This article establishes a precise date and context for British Library, Cotton MS. Domitian A. VIII, ff. 71r-94v, a copy of Robert of Torigni’s Chronica that was despatched from Mont-Saint-Michel to the Norman abbey of Le Bec during the early 1180s. Based on a palaeographical and codicological examination of MS. Domitian A. VIII alongside its exemplar, Avranches, Bibliothèque Municipale, MS. 159, this article demonstrates that Robert’s Chronica underwent a major chronological revision in 1182, and that MS. Domitian A. VIII was copied in precisely that context. Indeed, it will be argued that it was the production of MS. Domitian A. VIII – a custom job that had been requested by the abbot of Le Bec several years earlier – which gave rise to the Chronica’s revision in the first place. These are important discoveries which allow us to identify, for the first time, the specific historical circumstances that governed the production of MS. Domitian A. VIII. In addition, these findings also help us develop a clearer notion of the relationship between the two great abbeys of Le Bec and Mont-Saint-Michel (and their respective scriptoria) during the twelfth century.
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