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

St John's College MS 69

William of Ockham, Dialogues


Language(s): Latin

Fols. 8–293:
Rubric: Incipit prologus in libros dyalogorum qui versantur inter magistrum et discipulum suum
Incipit: In omnibus curiosus existis nec me desinis infestare quamuis enim ob multos editos […] [fol. 8v, the text] Discipulus Qvoniam occasione dissentionis quam in cristianitate conspitio de assertionibus hereticalibus et catholicis
Explicit: facies magnifica et preclara plena veritate referta Ad omnium vtilitatem fidelium et dei omnipotentis honorem cui sit [form ending] Amen
Final rubric: Explicit liber vijmus. prime partis dyalogorum scilicet OCCHAM de credentibus sanctitatibus et receptatibus hereticorum
WILLIAM OF OCKHAM, Dialogues Part 1 only (Sharpe, no. 2136 [796–8]), ed. Opera plurima, Lyon, 1494–96 (rept. London, 1962), 1:1ra–164vb. There is a fair amount of contemporary marginal annotation, often with cross-references to other discussions, frequently underlined in red, the majority in the first 50 folios (a few in the second half of quire 13 and in quires 16–18). With two tables: a chapter list (fols. 1–7v), not in the same hand as the body of the text, but similar; and an analytical index (fols. 293v–303), in humanistica. There are only four lines on fol. 303, and the verso is blank but bounded, as is also the blank fol. iii.

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: Responditur (fol. 2)
Secundo Folio: Contigit (fol. 9)
Form: codex
Support: Paper (with tiny pasted vellum strips at quire centres): the quires are regular groups, in the main of six sheets, folded in folio. On two paper stocks, both of type Roue:

A: resembles Briquet, nos. 13245–7 (1431 × 1448);

B: resembles Briquet, nos. 13265–8 (in the main 1425 × 1438, with other examples 1410 and 1444); this second stock appears only as the sole stock in quires 2 and 3 and on the central sheet in quire 5 (thirteen sheets total).

Extent: Fols. ii + 304 (numbered fols. 1–303, iii) + i (numbered fols. iv and v).
Dimensions (leaf): 286 × 205 mm.
Dimensions (written): 197 × 125 mm.


18(–1) 2–2512 262 278(–8). Catchwords at the boundary of the gutter, many cut into or away; a few remaining partial signatures: fols. 145 and 284 have a letter, now mostly cut away; roman quire signatures appear on fols. 176 (‘xv’), 224, 248 (in a later hand, both cut off ‘x⟨ ⟩’), 296 (‘xxvi’), and 298 (‘xx ⟨ ⟩’). The same hand which affixed the numerical signatures is also responsible for some catchwords.


Fol. 186 has a small patch, executed by the original scribe.


In long lines, 43 lines to the page. No prickings; bounded in stylus or black ink, unruled (a few rules in black ink in the index).


Written in continental (Italian) cursiva formata. Punctuation by occasional point.


At chapter openings 3- and 4-line unflourished lombards in red.

Chapter titles and names of speakers in the dialogues in text ink underlined in red; red paraphs to break up sentences.


Brown reversed calf over millboards, s. xvi. Sewn on four thongs. Cloth ties intact on both boards to close the book. The mark of a chain staple in Watson’s position 6 (one nail has left an impression in the leaves up to about fol. 20). Inked ‘69’ on a paper lozenge at the head of the spine; and inked on the leading edges, with ‘Occhami dialogi MS’ (leading and bottom edges red- stained). A tag on the middle leading edge of the lower board with an old shelfmark ‘4 70’. Manuscript pastedowns, that in the rear now raised (fol. iv), with a piece still mostly glued (fol. v). At the front, two modern paper flyleaves; at the rear, only the raised pastedown.


Origin: s. xv2/4 ; Italy

Provenance and Acquisition

‘Emptus fuit liber iste per Reuerendissimum in cristo patrem et dominum dominum Ludouicum tituli sancte Susanne sancte Romane ecclesie presbiterem Cardinalem de Varambone vulgariter nuncupatum Ab Helya In die Solennis die Veneris xe mensis Ianuarii Anno ab Natiuitate domini MoiiiiCxliiijto. (beneath the colophon, fol. 273 in a different hand).

‘Liber Collegij Sancti Johannis Baptistae Oxon ex dono Reuerendi in Cristo Patris Johannis Roffensis olim huius Collegij Socij et Praesidis’ (fol. 2, upper margin), i.e. John Buckridge. This volume and MS 71 are companion donations, both of Italian derivation and sharing the same (?Oxford) binding with pastedowns from the same Burley MS.

MS 69 - Pastedowns



Language(s): Latin

a. Fol. ivra–vb:
Incipit: || est conclusio de anax’ probatur sic irregularitas ⟨ ⟩ accidit in motu
Explicit: et deo qui dedit intelligere sint .... infinite
Final rubric: Explicit deo ....
WALTER BURLEY, commentary on Aristotle’s Physics from late in book 8 (Sharpe, no. 1902 [709–26, at 715–16]; Lohr, Traditio 24 [1968], 179–80). The text corresponds to the full copy, Oxford, All Souls College MS 86, fols. 198rb / 70–99ra / 22. The rear leaf formed columns 1031–4 of a whole manuscript.
b. Fol. iv–front pastedownb:
Incipit: De generacione autem et corrupcione In prohemio huius libri proponit phiosophus suam intencionem dicens quod intendit
Explicit: per con⟨grega⟩cionem et corrupcionem fieri per segregacionem ||
Incipit: || generatur generacio ex non ente finito cum ⟨ ⟩ finem debeat per ablacionem
Explicit: secundum quid acciuus non est ens nisi ||
WALTER BURLEY, Exposicio libri de generatione et corruptione (Sharpe, no. 1902 [716–17], Lohr, 181–2). The rear pastedown corresponds to the full text at All Souls MS 86, fols. 199ra / 26–99rb / 4; the passage on the front pastedown has not been located.

Physical Description

Dimensions (fragment): 283 × 237 mm.
(the width of fols. iv + v).


In double columns, each column the length of the fragment x 80 mm, with 12 mm between columns, in 60–5 surviving lines to the column.


Written in anglicana formata, s. xiv med.


The text is broken with alternate red and blue paraphs.

The new text is introduced by a 9-line blue and gold leaf lombard on red and violet flourishing with red, blue, and gold leaf bar border.


Origin: s. xiv med.

Additional Information

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.


    Charles L. Lohr, 'Medieval Latin Aristotle Commentaries: Authors G–I', Traditio 24 (1968): 149–245.
    William of Ockham, Opera plurima Lyon, 1494–1496: Réimpression en facsimilé avec un tableau des abréviations (London: Gregg Press, 1962).
    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).
    Andrew G. Watson, A Descriptive Catalogue of the Medieval Manuscripts of All Souls College Oxford (Oxford, 1997).

Funding of Cataloguing

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

Last Substantive Revision

2020-12: First online publication

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