Antwerp, Plantin-Moretus Museum, 16.2 (47 [32])

Present Location

M 16.2 (47 [32])

Medieval Provenance

General Information






Old English annotations to a copy of Priscian's Grammar [known as Excerptiones de Prisciano, fols. 2-47] made by a group of 'schoolmen', probably working at the Benedictine abbey of Abingdon, Berkshire, in the late eleventh century. The manuscript, which is mid-eleventh century, consists of 49 folios. It also contains verses in honor of Caesar, Edward the Confessor, and Ælfric (fol. 1), a Latin-Old English glossary added at the beginning of the twelfth century (fols. 3r-4v), Donatus's Ars maior(fols. 4v-17v), Ælfric's Colloquy (fols. 184-19v), a short Latin glossary with two Old English glosses (fol. 48v), andd a letter addressed to 'Aelf' (fols. 48v-49).

The manuscript originally formed one volume with London, British Library, Add. 32246, which contains the first part of Priscian's Grammar, with Ælfric's Colloquy and a Latin-Old English grammar in the margins. These Old English glosses are also in Ælfric's Grammar which, together with the Colloquy in the margins, suggests a connection with Ælfric himself in the manuscripts' compilation (Bremmer 2006).

The same scribes who copied and annotated the two manuscripts mentioned above were also responsible for copying and heavily annotating Antwerp, Plantin-Moretus Museum, 16.8 (Boethius's De consolatione Philosophiae) and Brussels, Bibliothèque Royale, 1650 (Aldhelm's De virginitate). Ker 1957, p. 3 suggests that all four manuscripts were from the same scriptorium, and may once have formed a single codex of 242 folios. 

The Latin-Old English glossaries and Latin-Latin glossaries that run throughout the margins of these manuscripts are commonly referred to as the 'Antwerp-London glossaries'. Two hands were responsible for the 6 glossaries in this group of manuscripts: one hand in the Brussels manuscript and five in the Antwerp-London manuscript (Porter 1999b, p. 171).


Digital surrogate:

Manuscript Items

1. Item: 2rv, 4rv, 8r, 12r, 16r, 20r, 24rv, 28r, 32r, 36r-37r, 40r, 47r-48r

Title: Twenty-two marginal glosses to Priscian's Grammar

Text language: English

Date: s. xiex


Ker 1957, p. 3

Porter 2011 


2. Item: fols. 3r-4r

Title: Latin-Old English glossary, containing 253 glosses

Text language: Latin and English

Date: s. xiiin 


Ker 1957, p. 3 

Porter 2011


3. Item: fols. 48r-v

Title: Two OE glosses to a short Latin glossary

Text: 'forewenednessa' glossing 'insolentiam'; 'widlese', 'goretende' glossing 'passiuis'

Text language: English

Date: s. xiex


Ker 1957, p. 3 

Porter 1999b, p. 173

Object Description






220 x 290 mm



Hand Description

Decoration Description

Some red initial letters.

Additional Information


Digital surrogate available at (accessed 26 July 2018)



Bremmer, Rolf and Kees Dekker, eds., Anglo-Saxon Manuscripts in Microfiche Facsimile (Tempe, AZ: Arizona Center for Medieval & Renaissance Studies, 2006), vol. 13: Manuscripts in the Low Countries, item 4

Catalogue of manuscripts in the Plantin-Moretus Museum: (accessed 16 July 2018)

Förster, M., 'Die altenglische Glossenhandschrift Plantinus 32 (Antwerpen) und Add. 32246 (London),' Anglia 41 (1917), 94-161

Hill, Joyce, 'Ælfric’s Colloquy: the Antwerp/London version', in Latin Learning and English Lore, II: Studies in Anglo-Saxon Literature for Michael Lapidge, ed. Katherine O’Brien O’Keeffe, Toronto Old English Series 14 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2005), 331-48

Ker, N. R., Catalogue of Manuscripts Containing Anglo-Saxon (Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1957)

Kindschi, Lowell, 'The Latin-Old English Glossaries in Plantin-Moretus MS 32 and British Museum Additional 32246' (unpublished PhD dissertation, Stanford University, 1955)

Lazarri, Loredana, 'Elementi di un "curriculum" composito in uso ad Abingdon nella prima metà dell’Xi secolo (ms. Antwerpen, Museum Plantin-Moretus M. 16.2 + London, B.L., Add.32246)', Studi medievali 41:1 (2000), 85-117

Lazarri, Loredana, 'Isidore’s Etymologiae in Anglo-Saxon glossaries', in Foundations of Learning: The Transfer of Encyclopaedic Knowledge in the Early Middle Ages, ed. Rolf H. Bremmer and Kees Dekker, Medievalia Groningana New Series 9 (Paris: Peeters, 2007), 63-93

Lazarri, Loredana, 'Learning tools and learned lexicographers: the Antwerp-London and the Junius 71 Latin-Old English glossaries', in Rethinking and Recontextualising Glosses: New Perspectives in the Study of Late Anglo-Saxon Glossography, ed. Patrizia Ledinara et al., Textes et études du Moyen Age 54 (Porto: Fédération Internationale des Instituts d’Etudes Médiévales, 2011), 179-207

Lazarri, Loredana, 'Problemi lessicografici nei glossari bilingui latino-inglese antico. Il caso del glossario di Ælfric e del ms. Plantin-Moretus M 16.2 (47) + B.L. Add. 32,246', Romanobarbarica: Contributi allo studio dei rapporti culturali tra mondo latino e mondo barbarico 12 (1994), 251-87

Porter, David W., 'Æthelwold’s bowl and The Chronicle of Abingdon', Neuphilologische Mitteilungen: Bulletin de la Société néophilologique 97:2 (1996), 163-67

Porter, David W., 'The Antwerp-London glossaries and the first English school text', in Rethinking and Recontextualising Glosses: New Perspectives in the Study of Late Anglo-Saxon Glossography, ed. Patrizia Ledinara et al., Textes et études du Moyen Age 54 (Porto: Fédération Internationale des Instituts d’Etudes Médiévales, 2011), 153-77

Porter, David W., ed., The Antwerp-London Glossaries. The Latin and Latin-Old English Vocabularies from Antwerp, Museum Plantin-Moretus 16.2. - London, British Library Add. 32246, Volume 1: Texts and Indexes, Publications of the Dictionary of Old English 8 (Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 2011). 

Porter, David W., 'A double solution to the Latin riddle in MS. Antwerp, Plantin-Moretus Museum M 16.2', ANQ: A Quarterly Journal of Short Articles, Notes, and Reviews 9:2 (1996), 3-9

Porter, David W., 'The earliest texts with French and English', Anglo-Saxon England 28 (1999a), 87-110

Porter, David W., 'Old English fætfellere and its Latin equivalent', Notes and Queries 42:3 (1995), 265-67

Porter, David W., “An Old English ghost word from the Antwerp-London glossaries: oferbedeode,” Notes and Queries 51:4 (2004), 344-45

Porter, David W., 'On the Antwerp-London glossaries', Journal of English and Germanic Philology 98:2 (1999b), 170-92

Watteeuw, L., and C. Reynolds, Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts of the Museum Plantin-Moretus, Antwerp, Low Countries Series, 15, Corpus of Illuminated Manuscripts, 20 (Paris and Leuven: Peeters, 2013)

David W. Porter, ed., Excerptiones de Prisciano: The Sources for Aelfric's Latin-Old English Grammar, by Anglo-Saxon Texts, 4 (Cambridge: D.S. Brewer, 2002), pp. 1-4, 48-200, 397.