Michael McCormick

Francis Goelet Professor of Medieval History

John Wycliffe
Sumula Sumularum
Italy, ca. 1400-25

In 1991, this manuscript featured in the first graduate seminar on the auxiliary disciplines of medieval studies (heuristics, codicology, Latin palaeography, etc.) that I taught at Harvard. The students did an admirable job on this challenging palimpsest. Each analyzed one aspect of the manuscript, divided up in a way that invited collaboration among the students. Adam Kosto (now Columbia University) and Carol Symes (now University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) were leaders in publishing this project as “A New Work by John Wyclif?” in Marks in the Field (1992). Every successive Pro-Seminar in Auxiliary Disciplines has elucidated some manuscript from the Houghton Library and in so doing equipped Harvard’s rising medievalists with the indispensable technical skills and confidence to develop their own innovative research into original unpublished manuscripts preserved around the world.

11.5 L x 8.25 W (in)
MS Lat 338, Purchased with the John Gilman D’Arcy Paul Bequest, 1974.

Thanks to Debora Mayer and the Weissman Preservation Center for the ultra violet light image of palimpsest text in this manuscript.

Explore the manuscript in more detail (in normal light)