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

Merton College MS. 207

Former shelfmark: N. 2. 4



Language(s): Latin

The companion volume to MS 206.

Fols. i-ii blank.

(fols. 1–393v; 394rv blank)
HUGH OF ST CHER, Commentary on Proverbs-Apocalypse
Incipit: Hominis status triplex, inchoationis, profectus et perfectionis
Explicit: (ends impf. in Apoc. 20: 11) cereum quia empyreum stabit sicut dicit glossa

Text is missing with lost quires from Joh. 16: 27 – I Cor. 5: 10 ‘aut auaris’.

Fols. 44rv, 228v-30 (between the O and NT) blank, except for a large unskilful pencil sketch of the Crucifixion on 229v.

Pr. in his Opera, Venice 1703, III-VII; Stegmüller, Bibl. 3678–3769.

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: (text) ingruerit
Secundo Folio: (glo.) id est sine ordine
Form: codex
Support: Parchment
Extent: 396 leaves (ii + 394)
Dimensions (leaf): 380 × 250 mm.
The companion volume to MS 206. Foliated in roman numerals, s. xv, mostly cropped.


A bifolium, 1–410, 54, 6–2210, 23–48, 25–4010, 416(lacks 4–5); catchwords; the quires numbered at the beginning, s. xvii. Quires were already missing after 31 before this numbering.


Layout as MS 206 art. 1: 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.


Expert Italian gothic rotunda bookhands, one each for text and gloss.


Similar to MS 206: Parisian: exquisite decorated or historiated initials, mostly small, in colours and gold: fols. 1 (prol. to Paral.; 3), 1v (Paral.; seated Solomon with palm branch, dictating to a kneeling cleric with open book; a standing woman gestures), 11v, 12 (Eccles.; figure kneels before seated king and standing queen), 15 (Cant.; Virgin and Child), 19 (Sap.; king doing justice), 25v (Ecclus.; 2, the second with standing nimbed female holding chalice ), 45 (Is., 2, the second with a kneeling man being sawn asunder), 79v (Ier.; 2, the second with kneeling prophet being stoned), 105v (2; the second with nimbed weeping man before city), 111 (nimbed weeping man before city), 115, 118, 121, 122v (Baruch; 2, the second with prophet writing), 125v, 127v (Ezech.; 2, the second with the vision of God in Majesty and the four beasts), 165v, 166 (Dan.; Daniel in the Lions’ Den), 177 (Hos.; 3, the third with the prophet and his wife kissing), 182v (2), 183 (Ioel; nimbed prophet with book and scroll admonishes Israelite), 184v, 185 (Amos; 3, in the 3rd a standing nimbed prophet with book and open scroll; God looks down), 189 (2), 189v (Abd.; an angel with scroll awakens sleeping prophet), 190 (Ionas; 2, the second with Jonah in the whale’s mouth), 191 (Mich.; 2, the second with prophet talking to God), 194 (Naum; 2, prophet and ruined city), 195v, 196 (Hab.; prophet holds jar; the hand of God above), 197 (Soph.; 2, the second with standing prophet with book and open scroll), 198v, 199 (Hagg.; standing prophet with book, blessing), 199v (Zach.; 2, the second with standing woman), 205v (Mal.; 3), 207 (2), 207v (I Macc.; 2, the second with execution), 221 (II Macc., a small figure hands a ?stone to a ?prophet), 231 (3), 231v (Matt.; winged evangelist writing), 258v, 259 (Marc.; seated evangelist holding open book; beneath is his lion), 266v, 267, 267v (Luc.; nimbed figure at altar communicating with angel), 289v, 290 (Ioh.; standing evangelist as cleric, with book; beneath nimbed eagle), 310 (II Cor.; 2, in the second standing St Paul with erect sword), 317v (Gal.; 2, in the second standing Paul with erect sword), 322 (Eph.; 2, in the second St Paul argues with rabbis), 325v (Phil.; 2, in the second Paul with erect sword and Timothy with book), 328v (Col.; 2, in the second Paul with erect sword argues with a rabbi), 330 (I Thess.; 2, in the second Paul with erect sword), 332 (II Thess.; 2, seated Paul with erect sword), 333 (I Tim.; 2, in the second St Paul with erect sword debates with rabbis), 335v (II Tim.; 2, in the second St Paul with erect sword), 337 (Tit.; 2, the second ditto), 338 (Philem.; 2, in the second seated Paul with erect sword), 338v (Hebr.; 2, in the second Paul argues with Hebrews), 346 (Acts; 3, the third with the Ascension), 360v (Iac.; 3, the third with standing nimbed apostle), 364v (I Pet.; 2, in the second St Peter, as tonsured cleric, with key), 368v (II Pet.; 2, in the second Christ and Peter converse), 371 (I Ioh.; 2, in the second seated evangelist reading), 375v (II and III Ioh.; 4, the second and fourth with standing evangelist), 376 (Iud.; 2, in the second standing evangelist with book), 377v, 378 (Apoc.; seated evangelist writing beneath architecture.

Blue initials with elaborate flourishing and extensions in both colours and gold; red or blue initials flourished in the other colour; red or blue paraphs flourished in the other colour; running heads and chapter-numbers in capitals of both colours.


Standard Merton s. xvii; sewn on five bands; formerly chained from the usual position. Fols. i and 394 have the marks of nine iron bosses. f. i was a pastedown in an earlier binding.


Origin: S. XIII 3/4 ; Italy (text) ; France, Paris (decoration)

Provenance and Acquisition

As for MS 206: written in Italy, decorated in Paris. A handful of annotations in anglicana script suggest that it was in England by s. xv., and at the College by s. xv ex., when it was in circulation among the fellows: on fol. iiv, c. 1500, ‘Li 3us / Exposicio a primo prouerbiorum usque ad finem apocalipsis.’ ‘4’ is inked on the foredge. Inside the front board is a sheet of paper with a table of contents and ‘F. 7, 13’ (canc.), s. xvii, and ‘P. 1. 4. Art:’, canc. and replaced with ‘N. 2. 4 CCVII’ 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, pp. 80–1; Powicke, no. 1197; Alexander & Temple, no. 687.

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

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