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

Merton College MS. 289

Former shelfmark: O. 2. 5



Language(s): Latin

Fols. iii-iv blank. On f. ivv is a table of contents, s. xiv, probably in the hand responsible for the inscriptions associated with Thomas Bloxham inscriptions in MS 60, and another of s. xvii.

1. (fols. 1–31; 32rv blank)
THOMAS SUTTON OP, Commentary on ARISTOTLE, Praedicamenta
Incipit: Sicut dicit Aristoteles in secundo metaphisice oportet erudire quomodo singularia sunt recipienda
Explicit: per se ipsum diues esset, cui sit ...
Final rubric: Finito libro sit laus et gloria Cristo.

Extracts ed. A. D. Conti, ‘Thomas Sutton’s Commentary on the Categories’, in The Rise of British Logic, ed. P. O. Lewry (Toronto, 1985), pp. 173–213, at 185–210; Lohr, p. 186, listing only Wroclaw, Bibl. Uniwersytecka IV. Q. 3; Kaeppeli 3865; Sharpe, Handlist, p. 682.

2. (fols. 33–100; 100v blank)
ROBERT KILWARDBY OP, Commentary on ARISTOTLE, Prior Analytics
Incipit: Cum omnis sciencia sit ueri inquisitiua et hoc per rationem et modum disserendi
Explicit: quod non est inconueniens &c
Final rubric: Finito libro ...

At the end of bk. 1 is ‘exposicio Kilwarby.’ Pr. Venice 1499, 1516 / repr. Frankfurt, 1968; Lohr, pp. 111–12; Glorieux, Arts 411h; Sharpe, Handlist, p. 561. One of 17 known copies.

3. (fols. 101–24; 124v blank)
ROBERT GROSSETESTE, Commentary on ARISOTLE, Posterior Analytics
Incipit: Omnis doctrina et omnis disciplina &c. Intencio Aristotelis in hoc libro est inuestigare et manifestare essencialia demonstracionis
Explicit: et demonstracione in omni sillogismo se habente.
Final rubric: Explicit tractatus super librum posteriorum datus a magistro Roberto Grostet &c. Finito libro ...

Ed. P. Rossi (Florence, 1981); Thomson, Grosseteste, p. 84; Lohr, pp. 103–4; Sharpe, Handlist, p. 542. One of 30 copies (including MSS 280, 292 and 295).

4. (fols. 125–86v; 187rv blank)
GILES OF ROME, Commentary on ARISTOTLE, Sophistici Elenchi
Incipit: Ex illustri prosapia oriundo domino Philippo filio preclari
Incipit: Alpharabius in logica sua uolens quandam noticiam tradere
Explicit: per summe rectum se obscurum cognoscitur qui ...
Final rubric: Explicit sentencia super libro Elencorum edita a fratre Egidio de Roma fratrum heremitarum sancti Augustini nobilis doctoris amen.

Many copies; pr. Venice 1496 &c; Lohr, pp. 328–9.

The book is heavily annotated throughout in early hands, associated with pointing hands with or without sleeves and profile faces.

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: est de primis
Form: codex
Support: Parchment
Extent: 189 (iv + 189) leaves
Dimensions (leaf): 360 × 230 mm.
Dimensions (written): 295 × 175 mm.
The edges heavily retrimmed with loss of marginalia and spattered with red. Fols. iii-iv and 187 are of thick, stiff parchment.


A bifolium, 114, 210, 38, 4–812, 98, 10–1512, 1614, a singleton; catchwords.


Ruled with crayon in 2 cols of 56 lines.


A single neat anglicana hand, writing lemmata in large textura.


Handsome historiated initials in colours and gold with partial borders: f. 1 7-line S with seated master teaching two students, 3-sided border with magpie at the foot; f. 33 another of the same with a rabbit at the foot of the border; f. 101 I with standing bishop (Grosseteste); f. 125 E, Giles of Rome preaching, with 3-sided border, a grotesque at the foot. Blue initials flourished in red; red or blue paraphs.


Standard Merton s. xvii, resewn on five bands and rebacked by Maltby; formerly chained from the usual position. fols. i-ii, 188–9 are modern paper blanks. f. iii, the front pastedown in an earlier binding, has marks of two foredge straps and one each at head and tail, also of the large iron chain-staple.


Origin: S. XIV 1/4 ; England

Provenance and Acquisition

Made in England, at the College by 1372: UO48. 79.

Apparently lost to the College for a time before being reacquired by Richard Fitzjames. In the centre of f. iii a shield-shaped piece of parchment (55 × 40 mm.) has been hacked out. On f. ivvan inscription of four lines, possibly Fitzjames’ ex dono, has been thoroughly erased. Just below this is the impression of the usual Fitzjames label, with his coat of arms visible under ultra-violet light, and the marks of nail-holes, therefore originally on the back cover, then pasted to this leaf, since stripped off and lost.

At the head is ‘Precium xxx s.’, mainly erased, probably over an earlier price.

On f. iii is the James no. ‘102’, s. xvii in. Inside the front board is a table of contents, s. xvii, and ‘Q. 2. 5. Art:’, canc. and replaced with ‘O. 2. 5’ and ‘(CCLXXXIX)’ in red; the College bookplate. ‘5’ 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. 114–15; Powicke, no. 515; Alexander & Temple, no. 277, pl. XVII.

Funding of Cataloguing

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

Last Substantive Revision

2019-10-25: First online publication

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