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

St John's College MS. 206

Patristic miscellany: Bernard of Clairvaux, Augustine, Richard of St Victor, etc.

Physical Description

Comprising four originally separate MSS
Form: codex
Support: all on vellum (all FSOS/FHHF)
Extent: Fols. vii + 312 + iv (numbered fols. viii–xi).
Dimensions (leaf): 150 × 105 mm.
Foliation: A partial medieval pagination, in which fols. 285–312v = 357–412.


Water damage to the upper half of the leading edges, generally spotting but not obscuring the text.


A modern replacement. Sewn on four thongs. At the front, a marbled paper leaf (dated ‘1856’ on the verso), two modern paper flyleaves, two vellum stubs, and four medieval vellum flyleaves (a six-leaf quire with the first two leaves excised); at the rear, a medieval vellum flyleaf (probably a former pastedown), two modern paper flyleaves and another marbled paper leaf (viii–xi).


Origin: ss. xiii and xiv ; England

Provenance and Acquisition

A versus: ‘sicut ad omne quod est mensuram ponere prodest | sic sine mensura deparit omne quod est’ (Walther, Sprichwörter, no. 29566; fol. viiiv at the top; secretary s. xv2).

‘Graunte tims sum’ (fol. 1, lower margin; in rubric); ‘Thomas Graunte’ (fol. 312v, lower margin; s. xv/xvi). See MS 171, which also bears his signature.

‘Liber Richardi Butler Rectoris de Aston in le Walles ex dono Mri Albani Butler senioris 21 Decembris 1607’ (fol. iv, below some erased material and indication of contents).

Extremely faded notes, written upside down (fols. vi–viiv).

Manuscript 1 = Fols. 1–176


Language(s): Latin

1. Fols. 27ra–168va
Incipit: Pax est in uerbis id odoriferis opus herbis Nempe geris flores BERNARDI nobiliores hic ...... Cvm non essem alicui excercicio magno opere occupatus placuit michi […]
Rubric: [fol. 31va, the text] Incipit primus liber exceptionum collectarum de diuersis opusculis beati BERNARDI […]
Incipit: Qvid est deus qui est merito quidem Nil conpetentius eternitati
Explicit: inpassibile \agile [marg. corr.]/ configuratum temet corpori claritatis sue
Final rubric: Explicit liber xus.
WILLIAM OF TOURNAI, Flores Sancti Bernardi (Bloomfield, no. 1155). Fols. 1–26v have an alphabetical table to the text in triple columns, s. xiii ex. In addition, a list of chapters intervenes between the preface and text on fols. 27va–31rb. There is a number of marginal finding aids and notes on relevant topics, added in hands of s. xiv.
2. Fols. 168va–75vb:
Rubric: capitula subscripta excepta sunt de quibusdam sentenciis uenerabilis patris beati BERNARDI […] De dignitate et excellentia beate marie virginis in sermone de assumptione eiusdem
Incipit: Non est quod me delectet magis non est quod terreat magis
Explicit: paciuntur hic contemptui qui in sua non nisi contemptibiles esse potuerunt
An appendix to item 1, emphasizing the Virgin.

A brief note, s. xvi, added after the explicit in the blank lower half of fol. 175vb; fol. 176rv is ruled but blank.

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: cristi
Secundo Folio: ix. de libertate (fol. 28)
Extent: Fols. 176.


1–212 32 [fol. 26, the end of the contents table] | 412 5–716 812 9–1116 1220 1310. Catchwords under the inner columns, or later in them (all after quire 7 cut away). In the table, each quire signed with a letter on the first recto, s. xiv or xv; in this system, quires 1–3 = a–C. In later quires, the same letter system continues (quires 4–11 = d–l), but quires 4–8 are also signed on all leaves in the first half with either a letter or an arabic number, and quires 5–7 have quire signatures / /– / / / /.

Fol. 146v may be the end of a booklet; half of fol. 146vb is blank, with a rubric for the next section; this page has the mark ‘+’ to match a comparable mark on the following recto.


Writing area in double columns, each column 103 × 33 mm. , with 7 mm between columns, in 37 lines. No prickings; bounded and ruled in brown and black ink.


Written in two gothic texturas, the first quadrata, s. xiii2/2 or xiii ex.; the second scribe, writing textura semiquadrata, takes up in the eighth line from the foot of fol. 65ra. Punctuation by point and punctus elevatus (both scribes).


Headings and running titles with book and number in red.

At the heads of books, 3-line blue lombards on red flourishing (4-line at the head of the text); 2-line alternate red and blue lombards, on flourishing of the other colour, at chapter divisions.

The text divided, a bit fitfully, with red-slashed capitals.


Origin: s. xiii2/2 or xiii ex. ; England

Manuscript 2 = Fols. 177–251


Language(s): Latin

3. Fols. 177–93:
Incipit: Post regulas fidei ewangelico dogmate promulgatas post signa et miracula et documenta
Explicit: et qui diu fuerant cineres fiant doctores et qui sepulti magistri
ARNALDUS OF BONAVALLE, 'Tractatus de septem verbis domini in cruce',

ed. PL 189:1681–1726.

4. Fols. 193–6v:
Incipit: Si linguis hominum loquar et angelorum nichil digne nichil proprie de sancte ac perpetue uirginis Gloria
Explicit: ut sua dispendia non attenderet dum erroneum lucraretur
ARNALDUS, ‘De laudibus B. Mariae virginis’,

ed. PL 189: 1725–34, separated from the preceding by an unfilled space for a rubric and a 2-line lombard at the head.

5. Fols. 197–200:
Incipit: Mulier quedam familiaris erat ihesu que habebat septem filio\s/ qui omnes pariter unum moriebantur
Explicit: in maria pie miratur et affectuose ueneratur et ardentissime emulatur

Excerpts marked as being from sections 20–30 of a larger text; about half the last page blank.

6. Fols. 200v–20v:
Incipit: Moralium dogma philosophorum per multa dispersum volumina tuo quidem instinctu uir optime et liberalis
Explicit: illa quidem ut faciamus set rei magnitudo usum quoque exercitacionemque desiderat
Final rubric: Explicit liber Moralis

ed. John Holmberg, Das Moralium dogma philosophorum des Guillaume de Conches (Uppsala, 1929), 5–74. Half the page is blank at the end.

7. Fols. 221–50v:
Incipit: Benjamin adolescentulus in mentis excessu Audiant adolescentes sermonem de adolescente euigilent ad uocem prophete
Explicit: imaginacionem descendit In deosculacione Benjamin et ioseph diuine reuclacioni humana racio applaudit
RICHARD OF ST VICTOR, ‘De praeparatione animi ad contemplationem, dictus Beniamin minor’,

ed. PL 196:1–64. The author correctly identified by a hand of s. xv. Fol. 251rv is blank, the recto ruled.

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: nec vni
Extent: Fols. 75.
Dimensions (written): 113 × 83 mm.


1512 (–1 through –3; fols. 183–5 appear to be singles pasted to each other and to fol. 182) 16–1816 1918. Catchwords under the inner columns, nearly all cut away; no signatures.


In long lines, 34 lines to the page. Some prickings; some bounds in black and brown ink but usually ruled in lead or black ink.


Written in gothic textura semiquadrata with some anglicana forms, s. xiii/xiv (the first page in a more anglicana-influenced script, and item 5 more persistently anglicana in duct); item 6 a second scribe writing gothic textura quadrata. Punctuation by point, punctus elevatus (the first scribe only), and virgula (a later addition).


Comparable to the preceding MS, although the flourishing is often in a different style with rectilinear marginal extenders, rather than curved and floral ones.


Origin: s. xiii/xiv ; England

Manuscript 3 = Fols. 252–84


Language(s): Latin

8. Fols. 253–83v:
Rubric: [rubric later, perhaps s. xiv/xv] Confessiones AUGUSTINI sub compendio
Incipit: Magnus es domine et laudabilis ualde magna uirtus tua et sapiencie tue
Explicit: irrationabilibus animantibus ipsa tua ymagine et similitudine hec est racionis et intelligentie uirtute preponi
Final rubric:
AUGUSTINE, Confessions

CPL 251, the full text ed. Lucas Verheijen, CC 27 (1981). Excerpts in blocks by book, with some spaces in between; the final section follows the virtually blank fol. 281rv. Fol. 252rv is blank, the verso with very faded notes; and most of fol. 283v and all of fol. 284rv are blank.

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: anni
Extent: Fols. 33.
Dimensions (written): 110 × 73 mm.


2010 (–10, a stub) 2110 228 236. One catchword (fol. 278v); no signatures.


In long lines, 33 lines to the page. No prickings; bounded and ruled in brown ink.


Written in anglicana, s. xiv in. Punctuation by point, punctus elevatus, and punctus interrogativus.


No headings. At the head, a 2-line blue lombard on red flourishing; spaces for others at the heads of the individual books blank, some later filled in crayon.

On fol. 253 only, extended alternate red and blue paraphs to divide the text; thereafter, only red-slashed capitals.


Origin: s. xiv in. ; England

Manuscript 4 = Fols. 285–312


Language(s): Latin

9. Fols. 285ra–96ra
Incipit: || sed usque ad terminum perfecte sanitatis medicinalis obediencie remedio utere nec abicias eam
Explicit: in fronte celle semper habeat secretum meum michi Secretum meum michi Amen
WILLIAM OF ST THIERRY, ‘Epistola ad fratres Montis Dei’ ,

1–2, beginning in 1.9, ed. PL 184:324 C5–364. Six lines at the foot of fol. 296ra and the remainder of the page are blank.

10. Fols. 296va–307rb:
Rubric: Incipit liber beati AUGUSTINI de spiritu et anima
Incipit: Qvoniam dictum est michi ut meipsum cognoscam sustinere non possum ut me habeam incognitum
Explicit: Quod quidem in tantum sublime est ut quicquid supra illud est aliud non sit quam racio
Final rubric: Explicit liber AUGUSTINI scilicet de spiritu et anima
PS.-AUGUSTINE, De spiritu et anima,

to ch. 33 only, ed. PL 40:779–803.

11. Fols. 307va–9va:
Rubric: Incipit regula beati AUGUSTINI episcopi
Incipit: ⟨A⟩nte omnia fratres karissimi diligatur deus et deinde proximus quia ista precepta sunt nobis principaliter data
Explicit: ut ei debitum dimittatur et in temptationem non inducatur
Final rubric: Explicit regula sancti AUGUSTINI
Augustine, The ‘Regula secunda’,

ed. PL 32:1449–52, but ending as the version commented upon by HUGH OF ST VICTOR, PL 176:924.

12. Fols. 309vb–11vb:
Rubric: Incipit sermo beati AUGUSTINI de uita et moribus ⟨cleri⟩corum
Incipit: ⟨P⟩ropter quod uolui et rogaui hesterno die ut hodie frequencius conueniretis hoc est
Explicit: et qualescumque uires suppetunt in uerbo dei seruiam uobis Amen
Augustine, Sermo 355

ed. PL 39:1568–74. Fol. 311vb has only four written lines, and the remainder was originally blank, but fol. 312v is ruled.

Added text:

fols. 312ra–va:
Rubric: AUGUSTINUS ad armentarium et paulinam
Incipit: Maioris sunt loci apud deum qui omnibus accionibus secularibus delictis etiam summa continencia castitatis
Explicit: in ewangelio reddite inquiens que sunt cesaris cesari et que sunt dei deo

Given the rubric, this should be Epistola 127, which does include the explicit, ed. Al. Goldbacher, CSEL 44 (1904), 26/1. But the text here is, at best, a very free paraphrase. Written in contemporary textura semiquadrata.

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: fruenda
Extent: Fols. 28.


2416 2512. No catchwords or signatures.


In double columns, each column 98 × 30–1 mm. , with 4–5 mm between columns, in 43 lines to the page. To fol. 296, lineation in five-line units in the inter-columnar space, generally taken as indicative of Oxford work. No prickings; bounded in brown crayon, ruled in the same and in black ink.


Written in gothic textura semiquadrata, s. xiii2. Punctuation by point only.


In text 8, most headings left blank but red sidenotes for finding topics; elsewhere headings in red.

At internal divisions, the text is divided by 2-line blue lombards on extended red flourishing.

At the head of text 9, a 5-line painted champe in blue, magenta, and gold leaf, with a green wash around (unfilled blank spaces at the heads of texts 10 and 11).

In some texts, red-slashed capitals break the argument.


Origin: s. xiii2 ; England

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.


    Morton W. Bloomfield et al., Incipits of Latin Works on the Virtues and Vices, 1100–1500 A.D., Including a Section of Incipits of Works on the Pater Noster (Cambridge Mass., 1979).
    Eligius Dekkers and Aemilius Gaar, Clavis patrum latinorum, 3rd edn. (Turnhout, 1995).
    Al. Goldbacher (ed.), S. Aureli Augustini Operum Sectio II. S Augustini Epistulae. Corpus Scriptorum ecclesiasticorum latinorum 44 (1904).
    John Holmberg (ed.), Das Moralium dogma philosophorum des Guillaume de Conches (Uppsala, 1929).
    Jacques-Paul Migne (ed.), Patrologia Latina 32 (Paris, 1845)
    Jacques-Paul Migne (ed.), Patrologia Latina 39 (Paris, 1846).
    Jacques-Paul Migne (ed.), Patrologia Latina 40 (Paris, 1845).
    Jacques-Paul Migne (ed.), Patrologia Latina 176 (Paris, 1854).
    Jacques-Paul Migne (ed.), Patrologia Latina 184 (Paris, 1854).
    Jacques-Paul Migne (ed.), Patrologia Latina 189 (Paris, 1854).
    Jacques-Paul Migne (ed.), Patrologia Latina 196 (Paris, 1855).
    Lucas Verheijen (ed.), Sancti Augustini Confessionum libri XIII, Corpus Christianorum 27 (1981).
    Hans Walter, Proverbia sententiaeque latinitatis medii aevi: Lateinische Sprichwörter, 5 vols. (Göttingen, 1963–7).

Funding of Cataloguing

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

Last Substantive Revision

2022-08: First online publication

See the Availability section of this record for information on viewing the item in a reading room.