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

Merton College MS. 218

Former shelfmark: N. 3. 1



Language(s): Latin

fol. 1 blank; on 1v is a table of contents in a hand contemporary with the main text, and ‘Liber Galieni’, s. xiv.

1. (fols. 2–7v)
(Ps.?)-GALEN, De Elementis secundum Hippocratem
Rubric: Incipit liber Galieni de secundum Ypocratem elementis.
Incipit: Quoniam elementum minima est particula cuius est elementum minimum
Explicit: qui utique posterius existit uera uiolenter proprio attracto.
Final rubric: Explicit liber Galieni de secundum Ypocratem elementis.

Pr. in Galen, Opera, Venice 1490 (GW 10481), II, fols. 217–35v; TKI 1274 (cf. 1269); HL 135–8.

2. (fols. 7v-25)
GALEN, De Complexionibus (transl. GERARD OF CREMONA)
Rubric: Incipit liber primus Galieni de complexionibus.
Incipit: Summe que sunt in sermone primi libri Galieni de complexione
Explicit: ante diximus in medicinis ipsis.
Final rubric: Explicit liber de complexionibus

Pr. in his Opera, II, fols. 233v-7; TKI 1538.

3. (fols. 25–7)
GALEN, De Malitia Complexionis Diversae
Rubric: Incipit liber de malicia complexionis diuerse.
Incipit: Malicia complexionis diuerse quandoque in toto animalis corpore
Explicit: ipsum librum de ingenio sanitatis.

Pr. in his Opera, II, fols. 237–8v; TKI 846.

4. (fols. 27v-77)
GALEN, De Simplicibus Medicinis (transl. CONSTANTINE THE AFRICAN)
Incipit: Quoniam mihi necesse est hic ostendere summam utilitatis cognitionis
Explicit: in unaquaque medicinarum per se si Deus uoluerit.
Final rubric: Finitus est tractatus v. libri Galieni in uirtutibus simplicium medicinarum.

Pr. in his Opera, II, fols. 238v-300v; TKI 1285.

5. (fols. 77v-99)
GALEN, De Morbo et Accidente
Rubric: Incipit prima particula de accidente et morbo.
Incipit: In inicio huius libri diffiniri morbum oportet
Explicit: semper alia sequuntur et que non.
Final rubric: Explicit liber de morbo et accidente.

Pr. in his Opera, II, fols. 355–69; TKI 684.

6. (fols. 99–129)
Rubric: Incipit megategni prologus.
Incipit: Quamuis karissime fili Iohannes
Incipit: Quoniam intencio gloriossimi G. in hoc libro fuit ad redarguandum quandam sectam
Explicit: maxime uisceribus medicamine aromatico.

Pr., with the works of Isaac Iudaeus, Lyon 1515, II, fols. 189v-209v; TKI 1163, 1282.

7. (fols. 129–54)
GALEN, De Crisibus (transl. WILLIAM OF MOERBEKE)
Rubric: Incipit liber de crisi.
Incipit: Ego non intendo in hoc meo libro determinare
Explicit: et non est necessarius tractatus quartus.
Final rubric: Explicit liber tercius de crisi.

Pr. in his Opera, I, fols. 78–95v; TKI 490.

8. (fols. 154–71v)
GALEN, De Criticis Diebus (transl. GERARD OF CREMONA)
Rubric: Incipit liber G. de creticis diebus.
Incipit: Vt egritudinum que non paulatim minuuntur
Explicit: ad finem libri auxilio Dei.
Final rubric: Ex eius adiutorio completus est tractatus tercius G. de creticis diebus. Explicit tractatus libri tercii G. de creticis diebus.

Pr. in his Opera, I, fols. 96–108v; TKI 1617.

9. (fols. 171v-205v)
GALEN, De Interioribus (transl. BURGUNDIO OF PISA)
Incipit: Medicorum non solum moderni uerum etiam et antiqui
Explicit: et passionem ostendunt.
Final rubric: Explicit liber Galieni de interioribus membris.

Pr. in his Opera, II, fols. 330–54v; ed. R. J. Durling, Galen Latinus 2 (Stuttgart, 1992); TKI 863.

10. (fols. 206–9v)
GALEN, De Virtutibus Cibariorum (transl. ACCURSIUS OF PISTOIA)
Incipit: ⟨D⟩icit G. quod quia corpora hominum sunt in continua dissolucione
Explicit: eum mundum stringunt uentrem.
Final rubric: Explicit liber G. de uirtutibus naturalibus cibariorum translatus per magistrum Acursium Pystoyensem apud Bononias anno Domini mcc.

Pr. in his Opera, II, fols. 162v-5v; TKI 266.

Annotated throughout in anglicana hands of s. xiv and xv.

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: ei inest
Form: codex
Support: Parchment
Extent: 215 leaves (iii + 212)
Dimensions (leaf): 340 × 230 mm.
Dimensions (written): 245–60 × 150 mm.
The edges retrimmed, affecting marginalia, and spattered with red.


A singleton, 1–38, 4–1812 / 194; catchwords and coloured leaf-numbers. Quire 19 is a slightly later addition to the main book.


Ruled with pencil in 2 cols of 63 lines.


Arts 1–9 in a proficient French gothic rotunda bookhand. The hand of art. 10, perhaps a little later, is more formal.


Handsome large initials with foliage in colours and gold fols. 1, 7v, 27v, 77v; red and blue flourished initials; a few small blue initials flourished in red; red or blue paraphs. Art. 10 has unfilled spaces for coloured initials and rubrics.


Standard Merton s. xvii, repaired and rebacked; sewn on seven bands; formerly chained from the usual position. Fols. i-ii and 211–12 are modern paper blanks, iii and 210 are binding leaves, s. xvii.


Origin: c. 1300 ; script of French appearance.

Provenance and Acquisition


Near the head of fol. 1v is a thoroughly erased inscription. Below is a lengthy table of contents in the usual secretary hand, c. 1500, ending ‘Ex dono domini Ricardi Fitz James nuper Cicestrensis episcopi et custodis istius Collegii cuius anime propicietur Deus amen.’ For Fitzjames, warden 1483–1507, see MS 9.

At the head of fol. 2 is the James no. ‘69’, and at the foot ‘Lib: Bib: Merton: Oxon:’, both s. xvii. Inside the front board is a sheet of paper with a table of contents, s. xvii, and ‘P. 2. 1. Art:’, canc. and replaced with ‘N. 3. 1’ and ‘No. CCXVIII’ 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. 84; Powicke, no. 1191; Alexander & Temple, no. 653.

Funding of Cataloguing

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

Last Substantive Revision

2019-08-01: First online publication

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