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

Merton College MS. 208

Former shelfmark: N. 2. 5



Language(s): Latin

fol. iv is from MS 158 (q. v).

(fols. 1–4; 4v-5v blank)
An index in 3 cols
(fols. 6–8; 8v blank)
An unusually extensive set of prologues
Incipit: Rex Deus immense quo constat machina mundi

CPL 1236; Diaz 202 (1).

Incipit: Dauid filius Iesse cum esset in reg(n)o suo

Lambert 347, part II.

Incipit: Psalterium dudum Rome positus emendaram

Stegmüller, Bibl. 430.

Incipit: Psalmi qui fugam persecutionemque Dauid

Stegmüller, Bibl. 421.

Incipit: Damasus episcopus fratrique conpresbitero Ieronimo in Christo salutem. Dum multa corpora librorum

Lambert 346.

Incipit: Beatissimo pape Damaso sedis apostolice urbis Rome Ieronimus suplex. Legi literas apostolatus uestri

Lambert 347.

Incipit: Nunc autem exposuimus origenem omnium psalmorum

Stegmüller, Bibl. 407

Incipit: Psalmi qui docuit dulci modulamine sanctis

Lambert 801.

Incipit: Liber psalmorum quamquam uno concludatur uolumine

Stegmüller, Bibl. 5193.

Incipit: Prophetia est aspiratio diuina

Stegmüller, Bibl. 418.

Incipit: In primo libro paralipomenon legitur cum de prophetia Dauid

Stegmüller, Bibl. 391.

Incipit: Finem duobus modis Dominus primus est iste communis

PL 131. 133.

Incipit: Psalterium ut Ieronimus ait in modum delthe litere formati

Stegmüller, Bibl. 424.

Incipit: Quid est psalterium? Genus est musicorum

Stegmüller, Bibl. 394.

Incipit: Psalmus est cum ex ipso solo instrumento

Stegmüller, Bibl. 7211.

Incipit: Psalmus cantici erat cum instrumento musice precinente
Incipit: Canticum psalmi erat cum choro ante canente
Incipit: Inter expositores psalmorum de hoc nomine quedam noscitur peruenisse diuersitas

PL 131. 139.

Incipit: Beatus Ieronimus prophetiam psalmorum v. libris putauit esse diuidendam

Flor. Casin. I, p. 219.

Incipit: Eusebius Ieronimus Sophronio suo salutem. Scio quosdam putare psalterium in quinque libros esse diuisum

Lambert 158.

Incipit: Psalterium inquirendum est in cuius lingua dicitur

Stegmüller, Bibl. 426.

Incipit: Si adiutorium effugat demones
Incipit: Psalterium ita est quasi magna domus

Stegmüller, Bibl. 427.

Incipit: Liber iste super diuersos dissimiliter titulatur
Incipit: Psalmus dicitur proprie illa modulacio uocum
Incipit: Quid in psalmis non inuenitur quod proficiat ad utilitatem
(fols. 6–244)
PETER LOMBARD, Commentary on the Psalter (Glossa magna)
Incipit: (fol. 9) Ex punctis qui ubi quantum quis dixerit auctor | Lector habe uigili singula mente notans. Cum omnes prophetas Sancti Spiritus reuelatione constet esse locutos ... ; (fol. 10) Beatus uir ...; Beatus cui omnia succedunt ...
Explicit: (fol. 239) omnis spiritus laudet Dominum.

PL 191. 58D-1296; Stegmüller, Bibl. 6637.

Followed by two paragraphs: ‘(Ps. 151) Pusillus eram ...’, and ‘Primum est quod ipsi tamen psalmi singulari nomine uocitantur ... inde legendi faciunt decenter initium.’ CASSIODORUS, Expositio Psalmorum, praef. c. 6. Copious additional annotation in the wide margins, in informal hands, the early ones probably not English, ss. xiii-xv. At the foot of fol. 65, s. xiii, ‘Im id frest zat is les for lest’.

(fols. 239v-44)
the Psalter Canticles and Quicumque Vult, glossed
Incipit: Confitebor tibi ...; Prophetauerat Ysaias quod Deus percuteret flumen Egipti
Explicit: saluus esse non poteris.

Stegmüller, Bibl. 2531, 11801(1).

Fols. 244v-5v blank but for a brief note of s. xiii in. on 244v; fol. 245 was a pastedown in an earlier binding.

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: (fol. 2) Iudica me
Secundo Folio: (fol. 7) uoce in magnam
Form: codex
Support: Parchment
Extent: 252 leaves (iv + 248)
Dimensions (leaf): 390 × 260 mm.
Dimensions (written): 255 × 120 mm.
All edges heavily retrimmed, affecting marginalia.


A singleton, 1-24, 310, 4–58, 6–712, 8–2510, 268(8 canc.); the quires numbered at the end; sporadic catchwords and pencilled leaf-lettering.


Ruled with crayon in 2 cols for 56 lines of gloss; the blocks of text, in larger script, on every alternate line, as well as in the gloss underlined in red.


Several practised early gothic bookhands, some of English, some of French appearance.


Handsome historiated and decorated initials in Parisian style, in colours and gold. Some are protected with curtains of red silk. fol. 9 8-line C; fol. 10 15-line B(eatus) with foliage and ‘white lions’, in a small roundel King David seated and harping, all on a blue square ground; fol. 43v 8-line D (David anointed by Samuel: Ps. 26); fol. 63v 8-line D (Ps. 39); fol. 79 17-line Q (A man beheads a fallen knight: Ps. 51); fol. 79v 9-line D (Ps. 52); fol. 102 11-line S (Ps. 68); fol. 127 12-line E (Ps. 80); fol. 153 11-line C (Ps. 95); fol. 156v 9-line D (A priest prays before an altar, the hand of God blessing: Ps. 101); fol. 177 12-line D (Ps. 109) enclosing the Trinity: God seated with cruciferous nimbus, in His left hand a small roundel with the Lamb of God, in His right, raised in blessing, the Holy Spirit as dove. Red or blue initials flourished in the other colour; plain red or blue initials, red running heads, underlining of biblical lemmata in the gloss. In the lower margin of fol. 179 is a design of oak leaves.


Standard Merton s. xvii, sewn on five bands; formerly chained from the usual position. fols. i-iii, 246–8, are paper binding leaves of that period, the first and last from the same printed book as in MS 13.


Origin: S. XIII in. ; France, Paris

Provenance and Acquisition

Presumably made in Paris.

At the head of fol. 245v is an erased inscription of two lines, perhaps s. xv, of which ‘Liber ... ipsum quem habuimus ex dono et legato emendebat capitulum | in principio Solomonem’ can be read under ultra-violet light.

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

Inside the front board is ‘Gorham super Iohannem’, s. xvii, canc., and a sheet of paper with titles of s. xvii, ‘F, 5, 10’ canc., and ‘P. 1. 5. Art:’, canc. and replaced with ‘N. 2. 5’ in red, ‘CCVIII’ in pencil; the College bookplate. ‘5’ 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.


    Coxe, p. 81; Powicke, no. 936; Alexander & Temple, no. 161, pl. VIII.

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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