Armorica (France)



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Armorica (France)

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Armorica (France)

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Armorica (France)

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Dares Phrygius: Geoffrey of Monmouth,

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  • [1250x1300] /

A Latin manuscript written on parchment in the second half of the thirteenth century and containing (a) ff. 1 recto-10 verso, the prose narrative generally known as Daretis Phrygii de Excidio Troiae Historia, and (b) ff. 11 recto-64 recto, a text of Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia Regum Britanniae in eleven books, followed, f. 64 recto-verso, by a brief list of names (place-names, river-names, etc., beginning with 'Armorica') and their derivations. According to the colophon on f. 64 verso the scribe was William of Wodecherche, former lay brother of Robertsbridge [Abbey, Sussex] ('hanc hystoriam brittonum scripsit frater Willelmus de Wodecherche laicus quondam conuersus pontis Roberti cuius anima requiescat in pace. Amen'); there is an almost identical colophon in MS Bodl. 132. The manuscript has the red crayon pagination associated with Archbishop Matthew Parker, the numbering in this case being 1-127, and in Parker's time, and perhaps from the beginning, it appears to have been bound with Phillipps MS 26641 (William of Malmesbury, Gesta Regum Anglorum) and Phillipps MS 26642 (Giraldus Cambrensis, Topographia Hibernica, etc., and Edmund Campion, 'Two bookes of the histories of Ireland, purchased at Sotheby's by 3rd Earl Iveagh, and now Farmleigh Library, Dublin, Benjamin Iveagh Library, IV E 6). The text of the Historia Regum Britanniae is of the 'Variant Version' published by Jacob Hammer in 1951 (see 'Publications about Described Materials note). It should be added that the text includes the reading 'Que multa exercens ueneficia . . . haberet' (f. 36 verso), cf. Hywel D. Emanuel, 'Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia Regum Britannie: a second variant version', in Medium Aevum, XXXV, pp. 103-10). The manuscript begins, f. 1 recto, 'Epistula cornelii ad Crispum salustium in troianorum hystoria. que in Greco a darete hystonographo facta est. Cornelius Gaio Crispo salutem' . . 'Explicit epistula. Narratio Daretis Trolani Excidii'; f. 10 verso, 'Explicit Troie Excidium. Incipit hystoria brittonum tracta ab antiquis libris brittonvm', with Geoffrey of Monmouth's prologue added in the margins in a sixteenth century hand ('Historla Galfridi Monumetensis. Cum mecum multa . . . interno gratulatur affectu'); f. 11 recto, the Geoffrey of Monmouth text, beginning 'Britannia insularum optima. . .', with running title 'hystoria brittonum' and a note, probably by Matthew Parker, 'hic liber multum variat a communi galfrido quamuis in multis concordant'; f. 64 recto, 'Explicit hystoria brittonum correcta et abbreuiata', followed by another note probably by Parker, 'et cum vulgari galfrido: non concordat' (a note in the margin of f. 63 verso, 'in hoc libro augustinus non habetur', is also probably by him). The divisions into books are marked and there is a lacuna in Book XI between ff. 62 verso and 63 recto (apparently by the loss of the two middle bifolia of the quire) although the pagination is continuous. On f. 64 verso William of Malmesbury's dedicatory letter to the earl of Gloucester has been inserted in a sixteenth century hand (cf. f. 10 verso).

William of Wodecherche