Welcome to the Manipulus/Scotichronicon Project

This website provides Open Access research materials from Walter Bower's Scotichronicon, a major work of Scottish historiography written at Inchcolm Abbey during the last decade of Bower's long tenure (1418-49) as abbot of its community of Augustinian canons.

The text is a revised edition of 89 chapters from the critical edition published by D.E.R. Watt et al. through Aberdeen University Press (1987-98). The primary purpose of this Digital Humanities resource is to document Bower's reception of Thomas of Ireland's Manipulus florum (1306), an influential collection of authoritative Latin quotations that I have edited for The Electronic Manipulus florum Project, but it also serves as an addenda/corrigenda for Watt's edition in other ways, and so includes some quotations that Bower may not have derived from the Manipulus.

The Chapterhouse & Warming Room of Inchcolm Abbey, Fifeshire, Scotland

But Bower was not the only Scottish chronicler to employ the Manipulus as a source for authoritative quotations; John of Fordun also made use of this florilegium in composing the Chronica gentis Scotorum (c. 1360), a major source for Bower's Scotichronicon. There are three cases in which Fordun surely derived quotations from a copy of the Manipulus florum and Bower perpetuated them: Milicia p, Liberalitas p & Liberalitas af.

Because Bower's use of the Manipulus was unknown to Watt and his colleagues, this discovery has significant implications for the critical edition of this text, as many of the quotations derived from the Manipulus were not found by Watt and his colleagues, some were misidentified, and in several cases the textual variants from the original source have been attributed to Bower's agency rather than that of his intermediate source. Moreover, there are many instances in which Bower incorporated quotations into his text without indicating them as such, so Watt and his colleagues didn't realize that they are actually quotations.

The texts provided on this website do not include the critical apparatus or textual notes from Watt's Latin edition, including square and angular brackets within the text to indicate the major manuscript traditions, except when the editors inserted "sic" in square brackets to indicate a textual problem. They do incorporate the Addenda and Corrigenda in vol.9 (pp.365-93). The 125 passages that correspond to a quotation in the Manipulus are indicated with red font and linked to PDF apparatus files which provide the passage from the Scotichronicon together with the relevant entry from the Manipulus in parallel columns for ease of comparison, as well as the passage from the original source/sources, and in some cases the intermediate source that Thomas of Ireland used. However, there are some cases in which the passage in the Scotichronicon, the Manipulus and the original source are identical; for example, a quotation from Gregory the Great that appears in Scotichronicon 12.39 (vol.6, p.412, ll.18-20) is also designated as Fortitudo l in the Manipulus florum. Such cases have only been included if they were misidentified or not found by Watt and his associates, which is not so in this case.

Digital OCR scanning of Watt's Latin edition was carried out in the Fall of 2015 by Veronica Parkes, an undergraduate student in Medieval Studies and Ancient Mediterranean Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University, working under an internal research grant, but I have transcribed Latin passages in the notes myself, and proofread and corrected all texts as well. Bower's reception of Thomas of Ireland's florilegium was then determined by using the Janus intertextuality search engine for the online edition of the Manipulus florum.

This website provides revised editions of relevant chapters from Libri 2-4, 5 & 6, 7 & 8, 9 & 10, 11 & 12, 13 & 14, and 15 & 16; Liber 1 has no quotations from the Manipulus florum.


©2016-17 Chris L. Nighman
History Department
Wilfrid Laurier University


The editor gratefully acknowledges that financial support for this project has been provided in the form of a Category A Research Grant
partly funded by WLU Operating funds and partly by a SSHRC General Research Grant awarded to WLU.