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

Merton College MS. 229

Former shelfmark: N. 3. 10



Language(s): Latin

Fols. ivv-v blank.

1. (fols. 1–92v)
AVENZOAR, Taysir Sapientis
Rubric: Incipit liber Theisir Albumeron Auençoar in practica medicine.
Incipit: Conuenerunt omnes medici que inhabendo corpus molle conseruatur sanitas
Explicit: Et confert cum auxilio Dei. Sufficiat ad presens cum laude Dei amen.

Pr. Venice 1490; eTK 0406D, 0751H.

2. (fols. 93–282; 282v blank)
Rubric: ⟨T⟩ractatus primus breuiarii Iohannis filii Serapionis medici.
Incipit: ⟨I⟩nquit Iohanes incipiamus cum auxilio Dei
Incipit: Egritudines iste a duabus eueniunt causis
Explicit: Alcuathu. est. i. as.
Final rubric: Completum est postremum aggregati ex libro medicine editione Iohannis filii Serapionis. Et hoc transtulit magister Gerardus Cremonensis in Toleto de Arabico in Latinum.

Pr. Venice 1479, fols. 1–131v; eTK 0493H, 0723H, 1077G.

3. (fols. 283–324v; 325–6v blank)
Practica fratris
Rubric: Incipit practica fratris.
Incipit: ⟨C⟩ompilationem significat extensionem
Explicit: cum melle et aqua tepida.
Final rubric: Explicit practica fratris.
eTK 0238H

Annotated throughout (but mainly arts 1–2) in Italian cursive hands, one of which provides running heads. In the margin of f. 119v ‘ut dicit Symon Ianuensis’.

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: probatum quod
Form: codex
Support: Parchment
Extent: 333 leaves of parchment prepared in the Italian manner (v + 328)
Dimensions (leaf): 380 × 250 mm.
Dimensions (written): 235 × 135 mm.
The edges retrimmed, affecting marginalia and running heads, and spattered with red. The lower margins of fols. 223 and 250 excised.


A bifolium at each end, 1–810, 912, 10–3110, 32–36; catchwords; quire-signatures of the usual late medieval form in red.


Ruled with pencil in 2 cols of 44 lines.


A single large, proficient Bolognese gothic rotunda bookhand.


Bolognese, mutilated passim. Major initials in colours and gold with borders: f. 1 C enclosing the bust of a doctor, on a squarish gold ground, with 2-sided border, the lower limb mutil., perhaps removing heraldry. On f. 93 a similar initial has been excised, leaving only the top and bottom of the 3-sided border. The same on f. 283, leaving the 3-sided border intact. Smaller initials in the same style, without gold, those on fols. 50v, 78v, 87v, and 211v with busts of physicians;

blue initials flourished in red, red initials flourished in blue or violet; red or blue paraphs. In the margins opposite historiated initials is pencilled the instruction ‘pennello’ (‘painting’).


Standard Merton s. xvii, repaired, rebacked and resewn on four bands; formerly chained from the usual position. Fols. i-ii, 328 are paper binding leaves, the first from the same book as in MS 166. Fols. iii, 327 are modern paper blanks. The outermost parchment leaves were pastedowns in an earlier binding. There was formerly a brass chain-staple near the foot of the front foredge.


Origin: S. XIV 1/4 ; Italy, Bologna

Provenance and Acquisition

Made in Bologna.

On f. iv are partly-erased early inscriptions: a long one of 2–3 lines ‘[... xxii ... ] Land’ Petri de colle vallis c[ ... ]’. Further down is ‘Land’ de colle vallis’.

On f. vv ‘Liber Theiser albumeron in practica medicine ex dono domini Ricardi Fitz James nuper Cicestrensis episcopi et custodis istius collegii cuius anime propicietur Deus amen’, in the usual untidy humanistic hand. For Fitzjames, warden 1483–1507, see MS 9.

Inside the front board is a sheet of paper with titles, s. xvii, and ‘P. 2. 12. Art:’, canc. and replaced with ‘N. 3. 10 (CCXXIX)’ in red; the College bookplate. ‘12’ 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, pp. 89–90; Powicke, no. 1192; Alexander & Temple, no. 903 and pl. LXIV.

Funding of Cataloguing

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

Last Substantive Revision

2019-08-30: First online publication

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