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

Merton College MS. 54

Former shelfmark: B. 3. 5



Language(s): Latin

1. (fols. 1–9)
Incipit: Multi multa sciunt
Explicit: cum sponsa perspicies unum eundemque Dominum glorie qui ...

PL 184. 485–508; Bloomfield 3126. At the foot of fol. 1 is an informal table of contents in an anglicana hand little later than the main text.

2. (fols. 9v-171v)
Bernard of Clairvaux, Sermones super Cantica
Incipit: Vobis f. alia quam aliis de seculo aut certe aliter dicenda sunt
Explicit: ut filii lucis inquit ambulate

SBO 1–2.

3. (fols. 172–84v)
Bernard of Clairvaux, Sermones super Missus est
Rubric: Prefacio Bernardi abbatis super euangelium missus est Gabriel exposicio
Incipit: Scribere me aliquid et deuocio iubet
Incipit: Missus est Gabriel ...; Quid sibi uult euangelista tot propria nomina rerum
Explicit: fiat michi secundum uerbum tuum
Final rubric: Explicit tractatus incipit excusacio. Lectionem euangelicam exposui sicut potui ... deuotissime destinaui

SBO 4. 13–58; Stegmüller, Bibl. 1726.

4. (fols. 184v-210v)
Bernard of Clairvaux, De Consideratione
Rubric: Incipit liber Bernardi abbatis Clareuallis de consideracione ad Eugenium papam
Incipit: Subit animum dictare aliquid
Explicit: non finis querendi
Final rubric: Explicit ...

SBO 3. 393–493.

5. (fols. 210v-19)
Bernard of Clairvaux, De Diligendo Deo
Rubric: Incipit liber Bernardi abbatis Clareuallis de diligendo Deo
Incipit: Viro illustri domino Armerico
Incipit: Oraciones a me et non questiones
Incipit: Multum quippe meruit de nobis
Explicit: poterit miseracionis affectus
Final rubric: Explicit ...

SBO 3. 119–54.

6. (fols. 219–31; 231v blank)
Bernard of Clairvaux, De Praecepto et Dispensatione
Rubric: Incipit liber Bernardi abbatis Clareuallis de precepto et dispensacione
Incipit: Dompno abbati Columbensi frater B. abbas
Incipit: Rescriptum memini ad epistolas duorum Carnotencium monachorum
Incipit: Qua mente iam tacebo
Incipit: Prima igitur questio circa regulam nostram uersatur
Explicit: et studui satisfacere uoluntati
Final rubric:

SBO 3. 253–94.

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: quisque suorum
Form: codex
Support: Parchment
Extent: 231 leaves
Dimensions (leaf): 325 × 240 mm.
Dimensions (written): 250 × 170 mm.
The edges retrimmed with loss of early marginalia and stained yellow.


1–1412, 1510, 16–1912, 204(+ 1 after 4); catchwords.


Ruled with crayon in 2 cols of 39 lines.


A single large, formal, English gothic rotunda bookhand.


Handsome and distinctive red and blue flourished initials with long borders, enclosing designs of oak and other leaves and wyverns; red or blue initials flourished in the other colour.

Additions: Some early marginal annotation, including profile monks’ faces.


s. xv, probably College, heavily restored in modern times: reverse-bevelled bare oak boards, with slightly projecting squares, rebacked with modern vellum; sewn on five bands; original blue and plain endbands; formerly two broad straps from recesses in the front board to catches at the back. Formerly a chain-staple at the foredge of the front board, near the foot.


Origin: S. XIV ex. ; England

Provenance and Acquisition

Probably the book with 2ºfº quisque assigned to Richard Friendship in the electio of 1519 (UO63. 321). Certainly at the College by 1556 (UO65. 87). At the head of fol. 1 is the James no. ‘237’, s. xvii in. Inside the front board is a sheet of paper with a table of contents, s. xvii, ‘N. 4. 15 Art.’, s. xvii, canc. and replaced with ‘B. 3. 5 (LIV)’ in red. ‘15’ 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, pp. 36–7; Powicke, no. 1223; Alexander & Temple, no. 335.

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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