Cambridge, Corpus Christi College, MS 139

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Cambridge, Corpus Christi College, MS 139 is a northern English manuscript compiled in c. 1170. Apart from preliminary additions (i + ii), it contains two separate volumes, comprising 180 folios in total. The original first volume has 165 folios in twenty gatherings, about half of which are occupied by the historical compilation Historia regum, which runs from f. 51v to 129v. In the sixteenth century, the codex was bequeathed by Matthew Parker to the Library of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, where it is held to this day.


folios description
i-ii Preliminary matter
1 1r-16v Historia omnimoda (“Universal history”)
2 17r-25v Extracts from Regino of Prüm's Chronicon
3 36r-46r Richard of Hexham, De gestis regis Stephani et de bello Standardii
4 46r-48v Chronicle from Adam to Emperor Henry V
5 48v-50r Letter to Hugh, Dean of York, De archiepiscopis Eboraci, ascribed to Symeon of Durham.
6 50r-51v De obsessione Dunelmi et de Probitate Ucthredi Comitis.
7 51v-129v Historia regum.
8 129v-147r Historia Johannis prioris Haugustaldensis Ecclesie xxv annorum, a continuation of Historia regum by John, prior of Hexham.
9 132r Erased rubric and sketch of comet
10 132v Serlo of Wilton's poem on the Battle of the Standard.
11 133r-v Poem on death of Somerled, by the Glasgow clerk William
12 133v-138r Ailred of Rievaulx, Relatio de Standardo, treatise on the Battle of the Standard.
8 138r-147r Historia Johannis resumes.
13 147r-149v Ailred of Rievaulx, De Sanctimoniali de Wattun
14 150r-152v Account of St Mary's Abbey at York
15 152v Item, e.g. on foundation of Fountains in 1132.
16 153r-158r Letter by Thurstan, archbishop of York, to William of Corbeil, archbishop of Canterbury.
17-20 158r-161v Extracts from William of Malmesbury's Gesta regum.
21 162r Fragmentary saga about King Ælla of Northumbria and his relation with the wife of merchant Ærnulf.
22 165r-v De eo quod Eboracensis Ecclesia nullum dominium super Scottos habere debet.
23 165v Story about a clerk interrogating the spirit of Malcolm IV of Scotland (d. 1165)
166-80 Second volume: Historia Brittonum, Life of St Gildas

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Peter Hunter Blair. “Some Observations on the Historia Regum attributed to Symeon of Durham.” Celt and Saxon. Studies in the Early British Border, ed. Nora K. Chadwick, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1963. 63—118.
  • J. Hodgson Hinde. Symeonis Dunelmensis Opera et Collectanea. Publications of the Surtees Society 51. 1868. lxvii-lxxiii.
  • M.R. James. A Descriptive Catalogue of the Manuscripts of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. Vol 1. 1912. 317-23.