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

St John's College MS 92

Guido delle Colonne, Historia destructionis Troie


Language(s): Latin

1. Fols. 1ra–111va:
Incipit: ⟨L⟩icet cotidie vetera recentibus obruantur nonnulla tamen iam dudum vetera precesserunt
Explicit: veritas incognita remaneret ad presentis operis perfeccionem efficaciter laboraui Factum est autem presens opus similiter et finitum anno dominice incarnacionis Millesimo ducentesimo octogesimo septimo
Final rubric: Explicit excidium ciuitatis Troie
GUIDO DELLE COLONNE, Historia destructionis Troie,

ed. Nathaniel E. Griffin, Guido de columnis Historia destructionis Troiae (Cambridge, Mass., 1936), 3–276. The second column of fol. 111v is blank. The incipit cited above is that of Guido’s prologue; the head of the text is mainly illegible and discontinuous, on the patched fol. 1va.

2. Fols. 111v–12:
Rubric: Incipiunt versus de eodem Epitaphium Hectoris
Incipit: Trophum protector danaum metus hic iacet Hector | Defensor patrie […]
Rubric: Epitaphium Achillis
Incipit: Pellides ego sum Tetidis notissima proles | Cui virtus clarum nomen […]

The epitaphs of Hector and Achilles are regularly inserted in Guido’s text; see Griffin, 275, where they precede the actual explicit.

3. Fols. 112–17v:
Rubric: Incipiunt versus de excidio Troie
Incipit: Diuicijs ortu specie virtute trihumphis | Rex Priamus clara
Explicit: [fol. 117] Castra locat transfert munera fedus innit | ⟨ ⟩ turnus amata | ⟨ ⟩ acta fuit
SIMON CAPRA AUREA, 'De Troja' (Walther, no. 4345), most recently ed. A. Boutemy et al., ‘La Version parisienne du poème de Simon Chèvre d’Or sur la Guerre de Troie...’, Scriptorium 1 (1946–7), 267–88, ending at line 738. With a medial rubric at line 488 of the text (fol. 114v), ‘Expliciunt versus Pindari poete de excidio vrbis troie videlicet prima distinctio Sequitur secunda distinctio de recessu Enee’. Walther enters this second ‘distinctio’ separately as no. 8673.
4. Fols. 117v–18v:
Incipit: || ⟨ ⟩-nctio de recessu Enee ⟨ ⟩ volo fato danais data solo | ⟨ ⟩ apta redacta solo | ⟨ ⟩ que prima tenes elicona
Explicit: eodem maior Omero | Tot clades numero scribere si potero
Final rubric: Expliciunt versus de excidio Troie
5. Fols. 119–20:
Rubric: Incipiunt alij & eodem
De excidio Troiae
Incipit: Uiribus atque minis danauu ⟨ ⟩ | Annis bis quinis sit rogus a ⟨ ⟩
Explicit: surgunt romana trophea | Sic gens romulea surgit ab hectorea
Final rubric: Expliciunt versus de excidio Troie
Walther, no. 20582,

variously ascribed to HILDEBERT OF LAVARDIN and to PETRUS DE SAINTES, ed. PL 171:1451–3.

6. Fol. 120v:
Incipit: ⟨Ap⟩parare volens puero michi philosophia | Munera produxit quatuor atque tria
Explicit: Illam respicio que modo cuncta regit
Walther, no. 1366,

a dialogue between a boy and the seven liberal arts and law (the final couplet identified marginally as ‘legem ciuilem et canonicam’), unpublished. Sixteen couplets, one less than in the copy at BL, MS Lansdowne 397, fol. 10, but probably complete.

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: anniculus
Form: codex
Support: Vellum and paper, in the usual fashion, four paper sheets folded inside a single vellum sheet, which then forms both the outer and centre bifolia (FSOS/FHHF). All quires are regular groups of four sheets folded in folio. There are three paper stocks:

A Cloche / Glocke: not in Briquet, but resembles most closely no. 4081 (1415 × 1427, northern France and the Low Countries); cf. also nos. 4082 (1417 × 1426, the Rhineland and northern France) and 4086 (1446, Sens): a single example, the outermost sheet of quire 1 (fols. 2 + 11).

B Einhorn / Tête de Licorne: resembles Piccard X ( Fabeltiere ) nos. 1076–85, 1175, all of them much too old (1387 × 1394, Dutch; and 1380, Florence): the four sheets of quire 5.

C Waage / Balance: the general variety Piccard V 1, nos. 69–178, in wide use c.1407 x 1440: all the remainder, perhaps more than one stock (quires 1–4, 6–10 a separate stock?).

Extent: Fols. iii + 120 + ii (numbered fols. iv and v).
Dimensions (leaf): 270 × 205 mm.


1–1012. Catchwords at the edge of the gutter, plain, boxed, and in scrolls (one such touched with red); any signatures have been lost owing to damage to the leading edges of the leaves.


The MS has been heavily damaged by water along the leading edges; the majority of paper leaves have some form of mounting or replacement in this position, and the text has faded substantially elsewhere.


In double columns (fols. 112–20 verse in long lines), each column 195–210 × 65 mm. , with 15 mm between columns, in 40 lines to the column. No prickings; bounded in brown and reddish-brown crayon, unruled.


Written in formal secretary. Punctuation by medial point and double virgula.


Headings in red.

Sporadic red paraphs to break up the text.

All spaces for capitals at heads of sections unfilled, with no guide letters.


Plain brown leather over millboards, s. xvii, rebacked, with a plain stamped fillet with floral stamps in the corners. Sewn on three thongs. Gold ‘92’ in the top compartment of the spine, a black ink notation on the leading edges, but not the full shelfmark. Endleaves and pastedowns marbled paper, a College bookplate on the front pastedown. At the front, the marbled leaf and two modern paper flyleaves; at the rear, one paper flyleaf and another marbled leaf (iv–v).


Origin: s. xv1 ; England

Provenance and Acquisition

‘Sunt´ Willm ⟨ ⟩’, the remainder illegible (fol. 120v, lower margin, cancelled and cut off, s. xv).

A note on the text and its date (fol. iiiv, s. xviii).

‘Liber Collegii Sancti Joannis Baptistae’ (s. xviii); ‘Donum Dedit Guillielmi Derham Ejusdem Socius A.D. 1725’ (fol. 1, lower margin).

Record Sources

Ralph Hanna, A descriptive catalogue of the western medieval manuscripts of St. John's College, Oxford (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002) (with a correction to the reference to Patrologia Latina)


For enquiries relating to this manuscript please contact St John's College Library.


    Boutemy, A., et al., ‘La Version parisienne du poème de Simon Chèvre d’Or sur la Guerre de Troie...’, Scriptorium 1 (1946–7), 267–88.
    C-M Briquet, ed. Allan Stevenson, Les filigranes: Dictionnaire historique des marques du papier des leur apparition vers 1292 jusqu'en 1600: A Facsimile of the 1907 edition with supplementary material contributed by a number of scholars, 4 vols. (Amsterdam, 1968)
    Nathaniel E. Griffin (ed.), Guido de columnis Historia destructionis Troiae (Cambridge, Mass., 1936).
    Jacques-Paul Migne (ed.), Patrologia Latina 171 (Paris, 1854).
    Gerhard Piccard, Die Wasserzeichenkartei Piccard im Hauptstadts-archiv Stuttgart: Findbuch, currently 17 vols. (Stuttgard, 1961– )
    Hans Walther, Initia carminum ac versuum Medii Aevi posterioris Latinorum, 2nd edn (Göttingen, 1969).

Funding of Cataloguing

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

Last Substantive Revision

2022-04: First online publication

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