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

MS. Bodl. 86

Summary Catalogue no.: 1894


Ambrose, Hexaemeron
Rubric: Liber Exameron id est sex dierum sancti Ambrosii Mediolanensis episcopi
Language(s): Latin

On fol. 178v a 14th cent. hand has begun an English translation of the work

Incipit: So gret an opinion sum men han presumed
Language(s): Middle English

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: parchment
Extent: i + 179 leaves
Dimensions (binding): 10.75 × 7 in.


Fine historiated initial (coloured drawing). Fol. 1: St. Ambrose seated, writing his book which is held by an angel, with lacertine figures forming the letter T: the background is pale orange.

Other good initials: fols. 24, 37v, 49v, 74, 95, 138v.

Some initials with borders added, 15th century. (Pächt and Alexander iii. 113, pl. XI)


White leather on boards, clasp lost, 13th cent. (?) English work


Origin: 12th century, second quarter; added decoration, 15th century ; English

Provenance and Acquisition

Windsor, collegiate chapel.

Presented by the dean and canons of Windsor in 1612.

Record Sources

Description adapted (March 2020) from the following sources:
Otto Pächt and J. J. G. Alexander, Illuminated Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, III (1973), no. 113 [decoration, date, localization]
Summary Catalogue (1922) [contents, physical description, decoration, provenance and acquisition]


Last Substantive Revision

2020-03-25: Description revised to include all information in SC.