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

St John's College MS 27

Bible: Ezekiel glossed


Language(s): Latin

Fols. 1ra–139rc
Rubric: [marginal guide for a rubric] Incipit prologus beati IERONIMI presbitiri in Ihezechielem prophetam
Incipit: Ezechiel propheta cum ioachim rege iude captiuus ductus est in babylonem […] [fol. 3vb, the text] ‘E [space for a painted incipit unfilled] in tricesimo \tempus/ anno in quarto \Subaudis mense peridente sententia quod lxx. addiderunt ut manifestius fieret/ in quinta mensis […] [fol. 3va, the gloss] Ieronimus In xxxo. anno non etatis prophete ut putant nec \tantum [with a marginal note: ‘supple tantum ne sit prologo contrarium’] / iubilei qui est annus
Explicit: [fol. 139rb, the text ends] nomen \Ieronimus non ierosolima id est uisio pacis/ ciuitatis ex illa die dominus ibidem amen […] [fol. 139rc, the gloss ends] regale et sacerdotale aquilonis frigora contempnamus
Ezekiel, with the ordinary gloss (Stegmüller, Bibl. 11811 [9:507–9]), preceded by JEROME’s standard prologue, Stegmüller, Bibl. 492. Fols. 1va–3rb, following the prologue, are filled with glosses (only four lines on fol. 3rb); there are six blank lines at the foot of fol. 139, fol. 139v blank and unruled. The hand of the note on fol. 3va has left many marginal comments and corrections through the whole.

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: quia propheta
Form: codex
Support: Vellum (HSOS/HFFH).
Extent: Fols. iii + 139 + iii (numbered fols. iv–vi).
Dimensions (leaf): 340 × 230 mm.


1–178 184(–4). No catchwords; all quires signed on the last verso with a roman numeral (1–17 = i–xvij).


A spill, apparently on the opening fols. 119v–20, has left fluid damage down the centre of leaves on fols. 117–21; similarly part of fol. 130va.


The writing area varies depending on the shape of the gloss; the frame generally is 220 × 155 mm. , in 41 gloss lines, 19–20 text lines (varies to accommodate more extensive interlinear material). Prickings; bounded and ruled in black ink.


Written in two styles of transitional protogothic bookhand/gothic textura. Punctuation by point only.


No headings although guides are left. No chapter divisions or running titles.

Verse divisions in alternate red and blue 2-line arabesque capitals.

Chapter divisions added later (s. xv?) in the margins.

There are two illuminated initials, in the hand also responsible for our MS 26:

Fol. 1ra: an 11-line gold E with two birds on red, on a violet ground;

Fol. 3vb: a 12-line gold E with blue and orange vine and flower on gold, on a midnight blue ground.

Walter Cahn, ‘St Albans and the Channel Style in England’, in The Year 1200: A Symposium (New York, 1975), 187–230 identified our MSS 26–27, companion volumes, with a painter who illuminated St Albans books during the tenure of abbot Simon (1167–83); he listed them as no. 7 in his enumeration of the relevant books (211).

Cahn suggests (194) that our MSS might be associated with a multi-volume glossed Bible commissioned by Simon. (Other portions, although not in the format shared by our books, might be the Luke and John in Lambeth Palace MS 102 and the Pauline epistles, with Peter Lombard’s gloss, in Cambridge, Trinity College MS O.5.8.)

There is further discussion in Patricia D. Stirnemann, ‘The Copenhagen Psalter’ (unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, Columbia University, 1976), which we have not seen.

But Thomson demurs (see 1:54–62 passim); he lists our MSS among fifteen books attributed to ‘the Simon master’ perhaps from the abbey (nos. 97–8 [1:127]), but he suggests that the atelier was probably commercial, not monastic, not located at the abbey, and filling orders from a variety of customers.

See AT no. 65 (10), with attribution to the ‘Simon painter’.


A modern replacement. Sewn on five thongs. At the front and rear (iv–vi), one marbled paper flyleaf and two modern paper flyleaves.


Origin: s. xii3/4 or xii ex. ; England

Provenance and Acquisition

For possible associations with St Albans 1167 × 1183, see above.

Iohannes bacchus me possidet precium iij s 4 d’, cancelled; in black ink the shelf mark ‘27’ (fol. 1).

‘Liber Collegii Sancti lohannis Baptistae Oxon ex dono Venerabilis Virj Richardi Butler Doctoris Theologiae Archidiaconi Northampton rogata Reuerendo in Cristo Patre Iohanne Episcopo Roffensis(fol. 1).

Record Sources

Ralph Hanna, A descriptive catalogue of the western medieval manuscripts of St. John's College, Oxford (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002)


For enquiries relating to this manuscript please contact St John's College Library.


    Walter Cahn, ‘St Albans and the Channel Style in England’, in The Year 1200: A symposium (New York, 1975), 187–230.
    Friederich Stegmüller, Repertorium Biblicum Medii Aevi, 11 vols. (Madrid, 1950–80).
    Patricia D. Stirnemann, ‘The Copenhagen Psalter’ (unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, Columbia University, 1976)
    Rodney M. Thomson, Manuscripts from St Alban's Abbey 1066–1235, 2 vols. (Woodbridge, 1982).

Funding of Cataloguing

Conversion of the printed catalogue to TEI funded by the Thompson Family Charitable Trust

Last Substantive Revision

2021-11: First online publication

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