St John's College MS. 128
John Scotus Eriugena, translation of the ps.-Dionysian corpus
The preface to the ps.-Dionysian corpus, ed. PL 122:1026–30.
‘Hanc libam sacro grȩcorum nectare fartam | Aduena Iohannes spondo meo karolo—crescere flores | Nodosȩ uitis sumitur una ferax’.
JOHN SCOTUS ERIUGENA (Sharpe, no. 876 [311–12]), , verse preface to the ps.-Dionysian corpus, ed. PL 122:1029–30.
the prefatory letter to the ps.-Dionysian corpus, ed. PL 122:1031–6.
a further verse preface, ed. PL 122:1057–8. Followed (fols. 8v-9) by a list of chapters.
Translated by ERIUGENA; ed. [P. Chevallier], Dionysiaca: Recueil donnant l’ensemble des traductions latines des ouvrages attribués au Denys l’Aréopage, 2 vols. (Bruges and Paris: Desclée de Brouwer, 1937–50), 2:727–1039 (the text identified as ‘E’). With extensive glosses.
Rodney M. Thomson, ‘The Reading of William of Malmesbury: Further Additions and Reflections’, Revue bénédictine 89 (1979), 313–24 at 318–19 states that all known English collections of the Dionysian corpus are based upon our copy and share its contents.
Ed. Chevalier, 2:1072–1476. Between the rubric and the text, a contents table.
Ed. Chevallier, 1:5–561. Between the rubric and the text, a contents table.
Ed. Chevallier, 1:565–602. Preceding the rubric, a contents table.
Ed. Chevalier, 1:605–69, 2:147–1578, here in a thematic order. Between the rubric and the text, a contents table.
CPG 1338?, but the text is not equivalent to that ed. Theodor Mommsen, GCS 9, 1 (1903), 490–3. Other copies appear at Lyons, BM, MS 598, fol. 112; and Troyes, BM, MS 802, fol. 225.
CPG 1379, but this version apparently unpublished; cf. par. 42, ed. PG 9:647–52 (with modern Latin translation only). There is also a copy in Troyes, BM, MS 802, at fol. 225v.
CPG 3495; cf. the Ruffinian translation, here at best paraphrased, ed. Theodor Mommsen, GCS 9, 1 (1903) 145/15–151/21.
cf. the version ed. Ernst Sackur, Sibyllinische Texte und Forschungen (Halle a. S., 1898), 60–96; the version of our MS has been printed by Charlotte D’Evelyn, ‘The Middle English Metrical Version of the Revelations of Methodius’, PMLA 33 (1918), 135–203 at 192–203. See also Otto Prinz, ‘Eine frühe abendländische Aktualisierung der lateinischen Übersetzung des Pseudo-Methodios’, Deutsches Archiv für Eforschung des Mittelalters 41 (1985), 1–23. This copy, as also those of MSS 135 and 182, appears in Aaron James Perry’s list of copies, Dialogus ..., EETS 167 (1925), p. xli.
CPL 2333, ed. J. Fraipont, CC 175 (1965), 252–80. Only three lines have been written on fol. 237, and the remainder of the book is blank (fol. xviiv is ruled).
In varying formats:
Fols. 1–9v: writing area 167 × 85 mm. . In long lines, 28 lines to the page.
Fols. 10–221v: in text and gloss column format, ruled for a text column 163 × 55 mm. and a gloss column along the leading edge 163 × 39–46 mm. In long lines, 30 lines to the page for the text; the gloss sometimes extends beyond it, to the point of being occasionally cut off at the top of the page, in those portions paralleling the text, 49 lines to the page.
Fols. 221v–xviiv: writing area 167 × 95 mm. . In long lines, 31 lines to the page. Infrequent prickings; bounded and ruled in stylus and brown crayon.
Written in caroline by a variety of scribes, with frequent shifts among them. Punctuation usually by point only, but one scribe, responsible for fols. 97–143, shows a very large repertoire: point, middle point, high point, punctus interrogativus, and punctus versus (many examples of this mark later corrections).
Headings in red, usually in rustic capitals.
The introductory quire and the head of the first main text elaborately polychromatic with alternating lines of red, blue, and green ink at incipits.
The last two texts are headed by 6-line arabesque initials in red and green, the second with a later head drawn in.
At minor divisions, red, blue, green, purple, and gold 1- and 2-line arabesque initials, without flourishing but sometimes a dot of a contrasting colour.
On fol. 9v at the head of the first text, a 7-line O containing Christ nimbed, standing on the heads of two dragons, holding a Greek cross and a book.
Some later initia were to receive similar treatments but are now either blank (fol. 187v) or were filled in later (fols. 53, 111v).
See AT, no. 11 (4) and plate ii (fol. 9v).
Brown leather over wood, s. xv ex., with stamps associable with ‘the Floral Binder’, active in Oxford 1477–96; see Oldham, 22–3. The punches are Oldham, plate xviii, nos. 167 and 173. Graham Pollard identifies ‘the Floral Binder’ with a Thomas Uffington of Oxford in ‘The Names of Some English Fifteenth-Century Binders’, The Library 5th ser. 25 (1970), 193–218 at 210. Sewn on five thongs, taken straight into the board and staggered, as in Pollard’s figure 4. Remains of seats for straps and clasps. Gold ‘128’ at the head of the spine, in black ink on the leading edge, along with indication of contents (s. xvii): ‘Dionys Areopag Hierarch | Bemen ..... | Beda ..... ‘ and the old shelfmark ‘L iii’. Pastedowns old vellum, blank; a College bookplate on the front pastedown. At the front, fifteen vellum flyleaves (most early modern, the last two certainly medieval); at the rear; four more medieval vellum flyleaves (xviii–xxi), of which the first three are the first three leaves of a quire, but fol. xxi single, pasted to the rear pastedown. On the back pastedown a note of repairs ‘by Mr. Fifield of the Bodleian Library 4 October 1968’.
Provenance and Acquisition
‘aquilonali parte Autem’ (fol. xviiv, s. xii3/4, perhaps the opening of a text?).
Washed additions in a later hand (fols. xix, xxv, xxi, s. xiii ex.).
A contents list with only three items, all the ps.-Dionysian items a single entry (fol. xvv, s. xiv in.).
Pen-trials, including ‘honorificabilitudinitatibus’ (twice) (fol. xxiv, all s. xv in.).
‘2° fo predicti patris’ (the front pastedown, s. xv).
Initial entries for an index (fols. i–ii, s. xv/xvi).
Notes on contents (the rear pastedown, s. xvi in.).
Notes by WHS, 5 May 1916, on the book, with the old shelfmark ‘Abac: ij N°. 11’ (the front pastedown).
‘Liber Collegii Sancti Johannis Baptistae Oxon’ Ex dono Johannis Marsham eiusdem Collegij Convictoris 1621’ (fol. 2, upper margin).
For enquiries relating to this manuscript please contact St John's College Library.
Funding of Cataloguing
Conversion of the printed catalogue to TEI funded by the Thompson Family Charitable Trust
Last Substantive Revision
2023-09: First online publication