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The Digital Index of Middle English Verse
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DIMEV 5502
IMEV 3487
NIMEV 3487
The time approacheth of necessity
Sayings of Old Philosophers (or ‘Liber Prouerbium’ or ‘Summum Sapientie’) — 116 stanzas rhyme royal
Title(s): Liber Prouerbium’; ‘Summum Sapientie
Subjects: proverbs; translations
Versification: — seven-line — ababbbcc



Manuscript Witnesses:
1.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Ashmole 59 (SC 6943), f. 84v-98
First Lines:
þE tyme approcheþe of necessite
To reherce þe material sentence
Which þat to fore al equite
Is þe pryncipul of al sapience…
Last Lines:
…þane after þis worlde transmygracoun
In heven have youre habitacyoun
Attributed Title: Here folowen nowe þe seyinges of wysemen of Prophetes of Poetes of Philosophres of hooly men of gret and Autorysed Clerkes of þe olde testament and of þe nuwe (f. 84v)
2.Source: London, British Library Harley 2251, ff. 156v-167v
First Lines:
The tyme approached of necessite
To reherse the marshal sentence…
Last Lines:
…And after worldly transmygratioun
In hevyns high have youre habitacioun
Editions:
Förster, Max. “Kleine Mitteilungen zur mittelenglische Lehrdichtung, VI.” Archiv für das Studium der neueren Sprachen und Literaturen 104 (1900): 293-309: 308 (stanzas 1-7).
3.Source: London, British Library Harley 7578, ff. 3v-13
First Lines:
[T]he tyme approached of necessite
To reherce the material sentence…
Last Lines:
…And after worldly transmygracioun
In heuyns high haue youre habitacioun
Note: Preceded by a unique Prologue of 18 stanzas (5967). Initial ‘T’ is missing, with space left for illuminated initial.
Editions:
Kniep, R. M. “Liber Pouerbium: An Edition of Middle English Proverbs Formerly Attributed to John Lydgate.” Diss. University of Florida 1954 (DA 22.3185).
Napierkowski, T. J. “A Critical Edition of the Summum Sapientiae.” Diss. University of Colorado, 1971 (DA 32.2063A-64B).