Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Field Trip to the UL Manuscripts

Once in a while we Latin Therapists come out from our corner of Free School Lane and set off to explore the wider Latin world.  For this term's field trip we took a trip to the Manuscripts Room of Cambridge University Library, in the company of their medieval manuscripts specialist Suzanne Paul.

Suzanne showing us a medical text
Suzanne kindly brought out 8 fascinating and beautiful manuscripts for us to browse.  They were:
  • a 14th-century astronomical treatise, Peterhouse 75.I (which I've blogged about here)
  • an 11th-century song book, Gg.5.35
  • two medical texts from the 12th and 13th centuries, Peterhouse 231 and 251
  • Gerald of Wales' description of Ireland, Mm.5.30, which we read in the group last term
  • a mysterious 16th-century book of magic, Add.3544
  • and two absolutely gorgeous 13th-century bestiaries, Ii.4.26 and Kk.4.25.
Marvelling at a bestiary
We spent a very enjoyable couple of hours browsing through the manuscripts and deciphering the script, as well as enjoying beautiful illustrations in the bestiaries (like the one below).  In most cases one of the members of the group had worked on that manuscript, so was able to introduce everyone to its most interesting features.

We're very grateful to Suzanne for giving so generously of her time and expertise.  We all went away inspired to work more closely with manuscripts - and in some cases, to carry out further investigations into some intriguing aspects of the manuscripts we'd just seen!

We'll continue blogging with more Latin translations next term.  For now, we hope you enjoy this beautiful image!

Kk.4.25 f.58r

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