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

MS. Bodl. 354

Summary Catalogue no.: 2432


Language(s): Latin

Lives of Saints from the 'Cotton Corpus Legendary', with additions

The lives of those of Saints commemorated between October 9 and December 31, with additions (fol. 205v, etc.)

Among them are several saints of NE France, including Richarius (Oct. 9, fol. 1), Winnocus (Nov. 6, fol. 29), Fuscianus ('Faustinus') and Victoricus (Dec. 11, fol. 165), Judocus (Dec. 13, fol. 201v) and Wandregisilus (Vandrille, July 22, a long account, fol. 254). A list of all the lives can be found under item 2432 in the Old Catalogue of 1697

Identified by Levison (MGH SS rer. Merov 7.545), as a recension of the so-called 'Cotton-Corpus Legendary' (Cambridge, Corpus Christi College, MS. 9 + London, British Library Cotton MS. Nero E. i) preserving the final portion of the collection with additions. Cf. E. Gordon Whatley, "Cotton-Corpus Legendary," Sources of Old English and Anglo-Latin Literary Culture, 2023, https://hcommons.org/deposits/item/hc:50591 (with full bibliography).

The contents of the present manuscript mostly inventoried in Patrick Zettel, 'Ælfric's hagiographic sources and the Latin legendary preserved in B.L. MS Cotton Nero E i + CCCC MS 9 and other manuscripts' (DPhil thesis, Oxford, 1980), pp. 27-34, nos. 118-161 (with notes 99, 106). The following list, from the Summary Catalogue, is selective.

(fol. 1)
Alcuin, Life of Richarius (Oct. 9)
BHL 7224; Zettel, no. 118
(fol. 29)
Life of Winnocus (Nov. 6)
BHL 8952; Zettel no. 126
(fol. 39)
Sulpicius Severus, Vita S. Martini

Epistola or prologue; the Life of Martin; list of chapters and preface

BHL 5610; Zettel no. 129
(fol. 50v)
Sulpicius Severus, Epistolae
BHL 5611, 5613; Zettel no. 129
(fols 55, 67, 73v)
Sulpicius Severus, Dialogi

Each with a list of chapters

BHL 5614, 5615, 5616; Zettel no. 129 (for fols. 67r-80r)
(fol. 80v)
Sulpicius Severus, Dialogi

A legend of Martin

Incipit: Quodam itidem die dum in aera
(fols 81v, 82, 82v)
Gregory of Tours, De Obitu S. Martini Ex Historia Francorum

Three accounts of Martin's death

BHL 5619, 5620; Zettel no. 129
(fol. 82v)
Gregory of Tours, De Uirtutibus Sancti Martini
Rubric: De virtutibus beati Martini episcopi abreviatio incipit ab Alcuino condita
BHL 5621, 5622; Zettel no. 129
(fol. 88)
Gregory of Tours, De Uirtutibus Sancti Martini
Rubric: Sermo de translatione corporis sancti Martini
Incipit: Opere pretium est

Book 1, Chapter 6 of De Uirtutibus Sancti Martini

BHL 5623; Zettel no. 129
(fol. 88v)
Gregory of Tours, De Uirtutibus Sancti Martini
Rubric: De virtutibus sancti Martini a Gregorio Turonicens⟨i⟩ episcopo abreviatio incipit
BHL 5618*; Zettel p. 30 n. 99(vi)
(fol. 116v)
The Life of Longinus (Nov. 22)
BHL 4965; Zettel no. 134

Among the remaining pieces are:

(fol. 121)
Rubric: Expositio Gregorii episcopi Turonensis ęcclesię, [sive] liber miraculorum beati Clementis martiris
Incipit: In divinis uoluminibus refertur quod secretum regis
BHL 1855, 1857 (Gregory of Tours, Liber miraculorum, I.35-36); Zettel no. 135
(fol. 145)
John the Deacon, Vita Sancti Nicolai

Life of Nicholas of Myra, chiefly from Methodius

Incipit: Sicut omnis materies
(fol. 165)
Life of Victoricus (Dec. 11)
BHL 3226; Zettel no. 144
(fol. 186v)
Life of Marinus (Dec. 26)
BHL 5538; Zettel no. 149
(fol. 191v)
Ps.-Melito of Sardis, Vita Sancti Iohannis Evangeliste
Rubric: 'Vita sancti Iohannis euuangeliste'
BHL 4320; Zettel no. 150
(fol. 201v)
Life of Judocus (Dec. 13)
BHL 4504; Zettel no. 153
(fol. 211v)
Odo of Glanfeuil, Life of St Maur
BHL 5773; Zettel no. 155
(fol. 231)
Translation of the bodies of St Benedict and St Scholastica to Fleury
Incipit: Cum diu gens Langobardorum
BHL 1117; Zettel no. 156
(fol. 235)
In Exaltatione Sanctae Crucis

Account of a miracle wrought by the Holy Cross in the time of Heraclius

Incipit: Tempore illo postquam Constantino
BHL 4178; Zettel no. 157
(fol. 237)
Actus Silvestri
Rubric: Actus S. Siluestri

From Eusebius

BHL 7739; Zettel no. 158
(fol. 254)
Life of Wandregisilus/Vandrille (July 22)
BHL 8805. with BHL 8807, 8808, 8809*; Zettel no. 160 and n. 117
(fol. 274v)
Paschasius Radbertus, De Assumptione Beatae Mariae Uirginis
Rubric: Epistola beati Ieronimi presbiteri ad Paulam et Eustochium de Assumptione sancte ... Marię
BHL 5355d; Zettel no. 161

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: parchment
Extent: ii + 289 leaves
Dimensions (binding): 14.5 × 9.75 in.


2 cols



A figure of a kneeling monk is in the margin of fol. 119r


The binding was made for Henry VIII, and his librarian John Leland wrote a title for the volume ('Vitæ illustrium virorum ...') and also a short 'Carmen Joannis Leylandi Londinensis', a comparison of Plutarch and Sulpicius Severus as biographers (fol. ii verso). The sides (only) of the old binding are inlaid in the brown leather cover of the latter part of the 17th century, and each bears within a border of gold ornament the arms and badges of the king with: DIEV: ET: MON: DROIT .:. REX: HENRICVS: VIII', and twice a crowned rose between K and H.: there is now an American cloth cover. Illustrations of the binding, with accounts of it, are in W. S. Brassington's Historic Bindings in the Bodleian Library (London, 1891, Pl. viii), and C. Davenport's Royal English Bindings (London, 1896, Fig. 2)


Origin: 12th century, first half ; England

Provenance and Acquisition

Owned by Henry VIII

Presented by Charles Howard, Earl of Nottingham, in 1604 (MLGB3)

Record Sources

Description adapted (December 2022) by Stewart J. Brookes and Matthew Holford from the Summary Catalogue (1922), with additional reference to published literature as cited.


    Printed descriptions:

    S. J. P. van Dijk, Latin Liturgical Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, vol. 2: Office Books (typescript, 1957), p. 175

Last Substantive Revision

2022-12-06: Description revised to incorporate all the information in the Summary Catalogue (1922)