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

MS. Laud Misc. 355

Summary Catalogue no.: 1349

Bernard of Clairvaux, miscellaneous works; Germany, late 12th or early 13th century


Language(s): Latin

1. (fol. 2r–v)
Bernard of Clairvaux, Sermones super Cantica canticorum, Sermo 83 (starting imperfectly)
Incipit: ||quantum est hoc ad illius fontis profluvium
Explicit: super omnia deus benedictus in secula Amen.
2. (fols. 2v–56v)
Bernard of Clairvaux, De Consideratione
Rubric: Incipit liber primus domini Bernhardi abbatis de consideratione ad Eugenium papam
Incipit: (prologue) Subit animum dictare aliquid quod te papa beatissime Eugeni
Explicit: Proinde his sit finis libri sed non finis querendi
Final rubric: Explicit liber vus de consideratione

Book I continues from the prologue without break; Books II–V start on fols. 10v, 21r, 31r, and 41r.

3. (fols. 56v–78r)
Bernard of Clairvaux, De gratia et libero arbitrio
(fol. 56v)

Prefatory letter

Rubric: Epistola B. abbatis ad abbatem S. Theoderici
Incipit: Domino W⟨illelmo⟩. abbati .S. Theoderici frater B⟨ernardus⟩. opusculum de gratia & libero arbitrio
Explicit: uitam eternam habebunt
(fols. 56v–78r)
Rubric: Opusculum eiusdem de gratia & libero arbitrio
Incipit: Loquente me coram aliquando
Explicit: non quos iustos inuenit hos & magnificauit
4. (fols. 78r–98r)
Bernard of Clairvaux, De diligendo Deo
Rubric: Epistola domini B. abbatis quare & quomodo diligatur deus
Incipit: Uiro illustri domino Aimerico romane ecclesie diacono cardinali & cancellario .B. abbas dictus de Clara Ualle
Explicit: nullus profecto esse poterit miserationis affectus
5. (fols. 98r–122v)
Bernard of Clairvaux, De praecepto et dispensatione
(fol. 98r–v)

Prefatory letter

Rubric: Epistola domini Bernardi ad abbatem Columbensem
Incipit: Domino abbati Columbensi frater B. abbas dictus de Claraualle
Explicit: nisi vobis aliud forte congruentius uideatur
(fol. 98v)


Rubric: Liber de precepto & dispensatione
Incipit: Qua mente iam tacebo?
Explicit: duas et ipsas satis longas epistolas texueritis
(fols. 98v–122v)
Incipit: Prima igitur questio circa regulam nostram uersatur
Explicit: nam ego siue in paucis siue in multis uestre debui satisfacere uoluntati. Explicit.
6. (fols. 122v–148v)
Bernard of Clairvaux, De XII gradibus humilitatis
(fols. 122v–123r)


Incipit: In hoc opusculo cum illud de euangelio quod dominus ait
Explicit: Quam tamen in fine opusculi ipse breuiter intimare curaui
(fol. 123r–v)

Numbered list, [xii]–i then i–xii

Rubric: Duodecimus gradus humilitatis
Incipit: Corde et corpore semper humilitatem ostendere
Explicit: In duobus qui restant contemptus dei

On these capitula arranged in descending and ascending series, see J. Leclercq, ‘Pour l’histoire des traités de S. Bernard’, Analecta Sacri Ordinis Cisterciensis, 15 (1959), 56–78 at 67–69, citing the present MS. as one of those in which the capitula are written in two columns.

(fols. 123v–124r)


Rubric: Incipit tractatus abbatis B. de .xii. gradibus humilitatis
Incipit: Pogasti [sic for Rogasti] me frater Got⟨efride⟩. quantinus ea que de gradibus humilitatis coram fratribus locutus fueram
Explicit: de nichilo superbire non posse
(fols. 124r–148v)
Incipit: Locuturus ergo de gradibus humilitatis quos beatus Benedictus non numerandos
Explicit: quam in nostro codice leges
7. (fols. 148v–155)
Bernard of Clairvaux, De moribus et officio episcoporum ad Henricum Senonensem archiepiscopum (ep. 42)

(ending imperfectly in cap. III)

Rubric: Liber B. abbatis ad H. archiepiscopum Senonensem
Incipit: Domino uenerabili H⟨enrico⟩. Senonensem frater B⟨ernardus⟩. si quid potest peccatoris oratio
Explicit: caritatem de corde puro & conscienscia bona

The main text continues from the prefatory letter without break.

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: parchment
Extent: ii (paper) + 154 + ix (paper)
Dimensions (leaf): 215 × 140 mm.
Foliation: i, 1–164


1(two) (fols. 2–3, presumably the last two leaves of a quire of eight), 2(8)-20(8) (fols. 4–155). Leaf signature (?), fol. 23r.


Ruled in plummet for 28 lines, written above top line; the capitula on fol. 123r–v in two columns. Ruled space 170 × 105 mm.


Protogothic bookhand.


Initials in plain red, some with elaborate arabesque/silhouette embellishment (e.g fols. 2v, 10v, 21r)


Laudian binding. Sewn in four double alum-tawed(?) bands laced into pasteboards covered with tanned brown leather, each framed with blind fillets and with the gilt arms of Archbishop Laud in the centre. The edges of the leaves gilt. Traces of two ties. The spine with an old paper label inscribed ‘Bernardus | de Considerac|ione &c | M’ and ‘B’, and two Bodleian printed paper labels.


Origin: Germany ; 12th century, late, or 13th century, early

Provenance and Acquisition

‘Liber S. Johnson’ and ‘S. Bernardi quædam.’, early 17th cent. (fol. 1r): Samson Johnson, a protege of William Laud, preacher (concionator) attached to Sir Robert Anstruther, British ambassador at the Diet of Frankfurt-am-Main (see the Quarto Catalogue, p. xx).

William Laud, 1573–1645: acquired 1635 (fol. 2r)

Part of his first donation to the Bodleian, sent 22 May 1635. Former Bodleian shelfmarks: ‘J.9.’ and ‘Laud 355’ (front pastedown).

Record Sources

Summary description (March 2021) by Peter Kidd, edited with dimensions and collation supplied by Matthew Holford. Previously described in the Quarto Catalogue (H. O. Coxe, Laudian Manuscripts, Quarto Catalogues II, repr. with corrections, 1969, from the original ed. of 1858–1885).

Digital Images

Digital Bodleian (full digital facsimile)
Digital Bodleian (1 image from 35mm slides)


Last Substantive Revision

2021-03-16: Revised description for Polonsky German digitization project.