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Detailed record for Royal 15 A XXII

Author Solinus; Dares Phrygius; Dionysius Periegetes (translated by Priscian); Segardus
Title Collectanea rerum memorabilium (f. 2); De excidio Troiae historia with epistola (f. 73); Periegesis (f. 90); Prophetia Sybillae (f. 110); Versus de miseria hominis (f. 115)
Origin England, S.E. (Rochester)
Date 1st quarter of the 12th century
Language Latin
Script Protogothic
Scribe Two scribes: Waller scribe 3 (ff.110-117) and scribe 4 (ff. 2-109)
Decoration Large initial in green with penwork decoration in red (ff. 2, 73v). Initials in red, green or purple, some with decoration in the same colour. Rubrics and Roman numerals in red.
Dimensions in mm 220 x 150 (160 x 100)
Official foliation ff. 122 (including two parchment leaves following f. 109, one of which is foliated 109A, the other unfoliated and 1 unfoliated parchment leaf following f. 117 + 3 unfoliated paper flyleaves at the beginning and 4 at the end)
Form Parchment codex
Binding BM/BL in-house. Rebound on guards in 1969.
Provenance The cathedral priory of St Andrew, Rochester: an erased inscription (f. 1v) states, ''Liber sancti Andree apostoli Roucestrie, qui eum alienauerit anathema sit', (see Warner and Gilson 1921) and included in the Rochester library catalogues of 1122/23, p. 127 and of 1202, no. 100, (see English Benedictine Libraries 1996).
Thomas Wybarn, monk of Rochester: inscribed in a 15th-century hand, 'Qui seruare libris preciosis nescit honorem, illius a manibus sit procul iste liber. T[homas Wybarn] supprior' (f. 1v), (see Warner and Gilson 1921).
The Old Royal Library (the English Royal Library): Westminster inventory number 'no. 832', now erased (f. 2) (see Carley 1997); included in the inventory of books in the Upper Library at Westminster of 1542 (f. 34), in the catalogue of 1666, Royal Appendix 71 (f. 20v) and in the 1698 catalogue of the library of St James’s Palace (see [Edward Bernard], Catalogi librorum manuscriptorum Angliae et Hiberniae, 3 vols. (Oxford: Sheldonian, '1697', but 1698?), II, nos. 8310, 8357, 8522).
Presented to the British Museum by George II in 1757 as part of the Old Royal Library.
Notes Numerous marginal titles and notes added in a contemporary hand.
Part of this manuscript, containing Nennius, 'Historia Britonum' and 'De miraculis Britannie' is now Cotton Vespasian D. xxi, ff. 17-24. These titles have been erased from the table of contents added in the late 12th century on f. 1v.
The manuscript was probably the exemplar for Cotton Vespasian B. xxv and may also have served as the exemplar for London, British Library Royal 15 A xxii and London, British Library Cotton Vitellius A xiii ff. 91-100, a manuscript with much in common with this one (for this information we thank Michael Gullick for making available his unpublished notes).
The 'Miseria hominis' (ff. 115-117) has been attributed (anachronistically) to John Seguarde, rhetorician of the 14th century, whereas it is ascribed in the manuscript to Segardus of St Omer: 'Hos versus sicut nobis quida[m] veridicus retulit segardus junior de s[an]c[t]o audomaro composuit' (f. 117v). Segardus is listed by Mabilllon as abbot of the Benedictine monastery of Tournai (d. 1127).
Select bibliography H. L. D. Ward and J. A. Herbert, Catalogue of Romances in the Department of Manuscripts in the British Museum, 3 vols (London: British Museum, 1883-1910), I, p. 13.

George F. Warner and Julius P. Gilson, Catalogue of Western Manuscripts in the Old Royal and King’s Collections, 4 vols (London: British Museum, 1921), II, pp. 148-49.

N. R. Ker, English Manuscripts in the Century after the Norman Conquest (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1960) pp. 15, 31.

Medieval Libraries of Great Britain: A List of Surviving Books, ed. by N. R. Ker, 2nd edn, Royal Historical Society Guides and Handbooks, 3 (London: Royal Historical Society, 1964), p. 163.

Katharine Mary Waller, 'The Library, Scriptorium and Community of Rochester Cathedral Priory c. 1080-1150' (unpublished doctoral thesis, University of Liverpool, 1980), pp. 270, 322-23, 360.

Mary Ella Milham, 'A Handlist of the Manuscripts of C. Julius Solinus', Scriptorium: Revue internationale des études relative aux manuscrits, 37 (1983), 126-29 (p. 127).

B. Munk Olsen, L’Étude des auteurs classiques latins aux XIe et XIIe siècles, 2 vols (Paris: Éditions du Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, 1982-85), I, p. 371, II, p. 501.

English Benedictine Libraries: The Shorter Catalogues, ed. by R. Sharpe and others, Corpus of British Medieval Library Catalogues, 4 (London: The British Library,1996), B.77.91, B.79.100.

J. P. Carley, 'The Royal Library as a Source for Sir Robert Cotton's Collection: A Preliminary List of Acquisitions' in Sir Robert Cotton as Collector, ed. by C. J. Wright (London: British Library 1997), pp. 208-229 (pp. 220-21).

Anke Holdenried, 'The Bedan Recension of the Sibylla Tiburtina: New Manuscript Evidence and its Implications', in Latin Culture of the Eleventh Century: Proceedings of the Third International Conference on Medieval Latin Studies, (Cambridge: Brepols, 1998), pp. 410-43 (p. 442).

The Libraries of King Henry VIII, ed. by J. P. Carley, Corpus of British Medieval Library Catalogues, 7 (London: The British Library, 2000), H2.862, H4.90.

Anke Holdenried, The Sibyl and Her Scribes: Manuscripts and Interpretation of the Latin ‘Sibylla Tiburtina c.1050-1500 (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2006), p. 246.


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Decorated initial

f. 73v
Decorated initial

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