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Synods and Canons (Hibernensis), Synodus Patricii. Augustini dicta de conjugum ratione. Liber ex Lege Moysi. Canones Hibernensis(Content authored by Corpus Christi College)
Synodus Patricii. Canones
Codicology:Vellum, 260 x 170 mm(Content authored by Corpus Christi College), (10.2 x 7.1 in.), ff. 96, 20 lines to a page. Cent. ix-x (or x), in the opinion of Mr. Bradshaw. In a large, dispersed, slightly sloping minuscule: not English. Initials mostly in plain red or black. Rubrics in capitals.
Collation: 18-48 510 68-108 1110 (wants 1) 126 (wants 6). The old pagination is incorrect by 2 after p. 69.
Provenance:From Worcester: see below.
Provenance:On pp. 30 sqq. Mr. Bradshaw prints “the paragraphs partly of Irish origin which are appended to the Liber ex lege Moysi” and discusses them. On p. 32 he says “until fresh evidence is forthcoming, I shall believe that the present manuscript, whether it was itself transcribed in the Cambrai and Arras district or elsewhere, owes its origin to manuscripts then preserved in Brittany.”
Research:The Synodus (pp. 1-11) is printed by Haddan and Stubbs II 330.
Foliation: pp. i-iv + 1-69 + 69b-c + 70-89 + 89b-c + 90-188 + v-viii(Content authored by Corpus Christi College)
Language: Latin.(Content authored by Corpus Christi College)
Synods and Canons (Hibernensis), Synodus Patricii. Augustini dicta de conjugum ratione. Liber ex lege Moysi. Canones Hibernensis (Content authored by Corpus Christi College)
In large red and black capitals
Patricii Auxilii Issernini
Gratias agimus deo patri
Initial “Gra” in red, filled with yellow
On p. 11 initial in red and green with bird's head: on pp. 42, 43, 74, etc. roughly ornamented initials
Mr. Bradshaw's account of the manuscript in his tract on The Early Collection of Canons known as the Hibernensis (Cambridge, 1893) is the best available. I quote the principal part of it here
MS 279 in the collection given by Archbishop Parker to Corpus Christi College is another MS. of which it is very difficult to give in a few words a thoroughly satisfactory account. It contains four principal pieces, of which the third and fourth belong together, all transcribed by a very inaccurate copyist of the Xth or IX-Xth century. The first (leaves 1-11) is the Synodus Episcoporum id est Patrici Auxilii et Issernini, a set of canons printed by Spelman (and from him by others) from this copy. Indeed they have not been preserved at all except here and in the citations from them which occur in the Hibernensis. The second (leaves 12-105) is a collection of testimonia arranged roughly under certain subjects, some having rubrics and some not, but without any apparent method or sequence. It begins with some dicta of St Augustine de conjugum ratione. The authorities are such as are cited in the Hibernensis, and in many cases the passages are identical. They include Patricius and Gildas, and the latest author cited is Isidorus. But the collection is certainly not derived from the Hibernensis, being rather a compilation drawn independently from the same sources; and as under some heads passages are cited from Gildas which do not occur in the Hibernensis, it follows that the compilation must have been made in some district where his writings were accessible; and we thus obtain some sort of clue to the locality in which it originated. The third and fourth pieces are (3) the Liber ex Lege Moysi (106-159) and (4) a series of extracts, in order, from the A-text of the Hibernensis (161-187), with some independent paragraphs, many of Irish origin, interposed (159-161) between the two, and others of a different kind at the end (187-188), the last breaking off abruptly (188) in consequence of the loss of two leaves (97r-98v) at the end of the last quire.”
“The Liber ex lege Moysi is a collection of extracts, in order, from Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, which, so far as I can ascertain, is only known to exist in the position in which we here find it. It will be seen below that in three of the Brittany manuscripts in our list (nos. 4, 7, 10), it occurs prefixed to the A-text of the Hibernensis. In one of these (no. 4) it follows immediately upon the general rubric or title of the Hibernensis, while in another (no. 7) it follows immediately upon the introductory paragraphs De synodis and the Index titulorum at the beginning of the Hibernensis; facts which clearly point to some connexion between the two works, at least so far as their origin is concerned. The series of extracts from the Hibernensis begins (after a passage from Tit. 8, De recapitulatione septem graduum, Cap. 2, which serves as an introduction) with Tit. 1, De episcopo, Cap. 3, and goes on to Tit. 48 (your 1 50), De reliquiis in deserto humatis, Cap. 1. Of the paragraphs at the end of the volume I have nothing to say in connexion with our subject; but those which immediately follow the Liber ex lege Moysi are of particular interest to us, as it is to them that we shall have to look for our best clue to the history of the MS. Only let me first draw attention to two points, of which the bearing will be more clearly seen when I come to speak of the Brittany MSS.”
“Of the four principal pieces in the present volume nos. 1, 2, and 4 are quite free from any interlinear or marginal gloss; while in no. 3 (the Liber ex lege Moysi) and in the paragraphs of Irish origin appended to it, glosses are more or less thickly strewn, for the most part Latin, but in about a dozen cases Irish. These Irish glosses have been printed by Mr Whitley Stokes from the copies which I sent him; and from his commentary it is clear that, judging from the confusion of s and f and other mistakes, they cannot have been written by a scribe who knew anything of the Irish language. The character is certainly not that which would be used by an Irish scribe, even on the continent, in writing words in his own language. We are therefore brought to the conclusion that the copyist of this MS. must have had before him a manuscript already containing these Irish glosses, and must have been employed in a locality where such books were preserved ...”
“I am inclined to think that the present volume may have been copied from three several manuscripts containing respectively, (1) the Synodus Patricii, (2) the Augustini Dicta de conjugum raione, etc. and (3) the Liber ex lege Moysi and Hibernensis-extracts; and that this third manuscript may have been copied from two others, one containing the Liber ex lege Moysi with paragraphs at the end, all more or less noted with Latin and Irish glosses, and the other containing a set of excerpta from the Hibernensis. I do not wish to lay any great stress on the necessity of its having originated in this particular way; but it is as well to show how the present result may have been produced.”
“Now that we have reached this point, it becomes clear that, in order to ascertain anything definitely concerning the origin of this manuscript, we must look (1) internally, to the Synodus Patricii which forms no. 1, the citations from Patricius and Gildas in no. 2, and the Liber ex lege Moysi with its appended paragraphs and Irish glosses in no. 3; and (2) externally, to what we can learn of its later history.”
“This latter point, concerning its external history, is easily disposed of. The book came to Cambridge on Archbishop Parker's death in 1575, and belonged to him for some time previous to that date. It bears at present no mark at all to indicate any earlier ownership, but a little patience has fortunately brought this to light. In printing the canons of the Synodus Patricii (Councils, Vol. 2, page 330, note a) Mr Haddan says : “There is another (very imperfect) copy of them (xvth century) in MS 298, no. 22.” But, on examining this MS 298 in 1879, I found that the latter part of the volume was not a xvth century MS., but a mass of colectanea made by Parker, and by others for him, from various manuscripts; and that the incomplete copy of our canons mentioned by Haddan is a transcript, from the very MS. 279 which is now under discussion, in the familiar handwriting of Parker himself, who has written at the top the following heading : “Ex libro quodam vetusto ecclesiae wigornensis.” From this it follows that the original, at the time this was written, had been lent to Archbishop Parker from the library of Worcester cathedral, and that it afterwards passed, like many more of the most precious possessions of our cathedral and monastic libraries, into the private library of the Archbishop. Once traced to Worcester, it is not difficult to see how the book may have come to England (for it was certainly not written in either England or Ireland) with one of the Norman or Lotharingian bishops introduced in the eleventh century by Edward the Confessor or William the Conqueror2
The last text in the volume ends imperfectly
Item gregorius. quedam femina sanctimonialis in ea ecclesia sepulta iuxta altare pars
1  Dr. Wasserschleben's
2  I note that Ussher (Original of Corbes, etc. Opera XI 433) says “In a very ancient book which belonged to the cathedral church of Worcester, and may now be seen in Benett College library in Cambridge, there are extant certain canons bearing this inscription 'Synodus episcoporum id est Patricii, Auxilii, Issernini.' ” [M. R. J.]