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

Merton College MS. 20

Former shelfmark: B. 2. 8



Language(s): Latin

fols. i-ii, 149–50, are two bifolia, not contiguous, from the same copy of AVICENNA, Canon Medicinae, s. xiv. The first is the outermost of the original quire, bound inside-out, as the catchword is on fol. iv. On fol. iirv are the prologue and capitula , beg. ‘⟨I⟩n primis Deo gratias agemus sicut sui ordinis celsitudo et beneficii ipsius multitudo meretur ...’. eTK 0705F. In the margin of fol. ii is a table of contents, s. xiv ex. Written space 285 × 160 mm., ruled with pencil in 2 cols of 74 lines; written in a formal English gothic rotunda bookhand. Decoration lacks.

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: seu filius
Two originally separate volumes, together soon after the making of II.
Form: codex
Support: Parchment
Extent: 152 leaves (ii + 150)
Dimensions (leaf): 360 × 225 mm.
Dimensions (written): 275 × 165 mm.
The edges retrimmed with loss of marginalia and spattered red.


a bifolium at each end, 1–1212, 136(5–6 canc.); I has pencilled quire-signatures of the usual late medieval form and catchwords with decorative frames. II has pencilled leaf numbers and framed catchwords.


Ruled with pencil in 2 cols of 57 lines.


Standard Merton s. xvii, sewn on six bands; formerly chained from the usual position. An earlier binding had two straps and clasps. Parchment cut from the lower edge of fols. 149–50 has probably removed traces of the large chain-staple.


Provenance and Acquisition

At the foot of fol. i is pencilled ‘Wucstone’, s. xiv, perhaps Master Geoffrey de Wocstone (BRUO 2068), who figured in a legal dispute settled at Oxford in 1354.

At the head of fol. iv is ‘Liber Roberti Myddelond’’, s. xiv. Robert Myddelonde (BRUO 1274) was fellow of Merton 1330–47, canon in four cathedrals simultaneously, d. by Sept. 1367.

At the head of fol. iiv, cropped, ‘Liber domus scolarium de Merton ex dono Magistri Roberti Wyght anno Domini M. CCCC. LXVIII incathenatus.’ This is repeated inside the front board in a hand of s. xvii, with the addition of the words ‘quondam socii’. Whyte (BRUO 2042–3) was fellow c. 1424, no longer in 1433, d. 1461. Appendix B no. 113 (1460–1) records a payment ‘pro uectura librorum Magistri Roberti Wyght legatorum collegii per eundem’.

At the head of fol. 1 is the James no. ‘231’, s. xvii in., wrongly, for this should be MS 45. Inside the front board is a sheet of paper with the contents and ‘N. 2. 8. Art:’, s. xvii, canc. and replaced with ‘B. 2. 8 (XX)’, in red ink. The College bookplate. ‘8’ is inked on the foredge

Merton College MS. 20 – Part I


Language(s): Latin

1. (fols. 1–14v)
Anselm, Monologion
Rubric: Incipit epistola Anselmi archiepiscopi ad Lanfrancum primatem Anglie
Incipit: Reuerendo et amando suo domino
Rubric: Incipit prohemium beati Anselmi archiepiscopi in monologion R.
Incipit: Quidam fratres sepe me studioseque
( capitula )
Incipit: Si quis unam naturam summam omnique que sunt
Explicit: Deus ineffabilis trinus et unus
Final rubric: Finitur monologion Anselmi. Explicit.

SAO 1. 13–87.

2. (fols. 14v-19v)
Anselm, De Incarnatione Verbi
Rubric: Incipit epistola de incarnacione uerbi Anselmi Cantuariensis archiepiscopi. Prefacio
Incipit: Domino et patri uniuerse ecclesie in terra peregrinantis
Incipit: Dicit sicud audio ille qui tres personas dicitur asserere esse
Explicit: in eodem libello aperte inueniet

SAO 1. 277–90, 2. 1–35.

3. (fols. 20–6)
Anselm, De Conceptu Virginali

Preceded by capitula .

Incipit: Cum in omnibus religiose tue uoluntatis uelim
Explicit: si natura probari poterit
Final rubric: Explicit liber Anselmi Cantuar’ archiepiscopi de conceptu uirginali et de originali peccato

SAO 2. 139–73.

4. (fols. 26v-34v)
Anselm, De Processione Spiritus Sancti
Rubric: Incipit liber eiusdem de processione Spiritus Sancti
Incipit: Negatur a Grecis quod Spiritus Sanctus de Filio procedat
Explicit: non sensui latinitatis
Final rubric: Explicit tractatus Anselmi de processione Spiritus Sancti

SAO 2. 175–219

5. (fols. 34v-5v)
Anselm, Epistola de Sacrificio Azymi et Fermentati
Rubric: Incipit epistola eiusdem de sacramentis ecclesie. Prefacio.
Incipit: Anselmus seruus ecclesie Cantuariensis Waleranno Nuenburgensi episcopo.
Incipit: Scienti breuiter loquor
Explicit: rationabiliter repudiandum iudicatur

SAO 2. 223–32.

6. (fols. 35v-6v)
Anselm, De Sacramentis Ecclesiae
Rubric: Incipit epistola beati Anselmi de sacramentis ecclesie
Incipit: Domino et amico Uualeranno gratia Dei Nuenburgensi uenerabili episcopo Anselmus
Incipit: Gaudeo et gratias Domino
Explicit: misi olim uobis quamdam epistolam

SAO 2. 239–42.

7. (fols. 36v-43v)
Anselm, De Concordia Praescientiae et Praedestinationis
Rubric: Incipit liber Anselmi Cantuarie archiepiscopi de concordia presciencie et predestinacionis et gratie Dei cum libero arbitrio
Incipit: De tribus illis questionibus in quibus Dei prescientie
Explicit: petentibus impendere
Final rubric: Explicit liber de grammatico et libero arbitrio

SAO 2. 245–88.

8. (fols. 43v-7)
Anselm, De Grammatico
Rubric: Incipit liber de grammatico
Incipit: Discipulus. De grammatico peto ut me certum facias
Explicit: hoc proficisse non negabis

SAO 1. 145–68.

9. (fols. 47–51)
Anselm, De Veritate
Rubric: Incipit prefacio Anselmi Cantuariensis archiepiscopi in subditum opus scilicet in tres tractatus
Incipit: Tres tractatus pertinentes ad studium sacre scripture
( capitula )
Incipit: Quoniam Deum esse ueritatem credimus
Explicit: ueritas uel rectitudo
Final rubric: Explicit tractatus de ueritate

SAO 1. 173–99.

10. (fols. 51–4v)
Anselm, De Libertate Arbitrii
Rubric: Incipiunt capitula in tractatu de libertate arbitrii
Incipit: Quoniam liberum arbitrium uidetur repugnare gratie
Explicit: ut de illis interrogem
Final rubric: Explicit tractatus de libertate arbitrii editus ab Anselmo Cantuariensi archiepiscopo

SAO 1. 207–26.

11. (fols. 54v-69v)
Anselm, Cur Deus Homo
Rubric: Incipit prologus in librum Anselmis[sic] Cur Deus homo
Incipit: Opus subditum propter quosdam
( capitula )
Incipit: Sepe et studiosissime a multis rogatus
Explicit: nobis attribuere debemus qui ...

SAO 2. 37–133.

12. (fols. 69v-77v)
Anselm, De Casu Diaboli
Incipit: Quod etiam ad angelos dicatur quid habes quod non accepisti
( capitula )
Incipit: Illud apostoli quid habes quod non accepisti
Explicit: potestate loquendi

SAO 1. 233–76.

13. (fols.77v-81v )
Anselm, Proslogion
Rubric: Incipit prohemium in prosologion Anselmi Cantuariensis archiepiscopi
Incipit: Postquam opusculum quoddam uelut exemplum meditandi
( capitula )
Incipit: Eya nunc homuncio
Explicit: donec intrem in gaudium Domini mei, qui ...

SAO 1. 93–122.

14. (fols. 81v-2)
Anselm, Epist. 204
Incipit: Anselmus gratia Dei archiepiscopus domino priori Bernardo et aliis fratribus in cenobio Sancti Albani conuersantibus salutem et benediccionem. Fratres ad me auram dileccione
Explicit: unus et non unum. Valete et orate pro me

SAO . 4. 95–7.

15. (fols. 82–99)
De Similitudinibus
Incipit: Voluntas tripliciter intelligitur
Explicit: ne nobis noceant in quam uolunt
Final rubric: Explicit liber de similitudinibus uenerabilis Anselmi Cantuariensis archiepiscopi

PL 159. 605–702

16. (fols. 99–103)
Eadmer, De Excellentia Beatae Virginis
Rubric: De eminencia beate uirginis
Incipit: Supereminentem omni quod post hominem
Explicit: iugi deuocione famuletur qui ...
Final rubric: Explicit de eminencia beate uirginis

PL 159. 557–80.

17. (fols. 103–6v)
Eadmer, De Conceptione Beatae Virginis
Rubric: Incipit Anselmi tractatus de concepcione beate Virginis
Incipit: Principium quo salus mundo possit mihi considerare
Explicit: uerum hominem genuisse Amen
Final rubric: Explicit de concepcione beate uirginis

PL 159. 301–18; Sharpe, Handlist, pp. 104–5.

18. (fols. 106v-8v)
Anselm, Contra Insipientem
Rubric: Tractatus Anselmi Cantuariensis archiepiscopi contra insipientem uel melius contra incipientis ad predicta
Incipit: Dubitanti utrum sic uel neganti quod sit
Explicit: editor istius libelli
Incipit: Quoniam non me reprehendit in hiis dictis
Explicit: non maliuolencia reprehendisti
Final rubric: Explicit liber Anselmi contra insipientem. Explicit liber.

SAO 1. 130–9.

Physical Description


Several English gothic rotunda bookhands, influenced, in varying degrees, by anglicana. The scribe of fols. 1–48 lengthens and ornaments his ascenders on the top line.


red and blue flourished initials; plain red or blue initials (perhaps intended for flourishing in the other colour); occasional blue initials flourished in red. Red highlighting, paraphs and underlining.


Origin: S. XIV in. ; England

Merton College MS. 20 – Part II


Language(s): Latin

19. (fols. 109–21)
AUGUSTINE, Enchiridion
Incipit: Dici non potest dilectissime fili Laurenti
Explicit: et caritate conscripsi
Final rubric: Explicit encheridion sancti Augustini ad Laurencium de fide spe et caritate

CPL 295; PL 40. 231–90.

20. (fols. 121–9)
FULGENTIUS, De Fide ad Petrum
Rubric: Et incipit liber Agustini de fide ad Petrum
Incipit: Epistolam filii Petre tue caritatis accepi
Explicit: illi reuelabit Deus
Final rubric: Explicit liber beati Augustini de fide ad Petrum

PL 40. 753–78; 65. 671–706.

21. (fols. 129–34v)
Ps.-AUGUSTINE, Dialogus Quaestionum LXV
Rubric: Incipiunt questiones Orosii ad sanctum Augustinum
Incipit: Licet multi ac probatissimi uiri
Explicit: qui preesse desiderat non prodesse

PL 40. 733–52.

22. (fols. 134v-6v)
AUGUSTINE, De Disciplina Christiana
Rubric: Augustinus de disciplina Christianorum
Incipit: Locutus est ad uos sermo Dei
Explicit: conuersi ad Dominum. Amen.
Final rubric: Explicit liber de disciplina Christianorum

CPL 310; PL 40. 669–78.

23. (fols. 136v-7v)
Ps.-AUGUSTINE, Serm. app. 252
Rubric: Incipit ammonitio beati Augustini ut non solum lingua sed moribus et opere laudetur Deus quia quale est quod cogitatur in corde tale quod procedit in ore
Incipit: Resurrectio et clarificatio Domini nostri
Explicit: hic uitam uite meritis comparemus

PL 39. 2211–12.

24. (fols. 137v-8)
Ps.-AUGUSTINE, De Creatione Primi Hominis
Rubric: Liber beati Augustini qualiter homo factus est ad ymaginem et similitudinem Dei
Incipit: Quanta dignitas humane condicionis
Explicit: in secundo reformauit

PL 40. 1213–14. The common excerpt from De Spiritu et Anima.

25. (fols. 138–40v)
Ps.-AUGUSTINE, De Duodecim Abusionibus Saeculi
Rubric: De duodecim abusionibus
Incipit: Primo si sine operibus bonis
Explicit: incipiat esse in futuro

CPL 1106; ed. S. Hellmann (Leipzig, 1909).

26. (fols. 140v-8)
AUGUSTINE, De Gratia et Libero Arbitrio
Rubric: Incipit liber beati Augustini de gratia et libero arbitrio
Incipit: Propter eos qui liberum arbitrium hominis sic predicant
Explicit: et gloria et regnum cum Patre ...
Final rubric: Explicit liber de gratia Dei et libero arbitrio

CPL 352; PL 44. 881–912.

On fol. 148v is a table of contents, s. xv, using the foliation.

Physical Description


An English gothic rotunda bookhand.


On fol. 149 is a 6-line initial D, red and blue, flourished in red and violet; red initials flourished in violet, blue initials flourished in red. Red highlighting, paraphs and underlining; yellow highlighting.


Origin: S. XIV ex. ; England

Additional Information

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, pp. 17–18; Powicke, no. 968; Römer 2. 302.

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

See the Availability section of this record for information on viewing the item in a reading room.