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

Merton College MS. 40

Former shelfmark: P. 1. 8


Physical Description

Secundo Folio: causa ut
Form: codex
Support: Parchment
Extent: 141 leaves (ix + 132)
Dimensions (leaf): 150 × 105 mm.
Dimensions (written): 110 × 70 mm.
The edges heavily retrimmed with loss of marginalia and spattered with red.
Foliation: Foliation of s. xiv, 1–33, 35–124.


A6(+ 1 after 6), 116(+ 1 after 16), 216, 316(lacks 1), 4–716, 810 / 98


Ruled with crayon in 2 cols of 42 lines.


Standard Merton s. xvii, sewn on four bands; chained from the usual position. fols. i-ii, 131–2 are paper binding leaves, the outermost from a larger printed commentary on Terence, s. xv or xvi. An earlier binding had a central strap. fol. iii was a pastedown in an earlier binding.


Provenance and Acquisition

Evidently belonging early on to a house of friars, perhaps the Oxford Franciscans, a latecomer to the College. On fol. ix is ‘Precii viii marcas’, s. xiv, and a partly-erased 2-line inscription ‘Per ⟨fratrem Willelmum de ?Fr ch magum⟩ | pro cuius anima Deum roget qui usum huius libri habuerit’, s. xv. An early 2-line inscription has been partly erased from fol. ixv, then written over, s. xv: ‘[ de Cerigtone | fra us de Stauntone’ can be read. The second name might have been that of Hugh de Staunton OFM (BRUO 1768), warden of the Oxford custody in 1320.

In the lower margins of fols. 16v-18, upside down, are notes of expenditure, s. xvi, including ‘for my battelles v l. x s’, with the name ‘Thomas Belcher’.

On fol. ii is ‘N. 4. 1. Art:’ and a table of contents, s. xvii. Inside the front board is ‘N. 4. 1. Art:’again, modern ‘C. 1. 18 (XL)’ and ‘E. 1. 4’ in red, both canc. and replaced with ‘P. 1. 8’. ‘1’ is inked on the foredge. The College bookplate.

Merton College MS. 40 – Part I


Language(s): Latin

fol. iii blank. fols. iiiv–ixv are filled with notes, extracts and medical recipes, mostly in a single anglicana hand, c. 1300. On fol. ix is an early table of contents, citing the foliation.

1. (fols. 1–9)
Anselm, De Concordia Praescientiae et Praedestinationis
Rubric: De concordia prescientie predestinacionis gracie et libero arbitrio
Incipit: De tribus illis questionibus
Explicit: gratis uolui petentibus inpendere

SAO 2. 245–88.

2. (fols. 9–13v)
Anselm, De Incarnatione Verbi
Rubric: Anselmus de incarnacione uerbi
Incipit: Solet quidam cum ceperint quasi cornua confidentis
Explicit: in eodem libello diligenter inueniet

SAO 2. 7 line 6–35.

3. (fols. 14–17v)
Anselm, De Libertate Arbitrii
Incipit: Incipiunt capitula in tractatu de libero arbitrio edito ab Anselmo Cant’ archiepiscopo
Incipit: Quoniam liberum arbitrium uidetur repungnare gratie
Explicit: de illis interrogare
Final rubric: Explicit...

SAO 1. 207–26.

4. (fols. 18–27v)
De Similitudinibus
Rubric: Excepcio similitudinum Anselmi. Incipit extractio similitudinum Anselmi archiepiscopi Cantuariensis.
Incipit: Voluntas tripliciter intelligatur
Explicit: in celesti beatitudine amen &c
Final rubric: Explicit. Expliciunt similitudines Anselmi.

PL 159. 605–702.

5. (fols. 27v-31)
Anselm, Proslogion
Rubric: Incipit prohemium in proslogion Anselmi Cantuariensis archiepiscopi
Incipit: Postquam opusculum quoddam
( capitula )
Incipit: Eya nunc homuncio
Explicit: trinus et unus Deus benedictus in secula amen

SAO 1. 93–122.

6. (fols. 31v-43v)
Anselm, Monologion
Rubric: Incipit epistola Anselmi ad Lanfrancum
Incipit: Reuerendo et amando suo domino et patri
Incipit: Quidam fratres sepe me studioseque
( capitula )
Incipit: Si quis unam naturam summam omnique que sunt
Explicit: ineffabiliter trinus et unus
Final rubric: Explicit monologion

SAO 1. 13–87.

7. (fols. 44–57v)
Anselm, Cur Deus Homo
Rubric: Incipit prologus in librum Anselmi Cur Deus homo
Incipit: Opus subditum propter quosdam
( capitula )
Incipit: Sepe et studiosissime a multis rogatus
Explicit: non nobis attribuere debemus qui est benedictus in s. s. amen
Final rubric: Explicit liber Anselmi Cur Deus homo &c

SAO 2. 37–133.

8. (fols. 58–65)
Anselm, De Processione Spiritus Sancti
Rubric: A. de Spiritu Sancto contra Grecos
Incipit: Negatur a Grecis
Explicit: non sensui latinitatis

SAO 2. 175–219.

9. (fols. 65–71)
Anselm, De Conceptu Virginali
Rubric: Anselmus de originali peccato et conceptu uirginali
( capitula )
Incipit: Cum in omnibus religiose tue uoluntati uelim
Explicit: si uera probari poterit
Final rubric: Explicit &c

SAO 2. 139–73.

10. (fols. 71–8)
Anselm, De Casu Diaboli
Rubric: Incipit liber Anselmi de casu diaboli
( capitula )
Incipit: Illud apostoli Quid habes quod non accepisti
Explicit: et uti potestati loquendi
Final rubric: Explicit

SAO 1. 233–76.

11. (fols. 78–82)
Anselm, De Veritate
Rubric: Anselmus de ueritate
Incipit: Tres tractatus pertinentes ad studium sacre scripture
Explicit: ueritas uel rectitudo
Final rubric: Explicit ...

SAO 1. 173–99.

12. (fols. 82–9)
Rubric: Incipit liber Bernardi de amore Deo
Incipit: Ars est artium uis amoris
Explicit: et nouissimum primum

ed. R. Thomas, Pain de Cîteaux 24 (Chambarand, 1965).

13. (fols. 89–91v)
Cicero, De Amicitia,


Rubric: Excepcio libri Tullii de amicitia
Incipit: Amicitiam omnibus rebus humanis anteponatis (iv. 17)
Explicit: nichil amicitia prestabilius putetis (xxvii.104)
14. (fols. 91v-6v)
Bernard of Clairvaux, Epist. 42
Rubric: Epistola Bernardi Senonensi archiepiscopo
Incipit: Domino
Incipit: Placuit prestancie uestre nouum
Incipit: Si omnis iuxta Domini preceptum
Explicit: seruare nescienti. Valete

SBO 7. 100–31.

15. (fol. 96v)
Ps.-Bernard of Clairvaux, Epist. 462


Rubric: De epistola Bernardi
Incipit: Confirmet Deus in uobis bonum
Explicit: fugientibus ad se non inferet confusionem

PL 182. 663A-6C.

16. (fols. 97–108v)
William of St Thierry, Epistola ad Fratres de Monte Dei
Rubric: Bernardus ad fratres de monte
Incipit: Misericors et miserator Dominus de uia plena
Explicit: secretum mihi amen
Final rubric: Explicit

SChr 223 (1975); Bloomfield 1742.

17. (fols. 109–16v)
Bernard of Clairvaux, De Praecepto et Dispensatione
Rubric: Bernardus de precepto et dispensatione
Incipit: Domino abbati Columbensi
Incipit: Qua mente iam tacebo?
Explicit: et studui satisfacere uoluntati
Final rubric: Explicit ...

SBO 3. 253–94.

18. (fols. 116v-22)
Incipit: Quatuor sunt iudicia secundum prescientiam secundum causam secundum operacionem secundum tribulacionem
Incipit: Quis ascendit in monte Dei? Ascendit quidem semel Christus
Explicit: caritatis in quam cum peruenerit iam in eo requiescit Deus

The first is Hugh of St Victor, Schneyer 290, the last Bernard of Clairvaux, Schneyer 192. On fol. 122v is an index in 3 cols., dividing the collection into 178 items in 11 parts. This part of the book is heavily annotated in early hands.

Physical Description


Appears to be in a single tiny, neat bookhand of scholastic type, possibly French.


Blue or red initials flourished in the other colour; red or blue paraphs; plain red and a few blue initials; red highlighting and spasmodic running heads.


Origin: S. XIII ex. ; France (?)

Merton College MS. 40 – Part II


Language(s): Latin

19. (fols. 123–30v)
Ps.-BASIL, Admonitio ad Filium Spiritualem
Incipit: Audi fili admonicionem patris tui
Explicit: (ends impef.) periculum maris nec ullos casus

CPL 1155a; ed. P. Lehmann, Erforschung des Mittelalters 5 (Stuttgart, 1962), pp. 200–45.

Physical Description


Written in a more formal gothic rotunda bookhand, probably English.


Red initials flourished in blue; red highlighting.


Origin: S. XIII 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, p. 28; Powicke, no. 1216.

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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