Vercelli and the Vercelli Book Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • Most theories designed to explain how and when the 'Vercelli Book' came into the hands of the canons of San Eusebio di Vercelli are little more than guesswork; and those which endeavour to single out a particular agent of transmission ignore local data, such as the records of the commune, abbey, hospices, proto-university, and cathedral, which provide a wealth of documentation for the frequency of Vercelli's contacts with England and Englishmen both during and after the Middle Ages. The only solid evidence for the length of time that Codex CXVII has rested in the cathedral archives must be found in the manuscript itself and in the various book catalogues drawn up by the canons down through the centuries. Of special interest among these catalogues is a recently discovered one, dated 1426, which describes what is probably the 'Vercelli Book' in terms suggesting that it is an old possession of the Eusebian chapter, thus lending support to the contention that the inscription on 24v of the manuscript is indeed north Italian of the eleventh century.

publication date

  • October 1969

published in