Thursday 16 December 2010

Bodleian, MS. Auct. D. 4. 6

Bodleian, MS. Auct. D. 4. 6 is a 12th-century English Glossed Psalter, well known for its initial apparently naming the scribe/artist and patron: "Ioh(ann)es me fecit Rogerio".

(For further images, click here, and click on individual images to enlarge them).

The main scribe of the volume has been recognised in other manuscripts associated with Reading, and there are later medieval notes relating to Reading Abbey added on the final leaves (see below), so it has almost always been asserted that the "Roger" for whom the book was made was Roger, abbot of Reading from 1158 to 1165, thus providing a date for the making of the manuscript.

There have also been attempts to link the manuscript to one of the five glossed psalters mentioned in the list of Reading Abbey's books in the so-called Fingall Cartulary (BL, Egerton MS. 3031), which includes:
Psalteria duo optima glosata inter lineas,
[1] unum quod fuit Rogerii Sigar,
[2] alterum quod fuit Hugonis de Bukingeham secundum m[agistrum] Petrum.
[3] Item Psalterium glosatum, quod magister G. dedit.
[4] Glosa super Psalterium secundum m[agistrum] Rad[ulfum] in uno volumine, ubi etiam continetur alia expositio super Psalterium.
[5] Item Psalterium, quod Rogerus Dure teste dedit, glosatum secundum G[ilbertum] Porrensem.
[An image of the relevant page is here; the glossed psalters are listed at the bottom of the first column, and top of the second column]

The gloss in the Bodleian manuscript seems essentially to be that of Gilbert de la Porrée, and thus it is tempting to identify it as number [5]. But the layout of the gloss is unusual in being mainly interlinear, rather than marginal, and thus it could be number [1]. If so, then the identification of "Roger" as Abbot Roger is apparently wrong, and thus the supposed evidence for the dating of the volume has to be set aside.

The added inscriptions relating to Reading have apparently never been published. The shorter one, dated 1314, reads:
"Capella beate marie Radinge cepit edifi|cari p(er) reu(er)endu(m) p(at)rem nycholau(m) abbatem | xiij kl. mai. anno d(omi)ni .m.ccc.xiiij." (fol. 157v)
The longer one, dated 1497, begins:
"M(emorandum) q(uod) A(nn)o r(egni) r(egis) Henrici Sexti xiij. Aurora refulgente | inter septimam et octauam horam Magna in die | sancti Bartholomei accidit tempestas. vid(elicet) grando | cui(us) lapilli erant mire magnitudinis et forme. [...]" (fol. 157v)
and ends:
"[...] Phebo postea lucidos crines sparge(n)te. | et sic totam diem p(er)durante. A(nn)o d(omi)ni M.CCCC.xcvij" (fols. 157v-158)

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