GKS 3394 8°: Anselmus, Cur deus homo





GKS 3394 8°: Anselmus, Cur deus homo

Parchment, 62 ff. (7 x IV + IV-2), c. 17 x 10,5 cm; Germany, saec. XII

GKS 3394 8° belonged to the Benedictine monastery of Saints Cosmas, Damianus and Simeon in Liesborn, as is documented by the ex libris that follows the explicit on f. 62r: Liber Sanctorum Cosme et Damiani ac beatissimi Symeonis in Lysbern

GKS 3394 8° is one of more than 40 extant manuscripts from the twelfth century containing Anselm of Canterbury’s Cur deus homo. It is one of only two of these manuscripts that contain this work alone and no other texts. That GKS 3394 8° was produced as a unit of its own is confirmed by the numbers in the lower margin of the last page of each of the first seven quires, by the excision of two superfluous leaves in the last quire, and by the incipit and explicit of the book. In the rubrics Anselm’s work is referred to as a liber (f. 1r), as an opus (f. 1r, 1v), and as an opusculum (f. 2v, 62r)

Numbers and captions of the 25 + 20 chapters have been copied on f. 1v-2v and are repeated in the margin at the beginning of each chapter. The text has been corrected. There are rubrics on f. 1r, 1v, 3r, 34r & 62r. On f. 62r a few letters have been copied as catchwords for the rubricator at the outer edge of the leaf. The codex got its present binding during the reign of Frederik VI of Denmark (1808-39)

The Royal Library owns two other manuscripts from the same monastery, Fabr. 83 8°, containing Sallustius, and Fabr. 81 8°, with several versified texts, including a hexametric Opus de sacrificio on f. 26r-38r, which is ascribed to Anselm in the manuscript. Even the two codices in the Fabricius Collection can be dated to the 12th century. They have had their own route to the Royal Library, different from that of GKS 3394 8°, whose history between Liesborn and Copenhagen is unknown. It was acquired by the Royal Library at the auction of the library of Frederik Christian Sevel (1723-1778) in Copenhagen in 1781

Bibl.: Bibliothecæ Sevelianæ sive Catalogi librorum qvos reliqvit Dominus Frid. Christian Sevel pars III, Hafniæ 1781, p. 216, no. 47. - Ellen Jørgensen, Catalogus codicum Latinorum medii ævi Bibliothecæ Regiæ Hafniensis, Hafniæ 1926, p. 48 ('sæc. XII'). - Paul Lehmann, Skandinavische Reisefrüchte, II, in: Nordisk tidskrift för bok- och biblioteksväsen XXII 1935, p. 23 ('saec. XIII'). - Mittelalterliche Bibliothekskataloge Deutschlands und der Schweiz. Ergänzungsband I: Sigrid Krämer, Handschriftenerbe des deutschen Mittelalters, Teil 2, München 1989, p. 493. - T.H. Bestul, The Manuscript Tradition of Anselm's Cur Deus Homo, Studia Anselmiana, 128, 1999, (285-307 >) p. 297 & 304 ('s. xii'). - Richard Sharpe, Anselm as Author: Publishing in the Late Eleventh Century, Journal of Medieval Latin, 19, 2009, (1-87 >) p. 82 (‘saec. xii med. or later (ca. 1140–1190)’)

Erik Petersen