Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS. Canon. Liturg. 202 | Cantus Manuscript Database

Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS. Canon. Liturg. 202

GB-Ob MS. Canon. Liturg. 202
Antiphoner. Thirteenth century, orginally from southern Germany (?). Owned in the fourteenth century by the collegiate church of St. Peter’s in Sondrio (Lombardy). Non-diastematic neumatic notation. 152 folios (2 blank at both beginning and end); 20 lines per folio. 255 x 195 mm. (Summary Catalogue 19314) According to van Dijk, “capitals mostly in red with yellow brushstrokes, some coloured initials.”
Liturgical Occasions

Ff. 001v-079v: Winter Temporale and Sanctorale. 001v, Advent; 005v, Nicholas; 007v, Lucy; 015r, Christmas; 018r, Stephen; 020v, John the Evangelist; 022v, Holy Innocents; 024r, Thomas Becket; 028r, Epiphany; 031v, Ferial Office; 036v, Fabian and Sebastian; 038r, Agnes; 040r, Purification of Mary; 042r, Agatha; 043v, Peter's Chair; 044r, Gregory; 045v, Annunciation of Mary; 047r, Septuagesima; 051r, Lent; 060r, Passion Sunday; 063r, Palm Sunday; 064v, Holy Week; 067r, Triduum.
Ff. 071v-121v: Summer Temporale and Sanctorale. 071v, Easter; 080r, Adalbert; 080v, Mark; 081r, Philip and James; 082v, Finding of the Cross; 084r, Florian; 084v, Ascension; 086v, Pentecost; 089r, Trinity; 090v, John the Baptist; 092r, John and Paul; 093r, Peter and Paul; 095r, Paul; 097r, Margaret; 098v, Mary Magdalene; 101v, Laurence; 103r, Hippolytus; 104r, Assumption; 106r, Beheading of John the Baptist; 107r, Birthday of Mary; 108v, Holy Cross; 109v, Michael the Archangel; 111v, Jerome; 111v, Remigius; 111v, Gall; 113v, All Saints; 115r, Martin; 117r, Brice; 117v, Cecilia; 119r, Clement; 119v, Andrew.
Ff. 121v-129r: Common of Saints. Ff. 129r-131r: Dedication of a Church. Ff. 131r-139v: Summer Histories. Ff. 139v-142r: Sundays after Pentecost. Ff. 142v-148v: Hymns.


A note written on fol. 1v in 1361 by a Tuscan priest (as transcribed by van Dijk) indicates that the book was in Lombardy by the fourteenth century:

Nota quod ego presbiter Tuscanus canonicus ecclesie sancti Petri et capellanus de Sundrio accepi librum istum mutuo ab ecclesia sancti Petri. submillesimo.ccc.lxj indict.xiij.

Frere’s suggestion of a connection to the Dominican Order has not been confirmed. Contributing to the suggestion of south German provenance are the Offices of Florian and Gall. On page 309 of Young (1967), there is an edition of the text of the Easter play (beginning Quis revolvit) and on page 690, the rubric describing the ceremony of the Visitatio Sepulchri (72v-73r). The latter is also found on page 900 of Young’s The Harrowing of Hell, along with an edition of the rubric describing of the Elevatio Crucis (71v).

This manuscript contains some examples of multiple Offices or parts of Offices for individual liturgical occasions. Examples occur for the feasts of St. Stephen and St. John the Evangelist (alternate antiphons for the three nocturns of Matins are given before a complete Matins office), for the Common of Many Martyrs (an alternate set of antiphons for Lauds is given) and for the summer historia De Regum. In this last case, the first of the ferial antiphons (and by extension, probably the entire set) are indicated as an alternative under the rubric “alio modo.”

Modes for responsories are provisional; they are being proposed according to an analysis of the neume patterns found in responsory verses and the modal designations of corresponding responsories in other sources represented in the database. This analysis has demonstrated that the standard verse tones are consistently represented within these leaves by neume patterns distinctive for each mode. Because of their provisional nature, all mode numbers for responsories in the file are followed by a question mark. Where there is any ambiguity (such as in cases where a non-standard tone is given for a verse or where the verse cannot be sufficiently read), a mode has not been assigned.

Selected Bibliography

  • Frere, Walter ed.Bibliotheca Musico Liturgica: A Descriptive Hand-List of the Musical and Latin Liturgical Manuscripts of the Middle Ages Preserved in the Libraries of Great Britain and Ireland.2 vols. London, 1894-1934; reprint, Hildesheim: G. Olms, 1967.
  • Hesbert, Renato-Joanne. Corpus Antiphonalium Officii. Vol. V, Fontes Earumque Prima Ordinatio. Rome: Casa Editrice Herder, 1975.
  • van Dijk, S. J. P. Handlist of the Latin Liturgical Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library Oxford, 7 vols. Unpublished Typescript, 1957-60.
  • Young, Karl. The Drama of the Medieval Church. 2 vols. Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1933; reprint, 1967.
  • Young, Karl. The Harrowing of Hell. Reprinted from volume 16, part 2 of The Transactions of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts, and Letters. September, 1909.

Notes on the Inventory
The inventory for GB-Ob Can. Lit. 202 was prepared by Kate Helsen (Universität Regensburg) and Andrew Mitchell with editorial assistance from Andrew Mitchell and Elizabeth Sander (The University of Western Ontario).
Complete/Partial Inventory
Complete Inventory
Full Source/Fragment
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