Merton College MS. 206
Former shelfmark: N. 2. 3
HUGH OF ST CHER &c; S. XIII med.
The companion volume to MS 207.
Fols. i-ii blank.
There are often breaks or dislocations at the ends of quires, with partially blank leaves; fol. 159v completely blank. At the foot of 231v is pencilled ‘ecclesiasticum. matheum viii q.’ Beneath is a catchword, ‘Iungat’, which is the opening word of MS 207.
Pr. in his Opera, Venice 1703, I-III; Stegmüller, Bibl. 3632–76.
Unpr.; Stegmüller, Bibl. 7192, 1, 7708–9; Lambert 402; Sharpe, Handlist, p. 628.
Unpr.; Stegmüller, Bibl. 8914. Also in BAV, Reg. lat. 1637/2, BnF, lat. 10473, Brussels, Bibl. royale 1315 (s. xiv, from the Charterhouse of Cologne), fols. 62–73v, Klosterneuburg, Stiftsbibl. 1066, Prag, Univ. Bibl. 1919.
On fol. 262, in an anglicana-secretary hand of s. xv, is ‘Oracio regis Manasse 2 paralipo. 33. Domine omnipotens Deus patrum nostrorum ...’.
Art. 1 is ruled in crayon with the gloss surrounding the text, which is on the same lines but in slightly larger script; all dimensions are ad hoc: the written space usually occupies most of the page (up to 96 lines); the area occupied by the text varies markedly, is sometimes irregularly shaped, and is sometimes in 2 cols, sometimes in a single very narrow one, the gloss in up to six cols. Arts 2–3 ruled with crayon in 3 cols of 59 lines, written space 275 × 180 mm.
Expert Italian gothic rotunda bookhands, one each for text and gloss in art. 1; arts 2–3 may be by the glossing hand.
Parisian: 44 exquisite decorated or historiated initials, mostly small, in colours and gold: fol. 1 (prol.) F, the whole depth of the written space with marginal extension, with scenes in two registers: seated Dominican friar being ?tortured by a surgeon who appears to be applying a saw-knife to his mouth; seated friar writing; fols. 2v (Gen.; the opening initial gone with the orig. fol. 3; a tiny piece of decoration remains), 21v (Exod.; horned Moses divides the waters before the Israelites), 38v (Levit.; offering of two beasts), 53v (Num.; horned Moses receives the Decalogue), 69 (Deut.; horned Moses places the tables in the ark), 84v, 85 (Ios.; nimbed Joshua with scroll), 92v (Iud.; nimbed prophet admonishes a soldier with kite-shaped shield), 100v (Ruth; Ruth and Boaz travelling), 102, 102v (I Reg.; massacre), 110v (II Reg.; execution), 117v (III Reg.; King David dying), 126 (IV Reg.; Ozias falls from a tower), 133, 133v (I Paral.; group of patriarchs), 140v (II Paral.; 2, the second with seated king bearing sword), 148 (Esdr.; 2, the second with king, architect and builders’ labourers), 151v (Nehem.; king and cupbearer), 155v (III Esdr.; man with bucket on pole), 160 (Tob.; 2, second with dying man, his soul escaping in the form of a blackbird), 163 (Judith; Judith kills Holophernes), 167 (Esth.; Esther pleads with the king; Haman is hanged), 171, 171v (Job; Job on the dunghill castigated by his wife), 190v (2), 191 (Psalms; David harping, a stork above), 198v (The Lord crowns David: Ps. 26), 202 (David and God converse: Ps. 39), 205v (a madman: Ps. 52), 209 (God delivers drowning king: Ps. 68), 213 (David playing bells: Ps. 80), 217 (singing priests: Ps. 95), 221 (God in Majesty: Ps. 109), 222, 226–7, 228, 229v, 232.
Red or blue initials flourished in the other colour, some with long marginal extensions; some in the Psalter are touched with gold; plain red or blue initials; running heads and chapter numbers in capitals of both colours; red or blue paraphs flourished in the other colour.
Standard Merton s. xvii, sewn on five bands; formerly chained from the usual position. Fols. i, 262 were formerly pastedowns, probably in an earlier binding; both have the marks of iron bosses. Near the foot of the foredge of fol. i is the mark of an iron chain-staple.
Provenance and Acquisition
Written in Italy, decorated in Paris. A handful of annotations in anglicana script suggest that it was in England by s. xv.
At the College by s. xv ex., when it was in an electio: on fol. iiv ‘Li primus’, followed by a table of contents in the same hand.
‘3’ is inked on the foredge.
Inside the front board is a sheet of paper with a table of contents and ‘F. 7, 2’ (canc.), s. xvii, and ‘P. 1. 3. Art:’, canc. and replaced with ‘N. 2. 3 (CCVI)’ in red; the College bookplate.
For enquiries relating to this manuscript please contact Merton College Library.
Funding of Cataloguing
Conversion of the printed catalogue to TEI funded by the Warden and Fellows of Merton College .
Last Substantive Revision
2019-07-31: First online publication