St. Gallen, Stiftsbibliothek, Cod. Sang. 248
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Description by Aaron J Kleist (Biola University) 2008

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Manuscript title:
Dates of origin:
Support: Parchment
Extent: 228 pages; pp. 1-2 missing.
Format: (H x W): 288-93 x 208 - 18mm
Collation: (IV+2 [with 124 x 149 mm and 112 x 115 mm parchment inserts between pp. 10 and 11 and pp. 12 and 13, respectively])18, 2 IV50, II58, IV 74, II 82, 2 IV 114, (II+4 [pp. 119-126 being single folia]) 130, (IV+1 [pp. 137-138 being a single folium]) 148, 4 IV 212, (III+2 [pp. 213-214 and 227-228 being single folia])228. Leaf arrangement: FHFH and HFHF; with rare instances of HHFF and HFHH. Pricking: often not visible, likely having been lost to trimming, but appears on occasion near the outer margin, as at pp. 33-36 and 49-52; or some 7-15 mm from the outer edge, as at pp. 57-58, 61-62, 67-72, 75-89, 97-150, 163-166, 179-182, 195-198, and 211-212; or in a combination of the two, with a double set of pricking, as at pp. 3-4, 17-20, 59-60, and 73-74. Occasionally, horizontal pricking will help in the creation of a table, as on p. 62.
Page layout:
Writing and hands: Various hands in Carolingian minuscule. Smith suggests that pp. 3-56 are the work of “many scribes”, pp. 59-82 the work of “several scribes”, and pp. 99-212 again the work of “several scribes” (Codices Boethiani, p. 199, §53). Cordoliani, similarly, states that the whole “présente un grand nombre de mains de scribes différents” (“presents a great number of hands from different scribes” [‘Les manuscrits de comput ecclésiastique’, p. 168]). Bruckner compares the main ninth-century hand with the “ausserordentlich kleiner, sorgfältiger, exakter St Galler Minuskel” (“extremely small, careful, precise St Gallen minuscule”) in St Gallen 40 (Scriptoria medii aevi Helvetica, vol. II, p. 57 [cf. p. 69]). On page 9, Bischoff notes, “eine kleine Korrektur in irischer Schrift enthält, ist ein Denkmal der Beziehungen zwischen der Reichenau und dem Westen” (“a small correction in an Irish hand, is a testimony to relations between the [Benedictine Abbey of] Reichenau and the West” [ Mittelalterliche Studien, vol. III, p. 47, n. 35 ]).
Additions: Smith dates pp. 3-56 to s. ix, pp. 59-82 to s. ix-x, and pp. 99-212 to s. xi-xii (Codices Boethiani, p. 199 [§53]). Stevens dates pp. 59-82 to the middle or end of the ninth century (‘Astronomy in Carolingian Schools’, p. 441, n. 59), while referring to the manuscript as a whole as from “s. IX, X, XI” (Cycles of Time and Scientific Learning, §VIII, p. 167, n. 8). Earlier studies by Jones describe pp. 58-227 as “saec. ix, with additions of saec. x/xi” (Bedae Pseudepigrapha, p. 132), noting that pp. 99-148 “are three inserted gatherings written in a hand of saec. xi” (Bedae Opera de temporibus, p. 156). Cordoliani dates the whole of pp. 99-212 to s. ix (‘L’évolution du comput ecclésiastique’, p. 291). Stevens and Jones further note that certain material derived from Karlsruhe Landesbibliothek, Reichenau 167 (on which, see below) ultimately dates to ca 700: see Stevens, Cycles of Time and Scientific Learning, §VIII, p. 167, n. 8; and Jones, Bedae Venerabilis Opera, p. xiv, n. 14 (see also Cordoliani, ‘Les manuscrits de comput ecclésiastique’, pp. 168-69, and ‘L’évolution du comput ecclésiastique’, pp. 296, 299, 302, and 312). For the suggestion that pp. 59-82 [Machielsen’s “fols 29r-41v”] date to the first third of the ninth century—a theory that sits uneasily with St Gallen 248’s posited dependence on Karlsruhe 167, now dated between 834 and 848—see Machielsen, Artes liberales, , pp. 199 [§622], perhaps drawing on the older study by Bruckner, who dates the whole of St Gallen 248 (apart from additions from s. xi) to s. ix 1/3 (Scriptoria medii aevi Helvetica, vol. II [1936], p. 74; see also Cordoliani, ‘Les manuscrits de comput ecclésiastique’, p. 168).
Binding: Binding of s. xv (ca 1461) corresponding to Szirmai’s Type A, with plaited endbands, raised sewing supports, white leather covering (tawed pigskin or chamois) with decoration in blind-tooled lines, on wooden boards. Two dark leather binding straps, once attached to metal pegs, are now lost. Remnants of text, inverted and perpendicular to the volume, survive as impressions from an unidentified page. Labels: Boëthius. Beda [d]e Co[m]puto. and Z48 on spine; “Compotus Bede. [sic] on front cover, perhaps in the same hand as the MS entry in the 1461 catalogue. I am indebted to Mr. Philipp Lenz for his expertise in dating this binding.
  • 3-56 Boethius: De arithmetica libri duo
    • (3) Preface: >domino patri symmacho·boetius[.]< in dandis accipiendisq[u e] munerib[us] …–… [et] non maiore censebitur auctor merito quam probator·finit ep[isto]la boetii ad simmachu[m]. >finit ep[isto]la boetii ad symmachu[m].<
    • (3b-4a) Capitula.
    • (4a-22a) Text of Book I: >Prohemium in quo diuisio mathematicae.< Inter omnes prisc[a]e auctoritatis qui phytagora duce …–… ab utilioribus moraremur >explicit·lib[er] primus.<
    • (22a-23a) Capitula.
    • (23b-56) Text of Book II: >inaequalitas reducatur·< Superioris libri disputatione digestum e[st] …–… huius discriptionis subter exemplar subiecimus;
    • (56) Table: >geometrica< >arithmetica< >expl[icit] institutionis arithmetice liber sec[un]d[us] feliciter.<
    The edition by Oosthout, Henry, and John Schilling, Anicii Manlii Severinus Boethii De arithmetica, Corpus Christianorum Series Latina 94A (Turnhout, 1999), now replaces that of Godofredus Friedlein, ‘Boetii De institutione arithmetica libri duo’, in Anicii Manlii Torquati Severini Boetii De institutione arithmetica libri duo; De institutione musica libri quinque; accedit geometria quae fertur Boetii (Leipzig, 1867), pp. 3-173. On De arithmetica, see particularly Masi, Boethian Number Theory.
  • 57-58 Miscellaneous
    • (57a) Dryruled illustration (see above, under Decoration).
    • (57b) Blank.
    • (58a) Probationes pennae [some erased] and dryruled numerals.
    • (59b [top]) Probationes pennae [half erased] and a late-tenth or twelfth century copy of Nonae aprilis or Rithmus de termino Paschae, nineteen lines of verse giving (in the first phrase of each line) the date of the Easter full moon in the corresponding year of the nineteen-year (“decennovenal”) cycle and (in the second phrase of each line) the “lunar regular”—that is, the number which, combined with the concurrent for a particular year, identifies the feria or weekday on which the Easter moon falls, as in Quinque poli zonis on p. 61b below. (“Concurrents”, in turn, are the numbers 1 to 7 which Bede uses in his Easter Tables to replace Dominical Letters—used to determine the weekday of 1 January in any given year—and which “from a mathematical point of view are considerably easier to work with” [ Bergmann, ‘Easter and the Calendar’, p. 17].) Text (with the capitals for each line ruled for but not inserted): [N]on[a]e aprilis Norunt quinos· [Q]uinden[a]e c[on]stant Trib[us] adeptis.
    • (59b [bottom]) Probationes pennae [mostly erased] and a late-tenth or twelfth century liturgical extract. Continet in gremio celu[m] t[er]ra[m]q[ue] regente[m] …–… Bisseni comites que[m] stipant agm[i]ne fido.
    For the divergent dating of the additions on p. 59b, see Cordoliani, ‘Les manuscrits de comput ecclésiastique’, p. 169, and Smith, Codices Boethiana, p. 199, respectively. Nonae aprilis is printed by Strecker, Rhythmi aevi Merovingici et Carolini, pp. 670-71, and discussed by Jones, ‘A Legend of St Pachomius’,who affirms that the verse appears ‘in practically every computistical manuscript of the ninth century’ (199); Cordoliani, similarly, says that the text goes back to the ninth century and “était universellement utilizé” (“was universally used”) to calculate the date of Easter in the high Middle Ages (‘L’évolution du comput ecclésiastique’, pp. 298-99). As for the extract from the responsory, it may have formed part of the liturgy for Octaua natiuitatis Domini (the Octave of Christmas), as in the twelfth-century Breviary of St Albans [London, British Library, Royal 2 A. x].
  • 59-82 Pseudo-Bede: Compotum [sic] Bedae presbiteri librorum quattor hic [NOTE: Listing of tables in this section is not comprehensive; see above, under Decoration.]
    • (59) compotum [sic] bedae p[res]b[ite]ri libror[um] quattuor hic
    • (59-60) Tables
    • (61ab) Luna cotidie transit·xiii·partes et horas·viii et viii·semis momenta …–… Haec ratio subtilissima e[st] et ualde necessaria et maximo labore undecumq[ue] cernendam mentis acies purganda.
    • (61b) [s. xi addition] Text: Quinq[ue] poli zonis non[a]e nectunt[ur] aprilis· …–… Hic tria quin den[a]e constant p[er] dona kal[en]d[a]e[.]
    • (61b) [s. xi addition] Table.
    • (62 [top]) Table
    • (62 [bottom]) Text: Primo anno decennovenal[is] circul[i] …–… Nono decimo prima[m] decada[m] sagittarii·
    • (63a [top]) Table
    • (63a [bottom]) >incipit·ci[r]c[uli]·a[l] d[h]elmi de cursu lu[nae]nae p[er] signa·xii·s[e]c[un]d[u]m grecos.< [No text follows.]
    • (63b-64ab [top]) Tables.
    • (64a [bottom]-65a) Pseudo-Augustine >de ratione bissexti s[ecundum] aug[ustinum.]< Incipit primus annus ab occasu solis· uerbi gratia noctis diei dominici usq[ue] dum finitur occidente sole …–… noctis plena quae p[rae]cedit xv. k[a]l[endis] aprilis.
    • (65ab) De signis duodecim. …–… >de signis xii< Iam uero illa quae ab ipsis gentib[us] signa d[omi]n[u]s designarent eorumq[ue] appellare nominib[us] non erubescerent·
    • (65b-67a) Alia ratio de signis. >alia ratio de signis< Taurum aprili tribuunt propter eu[m] eo q[uo]d in bouem sit conuersus ut fabulae ferunt …–… unde december amat te genialis [h]yemps[.] Includes:
      • (66b) Priscian: De duodecim signis celesibus (also called Duodecim uersus de arcto maiori). Ad boreae partes arctoi uertuntur et anguis …–… Hinc sequitur pistrix simul eridaniq[ue] fluenta.
    • (66b) Pseudo-Jerome: Versus de causis anni. Me legat annals cupiat qui noscere mentes …–… Uer æstas autumnus hyemis redit annus in annu[m].
    • (66b-67a) Versus de anno et mensibus Bissenis mensu[m]· uertigine uoluitur annus …–… Per nonas idusq[ue] decurrens atq[ue] kalendas [.]
    • (67a) Ausonius: Versus de singulis mensibus (also known as Monosticha de mensibus) Primus Romanas ordiris iane kalendas …–… unde december amat te genialis [h]yemps (see Schaller and Könsgen, Initia, p. 560 [§12559] )
    • (67b [top]) [s. xi? addition] Termini rogationu[m] …–… in una feria omni anno c[on]ueniunt.
    • (67b [bottom]) [s. xi? addition] Eugenius of Toledo: Heptametron de primordio mundi. Primus in orbe dies lucis p[ri]mordia sumsit …–… septimus est domino requies his rite p[er]actis·
    • (68a) Table.
    • (68ab) De ratione saltus. >de ratione saltus< Lunae uelocitas saltum praebet …–… non saltus [ue]l uenerit n[on] conueniet
    • (69a) Horologiu[m] de concordia Six tables follow in a vertical column.
    • (69b [top]) Table.
    • (69b [bottom]) De tramitib[us] decemnouenalis cycli. Linea Chr[ist]e tuos prima est qu[a]e continet annos …–… Aetatem lunae monstrat nouissimus ordo.
    • (70-71) Tables.
    • (72-76a) Lunar calendar. Xv anni decennouenalis cicli …–… de xi dieb[us] solaribus [.] [Text ends on p. 74b, while tables continue.]
    • (76b-82) Extracts from the Encyclopedia or Computus of 809. Incipiunt lectiones siue regulae co[n]put[i] …–… xvii lu[na] fuit in pas[cha] in illo anno·
  • 83-92a Bede: De natura rerum liber
    • (3a) Preface: >naturas rerum uarias qui legis super astra mente tuere diem. < (3-)de quadrifario dei opere. Operatio diuina, quae saecula creauit et gubernat …–… atque inde Africa a meridie usque ad occidentem extenditur. >finit lib[er] primus·<
      • CPL 1343. Ed. Charles W. Jones, Bedae Venerabilis Opera, Pars I, Opera Didascalica,
      • CCSL 123A (Turnholt, 1975), pp. 189-234.
      • See also Jones, Charles W., Manuscripts of Bede’s De Natura Rerum (Bruges: The Saint Catherine Press, 1937).
  • 92-98 Bede: De temporibus liber
    • (92) (chapters 1-15) >incipit secundus< Tempora momentis horis dieb[us] mensib[us] annis saeculis et aetatib[us] diuiduntur …–… n[ost]ra quoq[ue] resurrectione nob[is] exoptabilis in memoriam reuocetur· >finit lib[er] ii·<
    • (96) (chapters 16-22) >incip[it]it de sex aetatib[us] mundi·< Sex aetatib[us] mundi tempora distingunt[ur] …–… Iustin[us] minor an[no]·xi·armenii fide[m] Chr[ist]i suscipiunt· Tiberius an[no]·ix [expl. imperf.]. Jones affirms that St Gall 248, pp. 92-99 is “Undoubtedly a copy of K [Karlsruhe Landesbibliothek, Reichenau 167]
      • (Jones, Charles W., ed., Bedae Opera de temporibus [Cambridge, 1943], p. 166).
      • CPL 2318. Ed. Charles W. Jones, Bedae Venerabilis Opera, Pars III, Opera Didascalica,
      • CCSL 123C (Turnholt, 1980), pp. 585-611.
  • 99-212 Bede: De temporum ratione
    • (99-100a) >de natura rerum et ratione temporum< duos quonda[m] p[er]stricto sermone libellos discentib[us] …–… mecu[m] nihilominus debita fraternitatis intemeratae iura custodiat.
    • (100-212) De temporum ratione d[omi]no iuuante dicturi necessariu[m] duxim[us] …–… una[m] operatione[m] in Chr[ist]o diuinitatis [et] humanitatis unam. [expl. imperf. at A.M. 4593]
    Jones suggests that pp. 99-148 comprise three inserted gatherings in an eleventh-century hand drawn from an exemplar “resembling Φ [a group of manuscripts primarily from Auxerre, Fleury, Cologne, and Trier]. The rest definitely equals K² [part of Karlsruhe Landesbibliothek, Reichenau 167]”; see Jones, Charles W., ed., Bedae Opera de temporibus (Cambridge, 1943), p. 156 and 143.
    Cordoliani lists p. 120 (?) [‘fol. 61’] under witnesses to De quattuor questionibus compoti of Notker III Labeo (ca 950-1022), ed. Piper, Nachträge zur alten deutschen Literatur, pp. 312-18; see Cordoliani, ‘Les traités de Comput du Haut Moyen Age’, pp. 64-65.
    The last diagram on p. 148b, representing various “fours” such as the elements, seasons, humours, and so forth, appears also in Berlin, Staatsbibliothek Preussischer Kulturbesitz 138, fol. 36v; Paris, Bibliothéque Nationale, Lat. 5239, fol. 144v; and St Gallen, Stiftsbibliothek 240, p. 27; and is reproduced in PL 90.461-62; see Jones, Charles W., ed., Bedae Opera de temporibus (Cambridge, 1943), p. 368.
    De sex huius saeculi aetatibus, which appears at pp. 183-212 and which Scherrer lists as a separate entry in MS 248, constitutes chapter 66 of De temporum ratione; on this copy of De sex huius saeculi aetatibus , see Ostberg, ‘Who were the Mergothi?’, pp. 98-99 and 100 n.14. CPL 2320. Ed. Charles W. Jones, Bedae Venerabilis Opera, Pars II, Opera Didascalica, CCSL 123B (Turnholt 1977), pp. 263-460.
  • 213-228 Miscellaneous
    • (213-226) Computistical Tables.
    • (227ab) Capitula for Bede, De natura rerum.
    • (227b) Capitula for Bede, De temporibus, chapters 1-16.
    • (228) Blank
    The tables on 213-226 are arranged in nineteen-year cycles and provide the following information: common and embolismic years (that is, non-leap years of 365 days and intercalary lunar years of thirteen lunar months or 384 days), anni domini (years A.D.), indictions (fifteen-year cycles), epacts (the difference in days between a solar and a lunar year, that is, the number of days since the new moon at the beginning of the solar year [1 January]), concurrents (the numbers 1 to 7 which Bede uses in his Easter Tables to replace Dominical Letters, used to determine the weekday of 1 January in any given year [see comments on Nonae aprilis, p. 59b above]), common lunar years (twelve lunar months or 354 days), the fourteenth day of the pascal moon (the Sunday after which would be Easter), Easter day, and the age of the moon on that day. The arrangement corresponds to the decennovenal cycle from the year 532 described by Bede in De temporum ratione and reproduced as PL 90.825-54. See
    • Cordoliani, ‘Les manuscrits de comput ecclésiastique’, p. 177.
Origin of the manuscript:
Provenance of the manuscript:
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