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

MS. Germ. d. 4

Summary Catalogue no.: Not in SC (late accession)

Iacobus de Theramo, Processus Belial (in German); Germany, c. 1450–1470


(fol. 1rv)

A sheet of modern tracing paper, on which is traced a large rubricated initial I and the incipit Hye hebt sich an ein recht puech vnd ist aus den juristen puechern gezogen vnd sagt von Jesu vnd von Belyal (etc). The rest of the page and the verso (this being translucent paper) are blank. This tracing has been made from another manuscript, identified by M. Heiles as Harvard, Houghton Library MS Ger 47.1.

Language(s): German
(fols. 2r-5r)
Translator's Preface
Incipit: In dem namen der hailgen vngetailten dryualtikait vn(d) vnser frowen der öwigen magt ze lob vnd ze eren allem him(m)elschen her Ich hän gedaht ich wölle mich versůchen ob ich in tútsch múge bringen daz bůch das da betrahtot ob jehsus marie(n) sun des recht hab gehept das er die helle vn(d) die túffel hab berobet
Explicit: also hant die vor red ain end Gott helfe das der fúrsatz volbraht werde in sinem lob vn(d) willen amen:

The prologue actually covers 6 columns on 3 sides (2r, 2v and 5r) as the misfoliation means there are no fols. 3 or 4.

The translator discusses the difficulty of translating juridical terms and phrases out of Latin and their much greater equivalent length in German, providing some examples. He discusses further the intended audience and the purpose of producing the translation, but provides no specific evidence to locate him as a historical individual.

Language(s): Middle High German (Eastern Alemannic/Swabian dialect)
(fols. 5v-87v)
Iacobus de Theramo, Processus Belial
Incipit: Allen cristan vn(d) rechtglo/ebigen die da buwent den globen der hailgen cristenhait die ansa/ehend od(er) ho/erend lesen das kvrtz gediht enbútt priest(er) jacob von teranis hail vnder der enpfhelu(n)g vwerz gebetz
Explicit: Da uo(n) so wyhtend sie vberal· wa sie predigotend vnd lút bekertend byschoff vnd priester vnd ga/vben ||

German translation, as pr. Augsburg, 1472 (Proctor 1530), ends imperf. in the last chapter, the missing portion being supplied by a tracing made from another MS.

Ed. Paul Bernard Salmon, Belial. An Edition with Commentary of the German Version of Jacobus de Theramo’s Consolatio Peccatorum (unpublished doctoral thesis, London 1950).

Language(s): Middle High German (Eastern Alemannic/Swabian dialect)
(fols. 88r-90r)
supplied end to the Processus Belial
Incipit: In gwalt zu p(re)digen vnd zu leren vnd die sünd v(er)geben vnd die selben Bischolf habent ab(er) ander geweicht vn(d) die selben aber and(er) vnd ist seid(er) also her kömen pis auff dissen hewtigen tag
Explicit: Da sprech wir zu ir In andacht Ma(ria) mütt(er) der gnad(e)n müt(er) der par(e)mhertzichait beschirm vns vor dem wint vnd enpfach vns In d(er) czeit des todes Amen · Amen · Amen · Deo dicamus gra(ti)as

Three sheets of modern tracing paper, on which the work has been completed by tracing from another manuscript. As the paper is translucent, the verso sides are blank.

Language(s): Middle High German (Eastern Alemannic/Swabian dialect)
(fol. 91r-v)

A piece of modern paper, dated 1st December 1909, describing (though not identifying) the second manuscript from which the tracings have been made. Fol. 91v blank.

Language(s): German

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: worten als
Form: codex
Support: paper. The watermark is Piccard, Krone I 321, produced between 1448 and 1466 (primarily from Dinkelsbühl and Worms, but otherwise found across the northern Hesse/ Westphalia area).
Extent: i + 84 + iv leaves
Dimensions (leaf): 270 × 200 mm.
Dimensions (written): 200 × 140 mm.
Foliation: Foliated in modern pencil: 1–91. Erraneous foliation, no fols. 3 or 4.


1(12) (wants 1, 2 before fol. 2) (?), 2(12) (12 canc. after fol. 24), 3(12)–7(12), 8(6) (wants 4–6 after fol. 87) Catchwords.


Fols. 54v – 55r lightly damaged by wax, where a candle has fallen on the book.


2 cols, 29–36 written lines per page, the first line sometimes above and sometimes below the top of the frame ruling.


Two hands, which change on fol. 18ra; both are cursive book hands.


Until 12rb, black ink, red initials.

Some rubricated majuscules and Latin phrases underlined in red and black.

Thereafter, no rubrication (though space left for initials); Latin phrases underlined in black alone.


Contemporary binding: sewn on three double cords and bound in wood boards covered with red-stained leather; five bosses on each cover now missing, as are a pair of clasps and straps (fastening bottom to top) at the fore-edge; the edges of the boards with the remains of metal re-inforcements; the spine with an old paper label inscribed in ink, now mostly covered by a Bodleian label


Origin: 15th century, second half, probably before 1470 ; German

Provenance and Acquisition

Produced in the second half of 15th century, probably before 1470: watermark and script.

Schleithnersches Archiv, Nordstetten. This archive was held in the ancestral home of the family of the Keller von Schleitheim, the present chateau being built in 1739/40 in place of the castle formerly on the site; Nordstetten is now part of Horb in the Neckar, Baden-Württemberg: an inscription in an 18th-century hand, Schleitheimschen Archiv zu Nordstetten (inside front cover: 'dies inter opera rarissima gezählte Werk. das Gespräch Salomonis mit dem Teufel aus dem Schleitheimschen Archiv zu Nordstetten. giebt dechan (?) Johler der Bibliothek des Kapitels'). The latter are have not been identified.

Unidentified press mark(?) in modern pencil: I. B, 8 (inside front cover).

Antiquariat Ludwig Rosenthal, München: No. 1138 in Ludwig Rosenthal, Katalog 65. Auswahl seltener Werke aus der älteren deutschen Sprache und Literatur. Nebst Anhang: Histor. u. satyr. Flugblätter (Einblattdrucke) mit gereimtem Text, (München [ca. 1889]), p. 113.

Library of Edmund Langer (1855–1932), Braunau (Böhmen), Ms. 5. The library was dissolved in the 1930s and probably sold by the auction house H. Gilhofer & H. Ranschburg AG, Lucerne. See M. Heiles [n.d.], p. 4.

H. P. Kraus.

Bought from Kraus by the Bodleian in 17th March 1936: P. 17. III. 1936 Kraus (fol. 2r))

Record Sources

Description adapted (April 2020) from the following sources:
Unpublished description by Stephen Mossman, c. 2003.
Typescript description by Bodleian library staff; revised by Peter Kidd, late 1990s [collation].

Digital Images

Digital Bodleian (full digital facsimile)


Last Substantive Revision

2020-10-06: Modified provenance description based on Heiles and information from Max Schmitz.