The Corpus Glossary and Mercian intellectual culture in Anglo-Saxon England

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Cambridge, Corpus Christi College (CCCC), 144, the early ninth-century Corpus Glossary, contains 8,712 entries, making it the largest alphabetical glossary from pre-Conquest England. In the case of CCCC 144, the inherent value is immediately evident in the manuscript’s layout. The First and Second Corpus Glossaries were planned in tandem: the layout of CCCC 144 shows that these texts were beautifully designed and spaced to complement one another. The types of knowledge contained in both the First and Second Corpus Glossaries were valued by the community that produced CCCC 144, but these documents were used for different reasons. Pushing on received wisdom about literary ‘originality’ in the medieval world with the help of tools like Parker on the Web 2.0 allows us to find evidence of intellectual activity even in so-called ‘derivative’ works. Placing the two unlikely manuscripts of CCCC 144 and 402 together highlights the continuity of intellectual tradition in Mercia across the centuries.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMedieval Manuscripts in the Digital Age
EditorsBenjamin Albritton, Georgia Henley, Elaine Treharne
ISBN (Print)9781003003441
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020


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