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

Christ Church MS. 122

Henry of Merseburg, Summa on the Extra; England, s. xiiimed


Language(s): Latin

1. Fols 1–97
Rubric: [title in blue in upper margin:] Summa H ⟨mostly effaced⟩
Incipit: Sicut dicit lex est de ueteri iure enucleando Omnium habere memoriam et penitus in nullo peccare . . . [fol. 1v] In quinto de criminibus et penis
Rubric: Explicunt tytuli Incipit liber primus de summa trinitate et fide catholica. Tytulus primus.
Rubric: [fol. 2, title in upper margin:] summa fratris H super libros decretalium I [heading added later in blue:] De summa trinitate et fide catholica.
Incipit: Qvid est fides fides est substancia id est fundamentum rerum sperandarum
Explicit: si mendaciter sub dole et inutiliter pro nichilo iurasti si deum testem false inuocasti
Henry of Merseburg OFM, Summa super quinque libros decretalium

Unprinted, one of the earliest commentaries on Extra, the decretals of Gregory IX, probably composed at the Magdeburg convent c. 1242. See further Bertrand Kurtscheid, ‘Heinrich von Merseburg, ein Kanonist des XIII. Jahrhunderts’, Franziskanische Studien, 4 (1917), 239–53; and id., ‘De studio iuris canonici in ordine fratrum minorum sæculo xiii’, Antonianum, 2 (1927), 157–202 (with an extensive manuscript list, but not aware of ours). Each book is preceded by a contents list for it (at fol. 1v, fol. 16r-v, fol. 32v, fol. 38, fol. 69). Most of fol. 97 blank.

Fols 97v-98v: originally blank, but now with added texts, written in anglicana, s. xivin:

a. Fol. 97v

A distinctio illustrating the powers of the soul; and a series of mnemonic verses on various theological topics (the books of Moses, sacraments); this hand may also provide the summaries of the contents at fol. 1v, 16, 32v, 58, 68v.

b. Fol. 98

Three medical recipes in Latin and a further note.

c. Fol. 98v

Further notes on subjects including usury and excommunication, very rubbed.

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: Qvid est fides
Secundo Folio: teneamus (fol. 3)
Form: codex
Support: Parchment (HSOS).
Extent: Fols: i + 98 + ii (numbered fols 99–100). All flyleaves paper, added with binding, the first and last conjoint with their respective pastedowns.
Dimensions (leaf): 140 × 100 mm.
Dimensions (written): 95 × 60 mm.


112 (lacking central bifolium, after fol. 5, with loss of text) 2–712 816. Catchwords at bottom right below the textblock. Each quire after the first appropriately signed with a roman numeral at the centre of the first recto.


In long lines, 37 lines to the page (below top line).

No signs of pricking; bounded and ruled in brown ink.


Written in a tiny gothic textura quadrata.

Punctuation by point only.


Headings in red. At the opening of the prologue and text, seven-line red and blue lombards, the second with red infill and extended along the full margin in red and blue. At subsequent openings, two-line red lombards, unflourished, with marginal numbers for the titles (at some book divisions, larger initials, one with red flourishing). The text is occasionally divided by red paraphs, lemmata underlined in red. Running titles in red, the book number only, in early portions supplemented by added topical headings, in secretary, s. xv med. Lists of tituli at the head of each book, with red numbers, and corresponding mnemonic verses in the lower margins, added s. xiii/xiv.


Limp brown vellum, probably s. xvii. Sewn on four thongs. Pastedowns paper added with the binding, a ChCh bookplate on the front pastedown. At the front, one and, at the rear, two (fol. 99–100) paper flyleaves, the first and last conjoint with their respective pastedowns.


Origin: England ; s. xiiimed

Provenance and Acquisition

The manuscript shows some signs of early readership, apart from the added texts noted above. The first additions, near contemporaneous with the text, add omitted passages in light brown ink in the margin at fol. 48, 58, 59, 62, 63, 63v. Later, an early fifteenth-century hand added running titles at top right of the leaves of the first book, and adds numeration and nota-marks at fol. 23v–24, 33v, 43, 47, 48v, 53, 62v, 69, 78?, 90, 91–92.

The next certain evidence is of its donation to ChCh: ‘Dignissimus Vir Robertus Payne SSae Theol. Dr et huius Ecclesiæ Canonicus hunc Lib. MS DD’ (fol. 1). Payne, from Abingdon, matriculated at Christ Church in 1611; he received the degrees of BA, MA, and DD in 1614, 1617, and 1642, respectively. He was an original fellow of Pembroke College in 1624 and a canon of Christ Church 1638–48. He is described as ‘an able mathematician’, translated a work of Galileo, and corresponded extensively with Thomas Hobbes. Payne may have been sequestered from the rectory of Tormarton (Gloucs.) in 1646 because absent with the royalist forces in Oxford (AO, 1129; Mordechai Feingold in Oxford DNB; The Correspondence of Thomas Hobbes, ed. Noel Malcolm, 2 vols (Oxford, 1994), 2:872–77, and Noel Malcolm Aspects of Hobbes(Oxford, 2002), pp. 80–145).

Payne’s range of intellectual interests are reflected in his two donations to his alma mater , the first, including our manuscript (as item [13]), in 1642 and the second in 1649, both being recorded in the Donors’ Register (MS LR 1). They read:

[p. 94b] Dignissimus Vir ROBERTVS PAYNE SSæ Theologiæ Dr et huius Ecclesiæ Canonicus D.D.

  • [1] Galilæi Dialogum de Systemate Mundi. 4º. Augustæ Treboc. 1635.

    OR.4.34 (Leiden, 1635), with at top left of the front flyleaf, ‘Ex dono Petri Earle’ (cancelled) in Payne’s hand (cf. BodL, Savile O.9). In a limp leather binding, with a number (22) on the fore-edge and mark of a chain-staple in Watson’s position 5.

  • [2] D. Franc. Maurolyci Opuscula Mathematica. 4º. Venet. 1575.

    Possibly OR.4.12 (Venice: ‘apud Franciscum Franciscium Senensem’, 1575).

  • [3] Marini Gheraldi Variorum Problematum Collectionem 4º Venet. 1607.

    This (Rome: ‘apud Aloysium Zannettum’, 1603) and [4] are now the first and third items in f.3.1, a Sammelband which also includes works owned by Payne’s friend, Robert Burton: N. Kiessling, The Library of Robert Burton, Oxford Bibliographical Society, new series, xxii (Oxford, 1988), no. 52, 1134, 995 and 933.

  • [4] Eiusdem Promotum Archimedis 4º. Romae. 1603.

    Variorum problematum Collectio (Venice: ‘apud Vincentium Fiorinam’, 1607), see [3] above.

  • [5] Archimedis opera cum Commentarijs Eutocij fol. Basil. 1544.

    Same edition as the present OR.1.4, but that copy was owned by Sir Charles Scarborough (1615–94) and arrived at ChCh in the eighteenth century; it also has copious additions by Edmund Gunter, on whom see [11] below.

  • [6] Euclidis Elementa cum expositione Theonis. Lat. fol. Basil. 1546.

    Now OP.1.13 (Basel: [‘per Iohannem Heruagium’], 1546), with on its fore-edges a number (11) and signs of a chain-staple in Watson’s position 5 on its seventeenth-century binding of plain leather over very worn boards; annotation at p. 10 in Payne’s hand. It also after its final flyleaf has a binding strip taken from the top of a sheet of an early thirteenth-century manuscript, and has the marks of two sixteenth-century owners: ‘Simon Thelwall’ and ‘Edward Herbert’ (both at verso of final flyleaf).

  • [7] Roberti Lincolniensis Comment: in Lib. Posteriorm Artis. fol. cui volumine inseruntur

    1. Simplicij Commentaria in libros 4 de Cælo

    2. Philoponi Commentaria in Libros de Generatione & Corruptione

    3. Aphrodisiensis Commentaria in Libros 4 Meteorologicorum.

    Now e.3.51, a volume in a limp white leather binding with a number (21) painted on the fore-edge of the leaves, and with the mark of a chain-staple on the back cover (Watson’s position 5).

  • [8] Claudii Mydorgii Conicorum opus fol. Paris. 1631.

    Now OS.2.13 (Paris: I. Dedin, 1631), with a number (23) on the fore-edge and the mark of a chain-staple in Watson’s position 5; similar binding to item [1] above.

  • [9] Vocabolario de gli Academici della Crusca fol. in Venezia 1612.

    ZM.1.6 (Venice: ‘appresso Giovanni Alberti’, 1612) bound in an early seventeenth-century binding of plain brown leather over boards

  • [10] Heronis Nomina Geometrica. 8º. Argentorati. 1570. cui libello inseruntur

    1. Euclidis Optica & Catoptrica.

    – Harmonica.

    – Phaenomena.

    2. Cleomedes de Mundo.

    Not now to be found in ChCh.

  • [11] Insuper dono suo adjecit Concauum Marmortum, & [12] Instrumentum æenum Mri Gunteri.

    Both still owned by ChCh and on long-term loan to the Museum of the History of Science in Oxford, the first a black marble disc, the function of which is uncertain but seems to be to polish lenses (MHS inventory number 14260), and the second presumably the sector to Gunter’s design made in the 1620s or 1630s (MHS inventory number 14776). Details of both are available on the Museum’s website.

  • [13] [p. 95ª] Summam Fratris H. secundum Lib: Decretalium MS

    Entry in a different hand from the previous entries but the same as the inscription at the front of the manuscript itself.

[p. 96a, ‘1649’ at top of column] Dignissimus Vir ROBERTVS PAYNE S.S.æ Theol. Dr Priori Dono Adiecit libros sequentes.

  • [14] Francisci Patricij Discussiones Peripateticas. f. Bas. 1581.

    Possibly Of.1.14: Francesco Patrizi of Cherso, Disputationes peripateticae (Basel: ‘ad Perneam Lecythum’, 1581).

  • [15] Ammonij Hypomneni in Quinque voces seu Prædicab: Gr: f.

    Now e.2.58 (Venice, 1500) [ISTC, no. ia00565000], also including [16], Byzantine-style decoration in gold at the opening folio.

  • [16] Simplicij Hypom. in Prædicamenta. Gr: f.

    Bound with [16] in e.2.58 (Venice, 1499) [ISTC, no. is00535000].

  • [17] Johan Grammatici Disp: contra Proclum de Mundi Æternitate Gr. f. Venet:

    Only copy now in ChCh from Wake, as Wn.3.7 (Venice, 1535), itself one of a set of volumes of Greek commentaries in Aldine and other Venetian editions, all bound in the same style.

  • [18] Johan Grammatici Comment: in primos 4or lib: Phys: Gr. f.

    No match in ChCh.

  • [19] Barnab: Brissonij Opera Varia. 4º Paris:

    Perhaps A.2.5.6 (1606 edition), in a seventeenth-century binding with the mark of a chain staple in Watson’s position 5.

  • [20] Æsopi Fabellas, Homeri Βατραχουυομαχίαν, Fabrii tabulas Musæi Carmen de Hero & Leandro & varia opusc: Gr: l.8º.

    Possibly OX.8.12 (Basel: ‘Ioan. Iacobi Genathi’, 1616).

  • [21] Lazari Bayfij Tractat: de re Nauali, de re Vestiariâ, de Vasculis, Antonij Thylesij lib: de Coloribus. libellum τών ίππατρικών seu Artis Ueterinariæ 4º Bas: 1537

    Now AF.7.3, which comprises two printings: Lazare de Baif, de re navali, with ‘Anthonii Thylesii de coloribus’ (Basel: Froben, 1537), followed by Grynaeus, Veterinaria medicina (Basel: ‘apud Ioan. Valderum’, 1537), bound in a sixteenth-century blind-stamped binding, with a number (13) on the fore-edge and mark of a chain staple in Watson’s position 5. The binding has flyleaves from a heavily-glossed late thirteenth-century manuscript of the Digest (Book XXXII).

  • [22] Gul: Occham Logic: 4º

    No match in ChCh.

  • [23] Discorso del S. Gugl. Choul Sopra la Castrametatione & Bagni antichi de i Græci & Romani. 8º.

    Possibly a.1.176 (by Guillaume Du Choul (sl: ‘appresso Marc’Antonio Olmo’, 1558)).

  • [24] Scogli del Christiano Naufragio per Ant: de Dom: Archila. Spalat: 8º.

    Now a.3.177 (sl: sn, 1618), with an identification of the author on the title-page clearly in Payne’s own hand.

  • [25] Demophili Democratis & Secundi Sententias Morales Gr: l. 8º. Rom: 1638.

    Possibly OP.6.21 (Rome: ‘Mascardus’, 1638).

  • [26] Renati Des cartes Meditationes de primâ Philosophiâ, cum varijs obiect. & Sol. Authoris. 12º.

    No match in ChCh.

  • [27] The considerations of F: Paul of Venice upon the censure of Pope Paul the 5th against the Venetians with his Defence of Gerson agt Card. Bellarmine.

    These two items appear together in f.4.7, but this is a larger Sammelband with other items having belonged to Payne’s friend, Robert Burton, who, it has been assumed, was the owner also of these pieces: Kiessling, Burton, no. 1418 and 1420.

It will be noted that this small codex seems rather out of keeping with the interests of his printed books: it would appear to have been given as an antiquarian curiosity. Like items [1], [6]-[8] and [21], our manuscript has a number written on its fore-edge: ‘18’. It also has on its spine a shelfmark, ‘Th.H.20’, which may be the sign of its prior presence in another institutional collection.

The manuscript also records, at the front pastedown, two superseded ChCh shelfmarks: the earlier, ‘A.13’, relates to the 1676 Catalogue, though it is written in a different hand from those usually seen in the manuscripts and, indeed, it is not mentioned in that Catalogue (see Appendix I); that shelfmark is cancelled and replaced by the New Library’s ‘G.15’ (see Appendix IV). The latter is also stamped on a paper tab stuck to the spine.

Record Sources

Ralph Hanna and David Rundle, A Descriptive Catalogue of the Western Manuscripts, to c. 1600, in Christ Church, Oxford (Oxford, 2017).


For enquiries relating to this manuscript please contact Christ Church Library.

Last Substantive Revision

2017-07-01: First online publication.

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