Ælfric and Ælfric Bata, Grammatical Texts, Manuscript 154

Ælfric and St John’s College

At St John’s College special collections and manuscripts are the treasures of the Library. These are often invaluable for research purposes and, in some cases, are unique volumes.  Such irreplaceable objects require equally distinctive care and treatment, and St John’s is a member of the Oxford Conservation Consortium which provides excellent conservation possibilities for its texts.

Recently this has been significant for one of the college’s greater treasures: manuscript 154, a broadly contemporary copy of grammatical works by Ælfric of Eynsham (ca. 955-ca. 1010) and his namesake, Ælfric Bata, who would also appear to have been his pupil. Written in England during the very early 11th century, this is the only book amongst the Library’s collections which is fully Anglo-Saxon, and has received praise from Professor Ralph Hanna, Oxford’s Emeritus Professor of Paleography, for representing ‘a virtually unique insight into late Anglo-Saxon schooling’. Continue reading