Manuscript Monday: LJS 477

Jacqueline Burek, a graduate student in English at Penn, presents the University of Pennsylvania Library’s LJS 477 from the Schoenberg Collection, Florilegium, written in Latin with one inscription in Hebrew, probably in Oxford, England, ca. 1250. This collection of sermons was probably compiled from multiple sources belonging to a preacher, probably Dominican. There are  many marginal notes, some indicating the liturgical season or the theme of a sermon, a few noting a cited source (including Ambrose, Gamaliel, and Isidore); excerpts from De animalibus, attributed to Aristotle; notes on natural history including information on birds and insects, arranged alphabetically, followed by information on metals (f. 4r-10v); and excerpts from Isidore’s Etymologies.

It was presented at the Delaware Valley Medieval Association Meeting at the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books & Manuscripts of the University of Pennsylvania Library. September 21, 2013.

 I am a third year PhD student in the English department at the University of Pennsylvania. I work primarily on British historiography, but I find florilegia helpful for understanding how and why medieval writers used quotations from other authors, and what the organization of those quotations can tell us about the reception of both the source text and the florilegium. LJS 477 jumped out at me because it is a florilegium located geographically and temporally close to my research interests, and because it contains quotations from Isidore of Seville, a writer who has proven integral to my work. LJS 477 has been helping me explore how changes in the intellectual climate of the thirteenth century changed the form and function of British historiography, as well as the form and function of quotations and translations in this period more generally. – Jacqueline Burek


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