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

Exeter College MS. 13

Anon., Expositio super Cantica Canticorum; Anon., Liber de vita hominis quadripartita; England, s. xv1


Language(s): Latin

1. (fols. 1r-108v)
Expositio super Cantica Canticorum,

chs. 1–245

Incipit: Solet etas juvenilis ardentissimo studio et vite innocentia quandoque scienciam consequi
Incipit: Osculetur me osculo oris sui. Verum quia secundum Isidorum ad litteralem sensum ignobiles et rudes conferunt
Explicit: quod totus liber est convenienter exponi potest de coniunccione Christi et ecclesie. Sive ut aliis placet ad laudem et honorem virginis benedicte. Cui sit honor et gloria in seculorum secula. Amen.
Final rubric: Explicit Exposicio super Cantica Canticorum.

Unprinted; Stegmüller, Bibl, 10178 (this copy only). R. Berndt, Andre de Saint-Victor († 1175) exégète et théologien, Bibliotheca Victorina, 2 (Paris and Turnhout, 1991), 97, remarks that the work follows Andrew’s commentary on Exodus. Numbers of new chapters are noted in the form, for example, ‘Cam. 7’ towards the left-hand part of upper margins, and every leaf of the chapter has the figure repeated in the right-hand corner; these numbers are perhaps in the same hand as similar numbers in MS 15.

2. (fols. 109r-145r)
Liber de vita hominis quadripartita
Incipit: Quadripartitam humanitatis vitam videlicet natura et fortuna gracie et glorie antiqui posuerunt
Explicit: conuersus est et respexit disciplinam eius animam egredientem portas mortis laudare possit opera bona(?) que ipse scripsit in hoc carmine ad laudem Domini nostri Jhesu Christi cui sit honor et gloria Amen.
Final rubric: E9–10 lines thoroughly erased Explicit.

Unidentified. The work is in 72 chapters. Most chapters up to ch. 16 have headings in upper margins, viz. Una natura, De fortitudine, Aleph, De prudencia, De temperancia, De fide, De spe, De caritate, De mercimonijs. The outer margins of fols. 141–4, evidentiy damaged, suffered some loss of text and have been replaced.

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: melius.
Form: codex
Support: parchment
Extent: 145 leaves preceded and followed by one 18th-century paper flyleaf
Dimensions (leaf): 300 × 230 mm.
Dimensions (columns): 215 × 85 mm.
From fol. 166 many corners of leaves have been damaged, probably by damp, and replaced.


1–1112 1212 (12 + a quarter-sheet). Catchwords are in ornamental boxes. There are no quire numbers or signatures.


Two columns, 45 lines. Frame-ruled in pencil.


Good anglicana/secretary, using a and r from both scripts and anglicana d and g. A positura is used for final punctuation of chapters.


Three/four-line blue lombards flourished red, blue paraphs.


Sewn on five bands. Standard Exeter binding: simple and quite elegant, calf over millboards, the calf bearing blind decoration of a floral type, early 19th century. Fols. 2–5 at bottom centre show a stain from a chain plate on an earlier binding and fol. 1 is patched after the excision of 60 × 155 mm from the bottom margin where there may have been an ex libris.


Origin: s. xv1 ; England

Provenance and Acquisition

Unknown. Recorded at Exeter c. 1600 as Ecloga, no. 12, then in CMA, no. 41.

Exeter library identifications, on the front pastedown, are: bookplate 3, on which is ‘172–G–14’; ‘Q7—6 Gall’ (deleted), ‘Ex: Coll: Oxon.’ and ‘Coxe Cat. no. 13.’ A title on fol. 1r, ‘Expositio in Cantica Canticorum’ is in an italic hand of s. xvi2. ‘14’ is on a round label at the top of the spine.

Record Sources

Andrew G. Watson, A descriptive catalogue of the medieval manuscripts of Exeter College, Oxford (Oxford: Oxford University Press), 2000.


For enquiries relating to this manuscript please contact Exeter College Library.

Funding of Cataloguing

Conversion of the printed catalogue to TEI funded by the Rector and Fellows of Exeter College.

Last Substantive Revision

2020-04-29: First online publication

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