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LETTER CXXXI ASCRIBED TO ROBERT GROSSETESTE: A NEW EDITION OF THE TEXT In his valuable edition for the Rolls Series of the letters of Bishop Robert Grosseteste of Lincoln ( 1235-53),x Henry R. Luard included an address to "the lords of England, the citizens of London, and the commons of the whole realm," which he had found in an English manuscript of the first half of the fifteenth century, Cambridge, Corpus Christi College MS 107, f. 94V.2 In Latin the salutation of this letter reads: "Lincolniensis proceribus anglie et ciuibus londoñ et communitati tocius regni." Grosseteste was commonly caUed "Lincolniensis ,"3 this word being sufficient to identify him, and Luard 1 Henry Richards Luard, ed., Roberti Grosseteste Episcopi Quondam Lincolniensis Epistolae (London, 1861; Rolls Series, vol. 25). 2 Ibid., p. xcviii. There is a description of this manuscript and its contents in M. R. James, A Descriptive Catalogue of the Manuscripts in the Library of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, 2 vols. (Cambridge, 1912), vol. I, no. 107. The manuscript contains works of Walter Map, Seneca, Francis of Meyronnes, and St. Augustine , spurious writings of Scotus (De Perfectione Statuum) and Augustine (De XII Abusionibus), and other short, miscellaneous texts. The letter ascribed to Grosseteste is preceded by an extract (entitled "Epístola Hildegardis virginis ad colonienses de perturbatione clericorum..." [ff. 93V-94V]) apparently from the Speculum Futurorum Temporum (or Pentachronicon) of Gebeno, prior of Eberbach, and followed by a bull of Innocent IV ("Etsi animarum affectantes..." [ff. 95r-96r]; see A. Potthast, Regesta Pontificum Romanorum, II [Berlin, 1875], 1280, n. 15562). 8 The list of titles collected by Ludwig Baur, ed., in his Die philosophischen Werke des Robert Grosseteste, Bischofs von Lincoln [Beiträge zur Geschichte der Philosophie des Mittelalters, IX] (Münster i.W., 1912), p. 1*, n. 1, shows that in the fourteenth century the name "Lincolniensis" by itself was commonly accepted to indicate' Bishop Grosseteste. In England, however, this designation was common much earlier. Roger of Marston, O.F.M. (1282), John Russell, O.F.M. (ca. 1289), and William of Ware, O.F.M. (ca. 1290) quote the bishop under that name. When Grosseteste's translations were used, the standard expression to indicate his version was "translatio lincolniensis," often simply abbreviated in the margin as "lincolniensis" or "secundum lincolniensem." This is found in manuscripts l66F. A. C. MANTELLO does not seem to have had any doubt that this extraordinary manifesto , which angrily denounces papal reservations, provisions, and impositions, and urges laymen to arm themselves to resist them, was composed by Bishop Robert himself. Luard assigned it the number CXXXI4 and suggested that it was "probably written in 1252, when Grosseteste made a computation of the revenues of the foreigners in England."6 It must be admitted, however, that the use of the word "Lincolniensis " in the salutation, in the explicit—"explicit epístola lincol ñ"—and in the contenta—"Epístola breuis exorhatoria [sic] Lincolniensis "6—provides the only obvious clue to the authorship of the letter. The work is untitled, is in the same hand as the items on the surrounding folios (59v-g6r), has no descriptive marginalia, and is not to be found in any of the extant manuscripts of the bishop's collected letters.7 This Cambridge codex contained the only copy Luard could find, and he was the first to publish it. There is no other work of Grosseteste in the manuscript, and the letter is nowhere specifically referred to or quoted by contemporaries of the bishop, of the second half of the thirteenth century (e.g., MS Vat. lat. 2088 and Naples, Biblioteca Nazionale MS VIII.G.4) and also in MS Erfurt, Amplon. 108, which seems to belong to the middle of the thirteenth century (see J. de Ghellinck, Le Mouvement théologique du xiie siècle, 2nd ed., augmented [Bruges, 1948], p. 388). There has occasionally been some confusion about the identity of "lincolniensis ," especially when connected with the letters R and W. They may indicate Richardus (Ie Grant, alias Wethershed) cancellarius Lincolniensis, who is often confused with Richardus de Leycestria (alias Wethringsette), the author of the well known pastoral manual "Qui bene presunt," who in his turn was...


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