MS. Lyell 54
Ed. Strecker in M.G.H. Poet Lat iv, pp. 670–1; see C. W. Jones, Bedae Pseudepigrapha, 1939, p. 57; here headed ‘Loca Termini Paschalis idest xiiii lunę primi mensis cum suis regularibus.’ It is incorporated in a table with other columns showing the number of the year in the nineteen-year cycle, the regulars and the terminals for Septuagesima, Lent, Rogations, and Pentecost. It is accompanied by two argumenta :
Cf. MS. Bodl. 232, 11th cent., fol. 22.
PL 90 col. 799A. Usually found as the first chapter of the Computatio Grecorum et Latinorum, but here in isolation. See Jones, op. tit., pp. 74–5.
Title apparently written by the later scribe. Cf. Oxford, St. John’s Coll. MS. 17, Thomey, late 11th cent., fol. 16, in which the calendar is preceded by the words: ‘Hę sunt claves huius artis. Sine. Sub. Supra.’
There follows (fol. 1v–14) an unusual calendar, combining the common solar calendar and Martyrology with the lunar calendar for the nineteen-year cycle. Two pages are allowed for each month and at the end (fol. 13v–14) is the calendar for February in leap year.
The calendar is arranged with four columns on the left of the date: golden numbers; letter series a–o on alternate spaces; lunar letter series (‘litterae punctatae’) and dominical letters; i.e. nos. 1–5 of the series listed by Jones, op. tit., p. 108. The Martyrology, in the centre, is related to the one pr. PL 90 col. 759–86 but has very few entries; the only ‘local’ ones left are: 2 Oct. ‘Leudegarii M.’; 16 Oct. ‘Depositio S. Galli conf.’ On the right is the lunar calendar, written in nineteen columns, and giving all the days, not only every other one, as in PL 90, col. 787–800.
There are also additional computistical formulae:
Found together in PL 90 col. 801B5–14.
Cf. PL 90 col. 702C.
Cf. PL 90 col. 706B.
Pr. PL 90 col. 801B19-C1.
There are a number of later additions to the calendar most of which may be in the hand of the later scribe: to the descriptions for February, fol. 2v, he has added: Numa constituit anno regni sui xi tres dies festos, Rubigalia, Floralia, Vinalia, and in the Calendar, 21 Feb.: Vinalia priora aguntur de gustandis vinis instituta; fol. 4v, 25 April: Rubigalia aguntur, and 28 April: Floralia aguntur. These observations derive from Pliny, Nat. Hist, xvin, 285–7, but the date given for Vinalia priora there and in other Roman sources is 23 April; fol. 5v, two corrections to the calendar; fol. 12v, 20 Dec.: Aquila oritur in Italia. On fol. 4v a different 12th-cent. hand has added, 29 April: Sigeboto l(aicus) o(biit). A later, 13th–14th-cent., hand has added the keys to Septuagesima, Lent, Easter, Rogations, and Pentecost.
PL 90 col. 757–8A. See Jones, op. cit., p. 68; pr. by him in Bedae Opera de Temporibus, 1943, p. 219.
Accompanied by two argumenta:
PL 90 col. 801D9–14.
Similar tables are found in MSS. B.M. Arundel 356, German, 11th cent., fol. 9v, Bodl. 232, fol. 6 and Digby 56, English, 12th cent., fol. 163, and in the 12th-cent. computus of Herrad of Landsperg, pr. K. Piper, Die Kal. und Mart, der Angelsachsen, Berlin, 1862, p. 31, where these letters are called ‘Paschales litterae’. PL 90 col. 749–50A is similar. The table is headed by Cusanus (see below) ‘Tabula ebdomadalis aut contratabula’.
The years 1064–1568 are listed at the top (the early years of the table are very worn); a further series of years from the beginning of the world, 6290–6794 (written over an erasure), is listed at the bottom and there are columns of bissextiles, concurrents, and dominical letters at the side. The table is arranged like the one described by Sickel, ‘Die Lunarbuchstaben in die Kalendarien des M.A.’, Sitzungsber. Akad. Wiss. Wien, PhU.-hist. Kl. 38 (1861), 198–9, from a computus of 1143 in MS. Vienna 275. The same table is pr. PL 90 col. 747–8A, but arranged with the years at the side. Headed ‘Tabula Dionysii’ by Cusanus.
See Jones, op. cit., pp. 62–3. Pr. PL 90 col. 737–8. The years 1064–1577 are in a column on the left, headed ‘Primi anni decemnovenalium cyclorum post cyclum Dionisii magnum paschalem’. On the right are columns headed: ‘Ultimi anni de⟨cem⟩novenalium in cyclo Dionisii’ (550–1043); ‘Ultimi anni decemnovenalium cyclorum ante cyclum Dionisii’ (18–531).
Outer columns contain:
Cf. MS. Zürich C. 62, 10th cent., fol. 206, cit. Jones, p. 62.
Above the table are listed the concurrents, with their corresponding dominical letters, to the left are listed the epacts for the nineteen-year cycle, and to the right the number of the year in the cycle (i–xviiii). With the help of this table the relevant letter in the series b.–.q can be found for any year if its concurrent and epact are known. Headed by Cusanus: ‘Tabula Bede pro littera anni invenienda et ex ista potest fieri tabula magna Dionisii’ (a similar table is headed ‘Tabula Bede’ in MS. Laud Mise. 644, 14th cent., fol. 15r). Pr. Piper, op. cit., p. 30, from the computus of Herrad of Landsperg. The table is also in MS. Digby 56, fol. 166v. A similar table is pr. PL 90 col. 811–12B, see Jones, op. cit., p. 78.
To the right of the first table is a column headed ‘Hoc numero post insertum emb. utere’.
Headed by Cusanus: ‘Tabula ad etatem lune. Vide in Kalendario litteram nigram ante litteram domini calem et cum ista intra tabulam hanc sub aureo numero anni presentis et tunc numerus ostendit etatem’.
Pr. as one table in PL 90 col. 755–6. See Jones, op. cit., p. 65; pr. by him in Bedae Opera cit., p. 225.
On the left, three columns: letters b.-.q; dominical days; concurrents; on the right, headed ‘Epactę cum luna paschali’ are the corresponding epacts, with the age of the moon on Easter day written above them in red.
Basically the same as PL 90 coL 733. See Jones, op. cit., p. 61.
Described by Cusanus: ‘Etas lune in Kal. mensium iuxta dclum decemnovenalem anni’.
Pr. PL 90 col. 753–4A. See Jones, op. cit., p. 64. The table is arranged the other way round in our MS., with the names of the months at the left and the numbers of the years along the top. The epacts have been omitted, but the embolisms and ‘saltus lunę’ are noted.
Pr. PL 90 col. 844–5. See Jones, op. cit., pp. 80–1.
Outside the table is written the relevant letter for each year from the b.–.q series. The table was cancelled by the later scribe, who had, however, made a correction to an entry for the year 1108.
Apparently an expanded version of the collection pr. PL 90 col. 799–802, on which see Jones, op. cit., pp. 74–5. See also above, Calendar and additions.
PL 90 col. 799A16–800A19.
Cf. PL 90 col. 718C1; see Jones, op. cit., pp. 58–9.
Cf. ‘Dionysian’ formula in Krusch, ‘Stud. zur christlich-mittelalt. Chronol.’, Abh.preuss. Akad., Phil.-hist. Kl., 1937, 8, p. 76, no. iv, and PL 90 col. 718D1.
Version of PL 90 col. 801A17-B2.
Cf. PL 90 col. 722B5
Cf. PL 90 col. 599B9, on which see Jones, op. cit., p. 39.
PL 90 col. 801C3–D.
Cf. PL 90 col. 706B16; see Jones, op. cit., p. 56.
Cf. PL 90 col. 703A15; see Jones, op. cit., p. 56.
Cf. PL 90 col. 600B2 and 718D15.
Cf. PL 90 col. 600A12 and 719A2.
PL 90 col. 802B1–16.
PL 90 col. 802B17–C4.
Glossed by the later hand.
Cf. PL 90 col. 709C6.
Cf. PL 90 col. 709D3.
23 chapters. See G. Koch, ‘Die Bamberger Überlieferung des Computus des Hermann von Reichenau’, Bericht des Historischen Vereins Bamberg 102 (1966), 89–125, who lists fourteen other MSS. Her nos. 7 and 8, MSS. Bamberg Lit. 160, 12th cent, from Bamberg Cathedral (21 chapters), and Berlin Staatsbibl. lat. qu. 106, 12th cent, from Maria Laach, also contain the first book only. Our MS. follows the chapter divisions of the 47 chapter version (two books of 24 and 23 chapters: see Koch, pp. 102–6), except that cap. iii-iv are written as one.
This original part of our MS. is clearly related to fol. 101–124v of MS. Berlin lat. qu. 106 cit. (Rose, Verzeichnis lat. Hss. Berlin II, 3, pp. 1173–4), as E. Schulz (see below) noted. It contains the same collection of argumenta , and the same fragment of the Computus of Hermannus.
Another scribe added further computistical material to the MS. in the 12th cent., using margins and blank spaces, filling blank leaves and inserting extra leaves:
Two verses for remembering the ferial letters for the Kalends of each month:
2 lines. An unusual variant of the common verse beg.: ‘Altitonans dominus’, which is often found at the beginning of Calendars and later appeared in Alexander de Villa Dei’s Massa Compoti. B. Bischoff, ‘Ostertagtexte und Intervalltafeln’ in his Mittelalterliche Studien 2 (1967), p. 194 n. 9, cites only our MS. (from Schulz’s description).
Apparently an abbreviation of Rabanus Maurus, Computus, ch. xii–xvii, xix, PL 107 col. 677–9.
PL 90 col. 727–80.
Cf. PL 90 col. 803–4A1–15; our text is fuller. The first table (fol. 18v) is the equivalent of PL 90 col. 805–8, in which the dots after some letters are wrongly omitted; the second (fol. 19r) is pr. PL 90 col. 803–4, upper table. In Oxford, St, John’s Coll. MS. 17, fol. 22v–23, these two tables are presented as one, in the same order as ours, with the explanation as in PL and headed ‘Tabula antiquorum … ad inveniendam lunam per×et ix annos.’ Jones, op. cit., pp. 75, 77, does not mention this combination of tables.
Followed by a table (30 × 38) using litterae punctatae to discover the age of the moon on any day of the year, pr. PL 90 col. 803–4, lower table. In our MS. it is arranged the other way round with the numbers of the years in the nineteen-year cycle in Greek figures on the left, and the numbers of the days of the months along the top and bottom. It is a conflated form of the two tables on fol. 16–16v (PL 90 col. 755–6), which appear with the heading as here in MS. Berne 250, Fleury, 10th cent., fol. 23, see Jones, op. cit., p. 77. Jones (op. cit., p. 75) knew of no MS. with the table arranged as in ours.
At the ends of the arms are written the Greek names of the four comers of the world: Anathole, Mesimbrion, Disis, Arctos, and at the centre is the number xlvi: symbolism explained by Rabanus Maurus, De laudibus S. Crucis, 1, Fig. xii, PL 107 col. 197–8.
Along the arms are written: ‘Spes in sublimitate; Perseverantia in longitudine; Karitas in latitudine; profundum oculta iudicia dei vel misericordia dei’; similar inscriptions are found in miniatures of the Cross in two MSS. from Regensburg: Munich clm. 13601, the Uta Gospels, 11th cent., fol. 3v, for which see G. Swarzenski, Die Regensburger Buchmalerei des×u. XI Jh., 1901, p. 95 and Taf. xiii; and Munich clm. 14159, Anon., De Laudibus S. Crucis, 12th cent., no. 54, for which see A. Boeckler, Die Regensburg-Prüfeninger Buchmalerei des XII u. XIII Jh., 1924, pp. 41–2 and Tal. xxxvi. Cf. also the text on the Cross (beg.: Apostolicam sententiam in qua dicitur) accompanying miniatures of the Crucifix in two 12th-cent. MSS. of Florence of Worcester: Oxford, Corpus Christi ColL 157, p. 77b and Bodl. 297, fol. 71. For both MSS. see Rosalie B. Green, ‘A Typological Crucifixion’ in Festschrift Ulrich Middeldorf, ed. A. Kosegarten and P. Tigler, Berlin, 1968, pp. 20–3, with plate of the Corpus MS. A fresco of a crucifix at SS. Udalric and Afra, Augsburg, painted under Abbot Udascalcus (1126–52) had references both to the parts of the world and to the virtues; see Wittwer’s 15th-cent. Catalogus Abbatum, pr. A. Steichele in Archiv für Gesch. des Bisthums Augsburg, iii (1860), 115.
Round the centre of the cross is written: ‘fides,’ and along the left and right arms, and above: ‘Pater, Filius, Spiritus Sanctus voluntas ab utroque procedens.’
Beside the diagram are the lines: ‘Ex deitate(?) dei stetit hoc insigne trophei / Nobis velle mori sibi quo vivemus honori.’ Another version of the first line, written above, beg.: ‘Ex altare dei’, has been erased.
Similar diagrams are found in MS. Hanover iv. 394, ‘De ratione spere’, 13th cent., fol. 23v, 26v, 27. The same work is in MS. Digby 83, 12th cent., but it only contains diagrams (i) and (ii) (fol. 30v–31). There are isolated diagrams similar to (ii) and (iii) in MS. Digby 23, fol. 52–52v (12th cent.?). A diagram similar to (iii) accompanies Abbo’s astronomical texts (see Van de Vyver, op. cit., pp. 140–4) in MSS. Harl. 2506, Fleury, 10th–11th cent., fol. 31, Cotton Vit. A. xii, English, 11th cent., fol. 10, Oxford, St. John’s Coll. 17, fol. 38v, Cotton Tib. E. iv. Winchester, 12th cent, fol. 141v. It is pr. PL 90 col. 255–6, 407–8, 1157–8. In MS. Bodl. 232, fol. 21 the diagram stands alone.
Also found in the Chronicle of Bemoldus of Constance, pr. M.G.H. Script. v, 1844, p. 395. The Armenian names are rare, and seem to have been introduced to Europe c. 1100; see B. Bischoff, ‘The study of foreign languages in the Middle Ages’ in his Mittelalterliche Studien 2 (1967), p. 232 n. 23, where he cites Schulz’s description of our MS. (see below).
Containing the line: ‘Solamen misero tu sis mihi tempore longo.’
Each segment contains, in descending order from the circumference: ‘Claves terminorum’; ‘Epacte lunares’; ‘Cyclus decennovenalis’ (letter and number, with note of whether the year is common or embolismic); terminals for Septuagesima, Lent, Easter, Rogations, Pentecost, each ‘cum luna’; ‘Cyclus lunaris’; ‘Regulares terminorum’; ‘luna in Kal. Ian.’; ‘Incensio pascalis lune’; three series of letters: ‘ad lunam’, apparently ‘litterae punctatae’ grouped in twos or threes beg.: c–m, ending do.p.; ‘anni’, in Greek numerals; ‘ad terminum’, single letters, apparently relating to the b.–.q table on fol. 15, but here using it to find the terminal of Easter, instead of its actual date. At the four comers outside the rota, and in the centre, are added formulae for finding the five terminals listed above.
There is a similar rota, with fewer data, in MS. Madrid, Bibl. Nac. 9605, 12th cent., fol. 85. In MS. Bodl. 232, 11th cent., fol. 21v there is a rectangular table which displays most of the data found here. It is called: ‘Spera terminorum in festivitatibus annorum’.
Pr. PL 90 col. 231. The text accompanies a diagram entitled ‘Cursus planetarum per zodiacum’ which is similar to one found in MS. Canon. Class. Lat. 279, 9th cent. (P), fol. 34, where it accompanies the first part of the so-called York Excerpts from Pliny’s Nat. Hist., ed. K. Rück, Auszüge aus der Naturgeschichte des C. Plinius Secundus (Progr. Königl. Ludwigs-Gymnasium 1887–8), Munich, 1888, pp. 34–43. For a discussion of the diagram and its relation to the Pliny excerpts see also H. P. Lattin, ‘The 11th cent. MS. Munich 14436’, Isis 38 (1947–8), 215–22 and fig. 2. In MS. B.M, Cotton Vit. A. xii, fol. 9, it is used to explain the ‘Sententia Abbonis’, for which see Van de Vyver, loc. cit. See also MSS. St. John’s 17 cit., fol. 38; Cotton Tib. E. iv, fol. 141 and Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore, W. 73, English, 12th cent., fol. 5v. In this last MS. the Bede text is on fol. 2; see H. Bober, in Journal of Walters Art Gallery 19–20 (1956–7), 85–6, 90, 92 and fig. 14–15. The diagram in PL 90 col. 363–4A and 1153–4B is different again.
In the lower margin Cusanus has written: Ad illam figuram vide Rabanum in c(apitul)o de cursu planetarum per signiferum quod et hic ascribitur. See PL 107 col. 690B7-C8; Rabanus is however copying Bede.
Pr. Jones, Bedae Opera De Temp., cit., pp. 295–302. Our MS. belongs to his ‘K’ group and is closest to his S (MS. St. Gall 250, 9th cent.), omitting completely the passage at the end of xiii.
Pr. PL 143 col. 408C11–409A2. This piece must be distinguished from a piece deriving from Martianus Capella vi. 598, which has a similar incipit. Our piece is also found, isolated as here, accompanying and explaining a letter to Hermannus from his disciple Meinzo, in Paris B.N. lat. 7377C, fol. 46–47, 12th–13th cent., pr. Duemmler in Neues Archiv v (1880), 202–3 (see Van de Vyver, ‘Les premières trad, latines de traités arabes sur l’astrolabe’, Premier congrès international de géog. historique 2 (1931), 270–2) and in MS. B.M. Arundel 270, 12th cent., fol. 40.
Cf. items 6a, 8 above.
The years are numbered i–xix and a–t along the top, epacts are listed along the bottom and concurrents and dominical letters along the side. Cf. tables in PL 90 col. 815–18.
Often found in Calendars (no. 6 in Jones, Pseudepig., p. 108) for finding the age of the moon on any day of the year. Pr. incompletely in PL 90 col. 802D, see Jones, op. cit., p. 75.
The concurrents are written above, and in columns on the left are Hsted: the number of the year in the nineteen-year cycle, the terminals for Easter, and the lunar regulars. In a separate table on the right the possible ages of the moon for Lent, Easter (in red) and Rogations are collated with the letters angelus.
Cf. PL 90 col. 743–4, lower table, where the correspondence of the letters to the age of the moon is different. The separate table on the right seems especially to be a feature of St. Gall MSS.: see Jones, op. cit., p. 63; A. Cordoliani, ‘Contrib. à la litt. du comput ecclés. au m.â.’, Studi medievali, ser. 3, 1 (1960), 129. See also Jones, ‘A Legend of St. Pachomius’, Speculum 18 (1943), 209.
185–90 × 142–52 mm. : longer items of text (except fol. 29–29v long lines) written in 2 cols., 37–38 lines
Written in S. Germany or Switzerland in two hands.
mid-11th cent., fol. i–17v, 20–22va, 24–20v;
12th cent., fol. 18–19v, 23v, 27–29v and additions on fol. 1, 14v, 22v, 20v.
Plain red initials.
Diagrams. (P&A i. 35)
Binding of type apparently common in Amplonian MSS: 15th-cent. wooden boards with quarter-binding of white skin nailed down with a strip of red leather, only partly surviving; original sewing; original two leather straps and metal clasps with pin fastening on upper board; traces of labels on upper board.
Provenance and Acquisition
The MS. belonged in the 15th cent, to the Collegium Amplonianum, Erfurt; note on fol. 29v, partly erased: ‘Ad librariam Collegii porte Celi in Erffordia’, but it is not identifiable in the Amplonius catalogue of 1410–12; cf. Schulz (see below), p. vi. It was presumably at Erfurt when Nicholas of Cusa wrote his annotations on fols. 2, 15, 16, 17, 26v. He visited Erfurt in May–June 1451; see J. Koch, ‘Nikolaus von Kues und seiner Umwelt’, Sitz. Heidelberger Akad. der Wiss., Phil.-hist. Klasse, 1944–8, 2 Abh., 123–4. Our MS. is listed with other MSS. annotated by Nicholas of Cusa by A. Krchnâk, ‘Neue Handschriftenfunde in London und Oxford’, Mitteilungen und Forschungsbeiträge der Cusanus–Gesellschaß 3 (1963), 105.
Later owned by Jacques Rosenthal of Munich: Kat. 95, 1934, pp. iii–viii: a detailed description of the MS. by Ernst Schulz, to which the present description is much indebted. It was he who identified the hand of Nicholas of Cusa. According to him the MS. was in France in the 19th cent., and was bought by Rosenthal at an auction in Italy.
Subsequently no. 18 and pl. v (fol. 16r) in Cat. xix (1936) of Art Ancien S.A., Zurich. Bought by Lyell from A. Rosenthal in January 1942.
Chosen as one of the hundred manuscripts bequeathed to the Bodleian by Lyell in 1948.
MS. Lyell 49, offsets on boards
Digital Bodleian (full digital facsimile)
Last Substantive Revision
2020-12-16: Andrew Dunning Revised from description by Albinia de la Mare.