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

St John's College MS 197

Medical miscellany

Physical Description

Comprising three originally separate MSS
Secundo Folio: aque ros’
Form: codex
Support: Comprising three originally separate MSS, all on vellum (the second HSOS/HFFH, the others FSOS/FHHF).
Extent: Fols. iii + 376 (numbered fols. 1–375, iv) + ii (numbered fols. v–vi).
Dimensions (leaf): 162 × 117 mm.


Borders cut away on fols. 77 and 97.


A modern replacement. Sewn on five thongs. At the front, a marbled paper leaf, one modern paper flyleaf, and one medieval vellum fiyleaf at the rear, a modern paper flyleaf, and another marbled leaf (v–vi).


Origin: s. xv med., part dated 1450 ; France and Italy variously

Provenance and Acquisition

Contents list, s. xv/xvi (fol. iiiv).

Part of a verse (fol. ivv, s. xvi).

‘Liber Collegij Divi Johannis Baptistae Oxon’ ex dono Domini Gulielmi Paddei Militis et ejusdem Collegii olim Convictoris 1634’ (fol. 2, upper margin).

Manuscript 1 = Fols. 1–76


Language(s): Latin

1. Fols. 1–31v:
Incipit: Quoniam secundum doctrinam G 3o de ingenio sicut sciencia operandi ab essencia morbi finitur ita
Explicit: coxi uirere aloen ana vncia 1. etsi buthiri quod sufficit ficit emplastrum Deo gracias
Final rubric: Explicit paruus tractatus GUIDONIS super antidotario
'Paruus tractatus super antidotario'

Perhaps GUY OF CHAULIAC (so TK 1301), another copy Poitiers, BM, MS 185, fol. 13. Fol. 32rv is blank but ruled.

2. Fols. 33–76v:
Incipit: Intendens venerabilis amice bernarde componere librum in quo tradam omnium concedente datore plenam doctrinam […] [fol. 33v, the text] Attende quod in omni opere medicus debet supponere circam intencionem
Explicit: tibi graciam specialem qui tibi donet graciam suam mihi aut veniam peccatorum qui sit benedictus in secula seculorum amen
LANFRANC OF MILAN, Cyrurgia parva (TK 757), ed. Cyrurgia Guidonis de Cauliaco (Venice, 23 December 1499) (Hain 4812*, BMC5:575) 171ra–75vb.

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: aque ros’
Support: vellum (FSOS/FHHF)
Extent: Fols. 76.
Dimensions (written): 110 × 58 mm.


1–48 [fol. 32, a booklet boundary] | 5–98 104. Catchwords in scrolls, most cut away. Only one early signature (fol. 19 = c iij), but in booklet 2 all leaves in the first half of each quire signed with a letter and a roman numeral, many cut away; in this system, quires 5, 8–9 = a, d–e.


In long lines, 25 lines to the page. No prickings; bounded and ruled in purple and pinkish inks.


Written in French lettre bâtarde, i.e., bastard secretary s. xv2. Punctuation by point and virgula.


At heads of the two texts of the MS, a 5-line champe with simple bar extensions and full floral demivinet on the other three sides of the page, in green, gold, blue, and pink (the first champe green, blue, and gold leaf).

Spaces for rubrics unfilled.

At chapter heads, alternate 2-line lombards, blue on red flourishing and gold leaf on purple flourishing.

The text divided by alternate red and blue paraphs and ochre-slashed capitals (occasional ochre-slashed top line extenders, some elaborated into snake shapes).

In the margin fol. 23v, drawings of surgical implements.

See AT, no. 762 (75), dating 1450 at Avignon on the basis of fol. 125v; with ‘fine borders in the same style added, fols. 291–372, to an Italian MS of s. xiii2/4’, and plate xlv (fol. 105).


Origin: s. xv2 ; France

Manuscript 2 = Fols. 77–292


Language(s): Latin

3. Fols. 77–96v:
Incipit: Ut de operatione manuali librum componerem breuiorem scilicet et apciore⟨ ⟩ quam composuerim Andree tuam mihi peticionem paduanensis lazare […]
Rubric: [fol. 77v, the text] De sermone naturali in vulneribus
Incipit: Primus canon seu Regula que in omnibus occurrit vulneribus est Ut sanguis refrenetur
Explicit: ad remedium tocius corporis Et cum fit etiam in concauitate pedis valet ad podagram
Final rubric: Explicit parua Syrurgia BRUNI
BRUNO LONGOBURGENSIS, Cyrurgia minor (TK 1122; 1615 for the prologue), ed. Cyrurgia Guidonis, 94ra–96vb.
4. Fols. 97–104v:
Rubric: Incipiunt anforisimi IOHANNIS DAMASCENI
Incipit: Liberet te deus fili amantissime a deuio erroris et in via conseruet prosperitatis
Explicit: non per omnia habeo ceptum opus non negligere hortor per quod idem nunis letificasti
Final rubric: Amphorismorum finis DAMASCENI

TK 824, ed. Aphorismi excellentissimi Raby Moyses [Maimonides] (Bologna, 28 May 1489) pt. 2 (Hain 10524*, BMC 6:824), sigs. A i–A v.

5. Fols. 105–25v:
Rubric: Incipiunt Amphorisimi seu parabule magistri ARNAUDI DE VILLANOUA
Incipit: Omnis medela procedit a summo bono Qui Iuste ac vtiliter voluerit medicari
Explicit: Sapiencie igitur ad exemplum illius premiss. reducit in parabolas oportunas
Final rubric: Expliciunt amphorismi seu parabole magistri ARNALDI DE NOUA VILLA per me Io duraund compagnoni tunc in Ciuitate Auinion’ et in camera venerabilis viri domini Jacobi oboli canonici sancti petrj degen MoCCCClmo. deo gracias
ARNOLD OF VILLANOVA, 'Amphorisimi seu parabule'

TK 999, ed. Opera (Basel, 1585), 913–1038.

6. Fols. 126–7
Rubric: Isti versus statim sequentes ostendunt et demonstrant cognoscere quatuor complexiones […]
Incipit: Fleuma superueniens propria in corpore leges | Artus suspend’ lacerni
Explicit: aut elephancia pestis | Hinc pars maiores hinc mortificacio partis
Final rubric: Expliciunt versus de quatuor humoribus

TK 565, 566 and Walter, no. 6606 (cf. BL, MSS Royal 12 D.xiii, fol. 209; or Sloane 783B, fol. 179), in part excerpted from the ‘Schola Salerni’. Fols. 127v–8v are blank but ruled.

7. Fols. 129–255v:
Rubric: Incipit ⟨codicillus⟩ Magistri BERNARDI DE GORDONIO
Incipit: Circa omnium egritudinum genera Triplex modus curatonis [sic for curationis] occurrit Primus est per exhibitionem
Explicit: desiccabitur Informentur Inde trocissi et bene desiccati vsui reseruentur finis

TK 217 (perhaps another text with the same incipit). There is a thoroughly obliterated inscription at the foot of fol. 255v, and fol. 256 is blank but ruled.

8. Fols. 256v–63:
Rubric: Incipiunt versus vrinarum EGIDIJ
Incipit: Dicitur vrina quoniam fit renibus vna | Aut ab vrit grece
Explicit: ne casta reuelet | Fibria monstratur quam non est tangere dignus
Final rubric: Expliciunt versus EGIDII de vrinis
GILES OF CORBEIL, De urinis (TK 422), ed. Louis Choulant, Carmina Medica (Leipzig, 1826), 4–18. Written by a new scribe; introduced by only a 4-line champe and with a plainer border; alternate 1-line lombards and red paraphs.
9. Fols. 263–70:
Rubric: Sequntur versus eiusdem de pulsibus
Incipit: Ingenii vires modicis conatibus impar | Materies onerosa
Explicit: exponens diuite vena | Iam sterilem cultum philareti nominis horret
GILES, De Pulsibus (TK 744), ed. Choulant, 28–43.
10. Fols. 270–84v:
Rubric: Sequntur versus eiusdem super antidotarium de syrupo rosarum
Incipit: Syrupus ex rosis In febre valet peracuta | Quartana terreo stomaco
Explicit: veramque diurnam | Fastidium tollit stomachi chimis ab acutis
Final rubric: Expliciunt versus de vtilitatibus medicinarum compositarum secundum antidotarium ARNOLDI DE VILLANOUA.

Cited TK 1510 and not in Walther (nor ed. by Choulant).

11. Fols. 285–91v:
Incipit: Cognoscuntur leprosi quinque modis scilicet ab vrina a pulsu a sanguine a voce
Explicit: [fol. 287] Si autem appareant signa melancolie erit species que vocatur elephantia
Incipit: Quoniam autem omnis operatio medicaminum secundum rectam viam que sumitur
Explicit: nisi mundificatiua cutis et per medicinas fortes quas ponunt doctores Deo gracias
JORDANUS DE TURRE, tract on leprosy,

the first part ed. as ARNOLD OF VILLANOVA, ‘Signa leprosorum’ (TK 232), Opera, 1520–4; the second part (not in TK) ed. Luke Demaître, ‘The Relevance of Futility: Jordanus de Turre (fl. 1313–1335) on the Treatment of Leprosy’, Bulletin of the History of Medicine 70 (1996), 25–61 at 54–61. At the end, most of fol. 291v and all fol. 292v blank but ruled. At the head, a space for a 3-line initial unfilled; perhaps an unexccuted planned border (the top lines blank). Rules in pinkish ink.

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: flebotomia
Support: vellum (HSOS/HFFH)
Extent: Fols. 216.
Dimensions (written): 108 × 58 mm.


1112 128 [fol. 96, a booklet boundary] | 138 [fol. 104, a booklet boundary] | 14–168 [fol. 128, a booklet boundary] | 17–2712 2810 2914 [to fol. 284, a booklet boundary] | 308. Within continuous sections, catchwords near the gutter, usually in red half-boxes. Signatures only in the fourth booklet (arabic numerals on the first three leaves of the fifth): all leaves in the first half of each quire signed with a letter and a roman numeral (arabic on a few occasions); in this system, quires 17–27 = a–?k. These signatures have been imposed on an earlier system which signed sheets, rather than bifolia, and which did not assign numerals (which usually appear to have been added) to the leaves.


In long lines, 29 lines to the page. Prickings; bounded and ruled in purple ink.


Written in French cursiva (secretary), s. xv3/4 (a new scribe probably takes over at fol. 105). Punctuation by point and double virgula.


Headings in red.

Seven-line champes at initia, with full borders (some cut away). That at fol. 105 in light green and pink with minimal gold-work; that at fol. 129 12-line, with the opening word as part of the painting, and with a blazon worked into the gold, now illegible.

At chapter heads, 3- and 4-line alternate lombards, blue on red flourishing and gold leaf on purple flourishing.

The texts divided by alternate red and blue paraphs and, in booklet 4, some ochre-slashed capitals.


Origin: s. xv3/4 ; France

Manuscript 3 = Fols. 292–375, iv


Language(s): Latin

12. Fols. 293–304:
Incipit: Medicina diuidit diuiditur [sic] in duas partes scilicet in theoricam et practicam Quarum theorica diuiditur
Explicit: cognicio quinque modis sit qualitatis quantitatis temporis ordinis boni mauve discretione
HUNAIN IBN ISHAQ, Isagoge in Tegni Galieni (TK 856), ed. Articella, 1:2ra–4va. The repetition in the incipit, hereafter ignored, results from the lack of coordination between the scribe and the rubricator producing a painted display opening.
13. Fols. 304v–32:
Incipit: Tres sunt omnes doctrine que ordine habentur prima quidem ex finis notione
Explicit: et perscribens quot sint et qualia determinabo orationern in eis
GALEN, Ars parva/Microtechne (TK 1585), ending in 3.214, ed. Articella, 3:84va–153rb. Fol. 332v is blank but ruled; the foot of both the recto and the verso have added medical notes and distinctions.
14. Fols. 333–46:
Incipit: Uita breuis ars uero longa tempus acututum experimentum fallax iudicium difficile
Explicit: non existente in collo suffocatio repente inuascatur et deglutire non posset mortale

in the translation of CONSTANTINE THE AFRICAN, ending 7.59, ed. Articella, 2:1ra–139ra. Our MS is unnoted in Kibre’s Hippocrates Latinus. Each section introduced by a 1-line red or blue lombard. Fol. 346v is blank.

15. Fols. 347–54v:
Incipit: Omnis qui medicine studio seu gloriam seu delectabilem amicorum consequi desiderat copiam
Explicit: nostro numero dierum nostrorum quoquo sunt exposite ordine preceptorum
HIPPOCRATES, Prognostics,

also translated by CONSTANTINE, ed. Articella, 2:141ra–67va.

16. Fols. 354v–65:
Incipit: De urinarum differencia negocium multi ueterum medicorum agressi sunt scribere
Explicit: quidem disciplina et secundum genera et species et differencias conuenienter exposuimus
THEOPHILUS, De urinis (TK 393), ed. Articella, 1:5rb–7vb.
17. Fols. 365v–7v:
Incipit: [unfilled blank for decorated text opening] […] habemus in presenti conscriptione de pulsuum negocio compendiosam expositionem tradere
Explicit: in una diastole differenter facere motiones vt [later CW: capra saliens] ||
PHILARETUS, De pulsibus (TK 764), ed. Articella, 1:4ra–5rb (nearly complete). The text breaks off at the foot of a page, and fol. 368 is blank and appears to be a modern supply.
18. Fols. 369–75:
Incipit: [unfilled blank for decorated text opening] […] accidentibus in singulis egritudinibus tractantes poenis consensisse feruntur eos quidem in hiis
Explicit: hiis minus congruus est qui solo dictantur potu sed illis aliquando conueniens est
Final rubric: Explicit liber YPOCRATIS perion oxion noxomaton

The Regimen in acutis morbis, translated by CONSTANTINE, ending in a gloss-like explanation of 2.52, ed. Articella, 3:1ra–19rb. Fol. 375v was originally blank, now filled with medical materials; the leaf appears to have been originally waste, cut from a larger leaf in multiple columns with an index of herb simples.

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: uel inferius
Support: vellum (FSOS/FHHF)
Extent: Fols. 85.
Dimensions (written): 110 × 60 mm.
Foliation: An accurate medieval foliation, numbering fols. 293–374 to fol. lxxxij (most cut away).


31–344 358 36–394 [fol. 332, a booklet boundary] | 40–484 [fol. 368, a booklet boundary] | 494 502 (? now both single) 512 (followed by a stub). One catchword (fol. 364v), no signatures.


In long lines, 30 lines to the page. No prickings; bounded and ruled in lead and black ink.


Written in Italian (?) gothic textura quadrata, s. xiii in. (above top line), one scribe for fols. 293–343, 347–64v; a second for fols. 343v–6; a third for fols. 365–75. Punctuation by point, medial point, and punctus elevatus.


At the head of the first text, an 8-line champe, with the opening line painted in alternating red and blue lombards. (The rubricator filled the whole line, even if this involved duplication of the text already copied.)

Provided with a floral border, s. xv.

The last few texts have spaces for this treatment but are not filled.

At chapter heads, 2-line alternate red and blue lombards with minimal touches in the other colour; the text broken with 1-line unflourished examples.


Origin: s. xiii in. ; Italy(?)

Additional Information

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.


    Alexander, J. J. G., and Elźbieta Temple, Illuminated Manuscripts in Oxford College Libraries, the University Archives and the Taylor Institution (Oxford, 1985).
    Catalogue of Books Printed in the XVth Century Now in the British Museum, 8 vols. (London, 1909).
    Choulant, Louis (ed.), Carmina Medica (Leipzig, 1826).
    Demaître, Luke, ‘The Relevance of Futility: Jordanus de Turre (fl. 1313–1335) on the Treatment of Leprosy’, Bulletin of the History of Medicine 70 (1996), 25–61.
    Hain, L., Repertorium bibliographicum, 8 vols. (Stuttgart, 1826–38, repr. Milan, 1948), with Supplement by W. A. Copinger (London, 1895–1902; repr. Milan, 1950).
    Kibre, Pearl, Hippocrates Latinus: Repertorium of Hippocratic Writings in the Latin Middle Ages, rev edn. (New York: Fordham University Press, 1985).
    Thorndike, Lynn, and Pearl Kibre, A Catalogue of Incipits of Medieval Scientific Writings in Latin, 2nd edn. (Cambridge, Mass., 1963).
    Walther, Hans, 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

2023-09: First online publication

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