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Volume / Number: 11 / 1621

CLA 1621
  • St Petersburg Russia Russian National Library Lat. Q. v. I. 18
Script Anglo-Saxon Minuscule
Date VIII¹ (Post 731) (731 - 750)
Origin and Provenance

Written in Northumbria, as is suggested by the decoration and the dialect of Caedmon's hymn, and doubtless in Bede's own abbey of Wearmouth-Jarrow, as is evidenced by the uncial used for the papal 'farewell' formulae, which is unmistakably of the type seen in the Codex Amiatinus, produced in the scriptorium there under Abbot Ceolfrid (cf. CLA 3.299). This makes the manuscript palaeographically important, since it furnishes the key to early Northumbrian minuscule. A definite date of 746 is suggested by retrospective numbers of years in the margin opposite Bede's chronological recapitulation on fol. 159, the numbers apparently added by the scribe who entered the chapter numbers throughout the volume. Bede's Incarnational dates plus the corresponding retrospective numbers add up to 746, though not always. It is conceivable that these numbers were copied from the exemplar, as similar ones in London, Cotton Tib. A. XIV would seem to have been (see CLA 12.1703), but the character of the uncial in our manuscript makes one regard the year 746 as a terminus post quem non.

CLA Vol. 11
TM Number TM 67786
Support Parchment
Contents Beda, Historia Ecclesiastica Gentis Anglorum; Caedmon, Hymnus.
Name St Petersburg Bede. Leningrad Bede.
Script Commentary

Script is Anglo-Saxon minuscule, apparently by four hands: the first three are uniformly pointed and compressed, the fourth (foll. 68v ff.) is distinctly less so; a is almost regularly open in the fourth hand; c is often tall before o and connects with it; noteworthy is the form of g; i-longa is frequent at the beginning of words; ligatures include ae resembling ce and various forms with subscript a, i, and . Compressed Anglo-Saxon majuscule is used for the first ten lines of Lib. 3 (fol. 48v). The scribe of the text added Caedmon's hymn in Northumbrian dialect in the lower margin of fol. 107. Probationes pennae showing Caroline forms of a, b, and c on fol. 161 seem saec. IX.


☛E. A. Lowe, 'A key to Bede's Scriptorium, Some observations on the Leningrad manuscript of the "Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum" ' Scriptorium 12 (1958) 182–190. ☛M. Schapiro, 'The decoration of the Leningrad manuscript of Bede' Scriptorium 12 (1958) 191–207.

Last modified 23 June 2017