Manuscript: Cotton Vitellius A. xv
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British Library, Cotton Vitellius A. xv
 

Produced: England, 10th century

Language: Anglo-Saxon

Author: 
Illustrator: 
Scribe: 

Binding: 
Media: 
Script: 

Folios: 209  Height: 19.5 cm   Width: 13 cm

Manuscript type: Miscellany

Location: British Library, London, England, United Kingdom

Family: n/a

 



Source: British Library Images Online | Copyright Copyright 2004 British Library / Used by permission | Folio 101r


 
Description

A composite codex preserving the unique Beowulf manuscript. It contains the Southwick Codex (Old English), including four items: Soliloquies of St. Augustine Gospel of Nicodemus fragment; Debate of Solomon and Saturn St. Quintin Homily fragment. The second codex is the Nowell Codex, comprising five items: Life of St. Christopher fragment; Wonders of the East (illustrated); Alexander's Letter to Aristotle Beowulf Judith fragment.

Both the Wonders of the East (folios 98v-106v) and Alexander's Letter to Aristotle (folios 107r-131v) contain references to bestiary animals.

When the building housing the Cottonian collection of manuscripts caught fire in 1731, the manuscript was badly burned around the edges; it was saved by being thrown from the window with many other manuscripts. In the 19th century the British Museum repaired the books damaged by the fire, by which time much of the text of Beowulf had crumbled away from the edges of the pages. By 1845, Cotton Vitellius A. xv. was rebound mounted on paper frames that help slow the deterioration of the edges of the pages.


 
Editions and Facsimiles


Printed facsimiles: Marvels of the East (De rebus in Oriente mirabilibus): a full reproduction of the three known copies (Oxford, 1929) James, 1929

 

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