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New light on the Gouda Erasmiana manuscripts 1

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Two copyists ('A' and 'B') worked on the two Erasmiana manuscripts, known since the publication of P. S. Allen's Opus epistolarum (vol. 1, app. ix) as 'the Gouda Manuscripts'. Both copyists must have been monks of Steyn monastery near Gouda. The hand of copyist 'A' (c. 1520-5), who wrote part of MS 1323 and the whole of MS 1324, can also be found in some page fillings in a Diurnale, which was written in Steyn monastery and is now preserved in the Koninklijke Bibliotheek, The Hague, under shelf-mark 71 J 67. Since 'A' was a monk we should not identify him with the physician Reinier Snoy (cf. Reedijk, Des. Erasmus, Poems). Copyist 'B', who completed MS 1323, was active in c. 1590. This can be established on the basis of the watermarks and the identification of the printed works (published in the 1580s) from which 'B' made abstracts. Copyist 'B' cannot thus be identified with Alardus of Amsterdam who died in 1544 (cf. Reedijk, op. cit.). Archival research has shown that both Erasmiana manuscripts arrived in the Gouda Town Library in 1643, after the confiscation of the Library of Steyn monastery.


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