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

Merton College MS. 119

Former shelfmark: M. 2. 3



Language(s): Latin

fol. i blank.

(fols. 1–182v)
Rubric: Incipit prologus super legendas sanctorum quas compilauit frater Iacobus nacione Ianuensis de ordine fratrum predicatorum.
Incipit: Vniuersum tempus presentis uite in quatuor distinguitur
Incipit: Aduentus Domini per iiii. septimanas agitur
Explicit: in quo Christus habitet per gratiam ut tandem eo habitare dignetur per gloriam, quod ipse nobis prestare dignetur qui ...

Capitula on fol. iirv.

One or more early readers have compared this copy with another and noted omissions of some vitae.

Ed. T. Graesse (Breslau, 3rd edn., 1890 / Osnabrück, 1965); ed. G. P. Maggioni (Millennio medievale 6: Florence 1998); Kaeppeli 2154. B. Fleith, Studien zur Überlieferungsgeschichte der lateinischen Legenda aurea (Subsidia Hagiographica 72: 1991), records more than one thousand copies.

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: -scurus erit
Form: codex
Support: Parchment
Extent: 187 leaves (ii + 185)
Dimensions (leaf): 350 × 240 mm.
Dimensions (written): 260 × 180 mm.


Two singletons, 18, 2–1512, 168(7–8 canc.), a bifolium, a singleton; catchwords, often trimmed off.


Ruled with pencil in 2 cols of 53 lines.


A single proficient hand writing low-grade gothic textualis.


Red and blue flourished initials with partial borders in the colours; blue initials flourished in red; plain red or blue initials and paraphs; yellow highlighting.


Oxford, s. xvi in., repaired; blind-stamped leather over bevelled oak boards with slightly projecting squares (Pl. 25); sewn on four bands (Gibson, Early Oxford Bindings, pp. 25–6. The binder was George Chastelaine (Oldham’s ‘Fruit and Flower Binder’), admitted as librarius in 1502, d. 1513 (Pearson, Oxford Bookbinding, p. 129): stamps Oldham 180, 182, 190, half-stamp Pearson 7; as MSS 175–7. Two straps, one of brown leather, the other of skin stained red (now lost), from recesses in the front board to brass clasps at the back. fol. 185 is a modern parchment endleaf; fol. 184 was formerly the back pastedown. fol. 1, but not fol. ii preceding it, has a mark apparently of an iron chain-staple near the foot. Formerly chained from the front board, near the foot of the fore-edge.


Origin: S. XIV

Provenance and Acquisition

At the College by 1556 (UO65. 192), but probably already when it was (?re)bound.

On fol. iv is a title, s. xvii, and ‘O. 2. 3. Art:’, canc. and replaced with ‘M. 2. 3. (CXIX)’ in red; the College bookplate. ‘3’ is inked on the foredge.

Merton College MS. 119 - endleaves (fols. 183–5)


Language(s): Latin

(fols. 183–4)
Commentary on the Digestum nouum

Ker, Pastedowns, no. 22.

fol. 185rv blank

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: Parchment
Dimensions (written): 265 × 150 mm.


Ruled with pencil in 2 cols of 64 lines


Written in a small, very informal bookhand


No decoration


Origin: s. xiii

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. 55; Powicke, no. 1225.

Funding of Cataloguing

Conversion of the printed catalogue to TEI funded by the Warden and Fellows of Merton College .

Last Substantive Revision

2019-05-31: First online publication

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