Valenciennes, Bibliothèque municipale, Ms. 343 (olim: 330bis)


Astronomical collection

Aratea text: Excerptum de astrologia; Anonymus Sangallensis

Parchment — 187 fols. — 270 × 200 mm — North-east France / Saint Amand — s. X

Support: According to Hubert Le Bourdellès the first quire is a senion missing its 1-9-10-11-12 folios. Manuscript inspected online. Quire structure is uncertain:I12(-5)(ff.1-7); II6 (ff.8-13); III-VI8 (ff.14-21, 22-29, 30-37, 38-45); VII probably two bifolia (ff. 46-49); VIII-IX8 (ff.50-57, 58-65); X probably a bifolium (ff. 66-67) followed by XI10 (ff.68-76); XII-XXIV8 (ff.77-84, 85-92, 93-100, 101-108, 109-116, 117-124, 125-132, 133-140, 141-148, 149-156, 157-164, 165-172, 173-180); XXV8(-1) (ff.181-187). Double foliation (1-187) with a pencil the forner one crossed out on the upper right corner of every recto. f. 2 hole in the outer margine; f. 30, 45, lower edge damaged; f. 49 hole in the lower half; f. 65 smudged; f. 67 damaged - one section cut and resewed with cord.

Layout: ff. 8-13 written in 31 long lines.Layout: ff. 1-6r, 14-35 and 58-187 written in 27 long lines.Layout: ff. 50-57 ruled in 20-21 long linesLayout: Rubrics and initials in red capitalis rustica or monumental capitalis (partly faded and illegible). Red also used in the calendar and the tables.

Hands: Two hand in the Excerptum (change f.1r, line 14), the second wrote also the Ad boreae. The Anonymus Sangallensis written by at least three different hands. Corrections including the additions of middle dot in darker ink.

Binding: Medieval (?) leather binding, no paste down, tunnels and thongs visible.

History: The core of the manuscript is Bede'sDe tempore ratione preceded by a his De natura rerum and a computistical collection ascribed to him. To this volume were then added two codicological units written by similar contemporary hands: Part I (ff.1-7) with astronomica and Part II (ff.8-13) with Bede's De temporibus.Based on annus currens mentioned in the computistical section Borst considered that the manuscript was copied around 975 from an exemplar from around 880. The inclusion of Annales Elnonenses and the list of abbots of Saint-Amand indicates the Abbey of Saint-Amand as the place of production. The Abbey was severely devasted by the Normans and received help for the restoration of the Abbey from Fulbert, bishop of Cambrai and from Hildebrand and Gérard of Brogne, Abbots of Saint-Bertin. It is then possible that the exemplar of our manuscirpt arrived from these houses (sse Blouard, René. “Saint Gérard de Brogne.” Le Guetteur Wallon, no. 3 (1959): 61-140. — The many additions datable up to s. XIII testify that the manuscript was used continously during several centuries. The list of abbots of Saint-Amand, which was extended till the s. XVIII suggests that the manuscript remained in the Abbey till s. XVIII. The twelfth-century catalogue of Saint-Amand (Paris, BnF, MS lat. 1850) includes three books of Bede "Bede tres de naturis rerum et temporibus", which Delisle identified as Valenciennes, BM, Ms 166 and 330bis - the former shelfmark of our manuscript (Delisle,Le cabinet des manuscrits de la Bibliothèque impériale nationale, 3 vols. (Paris, 1868-81), II, p. 452). Notes on the front paste-down:"Liber s. Amandipa (?)"; with black ink "B 105"; with pencil "III 6".

Selected Bibliography:Borst, Schriften, I, pp. 297-98. — Borst, Reichskalender, vol. 1, pp. 139-142. — Bischoff, Bernhard. Die Abtei Lorsch im Spiegel ihrer Handschriften. 2nd ed. Lorsch: Laurissa, 1989, p. 82, No. 30. — Boschen, Lothar. Die Annales Prumienses: ihre nähere und ihre weitere Verwandtschaft. Düsseldorf: Schwann, 1972. — Chardonnens, László Sándor. Anglo-Saxon Prognostics, 900-1100: Study and Texts. Brill, 2007. — Grierson, Philip. Les annales de Saint-Pierre de Gand et de Saint-Amand: annales Blandinienses, annales Elmarenses, annales Formoselenses, annales Elnonenses. Brussels: Kiessling, 1937. — Le Bourdellès, Hubert. “De Astronomia more Christiano.” Studi medievali, ser. 3 32 (1991): 385–444. — Smith, Julia M.H. “A Hagiographer at Work: Hucbald and the Library of Saint-Amand.” Revue Bénédictine 106 (1996): 151–71.

Part I

1r Excerptum de astrologia (acephalus) ad australe[p] lagam centaurum bestiam manu quasi ad aram ferentem Dell'Era pp. 45, line 68-

1r Ps.Priscian: Ad boreae partes Incipit epitome phenomenon id est apparitio sive apparentia prisciani gramatici versus de sideribus Ad boreae partes arcturi uerserunt et anguis … — … Hinc sequitur pistrix simul heridanique fluenta. Correction in darker ink. Verses separated by ;

1v-3v Anonymous Sangallensis Herodius dicit elicem licaonis fuisse filiam quae a ioue uiolata … — … absides eius ultima in capricono est.

3v-6r De astronomia more christiano Item de astronomia[more christiano] Hae fisicae partes quae astronomia et astrologia dicuntur dum deest mathematica … — … de ceteris astronomicis conscribere signis.

6v-7v Three computistical tables for lunar letters A-T (ff.6v-7r) and AEIOV (f.7v) for finding the age of the moon.

Part II

8r-13r Bede: De temporibus Liber bede temporibus Tempora momentis horis diebus mensibus annis saeculis aetatibus diuiduntur … — … Reliquum sextae aetatis deo soli patet. finit. Following are a group of tracts, which are often associated with De temporibus and as Jones argues might be genuine works of Bede:

Finit libellus Bedae de temporibus. Primo editus.

Part III

14r-22v Bede: De natura rerum

22v-65v Computistical compendium with excerpts from Libri computi and Annalis libellus cap. 1-65, 69 in different order (keeping its annus praesens 80r: "Anni ab incarnatione domini anno praesente suntDCCXCIII [0793]", but also adding the modernised years 877 and 972).

80v-83v Bede: Letter to Wicthede Epistola Bedae ad uicthadum presbiterum de[…] Reuerentissimo ac sanctissimo fratri uicthado presbitero beda optabilem in domino salutem … — … aut ante aequinoctium fuisse confirmet.

83v List of Greek numerals, their value and name in Greek with latin characters and their equivalent in Roman numerals. De compotu litterarum grecorum A mia i alpha | B dia ii beta … — … Θ̅ enaschile VIIII̅

84r Another list of Greek numerals and their Roman equivalent.

84r-179v Bede: De temporum ratione Praefatio de temporum libro incipit De natura rerum et ratione temporum duos quondam stricto sermone libellos … — … cuncti caelestium praemiorum mereamur accipere palmam. Finit liber bedae de temporibus.

180r-187v Bede: Chronica maiora Incipitchronica (?) ab anno incarnationis domini […] ab initio uero mundi anno IIII DCC LXX Iustinianus minor filius constantini regnauit annos X. Hic constituit pacem cum sarracenis decennio terra marique … — … Imperator hludouicus (?) […] cum consilio francorum constituit.

Abreviated Literature:

Borst, KalenderreformBorst, Arno. Die karolingische Kalenderreform. MGH: Schriften 46. Hannover: Hahn, 1998.
Borst, ReichskalenderBorst, Arno. Der karolingische Reichskalender und seine Überlieferung bis ins 12. Jahrhundert. 3 vols. MGH: Libri memoriales 2. Hannover: Hahn, 2001.
Borst, SchriftenBorst, Arno. Schriften zur Komputistik im Frankenreich von 721 bis 818. 3 Vols. (MGH: Quellen zur Geistesgeschichte des Mittelalters, 21, 1-3) Hannover: Hahn, 2006.
MGHMonumenta Germaniae historica. Hannover: Hahn, 1826-.

(draft version: 2018-05-18)
How to quote: Ivana Dobcheva, 'Valenciennes, Bibliothèque municipale, Ms. 343 - Aratea Digital' ( last update: 2018-05-18).