Ascribing We Will Go

Either incipit and colophon, it came to me from my friend the translator and editor Diana Kuprel. A piece of ephemera in a package produced by the St. Michael’s College Press. Without attribution. Nicely set.

medieval curse against stealing books

A border of two destinies touching upon each other almost interwoven.

Sor	 	sup	 	no	 	scrip	 	li	 	poti	 
 	te	 	er	 	rum	 	tor	 	bri	 	atur
Mor	 	inf	 	no	 	rap	 	li	 	mori	 

Which reconstructed with the overlapping bits, reads

Sorte supernorum scriptor libri potiatur
Morte infernorum raptor libri moriatur


 	   wrote	  procure     joys	 life supernal
May he who	 this book	  the	    of	 
 	  steals	  endure      pangs	 death infernal

This version is care of David Harvey, University of Exeter, via personal communication to Mark Drogin (pages 90-91, Anathema!) which came to me via “Bibliomania and the Medieval Book Curse” by Sandra Anderson which paper was written for the LIS 586 – History of the Book course at the University of Alberta. It was posted to the web in March 2003 as part of a capping exercise for the completion of a Master of Library and Information Studies degree.

Still no idea what manuscript this curse/blessing comes from. I have in my searches found some variations:

Morte superborum …
Morte reproborum …
Morte malignorum …

For those interested in tracing down the manuscript sources for some these intertwined inscriptions from anonymous scribes, please consult the multivolume Colophons de manuscrits occidentaux des origines au XVIe siècle. Bénédictins du Bouveret. (Fribourg, Suisse : Editions Universitaires, 1965-1982). And many happy searches beyond (such is my curse and blessing).

And so for day 1276

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