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Durham University

Special Collections

DUL MS Cosin V.iii.20 Isidorus, Ethymologiae; W. Brito, Vocabulari Bibliae s. xiii med.

These incomplete draft descriptions of medieval manuscripts in Durham University Library are copyright, and may not be quoted without the permission of the University of Durham Library.

Owing to inconsistencies with the source software, accented characters appear in varying compound forms. This has not yet been rationalized.

17/1/90 AJP revision of AJP

The manuscript comprises four main sections. The first two (A, B) are adjuncts to the third (C), which has an added numbering, s. xiv, corresponding to that employed in (B); a Bury inscription of 1429 x 1446 is on the last leaf of (B) and refers to both (B) and (C). The fourth section (D) forms a natural companion to the first three, perhaps subjoined to them at Cambridge or Bury. The "James" scribbler, s. xvii in., occurs in all four sections and on all the endleaves save ff. 1 and 378.

[1] + 2 (portions of medieval endleaves) + 372 + 8 (medieval endleaves) + [1]; foliated 1-381, 212 repeated. Neat foliation, s. xiii/xiv (?), of ff. 52-91: 1-40. Membrane (thin: 0.09 mm., or, (D), 0.96 mm.; some natural flaws and edges; quires with fleshside outermost), 185-195 x 125-135 mm. Top and outer edges cropped.

Collation: (A: ff. 3-6) 1 four; (B: ff. 7-51) 2 thirteen (including a regular quire of 8, ff. 10-17), 312, 416 54; (C: ff. 52-213) 6-916, 1016 wants 14 (left blank for unexecuted diagrams ?) after f. 128, 1118, 12-1316, 14-1512, 1612 wants 9-10 (blank ?) after f. 212; (D: ff. 214-373) 17-2616. Catchwords on quires 6-15 and 17-25. In quire 1 the first two full openings, ff. 3v-5, have pairs of distinctive matching signs, to ensure the correct sequence. Quires 6-16 are marked with early forms of ad hoc signatures in blue, s. xiii (?), very like the guide-notes for the running-titles: 6, ai - aviij; 7, a. - h.; 8, cj - cviij; 9, bj - bviij; 10, [.a] - .h; 11, a- - [i-]; 12, a - h; 13, i. - viii.; 14, [.i] - [.vi]; 15, [i-] - vi-; 16, [i] - [vi]. Central bifolia of quires 6-8, 10 and 11 marked with blue line(s) across inside of fold at foot.

(A) No pricking visible. Written space 140 x c.95 mm.; ruled in sharp grey shading into soft brown. Two columns; 37 lines.

(B) Pricking in outer margins, ff. 10-17. Written space 145 x 95 mm.; ruled in sharp grey, soft or sharp brown. Two columns; 37-40 lines.

(C) Pricking in outer margins, mostly cropped away. Written space 132 x 97 mm.; ruled in sharp grey shading to soft brown. Two columns or, ff. 90/13 -92/17 (tabulation of etates ending Bk 5), long lines; 34-35 lines.

(D) No evidence of pricking. Written space 130 x 88-92 mm.; ruled in sharp brown. 40-43 long lines.

Written in small gothic minuscule, with some loops, particularly on d, proficiently, but (B, D) somewhat unevenly, by four hands, one for each section. Marginal book and chapter numbers and indexing letters added in (C) possibly by the scribe of (B). Marks, probably by the main scribe of (C), in the lower margins of ff. 120v, 122, 128, 148 and 180 look to be pen-trials.


(A,B) none, apart from rubrication in (A).

(C) text-capitals touched with red. Paraphs, in red (f. 131), or blue (ff. 54, 132v, 175), the last with red flourishing. Initials: (i) to chapters, 2-line or, from f. 54v onwards, a little larger, entirely to left of text- block, in blue, with infilling and flourishing in red; (ii) to books, 3-line, in blue decorated with dotted zig-zag in white, with infilling and flourishing in red.

(D) almost entirely not executed. Unfilled spaces for initials: (i) to each entry up to f. 257, 2-line; (ii) to each new letter up to f. 366v (V), 2- or 3-line. Type (i) initials in alternately red and blue, ff. 214v-215 and 218v- 219.

Running-titles: (B) in ink; (C) in blue, with a little flourishing in red, for which there are guides in blue, cf. signatures.


1. (added, s. xv, on endleaves) various scribbles, and: f. 2 (a) Mangna esset elemosina pueros informare speculamine amicorum carentes | quod ad gradum eleuarentur honoris; (b) Homo rebus secularibus (nimium) ocupatus obsequijs non poterit vacare diuinis;

(a) on the occupation of a schoolmaster; (b) on religious duties. On f. 1 a fragment of nonsense (?) verse, s. xvi, difficult to read, 'Vna peticle valde deticle ...'

f. 1v blank.


2. ff. 3-6 Incipiunt capitula libri qui dicitur ethimologiarum ysidori ... i De disciplina et arte. ii De .vii. liberalibus artibus. iii De litteris communibus ... ... xvi De instrumentis equorum Expliciunt capitula libri uicesimi qui est ultimus tocius libri ethimologiarum isidori. iunioris spalensis episcopi. cesar augustanum episcopum. Pax scribentibus et legentibus per christum Cui honor et imperium in secula seculorum amen.

Capitula of Isidore, Etymologiae. PL 82,1053-1060; ed. W. M. Lindsay, Isidori Hispalensis episcopi Etymologiarum sive Originvm libri xx, (Oxford; 1911), i,[xxviii-xxxvii]. The list corresponds to the divisions found in item 4 below, except: IIb has the ten chapters as PL II,22-31. III is divided into four sections: i-x, De geometrie Disciplina i- iiij, De arte musica i-ix, de astronomia i-xlviii, cf. ed. Lindsay; 13 is omitted, the text (f. 75v) having a division but no rubric; 56, which here would be d,xxxiiij, is omitted, and added later; against the second and third lines of the long final entry, as ed. Lindsey, the numbering is continued: xlix. l. XIII,7 is immediately followed by 'viij De tonitruo'. XVIII,23 and 24 have entries.

f. 6 (added) note, in soft brown. f. 6v ruled, but originally blank.


3. ff. 7-50v abba pater .7.14. abdo .7.6.d. abel .7.6.a. ... ... vsus fructus .5.25. wlturnus .13.12.

Tabula to Isidore, Etymologiae. The entries are arranged according to their first two vowels, ignoring inflections: a, a-e, a-i, ... u-u; the references are to book-number, chapter-number, and, for Book III onwards, lettered subsection, corresponding to those added in the margins of item 4.

ff. 50v-51 (added on blank pages) notes, in soft brown, partly rubbed away.


4. ff. 52-212 Incipit liber qui dicitur Ethimologiarum. diuisus in .xx. libellos Ysidorij Iunioris spalensis episcopi. ad braulionem. cesaraugustanum episcopum Capitulum .j. Primi libri. de disciplina et arte Disciplina; a discendo nomen accepit. vnde et scientia dici potest ... ... ut uis morbi; ignis ardere sictetur. Pax scribentibus et legentibus in Christo.

Isidore, Ethimologiae. PL 82,73-728; ed. W. M. Lindsay, Isidori Hispalensis episcopi Etymologiarum sive Originvm libri xx, i-ii, (Oxford; 1911). PL I,15 is omitted, f. 55, as in many early copies; added in margin as I,17. Spaces left for diagrams, e.g ff. 78v, 79, 205v; the leaf removed after f. 128 may have been left entirely blank, for the diagrams of PL 82, 359-362 or 363 (IX,6). II is the only book with a chapter-list in the text; the chapters are not numbered and 'de ethopoeia' is omitted (f. 64v). II,21 begins 'Svnt autem et quedam figure uerborum in preceptis eloquencie quibus augetur ...' (f. 67v). III,32 ends with an additional passage 'Ambrosius sanctus in libro exameron ... sustentacionem superiorum aquarum' (ff. 77v-78). The paschal table in VI,17, ff. 96v-97, is corrupt; it ends 'A condicione mundi usque ad hunc nouissimum cicli annum computantur anni. v d ccccxx.' IX,6(23)-(27) is set out in three columns, f. 128v.

The original divisions are as in PL, except: Book I has 40 chapters (PL 15 omitted; 6-7, 18-19, 41-44 combined; 5, 17 divided in two), numbered i-xxviii (vii comprises PL 6-14, xiii: 22-26). II has chapters numbered i-21, 1-x (24 & 25 both numbered 3; 27(2)-(7) counted as 6). III has PL 3 and 32(expanded) divided in two; after 7 (numbered viii) the chapters are unnumbered. IV has only chapter 13 numbered (xiii). IX,7 is numbered viii. XIII,7 is divided in two: 'viii. De nubibus Nubibus dicte ab obnubendo ...'; 8 is left unnumbered. XVI,13-14 combined, with subsequent chapter- numbers reduced by one. XVIII,22-24 combined, but 25 is numbered xxv. XIX,30-31 combined, reducing the following numbers by one.

The arabic chapter-numbers added s. xiii/xiv in the margins to correspond to the references in the item 3 above are as those in ed. Lindsay, except: Book XIX,xxx-xxxi; XX,i-ii combined. Book I,iii, iv, xviii; II,xxi, xxviii; III,iii, xxxii(expanded), xlii, lxvi; IV,v; V,xxvii; VI,i; VII,viii; IX,vi; XIII,x; XVIII,xxvii divided in two. Book X is divided into twenty.

ff. 212v-213v originally blank; f. 212* mostly cut away. Theological notes, in sharp grey, ff. 212v, 212* and 213, cf. item 6(a) below. The "James" scribbler wrote, inter alia, s. xvii in., 'washe me thougholye from my wickednesse ... against thee onely' (Ps. 51:2-4, possibly recalled on account of the anthem setting by XXXX), and 'Eune as the rowling stonne that neuer gather moes do gould with', partly repeated, both f. 212v. 'Venit Summa dies et inelucktabile tempus', f. 212*, s. xvii.

(D) Not before 1249

5. ff. 214-373v [D]Ifficiles studeo partes quas biblia gestat; pandere. sed nequeo latebras nisi qui manifestat; ... vera sophia. A. littera sicut dicit ysid' in .jo. eth' ... ... ubi et princeps inde exstitit. verba sunt isidori ethimologiarum .vij. | Hic ego doctorum compegi scripta sacrorum | ... Sorte beatorum quod sim velut vnus eorum. | AmeN. AmeN. AmeN.

William Brito, Expositio vocabulorum Bibliae. RBMA no. 2820. Ed. L. W. & B. A. Daly, Summa Britonis sive Guillelmi Britonis Expositiones Vocabulorum Biblie, Thesaurus Mundi Bibliotheca Scriptorum Latinorum Mediae et Recentioris Aetatis 15 (Padua, 1975), listing (pp. xlii-vi) 147 copies but not this one, adducing (pp. xiii-xviii) evidence that the work was not compiled before 1249, and showing that material was added, probably by Brito, after the work had begun to circulate. In this copy the original text contains single-word glosses in French, 'gallice', as recorded by T. Hunt, Teaching and Learning Latin in Thirteenth-Century England, (Cambridge, 1991), pp. 389-91, from three English copies, one being MS C in ed. Daly & Daly. The prefatory 16 lines of verse and concluding 10 lines are written as prose.

Early marginal additions in this copy, ff. 262v, 311, 315v, 324 and 347v, correspond to matter recorded by Daly & Daly as addenda in one or more of the four fourteenth-century copies that they collated (pp. 509, 533 and 582, from MS C = Oxford, Bodleian Library MS Rawlinson C.896; p. 251, from MS D = B.L., MS Add. 17743; and p. 708, from MSS C and D). Other marginal additions represent supplementary articles not recorded by Daly & Daly, some, as in Brito's text, concerning non-Biblical terms: Apocrifum, f. 222; Cello, f. 236v; Exaplois, f. 260v; Gemini, f. 271; Ieiunium, f. 276; Prothelifonte, f. 329; Purpurissum, f. 331v; Renices, f. 336v; Sintagma, f. 351.

6. ff. 374-381 (endleaves, originally blank): (a) s. xiii, ff. 374-379v [...] vnusquisque ...; (b) s. xiv2, f. 378v Mas solide stabilitatis elegancia decoratur/ qui nec amore vel odio ... ... sed prehabita dileccione firmiter perseuerare; (c) s. xiv/xv, f. 379v (i) Homo iuri .i. male dicit derogat qui presumit aliena contra iuris debitum possideri; (ii) Infamia crebrescit in eius obprobrium qui magnificus in verbis et in factis pusillanimus reperitur; (iii) Dum pastor conseruat oues/ dispendia sepe Incurrit/ multas seruat vt vnus oues; (iv) Iuuenem meum fratrem feceninis mater sopiuit; (d) s. xv, f. 380v De miserrimis condicionibus modernorum quorumdam dolendum est quamplurimum ... ... quod suam endelichiam/ suo plasmatori mundani reddere valeat/; (e) s. xv, f. 381v (i) Puer cui magister parcetur est lecturus latinitatem legendam etc; (ii) Nulli decetero parcam quin dicam prout congnosco veritatem etc; (iii) Talem amorem alijs tibi perderit intimari/ ne proprie persone dampna.. nocina incurrere hauriaris/; (iv) Quanto plus mobilis affluencie innudauerit/ arridente fortuna/ tanto misera.. cupidine animus insaciabilis exardescit/; (v) Quo auarus homo/ plures diuicias cumulat/ eo plus cupidine multiplica.. solet/; (vi) Opereprecium esset cuique huiusmodi viuire fructuum/ quo anima spiritualiter pasceretur/; (f) s. xv, f. 380 Form of manumission by John abbot and the prior and convent of Bury St Edmund's of their neif N from their manor of <...> N in the county of S., cf. 'Omnibus Christi Fidelibus', in the same hand, f. 378v; (g) s. xvii in., all leaves except f. 378, "James" scribbles.

(a) Theological notes, in sharp grey, s. xiii, cf. leaves at the end of item 4.

Written in England or northern France.

'<conventus cantebriggie>', f. 52, s. xiii/xiv, the erased ex libris of a Cambridge mendicant house. Section (D) has notes in soft brown, s. xiv, suggesting that it was used as an exemplar: 'Hic incipe cras', f. 321v, 'Hic cras', f. 351

'Ysidorus ethimologiarum de procreacione [rectius procuracione] domini Willelmi Curteys Abbatis Monasterii sancti Edmundi de Bury cum vna notabili tabula quem librum eiusdem Monasterij librarie ab ipso fabricate assignauit et donauit perpetuo remansurum qui signatur sub littera .y. et numero .28.', f. 51v, reproduced L. L. Brownrigg, Medieval Book Production: Assessing the Evidence (Los Angeles 1990), p. 7; on Abbot Curteys' library see M. R. James, On the Abbey of St Edmund at Bury, Cambridge Antiquarian Society 8vo publications 28 (1895), p. 41, and J. W. Elston, William Curteys, abbot of Bury St Edmunds 1429-1446, (PhD thesis, Berkeley Cal, 1979: University Microfilms International, Ann Arbor; 1981), p. 168: 'Apart from this short notice, there seems to be no other reference to a Library built by Curteys at St Edmunds, and it is puzzling that Curteys should have neglected to mention such an achievement in his register, where other building done by the abbot is duly noted'; ibid. p. 584 'This omission suggests that the library may not have been completed until near the end of Curteys' life.' '.y.28.', f. 52, the normal form of pressmark used at Bury, with the letter referring to the content; it is in a different hand from the examples illustrated New Pal. Soc. i, pl. 17, no. 8 a-c; E.G.Millar, Library of A. Chester Beatty, (1927), pl. 73; 28 is the highest number at Y to have been found, see MLGB, pp. 16-22.

Secundo folio: iii De inventoribus (f. 4); Cadus. 16. (f. 8); Iuncte (f. 53); abruptus (f. 215).

'Nono die Novembris thomas Qverende Anno 1587', f. 2. 'John Eger Esquir Receyuour of Suff Norf Cant et Hunt', f. 6v, s. xvi ex. 'John James' 'thomas James' 'Richard James', by one (?) hand, f. 377v; 'Ihon James', f. 379v; 'Richarde James Is my nam ...', f. 6v, among other scribbles; 'Richard James', three times, f. 6; 'Richard James A.BCDEf', f. 2v; and in the same hand, 'William Atkynson', f. 374, s. xvii in., all in the same brown ink.

'Geo. Davenport. | 1664.', on a paper slip stuck to the front pastedown.

standard, s. xix med.; 1 clasp.