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

MS. Canon. Bibl. Lat. 76

Summary Catalogue no.: 18969

Psalter and New Testament, Volume III of the ‘Ranshofen Bible’; Austria (Salzburg?), c. 1140–50


Language(s): Latin

Fol. i is a blank paper fly-leaf.

1. (fol. 1r–v)

Prologues to psalms, ‘David filius iesse cum esset in regno suo ...’ (Bruyne, 1. Or 1) with a rubric ‘Origo prophetie David regis’, and ‘Psalterivm Rome dvdvm positus emendaram et iuxta septuaginta interpretes ...’ (Bruyne, 5. Hi 1) with a rubric ‘Prefatio sancti Ieronimi’. Five lines of rhyming verses on the psalter in a smaller and different script, possibly added, beginning:

Incipit: Psalterium christi sacra continet omnia plene | Plus aliis reboant ipsius ubique camenae
2. (fols. 1v–26r)

Psalms 1–150 in the biblical order, laid out as prose, with numbers as Roman numerals (out of sequence because the scribe numbered parts of psalm 118 as if they were separate psalms and did not returned to correct numbering until psalm 129 (fol. 24r)). The psalms have short titles which do not correspond to any of Salmon’s series (1959). The titles of five psalms are as follows: 15 Tituli inscriptio ipsi David (fol. 3v); 30 In finem psalmvs David (fol. 6r); 63 In finem psalmvs David (fol. 12r); 115 Aevia (fol. 21r); 140 Psalmvs David (fol. 25r).

Added glosses in the margins by at least two different scribes. Punctuated throughout with punctus, or occasionally punctus elevatus used to mark the ends of verses and metrum. Hexaplaric symbols are used to mark relevant sections of the text. There are textual divisions at psalms 51 (fol. 10v) and 101 (fol. 19r). Subdivisions within psalms are not indicated, apart from psalm 118, subdivided into 16-verse sections at the beginning, and into 8-verse sections after verse 49. Starting with psalm 109 the opening words and musical cues (neumatic notation) of the vesper antiphons and hymns, numbered according to their modes, are added in the margins in 13th-century and later hands (fols. 20b verso–26r).

3. (fol. 26v)

Pusillus eram with a rubric ‘Hic psalmus proprie scriptvs est de Dauid et extra nvmervm cvm pvgnavit cvm Goliat hic psalmvs in Hebreis codicibvs non habitvr sed ne a septvaginta qvidem interpretibus additvs est. et idcirco repvdiandvs.’. At the end: ‘Explicivnt psalmi habent versvs nvmero 500’.

New Testament
4. (fols. 26v–27v)

Prologues to gospels, ‘Nouum opus me facere . . .’ (Bruyne, 1. Hi 1) and ‘Plvres fvisse’ (Bruyne, 2. Hi 2).

5. (fol. 28r–v)

Added prologue to the gospels ‘⟨A⟩mmonius quidam alexandrinus magno studio atque industria ...’ (Bruyne, 3. Eus), a list of weekly and daily canticles, each accompanied by a one-line summary of its content, and psalm 116 (‘Laudate dominum omnes gentes ...’) with words interspersed by commentary by three different scribes. Fol. 28 is an added leaf.

6. (fols. 29v–35r)

Canon tables.

7. (fols. 36r–174v)

New Testament with prologues and tables of capitula (fragmentary at Matthew because of the loss of leaves) in the following order: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts, Catholic Epistles, Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Hebrews, Apocalypse. Missing John 7: 9–8: 28 because of the loss of two leaves after fol. 88. Fol. 173 should follow fol. 168. Ends at Apocalypse 13: 6 because of the loss of leaves

(fol. 175r–v)

Added prologues to psalms ‘Psalterium inquirendum est ...’ (Bruyne, 27. Inq) with a rubric ‘Incipit prefatio vel introitus multimodarum causarum in psalterivm’, and ‘Canticum psalmorum animas decorat ...’ (Bruyne, 26. Aug) with a rubric ‘Sanctus Avgustinus dixit’. Should come before fol. 1 (?).

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: lumen uultus (psalter, fol. 2r)
Form: codex
Support: parchment (paper flyleaves)
Extent: 177 leaves
Dimensions (leaf): c. 417–19 × 305–10 mm.
Foliation: modern, in pencil; i + 1–19 + 20a + 20b + 21–175.


(fol. i) fly-leaf conjoint with the upper pastedown | (fols. 1–23) I–III (8) | (fols. 24–28) IV (4+1) fol. 28 inserted | (fols. 29–35) V (6+1) fol. 35 inserted | (fols. 36–37) VI (2) missing the outer and central bifolia (?) | (fols. 38–85) VII–XII (8) | (fols. 86–91) XIII (8−2) 4 and 5 missing (central bifolium) | (fols. 92–96) XIV (6−1) last leaf cancelled, no loss of text | (fols. 97–168) XV–XXIII (8) | (fols. 169–172) XXIV (8−4) missing 1 and 8; 2 and 7 are bound as the first two leaves of the following quire | (fols. 173–175) XXV (3).


Ruled in hard point for two columns, with double vertical and double horizontal bounding lines, extending the full height and width of page; 41 or 43 lines per page; written above the top line; prickings survive; written space: c. 321–325 × 220–222 mm.


Formal proto-Gothic book hand, brown ink.

Musical Notation:

Neumatic notation added in the margins in 13th-century and later hands (fols. 20b verso–26r)


Full-page canon tables with coloured columns and busts of Christ and the evangelists.

Historiated initials:

  • 15-line Beatus-initial, decorated with a grape vine and a figure of a young man in a short tunic, holding a basket of grapes (fol. 1v).
  • 12- to 19-line initials in two different styles, with full-length figures of the evangelists and apostles at the beginning of Mark (Mark, blessing, with the nimbed head of his symbol, fol. 54v), John (John, pointing to the text, with the head of his symbol, fol. 85r), James (fol. 117r), 1 Peter (fol. 119v), Jude (fol. 125v), Romans (fol. 128v), 1 Corinthians (fol. 136v), 2 Corinthians (fol. 144r), Galatians (fol. 149r), Colossians (fol. 155v), 1 Thessalonians (fol. 157v), 2 Thessalonians (fol. 159r), 1 Timothy (fol. 160r), Philemon (depicting the Conversion of Saul, fol. 164v), and the Apocalypse (fol. 169r); many defaced (rubbed and retouched in ink).
  • 10-line historiated initial Q, with an eagle holding a book and a dragon forming the tail of Q, at 1 John (fol. 123r).

Decorated initials:

  • 9-line initial decorated with coiled tendrils at the beginning of prologues (fol. 1r); 7- or 8-line similar initials at psalms 51 (fol. 10v) and 101 (19r).
  • Large initials decorated with coiled tendrils at the beginning of other books and prologues (fols. 38r, 66v, 97r, 98r, 121v, 125r, 151v, 154r, 162r, 163v, 165r).

3-line initial at psalm 3 and 2-line plain red initials (often partially oxidized to a metallic appearance) at the beginning of other psalms.

Rubrics in red ink, capitals highlighted in red in the New Testament.


Sewn on four double/slit cords and covered with uncoloured pig skin over wood bevelled boards, decorated with blind stamp and roll designs; date 1599 stamped on the front cover; nails and stains from lozenge-shaped metal centre-pieces; two clasps decorated with flowers and leaves. Some rolls are found on other Ranshofen bindings of the 16th century in the Library of Katholisch-Theologische Privatuniversität Linz (Holter, 1996), but are different from those identified by Klemm on the binding of Clm 12601 (see ‘Provenance’). ‘Psalter: || et || N. J. XII (?) || Evang. || Cod: Mem:’, written in ink in an 18th-century hand on spine. Paper fly-leaves with a watermark (letter K within a circle, cf. Briquet, 1968, pp. 8262–5, 8268).


Origin: Austria, Salzburg (?); c. 1140–1150

Provenance and Acquisition

The present manuscript was identified by Kurt Holter in 1984 as the third volume of the ‘Ranshofen Bible’, the other volumes being Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Clm 23039 (vol. I) and Clm 12601 (vol. II) (K. Holter, 'Die mittelalterliche Buchkunst der Chorherrenstifte am Inn', repr. in his Buchkunst - Handschriften - Bibliotheken (1996) II.887–913 at 891–2).

On art-historical grounds the sister volumes in Munich were attributed by Klemm to Salzburg (E. Klemm, Die romanischen Handschriften der Bayerischen Staatsbibliothek, Teil I, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek. Katalog der illuminierten Handschriften der Bayerischen Staatsbibliothek in München, Band 3 (Wiesbaden: Reichert, 1980), nos. 213–14) Perhaps made for the Benedictine Abbey of St Peter (?).

Vol. II is known to have belonged early to Ranshofen (Klemm, 1980, nos. 213–14).

In the Augustinian Abbey at Ranshofen by 1599: evidence of the binding. Two other 12th-century Canonici manuscripts belonged to Ranshofen: MS. Canon. Bibl. Lat. 60 and MS. Canon. Pat. Lat. 192.

Matteo Luigi Canonici of Venice (1727– c. 1806), but not from the libraries of Soranzo or Trevisan. Possibly acquired in April 1789: see R. Flotzinger, Choralhandschriften österreichischer Provenienz in der Bodleian Library, Oxford (Wien: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften), 1991, p. 34.

Giuseppe Canonici, -1807

Bodleian Library: bought in 1817 from Canonici’s nephew Giovanni Perissinotti.

Record Sources

Description adapted (Nov. 2020) from Elizabeth Solopova, Latin Liturgical Psalters in the Bodleian Library: A Select Catalogue (Oxford, 2013), pp. 438–42 with minor modifications to the 'Provenance' section. Previously described in the Quarto Catalogue (H. O. Coxe, Catalogi codicum manuscriptorum Bibliothecæ Bodleianæ pars tertia codices Græcos et Latinos Canonicianos complectens, Quarto Catalogues III, 1854)

Digital Images

Digital Bodleian (full digital facsimile)
Digital Bodleian (2 images from 35mm slides)


Last Substantive Revision

2020-11-11: Description revised to incorporate full text from Solopova catalogue.