. There are, to be sure, some corrections in the text. For example, on fol. 58ra, l. 22 the scribe has indicated with three dots that the usque which he has written in the middle column should be added to the end of the line. Spelling omissions are typically made above the word, as the addition of ter in the word subuertere (fol. 58va, l. 13), and similarly, te is indicated by a caret in the word potestate (fol. 114va, l.40). While there are curious spellings such as delebam for dolebam (fol. 162vb, l.6), the texts were written with care and hence seldom required corrections. For example, there are none in the Passio fols.
Fire Damage: There is some damage to the edges of the first thirty-two fols., but even here, save for the first three fols., there is only a slight loss of text in the lower right-hand corner margin. See fol. 4, lower outside corner, where eight lines of text are charred and shrunk but still readable. Those Cotton manuscripts that were not wholly consumed in the fire often suffered damage to the parchment leaves through shrinking and charring from the extreme heat. The conservators cut some of these leaves to get them to open and to lie flat (see fol. 6, l.31).
Binding: Part I is bound in full brown morocco (nineteenth century) and has the coat of arms of Cotton in gilt on the front board. The leather is tooled in the egg and dart motif along the outside edge.
Passio Text: The Passio Sanctarum Perpetuae et Felicitatis is listed as item number 37 [fol. 161ra]. The manuscript does contain some few texts that are not passions, however. For example, fol. 142 rb (l.15) contains Augustine’s sermon on the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mother. The Passio sanctarum Perpetuae et Felicitatis in this, the original table of contents, is listed with an item number in Roman numerals followed by its liturgical date and the name of the feast. It is number 32 in this calendar. The entry assigns it number 32 and reads: XXXII: Non mar[tis] passio s[an]ctaru[m] p[er]petue et felicitatis (James assigned it number 37).
Punctuation: The text of the Passio uses the punctus to indicate pauses and what appears to be a punctus elevatus after the words cum prosecutoribus (fol. 162ra). The punctus elevatus and the punctus are used commonly throughout. The hand is not heavily abbreviated.
Collation: Mainly quaternions of 8: 1–58, 64 (43r), 74(51r), 8–228, 23–249, 25–268. The scribe has taken the item numbers of every calendar entry in fol. 55r and 55v and then written these corresponding item numbers with the accompanying text, when the texts appear in the manuscript.
Marginalia: There is a glossator’s hand throughout, written in both side margins and interlinear in a small but good clear hand of the late eleventh century. The largest letters made by the glossator are 2 mm, and the common lowercase letters are, on average, 1 mm. He glosses a wide variety of issues, from expounding on major themes to expressing terse opinions in the various texts. While there is evidence of this glossator throughout (see fol. 189rab), the overwhelming percentage of annotations are restricted to the first twenty-seven fols. of the manuscript. For example, on fol. 25r, columns a and b, the glossator has (p.404) made a considerable number of marginal and interlinear glosses. At times the glossator provides, in addition to comments, synonyms for words in the text above the word in question. For example, on 25ra, line 2, we read in the text clarius and above it glossed we read splendidius, and in line 3 fol. 25ra, we read in the text potestatem and the gloss immediately above reads virtutem. It may be that the glossator is providing variant readings from another exemplar. He also writes in the liturgical calendar, glossing interlinearly, whether the monastery possesses a text in English. For example, above the entry for Passio sanctorum Iohannis & Pauli, fol. 55rb, he writes habeo anglia. This is certainly evidence of his intimacy with the monastic library.
Calendars: Part I begins with two parchment fols. (ff.1r–2v) listing the table of contents in a seventeenth-century hand—almost certainly that of Richard James, Sir Richard Cotton’s librarian, who died in 1638—and written in a black ink commonly used at the time. There is, however, a late eleventh-century table of contents (hereafter calendar) which differs in part from James and suggests that the collection was disassembled prior to James’s study of it. The twelfth-century table of contents, labeled “Incipiunt Capitula,” begins on fol. 55r. This is a festal calendar that was made to identify saints’ feasts for at least two volumes of a larger, no longer extant work. It begins with the Passio sanctae Martinae (to which it assigns the Roman numeral I, corresponding to James number 5). The actual Passion of Saint Martina begins on fol. 55vb, reading Regnante primum omnium in ambitu totius. The hand of the calendar is contemporary with the passion texts in both parts I and II, that is, the second half of the eleventh century. The letterforms—particularly the lowercase c, g, a, e, and p and majuscules p, s, u, and a—are the same as the hand of the text for Saint Martina. The calendar lists 108 lives, beginning with number 1 in part I, Kl. Ian[uarius] Passio sanct[ae] Martinae u[irginis] and ending with number 108, Vita sancti Hieronimi pr[es]bi[teri] found in Part II on fols. 149ra–151ra. That the calendar was intended to locate texts in what was a multivolume work is borne out by the fact that Part I ends with the Life of Saint Philip the Apostle, in the calendar listed as XLiiii Philippus Apostolus Domini (but James number 50), and the calendar entry for Part II ends with fols. 149ra–151ra, with the last item recorded in the calendar as Cviii, iii kl Octob[ri] Vita sancti Hieronimi presybteri (to which it assigns the Roman numeral Cviii, but James number 119). There would have been at least four other volumes, as these two present codices (parts I and II) represent only part of what was designed as a passionale for the entire ecclesiastical year.
Although the calendar’s last item ends on fol. 151ra, Part II continues with the Feast of All Saints (fol. 151ra), which lists in summary fashion a variety of anonymous and named saints, often as simple as: Puer quidam n[omin]e Petrus officium recepit manus dexterae (f.152rb) or anonymous: Puer quidam regine coloseo habens dexteram manum aridam cum toto latere & pede (f.152ra). This calendar is occasionally at odds with the actual texts in the present composition and does not always agree with James. The discrepancies between the calendar and the actual texts allow us an insight into the original composition and provide evidence for the scope of this collection. The simplest differences between the original calendar and James are sequential ones. Part I ends with the Life of Saint Philip the Apostle. It appears in the calendar as XLiiii Philippus Apostolus Domini (p.405) (fol. 208r–v, but James number 50). The last item recorded in the calendar is Cviii, iii kl Octb[ri] Vita sancti Hieronimi presybteri (to which it assigns the Roman numeral Cviii, James number 119). Other entries also show similar lack of correspondence, which points to dismemberment of the original volumes after the composition was completed and before James saw it.
Other differences between the original calendar and the extant texts provide additional evidence for the existence of a large multivolume work completed in Worcester in the late eleventh century. For example, an entry in the calendar for item number 38 (James 42) is XXXviii v Id apr[ilis] Vita sancta Marie Aegyptiae.
This entry correctly identifies that same life in part I on fol. 179ra–184vb. The next item recorded in the calendar, number 39 (James 44), appears as XXXIX ii Non apr Vita Sancti Ambrosii Mediolanensis. However, this sequence does not agree with the actual text extant in part I, which is the Vita sancti Guthlaci (part I, fol. 185ra–196ra). The life of Saint Ambrose actually follows the life of Guthlac, and it appears on fols. 196ra–202ra (Incipit vita sancti Ambrosii Mediolanensis Urbisepiscopi II Non Apr). There is no entry in this calendar for the feast of Saint Guthlac. What do these differences reveal about the way the present text is compiled? Might the compiler of the calendar have simply missed the text of Guthlac in his construction of the calendar from the actual texts of the manuscript? This is unlikely, as Guthlac is eleven fols. long and has a bold header on every leaf identifying it as the life of Saint Guthlac. What is more likely is that Guthlac was not in the compilation when the calendar for this volume of the compilation was written, and hence Guthlac was not part of this composition or was intended for another volume, no longer extant, of this legenda. Evidence for this hypothesis is strengthened by the fact that the life of Saint Guthlac begins a new gathering (fol. 185r, quire 238), and it is in the same hand as that of the scribe of Mary of Egypt and Ambrose, which precede and follow it respectively. Guthlac was certainly contemporary with the majority of texts in parts I and II and was written for this large collection of saints’ lives. The Guthlac piece was not in the present volume when this volume and the calendar were first compiled, but was added to the present collection after the calendar for parts I and II was written and the manuscript reassembled. It is difficult to know when this discrepancy between calendar and text took place, but it was certainly part of the present composition when James made his table of contents, as he lists Guthlac as following Mary of Egypt and immediately before Saint Ambrose.
There is further evidence to suggest that texts were added to the two manuscript volumes (parts I and II) after the calendar was written. The last life that is listed in the calendar and one that is actually in part I is the passion of Saint Vitalis (fols. 206va–207vb). It is, however, not the last text in part I. The actual two last texts of part I are the Passion of Saint James and the Passion of Saint Phillip (Incipit passio sa[n]cti Iacobi ap[osto]li fr[at]ris d[omi]ni, and XLiiii Philippus Apostolus D[om]ini, fol. 208rb; James no. 49). Neither text is mentioned in the calendar. Conversely, the next three texts the calendar mentions are the feasts of the Inventio of the Holy Cross, Saint Alexander, and Saint Jude. They are not in either of the present two manuscript volumes, nor are they mentioned by James, and they have been crossed through in a later hand in the calendar. They must have appeared in (p.406) another no longer extant volume. In fact, part II begins with an explicit to the life of Saint Gordian (a fragment), with the first complete text being the life of Saint Pancratius. The calendar does record entries for Gordian and Pancratius.
This seemingly small discrepancy, however, allows us to conjecture that the surviving two volumes were only part of a larger multivolume collection of libri passionales, perhaps as large as six large manuscript volumes composed in the late eleventh century. They were later dismembered, perhaps in the mid-sixteenth century, and reassembled in the early seventeenth century by an antiquarian. An unreliable corrector (his hand is early, though postmedieval) has tried to emend the discrepancies between the calendar and the actual texts. Not finding the calendar agreeing with the texts in part I, that is, not finding certain texts present, he drew a line through the entry for the Vitalis, the “Inventio crucis,” and the next three calendar entries. It seems unlikely that he would correct the calendar without reference to the actual text. Yet he also crosses out the item listed as XLiii passio sancti vitalis mar et sanctorum protasii et geruasii, but this is in the text and is written as an incipit and has a bold running head on fol. 206va and fol. 207va respectively. The postmedieval corrector notes incorrectly, in an interlinear gloss, that the Passio Sancti Iacobi is actually to be found as item 73, and he writes the title directly above the calendar entry for the Seven Sleepers for the 6th calends of August, Passio sanctorum vii dormientium.
Let us next briefly examine James’s table of feasts, which appears in the first two fols. in part I. James lists 146 saints’ festivals, the majority of which are the passions of the saints, and all of which he has numbered in Arabic numerals. James’s table begins with item number 1, the Vita s[an]cti Oswaldi Eborac. Archiepi (he provides the title for the actual incipit in part I, on fol. 3ra, the Prologus De Vita et Virtute Gloriosissimi Archipresulis Oswaldi; the actual Vita begins on 3va). Although part I begins with the Vita sancti Oswaldi, Oswald’s feast is not mentioned in the calendar on 55r, which lists, as I indicated, 108 named feasts. Indeed, the texts of the first four saints’ lives (Oswald, Ecgwin, Swithun, and Andreas) that begin part I and precede the liturgical calendar are not mentioned in the calendar, and this placement suggests that they were not part of this volume but that these initial leaves (fols. 1r–54v) were taken from a different volume in this collection and reassembled here some time later, certainly by the time James worked on the manuscript.
 fols. 1–23vb, Oswald;  fol. 24ra, Vita S[anc]ti Ecgwini (the capital letters which frequently begin new sections of this life are written in gold capitals);  fols. 35ra–52vb, Lanfranc’s Vita S[an]cti Suithini Epi[scopi];  fol. 53va de virtutibus sancti Andreae Apostoli. (Item 4 is in a different later hand from the first three items. A stub 6.3 mm wide is in the margin between 53 and 54 and indicates that a leaf is missing. Two leaves are missing between 54 and 55, and thus the text of Saint Andreas is fragmentary.) The last line of Andrew on fol. 54rb reads “Et fiat nobis una dominus ex omnibus.” The first vita that both tables of contents have in common is that of the “Passion of Saint Martin,” which begins on fol. 55r.
While all four above items were written in the late eleventh century, there is nonetheless a question as to whether these initial four items (fols. 1–53v) were a part of the original composition. The texts are not named in the extant eleventh-century liturgical (p.407) calendar, which itself contains entries more than sufficient to have filled two significant volumes of saints’ feasts. I surmise that each set of volumes had a liturgical calendar very like the one which survives in Part 1. It is more likely that these four items were part of different volumes of the same composition (c.s.X112) for which we have no surviving liturgical calendar. Other codicological evidence also strengthens this view. For example, the fol. containing the late eleventh-century table of contents (fol. 55r) shows darkening from wear, suggesting that it was originally at the beginning of a volume of the original passionale, and consequently, since it was used to locate individual texts, it received greater wear. The collection of saints’ feasts was finished in the late eleventh century. Items were added to various volumes after the composition was completed but long before James saw it. Furthermore, the initial four selections that begin the present manuscript also differ from the texts which follow in their considerable length and subject matter. They are more typical of Vitae sanctorum, since they celebrate the saint’s deeds rather than the witness and suffering for the faith which are typical of a passionale, and they may not have been written for inclusion in the libri festiviales.
James concludes his table of contents with item number 146, Passio sancti Stephani martyris sub Galieno Imperatore (the title he provides for the incipit in part II, fol. 220ra, Passio Sancti Stephani Mart IIII Nonas [Aug]). In James’s table, the contents of part I consist of fifty lives and passions of the saints. He ends his contents of part I with an item numbered 50 on fol. 208va, the Passio sancti Phylippi apostli. His next item 51, the Passio Sancti Pancratii martyris, is his record of the first item in part II. Actually, Part II of Cotton Nero E.1, fol. 1ra, begins with the last line from the Passio sancti Gordini Mart. simul cum domino patre in unitate Spiritus Sancti in saecla saeclorum, Amen. It is then immediately followed by the life of Saint Pancratius, which begins Incipit Passio Beati Pancrati Mart[yris] Mense Maio Die XII. Comparing these feasts and their incipits against the original calendar in part I, we find that Gordinius is item XLvii. James does not list it, and Pancratius is item XLvii in the original calendar (James number 51). Volume 2 also has been disassembled and put together somewhat haphazardly, as the saints’ lives are clearly out of order. These differences show that the manuscript had already been significantly altered when James compiled his table, thus accounting for the differences in the two lists of contents and the fact that the two volumes we have are part of a larger multivolume liber festivialis for the entire church year composed in Worcester Abbey sometime after the Conquest and before 1200.
Calendar Anomalies. The twelfth-century table of contents, presently placed at fol. 55r, was the probable beginning of this passionale, or of a similar book, which was part of a multivolume legenda sanctorum that subsequently was broken into pieces. It began with the Passio sanctae Martinae and continued through to the end with the Life of Saint Philip the Apostle (XLiiii Philippus Apostolus Domini).
The original calendar is wrong in places and was corrected by a contemporary hand. For example, the entry beginning XLiiii, Inventio Sancte crucis in the calendar does not agree with the text, as the text actually in the manuscript at that placement is the Passio sancti Iacobi apostoli, fol. 207vb (written this way in rubrics in the actual incipit in the text), and followed by the last text (written in the actual text as an incipit in rubrics as: (p.408) XLiiii Philippus Apostolus Domini, fol. 208rb). In fact, there is no liturgical calendar entry for the feast of Saint Philip. Note again that the corrector, after having drawn a line through the entry for the Inventio crucis, also draws a line through the next three calendar entries, since they too do not correspond to what is in the text. In fact, the corrector notes, in an interlinear gloss, that the Passio Sancti Iacobi is actually to be found as item 73, and he writes this in directly above the calendar entry for the Seven Sleepers for the 6th calends of August, Passio sanctorum vii dormientium. It does not seem likely that he would correct the calendar without reference to the actual text. Yet he also crosses out the item listed as xliii passio sancti vitalis mar et sanctorum protasii et geruasii, though this is in the text; it is written as an incipit and also appears as a bold running head on fol. 206va and fol. 207va respectively. This corrector’s hand is an early one and appears contemporary with the hand of the scribe who wrote the actual calendar. There are other problems with the calendar. Item XXXVI, for example, has been left blank, and in fact a new scribe begins writing on fol. 175r and does not list the calendrical item number with the running heads—he still lists the names—for any of the subsequent texts he completes.
Smith, Thomas, Catalogus Librorum Manuscriptorum Bibliothecae Cottonianae (Oxford, 1696), p. 58. He lists all the items (145 of them, concluding with the “Passio S. Stephani, martyris”) but has absolutely nothing to say about the manuscript itself. See Smith’s account of the Cotton fire at Ashburnham House on October 23, 1731, pp. 25–46.
Planta, J., Catalogue of the Manuscripts in the Cottonian Library Deposited in the British Library (London, 1802), p. 239: “Codex membraneus in fol. crassiori; constans foliis 428. cujus pars longe maxima scripta fuit A.D. circiter 1000.” Planta then lists the items.
Levinson, W., “Conspectus Codicum Hagiographicorum,” Monumenta Germaniae Historica Scriptorum Rerum Merovingicarum, vii, 1920, who dates the MS “saec xi,” pp. 601–02.
Ker, N. R., “Membra Disiecta,” 2nd series. The British Museum Quarterly no. 4 (1940): 82, dates the MS to mid-eleventh century.
Ker, N. R., “Hemmings Cartulary,” in Studies in Medieval History Presented to F. M. Powicke (1948), pp. 65 ff. Ker’s essay concerns fols. 181–84.
Ker, N. R., “Salisbury Cathedral Manuscripts and Patrick Young’s Catalogue,” Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Magazine Liii (December 1949), p. 179; and Ker’s discussion in the Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy, vol. 30, C. pp. 310, description on p. 326.
McIntyre, E. A., “Early Twelfth-Century Worcester Cathedral Priory, with Special Reference to the Manuscripts Written There” (PhD diss., University of Oxford, 1978), p. 204) for provenance.
Jackson, P., and Lapidge, M., “The Contents of the Cotton-Corpus Legendary,” in Holy Men and Holy Women: Old English Prose Saints’ Lives and their Contexts, ed. P. Szarmach (Albany, N.Y., 1996), pp. 131–46. (They provide an inventory of the original contents and cross list them with their BHL number).
(p.409) Wright, C. J., Sir Robert Cotton as Collector: Essays on an Early Stuart Courtier and His Legacy (The British Library: London, 1997).
Gameson, Richard, The Manuscripts of Early Norman England (c.1066–1130) (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999), item number 397, p. 101. “Additions to s.ximed Legendary.” He also indicates that there are “Extensive corrections to original text, s.xii1.” He says it is a “companion” to Cambridge, Corpus Christi College, 9 (no.54 above).
Tite, C. G., The Early Records of Sir Robert Cotton’s Library (London: The British Library, 2003), pp. 138–39.
Manuscript Name: Salisbury Cathedral MS 221.
Provenance: Salisbury Cathedral. Ker believes it is possibly “the work of the canons established by St. Osmund in 1089” and a scribe he has identified as “A.” See Ker 1949 and 1992.
Date: Late eleventh century.
(p.410) Contents: The manuscript contains a later medieval liturgical calendar, possibly mid-thirteenth century (fol. ii). This list of festivals does not give the item numbers preceding the texts, which we see rubricated in the fols. (fol. 164v). There is also a seventeenth-century table of contents (fols. iii–iv) in the hand of Bishop Thomas Barlow (ca. 1655), written on paper, which lists sixty items, beginning with the Passio sanctae Martinae martyris and ending with the Passio Pria[miani] et Feliciae (fol. 275r). Also written on fol. iiir in Barlow’s hand is “Bp. Fell .” The manuscripts were in Bishop Fell’s possession from sometime after 1679 until his death in 1686. A complete listing and discussion of the sixty-seven items contained in MS 221 is available in Zettel and Weber (see bibliography). The Passio text is fols. 165v–170r.
Collation: See Ker, Medieval MSS, IV: 257–62.
Use: It was perhaps used for public reading in the monastery, like that in the refectory, at chapter, or for the 2nd Nocturn in Matins, when such lives were typically read.
Number of Folios: iv + 278.
Material: Parchment. Although the quality is good, the scribes did not hesitate to use damaged leaves, some with substantial holes (fols. 98 and 106). The text was then written around the tears. The leaves are noticeably darker from 225r on. A number of fols. show medieval stitching used to repair damage to the leaves (fol. 48).
Drypoint: Drypoint is used throughout; see fol. 98rv.
Lines per Folio: The leaves average thirty-six lines.
Columns: Single columns are used throughout.
Pricking: The leaves were pricked, and the space between outside margin pricking holes is 9 mm; see fol. 70. The top margins also show the pricking holes used to draw the vertical drypoint lines for the grid which established the outer limits of the text; see fol. 56.
Abbreviations: Standard for the period.
Catchmarks: While uncommon on manuscripts of this date, there are catchmarks for quires 3–8; for example, see fol. 48v, where the catchmark and the quire number uis vi is barely visible on the bottom of the leaf near the gutter margin. See also fol. 88v, where the catchmark survives, but the quire number is absent, voluptatibus.
Outside: average 60 mm from end of outer drypoint vertical frame to edge of leaf
Top: varies from 32 mm (fol. 130r) to 17 mm (fol. 218v); average 25 mm
Bottom: average 60 mm, but can be as large as 70 mm (f. 193v)
Gutter: average 17 mm.
MS Size: 360 mm h × 250 mm w. This is the manuscript’s original size, as there is no evidence that it was cropped.
Columns: The text is in single columns throughout, which measure on average 155 mm wide by 260/80 mm high.
Running Heads: These are very infrequent but do appear in some top margins; see fols. 3v–4r, Passio Sanctae Ma[r]tinae.
Capital Lettering: There are rubricated initial capitals, in red only, that begin many of the Passiones and Vitae. The capital initials in the incipits average about 20 mm tall and are (p.411) normally rubricated (capital I on fol. 80v; capital M on fol. 128r, 20 mm × 29 mm; fol. 164v, capital A 22 mm × 30 mm). There are instances where there is no rubrication and the incipit and explicit are in the same ink which the scribe is using; see fol. 223r. The rubrics seem to be in the same hand as the scribe who is responsible for the individual leaf where they appear.
Historiated Capitals: None.
Corrections: Although not heavily corrected, there is evidence of a careful reading of the texts and the hand of a contemporary corrector throughout. The preponderance of corrections and glossing is after fol. 210r. Corrections are typically above the word (fol. 77v, l.11). There are faint pen scribbles in an old hand in the outside margins throughout the manuscript (see fols. 57v and 210r).
Punctuation: There is the occasional use of the punctus elevatus (fol. 165v, l.1), semicolon (fol. 165v, l.17), and period (fol. 165v, l.5).
Hands: Multiple. There are a number of hands in the manuscript. For example, on fol. 33v the scribe skillfully changed the ductus and the size of his script in the last four lines, possibly to accommodate the exigencies of his exemplar.
Binding: Spine in twentieth-century brown leather, with the four corners in the same material.
Ownership: There are no ownership marks in the manuscript except for the name Bp. Fell and on fol. iir the stamp of the Bodleian Library, which had possession of the manuscript from 1650 until 1984. This manuscript, along with six others, two of which (SC no. 8687, olim Fell 3 now Salisbury 223, and SC No. 8688, olim Fell 1 now Salisbury 222) comprise this large Passionale. The history of the manuscript since the seventeenth century is fascinating. It was only returned to Salisbury on 5 August 1985, having been absent since it (along with MSS 222 and 223 and three other Salisbury manuscripts) was borrowed by James Ussher, Archbishop of Armagh, on 30 September 1640. Ussher’s efforts to return the manuscripts were frustrated by the Civil War. However, on 14 November 1650 he gave these manuscripts to William Bell, who was instructed to give them to Richard Baylie, president and a fellow of St. John’s College and Dean of Salisbury. Baylie in turn gave the manuscripts to the Bodleian Librarian, Thomas Barlow, “until the Deane of Sarum, and the chapter there shall call for them.” Two of the volumes that Ussher borrowed (numbers 2 and 5) were not returned to Dean Baylie, since Ussher’s London residence was ransacked. One of these volumes is now Trinity College Dublin manuscript 174, and the other is lost. The dean and chapter tried to recover their manuscripts as early as April 17, 1679. After some delay, Thomas Hyde, the Bodleian librarian, replied and said that the curators had agreed to return them to Salisbury, but they requested that the learned John Fell (1625–86), Dean of Christ Church and Bishop of Oxford, be allowed to collate them before their return. Fell’s request of these libri passionales is a curious one, as he was no friend of Rome or of its repertory of pious hagiographies. Fell likely received the three manuscripts, in accordance with his request to see them (Bodleian SC no. 30248), sometime after 1679 and kept them until his death on 10 July 1686, when his executor returned them to the Bodleian Library with the rest of Fell’s books later in that (p.412) same year. They were subsequently catalogued as manuscripts Fell 1, 3, and 4 Vitae Sanctorum. There were some efforts on the part of Salisbury Cathedral to see to the return of the manuscripts, but to no avail until the Dean of Salisbury contacted the Bodleian Librarian on 18 April 1984 and requested their return, citing the history of their disappearance. The curators of the Bodleian Library agreed and, asking that the transfer not be publicized, acknowledged Salisbury’s rightful ownership. Accordingly, on 5 August 1985, the Dean of Salisbury, the chancellor and the Salisbury Cathedral librarian drove to Oxford to fetch the manuscripts which had been missing for 345 years. I am most grateful to Miss Susan Eward, the Salisbury Cathedral librarian, for her unpublished typescript of the books’ history.
Salisbury MS 223 (SC 8687, olim Bodley Fell 3) is a companion to Trinity College Dublin MS 174.
Gallandii, Andrea, Bibliotheca Veterum Patrum Antiquorumque Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum postrema Lugdunensi multo locupletior atque accuratior, vol. 2 (Venice: Joannis Baptistae Albrithii Hieron. Fil., 1766). Gallandi prints an edition of the Passio with Holstenius and Valesius’s notes (pp. 167–73), with variant readings taken from the Salisbury manuscript. Gallandi argues that the martyrs were not killed in Thuburbo Maius (3. xiii), that the text is not Montanist (6. vi), that it was written during the reign of Septimus Severus in or near 203 and not during that of Valerius (4. xiv), and that even though the style of the autobiographical sections is inimitable (a Perpetua & Saturo scriptam fuisse nemo infitiari posset, 5.v), Tertullian likely wrote some of it. Gallandi cites remarks made by ancient and medieval authors about the Passio (8. viii). Gallandi’s scholarship is still of value.
Thompson, E. Maunde, Catalogue of the Manuscripts in the Cathedral Library of Salisbury (London: Spottiswood & Co., 1880), pp. 43–4.
Craster, H. H. E., and N. Denholm-Young, eds., A Summary Catalogue of Western Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library at Oxford (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1937): II, part 2, Summary Catalogue number 8689 (olim Fell 4 now Salisbury 221), pp. 1211–13. Contains a description of the MS.
Ker, N. R., “Salisbury Cathedral Manuscripts and Patrick’s Young’s Catalogue,” The Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Magazine 53 (1949): 154.
Ker, N. R., Medieval Manuscripts in British Libraries, 4 vols. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1977): IV, Paisley-York, 257–62, for a complete description of the manuscript.
Zettel, P. H., “Ælfric’s Hagiographic Sources and the Latin Legendary Preserved in B.L. MS Cotton Nero E i + CCCC MS 9 and Other Manuscripts” (PhD diss., University of Oxford, 1979): see pp. 15–27. Zettel provides a complete list of the contents and a discussion of the texts.
Ker, N. R., “The Beginnings of Salisbury Cathedral Library,” in Books, Collectors and Libraries: Studies in the Medieval Heritage, ed. Andrew G. Watson (London: The Hambledon Press, 1985), pp. 143–73.
(p.413) Weber, Teresa, Scribes and Scholars at Salisbury Cathedral c.1075–c.1125 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992), itemizes contents of 221 on pp. 156–57.
Manuscript Name: BL Cotton Otho D.viii.
Subject: Passionale (fols. 2r–174a).
Date: s.xii2. Fols. 174 to 269 are s.xiv2.
Provenance: Christ Church, Canterbury.
Contents: Fol. 1v contains a table of contents in the hand of Sir Robert Cotton’s librarian, Richard James. Sir Robert Cotton’s signature is in the bottom margin of fol. 8r for the feast of Saint John the Apostle: “Ro. Cotton (Bruceus).” The festal calendar following the liturgical calendar appears on fols. 2r–7v. The Cotton fire severely damaged this manuscript, and many of the items are lost and rebound incorrectly (see Fire Damage). For example, the festal days for the month of January are mostly lost. The first item in the volume is the feast of Saint John the Apostle, beginning with the incipit Cum Traianus Romanorum and followed by the feast of Sanctae Brigide Virginis, traditionally celebrated (p.414) on 1 February. Despite the ravages of the fire, it is still evident that this was a select MS, as folio gilding is present in majuscules and incipits.
Collation: Impossible to provide a collation because the MS was so badly burned in the fire.
Use: For public reading in the monastery, like that in the refectory, or at chapter, or for the 2nd Nocturn in Matins, when such lives were typically read.
Liturgical Calendar: There are two tables of contents in the MS. The original twelfth-century table on fols. 1v–7v is a badly burned calendar of the passiones. Fol. 1r in the hand of Richard James, Sir Robert Cotton’s librarian, also contains a table of contents, which provides the item number in Arabic numerals of the passions followed by the name of the text. James also lists entries for Annales Nicholai Trevet a Rege Stephano ad annum Domino 1307 and a Bruto anno domini 1388. The twelfth-century calendar is written in single columns and although badly burned still shows its original splendor. The names of the saints are colored in red. Gilding was used in the lettering on the O for Octave, on the initial S in Sancta, Sanctus, Sanctarum or Sanctorum, and on the foliate tendrils which curl up the inside margin.
The foliate–like scrollwork moves down the interior margin in blue and gold, with foliating leaves of gold branching off the vine. Roundels (25 mm in diameter), which contain well-drawn human figures, mark the seasons. Fol. 4v, the figure for June, is drawn wielding an agricultural instrument with a long handle. The roundel and icon for August (fol. 5v) shows a man winnowing, beating the grain with a winnowing stick. Signs of the zodiac appear on the verso side of some of the months. For example, October (fol. 6v) has a scorpion inside a roundel.
Material: Vellum and of good quality.
Number of folios: 269.
Reconstructed Size: 265–70 mm × 175–185 mm. Due to fire damage, few fols. in the MS have their original size. This reconstructed size is based on one of the larger fols. in the manuscript fol. 95. The top margin of 95rv measures 18 mm above the first line, and it appears the bottom margin was approximately18 mm (see fol. 58r 18 mm). The fols. average thirty-eight lines of text, each of which is approximately 5 mm high with a space of 1 mm between lines of text (see fol. 100r), giving approximately 234 mm for text alone. Adding to this the top and bottom margins gives 260/270 mm for height. The width is based on an average from a number of fols. Column a on fol. 115r is well preserved and measures 70 mm. The open space between columns a and b is 15 mm. Assuming that column b (which is damaged by the fire on that same fol.) was the same width, we would have a total text width of 140. Unfortunately, the gutter margin and the outside margins on fol. 115r have been damaged by the fire and cropped. However, fol. 147 maintains something of its gutter margin, which measures at its widest 15 mm. Allowing for some shrinkage from the heat, I assume that both the gutter and outside margins were at least 20 mm. Hence the width of the fols. would have been approximately 175–185 mm.
Columns: Double columns throughout; width of columns 70 mm with thirty-eight lines per column.
Pricking: There is some evidence that the leaves were pricked in the page layout. For example, fol. 107r in the inside margin (gutter) shows prick marks. However, the outside (p.415) margin has been so greatly damaged that there are none visible. With the possible exception of fol. 109r, there are no prick marks visible on the outside margins. This surface of the MS was exposed to the greatest heat and hence suffered the greatest damage.
Leaded Format Lines: They are used but not consistently throughout the manuscript. Leaded lines are visible for the vertical layout and for each line of text on fols. 8r through 93r, but there are none on fol. 95r. Fol. 45r illustrates clearly the space dividing the columns a and b with three vertical framing lines. Two vertical ink lines lay out the inside gutter margin frame and two the outside margin. There is no leaded lineation from 174r through 254v. Lineation resumes again on 256r through 267r. Fols. 267v through 269v (the final fol.) are too damaged to read.
Catchmarks: There is no evidence of catchmarks or quire signatures.
Quire Signatures: None.
Foliation: Since the MS has been dismembered and is so badly fire-damaged, it is impossible to provide this with any certitude.
Running Heads: The texts do have running heads written in the top margins. The titles of the respective works are written so that they cover two fols. For example, on fol. 114v we read Gregorii, and on the facing fol. 115r we read pape. In those instances when the top margins have been severely cropped (perhaps to remove charred parchment), we have lost the heading. Thus, fol. 97v does not have Perpetue but the facing fol. 98r reads Et Felicitatis. However, on fol. 98v, we do read Perpetue and its facing fol. 99r has Et Fel[icitatis].
Lettering: The saints’ lives frequently begin with a rubricated initial capital incipit and an explicit (see 103vb). Because of the severe fire damage, many of these are lost or impossible to read. For example, fol. 97r, which contains some of the text of the Passio, rubricates the first letter in the word beginning chapter 2, line 1 of the Passio, Apprekennsi (Apprekennsi sunt adolescentes catechumini), as a capital A measuring 50 × 39 mm at the base of the A. The A is decorated in blue, green, and red ink and with foliation. The spelling of the verb apprehendo is distinctive. Although the explicit on fol. 100va is badly damaged and shrunken and has a hole immediately below it, one can still read the rubricated Explicit Passio Sanctarum Perpetue et Felicitatis. There is a handsome, albeit workmanlike, initial B on fol. 169ra for the feast of Saint Wilfrid, Bishop. It is done simply in red, green, tan, and blue and measures h mm 78 × w 58 mm. The leaves also show rubricated capitals at the start of a line that the rubricator thought significant. See fol. 106rb, the capital M (h 15 mm × w 15 mm). Rubricated paragraph markers begin on fol. 174r (scribal hand number 3) and continue through to 233vb. There is no rubrication from 234r through to the end fol. 269r, and there are no rubricated initial majuscules after fol. 173va. The Annals of Nicholas Trevet (c. 1257–c. 1334) begin on fol. 174ra.
Historiated Letters: There are illuminated, decorated, and historiated intials throughout. Rubricated capitals as the initial letter introduce the first line of each narrative. There is a handsome historiated initial G on fol. 104ra (h 70 mm × w 65 mm) drawn in concentric circles of red, blue, green, and a gold-tan, containing the figure of a headless dog. Damage to the fol. has caused it to lose its head.
Corrections: There is a corrector’s hand in the text. Written on the top margin of fol. 98ra is hylares descendimus ad carcerem. Study of the text of fol. 98ra shows that the scribe (p.416) omitted this phrase when he copied the Passio. The place in the text where we would expect to see the sign directing us to the correction in the margin has been obliterated by the incision of the Victorian conservator. On Fol. 98vb, a small caret shows where the word video in the line beginning (X.11) “At ubi [caret video—above the line] was omitted and correctly added. The texts were gone over carefully after they had been copied.
Fire Damage: The Cotton fire has made this MS almost illegible. In the original copy of Thomas Smith’s 1696 Catalogue of the Cotton Manuscripts there is a note in a later hand (late eighteenth century) that notes “VIII A burnt lump of little use.” This line was surely written before the Victorian conservators worked on it, and its judgment must not have been wide of the mark. The intensity of the heat likely caused the MS to shrivel up into a cabbage-like ball. The greater fire damage is to the bottom and right side of the MS, that is, the outside margin, suggesting that this part of the MS was more exposed than the inside margin. The later fols. from 176rb on show ever-greater darkening of the vellum, and this might suggest that the MS was lying facedown in a press with the beginning fols. facedown, as one might place a book down on its face and leave the end face up. Fols. 267v through 269r are so damaged and faded that without better technology they are lost and cannot be read.
Conservation: The MS has been rebound in a modern half-leather binding (spine and corners only are leather) and each fol. has been separately mounted in a paper frame surround of h 270 mm × w 180 mm. A clear tape has been used to paste the fols. to the page, but over time it has discolored and makes reading the text it covers impossible. Since the tendency of skin as it gives up its moisture to a heat source is to shrivel, the fire caused the manuscripts that were not completely destroyed to shrink to a fraction of their size into cabbage-like shapes. The conservators cut into the shriveled and balled parchment leaves so that they could flatten them. Fol. 100 shows the cuts made into the middle of the fol. along a vertical and horizontal plane to allow for opening and flattening of the leaf.
Punctuation: Punctus elevatus is used.
Drypoint: There is none visible, even in those areas where the vellum has been left blank. For example, on fol. 125r in column a there are 35 mm of blank space where one can see the evidence of lineation (about 4 mm spaces) but no drypoint.
Margins: The top margin averages 20 mm and the bottom 17 mm. The blank area between the columns averages 15 mm, and the actual lines of text in the double columns average about 70 mm in width. (See Reconstructed Size.)
Hands: There are four hands: (one) 8r–173v; (two) 174r–233v; (three) 234r–262v; (four) 263r–269r.
Binding: The binding is late nineteenth-century tan morocco spine with four bold horizontal bands identifying the subject and the name of the manuscript and tan morocco on the four corners.
Passio Folio Numbers: 97r(a)–100v(a)
Passio Size: The average size of these fols. is 240 mm × 153 mm. The outside of the leaf is the most badly damaged, which suggests that the MS was closed and the heat attacked that surface first.
(p.417) Passio Text: Fol. 1v contains a badly burned twelfth-century table of contents where one can still read with difficulty item number 17, Passio Sanctarum Perpetuae et Felicitatis. The text contains selections from both the Acta and the entirety of the Passio and immediately follows that of the Breton Saint Wingvaloeius confessor [Saint Winwaloe]. The incipit for the Acta in rubricated lettering reads Incipit Passio Sanctarum Perpetue et Felici[ta]tis nonae martii (fol. 95rb). The narrative begins Acta persecutio [ne] [s]ub Valeriano (fol. 95va). Fol. 96rb contains two mostly illegible rubricated lines in the bottom margin, which may gloss the text (anno victo[riae]). The Passio itself begins on fol. 97ra, beginning Apprekennsi sunt, and ends on fol. 100va; the last line of the text (XXI.11), which is defective, reads cuius est claritas in s[ae]c[u]la s[a]ec[u]lorum, followed by the rubricated explicit Explicit passio sanctarum Perpetue et Felicitatis. The next incipit begins Incipit Passio Sanctorum Quadringinta … and provides a list of martyrs’ names. (See Canterbury Lit. E. 42 for a similar ordering of the lives.) The Passio text, while complete, is severely damaged, and it is not possible to provide an accurate transcription. For example, all of the columns b on fols. 97r through 100 are illegible due to charring from the fire. Additionally, some of the fols. were placed out of order when the manuscript was reassembled. The medieval table of contents on fol. 1v states that the Passio is preceded by Saint Winwaloe and the Passio is followed by Vita Sancti Gregory papae libris 4, and the Gregory vita is followed by Passio sanctarum Quadraginta martyr[um]. However, in the reassembled volume the Passio sanctarum Quadraginta martyr[um] follows the Passio, and that is followed by Vita Sancti Gregorii. Either the medieval calendar is wrong or the manuscript was reassembled incorrectly, and the latter is far more likely.
Smith, Thomas, Catalogus Librorum Manuscriptorum Bibliotheca Cottonianae (Oxford, 1696), p. 76, lists the manuscript as a “kalendarium” and notes the Passio as item number 17. There is a note in a late eighteenth-century hand on a blank recto page in this volume that states “viii. A burnt lump of little use.” This note was clearly made before the manuscript was conserved and suggests that it was still shriveled in a ball.
For an account of the Cotton fire at Ashburnham House on October 23, 1731, see Smith, 25–46. J. Planta, Catalogue of the Manuscripts in the Cottonian Library Deposited in the British Library (London, 1802). 369: Planta’s entry is almost as terse as Smith, reading: “The remains of a MS on vellum, in small fol., which once consisted of 267 leaves now burnt to a crust, and preserved in a case. It contains the lives of many saints, several historical tracts, chronicles, & etc.”
Bibliotheca Hagiographica Latina, Antiquae et Mediae Aetatis, ed. Société des Bollandistes (Brussels: Société des Bollandistes, 1898–99), p. 964; for the Passio see numbers 6633–6.
A seventeenth-century transcript of part of the Life of St. Brigid from Cotton Otho D. VIII was made before the fire of 1731. It can be found in MS Trinity Dublin no. 179, and a copy of that exists in Marsh’s Library Dublin Codex Z.4.5.12. See also M. Esposito, “Notes on Latin Learning and Literature in Medieval Ireland, IV,” Hermathena 49 (1935): 143–45, (p.418) and T.K. Abbot, Catalogue of the Mansucripts in the Library of Trinity College Dublin (Dublin: Hodges & Figgis, 1900), p. 24; and Marvin L. Colker, Trinity College Library Dublin: Descriptive Catalogue of the Medieval and Renaissance Latin Manuscripts, 2 vols. (Dublin: Scolar Press, 1991) I: 320–30, item number 179.
Ker, N. R., “Membra Disiecta,” 2nd series, The British Museum Quarterly 4 (1940): 79–86.
Ker, N. R., Medieval Libraries of Great Britain: A List of Surviving Books (London: The Royal Historical Society, 1941), 23, labels the MS a “Passionale S. Ignaci s.xii,” giving the foliation as 8–173.
Kaufmann, C. M., Romanesque Manuscripts 1066–1190 (London: Harvey Miller, 1975), p. 56, states that the end flyleaves in Cotton D. Otho VIII are taken from Cambridge Trinity College MS O.2.51, and the latter’s provenance is Canterbury, St. Augustine’s Abbey.
Dean, R. J. “Nicholas Trevet Historian,” in Medieval Learning & Literature: Essays Presented to Richard William Hunt, eds. J. J. G. Alexander and M. T. Gibson (Oxford: Clarendon, 1976), pp. 328–52, cites the MS and adds that fols. 174ra–231ra are s.xivM.
Tite, Colin G., The Manuscript Library of Sir Robert Cotton: The Panizzi Lectures 1993 (London: The British Library, 1994), provides a fascinating account of the collector and the disposition of his library, including Tite’s reconstruction of it, p. 95-6: “First, the allocation of books to presses was dictated purely by size, the smaller volumes for the most part on the upper shelves … most of the volumes must have been stacked on the shelves vertically in a manner which would give us no surprises. But some have titles written, in Cotton’s time, across the fore-edges of the leaves….” The MSS were likely stored standing upright.
Jackson, P., and M. Lapidge, “The Contents of the Cotton-Corpus Legendary,” in Holy Men and Holy Women: Old English Prose Saints’ Lives and their Contexts, ed. P. Szarmach (Albany: State University of New York, 1996), pp. 131–46.
Gameson, Richard, The Manuscripts of Early Norman England (c. 1066–1130) (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999), p. 101, item number 401. Gameson lists the manuscript as a Passional and records the first volume only (31 January–20 March). He notes the presence of decorated initials, lists the items contained in this first volume of the Passional in fols. 8–173, and gives the provenance as Christ Church, Canterbury with a date of xii1–2/4.
Tite, C. G., The Early Records of Sir Robert Cotton’s Library (London: The British Library, 2003), p. 156.
Manuscript Name: Canterbury Lit. E. 42.
Provenance: Christ Church, Canterbury.
Date: s.xiiin (ca. before 1128).
Contents: The leaves bound in Canterbury Lit. E. 42 represent the remains of an original seven-volume Legenda martyrum or Passionale. The narratives, chiefly of the martyrs of the Church, follow the liturgical calendar. The liturgical year was begun with the feasts (p.419) for 31 December, 1 February, 2 April, 29 June, 3 August, 21 September, and 11 November. The original volumes were ripped apart sometime in the late sixteenth century (ca. 1574 at the earliest) and their leaves reused to bind other books. (See below, Folios Rebound.) The present Passionale appears to have been in its original form taken from a very complete series of readings for the entire liturgical year written in Christ Church, Canterbury, in the first quarter of the twelfth century in some seven volumes. It was broken up perhaps as early as the end of the sixteenth century and many of the fols. used as binding materials. The original manuscript was a magnificent composition. Great artistry was exhibited, and great care was taken in its composition, as it has some fine examples of decorated initials that include human figures throughout. The Passionale was initially seven volumes.
The present fols. have been placed within parchment surrounds (holders) and rebound in the present volume. There are sixty-two items, the overwhelming majority of which are feast days for martyrs and saints. For a complete list of the items, see N. Ker, Medieval MSS in British Libraries, II, 289–95 and R. Gameson, The Earliest Books of Canterbury Cathedral: Manuscripts and Fragments to c.1200, London: The British Library, 2008.
(p.420) Collation. See Ker. Gameson says that fol. 69r through to the end at 75v is in the hand of a Dutch scribe, Werken, of the late fifteenth century, likely working here after 1473 at the behest of the prior to help “recondition” and copy manuscripts.
Use: It was perhaps used for public reading in the monastery, like that in the refectory, or at chapter, or for the second Nocturns in Matins, when such lives were typically read.
Material: The leaves are vellum and of good quality, but due to the subsequent dismemberment of the original manuscript volumes in the late sixteenth century and their later use as binding material, there are many darkened and damaged fols. showing staining, scarring, and general deterioration. Most of the leaves have parchment surrounds and exhibit the work of conservation.
Columns: Double columns throughout.
Lines: Volume 1 averages thirty-five lines per column. Volume 2 has thirty-four lines (see fol. 37r), but not a single bottom margin remains intact, all having been cropped. Volume 3 has thirty-seven or thirty-eight lines; volumes 5 and 6, thirty-seven lines respectively (see fols. 43r, 44r, 45r). Fol. 31, containing the Passio selection, has only thirty-three lines in both columns but is also missing some final lines. Ker estimates thirty-six lines as the average line length for the seven volumes.
Folios: 81 (75 + 6). The original Passionale for the entire liturgical year comprised seven substantial volumes. Six of the original seven volumes were broken up in the last third of the sixteenth century and their parchment leaves used as binding material and outside covers for books. Volume seven has never been found. The present volume was reassembled about 1890 and bound in the twentieth century. It contains leaves from as many as four of these original volumes. A bifolium survives in Maidstone, Kent County Archives (S/Rm Fae.2), and three considerable sections of the original composition are in British Library MSS Cotton Nero C.vii, fols. 29–78, Harley 315, fols. 1–39, and Harley 624, fols. 84–143. Canterbury Cathedral Library acquired (1951–66) six unbound leaves of the original composition. (See below Modern Conservation.) They were catalogued as Lit.E.42A, and, despite their being separated from the main text, were foliated as 76–81.
Size: 380–400 mm × 285 mm (see below).
Largest Folio: fol. 75, 390 mm × 266 mm. Before it was cut, it may have measured 430 m × 280 mm. Such size and the decoration are evidence that this was a significant composition. The text, written in two columns, measures 285 mm × 190 mm.
Pricking: Present. The pricks on fol. 31, for example, are 9 mm apart in the outer margin and provide spacing guides for the frame for the double columns. (See below, Leaded Formatting Lines.) However, drypoint is used on this fol. and elsewhere to make the indicators for the scribe’s text. (See Drypoint.)
Leaded Formatting Lines: Present. The text frame was laid out with leaded lines: one line on the inside margin, one on the outside, and two parallel lines in the middle running top to bottom so that two separate columns of text could be written. In some instances, as on fol. 26r, there are three midlines, presumably because of the exigencies of the historiated initial on that fol.
Line Width: 90 mm per column is an average text length for the entire manuscript. (See fol. 31r.)
(p.421) Catchmarks: None present.
Quire Signatures: None.
Foliation: There are two existing systems of modern foliation present and no medieval foliation. The earlier of the two is written in pencil in the upper right-hand corner of the leaves. The latter system is written on the new parchment surrounds and so was done after the manuscript was bound. The two systems differ considerably. For example, fol. 59r in the first modern hand corresponds to fol. 43r in the post-assembly hand. The system adopted here is the latter hand, which records seventy-six fols. (sixty-one in the earlier hand) and is more nearly correct. There are seventy-five fols. extant in the existing bound volume 1 (1r–75v).
Running Heads: Yes; but they typically only appear above the start of a new passion narrative. For example, on fol. 35vb (above the large historiated T), we read Incipit Passio Sanc[ti] Maximilliani.
Binding: Full brown ribbed morocco modern binding. It is tooled with a simple series of diagonal lines crisscrossing the binding. There are two clasps which lock the manuscript.
Capitals: Twenty-three historiated (containing figural and zoomorphic elements) and decorated (containing nonfigural and non-zoomorphic elements) initials are still extant, and they serve to introduce the beginning of each new passion narrative. R. Gameson suggests that they are all, save the T on 57v, the work of a single artist. I will provide a few examples of the initialing to illustrate the quality of the original drawing and the magnificence of the entire composition. On fol. 31rb (the fol. of the Passio), there is a beautifully drawn majuscule I running almost the entire length of the inner margin, which separates the two columns of text. It is rubricated in red, blue, and green. At the top of the I is the figure of a man—a monk perhaps—in green robes (55 mm long) holding a dragon over his head. Immediately below this figure is a roundel (14 mm in diameter) depicting the head of an unidentifiable animal (cow?). The next figure down is a running dog (85 mm) holding a fish in its mouth. The entire initial ends with a vine-like tendril flourish 65 mm in length. From top to bottom, the initial rubricated I measures 240 mm. There are other initials throughout volume 2. For example, on fol. 34rb there is a stunning, but now very damaged, initial letter B (125 × 80 mm) containing two human and various animal figures and luxuriant foliage in the bowls of the B. There is a beautiful letter T (115 × 100 mm) on fol. 35vb, the first letter in the name Tusco. It is rubricated in red, blue, green, tan, and pink with animal and human figures. Fol. 50rb has a magnificent initial letter R, which begins the passion of Saint Ypolita, martyr. Inside the bowl of the R, a dragon is shown consuming another beast; a beast is consuming a man, and there is a drawing of a long-snouted (unidentifiable) beast. This R is rubricated in green, red, and blue, and all the figures are contained within the bowl of the R, which measures 130 × 115 mm. There is a handsome and large letter P on 65rv.
Rubricated Lettering: 20-mm rubricated letters introduce paragraphs; see fol. 36ra for the letter I.
Damage: Fols. from the Passionale were reused. Fol. 38v, for example, which still has a faintly visible rubricated explicit to the Life of Saint Gertrudis the Virgin (Explicit vita (p.422) sanct[ae] Ger[t]rudis Virgin[is]) and an historiated initial (which because of the severe damage is difficult to identify; possibly a G?), has lost almost all traces of the medieval writing in both its columns. The leaf’s appearance suggests damage from exposure (likely resulting from its use as binding material), which has effaced the medieval writing. On the top of this fol. (38r), written prominently in English in an eighteenth-century hand, we read “The booke of Rates.” These fols. were reused as bookkeeping ledgers. In some instances the fols. have been damaged with black ink (fols. 56v and 57r). This is the same ink used by the individual who was writing the dates on fol. 22r. Fols. 56v, 57r and the evidence of the ink damage indicate that this manuscript was held in low esteem by this seventeenth-century annotator. Fol. 60v shows this clear lack of regard for the medieval composition, as there are two hands written carelessly across the leaves. The first hand in an older script (early sixteenth century) in a faded tan ink has written: Liber 21, Liber [Instantiarum]; below that in the hand of the late sixteenth-century annotator, we read Acta ad Instantiam Partium Lib. 21, Anno 1573. In some instances this same annotator has turned the fols. upside down and written across the middle of the medieval text. Since it would be simpler to complete such annotation on unbound manuscript leaves, this writing suggests that the actual fols. were already unbound from their original volumes by the late 1570s.
A number of fols. are only partially preserved, having been severely damaged, possibly through exposure (fols. 66r through 68). These fols. are just ragged pieces and have been set in parchment surrounds. Other fols. also show evidence of extreme darkening of the leaves and damage suggestive of exposure to elements like water, particularly fols. 72 and 73. Fol. 73v is very dark from staining and is missing a section (w 30 mm × h 70 mm) in the lower part of column a. Fol. 7 contains only the top nineteen lines in both columns, and 8 preserves only the bottom fifteen lines in both columns.
Modern Conservation: This manuscript was rebound in the early twentieth century. The binding is a full binding of brown tooled leather with two brass clasps for securing the volume. This volume now contains all the existing fol. remains of a magnificent six-volume (possibly seven) early twelfth-century Passionale, except for three bifolia that were placed in the library by a Church Council deposit of 1966. These 1966 bifolia were removed from the Eastry Quitrents of 1513 and 1593, and they are shelved separately in the Canterbury Cathedral Library under the accession number Lit. E. 42A. The evidence for their association with Eastry is written in a sixteenth-century hand on the bottom of fol. 80rb: “Estry: Rentals of Quitrents, 1513 & 1593.” This affiliation is written upside down on 80r, directly across the twelfth-century text, showing the clerk’s complete lack of regard for the earlier text. There remains a single leaf (bifolium) in Maidstone, Kent County Archives, S/Rm Fæ.2, which I have not been able to see. It was used to wrap the Common Expenditors Accounts 1574–79 of the Commissioner of Sewers for Level of Romney Marsh, a text concerning sewer abatements.
The present order and sequence of the passion narratives is not correct. For example, the text of the Passio Sanctarum Perpetuae et Felicitatis is a twenty-three-line fragment of the entire text, and it begins acephalously on fol. 31ra with the first line reading prior reddendo spiritum Perpetua. The prior fol. 30vb has no relation to this text. It may be a narrative of (p.423) the life of Saint Honoratus. It is a somewhat didactic discussion of how one should dedicate oneself to the love of God, with the injunction that if a monastery follows this principle it will surely flower.
1966 Bifolia Deposits: There is one bifolium in each of the three blue paper folders. The envelope containing the bifolium with fols. 80 and 81 has written on it “Church Council Deposit 1966, Eastry Quitrents of 1513 and 1596.” The fol. numbers in the three bifolia which are not bound in the manuscript and whose descriptions follow were numbered to follow the last fol. in the bound manuscript, which ends with fol. 76v. These bifolia contain texts which do not follow an order that depends on the texts in the liturgical calendar. Furthermore, since the manuscript was broken up, many leaves have been lost; some of the survivors were used as binding material, and have subsequently been put together without any genuine hope of reconstructing the original early twelfth-century Passionale.
Packet 1: The text of Gregorius, Aurelius, Felix et socii starting on fol. 76ra begins with a large historiated initial F (h 240 mm × w 75 mm), depicting a naked man, human heads, a pig, a woodsman with an ax, and another human figure in an acrobat-like pose. The text accompanying the initial (fol. 76ra–77vb) reads, Fuit quidam iuvenis temporibus Abdiram Regis nomine Aurelius apud Cordubam Hispanie cuitate[m] natalibus & rebus plurimos antecellens. Hic infantia matre Christiana & patre gentili orbatus…. This fol. has double columns, and thirty-six lines of text are extant. Fol. 76 measures (height) 300 mm (missing some of the bottom margin) and (width) 277 mm. Reconstructed, it was likely at least 320/60 mm by 277/300 mm. There is a final single leaf in the packet, which contains some illegible text and appears to have absorbed text from the original manuscript, hence its illegibility. It also contains the fragmentary section of an historiated initial (a fragment of the vertical ascender) in red, green, and blue. The colors appear to have been inked onto the paper.
Packet 2: Begins acephalously. Fol. numbers 78 and 79 contain thirty-nine lines in two columns. Size: h 345 mm × w 248 mm (the outside margin has been cropped). Moreover, folding along the outside margin—the seam which resulted from the folding is very visible but has been opened and pressed flat in subsequent conservation—shows it has been used as a wrapper for a binding of a later text. The fold was made to stiffen the edges of the new vellum bindings. The text of these fols. is identified at the top margin as Lucia & Geminianus. Fol. 78 is severely darkened from being exposed as a wrapper and hence difficult to read. The text mentions Diocletian 78rb, l.35, who was traditionally responsible for St. Lucia’s death. The reconstructed size of the packet must have been considerably greater than the present cropped size of 280/90 mm, on the order of 360 mm. The present parchment surrounds are h 360 mm. If fol. 80, whose bottom margin is intact at 60 mm below the last line of text, was representative of the original size, then we can assume a length of approximately 360 mm or so for the height of the leaf. If, as seems likely, the leaves had approximately thirty-nine lines—that is, six more than fol. 31r now has (it has been cropped)—it would have had an additional 45 mm of text. If we add to this additional line space a margin of approximately 30 mm, we would have a total height of at least 360 mm.
(p.424) Packet 3: Fols. 80 and 81. This is another single bifolium (h 305 mm × w 210 mm). However, evidence of a large historiated initial— possibly a P—on fol. 81ra suggests it might have been originally 50 mm or 60 mm taller in height. If this is the case, as seems likely, then this bifolium measured approximately 360 mm × 260 mm. If so, the six or seven volumes of the original liturgical passionale would have been approximately the same size. The fol. 80r column has been identified by Ker as containing the miracles of St. Maurice, which begin with a faded historiated initial (M?) of a beast (dog or lion?) swallowing a dragon.
Collation for Volume 2: There are a total of fourteen leaves in volume 2, if we count the two leaves at Maidstone: fols. (1) 1r–2v.; (2) fols. 31r–34v; (3) fols. 35r–36v; (4) 37r–40v; (5) fols. 41r–42v.
Passio Text: Is wholly contained on fol. 31ra. The entire selection is twenty-three lines long and concludes with a one-and-one-half-line explicit. The Passio begins (acephalously) on fol. 31ra with the line prior reddendo spiritum Perpetua from the middle of line 8, chapter XXI of the Passio. The text before the Passio on fol. 28rb begins the Life of Saint Balthil[dis], and the text on fol. 29va with an historiated initial is the deposition of Saint Hilary (… Sanctus Hilarius In Depositione), followed by the rubrication “XVII Kal. Februarii.”
At the bottom of fol. 31ra, immediately following the Passio, is a series of alternating red and green rubricated lines listing the passions which follow: Incipit S[an]c[t]orum Quadringinta militum, [e.g., Domiciani, Diani, Quirionis, Valentis, Umarandi, Alexandri, Valeri, Melliti, Eutici, etc.] for a total of thirty-two names. The narrative which begins at the top of fol. 31rb starts: Et Clauicularii, v Idus martii … In tempore Licini Regis erat persecutione magna Christianorum & omnes pie vivebant in Christo cogebantur sacrificare diis; agricola[e] agente praesediatum in Sebastia impio & crudiliter persecutore & veloci ad diaboli ministrationem. Some later hand has carefully gone over and darkened the letters ‘re’ at the end of persecutore and the ‘i’ and ‘e’ at the end of minsitrationem.
Punctuation: The punctus elevatus is used throughout for pauses (see line 3 on fol. 31ra).
Margins: The gutter margin measures approximately 25 mm and the outside margin 30 mm. Fol. 80, which contains the legend of St. Maurice, has a 60-mm margin below the text. The top margins, although frequently cropped, would have averaged 40 mm.
Drypoint: Present; on fol. 31r, the fol. containing the twenty-three lines of the Passio extract, there is clear evidence of drypoint in column b, in lines 3 and 4 from the bottom of the fol. On fol. 16vr, immediately following the Life of Saint Julian the Bishop, the scribe has not written on the eighteen lines that finish column a of fol. 16v, and the drypoint is clear. Fol. 63v has never been written on and also shows the drypoint technique for line layout.
Hands: There are six hands, with some apparent overlap on fols. (all of the twelfth century) and two from the late fifteenth to the early sixteenth centuries. Hand one fols. 1r–37r; 2, 37v–42v, 48r–61v; 3, 43r–57r; 4, 57v–65v; 5, 62r–63r, 6, 66v–75v. Fol. 69r to the end at 75v is in a later hand, which N. Ker dates as xv2 and Gameson identifies as that of the Dutch scribe Theoodoric Werken, who was working in Canterbury after 1471. (p.425) There are many later annotations throughout the manuscript, though they are chiefly from the sixteenth century. On fol. 4r there is a sixteenth-century librarian’s identification of the manuscript. Across the top of the manuscript on fol. 4r are three dates, written one after the other with no separating punctuation: 1573 1574 1574. Directly beneath the dates, written across the medieval text, we read expedit; 35 mm below that we read Ad Instantiam Partium; 17 mm below that we read Lib. 22; and 20 mm below that in the space separating columns a and b we read the date 1573, and immediately below it 1654. In a similar hand (fol. 22r) we read “Ex officio, Comperta & Delecta, Decan Sittingbourn & Lutton Lib. 24, 1577, 1588.” On fol. 28r there is much the same: “Comperta & Delecta, Lib. 17, Decan Bridge, 1577, 1584.” On fol. 33r we read “Ex officio, Comperta & Delecta, Lib. 14, 1574, 1576.” On fol. 35 in the top margin over column a there are three dates on top of one another, reading from the top “1574, 1575, 1576,” and immediately to their right over column b a signature in the same hand as the dates: “Thomas” (last name illegible), and below that Ad Instantiam.
Size of the Passio Folios: The two widest lines of text on fol. 31ra are 90 mm (lines 4 and 19). The inner margin between the two columns of text is large (30 mm) to allow for the beautiful initial I. The outside margin is large and continues approximately 60 mm beyond the end of the text line. The gutter margin is approximately 25 mm; hence the width of this fol. would have been 285 mm. The height at present is 295 mm, but the bottom margins have been cropped, and it would likely have been considerably longer; a reconstructed size for these fols. containing the Passio would be nearer to 310 mm × 285 mm. Fol. 75 is 380 mm high and has a fold of 40 mm at the bottom margin. Unfolded, it measures 380 mm high, a very large fol. and the largest of the extant fols. All volumes of the Passionale would have been approximately this size.
Binding: There is ample evidence that these medieval fols. served as binders for later texts. There are two classic indicators of this practice extant in the manuscript. First, some of the present fols. show a shadow outline across the text, which has darkened the leaf. This darkening or stain resulted from the leather lacings being tightly bound against the parchment leaves, which wrapped and secured these fols. around later texts (see Eastry under Modern Conservation above). This darkening (or staining) resulted from lacings pressed against the parchment for a considerable time and is visible on fols. 25vb and 30ra. Second, the outside margins of the parchment leaves all show a dark seam approximately 50 mm from the cropped edge running the length of the fol. The leaf was doubled over (hence the dark seam) for stiffening and used as a binder. When the original manuscript volumes were disassembled in the late sixteenth century and the fols. used for rebinding other leather books or to serve as book covers, the outer margin of these medieval fols. were first folded back on themselves. This doubled the thickness of the parchment leaf, which stiffened it and thus ensured that the leaves would provide a more durable edge for the new bindings. The leaves darkened along the fold. When the manuscript was reassembled in the 1880s, the conservators unfolded and flattened these leaves. Today, the leaves, while perfectly flat, have a dark vertical line indicating where the seam was. There are no medieval quire signatures on the leaves.
Todd, Henry J., Catalogue of the Books, both Manuscript and Printed Which Are Preserved in the Library of Christ Church, Canterbury (Clerkenwall: Bye and Law, 1802), p. 128. Todd identifies Lit. E. 42 as E. 25, “Lessons in the week … Those relating to the saints are legendary.”
Edwards, E., Memories of Libraries (London, 1859), I: 122–235.
Legg, J. Wickham, and W. H. St. John Hope, Inventories of Christ Church Canterbury with Historical and Topographical Introductions and Illustrative Documents (Westminster: Archibald & Co., 1902), for their discussion of the cathedral’s wealth in material goods.
James, Montague R., The Ancient Libraries of Canterbury and Dover (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1903), p. 52. Lit. E. 42, appears to be recorded in Prior Eastry’s (Prior 1284–331) catalogue of 1331 under the heading Passionale, number 360. See James, p. 509, who notes “No. 360. The flyleaf is bound up in Trinity Coll. Camb. O.2.51. Article 19 in MS. C.C.C.C. 298 was copied from from liber eccl. Cantuar. vocatus passionale S. Ignacii iam in manibus Magistri Bower.” Eastry’s Catalogue (covering the period 1190–1331) indicates a rich and variegated collection, which James estimated at 1,850 books.
Woodruff, C. Eveleigh, A Catalogue of the Manuscripts in the Library of Christ Church, Canterbury (Canterbury: Cross & Jackman, 1911), p. 22, item number 46, and his Memorials of the Cathedral and Priory of Christ in Canterbury (London: Chapman & Hall, 1912), pp. 1–116. This is still informative for the early period.
Ker, N. R., “Membra Disiecta,” British Museum Quarterly xiv (1940): 85, where he discusses the provenances of Christ Church manuscripts.
Dodwell, C. R., The Canterbury School of Illumination 1066–1200 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1954): pp. 66, 70, 75, 78, 121, and plate 42d.
Ker, N. R., Medieval Manuscripts in British Libraries, 4 vols. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1977): II, pp. 289–96.
Ramsay, N., “The Cathedral Archives and Library,” in A History of Canterbury Cathedral, eds. P. Collinson, N. Ramsay, and M. Sparks (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995). Ramsay suggests (p. 370) that by the fifteenth century the Cathedral library was so rich with early manuscripts that there was no need to commission or buy new ones, and indeed some scribes produced what we might call facsimile copies of earlier volumes. He cites fols. 69–74 from Canterbury Cathedral MS E. 42 as ones “that look back more skilfully to twelfth-century models.”
Gameson, Richard, The Manuscripts of Early Norman England (c.1066–1130). (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999), p. 77, number 194, with Maidstone, Kent County Archives, S/Rm Fæ.2. Gameson points out that Lit. E. 42 is a companion piece to MSS BL Harley 315 and Harley 624, and Cotton Nero C. vii. Gameson dates Lit. E. 42 as xiiin–1: “Passional (frags.: parts of four separate volumes from a seven-volume set; contents are inventoried in Ker, ‘Med. MSS in BL’, II, pp. 289–96. Companions to London, British Library, Harley 624 + 315 + Cott Nero C.VII (no. 433). Xii in—1 (before 1128?) Canterbury, Christ Church.”
(p.427) Manuscript Name: MS Jerusalem 1.
Subject: The Jerusalem codex is a menologion for the month of February and contains accounts of approximately forty-two martyrs and saints, interspersed with homiletic materials written in Greek.
Provenance: There is no identifiable medieval provenance in the manuscript. However, the manuscript bears the stamp (fol. 1r) of the Orthodox Patriarch Cyril II (1845–72), and the volume may have been received by the Patriarchial Library during this period. Coincidentally, this was a period when many Orthodox libraries in the East were being consolidated in the Jerusalem library. H has been shelved with those manuscripts of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the largest manuscript collection in the Jerusalem Patriarchate, containing some 645 manuscripts, since Cyril II’s reign.
Date: s.x2. There is no internal evidence, save that of the scribal hands, for the date of the manuscript.
Contents: A menologion for the month of February containing approximately forty-two accounts of saints and martyrs. Folio numbers are provided when verifiable.
1. Saint Tryphon, fol. 1r.
2. Saint Amphilochius of Iconium, fol. 11r.
3. Saint John Chrysostom, fol. 15v.
4. Saint Timothy, Priest of Jerusalem, fol. 18v.
5. Saint Methodius, fol. 22r.
6. Saint Theodore, fol. 25r.
7. Saint Athanasius, fol. 28r.
8. Saint Photius
9. Epistle of John of Jerusalem
10. Saint John of Damascus, fol. 36r.
11. Saints Perpetua and Felicity, fol. 41r.
12. Saint Agatha, fol. 47v.
13. Saint Abramius
14. Saint Julian
15. Saint Faustus and Companions
16. Saint Parthenius, fol. 56r.
17. Saints Martha, Mary, and Lycarion
18. Saint Nicephorus, fol. 64r.
19. Saint Gregory of Nyssa
20. Saint Charalampus
21. Saint Blasius Bishop of Sebastius, fol. 79r.
22. Saint Mary
23. Saint Martinian
24. Saint Auxentius, Priest fol. 94r.
25. Saint Onesimus
(p.428) 26. Saints Pamphilus, Valens, Paul, Seleucus, Porphyry, Theodolus, Julian, Egyptians
27. The Ones commemorated in Martyropolis and Saint Maroutha
28. Saint Auxibius
29. Saints Sathod and Companions
30. Saint Chrysippus
31. Saint Polycarp, fol. 136r.
32. Head of John the Baptist
33. Saint Porphry
34. Saint Hippolytus, fol. 173r.
35. Saint Nestor
36. Saint John Chrysostom, fol. 195v.
37. Saint Anastasios Sinaitus, fol. 202v.
Number of Folios: ii + 209 + iii fols. The manuscript contains two paper front pieces and three paper end pieces. The manuscript is enumerated in the upper right-hand corner of every fol. recto. There are three blank fols.: 73, 80, and 201.
Material: The codex uses good-quality light-colored, thin parchment. The compilers used the occasional thick bifolium to enclose a gathering, e.g., fol. 25 for gathering 4. The entire last quire, gathering 28, is written on a consistently thicker parchment. Fol. 1r is dirty and discolored and suggests the manuscript may have been unbound for some time.
Columns: Double columns are used throughout, except for fol. 87. The text columns average w 70 mm × h 295–300 mm.
Lines per Folio: 38.
Size of Text Letters: The scribes use lowercase letters throughout, and these letters average (except minims) approximately w 2.5 mm × h 4 mm. There are no spaces between the words as the narrative is written. Abbreviations are used throughout and are common. There are no paragraph marks or other indicators of thematic breaks.
Average size: width 260 mm and 395 mm length
Largest: fol. 82 width 268 mm and 404 mm length
Reconstructed: width 263 mm and 400 mm length
Pricking: Although there is no obvious consistent presence of pricking holes, fol. 74 has three pinholes in the bottom margin consistent with where pricking pins would have been used to construct the double-column drypoint grid. This suggests that the edges of the fols. were cropped and pricking holes lost.
Foliation: 1–138; 146; 1510; 166; 17–258; 262; 27–288. The codex contains twenty-four quires of eights and four of differing lengths. Fol. 73 and 80 are blank and begin and end quire number 10.
Running Heads: Every saint’s life or account of their martyrdom begins with an identification of the individual in a bold abbreviated calligraphic hand in black ink. In (p.429) addition, a block scroll of vines and tendrils forming a small rectangular grid (for example, fol. 41ra: w 90 mm × h 53 mm) surrounds each incipit and encloses a varying number of the actual opening lines of the each narrative.
Lineation (ink quality, etc.): The ink is a burned sienna color, the script of the principal scribe is written with a sharp quill, and the letters are finely and thinly drawn.
Initials: There is little use made of Greek capitals, save in the running heads.
Capitals: Capital letters are only used to identify the individual whose feast is celebrated. They consistently use the abbreviation of the Greek word for martyr followed by an abbreviation of the saint’s name, typically only providing the first initial of the name; see fol. 47v, where the Martyrdom of Saint Agatha simply identifies her as A.
Historiated Capitals: None.
Illuminations: There are no illuminations in the codex. However, the codex does begin every saint’s narrative with an ink drawing (possibly scribal) immediately below the identifying grid pattern mentioned above. These drawings have been crudely gone over in colored inks. For example, the text of the Passion of Perpetua and Felicity contains, immediately below the bracket containing the incipit, a three-quarter roundel of two birds facing each other (h 35 mm × w 23 mm). The ink outline of the birds has been gone over in blue and green ink. The birds are skillfully drawn, particularly considering the small area allowed for the drawing. The colored ink is rapidly and sometimes sloppily applied over the outline of the drawing. There are occasions when the drawing is intended to serve as a visual clue to an aspect of the martyr’s story. Hence, in the martyrdom of Saint Julian on fol. 52r, a roundel measuring 30 mm × 30 mm depicts the saint being scourged by a second man wielding a whip. The saint’s body is covered with spots indicative of the welts from the scourging. As in the depiction of the birds in the Passion of Perpetua and Felicity, the line drawing of Julian has been outlined in blue, green, and red ink.
Repairs: Strips of parchment have been carefully cut from some of the lower margins. The manuscript has been carefully cut with a sharp instrument, causing no loss of text (see fols. 35–36, 44, 117, 118, 160, and 161). Frequently, in those cut fols., a small tab of parchment has been left in the gutter margin (see fol. 44). The reason for such mutilation may have been to use the substantial lower margins for binding stiffening in other manuscripts. While the present codex does show such repairs made with vellum (see fol. 106 in the outside margin), most of the repairs made in the present codex are made with paper and glued into the weak areas in the gutter and or lower margin (see fols. 119v and 140v respectively).
Rubrics: There is no use of rubrics.
Corrections: There is evidence of the manuscript’s having been checked for accuracy. Corrections are not common, but when they do appear the correction might consist of a word or words being scraped away and surrounded by a series of small dots (see fol. 70vb, the last word).
Punctuation: The punctus is used, but not consistently. It is used most frequently to distinguish the iota from other minims. The standard modern accent marks in Greek, for example, the iota subscript and the breathing marks, are used inconsistently.
(p.430) Marginalia: Given the size of this manuscript and the popular nature of the contents, there are a small number of marginal annotations throughout. The few examples are usually concise remarks on the text being narrated (see fols. 30r, 97r, 104r, and 136r, all in the bottom margin).
Margins: The generous margins suggest that the manuscript was designed to be read publicly, perhaps in a liturgical setting, since the amount of white space provided by the generous margins improves legibility considerably and would allow a lector to stand and read the codex.
Outside: 40 mm from end of text line to edge of leaf
Top: average 38 mm
Bottom: average 63 mm
Gutter: average 40 mm
Drypoint: The codex is laid out entirely in drypoint. There is no evidence of leaded or inked lines on the leaves. The drypoint layout is the familiar double-column grid. Fols. 32r and 171r exhibit very clear examples of the drypoint stylus, as it bit deeply into the parchment.
Hands: There is a principal scribe in the codex. Three different hands are also present:
Hand one—fols. 1r–86v; 88r–143v; 194r–209v.
Hand two—fols. 87r–87v (an inserted paper singleton of medieval provenance).
Hand three—fols. 144r–154v. This hand is smaller and employs thicker letter forms than hand one, and the ductus here slants decidedly toward the left.
Hand four—fols. 155r–193r. A small square and upright script that ends on the partial fol. of 193, containing one column of twenty-nine lines (h 280 mm × w 140 mm).
Passio Text: The Passio begins on fol. 41ra and ends on 47vb at the top of the leaf. It is in gathering number 6.
Binding: The binding is of the nineteenth century and is a complete red-tooled morocco leather over wooden boards. The tooling on the front and back is of spiraling double parallel lines along the outside margin and a large tooled diamond shape drawn from the center of four sides of the exterior tooling lines. The spine contains two black leather inlays which serve to identify the contents, attributing the collection to the tenth-century civil servant and Orthodox monk Simeon Metaphrastes. Simeon, as is well known, compiled ten volumes of the Orthodox Menologion at the request of the Emperor Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus. It is entirely possible that the codex is contemporary with Simeon.
Bibliography: There is little scholarship available on the manuscript, save the description in the Catalogue of the Orthodox Patriarch’s Jerusalem library by Athanasios Papadopoulos-Kerameus, Hierosolymitike Bibliotheke etoi Katalogos ton en tais Bibliothekais…., 5 vols. (Brussels: 1891), pp. 1–8; Kleopas M. Koikylides, Kataloipa cheirographon Hierosolymitikes bibliothekes (Jerusalem, 1899). See also Kenneth W. Clark, Checklist of Manuscripts in the Libraries of the Greek and Armenian Patriarchates in Jerusalem (Washington: Library of Congress, 1953), p. 5, who lists it under Panagios Taphos. Although Clark’s is but a brief report of the microfilming of the Patriarchate library, his introduction is nonetheless useful.
(p.431) C. The Editions
Bibliography of the Principal Printed Editions and Significant Translations of the Passion of Perpetua et Felicitatis.
Since Holstenius first printed the Passion of Perpetua and Felicity in 1661, the work has remained a perennial favorite of scholars and has also enjoyed a wide popularity among general readers. Translations continue to appear in virtually all the western European languages, and recently it has even begun to be translated into Asian languages. I cite below all the significant editions of the Passio as well as translations in English. I would refer the reader to Habermehl for a general bibliography and information about texts and translations in various languages. If I occasionally cite an edition which translates the text into a language other than English, it is because there is additional information of interest in the translation or commentary or because of the particular volume’s influence.
[L. Holstenius corrected by Valois] Passio SS. Perpetvae et Felicitatis. Cum notis Lucae Holstenii. Vaticanae Bibliothecae Praefecti. Paris: Carolus Savreux, 1664. Much of Valois’s brief Latin introduction (iv–xiii), “Henricvs Valesivs Lectori,” which praises Holstenius, concerns Valois’s efforts to demonstrate the historicity of the martyrdom, its location, whether in Thuburbo or Carthage, and under whose reign the martyrs suffered. The text of the Passio is the second item in the book (pp. 1–37), the first being the Passio SS. Martyrvm Tarachi, Probi et Andronici and the third the Passio S. Bonifatii. Each item is individually paginated and begins anew on a page 1. Valois edits Holstenius’s edition of the Monte Cassino exemplar. He acknowledges on the very last printed page (unnumbered) of the volume that his edition is taken from Holstenius’s Rome edition of 1663. Pages 38–87 of this text contain excerpts from the earlier commentators who have remarked on the Passio, beginning with a selection from chapter 55 of Tertullian’s De Anima and ending with an excerpt from a MS of the Acta (Ex Manuscripto Codice Bibliothecae Sancti Victoris), which opens with Facta itaque persecutione sub Valeriano & Galieno…. Pages 89–208 contain all of Holstenius’s notes, and Valois’s work concludes on pages 209–16 with an Index Verborum. There are no chapter divisions in the text of the Passio as printed here. This edition does not include what modern editors have referred to as Chapter 1, beginning Si uetera fidei exempla, but rather Holstenius labels this chapter Praefatio. The text proper begins on page Aiiii under the title Passio Sanctarum Martyrum Perpetuæ et Felicitatis. For more on Holstenius see Alfredo Serrai, La biblioteca de Lucas Holstenius (Udine: Forum, 2000).
Acta sanctorum. Martii a Iohane Bollando, S.I. A. G. Henschenius et D. Papebrochius. Antwerp: Iacob Meursium, 1668. The Bollandist’s text of the Passio is taken from Holstenius’s text based on the Monte Cassino MS (p. 631). They do not cite the Valois edition of 1664 as their base text. They simply refer to their edition as Vita Ex Ms. Casinensi eruta à Lucâ Holstenio. Their brief introduction to the Passio follows the format of the two earlier editions; they print brief excerpts from earlier commentators like Tertullian and Augustine (p. 631), and argue many of the same points, notably the merits of Thuburbo (p.432) versus Carthage as the likeliest place of the martyrdom. The notes to the texts are very abbreviated, and while they do cite Holstenius’s readings, they do not give his notes in full. For example, a typical note contains a lowercase letter, which agrees with the same letter in the text followed by the note. Thus, glossing the word defatigationibus (XIII.6) their note reads “d Holstenius … legi de factionibus.” Their reading is the same as that used by Valois and indicates that they knew Valois’s emended text (see Valois p. 25).
Oxford edition of 1680. Lucii Caecilii Lactantii, De Mortibus Persecutorum. Accesserunt Passiones: SS. Perpetuae & Felicitatis, S. Maximiliani, S. Felicis. Oxonii: E. Theatro Sheldoniano, 1680. The Passio is included in this volume which begins with Lactantius’s great work. On page 5 of the front matter of the copy held in the British Library there is a handwritten ink note in a contemporary hand (Thomas Spark? late seventeenth century): Fuit hic liber dono missus a Johanne Fell Oxoniensi Episcopo ad Isaacum Vossium, ab eoque postea datus Baulo Colomesio, cuius manus passim apparet, and slightly further down on that page the date when the marginal emendations were made is given as 1684. The author indicates that the corrections in the text of Lactantius were taken from an edition of Nicholas Toinard and made here in ex ciptas ex Editione hujusico Operas Abod improsse cura ejusdem Toinhardi anno Domini MDCLXXXIV, forma quam in duodecimo appellant. The hand is tiny, faded, and difficult to read, and my transcription is tentative.
The Passio proper is part of this edition of Lactantius and appears at the end after his De Mortibus Persecutorum. The Latin text of the Passio is the 1663 edition of Holstenius. However, it is compared in their notes against the Salisbury MS. This is the first citation of the Passio text from the Salisbury MS, and is evidence of Bishop Fell’s possession of this manuscript and its presence in Oxford before 1680. For a discussion of how Fell took possession of this MS, see my remarks in the chapter on Manuscripts under “Salisbury.” Robinson was the first to note that the Monte Cassino MS was collated in this edition against the Salisbury MS. The entire text and the notes (all at the bottom of the page) are on pp. 1–36. The notes are very brief and restricted to emending the Monte Cassino readings with the variants from Salisbury, and Jean-Louis Quantin suggests they are by Henry Dodwell (1641–1711). For example, on p. 1 (gathering k) in the printing of the Praefatio, footnote 1 at the bottom of the page reads: “Inscriptio M.S. Sarisburiensis. Passio SS. Fælicitatis & Perpetuæ, quod est Nonis Martiis in civitate Turbitana. Forte legendum Turbitana.” Footnote number 2, glossing the phrase in line 1 of the preface propterea in literis, reads 2 Rectius in literas. The glosses are brief throughout. Occasionally, the author does refer to Holstenius’s edition by name, as in footnote 5 on page 23, which glosses the phrase in chapter XI.8 [here printed] violata. Footnote 5 states: “5 Via lata Holst.” Valois in his emendations of Holstenius also prints violata, noting in his gloss (p. 153): “Pag.22.v.12 Transivimus stadium violata. Omnino legendum via lata.” In his footnote 4 on page K2, glossing the Latin in chapter I novissimiora, the editor cites the passage as likely indebted to Montanists: Ex hoc loco conjici potest Montani sectatorem fuisse qui haec Acta digessit. The anonymous editor occasionally cites from the Greek language, from the scriptures or from the classics. For example, on page 10, he glosses the Latin transliteration tegnon “1 Gr. Teknon.” On page 29, footnote number 2, glossing the phrase lucido inces su, he cites “2 sic Xenophon de Socrate, cum morti addictus a judicum conspectu (p.433) discederet” (and then the [problematic] Greek line απηει…. ομμασι βαδις μαν φαιδό). Unlike his practice in the text of Lactantius’s De Mortibus Persecutorum, which begins the book, he makes no comments in the margins.
Lucii Cæcilii Firmiani Lactantii, De Mortibus Persecutorum Liber. Accesserunt Passiones: SS. Perpetuae & Felicitatis, S. Maximiliani, S. Felicis. Oxonii: E. Theatro Sheldoniano, 1680. This copy of the 1680 edition in the Cambridge University Library (CUL Edition 3.38.34) has no annotations of any kind in the front matter or anywhere else, and hence, unlike the British Library copy, it does not contain Spark’s autograph attribution to Bishop Fell. The Præfatio is printed as a separate section (pp. 1–4) before the chapter narrating their arrest, which begins Apprenhensi … (p. 5). Although the chapter divisions are exactly where they appear in modern editions, the chapters are not assigned numbers. There are some editorial conventions employed. For example, Saturus’s vision is preceded by the header: Visio Saturi (p. 21). The only other chapter header in the text is on page 29, where Passio Ut Supra appears in the middle of the page preceding Chapter Eighteen, which begins Illuxit dies victoriae illorum….
The Passio was well received after Holstenius’s edition appeared. The Passio made an enormous impression on seventeenth- and eighteenth-century readers. It was frequently referred to even when scholars were working on different texts. For example, it appears in a very good edition of Lactantius’s De Mortibus Persecutorum. See Lucii Cæcilii Firmiani Lactantii, De Mortibus Persecutorum, Cum notis Stephanii Baluzzi, editione secunda, Accesserunt Gisb. Cuperi, Jo Columbi, Tho. Spark, Nic. Toinardi, Jo Georg. Graevii, Tho. Gale, Elliae Boherelli, Trajecti ad Rhenum: Francisci Halma, 1692 (Cambridge University Library Edition 3.36.8). Cuperi provides an extended discussion of the scene of the amphitheatre, the various implements of torture, and the anecdote of the bear in the Passio and its reluctance to fight (see part two of this volume). Cuperi was so intent to communicate the contents of the Passio that he used visual images to illustrate narrative details. Page 185 of this text depicts an engraving of a bear and a naked female. The woman is covered with a restraining net and shown lying on a large board (catasta?) which is tilted at an angle and faces the bear. The bear has one paw on the bottom of the board (here pontes) but seems reluctant to move further. Cuperi also cites Holstenius (p. 182): Lucas Holstenius, vir paucis comparandus, censet Xiphilinum loqui de Pontibus Amphitheatri, quorum mentio in Passione SS. Perpetuae & Felicitatis; ad quam haec notat….
T. Ruinart, Acta Primorum Martyrum sincera et selecta. Paris: Archbishop of Paris, 1689. Ruinart’s discussion of the emperors involved in the persecutions from Nero to Maxentius, although largely drawn from Eusebius, is surprisingly balanced (pp.xxviii–lxiii). Ruinart prints an Admonitio to the reader (p. 81) concerning his text of the Passio with the acknowledgment that he has used the text of Holstenius supplemented by the notes of Valois: Multum desiderata, & frustra in variis bibliothecis diu conquisita Acta germana Sanctarum Perpetuae & Felicitatis, invenit tandem studiosissimus sacræ antiquitatis indagator Lucas Holstenius in cod. MS. Sacri monasterii Casinensis, unde eruta & Romæ vulgata, eadem postea, cum ejusdem Holstenii notis, Parisiis edidit Henricus Valesius. Ruinart discloses that he has also used two additional MSS to construct his text, MSS S and P (p. lii): Passio SS. Perpetuae & Felicitatis cum sociis earum. Ex. 2 codd. Mss. Uno (p.434) ecclesiæ Salisburgensis, & altero S. Cornelii Compendiensis, collata ad editionem Lucæ Holstenii; also p. 81: Ecclesiae Salisburgensis, cujus codicis varias lectiones sapientissimi viri Antonii Faure Theologi Parisiensis & Remensis Ecclesiae Praepositi beneficio accepimus; alter vero qui ad annos 800 accedit, est bibliothecae nostri monasterii sancti Cornelii Compendiensis. Ruinart is the first to misidentify the Salisbury MS (Sarisburiensis) as the Salzburg MS (Salisburgensis), an error not corrected until Robinson, who did not see this MS. Ruinart mistakenly dates the Salisbury MS four centuries too early. He does not use all of Holstenius’s notes but uses them selectively, when he wishes to make a point. For example, he acknowledges (p. 92, n. L) that where Holstenius read in c.XIII.6 defatigationibus, Ruinart prints de factionibus. Presumably he knew Valois’s gloss on this phrase. Ruinart’s chapter divisions are those adopted in modern editions. The text is printed on pages 85–96. He begins his text (p. 85) with this title: Passio Sanctarum Perpetuæ & Felicitatis, cum sociis earum, Ex 2. Codd. Mss. & editione Holstenii. He does, however, label the opening chapter I as Præfatio, and he begins the next chapter with the heading Incipit Passio, following this with the Roman numeral for the next chapter and the text, i.e., II Apprenhensi sunt…. Migne used Ruinart’s text for the Patrologia Latina edition, volume 3 (Paris, 1844). Thus, by the mid-nineteenth century Holstenius’s edition, reworked by Ruinart, who incorporated readings from the Salisbury and Paris MSS (BN MS Latin 17626), was the standard edition.
Andrea Gallandii, Bibliotheca Veterum Patrum. Venice: J. Baptistae Albrithii Hieron. Fil, 1766. Gallandius notes in chapter XI on page xxiii that he is adopting Ruinart’s text, Ex Actis Martyrum sinceris V.C. Theoderici Ruinart, pag. 77. Seqq. His chapter divisions are those we use today, and even the doxology is included as part of chapter XX. Gallandius acknowledges (p. xxiii) the existence of what he refers to as the Salisburgensis MS (following Ruinart’s misidentification) and the codex from the Abbey of Saint-Corneille in Compeigne (now BN Latin 17626). After noting that Holstenius has taken the Passio from the Monte Cassino codex, he states (paraphrasing Ruinart): eadem postea cum ejusdem Holstenii notis, Parisiis edidit Henricus Valesius. Nos vero ea proferimus ex duobus codicibus mss. cum eadem editione collatis: quorum unus est Ecclesiae Salisburgensis; cujus codicis varias lectiones sapientissimi viri Antonii Faure theologi Parisiensis & Remensis ecclesiae praepositi beneficio accepimus: alter vero qui ad annos 800 accedit, est bibliothecae nostri monasterii sancti Cornelii Compendiensis. The text of the Passio appears on pages 174–98. Like Holstenius, Gallandius labels the chapter beginning Si vetera fidei exampla as Præfatio (p. 174), but here he has numbered it I. His Chapter II is headed Incipit Passio. The first chapter contains the title page, and his attributions (p. 165) are unambiguous: Passio Sanctarum Perpetuae et Felicitatis. Praemittuntur Veterum Testimonia. Subjiciuntur Vero Notae Postumae Lucae Holstenii, et Paralipomena Petri Possini e Soc Jesu. Gallandius prints excerpts from past writers on the Passio (pp. 164–73). He prints Holstenius and Possini’s notes at the bottom of each page. In addition, Holstenius’s text is read against what he calls Codd. Compend. & Salisb, the Paris BN MS and Salisbury MS. Allthough Possini’s notes are far fewer than those of Holstenius, Possini’s notes, which Gallandius cites, are learned and acute. For example, Possini typically cites Holstenius and then gives one entire column to his own discussion of the event and its meaning. Possini’s gloss on (p.435) what the Good Shepherd gave Perpetua to eat (p. 185) is still insightful. He reads this passage as a prefiguration of Perpetua’s reception of the Eucharist. Gallandius presents a long discussion of the date of the Passio, settles on the year 203, and identifies the likeliest place as Thuburbo (p. 197): ad omnem certitudinem firmata remanet quam praeposuit sententia de tempore Triumphi sanctarum Turbitanarum Martyrum Perpetuae et Felicitatis, anno Christi, Nonis Martii, gloriae immortalis palmam adeptarum.
J.R. Harris and S. K. Gifford, The Acts of the Martyrdom of Perpetua and Felicitas: The Original Greek Text. London: C. J. Clay and Sons, 1890. This is a good edition providing Latin and Greek texts on facing pages. Harris is the first to have produced in its entirety the Greek text from MS; he also provides a lengthy commentary on the Passio, arguing, among other things, the primacy of Greek as the language of composition, a position he later rejected (see Shaw, The Passion of Perpetua).
J. Armitage Robinson, The Passion of S. Perpetua. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1891. Robinson prints the text based on his careful collation of MSS Monte Cassino, BN Paris Latin 17626, and the readings from Salisbury taken from the Oxford edition of 1680 and those of Runiart. Although Robinson was the first to acknowledge the confusion in the attribution of the Salisbury exemplar to Salzburg, he never discovered the whereabouts of the Salisbury manuscript. Its provenance remains misidentified in Amat’s edition (see below). Robinson provides a number of cruces which illustrate his belief that the Latin exemplar was the original version and not the Greek (arguing against J. Rendell Harris). Harris later acknowledged the primacy of the Latin. Robinson believed that the Greek was filled with “blunders,” that the martyrs were from Carthage and not Thuburbo, and that the Acta may have derived from the Latin version used by the Greek redactor. Robinson also concludes on the basis of a close study of the different rhetorical patterns in the Passio that Perpetua, Saturus, and the redactor are three different voices written by the martyrs and the editor and that these distinctive voices are “entirely obliterated” in the Greek version. He believes Tertullian to have been the redactor of the Passio and cites a number of correspondences between his work and the Passio. He also posits that the martyrs were familiar with the Shepherd of Hermas and that its language appears in the Passio, and he suggests that the dream of Saturus may be indebted to the lost Apocalypse of Peter. Robinson’s apparatus and notes are excellent. He also prints the Latin and Greek versions of the Scillitan Martyrs.
Pius Franchi de’ Cavalieri, “La Passio ss. Perpetuae et Felicitatis,” in Scritti Agiografici, Studi e Testi 221, Rome, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, 1962, pp. 41–154. This volume gathers together some of de’ Cavalieri’s writings on hagiography. The Passio essay is a reprint from his earlier Römische Quartalschrift, Supplementhaft v, Rome, 1896. De’ Cavalieri prints the Latin text based on that of Holstenius and Possini and acknowledges that he consulted the readings of Valois (1664); the Bollandists (1668); Spark (1680), who first introduced the readings from what de’ Cavalieri calls “un cod. Sarisburiensis” (note that de’ Cavalieri has the correct identification); and Ruinart (1689), who added readings from “un ms. dell’abbazia di Compiègne (oggi nella Nazionale di Parigi, fonds Latin 17626) e si valse altresì delle varianti d’un codice Salisburgensis ora perduto (v. su questo codice, forse = Sarisburiensis dell’ed. di Oxford, J. A. Robinson….).” De’ Cavalieri (p.436) numbers the text sequentially, identifying the chapter beginning Si vetera fidei exempla as number I with no qualification that it had historically been called Praefatio since Holstenius. The Latin and facing Greek texts are on pages 108–39. De’ Cavalieri prints three black-and-white plates of the Greek codex (fols. 41r, 41v and 47v). He identifies the library for the Greek codex as “Codex gerosolimitano, S. Sepolcro 1.” He provides a detailed introduction (pp. 40–106) to the relationship of the Latin and Greek versions and has produced a solid edition. He believed Latin was the language of the original composition.
T. Herbert Bindley, The Epistle of the Gallican Churches: Lugdunum and Vienna. With an appendix containing Tertullian’s Address to Martyrs and the Passion of St. Perpetua. London: SPCK, 1900. Bindley bases his translation (pp. 61–76) on Robinson’s edition. It is not a complete translation, as he abbreviates entire sections. For example, Perpetua’s two visions of Dinocrates are cut and summaries provided: “In these sections Perpetua narrates the substance of two further visions vouchsafed to her”… (p. 67). His translation of the Good Shepherd and the milking episode, despite its liberties, likely reflects the author’s intent better than most: “and gave me a piece of the cheese which he was making, as it were a small mouthful, which I received with joined hands and ate” (p. 65).
Rudolf Knopf, Ausgewählte Märtyreracten. Tübingen and Leipzig: J. C. B. Mohr, 1901. Knopf prints twenty-one of the “authentic” martyr stories. Perpetua and Felicity is the eighth text he prints (pp. 44–57). He provides no textual commentary, prints only the Latin text, and directs the reader to see Robinson and Franchi de’ Cavalieri for their notes (p. 57). He concludes his very brief single note with a citation of his text’s indebtedness to the PL edition (“Boll 7/III. Marz I 630–38. Ruin. 134–67”). See also the 4th edition, R. Knopf, G. Krüger, and G. Ruhbach, Ausgewählte Märtyrerakten, 4 (Tübingen: Mohr, 1965).
Oscar V. Gebhardt, Acta martyrum selecta. Berlin: Alexander Duncker, 1902. He notes in his introduction that he has used the edition of de’ Cavalieri. The entirety of his commentary on the Passio is (p. vii): “Bei der Revision des lateinischen Originals der Passio SS. Perpetuae et Felicitatis (VII) hat mir die Ausgabe von Pio Franchi de’ Cavalieri gute Dienste geleistet; die Abweichungen des von mir dargebotenen Textes gehen, wo sie nicht ausdrücklich als Konjecturen kenntlich gemacht sind, auf bisher unbenutzte handschriften zurück, über die ich mir nähere Mittheilung für eine andere Gelegenheit vorbehalten muss. Für den griechischen Text konnte ich eine genaue Collation der einzigen Handschrift benutzen, welche Herr H. Achelis mir vor Jahren in liebenswürdiger Weise zur Verfügung gestellt hat.” He prints the Latin text on the top of the page and the Greek below it. Gebhardt says (p. vii) he has made a new transcription of the Greek text and seems to have read Cavalieri’s text against another Latin manuscript or manuscripts. Amat notes with regard to Gebhardt: “L’édition fournit le texte grec et le texte latin, en collationnant les manuscrits de Saint-Gall et d’ Einsiedeln (E1 et E2; p. 93).” However, I have found no explicit statement to this effect in his apparatus, and I presume Amat bases her remark on textual evidence. Gebhardt frequently cites a MS F, but it is unclear if he means this to refer to either St. Gall or Einsiedeln.
Gerhard Rauschen, “Die Akten der hl. Perpetua u. Felizitas,” in Frühchristliche Apologeten und Märtyrerakten, O. Bardenhewer, Th. Schermann, K. Weyman, eds. 2 vols. (p.437) Kempten & München: Jos. Köselschen, 1913. I: 40–56. Rauschen provides a translation from the Latin to German. There is no Latin facing page, but he provides a brief commentary. He takes his Latin text from Ruinart’s edition (hence C) from its printing in Migne (PL. 3: 13–60). He refers his readers to de’ Cavalieri. He translates nine Acta martyrum (1-Polycarp, 2-Justin, 3-Carpus, Papylus, and Agathonice, 4-Scillitan Martyrs, 5-Apollonius, 6-Perpetua and Felicity, 7-Pionius, 8-Cyprian, 9-Lyons and Vienne). He notes that the Passio is one of the finest of these narratives, calling it “eine Perle unter den alten Märtyrerakten; der Verfasser ist wahrscheinlich Tertullian,” citing d’Alès, “L’auteur de la Passio Perpetuae,” in Revue d’histoire ecclésiastique 1907, 5–18. He accepts Tertullian as the likely author and indicates that the Greek is a translation of the original Latin, noting “Ausser dem lateinischen Originale ist auch eine alte griechische Übersetzung erhalten” (p. 295). On the issue of what the Good Shepherd gave Perpetua to eat, he translates somewhat literally (p. 44): “Er gab mir von dem Käse der Milch, die er molk, einen Bissen; ich empfing ihn mit zusammengelegten Händen und ass ihn, wobei die Umstehenden sagten: Amen.” He states, perhaps somewhat anachronistically, that this scene is a dream-like depiction of the Eucharistic liturgy.
G. Sola, La passione delle SS Perpetua e Felicita. Rome: Liberia di Cultura, 1921. Provides a facing Latin and Italian translation and a brief introduction.
R. E. Wallis, trans. “The Martyrdom of Perpetua and Felicitas,” in Latin Christianity: Its Founder, Tertullian, vol. 3 of The Ante-Nicene Fathers, eds., Alexander Roberts, James Donaldson, and A. Cleveland Coxe. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1925. Appendix, pp. 696–706. While Wallis never explicitly identifies the Latin text of his translation, it appears to be taken from that of Ruinart as Migne printed it. This edition he believed “the best and latest edition.” He believed Tertullian the editor and not the author of the Passio. He accepts Carthage, and not Thuburbo, as the place of their death and dates their martyrdom about 202. Wallis believed the narrator a contemporary who wrote shortly after the events. This is a translation only, with very few notes.
R. Waterville Muncey, The Passion of S. Perpetua: An English Translation with Introduction and Notes. London and Toronto: J. M. Dent & Sons, Limited, 1927. This is a translation with no accompanying Latin text. Muncey accepts MS M as the best exemplar of the Latin Passion of S. Perpetua (p. 2). He believes the Latin earlier than the Greek and hence the original text (pp. 9–10); he equivocates on whether Tertullian was the author (p. 12); his discussion of the MSS is taken from Robinson. He has very limited notes. This is a reader’s edition only.
E. W. C. Owen, Some Authentic Acts of the Early Martyrs. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1927. On p. 28, Owen repeats the no longer credible point that “(a) persecution [under Septimus Severus] was regulated by a new series of edicts, (b) Christians were not accused by private prosecutor[s], but sought out by the state.” Owen accepts (p. 75) that the autobiographic sections are authentic on the basis of a comparison of the style of these sections with that of the redactor. He notes that the writing of Perpetua and Saturus differs from that of the redactor: “No one who has any sense of style can doubt that the author of the remainder of the Acts is a different person from the writers of these chapters [iii–x, xi–xiii]. His work is that of a man accustomed to composition, his sentences are (p.438) often of considerable length and periodic in structure, he is fond of epigram, he is often difficult (v. inf.). Their writing, on the other hand, is marked by extreme simplicity and a complete absence of literary artifice.” He assumes Tertullian is the redactor on the basis of style, similarity with Tertullian’s views on martyrdom, the Montanist sentiments in the preface, and the textual alterations. Owen views the lack of appearance of the “Preface” in some of the MSS as a reflection of orthodoxy’s anxieties about its Montanist sympathies (p. 76). He states that Tertullian was a committed Montanist by 205, and he believes that the Carthaginian Christians were heterodox. He uses Robinson and Knopf as his base text.
Walter Hayward Shewring, The Passion of SS. Perpetua and Felicity: A New Edition and Translation of the Latin Text Together with the Sermons of S. Augustine upon These Saints Now First Translated into English. London: Sheed & Ward, 1931. Shewring prints the Latin text with an English translation and acknowledges that his edition is largely dependent on Robinson and de’ Cavalieri, except that he has given greater consideration to the MSS which he refers to as “BCMg”—MSS BN Paris BN Latin 17626, Salisbury, Ambrosiana, and the Greek exemplar. He was aware of only four Latin MSS, these three and Monte Cassino. Shewring accepts the primacy of the Latin exemplar over the Greek and the authenticity of the autobiographical claims of Perpetua and Saturus. He accepts the idea that Tertullian is the redactor, arguing principally that the Montanist elements in the preface and epilogue were congenial to Tertullian’s own Montanist sympathies. His textual apparatus, notes, and bibliography are limited. Shewring also prints the sermons of Saint Augustine which treat the Passio.
Cornelius Johannes Maria Joseph van Beek. Passio sanctarum Perpetuae et Felicitatis. Nijmegen: Dekker and Van de Vegt, 1936. With J. Amat’s edition and that of Bastiaensen, van Beek remains the standard edition of the Latin and Greek texts.
———. Passio Sanctarum Perpetuae et Felicitatis. Latine et Graece. Florilegium Patristicum tam veteris quam medii aevi auctores complectens, fasc. XLIII. Bonn: Petri Hanstein, 1938.
Primo Vannutelli, Atti dei martiri. Vaticano: Pontifico Instituto di Archeologia Cristiana, 1939. Vannutelli’s small book provides the Latin texts of the Scillitan Martyrs, the Passio, and the Acta proconsularia Sancti Cypriani with a facing page translation into Italian. There is little apparatus. The Latin text of the Passio he has taken from the edition of R. Knopf, but he has emended that text with readings from the Latin text of Giuseppe Sola, La passione delle SS. Perpetua e Felicita (Rome, 1921). Vannutelli translates the scene of the Good Shepherd and the milking anecdote thus: “Poi me chiamò; e mi porse tanto come un boccone di panna rappresa di quel latte che stava mungendo; lo ricevetti con le mani giunte e lo mangiai. Tutti i circostanti dissero: Amen.” (p. 21). He calls the Passio the gem of these passion narratives (p. 4, and see Rauschen): “La gemma di questo genere è la passio sanctarum Perpetuae et Felicitatis, che noi diamo in secondo luogo nel nostro libretto.”
Marie-Louise von Franz, The Passion of Perpetua, trans. E. Welch and ed. D. Sharp. Toronto: Inner City Books, 2004; 1st ed. 1949. This is a Jungian study of the dreams of Perpetua and provides translations of the four dreams from von Franz’s German. Welch compared the German against Shewring, Owen, and Roberts and Donaldson.
(p.439) Herbert Musurillo, The Acts of the Christian Martyrs. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1962. Musurillo prints Van Beek’s Latin text and provides a facing-page translation. The twenty-one notes he provides cite almost exclusively the text’s dependence on Biblical texts. He provides a sketch of the Passio and accepts the primacy of the Latin over the Greek version (pp. xxv–xxvii). Although there are some problems with his translation, Musurillo’s version remains the principal English translation.
A. A. R. Bastiaensen, “Atti e Passioni dei Martiri,” Scrittori Greci e Latini. Milan: Fondazione Lorenzo Valla, 1967. This is a thoughtful edition and is particularly useful for Bastiaensen’s supple understanding of the language of the Passio. This is one of the best of the recent editions and should be used in conjunction with that of Amat.
R. P. Julio Campos, “Passio Sanctarum Perpetuae et Felicitatis,” in Suplementos de Etudios Clásicos, no. 2, Madrid, 1967. This is a printing of the Latin text alone, with a limited number of notes at the bottom of each page. Campos accepts Tertullian as the redactor (p. 26) and argues this point at greater length in his “El autor de la Passio SS. Perpetuae et Felicitatis,” Helmantica xxxiii (1959): 357–81. He uses van Beek’s text, and on one occasion only does he cite from different MSS, in this instance from G and E in his note on the gloss of prosecutoribus, indicating that these MSS read persecutoribus (p. 29).
A. G. Hamman, “Félicité et Perpétue,” in Les premiers martyrs de l’église. Paris: Desclée de Browuwer, 1979, pp.70–85, 157–58. Hamman’s French translation of the Passio is based on the Knopf edition (1901), corrected by G. Kruger (1929). This is a reader’s edition, with no scholarly apparatus. He accepts the Latin version as the original but gives no reason for his choice of the Latin over the Greek. He does not think that the tradition that ascribes the text to Tertullian is terribly convincing, save for the prologue and the conclusion.
Victor Saxer, “Passion de Pérpetue, Félicité et Compagnons,” in Saints anciens d’Afrique du nord. Vatican: Tipografia Poliglotta Vaticana, 1979, pp. 39–57. Saxer translates the Passio into French and appears to have taken his translation from both Robinson and de’ Cavalieri. Although he cites both editions in a note, he is not explicit about whether he used both texts or one or the other in making his translation. This is a reader’s edition, with few notes. Saxer believes that Perpetua wrote her original text in Latin, that Saturus wrote his in Greek, and that the compiler wrote his additions in Latin. He does not believe Tertullian had a hand in the composition. He leans toward Carthage as the site of the martyrdom rather than Thuburbo. Saxer cites the Passio’s indebtedness to works like the Shepherd of Hermas and other apocalyptic texts like Revelation, the Ascension of Isaiah, the Apocalypse of Moses, and the Book of Henoch. He provides a limited bibliography.
R. Rader, “The Martyrdom of Perpetua: A Protest Account of Third-Century Christianity,” in A Lost Tradition: Women Writers of the Early Church, ed. P. Wilson-Kastner. New York: University Press of America, 1981, pp. 1–31. Rader provides a brief introduction and notes to accompany her English translation, which is based on the Latin and Greek texts in Robinson. She does not address the problem of the Greek versus the Latin versions. This is a reader’s edition.
(p.440) Ioan Ramureanu, Actele Martirice. Bucharest: Institutului Biblic şi de misiune al Bisericii Ortodoxe Române, 1982, 372 p. This is an edition in Romanian. I have not read it.
Peter Dronke, Women Writers of the Middle Ages: A Critical Study of Texts from Perpetua to Marguerite Porete. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984. Dronke’s translation is based on van Beek’s Latin text. Dronke reads the text as deeply indebted to classical literary antecedents and resists interpretations that see it as embodying a programmatic Christian reading.
J. W. Halporn, Passio Sanctarum Perpetuae et Felicitatis. Bryn Mawr Latin Commentaries. Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, 1984. This is a student’s reading edition of the Latin text alone. Halporn prints van Beek’s text. His notes chiefly concern grammar.
Giuliana Caldarelli, Atti dei martiri. Edizioni Paoline: Milan, 1985. A collection of acts of the martyrs with brief introductions to each text and a general overall introduction to the period of the persecutions (pp. 7–47). The two versions of the Acta are translated into Italian but with few notes.
A. A. R. Bastiaensen “Atti e Passioni dei Martiri,” in Scrittori Greci e Latini Milan: Fondazione Lorenzo Valla, 1987. Bastiaensen prints the text (pp. 114–27) from van Beek with a facing-page Italian translation by Giachino Chiarini. Bastiaensen’s notes are intelligent and insightful (pp. 413–52). Chiarini’s translation of the scene with the Good Shepherd is rendered thus: “Poi mi chiamò per nome e mi offrì un boccone del formaggio che mungeva. Io lo presi a mani giunte e lo mangiai. Tutti i presenti dissero: ‘Amen.’” Bastiaensen provides an index of scriptural citations (pp. 609–10). He accepts the primacy of the Latin chiefly because of the authenticity of Perpetua’s idiomatic style (p. 416). He lists all the MSS except Canterbury E. 42 and adopts van Beeks’ sigils.
Andrzej Malinowski, Sylwetki diakonów w “Acta martyrum” [Exempla diaconorum in “Actibus martyrum” proposita], Vox Patrum 9 (1989), f.17, pp. 757–79. A Polish version which I have not read.
Clementina Mazzucco. “E fui fatta maschio”: La donna nel cristianesimo primitivo (secoli I–III): Con un’appendice sulla Passio Perpetuae. Firenze: Casa Editrice Le Lettere, 1989. Provides a translation into Italian (pp. 142–61) and some notes.
Shôsaku Toki and Kenji Toki, Junkyôsha gyôden [Acts of the martyrs], Tokyo: Kyôbunkan, 1990, 345–101p. (Kirisutokyô kyôfu chosakushu, 22). The Passio is on pp. 77–95. This is an annotated translation of Mururillo’s text with very detailed indexes of terms and language in Japanese. I have not read it.
Brent Shaw. “The Passion of Perpetua.” Past and Present 139 (1993): 3–45. This is a good, idiomatic modern translation. Shaw provides a particularly insightful and learned commentary, which is especially good on certain issues such as the way in which R and subsequent male editors “appropriated” Pereptua’s text.
Sara Maitland, The Martyrdom of Perpetua. Evesham: Arthur James, 1996. This is a reprint of Shewring’s translation accompanied by Augustine’s sermons on the saints. There is a brief introduction in which Maitland identifies herself as a feminist who finds inspiration in the story of Perpetua and Felicity. This is a nonscholarly book intended to be accessible and inexpensive.
(p.441) Jacqueline Amat, Passion de Perpétue et de Félicité suivi des Actes. Sources Chrétiennes, no. 417. Paris: Les Éditions du Cerf, 1996. Although Amat’s text is indebted to that of van Beek, she collates that edition against all the other manuscripts except the fragmentary bit in the Canterbury MS. She prints the Latin and the Greek texts one atop the other (as Gebhardt did before her). Her introduction provides a thoughtful discussion of the context for their martyrdom, the families of the martyrs, the nature of the dreams, and literary influences on the text, particularly from the Shepherd of Hermas. Her comments on the relationship of the Latin and Greek versions are very informative; she argues for the primacy of the Latin text over that of the Greek. Her collation has provided her with a useful stemma, showing the descent of the different exemplars, the unique descent of the Monte Cassino MS, and the mutual dependence of all the remaining eight MSS from a no longer extant text which she labels B. She provides only a limited discussion of the MSS. Her translation of both the Latin and the Greek is thoughtful and keeps close to the original. Her notes are judicious and provide solid historical information. In addition to the Passio, she prints and translates texts types I and II of the Acta and provides a collation for both. She concludes her most useful edition with an index of scripture, an index verborum, and an index nominum for the Passio.
Jakob Balling, Ulla Morre Bidstrup, and Torben Brammung, De unge skal se syner: Perpetuamartyriet oversat og kommenteret. Aarhus: Aarhus Universitetsforlag, 1997. This is a Latin text with facing-page Danish translation. The Latin is taken from van Beek’s 1936 edition. Following Barnes, the authors argue that Tertullian or one of his disciples had a hand in the composition (p. 58: “at forfatteren kan antages at have været en af Tertullian påvirket ven eller discipel”).
Maria Corti, Un ponte tra latino e italiano. Novara: Interlinea, 2002. Corti translates selections of the Passio into Italian. She is interested almost exclusively in Perpetua’s writings and so omits chapters 1, 2, 11–17.
Petr Kitzler, Umučení svaté Perpetuy a Felicity. Passio SS. Perpetuae and Felicitatis. In: Teologický sborník (2, 2002), pp. 75–83. This is a Czech translation of chapters three through ten with a brief introduction and notes. It is the only translation in Czech. I have not read it.
Vincent Hunink, Elisabeth van Ketwich Verschuur, Arie Akkermans, and Toon Bastiaensen, Eeuwig Geluk: De passie van de vroeg-christelijke martelaressen Perpetua en Felicitas & Drie preken van Augustinus. Zoetermeer: Meinema, 2004. Provides an edition of the Latin and a translation into Dutch.
Peter Habermehl, Perpetua und der Ägypter oder Bilder des Bösen im frühen afrikanischen Christentum: Ein Versuch zur Passio sanctarum Perpetuae et Felicitatis, 2nd ed. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2004. Habermehl provides a Latin text with a German translation. His text is principally that of van Beek. He translates the episode of Perpetua meeting the Good Shepherd: “Und er rief mich herbei, und von dem Käse, den er molk, gab er mir gleichsam einen Bissen. Und ich empfing ihn mit ineinandergelegten Händen und aß. Und sämtliche Umstehenden sagten ‘amen’” (p. 15; compare with Rauschen above). He provides a thorough bibliography.
(p.442) Marco Formisano, ed., La passione di Perpetua e Felicita. Milan: Biblioteca Universale Rizzoli, 2008. Pp. xiii, 133. Formisano provides an introduction, the Latin text (van Beek’s), and his translation into Italian, with notes. Eva Cantarella provides a brief preface to the Passio addressing some of the difficult questions concerning Perpetua’s background, arguing that the family is from Thuburbo Minus (viii), that Perpetua is likely a divorcée (x), and that the father’s patria potestas is the reason for his dominant role in her affairs (x). Formisano’s introduction of fifty-four pages (“seppur brevissimo”) discusses the form of the Passio, the three narrative voices, its place in the genre of the Acta Martyrum, and an analysis of Perpetua’s dreams, with particular attention to the language of physicality and its implications for gender, and compares the Passio with the works of Borges and Levi. He concludes that as “diario” the narrative occupies a Borgesian liminal space outside of the definitions of genre (61).
The Passio and the Acta
The Passio survives in far fewer MSS (9) than the Acta (41). As I am not presenting an edition of the Acta, I am not providing a discussion of those MSS. The reasons for the increased popularity of the Acta over that of the Passio are complex and reflect not only changes in taste but likely certain ecclesial changes as well. The Acta are more “hagiographic” than the Passio; that is, they generalize themes, idealize characters, and tend to ignore narrative nuance. Presumably, the text of the Passio had achieved something of an iconic status, and the redactors were reluctant to change it. The Acta are sufficiently different in form and content that they allowed for change. The Acta suggest a text that may have been intended for the epitomized readings in the second nocturne. They fill in the gaps, emphasize the miraculous, and domesticate the figures of these independent women. For example, in the Acta Perpetua’s husband appears before the proconsul with her mother and father with her infant child to plead that she recant. Moreover, the comparative brevity of the Acta allowed them to be epitomized for the Matins readings and, after the mid-thirteenth century, for inclusion in the breviary readings. The latest extant Passio MS A is late twelfth century (Ambrosiana C.210, infer), whereas the latest extant Acta codex, is MS Treverensis (B8/2h) is late seventeenth century.
Occasionally, the two narratives have been misidentified, a version of the Acta being mistaken for the Passio and vice versa. If one relies on catalog descriptions taken from incipits only, such misidentifications are easy to make. For example, G. Becker in his Catalogi bibliothecarum antiqui (Bonn: Max Cohen and Sons, 1885) notes two MSS with tantalizing incipits. Becker notes that MS Reichenau 10, a liber festivalis of the lives and passions of the saints which dates from the mid-ninth century, contains a text labeled Perpetuae et Felicitatis (p. 21). This is almost certainly a version of the Acta; it is likely the text later identified by Albert Holder in his catalogue of Reichenau MSS, Die Reichenauer Handscrriften, 1. “Die Pergamenthandschriften,” Leipzig: B.G. Teubner, 1906, p. 128 (here number xxxii, but van Beek sigil 2a). However, Becker’s entry for MS Saint-Nazare 510, passio sancti Saturnini et sancti saturi, Felicitatis et Perpetuae in uno codice, is of interest, particularly because he refers to it as a single codex. If this note meant a single quire, St. Nazare 510, for example, might well be a no longer extant (p.443) Passio, since, depending on the size of the fols., the Passio text could fill a quire as it does in MS M. Becker’s remarks about the Saint Nazare codex have been slightly expanded in Theodor Gottleib, Ueber Mittelalterliche Bibliotheken (Leipzig: Harrassowitz, 1890), p. 49m, no.109, who considered it a mid-ninth-century florilegium. Gottleib referred to MS St. Nazare 510 as Euangelium pictum cum auro scriptum habens tabulas eburneas. (p.444)