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

MS. D'Orville 77

Summary Catalogue no.: 16955

Cicero, speeches and philosophical texts; Macrobius, Commentarii in Ciceronis Somnium Scipionis; etc. Southern Germany, late 10th or early 11th century


Language(s): Latin

(fols. 1v-20r, quires 1–3, scribe A)
Cicero, Orationes Caesarianae
1. (fol. 1v-7r)
Pro Marcello
2. (fol. 7r-13r)
Pro Ligario
3. (fol. 13v-20r)
Pro rege Deiotaro

Fol. 20v blank. Fols. 16v-20r have an enlarged writing area, probably to ensure that the text did not overshoot the quire.

Quires 4-middle of 7, Scribe B

4. (fols. 21r-34v)
Cicero, De amicitia
Rubric: M. Tullii de Amicitia
5. (fols. 34v-47v)
Cicero, De senectute
Rubric: M. T. de sent⟨ent⟩iis Catonis de Senectute incipit

Remainder of quire 7, scribe A

6. (fols. 48r-51r)
Ps.-Cicero, In Sallustium inuectiua
7. (fols. 51r-52v)
Ps.-Sallust, In Ciceronem inuectiua

Rest of fol. 52v blank.

Quires 8–15, mostly scribe B

8. (fols. 53r-56r)
Cicero, Somnium Scipionis
9. (fols. 56r-111r)
Macrobius, Commentary on Cicero, Somnium Scipionis
Final rubric: Macrobii Ambrosii V.C. Commenta ex Cicerone in Somnium Scipionis expliciunt

Remainder of quire 15, scribe B

10. (fols. 111v-113v)
Ps.-Jerome, De diuersis generibus musicorum (ep. supp. 23)
Rubric: Epistola sancti Iheronimi de carminibus

Lambert 323; PL 30.213–5.

11. (fol. 114r)
Isidore of Seville, Etymologies: extracts on music

III.xix, xx.3–4, xxi.3 (beg.), 4, 6, xxi.8, 9–10, 14, 11.

12. (fol. 114r-v)
Macrobius, Commentary on Cicero, Somnium Scipionis: extract on music

II.i.14–25, text differing from item 9.

Formerly one volume with MS. D'Orville 95: see below.

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: Parchment, of different types (quires 1–3, 8–13, 15; quires 4–7; quires 14, 16–17; quire 18; quires 19–20), of variable quality, poor in quire 18.
Extent: i + 114 + i leaves (i, 1–115)
Dimensions (leaf): c. 238–42 (236 in quires 19–20) × 171–3 mm.


1–2(6), 3(8) | 4–7(8) | 8–14(8), 15(6, irregularly constructed: fols. 110–1, 112–3 are both bifolia with fols. 111 and 112 pasted together at the fold). For quires 16–20 see MS. D'Orville 95.


1 col., 30 lines. Ruled in hard point with quires 1–3 ruled after folding (sometimes once on each side) and pricked in both margins. Written space c. 184–6 × 111–13 mm. ; fols. 16v-20r, c. 184 × 134 mm.


MSS. D'Orville 77 and 95 were written by four main scribes in caroline minuscule: A, B, see above and MS. D'Orville 95 quires 16–17; C, MS. Orville 95, quire 18; D, MS. D'Orville 95, quires 19–20. MS. D'Orville 77 fol. 57r1–4, 12–20 are by an assistant of scribe B.


Good interlace initials, fols. 1v, 53r, 56v; smaller initials in red, fols. 21r, 56r.

Macrobian mappa mundi, fol. 100r.

Diagrams of musical instruments.


Standard D'Orville binding of smooth brown leather, mid-18th century.

Former chained binding (MS. D'Orville 77, fols. 96v-97r, rust stains from a chain).


Origin: 10th century, late, or 11th century, early ; Germany, South

Provenance and Acquisition

Formerly one volume with MS. D'Orville 95 (note the contents list on MS. D'Orville 77, fol. 1r, and similarities in script, decoration and format); still one volume in 1746 (see below).

Exact origin and medieval provenance not known: textual affiliations with Munich, BSB Clm 6369 possibly from Friesing.

Isaac Verburg of Amsterdam (1680–1745): together with MS. O'Orville 95 this was Oratores et Rhetores in Quarto no. 486 in the auction-catalogue of his books, Amsterdam, 1746 (Bibliotheca Verburgiana ..., p. 68)

Jacques Phillippe D'Orville of Amsterdam (1690–1751); bought at Verburg's sale: see the catalogue of D'Orville's collection by C. J. Strackhoven (18th century, second half), MS. D'Orville 302, fols. 20r, 21r. Separated from the present MS. D'Orville 77 by the time of that catalogue.

Jean D'Orville, b. 1734, his son, by descent

Jean D'Orville, son of Jean, by descent

Sold to the Rev. John Cleaver Banks (1765/6–1845): purchased from him by the Bodleian.

Acquired by the Bodleian in 1804. Previous shelfmark Auct. X. 1. 3. 18.

Record Sources

Description adapted (Dec. 2020) with permission from B. Barker-Benfield, 'The manuscripts of Macrobius' Commentary on the Somnium Scipionis' (DPhil thesis, University of Oxford, 1975), II.150–159. Previously described in the Summary Catalogue.

Digital Images

Digital Bodleian (full digital facsimile)
Digital Bodleian (6 images from 35mm slides)


Last Substantive Revision

2020-12-01: New description after Barker-Benfield for Polonsky German digitization project