A catalogue of Western manuscripts at the Bodleian Libraries and selected Oxford colleges

Christ Church, Allestree Library MS. M.1.10

Augustine, De doctrina christiana and three further works; England, s. xiimed


Language(s): Latin

1. Fols 1–70
Rubric: Incipit Proemium Sancti Augustinj De Libro Retractationum In Libro De Doctrina cristiana.
Incipit: (prohemium) Libros de doctrina cristiana cum imperfectos comperissem
Rubric: Incipit Prologus Eiusdem De Doctrina Cristiana
Incipit: (prologue) Svnt precepta quedam tractandarum scripturarum que studiosis
Explicit: (prologue) [fol. 3] nobis occurrit exordium.
Rubric: [fol. 3v] Avrelii Avgustini Egregij Doctoris Liber Primus Incipit De Doctrina cristiana
Incipit: Dve sunt res quibus innititur omnis tractatio scripturarum modus inueniendi
Explicit: potui facultate disserui adiuuante domino qui uiuit et regnat in secula seculorum amen.
Final rubric: Explicit Liber Sancti Avgustinj De Doctrina Cristiana.
Augustine, De doctrina christiana

CPL, 263, ed. Joseph Martin, CC, 32 (1962), 1–167. Preceded by the discussion in Augustine’s Retractationes 2.4, ed. Almut Mutzenbecher, CC, 77 (1984), 92–93. Last four lines of fol. 70 are blank.

2. Fols 70v-103
Rubric: Incipit Liber Sanctj Avgustinj De Uera Religione
Incipit: Cvm omnis uite bone ac beate uia in uera religione sit constituta
Explicit: unum deum ex quo omnia per quem omnia in quo omnia ipsi gloria in secula seculorum. amen.
Final rubric: Explicit Liber Sanctj Avgustinj De Uera Religione
Augustine, De vera religione

CPL, 264, ed. K.-D. Daur, CC, 32 (1962), 187–260. Last nine lines of fol. 103 left blank.

3. Fols 103v-15
Rubric: Incipit Liber Sancti Avgvstini Episcopi De Cvra Pro mortuis Agenda Ad Paulinum Episocopum.
Incipit: Diu sanctjtatj tue coepiscope uenerande Pauline rescriptor debitor fui ex quo michi scripsisti per homines filie nostre
Explicit: non sinerer obliuisci profecto interrogationi tue mea responsio defuisset.
Final rubric: Explicit Liber Ad Pavlinvm.
Augustine, De cura pro mortuis agenda

CPL, 307, ed. Zycha, 621–59. Bottom half of fol. 115 left blank.

4. Fols 115v-26
Rubric: Avrelij Avgvstini De Decem Cordis Sermo Incipit.
Incipit: Dominus et devs noster misericors et miserator longanimis et multum misericors et uerax
Explicit: Erit ergo illud sabbatum sabbatorum ut quod hic desideramus ibi inueniamus amen.
Final rubric: Explicit Sermo Sanctj Avgvstinj De Decem Cordis
Augustine, Sermo 9

Cf. CPL, 284; ed. C. Lambot, CC 41 (1961) 100–151.

This manuscript has been previously described by Ker, MMBL, 3:596–97.

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: et sine talibus
Secundo Folio: sint rerum (fol. 4)
Form: codex
Support: Parchment (HSOS)
Extent: Fols: iii + 126 + iii (numbered fols iv-vi). All flyleaves modern paper, excepting last at front which is medieval parchment.
Dimensions (leaf): 255 × 174 mm.
Dimensions (written): 188 × 120 mm.


1–158 168 (lacking last two, both blanks; the sixth, fol. 126, is a fragment mounted on a modern paper leaf). No catchwords; each quire, except the last, signed on the final verso with the appropriate roman numeral, placed between two dots.


The leaves have been pared unusually close at the tops, with some loss to the illuminated initials; fol. 126 is the narrow top of the sheet (the last five lines of text and one of colophon), with the remainder cut away and this fragment mounted on a modern paper leaf.


In long lines, 28 lines to the page.

Very rare signs of full pricking (eg. fol. 122); bounded and ruled in lead.


Written in protogothic bookhand.

Punctuation by point, punctus elevatus, and punctus interrogativus; punctus versus at ends of chapters and texts.


Headings in red. At the openings of the texts and the book divisions of item 1 (fol. 14, 33 and 48), four-line (six for the prologue to item 1) arabesque initials in red, blue, or green, with flourishing or floral patterns in the other colours. Similar two-line examples at the openings of the chapters of item 1 (usually without flourishing). The texts are divided by larger capitals in the text ink, by ochre-slashed capitals in texts 2 and 4.


Brown leather over millboards, late s. xvii, apparently rebacked. Sewn on five thongs. In the top spine compartment, in gilt on a brown leather label, ‘S. Augustini De doctrina christiana etc.’. Pastedowns later paper, with printed labels of the Allestree Library and the Regius Professor on both (s. xix).


Origin: England; s. xiimed

Provenance and Acquisition

There are some signs of use to this volume. There are small pieces of string sewn through the parchment to mark the opening of books (fol. 1, 14, 48, 70, 103, 115); a large nota monogram appears repeatedly (s. xiii: fol. 8, 8v, 9v, 10, 37, 56v, 63v, 76, 93, 97v, 119 etc); there is one note in pencil (s.xiii: fol. 43), and three in a fifteenth-century script (fol. 13, 17, 65v); this script seems earlier that the table of contents added at fol. iiiv (bastard anglicana, s. xv ex.).

One sixteenth-century owner reveals his identity: ‘Reginaldus Metcalfus’ signs notes at the foot of fol. iiiv, compiled from his reading the book which began on 16 April 1598; fol. 126 apparently celebrates the conclusion of his reading ‘per [for ‘perlegi’?] 1598 Julij 7’. He also adds two marginalia (fol. 36v, 65v) and, at fol. 126v, a note on Jerome (paraphrasing Isidore, Etymologiae, VI.4) and headed ‘Liber regularum’. He is possibly the graduate of Trinity College, Cambridge, who matriculated in 1570 and was ordained deacon in 1575; he may also have been the vicar of Elmstead, Essex from 1588 until the early 1620s [AC1, 3:179; CCed, both sub Medcalfe]. Considering the date of his reading, Metcalf is unlikely to have been the first post-Dissolution owner of this manuscript, and its earlier provenance remains to be discovered.

Thereafter, the manuscript provides no information until its bequest by Allestree, printed labels of ‘The Regius Professor of Divinity’ and of the Library (as in the two preceding MSS) (the front and back pastedowns). In addition, an accurate s. xx typed description (presumably by Neil Ker) is pasted to fol. ii.

Record Sources

Ralph Hanna and David Rundle, A Descriptive Catalogue of the Western Manuscripts, to c. 1600, in Christ Church, Oxford (Oxford, 2017).


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