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

Merton College MS. 286

Former shelfmark: O. 2. 2



Language(s): Latin

(fols. 1–338v; 233v, 339rv blank)
ALBERTUS MAGNUS, Commentary on ARISTOTLE, De Animalibus
Incipit: (Beg. impf. i. 1. 2 [ed. I, p. 7 line 9]) et quando comparantur animalia ad inuicem
Explicit: et ego talium hominum parum curo reprehensiones.
Final rubric: Explicit opus naturarum [in a later hand secundum Albertum].

AMO (Borgnet) 11–12; H. Stadler, BGPTM 15–16 (1916–21), not using this copy; Glorieux, Théol. 6bf; Fauser 29.

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: (f. 1) et quando
Form: codex
Support: Parchment
Extent: 343 leaves (ii + 341)
Dimensions (leaf): 335 × 230 mm.
Dimensions (written): 260 × 160 mm.
The edges retrimmed and spattered with red.


112(lacks 1), 2–1912, 20–110, 22–812, 29–304; framed catchwords.


Ruled with crayon in 2 cols of 58 lines.


Two scribes, the first finishing with quire 20; both write English gothic rotunda bookhands, the first approaching textualis, the second influenced by anglicana. The scribes correct their work in the margins. Corrector’s marks at the ends of quires, mostly cropped. At the foot of f. 339v is pencilled ‘IX xiii’.


Handsome red and blue flourished initials with long extensions; blue initials flourished in red; red or blue paraphs, the blue sometimes flourished in red, the red in violet; running heads in red and blue capitals; red highlighting.


Standard Merton s. xvii, sewn on six bands; formerly chained from the usual position. Fols. i-ii, 340–1 are paper binding leaves, the outermost from the same printed book as in MS 68. Near the foot of f. 339 are the marks of the large iron chain-staple; also the marks of two foredge straps or catches.


Origin: S. XIV med. ; England, Oxford

Provenance and Acquisition

Professionally made, probably at Oxford. At the College beforec.1500.

At the head of f. 1 is a title and the James no. ‘80’, s. xvii in. ‘2’ is inked on the foredge. Inside the front board is a sheet of paper with a title and ‘Q. 2. 2. Art:’, canc. and replaced with ‘O. 2. 2. (CCLXXXVI)’ 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. 114; Powicke, no. 516.

Funding of Cataloguing

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

Last Substantive Revision

2019-10-14: First online publication

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