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

St John's College MS 121

Gregory the Great, Homilies on the Gospels


Language(s): Latin

Fols. 1–111:
Rubric: Incipit prologus beati GREGORII .. librum xla. Omeliarum Euangelij et cetera
Incipit: Reuerendissimo et sanctissimo fratri secundino episcopo Gregorius seruus seruorum dei Inter sacra missarum solennia his que diebus festis […]
Rubric: [fol. 1v, the text] Leccio sancti euangelij secundum lucam
Incipit: | [fol. 2] In illo tempore dixit iesus discipulis suis […]
Rubric: Omelia leccionis eiusdem habita ad populum in basilica beau petri apostoli
Incipit: Dominus ac redemptor noster paratos nos inuenire desiderans senescentem mundum
Explicit: deus que per me in uestris auribus loquitur per se mentibus loquatur Qui uiuit et regnat [form ending] Amen
Final rubric: Explicit liber beati GREGORII summi pontificis Omelie Sancti GREGORII pape
Gregory the Great, Homilies on the Gospels

CPL 1711, ed. PL 76:1075–1312. A table for the homilies in double columns, fol. 1rv. Fol. 111v is blank but ruled, as is the rear pastedown.

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: In illo tempore
Form: codex
Support: Vellum (FSOS/FHHF).
Extent: ii + 112 (numbered to 111; the final leaf is the current rear pastedown).
Dimensions (leaf): 240 × 160 mm.
Dimensions (written): 165–170 × 112 mm.


1–148. Signatures survive only in quire 5 and some leaves of 13, both roman and arabic numbers on leaves in the first half of the quire. Catchwords, towards the gutter and boxed, sometimes with red; a few catchwords link leaves within quires.


In long lines, 30–36 to the page. Prickings; bounded and ruled in black ink.


Written in anglicana formata, by at least three scribes: the stints run fols. 1–8v, fols. 9–58v, fols. 59–111. Punctuation by point and punctus elevatus (scribe i); to these, scribe 2 adds the punctus interrogativus; by point and occasional punctus elevatus and virgula (scribe 3).


Headings in red.

Two-line blue lombards on red flourishing at the beginning of each sermon.

Within sermons, red-slashed capitals to divide the text.

To fol. 30, the homily number is provided in the upper corner of rectos.


A modern replacement. Sewn on five thongs. Pastedowns are medieval vellum, a College bookplate on the front pastedown, the rear one a ruled waste sheet from the MS, its original final leaf. The front pastedown has holes and verdigris stains, probably from a chain-staple in Watson’s position 6. At the front, two medieval vellum flyleaves; no extra leaves at the rear.


Origin: s. xv in. ; English

Provenance and Acquisition

A table of the forty homilies (fol. ii, secretary, s. xv med.).

‘Precium libri xiij. s iiij. d’ (fol. 111v, s. xv); another contemporary pen-trial on the rear pastedown.

Given by John White, listed in the Benefactors’ Book (col. ii) as ‘Gregorij homiliae in Euangeliae MS’.

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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