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

Exeter College MS. 20

Petrus Lombardus, Sententiarum libri iv; Joh. Damascenus, De fide orthodoxa; etc.; France, s. xiii¾

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: hic multi.
Three parts: fols. 1–140 || fols. 141–160 || fols. 161–168
Form: codex
Support: parchment FHHF
Extent: 168 leaves, preceded and followed by two post-medieval paper flyleaves
Dimensions (leaf): 405 × 250 mm.


112 (wants 1) 2–712 812 (wants 4–7) 912 (wants 2–11) 10–1212 1312 (wants 12, blank) ∥ 14–158 164 ∥ 178. Catchwords by scribes in A and B. In A quire signatures in form ‘.ius.’ on final leaves of quires; in B rough numbers on first page of quires. Throughout, quires are numbered in ink at the top centre of the first page, even quire 9 of which only one leaf remains. Although these are not the pencil numbers which are found in many of the Exeter manuscripts rebound in the 18th century, they may date from that time.


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.


Origin: s. xiii¾ ; France

Provenance and Acquisition

Non-matching secundo folio references show that this is not the book bequeathed in 1464–5 by Ralph Morewyll, formerly rector, ‘lego librum vocatum sententia super primam sententiarum, 2º folio Procedit ista (Rector’s Accounts, Boase1, 237, Boase2, 29). As that copy has disappeared the present manuscript is presumably Ecloga, no. 26; CMA, no. 31.

Exeter library identifications are, on the front pastedown, bookplate 3, on which are ‘Q—7 13 Gall’, deleted and replaced by ‘172–E–13’, ‘73’, deleted, and ‘Coxe Cat. no. XX’. ‘13’ is on a round label at the top of the spine.

Exeter College MS. 20 – Part A (fols. 1–140)


Language(s): Latin

(fols. 1r–140v)
Petrus Lombardus, Sententiarum libri IV
Incipit: || hic multi adherent Deo. Determinacio eorum que uidentur contraria. Hec ergo que sibi contradicere uidentur sic determinamus
Explicit: [fol. 43v] quam deus non uoluit.
Final rubric: Explicit primus liber de misterio trinitatis.
Rubric: Incipit secundus de creatione et formacione corporalium et spiritualium et aliis pluribus eis pertinentibus.
Incipit: (prol.) Que ad misterium diuine unitatis
Explicit: … creaturarum transeamus.


Incipit: Quod unum est principium rerum …
Explicit: [fol. 45r] … An aliquando resistendum sit potestati. Vnum rerum principium ostend’ non plura ut quidam putauerunt.
Rubric: Incipit secundus liber de rerum creatione et formacione corporalium et spiritualium et aliis pluribus eis pertinentibus.
Incipit: (text) Creationem rerum insinuans scriptura ... nulli potestati obediamus.
Explicit: Iam nunc hiis intelligendis ... deo reuelante ualeamus.
Final rubric: Explicit liber secundus.
Rubric: Incipiunt capitula libri tertii.
Incipit: Quare filius carnem assumpsit
Explicit: [fol. 81r] De legis et euangelii distancia.
Rubric: Huius uoluminis continencia sub compendio perstringitur.
Incipit: Hic enim racionis ordo postulat
Explicit: [fol. 81v] gracia ad miserum accedat.
Rubric: Incipit liber tercius de incarnacione uerbi.
Incipit: Cum uenit igitur plenitudo
Explicit: [fol. 87v] hominem non esse per ||
Incipit: ||[fol. 88r] in nobis. De tristicia Christi et eius causa secundum eundem
Explicit: [fol. 92v] anima igitur ad ||
Incipit: ||[fol. 93r] et furando alicui
Explicit: [fol. 94v] que caritate tangende sunt ut viciorum fere [penitus] occidantur.
Final rubric: [fol. 95r] Explicit liber tertius.
Rubric: Incipiunt capitula quarti libri.
Incipit: De sacramentis. Quid sit sacramentum
Explicit: [fol. 96r] augeat bonorum gloriam. Hiis tractatis ... signorum accedamus.
Rubric: Incipit liber quartus. De sacramentis ubi quatuor consideranda sunt.
Incipit: Samaritanus uulnerato appropinquans
Explicit: sedentes per media uia duce peruenit.

pr. Venice, 1481, etc. PL 192. 521–962; ed. I. Brady, Sententiae in IV libris distinctae, Spicilegium Bonaventurianum, 4–5 (Grottaferrata, 1971–81). Stegmüller, Sent., 32, where the gloss is unidentified. Because of the loss of the original first quire, containing the capitula and text, and the first leaf of the present quire 1, our text begins in bk. 1, dist. 1, ch. 3 (edn. 1. 57/16). The gaps in the text at (1) fol. 87/88 is from bk. 3, dist. 1, ch. 3.2 (ed. 1. 73/2 to 2. 102/21); and (2) fol. 92/93 is from bk. 3, dist. 22, ch. 2 to bk. 3, dist. 38, ch. 1.3 (edn. 2.138/13 to 2. 214/8). The present fol. 1 is a torn and irregularly shaped fragment, maximum size c. 70 × 45 mm, bearing gloss only, on the verso.

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: parchment
Dimensions (column): 215 × 60 mm.


Two columns, 52 lines. Lightly ruled in crayon.


A good gothic quadrata bookhand for the text, a small gothic cursive for the gloss; both punctuated by low point, punctus elevatus, and a distinctio in the shape of a modern comma.


Alexander and Temple, no. 675, ‘French’.

Fine illuminated initials have presumably been lost from the beginning of book I but others survive before the capitula and the beginning of the text of books II–IV. They are in the form of rectangles with a deep blue or brown base colour on which is a letter filled with blue interlace traced with white.

The initial on fol. 45r has a man-beast astride a tendril and that on fol. 95r has two men-beasts wrestling.

Throughout there are 2/4-line red and blue lombards flourished in the other colour; 1-line red and blue initials; rubrics; red-and-blue running book numbers in upper margins and chapter numbers in side margins.

Exeter College MS. 20 – Part B (fols. 141–160)


Language(s): Latin

i. (fol. 141v)
Incipit: ¶ C. i. Quoniam incomprehensibilis est deus ... Liber quartus ...
Explicit: C. xviij. De resurreccione mortuorum.

The standard index to the following item.

Fol. 141r is blank except for notes in crayon, very hard to read.

ii. (fols. 142r-160v)
Johannes Damascenus, De fide orthodoxa,

tr. by Burgundio Pisanus

Rubric: Johannis presbiteri Damasceni qui Mansur liber incipit. In quo est tradicio certa ortodoxe fidei capitulis diuisa .C. a Burgundio iudice due Pisano de greco in latinum domino tertio Eugenio beate memorie pape translatus ...
Incipit: Deum nemo uidit unquam unigenitus dei filius qui est in sinu patris ipse enarrauit
Explicit: cum domino nostra Ihesu Christo videntes ipsum «semper» visi et indeficiens id quod ab ipso est gaudium fructificantes.
Final rubric: Hic explicit Damascenus. In nomine patris et filii et spiritus sancti.

ed. E. M. Buytaert (St Bonaventure, NY, 1955). Stegmüller, Sent., 417.

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: parchment
Dimensions (column): 285 × 80 mm.


Two columns, 65 lines. Lightly ruled in crayon.


An average-quality gothic semiquadrata bookhand, punctuated by low point and punctus elevatus.


A 4-line red-and-blue lombard at beginning of text, elsewhere 2-line red and blue initials (longer if with extenders) flourished in the other colour; rubrics; red running numbers, to fol. 146 only; lemmata underlined in red.

Exeter College MS. 20 – Part C (fols. 161–168)


Language(s): Latin

(fols. 161r-168v)
Incipit: Capitula primi libri de libera arbitrio qui intitulatur unum malum
Explicit: 44. De predestinacione.

A numbered list of the capitula in about 80 works of St Augustine, ending with a list of 44 works which lacks details of capitula.

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: parchment
Dimensions (column): 295 × 37 mm.


Four columns, c. 60–63 lines. Lightly ruled in crayon.


Gothic cursive, punctuated by low point.



Additional Information

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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