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

MS. Laud Misc. 479

Summary Catalogue no.: 1047

A: Paradisus animae intelligentis; Germany (Central Hessian region), s. xiv2/4-mid; B: Various texts, mainly on contemplation; Germany (Mainz Charterhouse), s. xiv2/4-mid (part B)

Physical Description

This description is abbreviated from Daniela Mairhofer, Medieval Manuscripts from the Mainz Charterhouse in the Bodleian Library, Oxford: A Descriptive Catalogue (Oxford, 2018), pp. 1245–1257. For purposes of scholarly citation, reference to the printed catalogue is requested.
Composite: fols. 1–113ª || fols. 114–201
Form: codex
Support: parchment, paper
Extent: i (17th century) + 201 + i (17th century) leaves
Foliation: i, 1–202


Brown tanned calf over laminated pulpboard for Abp. Laud, 1637–1639.


Provenance and Acquisition

MS. Laud Misc. 479 consists of two German parts: A) a German sermon collection, and B) a collection of Latin texts mainly on contemplation and the ascent to God; both were once in the possession of the Mainz Charterhouse, but were presumably brought together only in the course of the Laudian binding.

William Laud, 1573–1645: his ex libris, 1638, fol. 1r.

Given to the Bodleian as part of his third donation, dispatched on 28 June 1639.

MS. Laud Misc. 479 – Part A (fols. 1–113a)


(fols. 1r–113r)
Paradisus animae intelligentis (sermon collection including 32 sermons of Meister Eckhart and another 32 sermons by preachers of his circle)

The writing language of the present manuscript can be located in the Central Hessian region, east of Mainz including the area of Frankfurt and the Wetterau (N. F. Palmer, 'In kaffin in got', 107ff.).

(fols. 1r–4v)
Language(s): German

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: parchment
Dimensions (leaf): c. 185–90 × 127–38 mm.


Ruling in ink, (fols. 1ra–4vb, index) two columns, (fols. 5r–113av) one column, of 32 lines. Ruled space c. 140–49 × 89–99 mm.


German textualis, a single hand.


Simple two- to four-line initials in red.

Red rubrics by the scribe.


Origin: s. xiv2/4–mid ; Germany, Central Hessian


Mainz, Charterhouse St Michael: the 15th-century ex-libris inscriptions (lower margin of fol. 64r, in the same hand as the German ex-libris inscription in MS. Laud Misc. 521, fol. 138v; in a different hand, at the upper margin of fol. 113v).

MS. Laud Misc. 202 – Part B (fols. 114–201)


Language(s): Latin

2. (fols. 114r–115v)
Thomas Gallus (Ps.-Bonaventure), De septem gradibus contemplationis

Shortened adaptation. See also Mainz, Stadtbibl., Hs I 48, fols 91r–v & 244ra–va.

3. (fols. 115v–116v)
De contemplatione

See also Mainz, Stadtbibl., Hs I 48, fols 91v–92v & 244va–245rb.

4. (fols. 116v–118r)
Bernard of Clairvaux, De consideratione

Excerpts from 2.2.5–14.31.

See also MS. Basel, UB, B IX 6, fol. 1ra–va; Mainz, Stadtbibl., Hs I 48, fol. 92v.

5. (fol. 118r)
Octo gradus quibus viri contemplatim ascendunt

Excerpt from William of Saint-Thierry (Ps.-Bernard of Clairvaux), Epistula ad fratres de Monte Dei, 44.

See MS. Basel, UB, B IX 6, fol. 8ra–va; Mainz, Stadtbibl., Hs I 48, fol. 94r (end).

6. (fols. 118r–119r)
Quod duodecim sunt quae praeparant ad contemplationem

The text breaks off at the sixth article.

See also Mainz, Stadtbibl., Hs I 48, fols 94r–102v & 147r–155v (complete).

7. (fols. 119v–120v)
8. (fols. 120v–121v)
Septem gradus animae

A tractate based on Augustine, De quantitate animae, 33.

9. (fols. 121v–122r)
De tribus speciebus visionis
Incipit: Et distinguuntur ibi in glosa tres species visionis corporalis ymaginaria et intellectualis

Cf. MS. Basel, UB, B IX 6, fol. 8va.

10. (fols. 122r–127r)
De gloria animae et corporis et gaudiis caelestibus
Incipit: Sciendum est de rebus sperandis quod gloria anime. et gloria corporis sunt speranda

At the end of the first gaudium (fol. 125r) a ‘Frater wydo cartusiensis’ is quoted as authority, making a Carthusian source/origin very likely.

12. (fols. fols 127r–173v)
Gérard of Liège (Ps.-Hugh of Saint-Cher), De doctrina cordis

Excerpts from the seven tractates, in an unusual order.

At the beginning a short preface, apparently composed by the scribe at the Mainz Charterhouse, where he states that the tractate De scissione cordis was put at the beginning of the work for reasons of convenience, while in the copy of dominus Fulzo ad Gradus (the Mainz canon Fulzo de Longa Curia), it is preceded by several other tractates.

See also Mainz, Stadtbibl., Hs I 48, fols 102v–147r.

13. (fols. 174r–186r)
Richard of Saint-Victor, Beniamin maior

Excerpts from 1.4–5.19.

See also MS. Basel, UB, B IX 6, fols 1va–7va; Mainz, Stadtbibl., Hs I 48, fols 147r–155v.

14. (fols. 186r–198v)
Richard of Saint-Victor, De quatuor gradibus violentae caritatis

See also MS. Basel, UB, B IX 6, fols 78r–87v; Mainz, Stadtbibl., Hs I 48, fols 234r–242r.

Language(s): Latin
15. (fols. 198v–199r)
Gregory the Great, Homiliae in Ezechielem

Excerpts from 1.10.43 & 2.3.8–9.

See MS. Basel, UB, B IX 6, fols 87v–88r; Mainz, Stadtbibl., Hs I 48, fol. 242r–v.

16. (fols. 199v–201v)
Sermo de BMV

See MS. Basel, UB, B IX 6, fols 87v–88r; Mainz, Stadtbibl., Hs I 48, fols 88r–90v.

17. (fols. 201v)
Gérard of Liège (Ps.-Hugh of Saint-Cher), De doctrina cordis

See above, item 12. Excerpt, ascribed to Albert the Great.

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: parchment and Italian paper (two watermarks: Briquet 15852 (Genoa 1334–1336) and the other similar to Briquet 3165 (Bologna 1329, Pisa 1330/1331, Montpellier 1336) (see Palmer, 'In kaffin in got', pp. 109–110)
Dimensions (leaf): c. 186–92 × 133–35 mm.


Ruling (fols. 114r–123v) in lead point, hardly visible; the paper quires without ruling; (fols. 124r–141v, 196r–199v) in ink, the ruling pattern varies, as does the number of lines. Ruled space c. 143–50 × 98–102 mm.


German textualis, presumably a single hand, from the Mainz Charterhouse.


A six-line initial in red, filled with fleuronnée in the ink of the text (fol. 114r).

Simple two- to five-line initials, mostly in red.

Scribal red rubrics.


Origin: s. xiv2/4–mid ; Mainz Charterhouse


The evidence of script and watermarks suggests that part B was copied at the Mainz Charterhouse, s. xiv2/4–mid.

Mainz, Charterhouse St Michael: a 15th-century ex-libris inscription (fol. 114r); fascicle B is identifiable in the older catalogue of 1470 (Mainz, Stadtbibl., Hs I 577, fol. 273r) as ‘VII. S (= secundus)’ and as ‘M. VII. P’ (= primus) in the younger catalogue compiled before 1520 (Mainz, Stadtbibl., Hs I 576, fol. 167r)

Additional Information

Record Sources

See above. 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 (6 images from 35mm slides)


Last Substantive Revision

2020-09-22: Description revised for Polonsky digitization project to include additional information from Mairhofer catalogue.