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

Merton College MS. 305

Former shelfmark: N. 1. 4



Language(s): Latin

Fols. i, iiv blank. On f. iv is an early table of contents and notes; on f. ii more early philosophical notes.

1. (fols. 1–33v)
GILES OF ROME, Commentary on ARISTOTLE, De Generatione et Corruptione
Incipit: Anima ut testatur philosophus est quodammodo omnia
Explicit: generationis omnis est principium causa et ratio qui ...

Pr. Naples 1476 &c.; Lohr, pp. 330–1.

2. (fols. 33v–45v)
GILES OF ROME, Quaestiones in I De Generatione
Incipit: ⟨V⟩niversaliter itaque de generatione &c. Hic ad euidentiam textus declaranda sunt quattuor
Explicit: non est illi generatio sed augmentum.

Pr. Naples 1476 &c.; Lohr, p. 331.

3. (fols. 46–204)
GILES OF ROME, Commentary on ARISTOTLE, Physica
Incipit: Naturalis scientia est aliqua scientiarum speculatiuarum
Explicit: consistit summa felicitas qui est Deus trinus et unus benedictus in s. s. amen.
Final rubric: Sit nomen Domini benedictum quoniam completa sentencia libri phisicorum est edita a fratre Egidio Romano ordinis heremitarum S. Augustini. Deo gratias.

Pr. Padua 1483 &c.; Lohr, p. 330.

On f. 204v is a pen trial, s. xv; 205rv blank.

Arts 1 and 3 are corrected in the margin by the scribe and in early anglicana hands which also annotate. In the margin of art. 1 is ‘Hic incip’’, suggesting that the text was used for lectures.

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: nisi dicitur
Form: codex
Support: Parchment
Extent: 207 leaves (ii + 205)
Dimensions (leaf): 305 × 235 mm.
Dimensions (written): 245 × 165 mm.
The edges retrimmed affecting marginalia and spattered with red.


A bifolium at each end, 1–212, 310(10 canc.), 414(13–14 canc.), 5–712, 88, 9–1412, 1516, 1612, 1714; catchwords.


Ruled with crayon in 2 cols of c. 56 lines.


An English gothic rotunda bookhand of university type.


Red and blue flourished initials with long extensions; red or blue initials flourished in the other colour; red or blue paraphs; art. 1 has running heads in capitals of the colours. Art. 2 is undecorated.


Standard Merton s. xvii, sewn on seven bands; formerly chained from near the head and near the foot of the back board. f. i, formerly pasted down in an earlier binding, has the mark of both a brass and iron chain-staple near the foot.


Origin: S. XIV in. ; script of English appearance.

Provenance and Acquisition

Given to the College by William Reed in 1374: UO49. 13. On f. iv, in Reed’s hand,‘Liber M. Willelmi Red ex dono magistri Nicholai de Sandwyco. Oretis igitur pro utroque’, and, in the hand of Walter Robert, ‘Liber domus scolarium de Merton’ in Oxon’ in communi libraria eiusdem et ad usum communem sociorum ibidem studencium cathenandus. Ex dono uenerabilis patris domini Willelmi tercii episcopi Cicestrie. Oretis igitur pro eodem et benefactoribus eiusdem ac fidelium animabus a purgatorio liberandis.’ For William Reed, fellow from 1344 until at least 1357, d. 1385, see MS 8.

At the head of f. ii is a brief, highly-abbreviated note, of which I can only decipher ‘B. et an cheste | tot’.

At the head of f. 1 is the James no. ‘101’, s. xvii in.

Inside the front board is a sheet of paper with contents, s. xvii, and ‘Q. 3. 7. Art:’, canc. and replaced with ‘N. 1. 4 (CCCV)’ 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. 120; Powicke, no. 543.

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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