This morning I went down to London, applied for and obtained a card to become an official “reader” of the British Library (sounds grand but the entrance criteria were not tough!) and found my document. As I sat in the manuscripts reading room I made the following notes:
“I have found the original document. Nearly. I am sitting in the British Library, London in a small cubicle on one side of the manuscript reading room. Segeric’s words are on the computer screen in front of me. They make up only two paragraphs (across two pages) of a volume of 88 pages. I am not sure what the connection is betwen his journey back from Rome and the whole volume. Was the whole thing written by him? Was any of it written by him? The latin is beyond my one year of school latin.
The section on folios 23 v and 24 does appear to get a reference in the catalogue page:
‘3. Veterum Regu Saxonicofu noia & succefsiones, et accedunt subs sions LXXX de Roma asqi mi mare / folio:22’
It is very fascinating. I wish I were able to know more about the whole document but it is wonderful to see the first description of my potential route even if I can’t read most of it or understand it.
The brevety of the travelogue is not surprising. At the fag end of the first millenia, I can’t imagine there would have been much uptake for lengthy, descriptive documents of someone’s travels from Rometo Cantebury even if the person concerned was the Archbishop of Canterbury.
The rest of the document appears to be a mixture of astronomical tables, illustrations, charts, lists and even some of the gospels.
It is nearly 1pm. I have looked at this document enough. They were correct: LXXVIIII is missing. I wonder why? Medieval typo?”
What do you think?