A Unique Latin Life of Christ in Rhyme : Fragment Antwerp, Ruusbroecgenootschap, MS Lat. 6
Faculty of Arts. History
Quaerendo : a quarterly journal from the Low Countries devoted to manuscripts and printed books. - Amsterdam, 1971, currens
, p. 311-324
University of Antwerp
The library of the Ruusbroecgenootschap in Antwerp houses a number of noteworthy collections, including a collection of loose manuscript fragments - membra disjecta. One of these fragments consists of the upper half of a bifolium from a conveniently-sized two-column manuscript on parchment, dating from around the last quarter of the twelfth century. The text it preserves represents a passage from a unique Life of Christ in Latin. The text is skilfully written in octosyllabic rhyming couplets. The poet took his subject matter from the four Gospels, especially from the synoptic versions, but he also incorporated echoes to the Letters of Paul and James. The characteristics of the text connect our anonymous author across the centuries with St Ambrose of Milan (337-97). Like the words of the Church Father, the text in the fragment seems intended for a deepened faith on a non-scholarly level.