Cambridge, Corpus Christi College, 196

Present Location


Medieval Provenance

General Information






Pages 1-110 contain an extensive but incomplete martyrology, which begins acephalously at 19th March with the words 'se ys to þam'. Several quires must be gone at the beginning. The manuscript ends imperfectly at 21st December (St Thomas) 'on þa [ceastr]e'. Pages 111-22 contain the Old English Vindicta Salvatoris, beginning part-way through the text with 'swa æu woldest' and ending with 'Lá wif' (Ker 1957, p. 75).

Digital Surrogate

Manuscript Items


  1. Itempp. 1-110


    • Title (B.19.2): Martyrology

      Incipit(p. 1) se ys to þam geset þæt he celeð ƿæra tungla

      Explicit(p. 110) ne myhton ælreorde ƿeode hergian on þa

      Text Language: English

      Note: Incomplete


      Herzfeld 1900


    • Itempp. 111-22


      • Title (B.8.5.4): Apocrypha: Vindicta Salvatoris

        Incipit(p. 111) sƿa þu ƿoldest ond eac þe toforan tyberie þam casere gebringan.

        Explicit(p. 122) Ac uolosianus hire to cƿæð. La ƿif

        Text Language: English

        Note: Ends imperfectly


        Assmann 1889, p. 181

        Goodwin 1851

      Object Description


      Form: Codex

      Support: Leaves are arranged HHFF. The flyleaves are of the date of binding.


      288 mm x 180 mm (dimensions of all - size of leaf)

      c. 226 mm x 100-110 mm (dimensions of all - size of written space)

      Foliation/Pagination: Fols ii + 61 + ii. The medieval leaves are paginated 1-122.


      Quires: 18 wants 1, 2-78, 88 wants 1 before p. 111 and 8 after p. 122. Leaves are missing at the beginning and after Quire 7.

      Condition Many of the manuscript folios show signs of wear (and, indeed, cockling, as if the manuscript were only loosely gathered for some time), and especially towards the end of the volume. Water damage seems to have affected the opening leaves in their lower, outer margins. Other leaves have been damaged around the outer margins, but legibility is not impaired. Some manuscript folios, again towards the end, seem to have been end pieces. Natural holes are written around, and some tears in the membrane are repaired (e.g. p. 43).

      Layout Description: Pricking is visible in some outer margins. Blind-ruled with double vertical bounding lines, some heavily scored. 27 lines of script per page. First and second, and penultimate and ultimate horizontal bounding lines are across the page. Single column of writing with emphasis on legibility of page.

      Hand Description

      Number of Hands: Probably 1

      Summary: As Ker 1957 notes this manuscript is copied in a script of 'Exeter type' (p. 76). Ker also states that 'pp. 1-110 may be in the same hand as the rest', but show influence from an earlier script. Ker is almost certainly right, for while the hands in Exeter manuscripts during Leofric's pontificate are extremely difficult to distinguish, these pages show a hand that demonstrates consistent characteristics throughout the stints, suggesting that this volume is the work of the same scribe. Even though there are notable distinctions in some of the more self-conscious letter combinations (as mentioned by Ker), other letter-forms seem consistently written, particularly complex graphs, such as f and g. See below for specifics.

      Methods of Alteration: Although Ker 1957 states there are no corrections or alterations (p. 75), correction does occur, generally interlinearly (e.g., p. 48).


      • Scope: Major
      • Script: English Vernacular Minuscule I
      • Ker reference: Ker 47, Gneuss 62
      • Description: pp. 1-122, with significant differences in some letter forms from pp. 1-110, in comparison with pp. 111-22. At these points, the textual units are distinct, and Ker 1957 (p. 76) suggests that this manuscript was once part of a larger volume with CCCC 191 (The Bilingual Rule of Chrodegang) and CCCC 201 (pp. 179-272, the Capitula of Theodulf and a homily). If this is the case, as seems very likely given what we know about Bishop Leofric and his books (for which, see Treharne 2003 and Corradini 2008), then the Martyrology and the Vindicta Salvatoris need not have been contiguous or copied at the same point. This might go some way towards explaining the immediately visible differences in specific letter-forms. The general aspect of this hand is round and upright, with generous interlinear space, as is typical of Exeter manuscripts, and high, split ascenders.
      • Summary of the characteristics of the hand:
        • a is single-compartment and generally round, though at pp. 1-110 it tends to be squarish when it follows e.
        • æ has a high e component at pp. 1-110.
        • d is very round and has a very short upstroke with a slight curve upward at the end.
        • f is a potentially significant graph in this scribe's hand, since it is relatively consistent. It has a medial stroke that tends to be longer than the headstroke, and curves upwards at the end; the descender curves to the left at the end. On occasion, the headstroke of f curves down onto the medial stroke.
        • g is another significant graph: its downstroke tends to begin from the middle of the headstroke, with a smoothly curving tail that is closed.
        • i tends to be used for WS y at pp. 111-22, but also occurs sporadically in the Martyrology.
        • s occurs in both high and low forms, with both descenders curving to the left. Notably, the head of high s often curves round and closes, a feature that is seen in manuscripts from other centres at this time, particularly Worcester and Canterbury.
        • ð is often tagged to the left. Note the angle of the upstroke, which remains consistent throughout the manuscript. The crossbar usually pierces the upstroke.
        • Majuscule A is either square capital or half-uncial (the latter especially at pp. 111-22).
        • ascenders are split at the top.
        • descenders turn to the left. Accents are hairline, at 45º, with a blob at the top. The abbreviation mark is flat.
        • Punctuation is by punctus placed on the line. Hyphens are notable: they are flat on the line at both the line-end and the following beginning of the line. Runovers (e.g., p. 99) are indicated with a bracket that consists of one downward stroke and a 90º horizontal stroke. Methods of Alteration Although Ker 1957 states there are no corrections or alterations (p. 75), correction does occur, generally interlinearly (e.g. p. 48).
      Decoration Description

      Initials are metallic red, blue or green (Ker 1957, p. 76), and occur at pp. 1-110, often in a consistent sequence of green, red, blue. These large initials are offset.

      Binding Description

      Rebound in tanned goatskin in 1953 by John Gray; the previous binding was eighteenth-century. According to Wanley 1705, the title 'Spell boc wintres and sumeres' was on the outside of the old cover. Wanley took the hand to be Joscelyn's, but according to Ker 1957 (p. 75), Joscelyn's own description of the manuscript in Vitellius D. vii, fol. 131, suggests that the title was already there in his time.

      Additional Information

      Administration Information

      Manuscript described by Elaine Treharne with the assistance of Hollie Morgan and Johanna Green (2010; 2013). Bibliography updated by Georgia Henley (2018).


      Digital surrogate: (accessed 18 July 2018)

      EM Project facsimile

      Robinson, Pamela R., Catalogue of Dated and Datable Manuscripts c. 737-1600 in Cambridge Libraries, 2 vols (Woodbridge: Brewer, 1988), pl. 25.



      Origin According to Ker 1957 (p. 76) it was written at Exeter as a companion volume to CCCC 191 and CCCC 201: script, format, and number of lines are the same. Identifiable probably with the martyrologium given to Exeter by Bishop Leofric (Chambers 1933, p. 26). The entry follows immediately that of 'regula canonicorum', so it is possible that this manuscript and CCCC 191 already formed one volume in Leofric's time. Acquisition In the list of manuscripts bequeathed to Corpus Christi College by Archbishop Parker (Wanley 1705, p. 106).




      Assmann, Bruno, ed., Angelsæchsischen Homilien und Heiligenleben, Bibliotek der angelsæchsischen Prosa, 13 (Kassel: Wigand, 1889; repr. 1964)

      Chambers, R. W. , 'The Exeter Book and Its Donor Leofric', in The Exeter Book of Old English Poetry: Facsimile (London: for the Dean and Chapter of Exeter Cathedral by Humphries, 1933), pp. 1-9

      Corradini, Erika, 'Leofric of Exeter and his Lotharingian Connections: A Bishop's Books, c 1050-72' (unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Leicester, 2008)

      Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, and Stanford University, Parker Library on the Web (; accessed in 2010;, accessed in 2018)

      Drage, E., 'Bishop Leofric and the Exeter Cathedral Chapter, 1050-1072: A Reassessment of the Manuscript Evidence' (unpublished doctoral thesis, University of Oxford, 1978)

      Gneuss, Helmut, Handlist of Anglo-Saxon Manuscripts: A List of Manuscripts and Manuscript Fragments Written or Owned in England up to 1100 (Tempe, AZ: Arizona Center for Medieavl and Renaissance Studies, 2001), item 62

      Herzfeld, G., ed., An Old English Martyrology, EETS, OS 116 (London: Paul, Trench, Træbner, 1900)

      Goodwin, C. W., ed., The Anglo-Saxon Legends of St. Andrew and St. Veronica (Cambridge: Cambridge Antiquarian Society, 1851)

      Ker, N. R., Catalogue of Manuscripts Containing Anglo-Saxon (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1957; repr. 1990), item 47

      Oliver, George, Lives of the Bishops of Exeter and a History of the Cathedral Exeter (Exeter: Roberts, 1861)

      Robinson, Pamela R., Catalogue of Dated and Datable Manuscripts c. 737-1600 in Cambridge Libraries, 2 vols (Woodbridge: Brewer, 1988)

      Scragg, Donald, Alexander Rumble, and Kathryn Powell, C11 Database Project (Manchester Centre for Anglo-Saxon Studies,; accessed in 2009;, accessed in 2018)

      Treharne, Elaine M., 'Producing a Library in Late Anglo-Saxon England: Exeter, 1050-1072', Review of English Studies, 54 (2003), 155-72

      von Tischendorf, Constantin, ed., Evangelia Apocrypha (Leipzig: Avenarius & Mendelssohn, 1876)

      Wanley, Humfrey, Antique Literature Septentrionalis Liber Alter (Oxford: Sheldonian Theatre, 1705)