Legenda S. Albani Hungarici martyris.
Analysis of Content
[a1r] [Historia Albani metrice.] Incipit: ‘Martiris albani venerabilis ecce legenda | Vtilis erranti quia fertilis est relegenda. | Historia eiusdem metrice: | [Q]vem mater genuit fuit hec sibi soror et vxor, | Est nurus illa patri est ille patri suo gener. | Hunc pater adoptat quem repperit institor ita. | Pergens hic siluas strauit vtrumque parentem | Immemor ardoris mater quem morte redemit | Et nece prostratum pandit in alueo lepra. | Hunc dedit Albanum Vngarie regia sedes. | Nunc celo tectum feliciori fine.’ Karin Morvay, Die Albanuslegende. Deutsche Fassungen und ihre Beziehungen zur lateinischen Überlieferung, Medium Aevum, Philologische Studien, 32 (Munich, 1977), 68. This verse recension, referred to as VF IV by Morvay, is transmitted only in the present incunable edition.
[a1r] [Transmundus?]: ‘Historia eiusdem prosaice.’ Incipit: ‘Erat enim in partibus aquilonis homo quidam potens et nobilis qui et gratia preeminebat suorum natalium splendore et deliciis affluebat ex abundancia facultatum . . .’ Explicit: ut per exemplum Albani serui tui mereamur et nos cum eo a nostris facinoribus ablui et super niuem dealbari; Amen. Et sic est finita historia sancti Albani martiris. Prose version A: see Morvay 12-39, with a description of the incunable on 19-20 and an edition of the text on 24-35. In Paris, Arsenal, MS. 1157 (olim Hist. 99), the legend is no. 176 of a collection of the ‘epistole fratris Transmundi sacrosancte Romane ecclesie protonotarii': see Reinhold Köhler, ‘Zur Legende vom h. Albanus', Germania, 14 (1869), 300-4. Kraus provides a list of manuscripts with the ascription to Transmundus and argues that the use of cursus renders it plausible that Transmundus composed the legend as a model of rhetoric; he suggests the years 1185-6 as a likely date of origin: see Deutsche Gedichte des zwölften Jahrhunderts, ed. Carl Kraus (Halle, 1894), 200-8. This opinion is disputed by S. Heathcote, ‘The Letter Collections Attributed to Master Transmundus', Analecta Cisterciensia, 21 (1965), 35-109 and 167-238, who argues that the Vita Albani is an addition transmitted in a later (mid thirteenth-century recension) of Transmundus's Epistole.
Imprint: [Cologne: Printer of the ‘Historia S. Albani' (Johann Guldenschaff or Conrad Winters, de Homborch?), c.1473]. 4°.
GW: GW 515;
Hain: C 143;
Goff: Goff A‑186;
BMC: BMC I 214;
Proctor: Pr 1004;
Others: CIBN L‑90; Oates 504; Sheppard 769; Voulliéme, Köln, 735.
Copy number: A-081(1)
1. Augustinus, De agone christiano. [Cologne: Ulrich Zell, c.1470] (A‑512(1));
2. Visio Tnugdali. [Cologne: Printer of the ‘Historia S. Albani' (Johann Guldenschaff or Conrad Winters, de Homborch?), c.1473] (V‑145);
3. Lucius Annaeus Seneca, De remediis fortuitorum. [Cologne: Printer of the ‘Historia S. Albani' (Johann Guldenschaff or Conrad Winters, de Homborch?), 1470] (S‑140);
4. Lucius Annaeus Seneca [pseudo-] (Martin de Braga), De quattuor virtutibus cardinalibus. [Cologne: Printer of the ‘Historia S. Albani' (Johann Guldenschaff or Conrad Winters, de Homborch?), c.1472] (S‑161);
5. Petrus Blesensis, De amicitia christiana. [Cologne: Printer of the ‘Historia S. Albani' (Johann Guldenschaff or Conrad Winters, de Homborch?), c.1474] (P‑182);
6. Antoninus Florentinus, Confessionale. [Cologne: Printer of the ‘Historia S. Albani' (Johann Guldenschaff or Conrad Winters, de Homborch?), c.1472] (A‑317);
8. Hieronymus, Ordo, seu Regula vivendi Deo ad Eustochium. [Cologne: Printer of the ‘Historia S. Albani' (Johann Guldenschaff or Conrad Winters, de Homborch?), c.1474] (H‑099).
Binding: Nineteenth-century plain calf for the Bodleian Library; yellow-edged leaves, marbled pastedowns, and gold-tooled Bodleian stamp on both covers.
Size: 216 × 145 × 55 mm.
Size of leaf: 206 × 140 mm.
Fore- and upper edges severely damaged, possibly by a rodent: inscription dated 1542 damaged, whereas late sixteenth-century notes postdate the damage.
Early irregular foliation starting with 153 on the first page of item 1. Various notes, all by the same mid to late sixteenth-century English hand, at the end of item 3 and beginning of item 4, at the end of item 5 and in item 6 (leaf numbered 651 and 593):
1. ‘Bi the other members therfore saith seynt When willfull and unskilfull haue taken apon handes ar hyndred bi overmuche harboured ydlenes which cometh onelie of inordynate lust and desier of the flessche corrupte.
When phebus bright and clere from Taurus downe had sent his fyrye beames and golden leames . . .
When phebus bright and clere from Taurus downe had his golden leames . . . and fyrye
having all those en
And where men had that all shuld haue happened according to their owne desier then shuld thei haue
Yesterdaie in the mornyng when I beganne to examyne all causes in contraversie betwene the parties ye knowe well ynough then beganne
When phebus bright and clere from Taurus downe had ha h h had.'
2. ‘When phebus bright and clere from Taurus
The lief is long that lothsomlie doith last the dolefull daie drawe nigh vnto their da[ ] . . .
When phebus downe had sent yesterdaie at night
When phebus bright and clere from Taurus downe had sent his furiouse blastes and great y yerelie rates and
When phebus bright and clere from Taurus downe had sent his fy fyrie brennyng blastes.' ‘When phebus bright and clere' is probably intended to be in a metre which was prevalent in English metrics between 1550 and 1575, but which may have remained in use in some areas into the 1580s or 1590s. The writer of the verse seems to have had an uncertain grasp of the metre [ex informatione Katherine Duncan-Jones].
3. ‘To my mishap alas I find that her happie happes be danngerouse and betime worketh h h Twise h happie hath.' ‘To my mishap' is the opening of a poem in Tottel's Miscellany, entitled ‘When adversite is once fallen, it is to late to beware': see Tottel's Miscellany (1557-87), ed. H. E. Rollins, revised edn, 2 vols (Cambridge, Mass., 1965), I 175-6, II 290-1. In the lower margin of [b6v], the following note, in the same mid to late sixteenth-century English hand: ‘ . . . wight in this worlde that welthe can atteyne onlest he beleive that all is but vayne.’
One initial ‘F' is supplied in black ink on [a1r].
Provenance: John Fytheon (Phitheon/Fethyon/Fitton(?), late fifteenth/early sixteenth century); inscription on [d6v] of item 8: ‘When ye loke this boke on | Pray for the sowle of [ ] John ffytheon' | Off yor charite and for yowr' mede | Saye a pater noster and ave with ye cred'. Acquired by 1835; see Catalogus (1843), I 32.
SHELFMARK: Auct. N 5.5(7).
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