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

MS. Bodl. 218

Summary Catalogue no.: 2054


Bede, Commentary on Luke
Rubric: Incipit liber primus Expositionis Bedae in Lucam ad Accam episcopum
Incipit: Beatus euangelista Lucas de omnibus
Final rubric: Expliciunt Expositiones in Lucam iuuante Christo

The commentary in six books (see fols. 36, 62, 88, 114v, 141v): preceded by the 'Epistola Accae episcopi ad Bedam presbyterum de postulanda expositione in Lucam', and Bede's answer (ep. 9; fols. 1r, 1v), and a list of the chapters of the whole work (fol. 3).

Language(s): Latin
2. (fol. 165v)
Preface for the Mass

Added in southern (?) England in the 11th century (?): preface for the mass of the Assumption (Qui mortis imperium sua gloriosa nece); troped Ite missa est (Ite perhennis concives patriae); responsory in honour of St. Scholastica (Virgineo honore es ornata); Ite missa est and Benedicamus. All with musical notation, except for the preface.

Language(s): Latin

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: parchment
Extent: i + 167 folios
Dimensions (leaf): 325 × 260 mm.


Carolingian minuscule.

Insular corrections and additions.

Musical Notation:

Adiastematic and half diastematic Canterbury neums, fol. 165v


Marginal drawings in pen and with a pencil (partly erased) added c. 1000 to a Tours MS. of 9th century, beginning (Pächt and Alexander iii. 32, pl. III).


Balck velvet with brass clasp-fittings (clasps and side-bosses gone); title label on parchment on the front cover.


Origin: 9th century, beginning (main ms.) c. 1000 (added drawings) ; French, Tours ; English (added drawings)

Provenance and Acquisition

Corrections and additions in English hands, 9th and 11th centuries.

Royal binding for Henry VIII.

Charles Howard, earl of Nottingham (d. 1624): possibly confiscated by his father, William Howard (d. 1573), from Thomas Copley (1532–84) of Gatton, Surrey, and perhaps obtained by Copley from the royal library at Nonsuch (Carley in Books and Collectors 1200–1700 (1997)).

Presented by him in 1604.

Record Sources

Description adapted (2018) from the following sources, with additional reference to published literature as cited:
Otto Pächt and J. J. G. Alexander, Illuminated Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, III (1973), no. 32 [decoration, origin, date, provenance]
S. J. P. Van Dijk, Handlist of the Latin Liturgical Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library Oxford (typescript, 1957) Vol. 1: Mass Books, p. 210 [fol. 165v]
Summary Catalogue (1922) [contents, physical description, provenance and acquisition]


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Last Substantive Revision

2018-07-27: Revised to incorporate information from van Dijk and additional information frmo SC and Pächt and Alexander.