Brut’s Chronicle of England and the Destruction of Jerusalem, Vindicta salvator in English

1The Cleveland Public Library owns a copy of  the 15th century bound manuscript entitled Brut’s Chronicle of England and the Destruction of Jerusalem, Vindicta salvatoris in English.  Brut (Brute of Troy) is written to be a descendant of the Trojan hero, Aeneas.  He is also considered as the legendary founder and first king of Britain.  The legend of Brut first appeared in the 9th century medieval text entitled Historia Britonum.  Brut is not mentioned in any earlier classical texts, thus not considered to be a true historical figure.


The manuscript itself was the source of the publication, The ME Prose Translation of Roger D’Argenteuil’s Bible En Francois, Ed. From Cleveland Public Library, MS W q091.92 C468, which was published by Phyllis Moe in 1977.  Ms. Moe details the particulars of the manuscript and explains the anomalies characteristic within the text.  The full, unique version of the Bible En Francois is found on leaves 77 to 99, which includes the story of Veronica who offered a kerchief or scarf to Jesus as he carries the cross to Golgotha and the impression of his face is recorded on the cloth.  The kerchief later heals the stricken and diseased and becomes the cause for conversions to Christianity.  Ms. Moe also published details of this in the Cleveland Manuscript W q091.92 C468 and the Veronica Legend and details of the popular Middle English poem Cur Mundus Militat also found in the manuscript.2

This Middle English poem begins, “Why is the world loved     pat is false and vayne,” and serves to remind the reader that life is transitory.  The manuscript once belonged to Henry Huck Gibbs, 1st Baron of Aldenham (1819-1907), was acquired for the John G. White Collection (now Special Collections) in 1944.