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

Merton College MS. 316

Former shelfmark: M. 2. 2



Language(s): Latin

(fols. 2–164v)
(fols. 2–8v)
(fols. 9–164v)
Rubric: Flauii Iosephi in textu librorum de Iudaico bello incipit prologus.
Incipit: Quoniam bellum quod cum populo romano iessere Iudei
Explicit: habuerint coniecturam.
Final rubric: Flauii Iosephi historiae Iudaici belli liber septimus explicit.

Pr. Basle 1524 &c. Mentioned, but not described or collated, in F. Blatt, The Latin Josephus I: Introduction and Text (Copenhagen, 1958), p. 113.

On fols. 2 and 164vb are notes on the contents in hands of c. 1500.

Fols. 165, 166 blank; on 166v, in a secretary hand, is a passage from ‘Bernardus ad Eugenium de condicione hibernicorum’. Throughout are neat marginal notes, s. xii.

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: (table, f. 3) norauit
Secundo Folio: (text, f. 10) simul
Form: codex
Support: Parchment
Extent: 172 leaves (iii + 169)
Dimensions (leaf): 325 × 225 mm.
Dimensions (written): 240 × 160 mm.
The edges retrimmed and spattered with red.


1–208, 214, a bifolium.


Ruled with fine pencil in 2 cols of 36 lines, to the pattern found in Winchcombe MSS at an earlier date; pricked in both margins.


Two expert protogothic bookhands, the first French, the second English: fols. 2–8v, 9–164v.


Handsome arabesque initials in red, dark green, blue and sometimes pink associated with display script in the first three colours; plain red, blue or green initials; the capitula have red or blue initials, plain or flourished in the other colour or both.


s. xix, sewn on five bands. Fols. i-iii, 167–9 are modern paper blanks. Near the foot of the early parchment leaves are the marks of an iron chain-staple.


Origin: S. XII 3/4 ; England, West Midlands (?)

Provenance and Acquisition

Made in England, probably at a religious community in the west midlands.

On f. 165v is pencilled, in a large formal hand of s. xiv, ‘Wymundus uice K?ham’.

On f. 1v in a large formal gothic quadrata hand with flourished initial, ‘Liber Magistri Iohannis Tailour sacre theologie professoris’; in the untidy secretary hand that writes the Fitzjames inscriptions, ‘Librum istud dedit ad communem utilitatem in hac bibliotheca studentium bone memorie uenerabilis pater M. Iohannes Taylour, sacre theologie professor deuotissimus. Cuius igitur em / pro⟨picietur Deus ut requiem⟩ habeatur et ad gaudia transeat sempiterna.’ An attempt has been made to erase ‘Cuius ... sempiterna’.

Given to the College in 1493 by the executors of John Taylor, and deposited in the library on 2 August 1494: see MS 2.

At the head of f. 2 is the James no. ‘50’ (though this might be MS 317), s. xvii in. On f. 1v is a title, ‘Liber Coll: Mertonensis Oxon.’and ‘O. 2. 2. Art.’, s. xvii, and the College bookplate. ‘O. 2. 2. Art:’ is repeated on f. 1. Inside the front board is the College bookplate again, with ‘O. 2. 2.’, canc. and replaced with ‘M. 2. 2’ in red, and ‘No. 316 in Mr Coxe’s Catalogue’.

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.

Funding of Cataloguing

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

Last Substantive Revision

2019-11-13: First online publication

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