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The Middle English Version of "De Viribus Herbarum (GUL MS Hunter 497, ff. 1r-92r)

Edition and Philological Study


Javier Calle Martín and Antonio Miranda Garcia

Odo de Meung’s De Viribus Herbarum was one of the most widely known pieces of Fachliteratur in the latter part of Middle English, corroborated on account of the number of translations hitherto preserved in the different European vernacular languages such as French, German and Danish. In Middle English, there are up to nine complete versions of Macer Floridus’ rendering, together with a number of fragmentary pieces. Still, Glasgow University Library, MS Hunter 497 (ff. 1r-92r) is the only English version of the text which remains so far unedited.
The present edition offers the diplomatic transcription of MS Hunter 497, also accompanied by a glossary, notes and introduction. The latter has been conceived as a state of the art of the Hunterian witness, containing the textual transmission of the text, a codicological/palaeographic description together with a comprehensive analysis of its linguistic provenance and scribal practices. Therefore, the edition conforms itself as a primary source for research not only in Historical Linguistics but also in other related fields such as History of Medicine or Ecdotics.
Contents: The Manuscript: Source and parallel manuscripts - Codicological and palaeographic description – The Language: Accidence - Word order - Dialect – The Text – The Glossary.