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

MS. Lat. hist. e. 1

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

Burchardus de Monte Sion, Descriptio terrae sanctae, and Oliver of Paderborn, Historia Damiatina; Austria or Germany, late 13th or early 14th century


Language(s): Latin

1. (fols. 1v–31v)
Burchardus de Monte Sion, Descriptio terrae sanctae (versio longior)
Incipit: Cum in veteribus historiis legamus sicut dicit beatus Ieronimus
Explicit: et Christiani et Saraceni bena fide
Burchard of Mount Sion: Descriptio Terrae Sanctae, ed., with parallel English translation, by John R. Bartlett, Oxford Medieval Texts (Oxford University Press, 2019); this ms. listed, p. xxxix, but not collated. The work was apparently composed c. 1283.
2. (fols. 32r–45r)
Oliver of Paderborn, Historia Damiatina (ending incomplete in chapter 43)
Incipit: Letetur mons Syon et exultent filie Iude propter iudicia domini [sic]
Explicit: cum aureis bullis et adventum ipsius nunciantes||

MS. ‘A’ (i.e. Admont) in the edition, briefly described at p. LXIX: Die Schriften des Kölner Domscholasters, späteren Bischofs von Paderborn und Kardinalbischofs von S. Sabina, Oliverus, ed. by [H.] Hoogeweg, Bibliothek des Litterarischen Vereins in Stuttgart, 202 (1894), pp. 161–280, the present MS. ending at p. 248 line 12.

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: quibus dulcem
Form: codex
Support: parchment
Extent: 47 (the first and last are pastedowns, the first is now lifted)
Dimensions (leaf): 220 × 160 mm.
Dimensions (written): 150 × 110 mm.


1(8)–4(8) (fols. i-31) | 5(8), 6(8)(7th leaf cancelled, 8th leaf the pastedown), catchwords except in the last quire of each section


Ruled with ink in 2 columns for 38 lines per page (39 on fols. 1v-3r)


The first 23 lines in a formal Gothic bookhand, thereafter a much less formal one, perhaps by more than one scribe.


A very fine ink drawing of Christ enthroned, blessing, partially coloured using two shades of blue-grey (fol. i recto), formerly pasted-down; a similar but cruder figure, without colour (fol. i verso), was traced through the leaf (the outlines are near-identical, but reversed). The finer drawing is reproduced by Pächt and Alexander i. 128, pl. IX, and MSS at Oxford, no. XVII. 2, fig 50.

Puzzle initial in red and blue with red and purple penwork (fols. 1v, 32r); smaller initials alternately in blue with red penwork or red with purple penwork.

Minor initials and paraphs alternately red or blue.


Medieval binding (14th? century). Sewn on three wide split straps laced horizontally into wood boards with rounded edges, covered with white (now dirty) leather, blind-tooled with a saltire design on each cover; with a strap-and-pin fastening (from the back to the front cover); the top of the upper cover with a title ‘Desc(ri)pc(i)o terre s(an)c(t)e’ inscribed on a piece of parchment (apparently covering an earlier title); the top of the spine with a paper label printed ‘401’, the next two compartments with paper labels inscribed in the 19th-cent. ‘Oliverii schol: | Hist: Damiatina’ and ‘Descriptio ter|ræ sanctæ’.


Origin: 13th century, late (after c. 1283), or 14th century, early ; Austria or Germany

Provenance and Acquisition

A smudged three-line inscription, apparently begins ‘Thoma …’ and includes the word ‘⟨Ad⟩monten.’ at the end of the second line; the third line mostly consisting of a date apparently beginning “anno domini Mº….’ and ending ‘nonagesimo secundo’ (lower pastedown).

Probably identifiable in the Admont catalogues of 1376 and 1380: Mittelalterliche Bibliothekskataloge Österreichs, III: Steiermark, ed. Gerlinde Möser-Mersky (1961), 30.34 (‘Item descripcio terre sancte, incipit ‘Cum in veteribus’’), 56.43.

A 17th(?)-century hand has identified biblical passages, and sporadically highlights place-names, in the margins.

Admont, Stiftsbibliothek, their No. 401 (cf. spine label), with a blue paper shelfmark label printed ‘Admonter Bibliothek. || Schrank … || Nr. … ’ stuck to the inner face of the upper board, and with their heraldic ‘BIBLIOTHECA ADMONTENSIS’ ink stamp (fols. 1r, 45v); listed as MS. 401 in J. Wichner's handwritten catalogue of 1888, noted as sold to Goldschmidt (see below).

E. P. Goldschmidt, Catalogue 100 (1936), no. 24; inscribed in pencil at the Bodleian ‘P[urchased] 8.XII.36 Goldschmidt’ (fol. 1r).

Record Sources

Description (April 2021) by Peter Kidd, edited by Matthew Holford.

Digital Images

Digital Bodleian (full digital facsimile)


Last Substantive Revision

2021-08-04: Description revised for Polonsky German digitization project.