The James Catalogue Of Western Manuscripts


  • Shelfmark: B.14.3
  • Manuscript Title: Arator.
  • Alternative Title:   Arator, Historia apostolica
  • James Number: 289  View Printed Catalogue Entry
  • Date: Cent. x, xi (fly-leaves cent. ix).
  • Physical Description: 22 [23] lines to a page (with interlinear glosses). Beautifully written: headings etc. in rustic capitals. Initials with birds and monsters: the hand resembles Carolingian minuscule.
  • Provenance: 

    From Christ Church, Canterbury. On f.1 of text is ARATOR DE ACTIBUS APOSTOLORUM PETRI ET PAULI, in small capitals: and the mark [two vertical lines both intercepted about two-thirds of the way down their length by the same horizontal line; each vertical line has a short wavy horizontal line to the right attached about a third of the way down its length]. Also the later class-markD · 11a · Gra XIIIus. On a parchment slip at the beginning is Ericus Benzelius Suevus contuli hunc librum MS. praestantissimum cum impress 1700 . m. Junio. He was Bishop of Linkjöping, and chief Librarian of Upsala. His projected edition of Arator never appeared.

  • Religious House:   Canterbury, Kent, Benedictine Cathedral Priory (Christ Church)
  • Donor: Given by Willmer.
  • Size (cms): 25 x 18
  • Support: Vellum
  • Language: Latin
  • Century: Multiple; 10th century; 11th century; 9th century
  • Folio: 66 ff.
  • Collation:  a4 | A8-H8 wants 7, 8 blank, quires C-G marked capitals on last leaf, in middle of lower margin.
  • IIIF Manifest URL:
  • Online Since:     31/05/2013
  • The four fly-leaves at the beginning are from a ixth cent. MS. in Lombardic minuscules in double columns of 27 lines. They are from a copy of Ambrose on Ps. cxviii. (P.L. xv. 1342, 1345, 1352).
    Hic ergo uenit ad laqueos sed uoluntarius.

    ff.1, 2 are continuous, f.2 ends
    et iudicio dei damnanda committat. Js enim qui iu-
    f.3 nobis colloquia dei.
    f.4 ends etiam his qui diligunt aduentum eius. sed hoc ille ait qui poterat dicere.

    1. f.1 Arator de actibus Apostolorum Petri et Pauli
    A fine initial Q of two dragons united by foliage and scroll-work, and a bird. Colours, scarlet, dark red, dark blue, green.
    Opening line in large capitals, green, dark red, dark blue.
    The next lines are in rustic capitals, scarlet, dark red, scarlet, green, dark red, black.
    (Inc.) Qui meriti florem maturis sensibus ortum.
    In the first few leaves the order in which the words are to be combined is indicated by small letters a, b, c, d written over them.

    2. f.1b In red rustic capitals
    Domino sancto beatissimo atque apostolico et in toto orbe primo omnium sacerdotum papae Vigilio Arator sub-diaconus.
    Initial in outline of English character.
    Moenibus undosis bellorum incendia cernens
    (green and red capitals).
    Ends f.2b Si quid ab ore placet laus monitoris erit.
    Expl. Epistola.

    3. f.2b Inc. capitula (xxiii.)

    4. f.3 Finiunt tituli libri I. Incipit his(toriae) apostolicae Aratoris subdiaconi romane aecclesiae liber primus
    Vt sceleris ludea sui polluta cruore
    (Green and red capitals. Initial in outline: English.)
    Lib. I. ends on 33.
    Claudit iter bellis qui portam pandit in astris.

    5. Capitula to Lib. II. without heading and only 1-3 numbered.
    f.34a blank.

    6. f.34b Liber II. (this is the only heading)
    Initial in outline black and red, English.
    Spiritus accensam verbo radiante lucernam.
    (Black and red capitals.)
    Ends f.64b
    Et tenet eternam socialis gratia palmam.
    Finit liber secundus Aratoris subdiaconi sancte aecclesiae
    Romane historiae Deo gratias.

    7. f.64b Beato domino petro adiuuante oblatus est huiuscemodi codex ab aratore subdiacono sanctae ecclesiae romane sancto atque apostolico uiro pape uigilio etc.
    Ends. Tertio proconsule basilio v̅c̅. Indictione septima.

    8. f.65b Acrostic addressed to St Dunstan (see 0.1.18)
    The first and last letters are not inserted.
    (0) pater omnipotens digneris ferre donant(I).
    (P)remia qui super alta poli quoque segmina necno(N).
    Ends unfinished
    (R)egmina qui trinum retinet mihi mistica nume(N).
    f.66a is blank. On the verso is the Greek alphabet faintly
    written, in capitals, including the numeral letters ς etc.
    Then in minuscules (xi)
    stomen kalos · Stomen meta fouu (στωμεν μετὰ φὠ̑βου).

    Throughout the text are interlinear glosses. I seem to detect two hands of nearly contemporary date with each other and with the MS. In the first book there are more copious marginal notes than later on.


Trinity College Library, Cambridge 2019