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

MS. Bodl. 461

Summary Catalogue no.: 2451


Le Livre de Sidrac
Rubric: In nomine Patris & Filij & Spiritus Sancti. Ce est le liure de Sydrac le philosophe, le quel est apele liure de la Fontaine de totes sapiences

The romance of Sydrac and Boctus, an encyclopaedia of medieval natural science

Preceded by a prologue (begins 'La porueance Deu le Pere'), arguments of the books, a second prologue (begins 'Le quel prologue & argument furent fais a Tolaite [Toledo] en lan ... M. CC...' [rest of date erased]), and a list of about 560 questions or chapters

The text begins 'Au tens dou rois Boctus'

Fols 274-275, which have been half cut away, bear scribbling of 1466 and later, and fol. 276 has a 14th century prophecy, 'Si uis scire quando mundus, erit finiendus, etc.'

Language(s): Old French

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: parchment
Extent: i + 276 leaves
Dimensions (binding): 11.25 × 8.875 in.


2 cols


Pächt and Alexander i. 598

Good fleuronnée initials


Plain white sheepskin on oak boards, 15th century English (?) work, worn and repaired.


Origin: 14th century, first half ; France, South

Provenance and Acquisition

The names of John and William Marlynge or Merlynge of Thaxted in Essex, and Thomas Marmyon and Peter (?) Young are scribbled on fols 1, 274v (15th century)

Presented by Sir Walter Cope in 1602

Record Sources

Description adapted (January 2022) by Stewart J. Brookes from the Summary Catalogue (1922). Decoration, localization and date follow Pächt and Alexander (1973)

Digital Images

Digital Bodleian (3 images from 35mm slides)


Last Substantive Revision

2023-01-12: Description revised to incorporate all the information in the Summary Catalogue (1922)