Cambridge, Corpus Christi College, 322

Present Location


Medieval Provenance

General Information






Old English translation of Gregory's Dialogues, referred to as 'C' in Hecht 1900.

Twelfth-century Latin glosses occur on fol. 20: at fol. 20r/6, 'geciged' glossed 'vocat[us]'; 'hwæðre' glossed 'tam[en]'; at fol. 20r/8: 'nemne' glossed 'n[isi]'; at fol. 20r/10, 14: 'teohhode' glossed 'predestinata'; 'stihtode' glossed 'predestinata'; at fol. 20r/22: 'forestihtung' glossed 'predestinatio'; at fol. 20r/26: 'gecigd' glossed 'uocabitur'; at fol. 20v/3: 'hwæðre' glossed 'tam[en]'; at fol. 20v/5: 'unwæstmbære' glossed 'sterilis'. In the thirteenth century Latin incipits and explicits were added.

Digital Surrogate

Manuscript Items

Itemfols 1r-157v


  • Title (B.9.5): Gregory the Great, Dialogues: Werferth of Worcester's Old English Translation of Gregory the Great's Dialogi

    Rubric (initial): (fol. 1r) Incipit liber primus dialogorum beati gregorii pape

    Incipit(fol. 1r) Ic ALFRED geofendum criste mid cynehades mærnysse geƿeorðod

    Explicit(fol. 157v) ær urum deaðe gode lác ond licƿyðe onsægdnes

    Rubric (final): (fol. 157v) Explicit liber quartus dialogorum beati gregorii pape


    Ker 1957, item 60

    Hecht 1900

    Object Description


    Form: Codex


    The manuscript is parchment, many folios of which show some signs of damage. The opening folio is water-damaged, and shows other stains and a hole. None of the damage impairs legibility. There are some wormholes which also go through the Parkerian flyleaves, suggesting they are post-sixteenth century. The bottom outer corner of the entire manuscript has suffered rodent damage (contra Budny 1997, I, p. 627, who says the upper corners are damaged), with the exception of the last quire. One leaf is missing between fols 142 and 143. Budny states that '[p]arts of the script and decoration have been lost in the trimmed margins', but this is not the case (1997, p. 627).


    228 mm x 150 mm (dimensions of all - size of leaves)

    c. 188 mm x 105 mm (dimensions of all - size of written space)

    Foliation/Pagination: Fols iv + 157 + iv, foliated in pencil (i-iv), 1-157, (158-61).


    Quires: Collation of fols 1- 157: 1- 178, 188 wants 7 after fol. 142, 198, 208 wants 7, 8, probably blank, after fol. 157 (Ker 1957, p. 107).

    Signatures: Quires are now marked in modern pencil.


    The flyleaves are paper of the date of binding (fols i, ii, 160-1) and parchment of s. xvi (fols iii, iv, 158, 159). Kerfed sewing stations are visible: two in lower third of folio, two in upper third. Drypoint ruling, double vertical boundary lines, ruled for thirty lines of script (31 lines in Quire 20), rubric originally below top line. Average of nine words to the line. Pricking visible in margin particularly from half-way up the page (ie. first half of the page's pricking is apparent). Versal letters offset into left bounding line. By folio 2r, writing is above top line.

    Hand Description

    Number of Hands: 1 in Old English

    Hand: main text

    • Scope: sole
    • Scribe: Ker 60
    • Script: eleventh-century Worcester hand
    • Description: Fols 1-157. 'A tidy, upright hand' (Ker 1957, p. 107). There are some rather interesting calligraphic touches: end of the line often sees an elaboration for visual effect: small majuscule N ends the word 'wæron' at fol. 2v/9; end of page, line 30, 'habbanne' has a ligatured final N and E, the N being half-majuscule, and the being high.
    • Summary of the characteristics of the hand:
      • High e is regular in æ, even at the end of a word.
      • d has a short ascender that sometimes finishes with a slight tick to the right.
      • Occasional high e, even at the end of a word. It is rounded and horned.
      • g is a notable graph: it is formed rather like a t with a rounded tail; the two strokes of the letter-form are very apparent.
      • s the head of long s is sometimes developed into a loop, especially at the end of a word. Long and low forms of the graph appear in all positions.
      • þ has a long, split ascender.
      • ð has a long upstroke, and cross-stroke is usually placed low on upstroke, with a tick to the right at top end.
      • y is straight and dotted with the right limb finished with a slight turn to the left.
      • Majuscule S is an uncial capital.
      • ascenders have a slight wedge to the left.
      • The ends of descenders turn markedly to the left or are seriffed or end in a very deliberate calligraphic curve.
    • Abbreviations:
      •  stands for the prefix ge-.
      • ˥ has flat top with flick up to the right at beginning and goes below the line, finishing with sweeping curve to the left. It is often placed high.
      • Abbreviation of 'cwæð' to c with abbreviation stroke above it, or to 'cw-' with s-shaped abbreviation mark above the w.
      • Marks of abbreviation are curved or hooked, except in the early folios where the mark is straight, with a tick up the right at the beginning and to the left at the end.
    Decoration Description
    • All major initials are marked out with oxidized red, and there is an elaborate, foliate-tailed uncial versal at fol. 6v/7, 'Ac'.
    • The capital of 'Ongytes' at fol. 7r is also offset in the left vertical bounding lines.
    • In Quire 3, at fol. 17v, P of 'Petrus' is blue (and at fol. 18r), G of 'Gregorius' is red.
    • Light blue or red initials at the beginning of paragraphs and introducing the speakers Petrus and Gregorius.
    Binding Description

    Rebound in s. xx. The previous binding was s. xviii.

    Additional Information

    Administration Information

    Manuscript described by Elaine Treharne with the assistance of Hollie Morgan and Johanna Green (2010; 2012). Bibliography updated by Georgia Henley (2018). 




    Origin: According to the C11 project and Budny 1997, the manuscript was written in Worcester, and while that is quite probable, it is not certain, with much of the evidence adduced being circular.

    Provenance: Belonged to Archbishop Parker. The name of John Parker, written in red pencil on fol. iiiv, has been erased (Wanley 1705, p. 130).

    Acquisition: Bequeathed to Corpus Christi College by Archbishop Parker in 1575.




    Budny, Mildred, Insular, Anglo-Saxon, and Early Anglo-Norman Manuscript Art at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge: An Illustrated Catalogue, 2 vols (Kalamazoo, MI: Medieval Institute Publications Western Michigan University in Association with Research Group on Manuscript Evidence the Parker Library Corpus Christi College Cambridge, 1997), I

    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 Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 2001), item 92

    Hecht, Hans, ed., Bischof Wærferths von Worcester Ãœbersetzung der Dialoge Gregors des Grossen, Bibliothek der Angelsæchsischen Prosa, 5 (Liepzig: G. H. Wigand, 1900; repr. Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1965)

    Ker, N. R., Catalogue of Manuscripts Containing Anglo-Saxon (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1957; repr. 1990), item 60

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

    Yerkes, David, 'The medieval provenance of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge MS 322', Transactions of the Cambridge Bibliographical Society 7:2 (1978), 245-47

    Wanley, Humfrey, Librorum Veterum Septentrionalium Catalogus (Oxford, 1705)