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

St John's College MS 111

Anselm of Laon, gloss on Matthew


Language(s): Latin

1. Fols. 1ra–4vb:
Incipit: Sancti spiritus adsit nobis gratia ⟨C⟩um post ascensionem domini spiritus sanctus corda discipulorum illustrasset
Explicit: purgati cristo ad quem tendimur coniungamur et ei adhabeamus
ANSELM OF LAON, the prologue to the Glossae in Matthaeum (Stegmüller, RB 1359 [2:114], identifying the following text as such), copied by the glossing hand.
2. Fols. 5rb–111vb:
Incipit: Mathevs ex iudea sicut in ordine primus ponitur ita euangelium […] [fol. 5rc, the gloss begins] Cum multi scripsisse euangelia legantur soli iiiior. euangeliste […] [fol. 7rb, the gloss begins] Matheus cum primo predicasset in iudea uolens transire ad gentes […] [the text begins] L [an unfilled decorative incipit] braham \fides/ genuit \prima generacio/ ysaac \secunda generacio/ Ysaac autem genuit iacob
Explicit: [fol. 111va, the gloss ends] non sunt de futuri qui mansione [m. q. marked for reversal] diuina sunt digni Eplicjt [sic] hoc opvs [the text ends] Et ecce ego uobiscum \diuinitate/ sum omnibus diebus \confinitis laboribus mecum regnabitis/ usque ad consumacionem seculi
Matthew, with a pre-ANSELMian set of glosses associable with Laon,

see the discussions: Heinrich Weisweiler, ‘Paschasius Radbertus als Vermittler…’, Scholastik 35 (1960), 363–402, 503–36; and Beryl Smalley, ‘Some Gospel Commentaries of the Early Twelfth Century’, Recherches de théologie ancienne et médiévale 45 (1978), 147–80 (our MS treated at 162–5). The prologue ends on fol. 6, and fol. 6v is blank.

3. Fol. 112ra
Incipit: Suggillo a suggo tractum a lamijs id est trangulo Secularis sapiencia quasi coluber per humum serpit
Explicit: illo donante dicitur qui est ueritas Basan confusio dicitur’
Theological notes,

mainly etymological, in the hand of the gloss, ed. Smalley 163–4. The remainder of the leaf was originally blank.

Added text:

fol. 112v
Incipit: Salue mater saluatoris uas electum uas honoris uas celestis gratie
Explicit: salua gratis et nos tue claritatis configura gloria amen

in Ulysse Chevalier, Repertorium Hymnologicum, 2 vols. (Louvain, 1892–7), no. 18051. With musical notation, s. xiii in.; at the page foot, an added line of music with the stanza ‘Ebur candens castitatis aurum fuluum caritatis presignans misteria’. On fol. iv, further pen-trials, including copies of bits of the hymn.

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: Tertium
Form: codex
Support: Vellum (HSOS/HFFH).
Extent: Fols. iii + 112 + iii (numbered fols. iv–vi).
Dimensions (leaf): 250 × 155 mm.


18 (–5, –6, –7, –8, the first three of them stubs) 2–138 142. No catchwords; quires signed with a roman numeral, either on the first recto (quires 3–10) or the last verso (quires 11–13). In this system, quires 3–13 = ii–xii. A leaf signature ‘c’ may appear on fol. 71.


Fols. 1–4v in double columns, each column 195 × 53 mm. , with 11–12 mm between columns, in 44 lines to the column.

The remainder in text and gloss format: a central column of 165 × 50 mm. in 16 lines, flanked by two gloss columns, 50 mm (the leading edge) and 20 mm (the gutter) wide—in its full extent 50 lines and 195–200 mm high. Prickings; bounded and ruled in brown crayon (the gloss ruled only as needed, with some pages very nearly blank).


Written in two sizes of protogothic book-hand. Punctuation by point only.

Musical Notation:

Notation, fol. 112v.


Generally unadorned. A 2-line red arabesque capital on fol. 5; a 7-line red and brown capital on fol. 7 (with the decorated opening for the text left incomplete).

Occasional 1-line red arabesque capitals at chapter breaks and to separate the patriarchs in ch. 1.

Large in-text capitals to divide the verses, with no notation of chapters.

Rough sketches of the crucifixion in pencil on fols. 19v and 107v.

See AT, no. 90 (12), calling the MS French, s. xii2/4, the drawings English, s. xii3/4, and plate vi (fol. 19v).


A modern replacement. Sewn on five thongs. At the front, a marbled paper leaf and two modern paper flyleaves; at the rear, one medieval vellum flyleaf (probably an old pastedown), mounted on paper, one modern paper flyleaf, and another marbled leaf (iv–vi).


Origin: s. xii2 ; Northern France

Provenance and Acquisition

Pen-trials and notes (fol. 112ra, ss. xiii in., xiii ex., s. xv).

‘hic est liber sanctorum de May [the Isle of May, Fife] quem qui celauerit uel fraudem de eo fecerit anathema sit’ (mounted on a vellum tag, fol. iiiv; s. xii ex.) (Ker, MLGB 130), the sole surviving book from this house.

William Laud’ (fol. 1, upper margin; above a cancelled inscription).

‘Liber Collegij Sanctj Johannis Baptistae Oxon’ ex dono venerabilis virj Guilielmi Laud Doctoris Thaeologiae ejusdem Collegii Praesidis’ (fol. 2, 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.


    J. J. G. Alexander and Elźbieta Temple, Illuminated Manuscripts in Oxford College Libraries, the University Archives and the Taylor Institution (Oxford, 1985).
    Ulysse Chevalier, Repertorium Hymnotogicum, 2 vols. (Louvain, 1892–7)
    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).
    Beryl Smalley, ‘Some Gospel Commentaries of the Early Twelfth Century’, Recherches de théologie ancienne et médiévale 45 (1978), 147–80.
    Friederich Stegmüller, Repertorium Biblicum Medii Aevi, 11 vols. (Madrid, 1950–80).
    Heinrich Weisweiler, ‘Paschasius Radbertus als Vermittler…’, Scholastik 35 (1960), 363–402, 503–36

Funding of Cataloguing

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

Last Substantive Revision

2022-11: First online publication

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