NKS 813x 4°: Petrus Laale





NKS 813x 4°: Petrus Laale

Paper, 2 ff. (1 bifolium), 20,8 × 15 cm; Denmark ca. 1450

The fragment is the only known extant part of a manuscript containing Petrus Laale’s collection of c. 1200 paired proverbs in Latin and Danish which is known in its entirety only from printed editions (first published by Gotfred of Ghemen in Copenhagen in 1506). The number and arrangement of proverbs in the fragment is close to but not identical with the number and arrangement in the early printed editions

The Latin proverbs are metrical. The collection is alphabetised according to the first letters of the Latin proverbs. Several of these are known also from other sources. In most cases Petrus Laale is the earliest known recorded source of the Danish versions

Next to nothing is known for sure about Petrus Laale and the origin of the collection. It is assumed that it was collected and composed in the middle of the 14th century. The collection of proverbs was used as a schoolbook in the later Middle Ages. It was abandoned as such during the Reformation

The bifolium contains 40 proverbs, 10 pairs on each page. The first folio contains proverbs beginning with A, the second proverbs beginning with D. In the early printed editions there are c 185 paired proverbs between the last proverb in the fragment beginning with A and the first beginning with D; i.e. 4 or 5 bifolia are missing. The first proverb of the fragment occurs as the 21st in the early printed editions. Thus the fragment seems to have been the second bifolium in a quire of 6 or 7 bifolia. It was discovered in 1890 in the binding of a seventeenth-century calendar

Bibl.: C. Weeke, Et Brudstykke af en gammel Skolebog, in: Blandinger til Oplysning af dansk Sprog i ældre og nyere Tid udg. af Universitets-Jubilæets danske Samfund, II.1, København 1890, p. 39-46. - John Kousgård Sørensen, Det middelalderlige Peder Låle-fragment. Studier i dansk dialektologi og sproghistorie, tilegnede Poul Andersen. København1971, p. 321-330. - Iver Kjær & Erik Petersen, Peder Låles ordsprog. Danmarks Gamle Ordsprog, I.1-2, København 1979, I.1 p. 11-20 & I.2 p. 745 (siglum H). - Erik Petersen (ed.), Living Words & Luminous Pictures. Catalogue, Copenhagen & Århus 1999, p. 57 no. 77

Erik Petersen