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

Merton College MS. 258

Former shelfmark: C. 2. 9



Language(s): Latin

(fols. 1–130)
PETRUS DE CRESCENTIIS, Liber Ruralium Commodorum
Rubric: Incipit liber ruralium commodorum a Petro de Crescentiis curie Bononie ad honorem domini omnipotentis et serenissimi regis Karoli compilatus et inuentus.
Incipit: Cum ex uirtute prudencie
Incipit: Quoniam multis uiris propter continuos eius labores
Explicit: auibus domesticatis et retibus diuersis ac uisco.
Final rubric: Explicit liber ruralium commodorum.

Followed by the author’s letter to Aymeric of Piacenza, vicar general of the Dominicans: ‘Venerabili uiro in Christo patri et domini spirituali uiro summe religionis ac sapiencie fratri Aymerico ...; Cum presentem librum ruralium commodorum ad Dei omnipotentis honorem ... in qua multa inueniuntur iocosa.

Pr. Augsburg 1471; 91 copies listed by L. Frati, Pier de’ Crescenzi 1233–1321 (Bologna, 1933); see also Apophoreta Gotoburgensia (Göteborg, 1936), pp. 186–93. There are at least another five English copies (listed in Mynors & Thomson, Hereford, p. 91).

(fols. 130–3v)

An index of tituli.

f. 136rv blank.

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: dum pestilencialem
Form: codex
Support: Parchment
Extent: 138 leaves (ii + 136)
Dimensions (leaf): 255 × 180 mm.
Dimensions (written): 215 × 140 mm.
All edges heavily retrimmed and spattered with red.


1–1012, 1114(14 canc.), a singleton; catchwords and pencilled leaf-numbers.


Ruled with crayon in 2 cols of 40 lines.


A rather formal anglicana hand.


A 4-line C enclosing foliage, on a square ground, with two-sided vine-leaf border in colours and gold; red and blue initials flourished in the colours plus violet, with marginal extensions; red initials flourished in violet, blue initials flourished in red; red or blue paraphs; running heads in the colours.


Standard Merton s. xvii; sewn on four bands; formerly chained from the usual position. Fols. i-ii, 134–5 are paper binding leaves, the first from the same printed book as in MS 19. f. 136 was formerly a pastedown in an earlier binding.


Origin: S. XIV med. ; England

Provenance and Acquisition

Made in England.

At the College by 1556: UO65. 38.

At the head of f. 1 is the James no. ‘149’, s. xvii in. Inside the front board is a sheet of paper with contents, s xvii, and ‘P. 4. 9. Art:’, canc. and replaced with ‘C. 2. 9 (CCLVIII)’, in red; the College bookplate. ‘9’ 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. 101–2; Powicke, no. 1238; Alexander & Temple, no. 310.

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

See the Availability section of this record for information on viewing the item in a reading room.