The Manuscripts

Wulfstan's Old English eschatological homilies are extant in five manuscripts, housed in the Parker Library at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge and the Bodleian Library in Oxford. Only Cambridge, Corpus Christi College 201 (C) and Oxford, Hatton 113 (E) contain all five homilies. Oxford, Bodleian 343 (H) contains three: De Anticristo, De Temporibus Anticristi, and Secundum Marcum. Cambridge, Corpus Christi College 421 (A) contains Secundum Lucam; and Oxford, Junius 121 (G) contains De Anticristo. Descriptions of the individual manuscripts and their contents, as well as transcripts of the eschatological homilies contained in each, are accessible via the menu links.

The relationships among the five manuscripts are relatively clear, and the stemma provided by Bethurum need not be modified. Two major groups may be identified immediately: the first containing CCCC 201, Hatton 113, and Junius 121; the second consisting of CCCC 421 and Bodleian 343. Within the first group, Hatton 113 and Junius 121 form a subset, both having a Worcester provenance and the same Worcester scribe, with CCCC 201 showing minor differences from the other two. CCCC 421 and Bodleian 343 represent different versions of their respective homilies from the manuscripts of the first group, but contain different homilies from each other. Thus, the following stemma (based on Bethurum 11) seems accurate:

Wulfstan's Latin outline for the homilies has a more complex manuscript history. It occurs in six manuscripts: Copenhagen Gl. Kgl. S. 1595, ff. 51-52; CCCC 201, pp. 66-7; Hatton 113, ff. 31b-33; British Library, Cotton Vespasian D.ii, ff. 28b-29; Cambridge, St. John's College 42, f. 94r; and Madrid, Real Biblioteca del Escorial T.I.12, f. 176r-v. The last two manuscripts on the list were unknown to Bethurum: St. John's College 42 was identified in 1991 by James E. Cross, who connects the manuscript with Worcester; Cross also reports the existence of the Madrid manuscript. The Copenhagen manuscript, dating to the eleventh century before Wulfstan's death in 1023, is the earliest witness. It contains a short passage in Old English on f. 66v in the hand identified by Ker as Wulfstan's own, as well as corrections in the same hand to other Latin texts in the manuscript. CCCC 201 and Hatton 113 are also eleventh century manuscripts; Cotton Vespasian D.ii and St. John's College MS. 42 date from the twelfth century; and the Madrid manuscript, which also contains other texts found in Cotton Vespasian D.ii, is from the fourteenth century. The manuscript witnesses fall into two categories, distinct enough that Bethurum speaks of "two versions" (11) of the text: the first, represented by the Copenhagen manuscript, CCCC 201, Hatton 113, and St. John's College 42, is the more authoritative; the second, represented by Cotton Vespasian D.ii and (presumably, as I have not seen the manuscript) Madrid T.I.12, shows a large number of variations, fully documented in Bethurum's edition of the homilies.