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

St John's College MS. 38

Ps.-Jerome, Commentary on the Psalter


Language(s): Latin

Fols. 1–266v
Rubric: Incipit prefatio expositionis psalmorvm sancti IERONIMI presbiter
Incipit: Proxime cum origenis psalterium quod ench\i/ridion ille uocabat strictis […] [the text] Beatvs vir […] Quidam dicunt hoc psalmum quasi prefationem esse spiritus sancti
Explicit: fructibus his mereamur adiungi concinnentibus Ipsi gloria et imperium cum eterno patre et spiritu sancto in cuncta secula seculorum Amen
PS.-JEROME, Breuiarium in Psalmos (CPL 629), ed. PL 26:821–1270 (perhaps Irish, ? s. vii). A good many corrections, with text erased and new readings inserted.

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: super syon
Form: codex
Support: Vellum (FSOS/FHHF).
Extent: Fols. iii + 266 + iii (numbered fols. iv–vi).
Dimensions (leaf): 325 × 215 mm.
Dimensions (written): 242 × 133 mm.


There is no visible production data, and the binding is too tight for the sewing to be examined.


A large number of leaves have portions cut away, e.g., the leading edges of fols. 11 and 266; the upper margin and gutter of fol. 1 are gone, and the leaf is now mounted.


In long lines, 31 lines to the page. Frequent prickings (especially early on); bounded and ruled in black and reddish-brown ink.


Written in caroline, perhaps by more than one scribe; but the same distinguishing features which would set apart, for example, fols. 78–135v, appear for brief spaces, with other variations in duct, within consecutively written portions, for example, on fol. 254. Punctuation by point and punctus elevatus.


Headings in red or alternate lines of red and green (blanks for them not always filled at the head of the book, up to about fol. 50); the opening example in two lines, red and green, of rustic capitals.

At heads of individual psalms, 3- and 4-line high arabesque capitals, usually green with some red infill, but often red with green plant shapes and occasionally blue with red and green (two 5-line examples on fol. 1).

Many capitals with ochre wash, also applied to marginal diples to indicate quoted portions of the Psalter.

A later hand (s. xv?) has supplied psalm numbers in the margin.

See AT, no. 45 (8), dating c.1150.


A modern replacement. Sewn on four thongs. At the front, a marbled paper leaf and two modern paper flyleaves; at the rear, the same (iv–vi).


Origin: s. xii2/4 or med. ; England

Provenance and Acquisition

‘Hoc continet in isto volumine Exposicio Ieronimi super Spalterium’ (on a vellum fragment 38–78 × 185 mm. , mounted on fol. iiiv, s. xiv1/2).

The pared upper edge of fol. 1 probably removed an earlier ex-libris.

‘Liber Collegii Sancti Iohannis Baptistae Oxon’ ex dono Venerabilis virj Richardi Butler Archidiaconi Northamp’ procurante Reuerendo in Cristo Patre Iohanne Episcopo Roff’ (fol. 2, top margin).

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.


Funding of Cataloguing

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

Last Substantive Revision

2021-07: First online publication

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