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

Merton College MS. 160

Former shelfmark: L. 2. 9



Language(s): Latin

(fols. 1–127v)
Rubric: Incipiunt capitula libri Sciuias simplicis hominis ...
Incipit: (fol. 2) Et ecce quadragesimo tercio temporalis cursus mei anno
Explicit: et ea in conscientia animi sui conscribat.
Final rubric: Finit tercia pars libri Hildegardis Sciuias id est simplicis uidentis; dicitur simplicis uidentis propter sexum infirmiorem quod nunc dicitur propheta olim dicebatur uidens. Sciuias uisio ueracium. Explicit liber sciuias simplicis hominis.

Pars I ends on fol. 22. On the formerly blank fol. 22b, in a gothic textura of s. xv, is the proper of the mass for St Anne, beg. ‘Anna parens sullimis domine que est mater regis misericordie ...; ⟨D⟩eus qui beatam Annam diu sterilem prole uoluisti gloriosa et humano generi salutifera fecundari ...; [S]anctifica redemptor mundi presentes munera sacrificii beate precibus Anne ...; ⟨V⟩otiua celestis mense percipientes Domine sacramenta beate matris Anne gloriosa intercessione ...’. fol. 22v blank.

(fols. 23–5)

Capitula for Pars II, which ends on fol. 66v.

(fols. 67–70v)

Capitula for Pars III.

CCSL cont. med. 43–43A, this copy (O), described in 43, pp. xlviii-xlix; one of ten copies, of which two are now lost. No stemma codicum is offered or discussion of the transmission. No further information is found in M. Schrader and A. Führkötter, Die Echtheit des Schrifttums der heiligen Hildegard von Bingen (Köln-Graz, 1956).

Fols. 128–30v blank but for unfinished circular diagrams of the winds, s. xiii, on fols. 128v and 129v, and pen-trials on 129v and 130. At the foot of fol. 1v, cropped, is ‘Qui hunc librum transcribere uoluerit rubricas in suis locis id est in capitulorum exordio diligenter conscribat nam in hoc libro breuiandi causa omissa fuerunt. Notandum etiam quasdam [ ... ]’

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: Et ecce
Form: codex
Support: Parchment
Extent: 132 leaves (i + 131)
Dimensions (leaf): 330 × 230 mm.
Dimensions (written): 275 × 190 mm.
The edges savagely retrimmed with loss of marginalia, and spattered with red. A tear in the parchment on fol. 54 closed with green silk stitching.


1–28, 36, 4–88, 94, 10–168, 176(6 canc.), 184(1 canc.); the quires numbered at the end.


Ruled with brown ink in 2 cols of 37–44 lines.


German early gothic bookhands.


Red initials, titles (mostly in the margins or between the cols), touching and occasional underlining.


Standard Merton s. xvii; sewn on four bands; formerly chained from the usual position. fols. i and 131 are paper binding leaves. Near the foot of the last few parchment leaves is the mark of the large iron chain-staple. The last leaf was pasted down in an earlier binding.


Origin: S. XIII in. ; Germany, Rhineland

Provenance and Acquisition

Made in Germany, probably in the Rhineland.

On fol. 130 is twice pencilled ‘XVΘ’; reagent may have removed more.

At the College probably by c. 1500, certainly by 1556: UO65. 387.

On a sheet of paper inside the front cover are ‘F. 6, 1’ (canc.) and titles, s. xvii, and ‘O. 5. 11. Art:’, s. xvii, canc. and replaced with ‘L. 2. 9 (CLX)’ in red; the College bookplate. The title of s. xvii is also written at the head, on the turn-in. At the head of fol. 1 is ‘Liber Coll. Merton in Acc: Oxon’’, s. xvii or xviii. ‘11’ 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.

Digital Images

Digital Bodleian (full digital facsimile)


    Coxe, pp. 65–6; Powicke, no. 1212.

Funding of Cataloguing

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

Last Substantive Revision

2019-07-02: First online publication

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