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

St John's College MS. 31

Peter of Cornwall OSA, Pantheologus


Language(s): Latin

1. Fols. 2ra–7vb:
Rubric: Explanatio qualiter facillime inueniuntur que queruntur in quarta parte pantheologi secundum nouum modum scilicet per litteras alphabeti
Incipit: Quia per capitula que primitus ante initium […]
An alphabetical table for the following work

Presented as ‘new’ in this headnote explaining its use and directing the user to a system explained in part 4. The table is fuller than the MS, which contains only five books; here contents references extend through to the end of book 13. The ‘new’ contents system represented by this item has been superimposed upon another displayed in the volume, a list of chapters by book and number in text order; this follows the prologue (fols. 10va–13rb), presented in four columns to the page (and again running through book 13). And each book ends by repeating this information for that section of the text.

2. Fols. 8ra–178va:
Rubric: Prologus in quartam partem pantheologi hic incipit
Incipit: Reuerendo ac dilectissimo domino ac patri in cristo Godefrido de lucidi’ gracia vuintoniensi episcopo frater PETRUS sancte trinitatis londonie canonicorum […] euge serue boni et fidelis Qui tribuit artificiose petit opus enim tribuentis […]
Rubric: [fol. 13va, the text] Quarte partis pantheologi de racionalibus liber ius. hic incipit
Incipit: Deus multipiciter dicitur in sacra scriptura videlicet essencialiter ut deus trinitas
Explicit: conuertit et iterim quando hanc graciam subtrahit
PETER OF CORNWALL, Pantheologus a portion of part 4;

see Sharpe, no. 1174 (425–6, with further references). The final column has only seven lines (and is only ruled for such, although the entire page has been bounded); the remainder of the book is blank, with traces of washed texts (added s. xiv1) on fols. 178v and 179v. Fol. 180 is a former pastedown, with the rubricator’s notes of totals of letters and paraphs supplied (cut off) at the foot.

At least two large omissions have been supplied by a later hand at the page foot, on fols. 46v and 86v–7. These are among a number of signs that the MS may not have been copied consecutively and that there were problems adjusting boundaries between production units.

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: Cinis (fol. 2)
Secundo Folio: tantum prophetarum (fol. 9)
Form: codex
Support: Vellum (HSOS/HFFH).
Extent: Fols. iv (numbered fols. i–iii, 1) + 179 (numbered fols. 2–180) + iii (numbered fols. iv–vi).
Dimensions (leaf): 335 × 242 mm.


16 28(–1, its stub showing before the flyleaf, fol. 1) 3–228 238(–5, –6, both stubs, probably blank). Catchwords in the gutters. Signed on the last leaves of quires, both by the scribe in roman numerals and a later hand, using brown crayon, in arabic. Catchwords and signatures have occasionally been cut away, but originally quires 2–22 = Ius–xxj, 1–21. Also at the lower edges of final versos, the rubricator’s count of paraphs and letters supplied.


In two formats:

(a) quires 2–7 (fols. 8–54v) are in double columns, each column 245 × 74 mm. , with 10 mm between columns, in 46 lines to the column.

(b) the remainder also in double columns, but each of these 248 × 74–6 mm. , with 10 mm between columns, in 53 lines to the column.

Prickings often survive; bounded and ruled in brown and black ink.


Written in gothic textura quadrata, above the top line; in spite of the format shift, the same hand throughout. Punctuation by point and punctus elevatus.


Headings in red.

At book divisions, 8- to 12-line red and blue arabesque capitals with vine infills in red, blue, and green.

Two-line arabesque capitals at chapter divisions, alternating green on red flourishing, red on blue flourishing, and blue on red flourishing.

Sporadic 1-line red arabesque capitals within chapters.

Chapter lists at the end of each book have entries introduced by alternate 1-line green, red, and blue capitals.

Running titles with the book number in text ink; frequent marginal indications of authorities.

In the table at the head, frequent leaf line-fillers on fol. 3rb and some extended penwork flourishing in text ink and red at the page foot.

Fol. 77va, apparently to fill a break in the text, has a rectangular vine and flower design in the three colours.

See AT, no. 129 (16).


A modern replacement. Sewn on five thongs. At the front, a marbled paper leaf, two modern paper flyleaves, and a medieval vellum flyleaf (fol. 1, half a bifolium, preceded by two stubs, one its conjugate); at the rear, two modern paper flyleaves and another marbled paper leaf (iv–vi).


Origin: s. xii/xiii or xiii in. ; England

Provenance and Acquisition

‘Hic liber est beati thome Martiris De Lesnes quem qui eum abstulerit aut super eo fraudem fecerit fit anathema Maranata’ (fol. 2, the lower margin; s. xiii ex.) (Ker, MLGB 114).

Two notes on the text and its author (fol. iv, s. xvii).

‘Liber Collegii Sanctj Iohannis Baptistae Oxon ex dono Venerabilis virj Richardi Tileslye Sacrae Theologiae Doctoris Ecclesiae Cathedralis Roffensis Archidiaconj Ejusdemque Collegii olim socij 1619’ (fol. 2, vertically along the leading edge).

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.


    N. R. Ker, Medieval Libraries of Great Britain: A List of Surviving Books. Royal Historical Society Guides and Handbooks. 2nd edn. (London, 1964), extended by Andrew G. Watson, MLGB: Supplement to the Second Edition. RHS Guides and Handbooks 15 (1987)
    Richard Sharpe, A Handlist of the Latin Writers of Great Britain and Ireland before 1540. Publications of the Journal of Medieval Latin 1 (Turnhout, 1997).

Funding of Cataloguing

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

Last Substantive Revision

2021-10: First online publication

See the Availability section of this record for information on viewing the item in a reading room.