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

Cambridge, Corpus Christi College, MS 012: Alfred the Great's Old English Translation of Gregory the Great, De cura pastorali.

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Title:
Cambridge, Corpus Christi College, MS 012: Alfred the Great's Old English Translation of Gregory the Great, De cura pastorali.
Alternate Title:
Gregorius de Cura Pastorali Saxonice
Language:
English, Old (ca. 450-1100) and Latin
Extent:
ff. 225 + 2
Approximate Date:
[ca. 1000 - 1099]
Collection:
Parker Manuscripts
Description:
This manuscript contains the Old English translation of Gregory the Great's Pastoral Care, with the famous preface setting out Alfred the Great's educational policy. Alfred arranged for translations to be made of the texts "most necessary for men to know", and this work by Gregory was probably one of the earliest to be produced. The translation claims to be the work of Alfred himself, although this has sometimes been challenged. MS 12 is one of only five manuscripts (and a fragment) of this work surviving from Anglo-Saxon England, and probably dates from the tenth century. It is not used in the standard edition by Sweet, who based his text on the two earliest manuscripts. The manuscript was certainly at Worcester in the thirteenth century, when it was annotated by the 'Worcester Tremulous Hand', whose glosses and marginal notes are found in several other Corpus manuscripts.