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Parker Library On the Web Manuscripts In the Historic Parker Library at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge

Cambridge, Corpus Christi College, MS 183: Bede the Venerable, Two Lives of St Cuthbert with Regnal Lists, etc.

IIIF Drag-n-drop purl.stanford.edu/qv695jy8078
Title:
Cambridge, Corpus Christi College, MS 183: Bede the Venerable, Two Lives of St Cuthbert with Regnal Lists, etc.
Alternate Title:
Bedae Vita Cuthberti. Genealogiae etc.
Language:
Latin and English, Old (ca. 450-1100)
Extent:
ff. 96
Approximate Date:
[ca. 800 A.D. - 899 A.D.]
Collection:
Parker Manuscripts
Description:
CCCC MS 183 is one of several manuscripts associated with Æthelstan, King of the English (924/5-39), but the only one of these written in England in his reign. He seems to have commissioned it for presentation to the community of St Cuthbert, which at this point was at Chester-le-Street in Country Durham, having fled Lindisfarne to escape Viking attacks but not yet settled in its eventual home at Durham. The famous presentation picture shows Æthelstan, with bowed head, presenting the book to St Cuthbert himself, and is a very important example of the revival of figure art in manuscript painting during Æthelstan's reign. It was written between 934 and 939, the year of Æthelstan's death, by a scribe who also appears in London, BL MS Royal 7. D. XXIV, perhaps at Glastonbury, but certainly somewhere in the south of England. It contains Bede's two Lives of St Cuthbert, the first in prose and the second metrical, and a mass and office for Cuthbert's feast day, as well as lists of popes, bishops, and kings, and a record of Æthelstan's other gifts to the community. Its production can be linked to Æthelstan's political activities in the North.