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Western Medieval Manuscripts : Symeon Metaphrastes

Western Medieval Manuscripts

<p style='text-align: justify;'>MS Add. 2753.1 consists of two fragments from the lower halves of two consecutive parchment leaves of a manuscript with hagiographic content (the fragments are classmarked according to the position in the enclosure at the time of the acquisition, and text in fragment b precedes the one in fragment a). The surviving portions of text come from the Passion of St Eulampius and Eulampia and the Passion of St Probus, Tarachus and Andronicus. The two texts are by <i>Symeon Metaphrastes</i>, or Symeon the Metaphrast (10th century), who rewrote numerous existing hagiographical texts.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>The fragments formerly served as endleaves in <a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href=''>Cambridge, University Library, MS Mm.1.11</a> (a mid-14th century manuscript of Euripides) before the present binding, as we can trace from some notes and physical features. On <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(1);return false;'>f. [b] recto</a> some lines are added in the lower margin: the inscriptions of a name, 'J. B. Hautin' and two descriptions, the more recent one in French: 'heuripides' (i.e. Euripides) and 'manuscrit oriental tres ancient'.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Jean-Baptiste Hautin (ca. 1580-1640) was a French scholar, numismatist and book collector. After his death, Hautin’s two sons and his son-in-law inherited his library, and later, part of the collection passed to his nephew, Jean-Baptiste III. It is very likely that one of the namesake sons added the ex libris 'J.B. Hautin' preserved in several manuscripts, sometimes together with a more or less brief description of the contents. MS Mm.1.11 also used to belong to J.B. Hautin and still bears his ownership inscription.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>In addition to this, the dimensions of the two fragments correspond, as do the areas of affected by damage, with the stains and holes present on the codex. Portions of the textile that previously made up the binding of Mm.1.11 also remain on both fragment 2753.1.a and the manuscript, and are the same colour and material. </p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Dr Matteo Di Franco</p>

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