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

MS. Lat. th. b. 4

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


Gregory IX, Decretals

With apparatus of Bernard of Parma

For an account of this MS.and its relations to other MSS. cf. Eng. Hist. Rev. LX (1945), pp.97–105. At the end of the text (fol.216v) is ‘Expliciunt decretales domini Bertrandi in prima parte et in secunda’, and at the end of the glossa ‘Ego Leonardus de Gropis ⟨civis⟩ Mutine huius apparatum in hanc compilationem decretalium fideliter scripsi. In Christi nomine die ⟨Mer⟩curii xii intrante Julio.In millesimo ccxli’. There is a second stratum of glosses, not much later, taken from the lectures of Willelmus Naso. There is a reference on fol.101 to a reading of a ‘MSta Gemblacensis’ (17th cent.)

Language(s): Latin

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: -ina que sola
Form: codex
Support: parchment
Extent: i + 217 leaves
Dimensions (leaf): 430 × 275 mm.
Dimensions (written): 225 × 125 mm.
Dimensions (written): variable: 310+ in places × 230 mm.
Foliation: Modern pencil, i, 1–217; there is also an old pagination in ink


1(10), 2(8), 3(10) – 8(10), 9(8), 10(10), 11(4), 12(10) – 17(10), 18(8), 19(10) – 22(10), 23(8) catchwords


Text: 2 cols., 46–8 lines

Gloss: 2 cols., variable (105+ in places)


Pächt and Alexander ii. 73, pl. VI:

Fine miniatures in colours and gold at the start of the five books (fols. 1r, 54r, 101r, 151v, 168r).

Fine borders.

Fine initials.

Fine red and blue penwork decoration, often extending from two-line initials, includes birds, animals, dragons, human-headed hybrid creatures (see. e.g. fol. 113v), etc.


Sewn on eight double/split bands and bound in (?)18th-cent. reddish-brown leather over pasteboards; the spine stamped in gilt with foliate ornament, the second and third compartments with matching leather title pieces lettered in gilt 'GREGORII | IX | DECRETALIA || CODEX MSS | IN | MEMBR:'


Origin: 1241 ; Italian, Modena or Bologna

Provenance and Acquisition

Written by Leonardus de Gropius of Modena in 1241

This MS or its exemplar belonged to Dominus Bertrandus

In Spain, 15th century (?)

Richard le Poer-Trench, 2nd earl of Clancarty, his sale, Sotheby's 2 Sept. 1894, lot 95, bought by Leighton for £19 11s.

William Morris (1834–96)

Richard Bennett, sale, Sotheby's 7 Dec. 1898, lot 560, bought by Quaritch for £24

T. De Marinis & Co., Florence, sale cat. X, 1909, no. 231, pl. III

Bought by the Bodleian from Quaritch, cat. 594, no. 16, 1942

Record Sources

Typescript description by Bodleian Library staff, revised by Peter Kidd, late 1990s

Digital Images

Digital Bodleian (15 images from 35mm slides)


    Printed descriptions:

    A. Watson, Catalogue of Dated and Datable Manuscripts in Oxford Libraries (1984), no. 565

Last Substantive Revision

2017-07-01: First online publication.