39. Vita Sancti Dubricii (Liber Landavensis / Vespasian A. xiv)
edited by Ben Guy
The text edited here as Vita Sancti Dubricii consists of four parts: the pseudo-historical account of the origins of the British church known as De primo statu Landauensis ęcclesię (which features Dyfrig’s consecration as archbishop); the charters associated with Dyfrig; the Life of St Dyfrig proper; and the account of Dyfrig’s translation from Bardsey Island to Llandaff. This package of texts is preserved in two almost identical copies, one in the Liber Landavensis and the other in Vespasian A. xiv. Of the two, the copy in the Liber Landavensis is superior to the other in almost every respect and has been used as the base text for this edition. Nonetheless, it is equally clear that the version in Vespasian A. xiv was not copied directly from that of the Liber Landavensis, for Vespasian A. xiv occasionally preserves readings that differ from those of the Liber Landavensis but which are more likely to represent the common exemplar. It is evident that the text in its extant form, as it appears in both copies, was assembled in the context of the creation of the Liber Landavensis, because at the end of the text in both manuscripts there is a reference to an accompanying letter of Ralph, archbishop of Canterbury; such a letter does indeed follow the text in the Liber Landavensis, but not in Vespasian A. xiv. At the end of the text in Vespasian A. xiv the word valete (farewell) appears, and it has been suggested (Hughes 1980: 63) that this could be evidence for the text having been copied into the manuscript from a copy that had been sent from one church to another.
The text in the Liber Landavensis was copied into the first part of quire 7 by scribe A of that manuscript (MWM 129, 135, 154). Quire 7 is the first part of the continuous sequence formed by quires 7 to 14, which were all copied by scribe A uninterrupted. They contain the Lives of Saints Dyfrig, Teilo, Euddogwy and Clydog, and the main sequence of charters from Dyfrig to Herewald. The text in Vespasian A. xiv was copied into quires 8 and 9 by scribe D of that manuscript and was corrected by a contemporary scribe with reference to the exemplar. The text of Vespasian A. xiv also bears a series of glosses that may have been copied from the exemplar, as was the case with one gloss on the same manuscript’s Life of St Clydog, which is also found as a gloss in the Liber Landavensis.