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The Life of Saint Wilfrid
The Life of Saint Wilfrid by Edmer of Canterbury
|A||London, British Library, Arundel MS 91, fols. 126v-145||
Stemma Codicum : 'provisional'
|B||Cambridge, Corpus Christi College, MS 371, fols. 11-38v (pp. 23-78)|
|C||London, British Library, Cotton MS Caligula A.viii, fols. 59-85v|
|D||Ballarat Fine Art Gallery, MS Crouch 10, fols. 1-36v [olim Phillipps MS 13562]|
|G||Cambridge, Corpus Christi College, MS 371, fols. 38v-43 (pp. 78-87)|
|J||Vita Sancti Wilfridi in BL Lansdowne MS 436, fols 95-98; printed by Raine (pp. 477-85).|
|K||'Vita et Miracula Sancti Wilfridi'. This work is taken from a collection of saints' lives attributed to John of Tynemouth (fl. 1366) [see Smith's Introduction to his Catalogue of Cottonian Manuscripts (p. 54, translated by Godfrey E. Turton)]; edited by Raine as John Capgrave's (1393-1464) 'Life of Wilfrid' (pp. 486-509). Raine's text is taken from the printed edition of Capgrave's 'Nova Legenda Angliae', which Smith discerned to derive directly from Tynemouth's, with selective supplementary readings taken from two of the manuscripts.|
Explication of the Stemma Codicum
As the discussion which follows here demonstrates, the evidence of the stemma codicum indicates a lively transmission of Edmer's Vita Sancti Wilfridi in the twelfth century. This is in keeping with various activities at Canterbury meant to establish the cult of Wilfrid there: our paragraphs 113-14 recount how Odo removed Wilfrid's relics from Ripon to Christ Church to ensure their safe preservation; and, paragraph 115 details the enshrinement of Wilfrid's relics in the newly built church at Canterbury by Lanfranc.
The structure of the stemma reflects our acceptance of the statement of Sir Richard Southern that CCCC 371 (containing among other things our B and G - the Breviloquium) is Edmer's autograph (see Southern (1962), pp. xx-xxi). A most interesting matter, if the proposed stemma is accurate, is that the surviving witnesses for the manuscript tradition, represented by ACD, do not descend directly from Edmer's extant autograph (B). A number of apparent omissions, minor mistakes and an interlinear insertion show that B is a copy of an earlier manuscript which in these specific instances is better represented by the readings in ACD. An amendment over an erasure suggests that Edmer subjected his text to constant refinement, as Southern demonstratedwith respect to the Vita Anselmi.
Another assumption made here is that Edmer's earliest version of the work was strongly influenced by Fridegode's language and that the later version represents a simplification of his more obscure vocabulary (hence there are readings in G deriving from Fridegode which do not occur in ABCD). A reading in B which preserves the word order of Fridegode, which is changed in ACD, indicates that ACD derive from a common parent (epsilon) which was not one of Edmer's own manuscripts (i.e. one of his revised autographs). Both of these assumptions may be open to challenge if we allow that Edmer had a manuscript of Fridegode at his disposal when he collated the manuscript sources for his autograph.
The sigla beta1 and beta2 are used to denote our proposed earlier versions of Edmer's own manuscript and epsilon the common parent of ACD. C is a very good witness for this tradition; it shares some readings with AD which are not found in B. A repeats many of the good readings of C, but its punctuation suggests that it is later than the other witnesses (according to Southern's criteria (1962), pp. xxviii-xxxiv). A and D mark the beginnings of chapters down to Ch. 8, though they mark them differently - in A with Roman numerals and large coloured initials and in D with large coloured initials only; we therefore propose that they descend from a common parent, gamma. Because none of the other witnesses shares A's deliberate omissions (of the Theodore-Wilfrid material), they cannot have descended from it; we therefore place it at the end of its tradition on the stemma.
D contains a multitude of inferior or variant readings not in the other manuscript witnesses; it is at the end of its branch of the manuscript tradition, but the tradition of its exemplar has influenced the later printed editions. J, the abridgement of Edmer, shares readings with ACD and also some special instances of word order with D, though not many of its nonsensical readings; thus the influence of the D tradition must have occurred a stage above D but after the A tradition had split off. K includes Bede's Ecclesiastical History 3.25 (the debate over the date of Easter) as does D, but unlike D (which appends it to the Vita) it has it in its proper chronological place in the narrative; it repeats some of the unique manuscript readings of D, but does not have its many odd, and usually inferior, divergent readings. delta is necessary in order to account for the D-J and D-K affiliations. Moreover, K has readings that are in common only with B.
This is an electronic edition of Edmer's twelfth century Vita Sancti Wilfridi. It includes a full photographic facsimile of a little known witness from the Ballarat Fine Art Gallery in Victoria, Australia -- MS Crouch 10. It considers all known manuscript witnesses in its apparatus and includes a full study of the printed tradition in its introduction and commentary, including the recently rediscovered witness 'E', now held by Cambridge University Library (whose whereabouts was unknown when the 1998 edition was published by the University of Exeter Press). The analysis of the printed tradition contains a watershed of previously undisclosed observations that will necessitate a rethinking of traditional views concerning the authority of the Acta Sanctorum, Patrologia Latina and other early editions. The editors also examine the relationship between this Vita and related works by Edmer, Fridegode and others.
Purchases of this CD may also be interested in the related essay, 'A Codicological Case Study' [see Essays section]