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

Merton College MS. 86

Former shelfmark: I. 2. 3



Language(s): Latin

fol. ii is blank. On the verso is ‘Commentarius in Dyonisium’, s. xvii.

1. (fols. 1–86)
Ps.-DIONYSIUS, De Hierarchia Caelesti,

with the scholia of MAXIMUS CONFESSOR, transl. ROBERT GROSSETESTE, with additional annotation

Incipit: ⟨N⟩obilitatem quidem et preclarum in diuiciis beatissimi Dionisii
Explicit: impetret indulgenciam
Final rubric: Epigrammata in beatum Dionysium in quod de ecclesiastica ierarchia. [A partial attempt is made to render Greek script]
Incipit: (gloss) ||⟨non in⟩ueni in exemplari greco nomen auctoris
Explicit: (gloss) et plures particulas capitulorum

unpr.; Thomson, Grosseteste, pp. 54–5, 80.

2. (fols. 86–165)
Ps.-DIONYSIUS, De Hierarchia Ecclesiastica,

with the scholia of MAXIMUS CONFESSOR, transl. ROBERT GROSSETESTE, with additional annotation

Incipit: Conpresbitrio Tymotheo Dionisius presbiter. Hec sunt in eo quod de ecclesiastica ierarchia
Incipit: ⟨Q⟩uoniam quidem que secundum nos ierarchia puerorum sacrorum
Explicit: in te diuini ignis accendam scintillas
Incipit: (gloss) Preiacencium capitulorum doctrinam secundum duplicem facit modum
Explicit: (gloss) in fine expositionis prioris libri supplicaui
fols. 165–70
Incipit: Intenciones et continencias singulorum capitulorum angelice et ecclesiastice ierarchie et de diuinis nominibus et mistice theologie sub conpendio et dilucide comprehendit auctor in inscripcionibus
Explicit: non recte dicta Thimotheis rectificet supplicatio.

unpr.; Thomson, Grosseteste, pp. 55–6, 80.

3. (fols. 170–276v)
Ps.-DIONYSIUS, De Diuinis Nominibus,

with the scholia of MAXIMUS CONFESSOR, transl. ROBERT GROSSETESTE, with additional annotation

Rubric: Epigramma in beatum Dyonisium de diuinis nominibus
Incipit: Dyonisii Areopagite episcopi Athenarum ad Thimotheum episcopum Ephesi de diuinis nominibus. Conpresbitero Thimotheo Dyonisius presbiter.
Incipit: ⟨N⟩unc autem O beate post theologicas sub figurationes
Explicit: ad symbolicum autem theologiam duce Deo transibimus.

[Followed by verses rendered in an attempt at Greek script]

Incipit: (gloss) Hii tres uersus quos uocat eorum scriptor epigramma
Incipit: (gloss) ⟨S⟩cripturus iste pater beatus Dyonisius de diuinis nominibus qui labor excedit omnem humanam uirtutem
Explicit: (gloss) de diuinis nominibus hominibus affluenter tribuit

unpr.; Thomson, Grosseteste, pp. 57, 80.

4. (fols. 276v-85v)
Ps.-DIONYSIUS, De Mystica Theologia,

with the scholia of MAXIMUS THE CONFESSOR, transl. ROBERT GROSSETESTE, with additional annotation

Rubric: Capitulum primum Dyonisii Areopagite de mistica theologia
Incipit: ⟨T⟩rinitas supersubstantialis et super dea et super bona
Explicit: (fol. 284) ab omnibus simpliciter absoluti et ultra uniuersa
Incipit: (gloss) Particularum primi capituli de mistica theologie continentie
Incipit: (gloss) In nostris exemplaribus grecis non fuit prescriptum aliqua epigrammata in hunc librum
Incipit: (gloss) Mistica theologia est secretissima et non iam per speculum
Explicit: (gloss) a perfectis beniuole suppleri

unpr.; Thomson, Grosseteste, p. 58. Annotated throughout in two anglicana hands, one perhaps that of Henry de la Wyle (see below). fols. 286, 287–8v blank. On fol. 286v are faint early notes in pencil.

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: ad uerbum in quantum
Form: codex
Support: Parchment
Extent: 291 leaves (ii + 289)
Dimensions (leaf): 330 × 210 mm.
Dimensions (written): 250 × 195 mm.
The edges savagely retrimmed, affecting the marginal scholia, and spattered with red.


a singleton, 112, 2–38, 4–712, 810, 9–2412, 258, a bifolium; the quires numbered at the beginning, probably s. xvii; catchwords.


Ruled with pencil in 4 cols (15, 70, 70 and 25 mm. wide) of 56 lines. Blocks of text, written on every second line, alternate with the gloss in the two widest cols; additional glosses appear in the outermost cols and in the upper and lower margins, on lines ruled ad hoc. Running heads are between lines ruled right across the page.


A single expert English formal gothic rotunda bookhand, writing a larger sized script for the text.


None; unfilled spaces for coloured initials and rubrics.


s. xix, sewn on five bands, presumably replacing one of s. xvii. fols. i and 289 are blank paper binding leaves. fol. 288v, formerly a pastedown (in a binding sewn on six bands), has marks of two clasps.


Origin: S. XIV in

Provenance and Acquisition

Bequeathed to the College by Henry de la Wyle (d. 1329), for whom see MS 56. UO47. 245 ‘in libraria’, valued at 24 s.

On fol. ivis ‘N. 7. 6. Art’, s. xix (repeated on fol. iiv), canc. and replaced with ‘I. 2. 3 (LXXXVI)’ in red. ‘6’ 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. 46; Powicke, no. 135.

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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