Ms. Codex 1065: Fragility

On March 30 we brought out out Ms. Codex 1065, a 13th century English Bible. We own a number of fragile manuscripts, but this is one of the best examples of fragility for a number of reasons. It was rebound in the 19th century, but has since been removed from that binding, and we now keep it completely unbound.

For many years it was believed that Ms. Codex 1065 was written in France, but in 2008 Paul Saenger re-identified it as being written in England. Notably, both the location of the Interpretationes Hebraicorum nominum after the Psalms, and the punctuation suggest English origin. It lacks the first leaf of the New Testament (containing Jerome’s prologue to the New Testament and Matthew, before f. 285). The text throughout has been annotated with references to works of Albertus Magnus, the glossa ordinaria, and the Sentences of Peter Lombard, in a number of hands from the 13th through 15th centuries, likely by Dominican owners or readers.

Decorations include approximately 77 painted initials, many with mythical and other creatures and marginal extensions, by the Gautier Lebaude Atelier or similar to the work of that workshop. The opening initial of Genesis is the full height of the page but has been damaged and repaired (f. 3v). The first leaf of the New Testament (first leaf of gathering 26, before f. 285) probably had similar ornamentation but is now missing.

Later additions include pointing hands, faces, and sketches of the Crucifixion (f. 251r) and Christ pointing (f. 306r).

Find out more about Ms. Codex 1065 by reading the full records on Franklin: https://franklin.library.upenn.edu/catalog/FRANKLIN_9941704573503681

You can watch the recording of the March 30 Coffee With A Codex here.

We host Coffee With A Codex every Wednesday at 12pm ET / 5pm GMT on Zoom. For a schedule three weeks ahead, visit our main page here.

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