The Cambridge Songs - A Goliard's Song Book of the Xith Century; Edited From the Unique Manuscript in the University Library #231356

di Karl Breul

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The remarkable collection of Medieval Latin poems that is known by the name of 'The Cambridge Songs' has interested me for more than thirty years. My first article 'Zu den Cambridger Liedern' was written in the spring of 1885 and published in Volume xxx of Haupt's Zeitschrift für deutsches Alterthum. The more attention I paid to the songs and the more I corresponded with scholars about some of them, the stronger became my conviction of the importance of having the ten folios of this unique manuscript photographed and of thereby rendering this fascinating collection in its every aspect readily accessible to the students of Medieval literature. It is in truth necessary to invite the co-operation of all such students, whether their subject be Medieval theology, philology, philosophy or music, in the interesting task of elucidating the more difficult poems of what may be regarded as the song book or commonplace book of some early Goliard. Poems such as Rachel, De Musica, De tribus symphoniis et de littera Pithagore, and others must of necessity be dealt with by specialists. For years I have wished to take this work in hand, but till quite recently it proved impossible to find the necessary leisure for the execution, however inadequate, of the task. Now, in the very saddest year of my life, when so much for which I have lived and worked is crumbling to pieces, I have at last carried out my old plan as best I could under the present anxious conditions. Sad too is the thought that so many of the eminent scholars who would have welcomed the publication of a compact edition of the 'Cambridge Songs' have passed away from among us, notably Henry Bradshaw, Wilhelm Scherer, Ludwig Traube, and Paul von Winterfeld.
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Karl Breul