St John's College MS. 14
Peter of Herenthals, Commentary on Psalms
the last column of the final leaf is blank.
A scribal colophon, following the explicit, with a note on the authors Peter joins in his catena, s. xv in.
In double columns, each column 260 × 65+ mm. , with 19 mm between columns, in 56 lines to the column. On a great many leaves, ruling extends an additional 45 mm, 9 lines, below the last written line. No prickings; bounded and ruled in brown ink.
Written in anglicana with variable secretary duct and routine secretary a, perhaps more than one hand; the index is in a different hand writing anglicana, and two leaves (fols. 118, 130) by a corrector of s. xv2/4, writing anglicana. Punctuation by point only.
No headings, but the psalm incipits are written in textura of varying degrees of formality.
Three-line blue lombards on red flourishing at the heads of the psalms, similar 1-line lombards for smaller divisions.
Lemmata are underlined in red, names of authorities quoted in red, and scattered red-slashed capitals divide text portions.
Early on, a few marginal red sidenotes, which have left offsets on the opposite leaves; more usually, these are supplied in text ink.
Running titles with the psalm number in text ink, the verses numbered in text ink in the margin.
At the head of the index (fol. 228ra), a 4-line blue, violet, and gold champe with a full vinet of blue, violet, orange, and gold bars with leaves.
The same border decoration, usually reduced to a bracketed corner of the text or an intercolumnar bar, appears at major textual divisions, but with historiated initials. These include:
Fol. 1ra (the prologue): Peter tonsured presenting his book to the throned bishop John, with an unfilled scroll;
Fol. 3rb (Ps. 1): David enthroned with harp and book, teaching the expositors whom Peter summarizes here;
Fol. 34rb (Ps. 26): the coronation of David;
Fol. 55rb (Ps. 38): David enthroned;
Fol. 81va (Ps. 51): David with his sceptre, watching a series of figures, including a fool;
Fol. 82va (Ps. 52): David and Christ watching a fool with a cudgel;
Fol. 112rb (Ps. 68): David praying to the cross from the waters;
Fol. 135vb (Ps. 80): David playing the harp with two other musicians (with horn and tambourine);
Fol. 160ra (Ps. 97): David with a choir of six tonsured men;
Fol. 163va (Ps. 101): David enthroned with book and harp;
Fol. 180vb (Ps. 109): the first two persons of the Trinity seated on a bench.
Most of these illustrations appear at the expected places, the heads of the ‘nocturns’ of the Psalter, and are unusual only in some of the subjects depicted (see Scott, 2:108, 113, 216). But in light of Scott’s presentation of decorative programmes in English Psalters (table i, 2:378–9), two of the lections illustrated are infrequent: only a handful of the MSS Scott presents illustrate Ps. 51, and illustrations to Ps. 101 are apparently so rare as not to be noted in the table at all. See AT no. 345, dating the book s. xiv ex., and plate xxiv (fol. 81va).
Wooden boards from a medieval binding, re-covered in brown leather, s. xvii. Sewn on seven thongs, taken straight into the board, as in Pollard’s figure 5. ‘14’ stamped in gold at the head of the spine and in black ink on the leading edges. The front pastedown is waste medieval vellum, with a College bookplate and a note identifying the contents (‘Catena petri de Harentale prioris Floreffiensis praemonstratensis ordinis in Psalmos’, s. xvii); the rear pastedown, modern marbled paper. At the front and rear, one modern paper flyleaf (the rear fol. ii).
Provenance and Acquisition
‘Poynt le bien & ne chaunge my notre maner’ (fol. 128v lower margin, the ink traced over with rubricator’s red, s. xv in.).
‘liber Sancti Cuthberti de Dunelm” (fol. 1 upper margin, s. xv ex., partly erased), followed by a strapwork ‘G’ (a class mark) near the leading edge. Ker, MLGB 17.
‘Liber Collegii Sancti Ioannis Baptistae Oxon’ ex dono Magistri Ioannis Stonor de Northstoke in Comitatu Oxon’ Generosi’ (fol. 2).
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Funding of Cataloguing
Conversion of the printed catalogue to TEI funded by the Thompson Family Charitable Trust
View list of abbreviations and editorial conventions.
Last Substantive Revision
2022-02: First online publication