Buried Treasure III: Early Fragments in Later Books

Now the third and final instalment in this series of blogs on fragments discovered within the bindings of Worcester books:

  1. Fragment of a medieval calendar of religious festivals , c.1350 – 1500. The top two lines refer respectively to the commemoration of the Seven Holy Sleepers of Ephesus and the feast day of Saint Pantaleon. Under the Julian calendar, both feasts were celebrated on the 27th July. Saint Pantaleon’s day is here erroneously shown to be on the 28th. Perhaps the scribe had failed to leave enough room to include both events on the same day? Pantaleon was one of a number of saints whose associations with healing and good health led to their particular veneration during and immediately after the Black Death of 1346-53. Found as an endleaf to a 1541 edition of Ptolemy’s works (WCL SI11).
Worcester Cathedral Library

Image copyright the Dean and Chapter of Worcester Cathedral (UK).

2. Biblical fragment, Book of Ecclesiasticus, 13th Century. Interestingly, the fragment includes Chapter 24 of that Book – the same chapter as appeared in the 11th or early 12th century fragment show in the first part of this series of blogs. Forms a stiffener to the binding of a 1558 edition of the works of Georgius Agricola (WCL PF11).

Worcester Cathedral Library

Image copyright the Dean and Chapter of Worcester Cathedral (UK).

  1. One of the eponymous Worcester Fragments of liturgical music. This is one of the older fragments, dating to c. 1100.
Worcester Fragments

Image copyright the Dean and Chapter of Worcester Cathedral (UK).

  1. Fragment of St Matthew’s Gospel, 8th Century. According to a later charter, this game from a Bible that was given to the Cathedral Priory by King Offa of Mercia.
Worcester Cathedral Library

Image copyright the Dean and Chapter of Worcester Cathedral (UK).

This series of blogs offer only a very small selection of the hidden treasures of Worcester Cathedral Library!

Tom Hopkins

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