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

Merton College MS. 126

Former shelfmark: M. 2. 10

VINCENT OF BEAUVAIS; S. XIV in. (before 1330)

Contents

Language(s): Latin

MSS 123–6 is a set, containing the third part of the huge encyclopedia (Speculum Maius) by Vincent of Beauvais (d. ?1264). Written professionally in Paris by two named scribes (one an Englishman) and splendidly decorated, it was bequeathed to the College by Roger de Martival (d. 1330), bishop of Salisbury and formerly University chancellor.

At the head of fol. 1v, in the usual hand, ‘Quarta pars speculi historialis continent historiam temporalem’.

(fol. 3rv)
Capitula, which also precede each book
(fols. 4–289v; 290 blank)
VINCENT OF BEAUVAIS, Speculum Historiale, XXV-XXXII
Incipit: Karolus igitur magnus cum iam super Francos regnasset
Explicit: quod uidere non ualeant.
Final rubric: Explicit quartum uolumen speculi hystorialis.

Pr. Douai 1624 / Graz 1964–5; Kaeppeli 3987.

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: (fol. 5) crebris
Form: codex
Support: Parchment
Extent: 293 leaves (ii + 291)
Dimensions (leaf): 370 × 250 mm.
Dimensions (written): 260 × 170 mm.

Collation

14(1 canc.), 212(1 canc.), 3–2412, 2512(12 canc.); catchwords; red leaf-numbers.

Layout

Ruled with fine pencil in 2 cols of 50 lines. Running heads between lines ruled right across the page.

Hand(s)

The expert French gothic rotunda bookhand of Robert of Longjumeau, the same scribe as MSS 123–4; ‘cor’ at the end of quires.

Decoration

Splendid 9- or 10-line historiated initials in colours and gold with partial vinet borders open each book. The major initials are as follows: fol. 3 3-line U with coiling foliage and 2-sided border, on the lower limb hound chases hare, another hound peeps from the foliage; fol. 4 R enclosing seated emperor with erect sword, in conversation with a king and his retainers, full border, across the lower limb two hounds pursue a stag, a hare looks on (a late medieval hand has sought to copy the stag in ink near the head of fol. 3v); fol. 34v 2-line U with coiling foliage, 3-sided border with hound and hare as usual; fols. 35v, 76v H with coiling foliage and 3-sided border, across the lower limb a ?beagle (with long floppy ears) and hare; fol. 75v 3-line U with coiling foliage and 2-sided border, hound and hare as usual; fols. 106v, 141 2-line U with coiling foliage and 3-sided border, seated beagle and hare; fol. 107v D with 3-sided border, hound and hare as usual; fol. 142 A with coiling foliage, 3-sided border and beagle and hare as usual; fol. 173v 2-line T with 3-sided border, hound and hare as usual; fol. 174v A with coiling foliage, beagle and hare as usual; fol. 214 4-line T with 2-sided border, crouching hound and hare; fol. 215 O with coiling foliage and 3-sided border with hound and hare as usual; fol. 252v 4-line T with 2-sided border, beagle and hare; fol. 254v D with 2-sided border, beagle and hare.

Binding

s. xvii, brown polished calf, rebacked s. xix, sewn on five bands. Fols. i-ii, 291 are paper blanks, fols. i and 291 of s. xix, fol. ii of s. xvii. Between fols. i and ii are the stubs of a parchment bifolium, once the front pastedown.

History

Origin: S. XIV in. (before 1330) ; France, Paris

Provenance and Acquisition

Made in Paris, vol. 4 of the set with MSS 123–5.

On fol. 1 ‘Liber domus scolarium de Merton’ ex legato Magistri Rogeri de Martiuall’ quondam episcopi Sarum’, in the same hand as the inscriptions in MSS 56, 123–5. For Martival see MS 123. UO47. 12.

On fol. 289v, s. xvi, ‘Hic liber partinet ad collegium de Marto’.

Scribbles and pen trials of s. xvi include: fol. 121v ‘Robert Lukyn’; at the head of fol. 141v, ‘Robert Lukyn ys a good son’; below, in ornamental script, ‘ROBERT LUKYN’; fol. 164v ‘Herry the kyng’; fol. 217v ‘Wyllyam Slowne’, ‘Dennes Twattocke’, and ‘Mistur Harry the Kingis fole’.

On fol. 290v ‘Iste liber pertinet ad me Edmundum Palmerum’, repeating the name in Greek script, the name also in MS 275. Palmer (BRUO 1501–1540, p. 428) was fellow 1540–43, when he died.

On fol. 1 is ‘O. 2. 10. Art:’, s. xvii, canc. and replaced with ‘M. 2. 10 (CXXVI)’ in red. ‘10’ 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.

Availability

For enquiries relating to this manuscript please contact Merton College Library.

Bibliography

    Coxe, p. 56; Powicke, no. 143; Alexander & Temple, no. 716; M.-C. Duchenne et al., ‘Une liste des manuscrits du Speculum historiale de Vincent de Beauvais’, Scriptorium 41 (1987), 286–94, at p. 293.

Funding of Cataloguing

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

Last Substantive Revision

2019-06-04: First online publication