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

St John's College MS 153

Gregory the Great, Moralia in Job, volume 1


Language(s): Latin

1. Fols. 39v–40v:
Rubric: Incipit Visio TAIONIS Cesaraugustani Episcopi Quam rome In Ecclesia Beati Petri vidit
Incipit: Beatus Gregorius papa librum Iob petente Sancto leandro Spalensi Episcopo exposuit
Explicit: cum magno gaudio reportauit hancque uisionem eis deinceps prenotari et prescribi instituit
TAIO OF SARRAGOSA, De inuentione librorum Moralium in Iob (CPL 1715, cf. 1270), , ed. PL 75:507–10, . An extensive table of notable contents of the Moralia by book on fols. 2ra–39rb In double columns, each column 180 × 53 mm. , with 10 mm between columns, in 30 lines.
2. Fols. 42–306v:
Rubric: Incipit proemium Beati GREGORII In libro Iob
Incipit: Inter multos sepe qveritur quis libri beati iob scriptor habeatur Et alii quidem moysen […]
Rubric: [fol. 47, the text] ⟨l⟩ncipiunt Compulationes Moralium Beati GREGORII In librum Iob
Incipit: Uir erat in terra hus nomine iob Iccirco uir sanctus ubi habitauerit dicitur ut eius meritum uirtutis
Explicit: sequuntur quia magna obscuritate implicata sunt opitulante deo latius disserantur
Final rubric: Explicit liber sextus decimus [marginal, perhaps an instruction for a rubric]

CPL 1708, (books 1–16 only), , ed. Mark Adriaen, CC 143–143A (1979), 8–849., Lacks 1.36.53–2.1.1 (CC 143:54/55–59/11), owing to a leaf torn out, probably for the decorative initial at the opening of book 2. A tab attached to fol. 42 bears a textual correction.

Added text:

fol. 1:
Rubric: [rubric in anglicana, s. xv] Prohemium beati GREGORII in libro Iob sequitur post […]
Incipit: ⟨I⟩nter multos sepe queritur quis libri beati iob scriptor habeatur
Explicit: inspirator extitit et per scribentis uocem imitanda ad nos eius facta transmisit

The text of fol. 42/1–12, apparently a rejected leaf with omissions, the whole marked ‘va […] cat’; by a scribe contemporary with the remainder but not the hand of fol. 42.

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: Qualiter (fol. 3)
Secundo Folio: gratias (fol. 43)
Form: codex
Support: Vellum (HSOS/HFFH).
Extent: Fols. v (numbered fols. i–iv, 1) + 305 (numbered fols. 2–306) + iii (numbered fols. v–vii).
Dimensions (leaf): 215 × 150 mm.


1–48 58 (4, fol. 37, a single, partially pasted to the reinforced 5, fol. 38) [fol. 41, the end of the prefatory materials] | 68 78(–7) 8–298 306 [fol. 238, a production break at the end of book 10] | 31–348 354 36–398. Regular catchwords, although most cut away in quires 1–5 (the prefatory material). Quires signed with a roman numeral on the final verso; quire i = I, quires 6–39 = Ius–XXXIIII. Taio’s letter and the contents table are a separate booklet; fols. 42–238 another. Note the change in the decorative programme at this point; in addition, signs of correction stop on fol. 214v.


Lower margin cut away on fol. 42.


Writing area 160–5 × 102 mm. , with an extra column 20 mm wide for glosses along the leading edge. In long lines, 27 lines to the page. Frequent prickings; bounded and ruled in black and brown ink.


Written in protogothic bookhand (perhaps more than one hand). Punctuation by point, punctus elevatus, and punctus interrogativus.


Headings in red.

Six-line red and blue lombards with infill in both colours to head books. After book 11 (fol. 239), these are smaller (2-line) and less elaborate.

Book 11 uniquely has an unflourished 2-line red lombard.

Running titles (many later) to indicate books.

In the contents section, alternate red and blue or red and green 1-line lombards at the heads of entries.

Instructions for rubrics frequently survive at the foot of pages; marks of correction at the foot of every page through fol. 214v (‘t’ with a line or hook above it).


A modern replacement. Three thongs show on the spine (now loose) but not on the backs of quires. At the front, a marbled paper leaf, two modern paper flyleaves, and two medieval vellum flyleaves (fol. 1 is pasted to the stub of the conjoint of fol. iv, which has a few line-ends on the verso); at the rear, two modern paper flyleaves and another marbled paper leaf (v–vii).


Origin: s. xii3/4 ; England

Provenance and Acquisition

‘Hic liber est Ecclesie Sancte Marie de Suwica Quem qui .. ei abstulerit uel titulum istum dolo deleuerit uel per aliam quamcumque fraudem ab ea alienauerit sit anathema Maranatha fiat fiat amen’ (fol. 41v, lower margin) (Ker, MLGB 181; unnoted at Registrum R 2.5).

A description of contents (fol. 1v; anglicana, s. xv1, with partial copies in two later secretary hands, s. xv).

Iohannes white de Suthvyke in Comitatu Sutht Armiger dedit hunc librum Thome white de london militi ad vsum Colegij per ipsum de nouo erecti in Oxon Anno 1555’ (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). The binding of MS 153 has been repaired since the publication of the printed catalogue.


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


    M. Adriaen (ed.), S. Gregorii Magni Moralia in Iob. Corpus Christianorum 143, 143A, 143B (1979–1985).
    Eligius Dekkers and Aemilius Gaar, Clavis patrum latinorum, 3rd edn. (Turnhout, 1995).
    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 75 (Paris, 1849).
    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

2023-01: First online publication

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