The main text of this manuscript is the Old English version of Bede’s Ecclesiastical History of the English People inscribed in the early eleventh century.  A generation or two later, eighteen texts were written in the margins of the manuscript, all in the same hand.  These include Latin liturgical materials as well as homilies in both Old English and Latin; metrical and prose charms; a medical formula; and an excerpt from the Old English Martyrology; as well as a poem corresponding to lines 1 – 92 of the first verse Solomon and Saturn dialogue from CCCC 422.  These lines are inscribed in the margins of  pages 196 – 198.  Immediately before the lines from Solomon and Saturn I, the margins of one page are left blank; after the text, several pages are left free of marginalia.

From the middle of line 29 of the CCCC 41 text, the verse corresponds very closely with the text beginning from the top of the second page (fol. 1v) of CCCC 422.  There are more than fifteen different words, with numerous differences in spelling and inflection.  One line appears in CCCC 41 that is not in CCCC 422, so the CCCC 41 text cannot have been copied from CCCC 422.  However, there are no differences in syntax or word order at phrase, clause, or sentence levels, so the exempla for the two texts must have been close.  The few words on page one of CCCC 422 that can be made out with the help of several-fold magnification of high-definition digital images or under ultraviolet light can be shown to correspond approximately with the text of lines 1 – 29 in CCCC 41.

A full description of the manuscript is available via the Parker Library.


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