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

Merton College MS. 261

Former shelfmark: C. 2. 12

PHYSICA; S. XIII ex.

Contents

Language(s): Latin

Fols. iii-vi blank. On viv is a table of contents, s. xiii ex. After art. 6 it adds ‘Aristoteles de [erased]’, Burley on De Longitudine et Brevitate Vitae and De Sensu et Sensato, and a ‘liber de compendiis numerorum’.

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: -dibunt
Three or four separate books, together by s. xiv. I-III are physically similar and it is hard to imagine that they were ever separate; yet the last leaf of I was clearly next to or pasted to a cover; perhaps I originally followed II and III.
Form: codex
Support: Parchment
Extent: 119 leaves (vi + 114)
Dimensions (leaf): 220 × 160 mm.
The edges retrimmed, affecting marginalia, and spattered with red.

Collation

A4 / 112 / 2-512, 66 / 74(1 canc.; 2-3 half-leaves), a bifolium / 88, 9-1010, 118, 128(6-8 canc.). II has pencilled quire-signatures of the usual late medieval form; III has red leaf-numbering; the quires of IV are numbered at the end.

Binding

Standard Merton s. xvii; sewn on five bands; formerly chained from the usual position. fols. i-ii and 113-14 are paper binding leaves; on f. 113 is a partial transcription of the note on f. 112v. f. iii was a pastedown in an earlier binding. f. 12 was possibly a pastedown in an earlier binding sewn on four bands, and has rust-marks from furniture of uncertain form.

History

Provenance and Acquisition

On f. 112v are notes of s. xiv on studies and lectures at Oxford, pr. Powicke, p. 34 n.: Nota quod hec est forma inceptorum in artibus. | In primis iiior libri Metheorum | Item iiiior de Celo et Mundo | Item quartus Topicorum Boycii a Marchal | Item Algarismus inicium a Payn | Item Compotus cum Spera | Item Aritmetica cum Gemetria | Item x. libri Eticorum | Item xii. libri de Animalibus | Item x. libri Methaphysice 2 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 a Play. Memorandum quod I. T.(?) audiuit librum De Sompno et Vigilia et librum De Memoria et Reminiscentia a m. suo magistro N. K. postquam gratia fuit impetrata quod quilibet istorum duorum(?) librorum staret pro quocunque libro sue forme uoluntarie. Item librum de Inspiracione et Respiracione. Item librum de Sensu et Sensato. Item librum De Motu Animalium.

(In a later hand, over er. Viue Deo gratus toto mundo tumulatus | Crimine mundatus semper transire paratus.)

Memorandum quod habui a Bokynham xii. d⟨ies⟩ in gemetria et totalem literam 2i libri geometrie et a Wescot ix. dies in gemetria.

Item a Bokenham literam totalem primi libri Arsmetrice et xii. dies Arsmetrice. Item a Hobul in’.

It is remarkable that none of the persons named can be securely identified. ‘Bokenham’ was perhaps the theologian Thomas Buckingham (BRUO 298-9), fellow of Merton in 1324, until 1340. In that case, ‘Westcot’ cannot have been John Westcote (BRUO 2021-2), fellow of New College in 1380, d. by June 1418. On f. viv is ‘liber collegii’, in the large humanistica used for the inscriptions associated with Thomas Bloxham, ‘Merton’ Oxon’’ added, s. xvii.

Inside the front board is the College bookplate and the modern shelf-mark ‘P. 4. 12’ in pencil, canc., and replaced with ‘C. 2. 12. (CCLXI)’ in red. At the head of f. viv is ‘8’, s. xvii. ‘12’ is inked on the foredge.

Merton College MS. 261 - Part I (fols. 1-12v)

Contents

Language(s): Latin

1. (fols. 1-4v)
JOHN HOLYWOOD, Algorismus
Incipit: Omnia que a primeua rerum origine precesserunt ratione numerorum formata sunt
Explicit: tam in numeris quadratis quam cubicis.

Ed. F. S. Pedersen, Petri Philomenae de Dacia et Petri de S. Audemaro Opera Quadrivialia 1 (Corpus Philosophorum Danicorum Medii Aevi 10. 1-2: Copenhagen, 1983), pp. 174-201; TKI 991; Sharpe, Handlist, p. 306.

At the foot of fols. 1v-2 are verses, s. xv, cropped by the binder, ‘A numero numerum si sit tibi demere cura’.

2. (fols. 4v-11; 11v-12v blank)
JOHN HOLYWOOD, De Sphaera
Rubric:
Incipit: Tractatum de spera in 4. partes distinguimus
Explicit: aut mundana machina dissoluitur.
Final rubric: Explicit tractatus de spera.

Ed. L. Thorndike (Chicago, 1949), pp. 76-117; TKI 1524, 1577; Sharpe, Handlist, p. 306.

Followed by a short note: ‘Nota in fine quod idem est cuspis centrum et metullium’.

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: Parchment
Dimensions (written): 180-5 × 115-30 mm.

Layout

Ruled with crayon in 2 cols of 38-41 lines.

Hand(s)

A gothic rotunda bookhand.

Decoration

Red or blue initials, rarely flourished in the other colour; red or blue paraphs.

History

Origin: S. XIII ex.

Merton College MS. 261 - Part II (fols. 13-66v)

Contents

Language(s): Latin

3. (fols. 13-18v)
ARNULF OF PROVENCE, Diuisio Scientiarum
Incipit: Sicut scribitur ab Algazele decima sentencia proprietatum cause prime primus est largissimus
Explicit: omnia ista requiruntur hec ad presens sufficiant.
Final rubric: Explicit diuisio scientiarum omnium tam mecanicarum quam liberalium data a magistro Arnulfo Prouinciali qui rexit Parisius egregie.

Unpr.; TKI 1497, 330.

4. (fols. 19-66; 66v blank)
ROBERT KILWARDBY OP, De Ortu et Diuisione Scientiarum
Incipit: Scientiarum alia est diuina alia humana
Explicit: maleficium prestigium.

Ed. A. G. Judy (Auctores Britannici Medii Aevi 4: London, 1976); TKI 1404; Glorieux, Arts 411y; Kaeppeli 3516.

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: Parchment
Dimensions (written): 180-5 × 115-30 mm.

Layout

Ruled with crayon in 2 cols of 38-41 lines.

Hand(s)

Anglicana formata, perhaps the same hand as in part III.

Decoration

Red or blue initials, rarely flourished in the other colour; red or blue paraphs.

History

Origin: S. XIII ex. ; script of English appearance

Merton College MS. 261 - Part III (fols. 67-112v)

Contents

Language(s): Latin

(fols. 67-9v)
De Diuisione Philosophiae
Incipit: Cum summum in uita solacium sit sapiencie studium
Explicit: quam audire uolueritis eligatis.

Unpr.; TKI 345; apparently the unique copy.

(fols. 69v-71)
Incipit: Deus est infinite simplicitatis
Explicit: in hoc intricatissimo problemate &c.

Anonymous. On f. 71v are pen-trials of s. xiv.

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: Parchment
Dimensions (written): 180-5 × 115-30 mm.

Layout

Ruled with crayon in 2 cols of 38-41 lines.

Hand(s)

Anglicana formata, perhaps the same hand as in part II.

Decoration

Red or blue initials, rarely flourished in the other colour; red or blue paraphs.

History

Origin: S. XIII ex. ; script of English appearance

Merton College MS. 261 - Part IV (fols. 72-112v)

Contents

Language(s): Latin

(fols. 72-112v)
?GERARD OF NOGENT, Glossulae super Veterem Logicam
Incipit: Secundum quod uult Agazel in metaphysica sua scientia corrigit uicia anime
Incipit: Ad librum Porphirii accedamus qui pre maioribus est exprimendus. Iste liber cuius subiectum est uniuersale probabile diuiditur in duas partes
Incipit: (Praed. f. 76v) Equiuoca dicuntur. Sicut dicit Boetius iste liber est de decem uocibus
Incipit: (Perih. f. 97v) Primum oportet constituere. Sicut dicit philosophus in tertio de anima triplex est operatio intellectus
Explicit: ergo contrarie non possunt similiter esse uniuerse.
Final rubric: Expliciunt sentencie supra ueterem logicam. Actum anno Domini M. CC. nonagesimo, iii. die Veneris post Trinitatem Domini.

Glorieux, Théol. 70x; Lohr, p. 163 (this copy as Porph. only, and giving a different explicit to Perih.).

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: Parchment
Dimensions (written): 190 × 140 mm.

Layout

Ruled with pencil in 2 cols of 43-9 lines

Hand(s)

The scribe writing a small gothic rotunda bookhand, apparently finished in 1293, if he was not copying the date from his exemplar.

Decoration

Plain red initials.

History

Origin: S. XIII ex.

Additional Information

Record Sources

R. M. Thomson, A descriptive catalogue of the medieval manuscripts of Merton College, Oxford (Cambridge: D. S. Brewer), 2009.

Availability

For enquiries relating to this manuscript please contact Merton College Library.

Bibliography

    Coxe, p. 103; Powicke, no. 990; Watson, Dated and Datable Oxford, no. 842 and pl. 143.