2017-07-18 05:58:38 UTC
In earlier posts I mentioned a new edition of Aelred's 'Genealogia regum
Anglorum' that I hoped would shed light on the text as printed in
*Patrologia latina* vol 195 and in *Acta Sanctorum*, June vol 2. Daniel
Papebroch proposed an emendation to this text, making it refer to
Heinrich II as the emperor whose 'germanus' was Agatha's father.
Domenico Pezzini's edition was published this year, not in 2016 as I
wrongly thought before - I had to ask my library to release it from
cataloguing, hence the delay.
He collated four 12th-century copies, one from Rievaulx (a fifth from
this period was too delicate for him to scan), as well as two
late-12th/early 13th century and two 13th-century copies along with four
from the following centuries. These copies fall into two distinct
families, derived from two lost copies that were presumably made from
the autograph original. None of them includes the word 'sui' in the
passage that exercised Daniel Papebroch's ingenuity. This word was
inserted in the 16th-century transcript at Corpus Christi, Cambridge, to
which I provided a link (CCCC 101).
Also inserted into that late version was the entire sentence about David
of Scotland's mother St Margaret descending from the royal blood of
England and Hungary ("Hanc religiosa regina Margareta, huius regis
mater, que de semine regio Anglorum et Hungariorum extitit oriunda,
allatam in Scotia, quasi munus hereditarium transmisit ad filios"). As
Pezzini notes, the version in which this occurs is an abridgement made
in the 16th-century of the first part of Aelred's work, so that it is
not a statement of his own at all.
This early-modern interpolation is what misled Papebroch into trying to
rescue Aelred from making a king of Hungary into a 'germanus' of an emperor.
The 16th-century corruption of Aelred's text was based on the following
genuine passages as edited by Pezzini (with my fairly literal translations):
pp 50-51: "At pueros filios Edmundi ferire metuens, pre pudore, ad regem
Suauorum eos interficiendos transmisit. Rex uero Suauorum nobilium
puerorum miseratus erumnam, ad Hungariorum regem eos destinat
nutriendos. Quos ipse benigne suscepit, benignius fouit, benignissime
sibi in filios adoptauit. Porro Edmundo filiam suam dedit uxorem,
Edwardo filiam germani Henrici imperatoris in matrimonium iunxit" (But
fearing, from shame, to slaughter the young sons of Edmund, [Cnut] sent
them to the king of the Swedes to be killed. The king of the Swedes,
pitying the plight of the noble boys, sent them to the king of the
Hungarians to be fostered. He received them kindly, cherished them even
more kindly, and most kindly adopted them as his own sons. To Edmund he
gave his own daughter as wife, to Edward he joined in matrimony the
daughter of emperor Heinrich's brother.)
p 52: "Imperator autem regis nuntios gratanter excipiens, non paruo
tempore summo cum honore detinuit. Tandem paratis nauibus et omnibus que
nauigaturis necessaria uidebantur illatis, Edwardum cum uxore sua
Agatha, germani sui filia, liberisque eius Edgaro Ædeling, Margareta,
atque Cristina, cum magna gloria ac diuitis, sicut rex petierat, ad
Angliam mittit" (The emperor, receiving the king's [Edward the
Confesssor's] messengers graciously, kept them by him with great honour
for some time. Eventually, when ships were made ready and everything
needed for the sea voyage was at hand, he sent Edward with his wife
Agatha, daughter of his own brother, and his children Edgar Ætheling,
Margaret and Christina, with great splendour and treasures, to England
as the king had requested.)
It is clear from 'germani sui filia' in this passage that either Aelred
himself or both of his contemporary copyists (or possibly one, if both
principal lost copies were by the same hand) thought that Heinrich III
was Agatha's uncle. The emendation, if the need for it is justified at
all, would be required only in this one passage. The reasons for it are:
1. It is remarkably clumsy to use 'suus' twice a few words apart
referring to different men, first to Edward ('uxore sua') and then to
Heinrich ('germani sui'), and especially so given that the pronoun
'eius' was used instead for Edward when naming his children. Aelred used
many literary sources, especially Ovid and Virgil, and this kind of
lapse in style and sense would be highly unusual.
2. The resulting consanguinity between a granddaughter of St Margaret
and a son of the saintly queen's first cousin once removed Heinrich III
would have been very readily notable, but it is not mentioned at all.
The reason against amending the passage is that, however badly it was
written, Aelred probably would have known the facts and this is the best
evidence we have for what he believed.
So, no real advance in the state of the question - but anyway, we do now
have a very fine edition of Aelred's historical works.