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

Merton College MS. 2

Former shelfmark: A. 2. 2



Language(s): Latin

f. i blank; on f. iv, in a humanistic hand, ‘Augustinus in Evangelium Iohannis’.

(fols. 2–7, 7–288; 288v-9v blank)
Augustine, Tractatus in Iohannis Evangelium

Preceded by capitula

Rubric: Incipit tractatus primus sancti Augustini de euuangelio secundum Iohannem ab eo quod scriptum est In principium
Incipit: Intuentes quod modo audiuimus ex lectione apostolica
Explicit: etiam ipse compellerer meum terminare sermonem amen
Final rubric: Aurelii Augustini doctoris omeliarum liber in euangelium Domini nostri Ihesu Christi secundum Iohannem explicit, quas ipse colloquendo prius ad populum habuit et inter loquendum a notariis exceptas, eo quo habite sint ordine, uerbum ex uerbo postea dictauit. Deo gratias.

CPL 278; CCSL 36 (1954).

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: (f. 3) ipse est
Secundo Folio: (f. 8) omnes choros
Form: codex
Support: Parchment
Extent: 290 leaves (i + 289)
Dimensions (leaf): 385 × 265 mm.
Dimensions (written): 295 × 185 mm.
The edges heavily retrimmed, the feet stained yellow.


A4 (lacks 3), 1–2412, a bifolium, B2, the outermost leaves pastedowns; the quires numbered in pencil at the beginning; for a while leaf-numbers in blue or red.


Ruled with crayon in 2 cols of 37 lines.


One large, variable English gothic rotunda hand, at first of liturgical appearance.


Each homily opens with a handsome large (usually 6-line) red and blue flourished initial, probably by more than one hand. The scribe of the text writes explicits and lengthy incipits in red. As far as Tract. LXVII the numbers are given as running heads in red and blue capitals. Blue, red and green script, and red or blue initials flourished in the other colour, are used in the capitula , as well as red patterned line-fillers. Occasional highlighting in red or yellow.


As for MS 1; sewn on five bands. Formerly two broad leather straps from the front to clasps at the rear; marks of brass chain-staples at the foredge of the front board, near head and foot. The rear pastedown has two marks of pins from an earlier binding.


Origin: S. XIII ex. ; England

Provenance and Acquisition

At the foot of f. 289v are two thoroughly-erased inscriptions, one of which can be read as ‘liber primus’ (probably meaning that the book was once part of an electio ); on the rear pastedown is one more.

On f. 1v are: in a formal gothic quadrata hand with red initial flourished in violet, ‘Liber Magistri Iohannis Tailour sacre theologie professoris’; lower down, in an untidy secretary hand of c. 1500, ‘Librum istum dedit collegio bone memorie uenerabilis pater magister Iohannes Taylour nuper sacre theologie professor doctissimus ad communem utilitatem in hac bibliotheca studentium; et continet omelias beati Augustini super Iohannem. Oremus igitur omnes pro eo ut a peccatis soluatur’. Taylor (BRUO 1850–1) was provost of Oriel College (1479–92) and chancellor of Exeter Cathedral. This was one of three books brought to Merton by his executors on 16 Jan. 1493 and deposited in the Library on 2 Aug. 1494 (Registrum, pp. 168, 184). The other survivor is MS 316.

At the head of f. 1 is ‘M. A. 6’, s. xvii. On f. 1v: ‘N. 1. 2. Art:’, s. xvii, canc. and replaced by ‘A. 2. 2’ in purple ink; modern ‘(II).’ in red; the College bookplate. ‘2’ is inked on the foredge. (7) At the head of f. 2 is the James no. ‘9’ (wrongly), s. xvii in.

Record Sources

R. M. Thomson, A descriptive catalogue of the medieval manuscripts of Merton College, Oxford (Cambridge: D. S. Brewer), 2009.


For enquiries relating to this manuscript please contact Merton College Library.


    Coxe, p. 3; Powicke, no. 1099; Römer 2. 298; Alexander & Temple, no. 243.

Funding of Cataloguing

Conversion of the printed catalogue to TEI funded by the Warden and Fellows of Merton College .

Last Substantive Revision

2018-08-01: First online publication

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