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Volume / Number: 5 / 578

CLA 578
  • Paris France Bibliothèque Nationale de France Lat. 9389
Script Insular Minuscule and Majuscule
Date VII–VIII (680 - 720)
Origin and Provenance

Written in Northumbria, or possibly in a Continental centre with close Anglo-Saxon connections such as Echternach, where the volume was preserved for centuries. The subscription at the end of fol. 222v reads: 'Proemendaui ut potui secundum codicem de bibliotheca eugipi praespiteri quem ferunt fuisse s(an)c(t)i hieronimi indictione ·ui··cōn· bassilii ·ūc anno septimo decimo'. This is manifestly copied from the exemplar, for the year 558 constitutes a paleographic anachronism. Provenance Echternach: the familiar fifteenth century hand entered the title on fol. 1. The cryptogram on fol. 223v in which Arabic numerals do duty for vowels reads: 'Codex iste fuit in domo Tomadii de Este, anno Domini millesimo quadragentesimo tricesimo tercio, hora sexta in meridie.' In the Bibliothèque Nationale its first shelf-mark was Suppl. Lat. 693 (see fol. 1).

CLA Vol. 5
TM Number TM 66709
Support Parchment
Contents Testamentum Novum, Evangelia (Vulgata, Mt, Mc, Lc, Io).
Name Echternach Gospels. Codex Epternacensis.
Script Commentary

Script is a superb example of Anglo-Saxon calligraphy. Jerome's Prologue (fol. 1) is in stately majuscule, in which , R, and S are mostly uncial. Prefaces are in a somewhat less formal majuscule. The main part of the MS is in minuscule: a has two forms; occurs; e is often tall; is sometimes s-shaped; m occasionally is written sideways; r resembles minuscule n; t is sometimes z-shaped; z has the typical Insular form with the oblique stroke going well below the line; subscript i and t occur at line-ends; suprascript u occasionally is a mere horizontal. An English word, 'bigine', in dry-point is seen on fol. 194 as a gloss to 'incipientes'.


☛McGurk, gospel books no. 59. ☛On the glosses, see E. Glaser and C. Moulin-Fankhänel, in: M. C. Ferrari et al., Die Abtei Echternach 698–1998, Luxembourg 1999, p. 104–108.

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Last modified 01 May 2019