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Peterhouse : Varia


<p style='text-align: justify;'>A religious florilegium (or miscellany combining various texts, meditations, and prayers) in prose and verse, Peterhouse MS 219 provides a window on devotional reading practices in 14th-century England. The lion’s share of the major works included here are those of 12th-century theologians including Bernard of Clairvaux, Aelred of Rievaulx, and Hugh of Saint-Victor, though the compiler also includes patristic material from Jerome and Augustine (as well as a number of Pseudo-Augustinian texts). Florilegia of this kind – as well as multilingual examples combining Latin with various vernaculars – flourished throughout Europe in the later medieval period. </p><p style='text-align: justify;'>The manuscript also has a potential Chaucerian connection. In the Prologue to the <i>Legend of Good Women</i>, the poet makes reference to two works of translation completed in his younger years, both of which are no longer extant: <i>Orygenes upon the Maudeleyne</i>(418) and <i>Of the Wreched Engendrynge of Mankynde</i>(414). The first is quite clearly the Pseudo-Origen homily on Mary Magdalene (fol. 99) while the later appears to be a prose translation of Innocent III’s <i>De Miseria Humanae Conditionis</i>(fol. 1), both of which are present in this manuscript. Though both texts were popular in fourteenth-century England, the coincidence of the two being found together has led some scholars to hypothesize the Peterhouse manuscript as one of several candidates for Chaucer’s own copy of his source texts. </p><p style='text-align: justify;'> Dr Marie Turner<br /> Peterhouse, Cambridge </p>

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