Merton College MS. 72
Former shelfmark: I. 1. 2
THOMAS AQUINAS; S. XIII 3/4
Over ‘fratris’ has been pencilled ‘sancti’. STO 4-5; Glorieux, Théol. 14ax. On ff. 258v-62v is an index of the tituli of the quaestiones and articuli . The scribe corrects the text in the margins. Copious marginal annotation, especially at the beginning, much contemporary with the main text, some as late as s. xv.
Ruled with crayon in 2 cols of 42 lines. Running heads between lines ruled right across the page.
An English gothic rotunda bookhand of university type, correcting its own work in the margins.
On f. 1 a 6-line initial Q in colours on a squarish ground, enclosing Thomas preaching to lay persons including a soldier, in the style of the William of Devon painter, for whom see E. Temple, ‘Further additions to the William of Devon group’,BLR11 (1984), 344-8 and figs 2-3; Morgan, Early Gothic, II, pp. 22, 128, 153, 161-2. Red and blue flourished initials; blue initials flourished in red; red or blue paraphs. Catchwords and runovers are associated with attractive grotesques in pen-and-ink.
Standard Merton s. xvii, repaired in modern times; sewn on five bands; formerly chained from the usual position on the rear board; ff. i and 263 are modern paper blanks.
Provenance and Acquisition
Doubtless made commercially in Oxford. In the outer margin of f. 81 is a monk’s head very like the Gloucester ones illustrated by N. R. Ker, English Manuscripts in the Century after the Norman Conquest (Oxford, 1960), pl. 27 b-c. It is not known when this book came to the College prior to 1600. Inside the front board is a sheet of paper with (1) ‘D. 4, 2’, s. xvii, canc., (2) the contents, s. xvii, (3) ‘N. 6. 6. Art:’, s. xvii, canc. and replaced with ‘I. 1. 2’, in red, and (4) the College bookplate. The James no. ‘6’ is at the head of f. 1 (s. xvii in., slightly cropped), and the same number is inked on the foredge.
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