Codicology:Vellum, 295 x 215 mm, (11.8 x 8.4 in.), ff. 86,
double columns of 43, 50,46, 36, 54, 62, 53 lines. Cent.
ix (according to Mr
Bradshaw, the text and most of the glosses are of cent. ix, a few glosses
of cent. x): in a variety of very beautiful and interesting
110 210 (1, 10, 2, 9 are made sheets)
38 410-710 || 88 98 10
Quires 1 and 2 as far as f. 16r col. 2 med., are in a fine flat-topped
hand. In the lower part of col. 2 of 16r there is a change to
a hand of
aspect, not flat-topped. This continues on
On f. 17r, col. 1 is another hand of the same school, which
appears nowhere else in the book: and col. 2 is in a larger and very rough hand of the
On f. 17v a hand appears which might be that of f. 16v. This continues
to the end of 18v.
ff. 19r-28v (including all quire 3) are in one good round
hand, still not flat-topped. The vellum differs from what precedes and follows in
being whiter and less stiff. But from the construction of the quires I have little doubt that all
these hands are practically contemporary.
With quire 4 the first (flat-topped) hand resumes, but writes more closely
(56-60 lines to a column).
Titles of sections have been added in small capitals.
The hand seems to become smaller and closer as we proceed, but continues to be very
f. 63r (Lib. IX capp. vii-xvii) is wholly in a different hand, not
flat-topped: rather pointed, but it cannot be later: the old hand resumes on f.
63v and continues up to f. 67r col. 2, l. 7. Then 20 lines are
written in a more pointed hand, and then follows the colophon in
red in the old hand, followed by a couplet in a hand of the same school.
f. 67v, with geometrical figures, is wholly in another
f. 68r-68v is gone.
f. 69r is the first leaf of a new volume and is blank. There has been a
sketch on the verso.
ff. 70r-86v are in a fine small hand, round, but not
flat-topped. Rubrics in red uncials, 53 lines to a
Provenance:A connexion of this book with St David's is, to my
mind, rendered probable by the fact that Bishop Davies was interested in
the antiquities of his diocese and that he corresponded with Parker about
manuscripts. A comparison of this volume with MS 199, written
by John, son of Sulgen, Bishop of St David's in cent. xi,
confirms very strongly the conjecture of such an origin.
Research:The great interest and importance of this book is that it contains a number of
glosses in old Welsh, discovered by Mr Bradshaw in
1871 (see Collected Papers 281 and 484):
“On going to the Library, and taking down, one after another, the books of which I had taken a
note, it was not long before I came upon a copy of Martianus Capella,
one of the most favourite writers of the early middle ages. Here, among the crowd of Latin
glosses, it was easy to distinguish a few words, not of Irish, which I at first thought I might
find, but of unmistakeable Old Welsh, written in a handwriting apparently as early as any
remains of the Welsh language known to be in existence, and exhibiting forms familiar enough to
students of Zeuss's Grammatica
Celtica, but presenting an appearance to the eye very different from that of
modern Welsh. A subsequent careful examination of the book has enabled me to extract about 140
glosses, or vernacular explanations of hard or singular words; and it is possible that a second
reading of the manuscript, upon which I am now engaged, may yield a few more.”
“Martianus Capella. Cambridge, Corpus Christi College, MS. 153.
A. Text, and most of the
glosses ixth cent.
B. A few glosses xth cent.”
Among Mr Bradshaw's papers in the University Library is a copy of the
glosses, prepared for publication in 1872.
The glosses were published by Dr Whitley Stokes in Archaeologia
Cambrensis, Series 4, vol. IV p. i, and also in Kuhn and Schleicher's Beiträge zur Vergleich.
Sprachforschung VII (Berlin 1873), p. 385.
See description and facsimiles in Professor W. M.
Lindsay's Early Welsh Script p. 19, pl. ix-x.
Foliation: ff. a-b + 1-67 (68 missing) + 69-86 + c-d
Language: Latin with Old Welsh glosses.
Martianus Capella, De nuptiis Philologiae et
The title of the work, which was at top of col. 1, f. 1r
in red, has almost totally disappeared
The initial, in black, is of good bold design; others
occur at the beginnings of subsequent books
A diagram on f. 35r (which recurs on f. 79r) is
inserted: the legend is written in a sloping minuscule of cent.
x (?), not of Celtic type.
On f. 37r is a sketch (by an Anglo-Saxon hand) of a man brandishing
a pastoral staff.
On f. 39v is an Anglo-Saxon sketch of a woman's head.
secutae nugis nate ignosce lectitans
Explicit de musica liber nonus
Sic felix falsus finiuit falsa capella
Corpore qui meruit miseram nunc
geometrical figures with names beginning with Planus
angulus and ending with Octedros
Glossary on Martianus Capella, De nuptiis Philologiae et Mercurii
Gloss on Martianus Capella
Iste martianus genere kartaginensis fuit
studens primo philosophie
It is a collection, for the most part, of glosses on single words
Bombinatorem sonatorem. Iugariorum a prouincia iugaria. Marcidam
Incipit collectae glosae
Subigo polis semus sermo est
significat enim rego ut ipse ratem conto subigit
Ibidem iterum et similiter ibidem ex eodem loco .i. indidem i. ipsum.
Viritim per singulos uiros
The same glosses occur in MS 330