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

Merton College MS. 250

Former shelfmark: C. 2. 1



Language(s): Latin

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: -cunt quod si; punctum qui
Two original volumes, brought together for the present binding.
Form: codex
Support: Parchment
Extent: 253 leaves (iii + 250)
Dimensions (leaf): 230 × 170 mm.
The outer margins of fols. 62, 107, and the lower margin of f. 247 excised. All edges savagely retrimmed with loss of running heads, medieval foliation and marginalia, and spattered with red.


1–178, 188(lacks 8, replaced by a singleton hooked round the quire), 198, 204 / 21–712, 2812(lacks 8–12). The quires of I are lettered and provided with catchwords at the end, in the middle of the foot; a few catchwords in the more usual position are visible in II.


Standard Merton s. xvii, rebacked; sewn on four bands; chained from the usual position. Fols. i and 250 are modern paper blanks, iv-v and 248–9 paper binding leaves of s. xvii. Fols. ii-iii are a paper bifolium, tipped in, with notes on the contents by W. Meyer, dated 1892, and A. Gercke. Inside the back board is a paper slip with ‘This MS. was examined by W. Scott MA. in November 1903 for Prof. Kalbfleisch of Marburg.’


Provenance and Acquisition

At the head of f. 1 is the James no. ‘82’, at the head of f. 157 ‘91’, s. xvii. However James no. 82 actually covers both parts of the book; his 91 no longer exists. Inside the front board are a table of contents, s. xvii, a sheet of paper with another table, and ‘P. 4. 1. Art:’, canc. and replaced with ‘C. 2. 1 (CCL)’, in red; the College bookplate.

Merton College MS. 250 – Part I (fols. 1–156)


Language(s): Latin

1. (fols. 1–155)
GARIOPONTUS, Passionarius
Rubric: ⟨I⟩ncipit liber primus passionarii.
Incipit: ⟨S⟩i quis intente cognoscere intentionem tocius libri desiderat
Incipit: De cephalea. Cephalea est dolor capitis
Explicit: ut est sicculum tale enim dandum est remedium.

Pr. Leiden 1526; eTK 0200G, 1459B, 1460N.

The original hand ends at the foot of f. 152v, and the text is completed in an anglicana hand of c. 1400, which also writes the text on the replacement leaf f. 144rv. This hand, apparently Simon Bredon’s, writes also the alphabetical subject-index, referring to folio-nos, on fols. 153–6 (MMBL 3. 682).

Copious but not continuous glossing as far as f. 143v by the scribe of the main text, often framed in red, beg. ‘Libri huius diuersi auctores fuerunt ...’.

(fols. 153–6)
An alphabetical subject-index

Written apparently by Simon Bredon. (MMBL 3. 682).

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: Parchment
Dimensions (written): 190 × 100 mm.
Part I prepared in the Italian manner and foliated at the head of each verso, s. xv in.


Blind-ruled in 30 long lines.


Two hands. First, an elegant protogothic bookhand of Italian appearance that ends at the foot of f. 152v. The text is completed in an anglicana hand of c. 1400, which also writes the text on the replacement leaf f. 144rv. This hand, apparently Simon Bredon’s, writes also the alphabetical subject-index, referring to folio-nos, on fols. 153–6.


Red initials, some with modest ornament; rubrics and red running heads.


Origin: S. XII1 ; main script and parchment of Italian appearance.


Simon Bredon: possibly adds the alphabetical subject index, fols. 153–6, and writes the text on the replacement leaf f. 144rv.

Bequeathed to the College by Simon Bredon (Powicke, p. 84). On f. 156 ‘Explicit istud passionarium Gal’ datum fuit collegio per Simonem Bredon’. For Bredon, fellow in 1330, still in 1341, d. 1372, see MS 223.

On f. 156v ‘Liber domus scolarium de Merton’ in Oxonia quod Ric at strk’, s. xv.

Merton College MS. 250 – Part II (fols. 157–247v)


Language(s): Latin

2. (fols. 157–247v)
SENECA, Quaestiones Naturales
Incipit: ⟨Q⟩uantum inter philosophiam interest Lucili uirorum optime
Explicit: (ends impf. in IVa 2. 19) Quippe uerius temporibus imbres niues diluunt

In the order bks I-III, IVb, VI-VII, IVa. ed. A. Gercke (Leipzig, 1907).

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: Parchment
Dimensions (written): 135–45 × 80 mm.


Ruled with crayon in 25–30 long lines


A neat though informal French early gothic bookhand.


Books open with blue initials, sometimes on a square ground, flourished in red, yellow and green; red or blue initials flourished in the other colour. Rubrics lack.


Origin: XIII in. ; script of French appearance.


At the head of f. 157, s. xiv, ‘Liber de dono Reynham.’ On f. 246v, s. xv, ‘Liber domus de Merton’ in Oxon’ ex legato magistri Iohannis Raynham quondam socii eiusdem domus cuius anime propicietur Deus.’ For John Reynham, fellow 1361–3, d. 1376, see MS 18. II was still independent when it appears in the electio of 1408–9 (UO51. 96).

Additional Information

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. 99; Powicke, no. 374, 351.

Funding of Cataloguing

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

Last Substantive Revision

2019-10-01: First online publication

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