. The Edmundine Recension – Historia Brittonum

This is the only version so far to have appeared in David Dumville’s ambitious programme of publishing all the variants of the text, which appears to have stalled temporarily. He terms it the ‘Vatican’ Recension, a confusing designation for an English version of the text: I have preferred to use the term Edmundine because its dating clause places it in the reign of Eadmund I. However, Dumville’s edition of this recension marks an important addition to understanding it, as he located two previously unidentified manuscripts, doubling the number of witnesses to it. The manuscripts are Vatican MS Reginensis 1164 (eleventh century), Paris Bibliothèque Nationale MS Latin 11108 (twelfth century), Paris Bibliothèque Nationale MD Latin 8048 (thirteenth century) and British Library MS Additional 11702 (early fourteenth century).

This recension differs in major respects from those previously discussed. In many cases, the changes are stylistic; britannia (and its variants) becomes bryttannia and the vocabulary is considerably altered, improving the Latinity. While these features have previously led critics to dismiss the recension as able to contribute to a better understanding of the archetypal text, there is evidence that it belongs to an entirely separate family of texts, represented by two recensions, this and the Chartres, the archetype of which predates that containing the section dating the ancestor of the other recensions to 859. This means that its readings are of considerable interest, especially where those in the other recensions are clearly corrupt. At the same time, this recension is self-dated to 944, the fifth year of Eadmund, King of England.

The Edmundine Recension Latin text.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.