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

St John's College MS 50

Peter Lombard, Sentences


Language(s): Latin

Fols. 1ra-153vb:
Rubric: [in the upper margin leading edge] Liber sententiarum Incipit sentenciarum liber primus
Incipit: Ueteris ac noue legis continenciam diligenti indagine etiam atque etiam considerantibus
Explicit: per media ad pedes usque uia duce peruenit
Final rubric: Explicit Explicit feliciter
Peter Lombard, Sentences,

ed. Sententiae in iv libris distinctae, 3rd edn. (Grottaferrata, 1971–81), 1:56–2:560. Hands one might associate with the added texts have written considerable material in the lower margins.

Added texts:

fol. 43v, fols. iv–vv:

Theological notes (s. xiii med., now washed).

fol. 7, fol. 108:

A nine-part distinctio (its subject in the gutter and illegible) and two notes, ‘Hylarius in libro de synodo’, and a second identifying a trinitarian opinion ‘siquid uolente patre dicat natum filium’ as ‘anathema’; and on the second leaf cited a note on the sacraments (contemporary).

fol. 83v, fols. 102v-103:

..stan.que incommunicabilis est ypostasis’ and, on the latter leaves more extensive theological notes (s. xv).

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: frui est
Form: codex
Support: Vellum (HSOS/HFFH).
Extent: iii + 153 + v (numbered iv–viii).
Dimensions (leaf): 315 × 215 mm.


18 2–410 58 612 7–910 1012 114 [fol. 104, a booklet boundary] | 128 13–1510 1610+1 (+11). No catchwords. Quires 2–6 have fairly full signatures, in black crayon, for all leaves in the first half of each quire, a leaf letter A–E/F and a quire letter (2 = a, 3 = j, = 6, 5–7 = k–m). There may be a quire signature on fol. 132v, the last leaf of quire 14, where a red ‘+’ and a further smeared red inscription appear.

Apparently produced as three separate fascicles. Fol. 43v, following the end of book 1, is blank, and was fully filled with notes now washed; fol. 46v, at the end of this, the fifth quire, may originally have ended a fascicle, subsequently superseded. Fol. 105 contains the contents table to book 4, following an unusually short quire which concludes the preceding section. This table has unique decoration, alternate red and green 1-line lombards to introduce index entries (a supplied green chapter initial also occurs in this section at fol. 153ra); overleaf on fol. 105v, the decoration returns to the expected red and blue.


A fair number of the lower margins are uneven or cut away obliquely towards the corners; about half of the margin gone on fol. 67.


In double columns, each column 203 × 50–55 mm. , with 10 mm. between columns, in 55 lines to the column. Also a 30 mm column on the leading edge for authorities. Sporadic prickings; bounded and ruled in lead, black and brown ink. Written above top line.


Written in gothic textura semiquadrata (with influence of document hands). Punctuation by point and punctus elevatus.


Headings in red for chapters; authorities in the marginal columns also in red.

Ten-line red and blue lombards on flourishing of the same at the head of the text and other book divisions (unfilled for book 2, fol. 44ra). That for the index to book 4 (fol. 105) is green and red and extended into a floral border; at the start of book 4 (fol. 107ra), a 4-line high blue lombard on red flourishing.

The marginal authorities are introduced by alternating red and blue 2-line lombards, some with exaggerated descenders into the lower margin.

Running titles, only up to fol. 46v (book 2, dist. 5), thereafter supplied in pencil by a hand probably of s. xv.


A modern replacement. Sewn on five thongs. At the front, a marbled paper leaf and two modern paper flyleaves; at the rear, two medieval vellum flyleaves, two stubs after the second (their conjugates, the surviving leaves, are the first two of a four-leaf quire), three modern paper flyleaves, and another marbled paper leaf (iv–viii).


Origin: s. xii 1 ; English

Provenance and Acquisition

⟨ ⟩o beate Marie hurl’’ (fol. 1, upper margin, cut off in the gutter, s. xiii), one of only two surviving books from Hurley (Berks., OSB) (Ker, MMBL 103).

A partly cancelled and illegible inscription (fol. 54v, upper margin).

‘W eVmlye besthe’ (fol. 114v, upside down in the lower margin in brown crayon, s. xv ex.).

‘Liber Collegij Sanctj Iohannis Baptistae Oxon’ ex dono Venerabilis virj Richardi Butler Doctoris Theologiae Archidiaconi Northampt procurante Reuerendo in Christo Patre Iohanne Episcopo Roffensi 1613’ (fol. i, upper 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

2020-11: First online publication

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