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

St John's College MS. 88

Hrabanus Maurus, De universo


Language(s): Latin

Fols. 1–250
Rubric: RABANUS de natura rerum
Incipit: Domino ⟨ ⟩ simo et omni honore dignissimo luduuico regi hrabanus uilissimus […] Audita bona opinione uestra qu⟨ę⟩ predicatur per totas prouincias […]
Rubric: [fol. 1v] Ad hemmonem episcopum |
Incipit: [fol. 2] Domino re⟨ ⟩ntissimo et cum omni caritatis officio […] Memor boni studii tui sancte pater quod habuisti […] [fol. 4, the text] Primvm apud hebreos dei nomen el dicitur quod alii domini
Explicit: quia sanctę trinitatis unum uelle una potestas una comparatio est
Hrabanus Maurus, De universo

Ed. PL 111:9, 11, 13–614. A table of chapters appears between the dedicatory letters and the text (fols. 2v–4); fol. 250v is blank but bounded and ruled.

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: Domino
Form: codex
Support: Vellum (fol. 1 is a HS).
Extent: Fols. iii + 250 + iii (numbered fols. iii bis–v).
Dimensions (leaf): 268 × 173 mm.
Dimensions (written): 203 × 120 mm.


The MS is too tightly bound to be utterly certain about the collation: 16 2–412 [fols. 43–58 = quires 5–6, fols. 59–73 = quire 7] 8–912 [fols. 98–106 = quire 10] 11–1712 1814 [the remains of more than one quire?] 1912 [fols. 219–44 = quires 20–1] 228 (–7, –8, probably blank). No catchwords. Most quires signed in roman numerals on the final verso; quires 1–13 = i–xiii, quire 14 signed both xiiii and xv, quires 15–19 = xvi–xxi. Fols. 245–8 uniquely have leaf signatures, arabic 1–4 in brown crayon.


Fols. 1 and 2 are damaged at the top, and fol. 1 has been partly mounted on paper. Overall, the vellum is ratty and uneven at the page foot; spills and stains on fols. 13, 18, and 26v–7 affect variously the legibility of fols. 12–33.


In long lines, 40 lines to the page. Frequent prickings; bounded and ruled with stylus.


Written in caroline. Punctuation by point only.


Red headings, usually in rustic capitals.

At the heads of books and chapters alternating 2- to 4-line red and green arabesque capitals, usually unflourished; at the heads of books, some slightly more elaborate, in both colours, rarely blue with one of the contrasting colours.

Book numbers added as running titles in the upper margins, s. xv.

See AT, no. 16 (4).


A modern replacement. Sewn on five thongs. At the front, a heavy modern grey paper flyleaf and two more of modern paper; at the rear, two modern paper flyleaves and another of grey paper (iii bis–v).


Origin: s. xii in. ; England

Provenance and Acquisition

The old shelfmark ‘I.X’ (fol. 1, s. xiv), from Chichester cathedral (Ker, MLGB 51); not noted at Registrum R.11.3, 7, 13.

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).
    Jacques-Paul Migne (ed.), Patrologia Latina 111 (Paris, 1852).
    Richard H. and Mary A. Rouse and R. A. B. Mynors (eds.), Registrum Anglie de libris doctorum et auctorum veterum. Corpus of British Medieval Library Catalogues 2 (London, 1991).

Funding of Cataloguing

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

Last Substantive Revision

2021-09: First online publication

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