The Old English Life of Saint Mary of Egypt and London, British Library, Cotton Julius E.vii: A Textual Study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

This article highlights the textual distinctiveness of the Old English Life of Saint Mary of Egypt in its manuscript context in British Library, Cotton Julius E.vii. The Cotton Julius version of the Life is distinctive in the sheer number of scribal errors it contains but also in the purposeful changes to the original translation evident in it. Consideration of scribal performance across the manuscript and comparison with texts of Saint Mary of Egypt extant elsewhere lead to the conclusion that the purposeful changes in the Cotton Julius witness have probably been inherited from an exemplar, while the number of errors is likely due to the pressure under which the scribe was working in adding this text at a late stage of the manuscript’s composition. Despite its distinctive features, there is no evidence to contradict the recently argued contention that this version of Saint Mary of Egypt, along with the second half of the immediately preceding item in the manuscript, the Legend of the Seven Sleepers, was copied by the main scribe of Cotton Julius rather than being delegated to a colleague: although Seven Sleepers also seems to have been copied under pressure, Saint Mary of Egypt stands apart from it in broadly the same ways as it does from the rest of the manuscript.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAnglia
Volume139
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jun 2021

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'The Old English Life of Saint Mary of Egypt and London, British Library, Cotton Julius E.vii: A Textual Study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this