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

Merton College MS. 176

Former shelfmark: O. 3. 4



Language(s): Latin

1. (fols. 2–178v; 179 blank)

The capitula divide the homiliary into two books, of 28 and 24 homilies respectively, correctly ascribed to Bede (fols. 2–155); then four ascribed to Rabanus (fols. 155–61v), two to Chrysostom (ff. 161v-5v), and five to Origen (166–78v). Most of the non-Bedan items are also found in the Homiliary of Paul the Deacon.

1.1. (fol. 1rv)
Capitula (i.e. Gospel lessons)
Incipit: Aduentum dominice predicationis Iohannes preuenit
Explicit: ac propulsabimus insidias, per .... Laus tibi sit Christe per quem liber explicit iste.
BEDE, Hom. in Evang.,

i. 1–2, 5–6, 3–4, 7–12, 14, 19, 15, 18, 17, 24, 22, 25, ii. 6, 1, i. 23, ii. 2, 4, i. 13 (to p. 91 line 99)

Incipit: Nam iuxta quod reuerentissimus de eo papa Gregorius luculenti ueracissimoque memorat relatu
Explicit: si petentium fides exigat miraculis choruscat prestante ...

An interpolation found in other copies, the effect of which is to change the homily’s subject from Benedict Biscop to Benedict of Nursia.

BEDE, Hom. in Evang.,

ii. 3, 5, (Pars II) 7, 9, 8, 10, 13, 11–12, 14–20, i. 20, ii. 22, 21, 23–5, i. 21, 16

Incipit: Leprosi non absurde
Explicit: saluum faciat credentem, detque gloriam Patri cui est in celis cui ...
BEDE, Super Lucam,

v. 17 (Grégoire, p. 466)

Incipit: Notandum quod semper loca rebus congruunt
BEDE, Super Marcum,

iii. 9 (Grégoire, p. 468)

CCSL 122 (1955)

(fols. 47v-54)
Rubric: Sermo Leonis pape in die purificationis beate et perpetue uirginis.
Incipit: Si subtiliter a fidelibus que sit huius diei festiuitas perpendatur
Explicit: compulit ire, qui cum Deo Patre et eodem Spiritu Sancto equali potestate, equali uirtute, equali maiestate, equali eternitate uiuit et regnat ...
AMBROSIUS AUTPERTUS, Sermo in purificatione sanctae Mariae
(fol. 86rv)

Another set of capitula to the rest of the Homiliary.

Rubric: Incipiunt omelie uiri uenerabilis Rabani numero quatuor.
Incipit: Qui putant precepta ueteris testamenti
Explicit: quod agere ceperas offeres munus tuum.
cf. RABANUS, In Matt.,

2. 5. 3–4.

PL 107. 805C-8C.

Incipit: Nemo potest duobus dominis seruire ... Nemo potest duobus dominis seruire quia non ualet simul transitoria et eterna diligere
Explicit: ex abundantia superadditur per ....
cf.RABANUS, In Matt.,

2. 6. 4

PL 107. 836A-9C.

Incipit: Simile est regnum celorum homini regi qui uoluit rationem ponere. Familiare est Syris
Explicit: dimissum fuisse gaudebamus.
RABANUS, In Matt.,

5. 18. 4

PL 107. 1013A-1016C.

Incipit: Quia discipuli audierant [sic pro uidebant] pro Petro
Explicit: assidua perfruuntur.
RABANUS, In Matt.,

5. 18. 1

PL 107. 1006A-9B.

Rubric: Incipiunt omeliae sancti episcopi Iohannis cognomento Crisostomi.
Incipit: Conuenerunt ut multitudine uincerent quem ratione superare non poterant ... in eterna requie nos saluet quia ipsi est
Explicit: ut quemadmodum perfectos nos creauit perfectos et in eterna requie nos saulet quia ipse est ....
Ps.-JOHN CHRYSOSTOM, Opus Imperf. in Matt.,


Grégoire, p. 470.

Incipit: Christum in humanis actibus diuina gessisse misteria


Grégoire, p. 469.

Rubric: Omelia Origenis doctoris industrii [sic].
Incipit: Congregemus in unum que in ortu Iesu dicta scriptaque sunt de eo
ORIGEN, In Luc.,

hom. 16

Grégoire, p. 438.

Incipit: Docente in monte Domino discipuli uenerunt ad eum
ORIGEN, In Matt.,

hom. 6

Grégoire, p. 441.

Incipit: Ingrediente Domino in nauiculam secuntur eum discipuli eius
ORIGEN, In Matt.,

hom. 7

Grégoire, p. 442.

Incipit: Euuangelica lectio f. k. que per aures corporis interiorem
LEO, Tract.,


Grégoire, p. 445.

Incipit: Quod paulo superius k. Dominus noster I. C. spatiosam et latam uiam
Explicit: qui sitis et cuius sitis prestante et adiuuante Ipso D. n. I. C. cui ... Alpha uocatur et oo. Liber explicit. Incipit in quo’.
ORIGEN, In Matt.

Hom. 5 in Matt. 7: 15–21

2. (fols. 180–353)
BEDE, Commentary on Luke (fol. 179v) Capitula
Incipit: Reuerentissimo in Christo fratri et consacerdoti Bede presbitero Acca episcopus
Incipit: Sepe quidem tue sancte fraternitati
Incipit: Domino beatissimo et nimirum desideratissimo Acce episcopo Beda
Incipit: Mira uere est et uera mira doctoris egregii sentencia
Incipit: Beatus euangelista Lucas de omnibus que cepit Iesus facere et docere
Incipit: Quoniam quidem ...; Quo manifeste proemio significat eam sibi maxime causam euangelii fuisse scribendi
Explicit: sed in laude Dei et benedictione conclusit. FINIT (Greek letters)

CPL 1356; CCSL 120 (1960), pp. 5–425.

The scriptural text is signalled by marginal diple.

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: -mate exisse
Form: codex
Support: Parchment
Extent: 353 leaves
Dimensions (leaf): 315 × 220 mm.
Dimensions (written): 220 × 140 mm.
The edges heavily retrimmed affecting early marginalia.


A bifolium, the first leaf pasted down, 1–188, 196, 20–28, 236(4–6 canc.), 248(+ 1 before 1), 25–448, 458(6 canc., 8 pasted down); catchwords.


Ruled with crayon in 2 cols of 33 lines.


A single English early gothic bookhand.


Appearing to be later than the work of the scribe, red and blue flourished initials, those on fols. 180, 183, 218v, 246, 273v, 302 12- (fol. 180) and 9-line, with display-script; red or blue initials flourished in the other colour; plain red or blue initials. Running heads to art. 2 in the colours. Small sketches in ink of text appear in the margins of art. 1 pt. 2 as nota marks. In the lower margin of fol. 13v is a competent pencil-sketch, s. xiii, of the Annunciation.


Oxford, s. xvi in., blind-stamped calf over slightly bevelled wooden boards with projecting squares, rebacked and repaired s. xx. The binder was George Chastelaine (d. 1513), for whom see MS 119. Here he used Oldham stamps 179, 180, 182, 191 and the half-stamp Pearson 7. Sewn on five bands; straps from recesses in the front board to clasps in the back, replaced with cloth ties s. xvii. Marks of two post-medieval chain-staples, near the foot of the foredge of the front board, and near the top of the foredge of the rear. On the front cover is ‘Homiliae Bedae’, s. xvii. On the back, near the head, is ‘Omelie uenerabilis Bede’, s. xv. Other partly obliterated words include ‘B’ twice, and ‘Cella[ ... ] S .5.us’


Origin: S. XIII in. ; script of English appearance.

Provenance and Acquisition

On fol. 1v is an erased distich, perhaps an anathema incorporating the name of the original owner, in the hand of the text, with red initials.

On fol. 353v are three notes: s. xiii, ‘Liber [3 erased lines ending amen ... sis | et amplius]’; two lines, thoroughly erased; ‘C. [M. T. Westone] exposita in cista de Langtone xv. die mensis Decembris anno Domini MCCCCXXXIII et habet 3ª supplementa 2º (fº) primi mate 2º fº 2i sit eo 2º fº 3i ciacis et iacet pro [xx s.].’ Presumably the Thomas Weston (BRUO 2025) who was principal of Beam Hall 1436–8, keeper of the Guildford chest 1439–40, fellow of Eton c. 1441–50, still alive 23 Apr. 1453.

At the head of fol. 1 is ‘Liber domus scolarium de Merton’ in Oxon’ ex dono Magistri Iohannis Burbache doctoris in theologia et quondam socii eiusdem ut incathenetur in libraria communi ad perpetuum usum studencium ibidem.’ For Burbage, fellow 1411–35, d. by Dec. 1451, see MS 3.

Just below is the James no. ‘227’, s. xvii in. On the front pastedown are ‘E. 5, 8’ (canc.) and tables of contents, s. xvii, and ‘O. 7. 4. Art:’, canc. and replaced with ‘O. 3. 4 No. CLXXVI’, in red; the College bookplate.

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. 70; Powicke, no. 934.

Funding of Cataloguing

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

Last Substantive Revision

2019-07-15: First online publication

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