Alcuin, carmen 69 and the Ceolfrith Bibles

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This article reevaluates an assumption that has become part of the scholarly consensus in Codex Amiatinus research, namely, that Alcuin had seen the Amiatinus or its sister codices, and that the bible he presented to Charlemagne with his poem 69 was in some respects modelled on it. It demonstrates that the assumptions and interpretations used to support that hypothesis are untenable and based on misunderstandings derived from looking at passages out of context or mistranslating them. Further, it takes issue with the widely used codicological term 'per cola et commata', showing that it does not refer to a mise-en-page, but to reading or writing according to syntactical disposition, and in the evidence cited to claim Alcuin's knowledge of a Ceolfrith pandect, the phrase actually refers to directions for clear reading.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Codex Amiatinus in Context
EditorsJane Hawkes, Meg Boulton
Place of PublicationTurnhout
ISBN (Print)978-2-503-58142-2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019

Publication series

NameStudia Traditionis Teologia

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