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

Merton College MS. 27

Former shelfmark: C. 1. 1



Language(s): Latin

fols. i, iiv blank. At the head of fol. ii is a title, s. xv, trimmed by the binder.

(fols. fols. 1–104v)
Moralitates excerpta de libris Origenis
Incipit: Incipiunt capitula in moralitates excerptas de libris Origenis
Incipit: De Genesi .... In principio ...; Cum omnia que facturus erat Deus ex spiritu constarent
Explicit: (ends impf. in c. 94 of 96) ad sollempnitates Dei excitat que

The books moralized are Origen’s commentaries on Gen.-Jos., and Jeremiah. unpr.; apparently the unique copy.

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: ne non conuersatione
Form: codex
Support: Parchment prepared in the Italian manner
Extent: 108 leaves (ii + 106)
Dimensions (leaf): 240 × 160 mm.
Dimensions (written): 190 × 110 mm.
The edges retrimmed, with loss of marginalia, and spattered with red.


a bifolium, 1–48, 510(4, 7 half-leaves), 64, 78, 810, 9–138; the quires numbered at the beginning. Quire 5 is numbered 6, but nothing is missing.


Ruled with crayon in 2 cols of 35 lines.


A single neat early gothic bookhand, probably southern French or Italian.


Red initials and tituli .


Standard Merton s. xvii, sewn on four bands; formerly chained from the usual position. fols. 105–6 are blank paper binding leaves. fol. i, once a pastedown, has the mark of a central strap from a previous binding.


Origin: S. XIII1 ; France, South, or Italy

Provenance and Acquisition

Given to the College by William Reed in 1374: UO49. 86. On fol. iv, autograph, ‘Liber M. Willelmi Reed episcopi Cicestrensis quem emit a uenerabili patre domino Thoma Tryllek’ episcopo Roffensi. Oretis igitur pro utroque. / Moralitates excerpte ex libro Origenis’; ‘Liber domus scolarium de Merton’ in Oxon’ in communi libraria eiusdem et ad usum communem sociorum ibidem studencium cathenandus. Ex dono uenerabilis patris domini Willelmi tercii episcopi Cicestrie. Oretis igitur pro eodem et benefactoribus eiusdem ac fidelium animabus a purgatorio liberandis. Walterus Roberti notarius.’ For Reed, fellow from 1344 until at least 1357, d. 1385, see MS 8.

At the head of fol. 1 is the James no. ‘254’, s. xvii in. On fol. i is ‘N. 3. 1. Art:’, s. xvii. Inside the front board is a sheet of paper with titles, s. xvii, and ‘N. 3. 1. Art:’ again, canc. and replaced with ‘C. 1. 1. (XXVII’ in red. The College bookplate.

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. 21; Powicke, no. 557.

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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