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

MS. Lat. bib. d. 11

Summary Catalogue no.: Not in SC (late accession)


Language(s): Latin

(fols. 1r–90v)
Bible, Old Testament, Job, with gloss

Biblical text

Incipit: Vir erat in terra hus nomine Iob. Et erat uir ille simplex
Explicit: et mortuus est senex et plus dierum
Final rubric: Explicit Liber Iob


first gloss, inner margin
Incipit: Prius persona apta describitur
second gloss, inner margin
Incipit: Allegorice. Iob dolens id est christus qui dolores …
top margin
Incipit: Timens deum. Salomon qui timet deum …
top margin, second gloss
Incipit: Hus. Quae est terra gentilium ad laudem
outer margin
Incipit: Per iob christi, id est caput et corpus designator
first interlinear gloss
Incipit: Necesse est ut et simplicitatem columbę astucia serpentis instruat et astuciam simplicitas temperet unde spiritus in columba et igne apparuit quia pleni illo sic mansuetudini simplicitatis servient ut contra mala zelo rectitudinis accendantur.
(fol. 90v)
final interlinear gloss
Incipit: Sed quia inter perfectos sunt
Explicit: cum fratribus
(fol. 90r–v)
final marginal gloss
Incipit: Et uocauit nomen unius diem. [Job 42:14] Omnis qui misercordia redemptoris eligitur … Ipse ergo ex perfectorum numero speciose memorantur. Ipse etiam ex imperfectorum numero …. Sorores ergo cum fratribus ad hereditatem veniunt quia infirmi ad cęlestia
Explicit: Plena dierum moritur quia per hęc transeuntia tempora id quid non transit operator
Final rubric: E⟨X⟩P⟨L⟩I⟨C⟩T L⟨I⟩B⟨E⟩R ⟨B⟩E⟨A⟩T⟨I⟩S⟨S⟩I⟨M⟩I ⟨I⟩O⟨B⟩

‘Explicit liber beatissimi Job’, with every second letter omitted, perhaps with the intention of writing them in red.

Job with the Glossa ordinaria; the complete text of the Job, copied in the larger script, with selections from patristic and medieval commentaries that explain the biblical text, copied in a smaller script on either side and between the lines of the biblical text.

There is no modern edition this text. There are notable differences between the text of the present manuscript and Rusch’s 1481 edition. The lack of any opening prologues may be an early sign. Overall there are fewer glosses here (especially at the beginning of the Job), and many are arranged differently. For example, the lengthy first interlinear gloss in this manuscript is found as a marginal gloss in the incunable edition.

The manuscript includes evidence that it was used. Particularly interesting are the long lines that restructure the gloss. For example, on fol. 13, the gloss ends in the outer column followed by a long blank space; a line was added to connect it to the next gloss, lower on the page. Modern chapters were added in a later hand (the chapters we use today came into widespread use c. 1230). There are also numerous nota marks in a neat, calligraphically pleasing form, and lines alongside glosses that probably were added for the same purpose.

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: parchment
Extent: i (paper) + 90 + i (paper) leaves
Dimensions (leaf): 260 × 150 mm.
Foliation: Modern foliation.


i–x8 xi12 [–11 and 12, cancelled with no loss of text]. Quires signed center lower margin with small capital letters on the verso of the last leaf of each quire A–K (last quire unsigned), and numbered with red roman numerals beginning with ‘ii’ at the end of the first quire and concluding with ‘xii’ for the last quire, no leaf signatures or catchwords.


Biblical text written in a large minuscule script in a narrow central column. Ruled in hard point for a central column of biblical text (quite narrow) with double full-length vertical bounding lines, and columns for the gloss on either side, apparently ruled as needed, prickings for the biblical text in the outer margin. Justified biblical text, 179 × 37–42 mm. , 21 lines.

Interlinear and marginal glosses copied in a smaller but precise script, when necessary extending across the upper and lower margins, 183–205 × 132–137 mm. , 67–70 lines.


Both the biblical text and the accompanying glosses probably copied by a single scribe. The script of the biblical text is an upright caroline minuscule; a date early in the twelfth century is suggested by the lack of compression, both vertically and horizontally (even ‘pp’ is written separately), the predominate use of straight ‘s’, ‘d’ and ‘r’, and e-cedilla; the biblical text has very few abbreviations, although both the ampersand and the tironian-7 are used for ‘et’, and the Italian abbreviation for ‘qui’ (‘q’ with a horizontal stroke through the descender) is found (e.g. fol. 11, line 4). The glosses are written in a very small precise script that is slightly more angular, with more frequent abbreviations, but is still upright and uncompressed. Word separation is good but not absolute. Other early features to note are the lack of running titles and chapter divisions in the original hand.


Sentences within the biblical text begin with one-line red initials; gloss capitals touched in red on fol. 1 only.

Incipit, explicit and titles in rustic display capitals, fol. 1.

Seventeen-line blank space, now with the opening words of the biblical text (‘Uir erat in terra hus nomini Iob’) supplied in large display capitals, alternately red and black, with black and red contrasting pen decoration, added probably in the last decades of the twelfth century.


Bound in old brown sheepskin over pasteboard; spine with four raised bands.

Rebacked with parts of the spine laid down, corners repaired. A previous description notes the remains of label (now missing) applied with sealing wax to upper cover. A few letters in ink visible on the spine. Red cloth and leather fitted box labelled ‘Book of Job/ Glossed/ Manuscript/ France 12th century’.


Origin: 1120s–1130s ; Italy (northern) Script, layout and ruling point to an early date. The biblical text was copied in a rather narrow central column on broadly spaced lines ruled in hardpoint with double vertical bounding lines on each side. The glosses were added in a second step between the lines and in columns on either side of the text; although on many folios the ruling is very difficult to see, they appear to have been copied on closely spaced lines also ruled in hardpoint (with about three lines of gloss to each line of biblical text). Significantly, the ruling for the glosses was added as needed, although occasionally on folios where there are extensive glosses, the scribe appears to have ruled an entire column for the gloss. This type of simple layout, where the biblical text and the glosses were copied independently, is found in early glossed Bibles.

Provenance and Acquisition

An ownership note on the final verso written in an early hand, possibly contemporary, reads ‘Liber sancte Marie de Columba’. The Abbey of Chiaravalle della Colomba, the Cistercian abbey in Alseno (Piacenza), Emilia Romagna was founded from Burgundy in 1136. This manuscript dates from the period of its foundation. It has signs of conscientious use in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, including the addition of modern chapter divisions in the margins. Chiaravalle was suppressed in the Napoleonic era: in 1805 its assets were nationalized and its library was dispersed; in 1810, the monks were forced to leave. Shelfmark, ‘93’, written in brown ink in an 18th-century hand on the front endpaper.

Many Chiaravalle manuscripts passed to Francesco Giovio (1796–1878), and were at least partly dispersed through Hoepli in Milan in 1883.

The sale description by Christie’s mentions a stamped armorial ex libris on the front flyleaf ‘with the arms gules , two bars argent , charged with three chalices or 1 & 2’, with inscriptions ‘Moder⟨a⟩ta durant’ and ‘Ex libris de Mojolis’. This is no longer present in the volume.

Jörn Günther Antiquariat sale, Recent acquisitions: medieval & renaissance manuscripts, 1997, lot 3.

Christie’s sale, Valuable printed books, manuscripts and music, 25 June 1997, lot 21.

Richard L. Adams; his small oval blue and gold paper ex libris, ‘RLA’ on the upper flyleaf.

‘Idda Collection’ (private Swiss collection named for Idda of Toggenburg): exhibited with fifteen other volumes for sale by Les Enluminures at the New York Antiquarian Book Fair, 9 April–2 May 2015. Described in Laura Light and Christopher de Hamel, The Idda collection: Romanesque and Biblical manuscripts c. 1000–1240 (New York, 2015).

Purchased from Les Enluminures (TM 877), 2021.

Record Sources

Description by Laura Light (2015) for Les Enluminures; revised by Andrew Dunning (July 2021).

Digital Images

Digital Bodleian (full digital facsimile)


Last Substantive Revision

2021-07-13: Andrew Dunning Revised description from Les Enluminures.