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

Merton College MS. 301

Former shelfmark: H. 3. 3



Language(s): Latin

1. (fols. 1–201; 201v blank)
ROBERT KILWARDBY OP, Commentary on PRISCIAN, Institutiones 17–18 (‘Priscianus minor’ or ‘De Constructione’)
Incipit: Vt dicit Aristoteles in secundo de anima Lingua conuenit in duo opera nature s. in gustum et locutionem
Explicit: (f. 127v) Expliciunt notule magistri R. super primum de constructione ... quinto modo exigitur substancia.
Final rubric: Expliciunt sentencie super Priscianum de constructionibus edite a magistro Roberto de Culuardeby archiepiscopo Cantuariensi.

Extracts pr. C. H. Kneepkens, ‘Roger Bacon’s theory of double intellectus’, in The Rise of British Logic, ed. P. O. Lewry (Toronto, 1985), pp. 115–44; Sharpe, Handlist, p. 561; copies listed by Pinborg, Sprachlogik, p. 325 (An).

2. (fols. 202–34v)
PETRUS HISPANUS, Commentary on PRISCIAN, Institutiones 17–18
Incipit: Petrus Helias. Absoluta cuiuslibet discipline perfectione duplici conparatur exercicio
Explicit: et hoc est acsi diceretur discentem gramaticam te doceo moneo te intelligencem iusticiam.
Final rubric: Qui legit emendet scriptorem non reprehendet.

C. H. Kneepkens, Het Iudicium constructionis. Het Leerstuk van de Constructio in de 2de Helfte de 12de Eeuw (4 vols, Nijmegen, 1987), IV, pp. 1–84, this copy at I, p. 520; R. W. Hunt, 'Absoluta: the Summa of Petrus Hispanus on Priscianus Minor', Historiographa Linguistica 2 (1975), 1–23.

Throughout are early marginal notes and glosses, occasionally in English, e.g. f. 16v ‘Loke. De sufficientia parcium oracionis. here a boue’; f. 93 verses ‘Si primo stabit coniunctio qui reserabit’ (7 lines); f. 209 ‘As in wel this thas & thou in hit I see a cas.’; f. 234v ‘Vincitur in bello uir inermis et sine libro / Clericus est mutus licet ingenio sit acutus.’

Language(s): Latin and Middle English

Fols. 235–8v, 239v are filled with grammatical notes and mnemonic verses in anglicana hands, as f. i. On f. 235 is a table of contents, and a partial index to Priscian, De Constructione, continued on fols. 236v-7. f. 239 is blank.

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: ad efficiens eius
Form: codex
Support: Parchment
Extent: 240 leaves (i + 239)
Dimensions (leaf): 270 × 210 mm.
Dimensions (written): 165 × 120 mm.
The edges retrimmed and spattered with red.


A singleton, 1–1612, 1712(10–12 canc.), 18–2012, a bifolium; catchwords, mostly cropped.


Ruled with pencil in 2 cols of 41 lines.


A single neat, small anglicana hand. Lemmata are written in low-grade bookhand, in larger script.


Blue initials flourished in red; plain red or blue initials (blue alone in art. 2); red paraphs, highlighting and underlining. A few marginal sketches and drolleries in red.


Standard Merton s. xvii, sewn on four bands; formerly chained from the usual position. On f. i is the mark of an iron chain-staple at the foredge, near the foot.


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

Provenance and Acquisition

It is not known when this book entered the College prior to s. xvii in. Inside the front board is a sheet of paper with the contents, s. xvii, and ‘Q. 3. 3. Art:’, canc. and replaced with ‘H. 3. 3 CCCI’ in red; the College bookplate. ‘3’ is inked on the foredge.

Merton College MS. 301 - fragment (f. i)


Language(s): Latin

(f. i)

The first leaf in another book

(f. i recto)
Substantial grammatical notes

In early anglicana hands.

(f. i verso)
Commentary on Priscian
Incipit: Sicut dicit philosophus primo metaphisicorum Humana natura est serua uel ancilla
Explicit: uel desideranda et querenda

Cf. MS 288 art. 2.

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: Parchment
Dimensions (written): 225 × 170 mm.


2 cols of 44 lines.


Written in an anglicana hand similar to that of the main text.


Similar red initials, paraphs and touching to that of the main text.


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

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. 120; Powicke, no. 513; Bursill-Hall 196. 9.

Funding of Cataloguing

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

Last Substantive Revision

2019-11-05: First online publication

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