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

Merton College MS. 12

Former shelfmark: B. 2. 2



Summary of Contents: MS 12 is representative of an important class of book in the Merton Library: practical aids to the study of the Bible and other fundamental texts (see also MS 22). It contains analyses of the Bible itself and of the popular commentary on Matthew ascribed to John Chrysostom, a biblical dictionary, and an alphabetical subject-index to the important commentaries of Nicholas de Lyra. It is not surprising that a reference-book such as this was chained in the Library soon after receipt.

Language(s): Latin

fols. i–iii blank but for a brief note, quoting Gennadius, De Viris Illustribus, and the Polychronicon, at the head of iiv. On fol. iiiv is a table of contents, s. xv.

1. (fols. 1–6v, 20–77)
Petrus Aureoli OFM, Compendium Litteralis Sensus Totius Scripturae
Rubric: Incipit compendium litteralis sensus tocius diuine scripture editum a fratre P. Aureoli ordinis fratrum minorum et ponitur primo commendacio sacre scripture in generali
Incipit: Venite ascendamus ad montem Domini... ; Gregorius 23.libro moralitatis exponens illud Iob ...
Explicit: (fol. 6v) de quibus dictum est
Final rubric: Explicit commendacio sacre scripture
Rubric: (fol. 20) Incipit compendium litteralis sensus tocius diuine scripture
Incipit: Considerandum est quod scriptura potest diuidi in 8 partes principales
Explicit: gratia D. n. I. C. cum omnibus uobis amen
Final rubric: Explicit compendium litteralis sensus tocius diuine scripture ...

ed. P. Seeboeck (Quaracchi, 1896); Glorieux, Théol. 351h; Stegmüller, Bibl. 6422.

2. (fols. 7–13v)
Principium Biblicum
Incipit: Stude sapientia Prouerbiorum 27. Omnem hominem primo generaliter ecclesiasticum et religiosum secundo specialiter prelatum
Explicit: ad istum paradisum leticie ualeamus peruenire quod nobis concedat qui ...

Stegmüller, Bibl. 10197, citing only the copy in MS 201, art. 5.

3. (fols. 13v-17v)
Augustine, Sermones
Rubric: Sermo beati Augustini de legendo scripturam sacram
Incipit: Scriptum est f. k. quod Moyses posuit in tabernaculo labrum eneum
Rubric: Sermo 30 de penitencia
Incipit: Admoneo f. in conspectu Dei timori uestro timorem meum
Rubric: Sermo 31 de Ieiunio et oratione
Incipit: Aduersus demonum nequiciam nobis Dominus arma ostendit
Rubric: Sermo de cogitacionibus 32
Incipit: Primum quidem cogitacionibus malis repugnandum est
Rubric: Sermo de filio prodego Luc. 15
Incipit: Pax uobis d. qui optimam partem elegistis
Rubric: Sermo de oratione et eius perseuerancia 34
Incipit: Fratres mei et leticia cordis mei tempus est ut reuertar ad eum
Final rubric: Expliciunt sermones ad fratres habitantes in heremo per beatum Augustinum editi

Serms 38 fr. er., app. 73, 76 fr. er., 27 fr. er., 22 fr. er.: PL 40. 1304–6; 67. 1082–3; 39. 1886–7; 40. 1358; 40. 1280–2; 40. 1271–3.

4. (fols. 17v-19; 19v blank)
Ps.-Augustine (Nicetas of Remesiana), De Psalmodiae Bono
Rubric: Sermo beati Augustini de utilitate psalmorum
Incipit: ⟨Q⟩uam grata sit et acceptabilis
Explicit: ipsi laudabunt Dominum in s. s. amen.
Final rubric: Explicit sermo beati Augustini ualde deuotus de utilitate psalmorum

CPL 649; PL 68. 371–6; ed. C. H. Turner, JTS24 (1923), 225–52; Römer 2. 382.

5. (fols. 77v-133v)
Repertorium Vocabulorum Bibliae
Incipit: Licet nonnulli cuncta uocabula biblie simplicibus ignota lucidius exponenda diligenter laborauerunt
Incipit: Abba secundum Papiam Syrum nomen est
Explicit: Zizannia penultima corda grecum est
Final rubric: Explicit repertorium biblie

unpr.; also in Eton Coll. 4, Graz, Universitätsbibl. 322; Hereford Cath. O. V. 2; BL Harl. 2270, Royal 8 E. vii; Lambeth 162; Bodl. Libr., Bodl. 863, Laud. misc. 30; MS 234 below, art. 2. Stegmüller, Bibl. 1159. Ascr. by Bale (Index, p. 25) to Alexander Nequam, and seen by him at Oriel College and London, St Peter

6. (fols. 133v-67v)

An Anthology of Ps.-John Chrysostom, Opus Imperfectum in Mattheum

6.1. (fols. 133v-8 ‘)
Incipit: Liber generacionis Christi. Quomodo Ysaac Christum figurabat
Explicit: ex usu inuocacionum ubi fides

An analysis of the contents of each Homily.

6.2. (fols. 138–167v)
Incipit: Aduersitas. Vtilitas aduersitatum temporalium
Explicit: Xristianus huc intrasti non habens &c.
Final rubric: Explicit tabula Crisostomi

unpr.; Stegmüller, Bibl. 4350, 1, citing only Durham Cath., A. III. 11 (s. xiii), fols. 152–70. Van Banning, pp. ccxxvi, cclxii–cclxxii, however, lists another dozen copies.

7. (fols. 170–265)
William Norton OFM, Index to Nicholas de Lyra, biblical commentaries

Preceded by a list of quaestiones , fols. 167v-70.

Incipit: Vtrum apocalipsis liber conuenienter ponitur ultimus in canone cum tamen scriberetur ante euuangelium Iohannis in prologo expositionis super euuangelium
Explicit: Vtrum liris [sic for iris] sit signum federis Gen. 9.
Final rubric: Expliciunt questiones fratris Nicholai de Lira super Bibliam

The same list is in Eton Coll. 108, fols. 186–7 (MMBL 2. 722).

Rubric: Tabula super doctorem de Lyra super uetus et nouum testamentum
Incipit: Abacuck prophetauit destruccionem Caldeorum
Explicit: Zorobabel erat de tribu regia
Final rubric: Explicit tabula super doctorem de Lira compilata per fratrem Willelmum Norton de sacro ordine fratrum minorum in conuentu Couentrensi anno Domini millesimo CCCC tercio

unpr.; Stegmüller, Bibl. 3000; Sharpe, Handlist, p. 795; one of seven copies.

8. (fols. 265v-83v; 284–6v blank)
Expositio Litteralis Psalterii
Incipit: Ad consolacionem fidelium eorum maxime qui expositio sancte Paule[sic] amplectuntur scripturarum historicum
Explicit: Hebreos consueuit uocari liber iste soliloquium Messie et sic finis restat psalterii
Final rubric: Explicit &c

Stegmüller, Bibl. 10195, apparently the unique copy.

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: citatur intelligencia
Form: codex
Support: Parchment
Extent: 289 leaves (iii + 286)
Dimensions (leaf): 315 × 220 mm.
Dimensions (written): 230 × 150 mm.
The edges retrimmed with loss of marginalia and spattered with red. fols. i-iii and 286 are of thick, stiff parchment. The outer col. of fol. 18 excised.


a bifolium, a singleton, 16, 212(+ 1 after 12), 3–2412, a bifolium, a singleton; catchwords. Quire 2 is bound out of order.


Frame-ruled with crayon in 2 cols; written in c. 52 lines.


Written in a single proficient secretary hand. At the foot of fol. 7 is ‘pro scriptura quat’ xv d.’ At the foot of fol. 167v, in tiny letters, ‘pro scriptura iii. s. vii d.’ At the foot of fol. 283v is pencilled ‘of gret let’ xl lett’ / of paraf ii s qa’’. Correction marks. Marginal annotation in contemporary hands.


Blue initials flourished in red; red or blue paraphs; red underlining of lemmata.


Standard Merton s. xvii, repaired and rebacked by Maltby, 1953; sewn on six bands; formerly chained from the usual position. On a previous binding were two straps from the front board to clasps at the rear. At the foot of the front board, towards the foredge, was a brass chain-staple. The outermost leaves were pastedowns in an earlier binding.


Origin: S. XV med. ; England

Provenance and Acquisition

At the foot of fol. iiiv‘Liber Willelmi Romsey propriis sumptibus scriptus’. Romsey or Rumsey (BRUO 1606–7) was fellow c. 1449 until at least 1463, d. 1512; he also gave MSS 47 and 247. The College received this book on 25 May 1493, chaining it in the library on 2 Aug. 1494 (Registrum, pp. 173, 184).

On fol. i is ‘2’, written early but probably after rather than before the leaf was a pastedown.

Inside the front board is a sheet of paper with contents and ‘F. 7, 13’ (canc.), s. xvii, and the College bookplate. ‘B. 2. 2’ is pencilled near the head. At the head of fol. 1 is the James no. ‘208’, s. xvii in. ‘13’ is inked on the foredge.

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. 7; Powicke, no. 1102; Römer 2. 299.

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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