The Durham Collectar

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 •  9781870252409

The volume contains a new edition, reconstructive not diplomatic, of the manuscript Durham, Cathedral Library, A.IV.19, written by a single West Saxon scnbe, datable to the late ninth or early tenth century, measuring 247xl65mm and consisting of 88 folios. The original first quire of nine is now missing and three further quires, for a total of 23 folios, were added at Chester-le-Street at some date prior to c. 970 A.D. and filled with a somewhat miscellaneous collection of largely liturgical material, not considered here. The liturgical portion of the original manuscript (ff. 1r-6lr), which is edited and amply described here, had previously been the subject of two editions published by the Surtees Society, in 1840 and 1927.1 It was also issued in a facsimile edition.2

The book contains principally collects, but also postcommunion orations and, in conformity to a system rarely found, capitula or short biblical readings (cf. Reims, Bibliothèque municipale, 305; München, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Clm 6427; ibidem, Clm 22039), and in general abandoned from the 10th century. The editor is inclined to the opinion that the scribe most probably was not personally responsible for a selection of texts at the time the manuscript was written, but was copying an existing collection, of Continental not Insular origin, possibly devised for a small parish church in the Rheims diocese. This it does in a somewhat slavishly faithful manner, to the extent of not supplying the Sanctoral texts for important local English Saints.

The introduction, which incorporates a wide-ranging survey of secondary literature, makes useful comparisons in general with the liturgical compositions of the Carolingian era and in particular with a number of other collectars datable prior to 900 A.D. Taken into consideration, among Continental books, particularly collectars, are:

  • Karlsruhe, Badische Landesbibliothek, Fragm. perg. Aug 22
  • Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Clm 3913
  • Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Clm 6333
  • Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Clm 6427
  • Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Clm 17027
  • Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Clm 22039
  • Rheims, Bibliothèque municipale, 304
  • Rheims, Bibliothèque municipale, 305
  • St Gall, Stiftsbibliothek, 349, pp. 5-36
  • Trier, Stadtsbibliothek, 1245/597
  • Verona, Biblioteca capitolare, CVI (99)
  • Vienna, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, ser. nov. 2762

And among Insular collectars:

  • London, British Library, Cotton Titus D.XXVI
  • London, British Library, Cotton Titus D.XXVII
  • London, British Library, Harley 2961
  • Cambridge, Corpus Christi College, Ms. 391

The edition is complete with bibliography, extensive indices and comparative tables indicating other occurrences of the edition's 667 numbered texts.

1 Joseph Stevenson (ed.), Rituale ecclesiae Dunelmensis nunc primum typis mandatum, Raines, London / Edinburgh, 1840 (= Surtees Society 10); Uno Lorenz Lindelot (ed.), Rituale ecclesiae Dunelmensis, the Durham collectar: A new and revised edition of the Latin text with the interlinear Anglo-Saxon version, Andrews, Durham / Quaritch, London, 1927 (= Surtees Society 160).
2 Thomas Julian Brown, Alexander Hamilton Thompson, Francis Wormald, A. S. C. Ross & E. G. Stanley, The Durham Ritual, a Southern English Collectar of the Tenth Century with Northumbrian Additions, Rosenkilde & Bagger, Copenhagen, 1969 (= Early English Manuscripts in Facsimile 16).

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