Exeter College MS. 69
Gautier de Châtillon, Alexandreis; N. France?, A 1288; B 1290
The information provided by the several inscriptions on fol. 81v suggests that the whole book is probably in the hand of Peter the Hermit: see History below. A is in a good gothic cursive bookhand, punctuated by punctus versus. The gloss is in the scribe’s glossing script. DMO, 795 (pl. 133 reproduces part fol. 31v). B is in a small, rather variable, gothic bookhand punctuated by low point.
At the beginnings of books and prologues of books are 4/8-line decorated initials, some with a touch of silver, and some (as on fol. 59v) with very elaborate decoration.
Elsewhere 2-line red and blue lombards flourished in the other colour, some with elaborate marginal decoration.
There are also marginal drawings of animals, human heads, human and animal grotesques, and fish. All the decoration is very crude but the animal drawings have some style: see DMO pl. 133.
B, 1-line red initials and red underlining of lemmata. Alexander and Temple, no. 705.
Sewn on four bands between millboards covered with 19th-century leather; marbled pastedowns.
Provenance and Acquisition
Apparent connections of the text of item B with the north of France may suggest an origin there. In stating that Peter the Hermit glossed the book that he had written (A), and that then, because there was not enough room on the page, he went on to write the commentary in four quaternions, the first inscription after the scribal colophon on fol. 81v suggests the probability that B is that copy, its six surviving leaves now running only as far as the gloss on l. 477.
Apart from Peter, the first recorded owner is probably he who wrote 'Iste liber est Iohanni ad Caputia' at the top of fol. 2v, the position perhaps suggesting that by then the first quires of the book had been lost. The same Johannes perhaps also wrote the second added inscription on fol. 81v. If 'JK' in the partly monogram 'JKprums' on fol. 2r is tentatively read as 'Johannes ad Kaputia', the 'prums' may be even more tentatively read as 'prumensis' (or a variant of that), connecting him with Prüm in the Eifel where there was a noted Benedictine abbey.
On fol. 81v is also 'liber domini Iohannis Louell' (s. xiv).
There is no record in Ecloga or in CMA of the book’s being at Exeter c. 1600 or a century later, and a rather illiterate 18th-century pentrial on fol. 14r, 'John Sanders his my name and Engalad(?)' followed by figures up to 20, may suggest that it was not in the College’s possession at that time. Sanders’s name is also on fol. 36v.
Exeter library identifications are, on fol. ir, ‘Q2–18 Gall’ (pencil, deleted), ‘171–B–22’, ‘Coxe LXIX’ (pencil) and the book stamp; on fol. 1r ‘69’ encircled in pencil; and on the spine ‘22’ on a round paper label over another with serrated edges.
For enquiries relating to this manuscript please contact Exeter College Library.
Last Substantive Revision
2020-04-29: First online publication