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History of the Normans by Dudo of Saint-Quentin

History of the Normans by Dudo of Saint-Quentin

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1150

Shelfmark: Cotton MS Claudius A XII

Item number: f.5r

Length: 24

Width: 16

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Manuscript

This page comes from a manuscript bound into a volume of miscellaneous, mostly later manuscripts, some of which are known to have been in the library of Bury St Edmunds. The page is from a copy 'History of the Normans' written by Dudo, who is thought to have been dean of the community of canons at Saint-Quentin. The manuscript is missing the extraordinary verse preface addressed to Bishop Adalbero of Laon in which Dudo says that Duke Richard I of Normandy commissioned a history of the Normans from the house of Saint-Quentin. It is thought that Dudo wrote the history sometime during the late 10th to early 11th centuries, possibly finishing it after the duke's death. The history remains important to modern study of the Normans and their medieval culture.

Beginning with the first section of the history (since the preface is missing), the manuscript's first page has Dudo's description of the cosmographic three-part division of the world into Europe, Asia and Africa. Later librarians or owners wrote their opinions on whether or not the manuscript did actually contain Dudo's History of the Normans. The confusion may have resulted from the loss of the preface.

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