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The metrical paraphrase of biblical narratives by the pseudo-Caedmon, Written about A.D. 1000 in England

MS. Junius 11

  • Request

The metrical paraphrase of biblical narratives by the pseudo-Caedmon, containing the Old English poems of Genesis (pp. 1-142), Exodus (pp. 143-71), Daniel (pp. 173-212), and Christ and Satan (pp. 213-29), in four hands: A (pp. 1-212), B (pp. 213-15), C (pp. 216-28), D (p. 229), with normally twenty-six (pp. 1-212) and twenty-seven (pp. 213-29) lines to the page.

There are zoomorphic capitals (see H. P. Mitchell in the Burlington Magazine, 1923, pp. 162-3) on pp. 1, 5, 8, 14, 18, 21, 23, 26, 32, 38, 42, 48, 52, 58, 63, 67, 71, 73, 79, 143, 226. On p. 225 is a unique design to direct the binder.

The back board contains the offset of a fragment of a liturgical MS. written in the second half of the 10th cent. On p. i is 'Ego sum bonus puer quem deus amat' (15th cent.).


  • Creation: Written about A.D. 1000 in England


230 pages

Language of Materials

  • English, Old (ca.450-1100)


MS. Junius 11

Other Finding Aids

Falconer Madan, et al., A summary catalogue of western manuscripts in the Bodleian Library at Oxford which have not hitherto been catalogued in the Quarto series (7 vols. in 8 [vol. II in 2 parts], Oxford, 1895-1953; reprinted, with corrections in vols. I and VII, Munich, 1980), vol. II, no. 5123

Custodial History

Though often ascribed to Winchester the volume may have belonged to Christ Church, Canterbury (M. R. James, The Ancient Libraries of Canterbury and Dover, p. xxv). Mr. Kenneth Sisam writes that the script is not from Winchester, but that the illumination shows kinship with Canterbury work. Before it came to Junius this MS. was owned by archbishop Ussher (Somner, praef. in Sax. Dict., ° 10) until about 1651.


  • The text was published by Junius (Amsterdam, 1655) and again by B. Thorpe (London, 1832), the drawings in Archaeologia , vol. 24 (1832), as plates 52-101. The whole has now been reproduced in facsimile for the British Academy as The Caedmon MS. of Anglo-Saxon Biblical Poetry (Oxford, 1927) with an introduction by sir Israel Gollancz.
  • There are also facsimiles in E. Millar, English Illuminated MSS. x-xiiith centt. , pl. 23, Westwood's Pal. Sacr. , the Palaeographical Society , ii. 14-15, and Skeat's Twelve Facsimiles (1892). Other important references are: Henry Bradley, 'The Caedmonian Genesis ' (in Essays and Studies by Members of the English Association , vol. vi, 1920); C. W. Kennedy, The Caedmon Poems (1916), with good bibliography; Morel Dare Chubb, Christ and Satan (Yale, 1927).

Physical Facet

On parchment, with numerous fine illuminated capitals and drawings (see below)


12 3/4 × 8 in.

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom