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Medieval Medical Recipes : Amalarius of Metz, Liber officialis

Medieval Medical Recipes

<p style='text-align: justify;'>Cambridge, Corpus Christi College, MS 416 (hereafter CCCC MS 416) is a 12th-century copy of a popular medieval handbook for medieval clergy known as the <i>Liber officialis</i>. It is primarily concerned with the proper performance of the Christian mass and correct behaviours for priests and others who had dedicated their lives to the Church. The <i>Liber officialis</i> was composed by Amalarius of Metz (c. 775-c. 850), an important figure in Frankish royal and ecclesiastical power structures. Amalarius was appointed archbishop of Trier in 811 by Charlemagne, visited the Byzantine emperor Michael I Rhangabes at Constantinople in 813 at Charlemagne's request, and then supported Charlemagne's son Louis the Pious in power struggles following Charlemagne's death in 814. He was later served as archbishop of Lyon from 835 to 838. </p><p style='text-align: justify;'>CCCC MS 416 appears to have suffered significant damage and alteration since it was first made. On folio <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(1);return false;'>i recto</a> there is a medieval list of the contents of the volume in what appears to be an early 13th-century English hand. It enumerates ten items, but of those only the first is still present in the volume: 'Amalarius de ecclesiasticis institucionibus' (an alternative medieval title for the <i>Liber officialis</i>). It is not clear when the other nine texts were lost from CCCC MS 416, but it was probably before Parker's acquisition of the volume. The book is described in Parker's <i>Register</i> simply as 'Amularius' and the opening words given as 'Vbi scs Augustinus' (see <a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href=''>Cambridge, Corpus Christi College, MS 575, p. 55</a>), and the <i>Register</i> typically records the author and title of each work in manuscripts that contain multiple texts. The missing portion of CCCC MS 416 is not known to have survived; several of the missing texts are relatively rare medieval works, but none of the surviving examples of those works appear to be a match for the extant part of CCCC MS 416. </p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Dr Sarah Gilbert<br /> Project Cataloguer for the Curious Cures project<br /> Cambridge University Library</p>

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