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

MS. Bodl. 451

Summary Catalogue no.: 2401


1. (fol. iiv)
Smaragdus, Diadema monachorum
Rubric: Hunc modicum libellum Smaragdus de diuersis uirtutibus collegit . & ei nomen Diadema monachorum imposuit. quia sicut diadema gemmis ita & hic liber fulget uirtutibus
Incipit: Hunc modicum operis
Incipit: Primitus de Oratione. Hoc est remedium

With preface and a list of chapters. The preface states that the book is a cento from the Fathers.

Language(s): Latin
2. (fol. 72v)
Moral treatise
Incipit: De Superbia et fornicatione. Principaliter his duobus uitiis

A moral treatise in thirty-six chapters, with a list of the chapters.

Language(s): Latin
3. (fol. 95)
Augustine (?), Sermons

Fourteen sermons, perhaps all by Augustine, preceded by a list of the first seven: three are ascribed in the manuscript to Augustine. Schenkl (Bibl. Patrum Lat. Britannica i. 126) gives the references to Augustine in Migne's Patrologia Latina for eleven.

Colophon: Salua et incolomis maneat per secula scriptrix

fol. iir a note on King Alfred, St. Neot and Edburga (daughter of Edward the Elder) who was buried at Winchester; the names Alfred and Edburga are written in majuscules each time they occur. The note was apparently written in 1150 CE.

On fol. 120r is added part of an account of a miracle performed on a blind woman

Language(s): Latin

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: parchment
Extent: ii + 121 leaves
Dimensions (binding): 11.5 × 7.75 in.


Pächt and Alexander iii. 64

Initials. 'Salva et incolomis maneat per secula scriptrix', fol. 119v

The colophon is in red Rustic Capitals, with decorative line fillers before and after the writing.


White leather on boards (15th century English work).


Origin: c. 1100 ; England, Winchester, Nunnaminster

Provenance and Acquisition

Winchester, Hampshire, Abbey of St Mary the Virgin, of Benedictine nuns (Nunnaminster) (?). The term "scriptrix" in the Latin colophon (cited above) indicates that the scribe is a woman ("May this [female] scribe remain safe and saved for all time"; see P.R. Robinson"A Twelfth-century Scriptrix from Nunnaminster", p. 73). A note on fol. ii recto, written 1150 CE, apparently concerns especially St Edburga (1st abbess of Nunnaminster). Medieval binding: the pastedowns are from monastic accounts 1334 CE and include an item "pro petris de selborne" (for Selborne quarries and their use for bindings at Winchester in the Middle Ages see V. C. H. Hants., vol. 5). (MLGB3: evidence from binding or pastedowns and from contents).

The name 'Goky' (13th century?) appears to be on fol. 118v, in a half erased sentence.

Given by Sir Wm. Billesby in 1605.

MS. Bodl. 451, flyleaves


Language(s): Latin

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: Parchment


Written early in the 14th century, but imitating an older hand

Musical Notation:

With space for musical notation


Origin: Early 14th century

MS. Bodl. 451, flyleaves


Language(s): Latin

Accounts relating to the repairs of an English monastery in 1334.

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: Parchment


Origin: 1334

Additional Information

Record Sources

Description adapted (Oct. 2022) by Stewart J. Brookes from the Summary Catalogue (1922), with additional reference to published literature as cited. Decoration, localization and date follow Pächt and Alexander (1973).

Digital Images

Digital Bodleian (3 images from 35mm slides)


    Online resources:

    Printed descriptions:

    S. J. P. van Dijk, Latin Liturgical Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, vol. 5: Fragments - Mass Books (typescript, 1957), p. 146

Last Substantive Revision

2022-10-07: Description revised to incorporate all the information in the Summary Catalogue (1922)