Cambridge, Trinity College, MS R 15.32


Astronomical Collection

Aratea text: Excerptio Abbonis ex Higino de figuratione signorum; Excerptum de astrologia; Hyginus, De astronomia; Cicero, Aratea

Parchment — ii + 218 p + ii pp. — Winchester — s. XI1

Support: I6 (pp.i-10); II9(-1) (pp.11-28); III4 (pp.29-36); IV-XII8 (pp.37-52, 53-68, 69-82, 83-98, 99-114, 115-130, 131-146, 147-162, 163-178, 179-194); XIII4 (pp.195-202); XIV8 (pp.203-218) Bishop suggested that the first quire was originally of eight leaves with hairside outside, having the first two leaves probably left blank. By the bindning with the Calendar (quire II-III) the outer bifolium of the first quire was detached, turned inside out and folded around the second quire, and the blank last folio cut out. This would explain why the astronomical sections continues also on pages 11 and 12, which are part of the second quire with the calendar, and why they are not rulled in the same manner the rest of the quire. It will also account for the fact that the first quire opens with flesh-side outside.One unpaginated folio. The rest paginated 1-217 in brownish ink in the upper right corner of every recto. Two foliation in pencil 1-7 and 1-111, both now crossed-over.

Layout: Pp.1-212 written in one column in 25 lines (with the exception of the tables) ruled in dry point. Layout: Cicero's Aratea on pp. written in two columns.

Script: Carolingian minuscle with anglo-saxon features.

Hands: The astronomical part (pp. 1-14 and 39-216) mainly written by one hand.

Binding: Early-modern binding in braun leather and an embossed coat of arms of George Willmer (1582–1626) in gold on the front cover with a proverb "expertus credo".

History: The astronomical section was probably written in New Minster. On p.165 Robinson identified the hand as that of Aelsinus, a monk of Hyde Abbey (New Minster), who wrote London, BL, Cotton Titus D. XXXVI fols. 68-75 and Stowe 994 which is the "Liber Vitae" of Hyde Abbey. The Calendar section on pp. 13-26 was written in New Minster near Winchester most probably in mid 1030s. On p.17 for the 27th March is noted "Resurrectio christi", which was true for the year 1036. Robinson also observed a cross in hard point for the year 1036 in the Paschal tables on pp. 32-5. Usually such makring points the following Easter and in this case would suggest that pp. 13-26 were written between Easter 1035 and Easter 1036. — The MS was transferred from Hyde Abbey to St. Augustine's Abbey at Canterbury at the end of the 11th century. The astronomical parts are recorded in the Canterbury St. Augustine's catalogue under no. 1157 as: "Astrologia abbonis monachi et in eodem libro astrologia Nignn [(Higini)] philosophi astrologia Marciani capelle Compotus helperici doctissimi et figuraciones signorum abbonis" (James, p. 329). At the same time the Calendar also passed into the ownership of St. Augustine's Canterbury as is visible by few but notable 11th-century additions such as the local for Canterbury feasts of Saints Mildred on 13th July (p.21) and Eanswitha on 31th August (p.22). The two MS parts were united in their present form in the 11th c. Bishop points to additions (filling text) on the first folio of the fourth quire (p. 37-38) which was probably initially left blank as the opening of a separate booklet. The unfinished table of the cyclus decemnovennalis on the first unpaginated page is written by an 11th c. hand. — Donated by George Willmer.

Selected Bibliography:Bishop, T. A. M. “Notes on Cambridge Manuscripts. Part II.” Transactions of the Cambridge Bibliographical Society 2, no. 2 (1955): 185–99. — Gneuss, H. Handlist of Anglo-Saxon Manuscripts: a List of Manuscripts and Manuscript Fragments Written or Owned in England up to 1100, Medieval and Renaissance Studies 241 (Tempe, AZ, 2001), no. 186 [MS in two parts, one s. xi in., the other s. xi1 (1035/6); both parts origin New Minster, Winchester, provenance St Augustine's Canterbury by s. xi ex.] — James, Montague Rhodes. The Ancient Libraries of Canterbury and Dover. The Catalogues of the Libraries of Christ Church Priory and St. Augustine’s Abbey at Canterbury and of St. Martin’s Priory at Dover. Cambridge: CUP, 1903. — Morgan, N. and Panayotova, S. (eds.) with the assistance of Rebecca Rushforth. Illuminated Manuscripts in Cambridge : A Catalogue of Western Book Illumination in the Fitzwilliam Museum and the Cambridge Colleges. Part 4, The British Isles, 2 vols. (London, 2013), vol 1. no. 34. — Ker, Neil. R. Medieval libraries of Great Britain: a list of surviving books. London: Offices of the Royal Historical Society, 1941. — McGurk, P. "The Astronomical Section," in An Eleventh-Century Anglo-Saxon Illustrated Miscellany, ed. P. McGurk, Early Engilsh Manuscripts in Facsimile 21 (Copenhagen, 1983), 67-70. — Munk Olsen, Catalogue 1, pp. 526-7. — Wormald, F.English Drawings in the Tenth and Eleventh Centuries. London: , 1952, p. 64. — Keynes, S. Anglo-Saxon manuscripts: and other items of related interest in the library of Trinity College, Cambridge. Binghamton, N.J.: Cemers, 1992. — Robinson, P. Catalogue of dated and datable manuscripts c. 737 - 1600 in Cambridge libraries. Cambridge: Brewer, 1988. — Ker, Neil R. Catalogue of manuscripts containing Anglo-Saxon. Oxford: Clarendon, 1957. — Morgan, N. J. and Panayotova, S. (eds.). Illuminated manuscripts in Cambridge: a catalogue of western book illumination in the Fitzwilliam Museum and the the Cambridge colleges. Part 4, The British Isles. Vol. 1: Insular and Anglo-Saxon manuscripts c. 700 - c. 1100. London: Miller, 2013.

Codicological unit 1

Ir De circulo decennovenali Primus annus | Secundus annus … — … Nonus decimus unfinished list written on a previously blank page. Early-modern title"Tract. de Astrologia".

Iv Early-modern table of content. Ex libris of Trinity College.

1-3 Excerptum de astronomia In nomine domini incipit inuolutio sperae Duo sunt extremi uertices mundi quos appelant polos … — … effusionem urnae aquarii quae ad ipsum usque decurrit accipiens.

3-6 Abbo of Fleury: Sententia Abbonis de differentia circuli Sententia Abbonis de differentia circuli et sperae Studiosis astrologiae primo sciendum est per geometricam quid distat inter circulum et speram … — … Si uero nota est aliquis planetarum est. P. 6 diagram on the planetary evagation through the zodiacal band with rubric"Figura ad superiora dicta utilis". Eastwood, Bruce Stansfield. “Astronomy in Christian Latin Europe c.500-c.1150.”Journal for the History of Astronomy 28 (1997): 235–58 (esp. 251-52).

7-10 Abbo of Fleury: Untitled Denique luna totius zodiaci signa puncta partes studiooso lectori manifestabit … — … in piscibus martem esse modo credimus. Somiliter de reliquis. P. 8 diagram of waxing and wanning moon.

11 Abbo of Fleury: De duplici signorum ortu uel occasu Abbo de duplici signorum ortu uel occasu De duplici ortu signorum dubitantes aliquando has ratione conueni … — … matutino exortu hiemalem horrorem, vespertino vernalem adducunt temperiem.

11 Abbo of Fleury: De quinque circulis mundi Idem de quinque circulis mundi. Quinque tenent caelum zonae quarum una corusco … — … unde etiam fit ut duae zonae frigidissimae sint, ad quas sol numquam accedit.

12 Cursus lunae per XII signa Computistical table for finding the moon within the zodiac. Below list of epacts.

Codicological unit 2

13 Horologium horarum inchoat Diagram for the horologium - six circles grouping the months in pairs"Ianuarius et december hora III et IX pedes XVII, hora VI pedes XI" etc.

14 Calendrical texts (on thequatuor ieiunia legitima; the date of the nonas, idus and the number of days in a month throughout the year; computistical table).

15-26 Calendar Principium iani sancit tropicus capricornus Entries for religious feasts, astronomical-calendrical phaenomena ("Sol intrat pisces", "Orion et gladius eius incipiunt abscondi" etc.); interestingly on 27th March is noted "Resurrectio christi", which was true for the year 1036; slightly later added also unfavourable days ("dies mala"). Borst, Kalenderreform, p. XIX.

27-31 Computus tables linked to the columns of key letters in the calendar: pp. 27-28 Litterae punctatae table; p. 29 table for the monthly lunar epacts; p. 30 Pagina regulares; p. 31 Table with the lunar letters AEIOV.

32-35 19-year cycle table for the years 1025-1087.

36 Computistical rules and argumenta. Ratio certa de terminis tenenda De LXXma. Post XVI KL Febr ubi lunam X inueneris ibi fac terminum setuagessimae. … — … Si uis scire quot concurrentes sint omni anno, scias quota feria sit IX KL apr. tot concurrentes erunt in illo anno procerto.

Codicological unit 3

37 De diebus egyptiaci KL Ian. Iani prima dies et septima fine timetur … — … KL Dec. Dat duodena cohors septem inde dexemque decembri. later addition from XIex to the first folio of the following quire (initially left blank)

38 A computistical table (?) with a zodiacal diagram (later addition from XIex.

39-135 Hyginus: De astronomia

136-165 Martianus Capella: De nuptiis(Book 8.De astronomia Martiani Minei Felicis Capellae afri cartaginensis de astrologia liber incipit in nomine domini nostri ihesu christi. Quaedum geruntur et deorum sacer senatus illos numerorum concinentium … — … aut in profundum deprimit aut in latitudinem declinare aut retrogradari facit. many interlinear glosses; p. 165 was erased and rewritten by a different hand, which Bishop identified in two other Hyde manuscripts - London, BL, Add. Ms. 3489 (ff. 158-160) and Stowe Ms. 944 (41r and 59r).

166-200 Helperic: Expositio computi Incipit expositio compoti Cum quibusdam fratribus nostris adolescentulis quaedam … — … alfabeti caracteribus inducti, illa deinceps facilius assequantur. Finit excerptio uel expositio compoti heririci ((corrected to helperici)) uiri doctissimi.

200-208 Abbo of Fleury: Excerptio Abbonis ex Igino de figuratione signorum Incipit excerptio abbonis ex igino de figuratione signorum Denique ut dicit plinius inter omnia sunt LXXII signa … — … cuius et gubernaculum et rectam puppim secans ad octauam partem cancri redit.

209 Prayer Domine deus omnipotens sancta trinitas … — … aliis ministrare ualeamus. per eundem dominum.

209 On the creation of the luminaries according to the bible De sole et luna Sancta scriptura nobis a deo per beatum moysen tradita … — … et luminare minus ut preesset nocti.

209-212 De duodecim signis De XII signis sed primum de ariete Regionem duodecimam caeli in quam sol cursum suum dirigit … — … sed christus dominus saluator mundi euertit.

213-216 Cicero: Aratea Quinque solent stellae simili ratione notari … — … Hanc autem totam properant depellere pisces.

217-218 Probatio pennae.

Abreviated Literature:

Borst, KalenderreformBorst, Arno. Die karolingische Kalenderreform. MGH: Schriften 46. Hannover: Hahn, 1998.
Munk Olsen, Catalogue 1Munk Olsen, Birger. L’ étude Des Auteurs Classiques Latins Aux XIe et XIIe Siècles. Vol. I. Catalogue des manuscrits classiques latins copiés du IXe. au XIIe siècle: Apicius - Juvénal. Paris: CNRS, 1982.

(last change: 2018-06-01)
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