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

Hertford College MS. 2


Language(s): Latin

Ps.-Aristotle, Secretum secretorum,

'Hic est nobilissimus liber compositus per summum Aristotilem ... Qui liber dicitur et nominatur secretum secretorum ... in quatuor libros. Post hec autem prologus inuenitur in principio primi libri ... [table of chapters of four books] ... [f.3v] Domino suo excellentissimo ... Guidono nato de Valencia ciuitatis Inpolis [sic for Tripolis] glorioso pontifici. Phylippus suorum clericorum minimus ... [f.4v] peruenire. Deus omnipotens coustodiat ... [f.5v] omnes alie nationes. Prologus translatus de lingua arabica in chaldeam. et de caldea in Latinam. Iohannes qui transtulit librum ... [f.6] sub hac forma. Prologus aristotelis ad regem Alexandrum. O fili gloriosissime ... [f.7] salutare. Liber primus ... Capitulum de sustentacionibus regum. Oportet itaque quemlibet regem ... [f.66] sua spiritualitas.'

The translation by Philip of Tripoli. Printed often: GKW 2481-4, 2486-7 ... Bk. 2, f. 33; 3, f. 36v; 4, f.56v. f. 66v left blank. An English hand of s. xvii added two further chapters on f. 66rv and annotations elsewhere. Only two chapters of bk. 4 are listed in the table on f.3.

Facsimile of f. 1 by D. Dercsényi, The Hungarian illuminated chronicle (Corvina Press 1969), fig. 10 and (reduced) by E. Jakubovich, Der Oxforder Codex König Ludwigs des Grossen, 1931, pl. opp. p.8.

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: parchment
Extent: i + 66
Dimensions (leaf): 242 × 170 mm.
Foliation: medieval foliation


See Ker.


2 columns. 27 lines.


Initials: (i) f. 1, 6-line, pale violet H on gold and blue ground: within the H a 3/4 length portrait of a king

(ii) 3-line or 4-line, red; (iii) 2-line, red or blue: the letter I is wholly outside the written space.


19th century


Origin: 14th century, late ; Hungary

Provenance and Acquisition

Written for Louis the Great, King of Hungary 1362-82, and of Poland 1372-82, by the same scribe as the Hungarian illuminated chronicle, Budapest, National Szechenyi Library, Clmae 404 (formerly in Vienna, Pal. lat. 405), and decorated by the same artist: cf. Dercsényi, op. cit. p.44. In the lower margin of f. 1 a shield bearing the arms of Hungary and Anjou is flanked by shields with the arms of Hungary and Poland.

“Liber Aulae Magd. Oxon. 1658. Ex dono Edmundi Hall Art Mag. & Coll. Pembr. Socij” (foll. 1 & 3), who has added notes. Magdalen Hall (pre 1697).

Record Sources

Description by Sophie Floate, abbreviated from Neil Ker, Medieval Manuscripts in British Libraries, III (1983), pp. 619-20

Last Substantive Revision

2022-04: First online publication.