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

Merton College MS. 66

Former shelfmark: I. 2. 5



Language(s): Latin

On MS 141, fol. 236v, the original front pastedown, is an early note ‘Lectura Iohannis Scoti super primum et quartum sententiarum.’

1. (fols. 1–120)
JOHN DUNS SCOTUS OFM, Commentary on the I Sent. (Ordinatio or Opus Oxoniense)
Incipit: (prol. q. 1; edn. p. 3) Vtrum homini pro statu isto sit necessarium aliquam doctrinam specialem supernaturaliter inspirari
Explicit: ordinata est ad finem ultimum que est alpha et O principium et finis cui...

DSO (Balič) 1–6; Stegmüller, Sent. 421; Glorieux, Théol. 344r. Followed by a list of quaestiones on fol. 120rv, ending ‘Expliciunt tituli questionum super primum fratris I. Duns \de ordine fratrum minorum nacione Scotus above the line in a later hand/ cuius anime propicietur Deus.’

2. (fols. 121–257v)
JOHN DUNS SCOTUS, Commentary on IV Sent. (Ordinatio or Opus Oxoniense)
Incipit: Samaritanus ille piissimus spoliatum uidens hominem ...; Magister in hoc opere suo finali determinauit
Explicit: (ends impf. in d. 49 q. 12; edn. vol. 10, p. 573) duplex in proposito una

DSO (Wadding), 8–10; Glorieux, Théol. 344r; Stegmüller, Sent. 421. On a previously blank space on fol. 120v a list of the quaestiones was added in an anglicana hand little later than the main text, ending: ‘Hec de ordinatione uenerabilis fratris I. Duns de ordine fratrum minorum qui floruit Cant’ Oxon’ et Parisius et obiit in Coloniam.’ On fol. 257v is a note in a hand of s. xv, ‘Hic deficiunt decem questiones.’ fols. 258–9v are blank but for an early note at the head of fol. 258, cropped by the binder: ‘Nota quod omnes questiones ⟨tam per … 4 sunt intitulate i fid p⟩’ .

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: De his amplius
Form: codex
Support: Parchment
Extent: 262 leaves (ii + 259, incl. 11A and 197A, 49 om.)
Dimensions (leaf): 340 × 240 mm.
Dimensions (written): 265–75 × 170 mm.
The edges savagely retrimmed with loss of running heads and marginalia, and spattered with red. fols. 258–9 are of thick, stiff parchment.


1–1112, 12–1314, 14–1612, 1714, 18–2112, a bifolium; catchwords framed with pen-and-ink fish; the quires numbered in pencil at the beginning, ‘X quat(ern)us (X libri)’; leaf-numbers. Quires are missing from the end.


Ruled with pencil in 2 cols of 60 lines.


A single proficient French gothic rotunda bookhand of university type.


Red and blue flourished initials with partial borders; blue initials flourished in red; red or blue paraphs; running heads in the colours.

Additions: Heavily annotated in all margins throughout; the text corrected, mainly in one or more early anglicana hands of scholastic type (sometimes framed in red and with paraphs as in the main text), but also in hands as late as s. xv ex.; a much-used book. Many of the notes were printed in Balič 1. 33*–4*; of particular interest are: fol. 6v ‘Vsque ibi “igitur theologie nostre” non fuit in libro Phil.’; fol. 31 ‘Illud est extra in libro Alani usque hic’; fol. 31v ‘Illud inuenitur in quaterno qui fuit scriptus post quaternum fratris Ioannis Duns’; fol. 66 ‘Hic fuit correctio manu eius’; fol. 70 ‘Scotulus corrigit’; fol. 176v ‘Illud extra manu sua’; fol. 162v ‘Nota istam questionem contra Wyclyf ’ (concerning the eucharist); fol. 236 ‘Dons meht tres questiones de distinctione [46] quere in quaterno Reding …’ . This will be the Scotist John of Reading OFM, at Oxford convent c. 1320–1: BRUO 1554; Sharpe, Handlist, p. 300.


Standard Merton s. xvii, repaired and rebacked by Maltby; sewn on five bands; formerly chained from the usual position. fols. i-ii are paper binding leaves, the first from a copy of Nicholas Fuller, Miscellanea Sacra (Oxford, 1615). fol. 259, pasted down in a former binding, has marks of the large iron chain-staple at the foot. A verdigris spot near the head may be from a former strap-pin. The original front pastedown is now MS 141, fol. 236. It has the mark of an iron chain-staple at the foot, and possible traces of straps at head and tail, and two at the foredge.


Origin: S. XIV in. ; England, Oxford (?)

Provenance and Acquisition

Script and decoration suggest professional manufacture in Oxford. In MS 141, fol. 236v, are ‘[Liber] Willelmi Rede quem emit ab executoribus magistri Iohannis Burcote de bonis sibi datis per Magistrum Nicholaum de Sandwyc’’. Below is an erased inscription, of which ‘Merton’ can be read. Below again ‘Liber domus scolarium de Merton’ in Oxon’ in communi libraria eiusdem et ad usum communem sociorum studencium cathenandus. Ex dono uenerabilis patris domini Willelmi tercii episcopi Cicestrie. Oretis igitur pro eodem et benefactoribus ac fidelium animabus a purgatorio liberandis. Walterus Roberti.’ John de Burcote (BRUO 306) was fellow of the College in 1331, until his death in 1349. Given to the College in 1374 by William Reed (UO49. 71), fellow from 1344 until at least 1357, d. 1385, for whom see MS 8.

Inside the front board is a sheet of paper with contents, s. xvii, and ‘N. 5. 11. Art:’ canc. and replaced with ‘I. 2. 5 (LXVI)’, in red; the College bookplate. ‘8’ 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. 40; Powicke, no. 538; DSO (Balič) 1. 32*-4*.

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.