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

MS. Bodl. 181

Summary Catalogue no.: 2081


Language(s): Latin

1. (fol. 1)
Aegidius de Columna, De regimine principum
Rubric: Liber de regimine principum editus a fratre Egidio Romano ordinis fratrum heremitarum sancti Augustini

With prologue, and list of chapters before each book.

On fol. 97v is a coloured 16th cent. drawing of a monk selling indulgences, and of devils teaching monks the use of gunpowder for cannon, with English descriptions and a note that gunpowder was first invented about 1378.

Language(s): Latin and English
2. (fol. 98)
Ps.-Aristotle, Secreta secretorum
Incipit: (prologue) Deus omnipotens custodiat regem
Incipit: (prologue) Johannes qui transtulit librum
Incipit: (text) Fili gloriosissime

At the end is a note on longevity (fol. 116).

3. (fol. 116)
Taddeo Alderotti, Libellus de seruanda sanitate
Rubric: Regimen corporale
Incipit: Cum mane surrexeritis
Marilyn Nicoud, Les régimes de santé au Moyen Âge: Naissance et diffusion d’une écriture médicale en Italie et en France (XIIIe- XVe siècle) (2007), II, Inventaire Nº 1. Manuscrits d’ouvrages diététiques occidentaux en latin, no. 285.
4. (fol. 119v)
Ps.-Aristotle, De pomo
Incipit: Cum homo creaturarum degnissima

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: parchment
Extent: i + 124 leaves
Dimensions (binding): 12.25 × 8.75 in.


Parts of the blank margins of fols. 7–18, 21–23, 26–27, 84–90 are cut off.


Illuminated capitals, etc.

Good miniatures (coloured drawings) on fol. 97v, added to a manuscript of 15th century. (Pächt and Alexander iii. 1189, pl. CVIII)


Origin: 15th century; added decoration, 16th century, second quarter ; English

Provenance and Acquisition

Owned by sir 'Robert Cotton' in 1588–9 (C. Tite, ''Lost or stolen or strayed': a survey of manuscripts formerly in the Cotton Library', British Library Journal 18 (1992), 110)

'Donum Roberti Treswel alias Sommerset', a note in sir Thomas Bodley's hand. See no. 2685, but the present volume was perhaps given in 1612.

Record Sources

Description adapted (April 2020) from the following sources:
Otto Pächt and J. J. G. Alexander, Illuminated Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, III (1973), no. 1189 [decoration, origin, date]
Summary Catalogue (1922) [contents, physical description, provenance and acquisition]

Digital Images

Digital Bodleian (1 image from 35mm slides)

Last Substantive Revision

2020-05-06: Description revised to include all information in SC.