Merton College MS. 181
Former shelfmark: A. 1. 9
COMMENTARIES ON THE WISDOM BOOKS ; c. 1125
A collection of ancient and contemporary commentaries on the Old Testament Wisdom books, was made c. 1125 by monks of Malmesbury abbey, Wiltshire, for their famous precentor and historian William. Presumably it came to Oxford via a monk studying there, and was bought on the open market by Fellow John Gygur (d. 1504), who gave it to the College.
Fols. i-iiv blank.
CPL 1351; CCSL 119B (1983), pp. 21-163; Stegmüller, Bibl. 1609.
CPL 583; CCSL 72 (1959), pp. 250-361; Lambert 205.
PL 100. 667-720; Stegmüller, Bibl. 1093.
CPG 1432; ed. W. A. Baehrens, GCS 33 (1925), pp. 26-60; Stegmüller, Bibl. 6199; Lambert 206.
PL 172. 495-518; Stegmüller, Bibl. 3574.
CPL 1353; CCSL 119B (1983), pp. 165-375; Stegmüller, Bibl. 1610.
PL 75. 41-59; BHL3640.
Notes and corrections by William of Malmesbury on fols. 1, 2va line 20, 14, 28, 47va, 79va (?). Other notes may be by him.
Blind-ruled in 2 cols of 40 lines (fols. 1-97v), 38 from f. 91, 34 on f. 111v, although originally ruled for 38 (the new ruling is in plummet), 35 from f. 112. On fols. 221-9 the original ruling has been redone in crayon.
English protogothic bookhands of varying quality, belonging to Malmesbury monks contemporary with William: Hand I fols. 1-6. Hand II fols. 6v-54va line 16 (end of work). Scribe B fols. 54v line 22-87vb line 3 (end of work). Hand IV fols. 87vb line 11-90va line 21, 147vb-149vb line 21, 155a line 11-155vb. Scribe D fols. 90va line 22-94b line 23, 100vb-111va, 120va line 19-120vb lines 1-6. Hand VI fols. 94b line 24 - 100va. Hand VII fols. 111vb-17b line 22. Hand VIII fols. 117v line 22-l20va line 13 (end of work), 137a lines 1-27. Hand IX f. 117vb. Scribe C fols. 120vb line 7-136va (end of work), 196va line 15-220va (end of work). Hand XI fols. 137 line 28-147va, 149vb line 21-155a line 10. Hand XII fols. 131va lines 2-14, 165a-196va line 14. Hand XIII fols. 221a-229b line 11 (all of art. 7). This hand is of s. xii2. There are three rubricators, all of whom use a mixture of upper- and lower-case letters: R. I to f. 87; R. II (this is Hand XII) fols. 87v-220v; R. III fols. 221-9.
Modest arabesque initials in 1-4 of red, blue, purple, green and yellow. On fols. 1-54 alternating plain red and purple; fols. 55-87, small minium or red-touched initials; fols. 88-220v, alternating plain red and green.
Standard Merton s. xvii, sewn on four bands; formerly chained from the usual position. Fols. i and 231 were once pastedowns.
Provenance and Acquisition
Made at Malmesbury Abbey for William of Malmesbury (d. c. 1143). To f. iivis pasted a sheet cut from a former flyleaf, with a table of contents, s. xiv, and ‘.xvi.’, the abbey pressmark.
On the dorse, which is partly raised, is the monogram of the Oxford stationer John Godsond (1438-56) and his valuation ‘xxx s.’
Above is an erased cautio of John Gygur in the Selton chest. Given to the College by Gygur, fellow 1438-54, d. 1504, for whom see MS 98. The donation was made in July 1486 (Registrum, p. 79).
The James no. ‘226’ is at the head of f. 1. Inside the front board is a sheet of paper with ‘E. 5, 5’ (canc.) and a table of contents, s. xvii, and ‘O. 7. 9. Art:’, canc. and replaced with ‘A. 1. 9 (CLXXXI)’ in red; the College bookplate. ‘9’ is inked on the foredge.
Merton College MS. 181 - flyeaf (f. 231)
Ruled in 2 cols of 43 lines.
In the formal hand of William of Malmesbury.
Unfilled spaces for coloured initials and rubrics.
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