MS. Junius 1
Summary Catalogue no.: 5113
The Orrmulum; s. xii2 (?1170-1185)
The prefatory materials constitute one, cohesive text. There is a signe de renvoi (consisting of a circle surrounding a dot) after l. 314 (fol. 4v/b10) which does not correspond to any extant insertion. After item 50 in the table of contents, Scribe C added ‘huc usque .i. uol(umen)’ (5r/29)
fol. 3r/1 Six-line black ‘N’.
fol. 4v/b19 Four-line ‘I’ at line 322.
These lines are not presented as a separate text by White but the major initials that begin this item and the next indicate Orrm considered it a discrete section. There is a signe de renvoi (consisting of a circle bisected by a horizontal line) before l. 89 (fol. 10r/b19) which does not correspond to any extant insertion.
fol. 10r/a1 Eight-line black ‘A’.
Hand C's writing is visible on the stub before fol. 10 (conjoint with fol. 22). There is a cancelled major capital at fol. 10v/b24 (= l. 197), the beginning of the second gospel paraphrase in this double homily. Two bifolia, bearing cols. 13-28, have been lost from the centre of Q2. This text probably amounted to c. 425 septenaries; c. 180 of these survive in Vliet's transcript. There is a signe-de-renvoi on fol. 21v/a11 which may have corresponded to the writing on the stub after fol. 21. The outer two bifolia of Q3 (bearing cols. 45-52, 69-76) have been lost. Cols. 45-52 contained the end of Fit 1 and the beginning of Fit 2, hence the defective explicit of this item. Some 25 septenaries survive in Vliet's transcript.
fol. 10r/b51 Eight-line black ‘A’.
The outer two bifolia of Quire 3 (bearing cols. 45-52, 69-76) have been lost. Cols. 45-52 contained the end of Fit 1 and the beginning of Fit 2, hence the defective explicit of this item. Some 25 septenaries survive in Vliet's transcription. Cols. 69-76 must have contained the end of Fit 2 and the beginning of Fit 3; some 30 septenaries survive in Vliet's transcription.
fol. 23r/a18 Three-line black capital ‘M’, beginning the exposition of the first pericope of the double homily.
fol. 29r/a1 Two-line black capital ‘I’, beginning the exposition of the second pericope.
The outer two bifolia of Quire 3 (bearing cols. 45-52, 69-76) have been lost. Cols. 69-76 must have contained the end of Fit 2 and the beginning of Fit 3; some 30 septenaries survive in Vliet's transcription. Matthes (1933, p. 42) treats the homily on Lk 1:26 as a separate item, now completely lost. Since the quire signatures preclude the loss of a whole quire between Quires 3, 4, the lost text can only have occupied cols. 69-76 and any inserted slips, now lost. As a result, it is unlikely this homily could be any longer than c. 200 septenaries. An alternative would be to imagine a double homily, from which both paraphrases and the exposition of the first pericope have been wholly lost.
fol. 32v/b49 One-line black capital ‘A’, beginning the homily.
fol. 33r/a54 Three-line black capital ‘A’, beginning the exposition of the second pericope.
fol. 33v/a44 Two-line black capital ‘F’, beginning the exposition. Note that Hand C initially inserted the second pericope here, but realising his error, deleted it.
The fit is imperfect at the beginning due to the loss of a bifolium (cols 97-104) from the centre of Quire 4. Some 25 septentiaries are preserved in Vliet's transcription. Two leaves (cols 137-44) have been lost after fol. 46. One leaf (cols. 157-60) has been lost after fol. 52. Two septentiaries are preserved in Vliet's transcription. This leaf would have contained the end of this homily and the beginning of the next.
One leaf (cols. 157-60) has been lost after fol. 52. Two septentiaries are preserved in Vliet's transcription. This leaf would have contained the beginning of this homily and the end of the preceeding item.
fol. 53v/a10 One line black ‘H’, marking beginning of exposition
An unknown number of leaves or slips have been lost between fols 63 and 65. The text on fol. 64 was evidently intended for insertion into whatever text occupied this lacuna. Since there is no gap in the column numeration here, the loss must predate Junius's ownership. Three bifolia have been lost from the centre of Quire 6, containing the end of this item and the beginning of the next.
fol. 63r/a35 Four-line black ‘F’, marking beginning of homily
fol. 63r/b38 Cancelled six-line black ‘A’, before beginning of second pericope
fol. 63v/a44 Two-line black ‘R’, marking beginning of exposition
Three bifolia have been lost from the centre of Quire 6, containing the beginning of this item and the end of the preceding homily.
fol. 68r/a19 Four-line green ‘A’ , marking beginning of homily
A single leaf (cols 221-224) lost between fols 70 and 72
fol. 70r/b24 Six-line black ‘A’, marking beginning of homily
fol. 70r/b51 Three-line black ‘A’
fol. 70v/b1 Two-line black ‘þ’, marking beginning of exposition
A bifolium (cols 237-44) lost from the centre of Quire 7, between fols 74 and 75.
fol. 72rb/1 Five-line black ‘N’, marking beginning of homily
fol. 72v/a2 Three-line green ‘Þ’‘Þ’, marking beginning of translation of second pericope
fol. 73r/b17 Two-line green ‘Þ’ , marking beginning of exposition
One leaf (cols 257-60) lost between fols 77 and 79. The text on fol. 78 (ll. 10291-10300) was presumably for insertion into the text on this lost leaf.
fol. 77v/b8 Cancelled four-line green ‘A’, marking beginning of homily
One leaf (cols 277-80) lost between fols 83 and 84.
80v/a59 Two-line black ‘Þ’, marking beginning of exposition
One leaf (cols 297-300) lost between fols 87 and 88.
At least one leaf (conjugate with fol. 80) lost after fol. 89. The loss was sustained before Junius numbered the columns. Even taking into account the text lost on this missing leaf, the homily is unusually short, perhaps suggesting the loss of one or more singletons after fol. 89.
fol. 89r/b32 Six-line black ‘A’, marking beginning of homily
fol. 89v/a30 Two-line black ‘Þ’, marking beginning of exposition
fol. 90r-colA/1 Cancelled six-line black ‘A’, marking beginning of homily
fol. 90r/b45 Two-line black ‘I’, marking beginning of exposition
fol. 95r/b10 Cancelled seven-line black ‘A’, marking beginning of homily
fol. 95v/a33 Two-line black ‘C’, marking beginning of exposition
fol. 101r/b20 seven-line green ‘A’, marking beginning of homily
fol. 105v/a22 Seven-line black ‘A’, marking beginning of homily
fol. 105v/b51 Four-line black ‘S’, marking beginning of second paraphrase
fol. 110r/b8 Two-line black ‘Þ’, marking beginning of exposition of second pericope
Neither Holt-White nor Matthes acknowledge the independence of this section of text, but the ordinatio demarks it distinctly.
fol. 101r/b20 Four-line green ‘A’ , marking beginning of bridge passage
A bifolium (cols 399-406) is missing from the centre of Quire 10. This would have contained the end of this homily and the beginning of the next.
fol. 111v/b33 Six-line green ‘A’ , marking beginning of homily
fol. 112r/a53 Five-line green ‘H’ and black ‘H’, marking beginning of paraphrase of second pericope
A bifolium (cols 399-406) is missing from the centre of Quire 10. This would have contained the beginning of this homily and the end of the preceding.
Neither Holt-White nor Matthes acknowledge the independence of this section of text, but the ordinatio demarks it distinctly.
fol. 117r/b15 Eight-line black ‘I’, marking beginning of bridge passage.
Matthes treats this as a double homily, pairing it with the next item, but the structure of the homily and the allusion to a single 'Goddspel' [l. 19611] suggests Orrm envisaged them as separate.
fol. 117v/a18 Four-line black ‘A’, marking beginning of homily.
fol. 117v/a50 Partly-erased five-line black ‘A’ [l. 19585].
fol. 117v/b1 Three-line black ‘N’, marking beginning of paraphrase of exposition
- fols 3-"119": 1 (7: all singletons) [fols 3-9]
- 2 (10: +1 before 1 (lost), +1 after 10; 4, 5, 6, 7 lost) [fols 10-22]
- 3 (8: 1, 2, 7, 8 lost) [fols 23-30]
- 4 (12: 6, 7 lost) [fols 31-43]
- 5 (10: +1 before fol. 47 (lost), + 1 after fol. 51; 4, 9 lost)
- 6 (12: 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 lost) [fols 63-9]
- 7 (12: 2, 6, 7, 11 lost) [fols 70-79]
- 8 (12: 4, 9, 12 lost) [fols 80-89]
- 9 (16) [fols 90-105]
- 10 (16: 8, 9, 15 lost, 3 and 16 largely torn out) [fols 106-"119"]
The manuscript was originally quired mainly in twelves, though it also contains eights, tens and sixteens. Its structure is now extremely complex due to Orrm's insertion of 29 slips of vellum containing revisions (indeed, the manuscript may once have contained further slips, now lost) and the loss of at least thirty-four leaves, mostly since the columns were numbered in the seventeenth century. Since the losses are mostly complete bifolia, it is likely the manuscript was unbound at this time. See the diagram for full details.
The original leaves are generally in two columns (with the exception of Quire 1, where the leaves were too small). The number of lines per page varies significantly, though there are usually between 50 and 70. The number of lines is generally in proportion to the dimensions of the leaf, which likewise varies significantly. Some leaves were ruled in plummet, others in drypoint. Orrm was unafraid to ignore the rulings (e.g. fol. 68v). Accordingly, the diagram above, which depicts fol. 17, cannot be taken as representative. See diagram.
The main text and the bulk of the revisions are in Orrm's hand; a second hand (known as Hand C) added the Latin pericope at the beginning of each homily, and made a few English additions (e. g. fols 43r, 62r, 67v).
Thoroughly and repeatedly corrected by Orrm himself. Corrections often made by superposed letters.
English written in an unusual, heavy, cramped English Vernacular minuscule. Ascenders and descenders are short compared to the body of the minims. Word division is not always a priority. One feature of Orrm's unique orthographical system is his use of geminate consonants; these generally indicate the preceding vowel is short, unless that vowel is in an open syllable. To economise the space this system requires, Orrm sometimes stacks the second consonant of a pair on top of the first consonant.
‘a’: may or may not have a head. ‘æ’ retained, though absent from Orrm's Latin. ‘d’: round-backed. Occasional biting of ‘de’. ‘e’: there are occasional examples of e-caudata. ‘g’: an insular form, carefully composed of three strokes; a modified caroline form, finished with a horizontal stroke along the top of the bole, which is used for the stop consonant; and occasionally, the pure Caroline form. ‘h’: Orrm uses the straight-limbed insular form in his English text, a curved-limbed form when writing Latin. ‘H’ can also appear superscript above a ‘g’, indicating a medial guttural sound. ‘i’: double ‘i’ is ticked, single ‘i’ is not. ‘o’ Pointed oval. ‘r’: generally a simplified insular form, though Orrm uses the Caroline form when stacking a geminate consonant, which he also uses when writing Latin. Orrm is also inclined to use a majuscule ‘r’ in ‘Marȝe’. ‘s’ Invariably the tall Caroline form, usually descending very slightly below the line. Orrm also uses the ‘st’ ligature. ‘þ’ used throughout. ‘ð’ a rare form, only used 117 times in total throughout the Orrmulum. ‘ƿ’: used throughout. ‘ascenders’generally wedged ‘descenders’: generally taper left ‘accents’: Accents are used to disambiguate potential confusions. Orrm uses a range of techniques to clarify the structure of the text. Major structural divisions are marked by decorative capitals; paraph marks (for which Orrm has three designs, but the choice seems to be random) indicate further divisions. Orrm also uses the simplex ductus to mark key passages marginally. Individual half-lines usually begin with a capital.
‘barred t’(-terr)‘double common mark of abbreviation’(-mm, -nn)There are one or two isolated examples of syllabic suspension, e. g. ‘c(ri)st’, ‘t(ro)wwenn’. The Latin abbreviations for ‘pro-’ and ‘per-’ are occasionally used in loanwords.
The main mark of punctuation is the ‘punctus’; the ‘punctus elevatus’ is also used. Runovers are routinely marked with a ‘hyphen’. The end of a homily is marked, unusually, with a series of ‘positurae’.
‘st’ ligature in English and Latin; ‘ct’ ligature in Latin, with the tie taking an oblique angle
Thoroughly and repeatedly corrected; Orrm particularly struggled to eliminate ‘eo’ spellings once he had decided he preferred ‘e’.
Hand C added the Gospel pericopes at the beginning of individual homilies, using a small academic hand. He also rewrote several of Orrm's additions more clearly (fols 43r, 67v, 69r, 117v). He may have added ll. 7471-80 (fol. 62r) by his own initiative, though the text is identical to ll. 6494-6504. While he fails to follow Orrm's orthographical conventions exactly, he evidently understood the principles on which they rested. Parkes 1991 suggests he may have been familiar with writing documents.
‘a’: generally with a pronounced headstroke that is the same length as the bole, though the headless form is also frequently found. The headless form is also used superscript as a syllabic suspension, a feature Parkes suggests dies out in the 1180s.‘d’: round-backed; lobe composed of broken strokes. ‘e’: tongue generally protrudes, a feature exacerbated when the letter is word-final. ‘f’, like ‘s’ descends slightly below the line (features, according to Parkes, extremely rare in bookhand).‘g’: Caroline, composed of a lobe and tail which initially descends in front of the lobe, before turning back perpendicularly to the left. This stroke is often extended. In English, where the tail of Caroline ‘g’ is typically closed, he also uses insular ‘g’, as well as Orrm's hybrid form.‘h’: in Latin, the second limb curves inward and is often extended beneath the line; in English, Hand C maintains the insular form. ‘i’: wedged at top, at base sometimes finished with an oblique rightward serif, sometimes unfinished. Word final ‘i ’ is sometimes long.‘m’: generally has rounded arches. Such arches became pointed in the 1170s according to Parkes.‘o’ Pointed oval. ‘r’: generally Caroline in Latin; insular in English. ‘s’ Descends slightly below the line.‘t’: The stem sometimes bisects headstroke. The stem is often extended upwards to the right.‘þ’ is used to the exclusion of ‘ð’ in English. The crossbar of the abbreviation ‘þ(att)’ turns up at the right.‘ƿ’: used in English; often very similar to ‘p’. ‘ascenders’ sometimes wedged, but often unfinished ‘descenders’: generally straight with a very slight taper to the left. This taper became more pronounced in documentary hands of the 1160s and 1170s.
‘˥’ sits on the line; the descender is finished with a serif to the right. The capitular form is barred. In English, uses syllabic suspension in ‘c(ri)stes’ (67v).As one might expect, he uses the full compendium of Latin abbreviations in the pericopes.
The main mark of punctuation is the ‘punctus’. In English, the ‘punctus elevatus’ is also used.
‘st’ ligature in English and Latin.
Multiple-line unadorned monochrome initials open most homilies. These are mostly in black, but there are several in green.
Bound in modern pulp boards. The binding probably postdates the significant losses the manuscript suffered after Junius had numbered the columns.
Sewn on six thongs, spine uncovered.
Paper pastedowns at front and back.
Fols 1, 2 form a bifolium, probably unconnected with the manuscript proper despite their comparable dimensions. Fol. 2r bears a thirteenth-century 'alphabeticum anglicum' in roman script and runes (inventoried Derolez 1954, [lvii-]viii, n3), written parallel to the spine of the book, from the foot of the page to the top.
Provenance and Acquisition
Malcolm Parkes has suggested Orrm wrote the text at the Augustinian Abbey of Bourne in Lincolnshire. His evidence comes from the list of capitula, which indicates that the latter stages of Orrm's work focussed heavily on the deeds of SS. Peter and Paul. Bourne was dedicated to these two saints, and the dialect evidence supports placing the work in this part of Lincolnshire. Parkes dates Hand C's addition of the Latin pericopes early in the final quarter of the twelfth century. Nils-Jennart Johannesson has suggested that it would have taken Orrm four or five years to copy out the five volumes which it seems constituted the full text. See Parkes 1991, Johannesson 1997.
Acquired in 1659 by Jan van Vliet (fol. 2); lot 107 in the sale of his library, 1666.
Probably purchased at that sale by Franciscus Junius.
Entered the Bodleian with Junius's manuscripts in 1678.
Description by Mark Faulkner (July 2010) for The Production and Use of English Manuscripts: 1060 to 1220, reused by permission.
Previously described in the Summary Catalogue.
To ensure its availability to future readers, access to this item is restricted, and readers are asked to work from reproductions and published descriptions as far as possible. To apply to see the original, please send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org, outlining the subject of your research, the importance of this item to that research, and the resources you have already consulted.
Last Substantive Revision
2018-12-11: Summary description replaced with full description from Production and Use of English Manuscripts 1060-1220