Cambridge, University Library, MS Ll. 1. 10 Unit: section 2, ff. 2-99Book of Cerne prayerbook
- Old English
- s. ix1
- composite manuscript
- English manuscripts
Southumbrian, probably Mercian liturgical manuscript of the early 9th century containing extracts from the four Gospels, a collection of hymns and prayers, and an abbreviated Psalter. It is introduced by an Old English exhortation to prayer and concludes with a dramatic piece about the Harrowing of Hell. Signs of Irish influence in the style and contents of the manuscript have led scholars to regard the Book of Cerne as a witness to a shared Hiberno-Saxon monastic culture, although some of the details are disputed.
No description availableSee more LichfieldLichfield
No description availableSee more Worcester cathedralWorcester cathedral
No description availableSee more ass. with Æthelwald [bishop of Lichfield]Æthelwald ... bishop of Lichfield
The prevalent view, especially following an in-depth study by Michelle Brown (1996), is that the manuscript is likely of (western) Mercian origin and can be dated to the early 9th century, c.820x840s. Its use of Insular script most closely resembles Mercian charters of this period and may point to Worcester or Lichfield as the place of writing. More generally, it represents a Mercian script province (Schriftprovinz) which extended to Kent and Wessex. Artistically, it belongs to the Tiberius group of manuscripts. The geographical distribution of this group below the Humber combined with the historical background of Mercian-Kentish relations hints at a wider cultural context in which the Book of Cerne was produced. Brown also noted similarities in style with the Lichfield Gospels (s. viii), the origin of which is hotly debated but which she assigns to Lichfield rather than Wales/St. Teilo (Brown 2007; cf. Brown 1996: 167). Much discussion has focused on the evidence of two references to an Æthelwald in the manuscript: an Aedeluald episcopus is named in the acrostic on f. 21r and later, in the rubric on f. 87v, an Oeðelwald episcopus is credited with excerpting Psalms for the breviate Psalter. See the table of contents for details. On the basis of the acrostic and “presumably (if not necessarily)” the rubric, in conjunction with links pointing to Mercia/Lichfield, she suggests that the manuscript can plausibly be associated with Æthelwald, bishop of Lichfield (r. 818-830).
No description availableSee more The three units were brought together at Cerne (Dorset), possibly as late as the 16th century.
See more In the possession of John Moore, bishop of Norwich and Ely.
‘Phase II minuscule’, according to T. Julian Brown’s classification of Insular script.
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