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

MS. Lyell 54

Computistical collection


Summary of Contents: A collection of computistical material, a core miscellany enlarged by a later scribe

Language(s): Latin

1. (fol. 1r)
The mnemonic verses known as Tabula Angelica
Incipit: Nonę Aprilis norunt quinos, with neums written above.

Ed. Strecker in M.G.H. Poet Lat iv, pp. 670–1; see C. W. Jones, Bedae Pseudepigrapha, 1939, p. 57; here headed ‘Loca Termini Paschalis idest xiiii lunę primi mensis cum suis regularibus.’ It is incorporated in a table with other columns showing the number of the year in the nineteen-year cycle, the regulars and the terminals for Septuagesima, Lent, Rogations, and Pentecost. It is accompanied by two argumenta :

a. (below)
Incipit: Si omnes termini in dominicis diebus evenerint usque in aliam dominicam
Explicit: differre debes

Cf. MS. Bodl. 232, 11th cent., fol. 22.

b. (written in the upper margin, possibly in a different hand)
Incipit: Regulares videlicet subscriptos v, 1, vi iunge concurrentibus anni cuius volueris et invenies feriam in qua omnes termini contingant.
2. (fol. 1r)
Rubric: Ratio G. Cesaris de ordine anni
Incipit: Ian. Aug. et December mi Non. habent.

PL 90 col. 799A. Usually found as the first chapter of the Computatio Grecorum et Latinorum, but here in isolation. See Jones, op. tit., pp. 74–5.

Rubric: Ratio ad inveniendam lunam
Incipit: Si vis scire cuiuslibet lunę ętatem infra mensem.

PL 90 col. 801D14–19. Also part of the Computatio.

3. (fol. 1v)
Rubric: Incipit Martyrologium per circulum anni. Hę sunt huius. Sine. Sub. Supra.

Title apparently written by the later scribe. Cf. Oxford, St. John’s Coll. MS. 17, Thomey, late 11th cent., fol. 16, in which the calendar is preceded by the words: ‘Hę sunt claves huius artis. Sine. Sub. Supra.’

There follows (fol. 1v–14) an unusual calendar, combining the common solar calendar and Martyrology with the lunar calendar for the nineteen-year cycle. Two pages are allowed for each month and at the end (fol. 13v–14) is the calendar for February in leap year.

The calendar is arranged with four columns on the left of the date: golden numbers; letter series a–o on alternate spaces; lunar letter series (‘litterae punctatae’) and dominical letters; i.e. nos. 1–5 of the series listed by Jones, op. tit., p. 108. The Martyrology, in the centre, is related to the one pr. PL 90 col. 759–86 but has very few entries; the only ‘local’ ones left are: 2 Oct. ‘Leudegarii M.’; 16 Oct. ‘Depositio S. Galli conf.’ On the right is the lunar calendar, written in nineteen columns, and giving all the days, not only every other one, as in PL 90, col. 787–800.

At the top of each month is a line of the verse for the ‘Egyptian days’

Incipit: Iani prima dies

See Jones, op. tit., p. 73, and a note on the length of the month, nights, and days. In the margins round the calendar are written parts (generally not all) of the discussions of the names of the months derived from Macrobius, Saturnalia 1, 12–15, the discussion of computistical peculiarities of each month, and once, for July, a piece of medical advice. These are discussed by Jones, op. tit., pp. 72–3. After the Macrobian piece for January the scribe has added: ‘Hunc postea Gaius Iulius Cesar ut hodie servatur ordinavit et instituit.’

There are also additional computistical formulae:

(fol. 3r)
Rubric: De feria kalendarum
Rubric: De feria unaquaque

Found together in PL 90 col. 801B5–14.

b. (fol. 5r)
Rubric: De feria unaquaque
Incipit: Si feriam quamlibet quota sit scire queris

Cf. PL 90 col. 702C.

c. (fol. 7r)
Rubric: Ratio de regularibus feriarum unde procedant
Incipit: Annus solaris habet dies ccclxv, hos divide per xii menses

Cf. PL 90 col. 706B.

d. (fol. 8r)
Rubric: De epactis


Pr. PL 90 col. 801B19-C1.

e. (fol. 12r)
Rubric: De regularibus ferię
Incipit: Si vis scire unde regulares ad inveniendam feriam procedant scias quia eo anno quo vii concurrentes scribuntur.

There are a number of later additions to the calendar most of which may be in the hand of the later scribe: to the descriptions for February, fol. 2v, he has added: Numa constituit anno regni sui xi tres dies festos, Rubigalia, Floralia, Vinalia, and in the Calendar, 21 Feb.: Vinalia priora aguntur de gustandis vinis instituta; fol. 4v, 25 April: Rubigalia aguntur, and 28 April: Floralia aguntur. These observations derive from Pliny, Nat. Hist, xvin, 285–7, but the date given for Vinalia priora there and in other Roman sources is 23 April; fol. 5v, two corrections to the calendar; fol. 12v, 20 Dec.: Aquila oritur in Italia. On fol. 4v a different 12th-cent. hand has added, 29 April: Sigeboto l(aicus) o(biit). A later, 13th–14th-cent., hand has added the keys to Septuagesima, Lent, Easter, Rogations, and Pentecost.

In the lower margin of fol. 3 is added a verse
Incipit: Panditur hic luna sit quivis terminus in qua

Four lines, 12th cent.

On fol. 10 there are notes on fast days:

Incipit: Ieiunium primi mensis, id est Martii.

Both these additions may be by the later scribe.

4. (fol. 14v)
Table to show the position of the moon in the zodiac

PL 90 col. 757–8A. See Jones, op. cit., p. 68; pr. by him in Bedae Opera de Temporibus, 1943, p. 219.

5. (To the right on the same page)
a table for finding the age of the moon at the beginning of the month, with columns headed
Rubric: Epactę, id est adiectiones lunares
Rubric: Cyclus lunaris ad inveniendam lunam in kalendis
Rubric: Anni xix communes et embolismi
Rubric: Regulares limares ad inveniendam quota sit luna in kalendis

Accompanied by two argumenta:

Incipit: Si lunam kalendarum quota sit scire desideras

PL 90 col. 801D9–14.

Rubric: De regularibus lune
Incipit: Si vis scire unde regulares ad inveniendam kalendarum lunam

PL 90 col. 801D2–8.

6. (fol. 15r)
Tables for discovering the interval between Christmas and Lent, and so the date of Easter:
a. (on the left)
Table with columns showing a series of thirty-five letters b.–.q which correspond to the thirty-five possible intervals between Christmas and Lent, the beginnings of Lent and dates of Easter

Similar tables are found in MSS. B.M. Arundel 356, German, 11th cent., fol. 9v, Bodl. 232, fol. 6 and Digby 56, English, 12th cent., fol. 163, and in the 12th-cent. computus of Herrad of Landsperg, pr. K. Piper, Die Kal. und Mart, der Angelsachsen, Berlin, 1862, p. 31, where these letters are called ‘Paschales litterae’. PL 90 col. 749–50A is similar. The table is headed by Cusanus (see below) ‘Tabula ebdomadalis aut contratabula’.

b. (on the right)
Table (19 × 28) using the same letters b.–.q to discover the intervals over the 532 year period 1064–1596

The years 1064–1568 are listed at the top (the early years of the table are very worn); a further series of years from the beginning of the world, 6290–6794 (written over an erasure), is listed at the bottom and there are columns of bissextiles, concurrents, and dominical letters at the side. The table is arranged like the one described by Sickel, ‘Die Lunarbuchstaben in die Kalendarien des M.A.’, Sitzungsber. Akad. Wiss. Wien, PhU.-hist. Kl. 38 (1861), 198–9, from a computus of 1143 in MS. Vienna 275. The same table is pr. PL 90 col. 747–8A, but arranged with the years at the side. Headed ‘Tabula Dionysii’ by Cusanus.

(below b) Explanation of table b
Incipit: Cyclus lunaris decennovenalis est. Solaris vero xxviii annos complectitur.

Found also in MS. Digby 56, fol. 164v below a similar table.

7. (fol. 15v)
Abbo of Fleury, Combination (19 × 28), possibly deriving from Abbo, of the lunar table, item 4 above, with a table of concurrents for the years 1064–1596

See Jones, op. cit., pp. 62–3. Pr. PL 90 col. 737–8. The years 1064–1577 are in a column on the left, headed ‘Primi anni decemnovenalium cyclorum post cyclum Dionisii magnum paschalem’. On the right are columns headed: ‘Ultimi anni de⟨cem⟩novenalium in cyclo Dionisii’ (550–1043); ‘Ultimi anni decemnovenalium cyclorum ante cyclum Dionisii’ (18–531).

Outer columns contain:

a. (on the left)
Initials of the Greek names for the signs of the zodiac

Cf. MS. Zürich C. 62, 10th cent., fol. 206, cit. Jones, p. 62.

b. (on the right)
Initials of the Latin names of the signs. Below, in tabulated form, are listed epacts, lunar cycles, terms of Easter, regulars, terms of Lent, the moon on Kalends of January, and ‘incensio lunę paschalis’

See Jones, op. cit., pp. 62–3 and cf. PL 90 col. 739–40.

8. (fol. 16, on the left)
Table (7 × 19), to be used in conjunction with item 6a above

Above the table are listed the concurrents, with their corresponding dominical letters, to the left are listed the epacts for the nineteen-year cycle, and to the right the number of the year in the cycle (i–xviiii). With the help of this table the relevant letter in the series b.–.q can be found for any year if its concurrent and epact are known. Headed by Cusanus: ‘Tabula Bede pro littera anni invenienda et ex ista potest fieri tabula magna Dionisii’ (a similar table is headed ‘Tabula Bede’ in MS. Laud Mise. 644, 14th cent., fol. 15r). Pr. Piper, op. cit., p. 30, from the computus of Herrad of Landsperg. The table is also in MS. Digby 56, fol. 166v. A similar table is pr. PL 90 col. 811–12B, see Jones, op. cit., p. 78.

(To the right of the table)
A separate column of regulars
Rubric: Regulares ad inveniendos terminos pertinet vim annos
An explanatory text
Incipit: Si quis per istos regulares terminum cuiusque anni invenire cupit.

This text is found in MS. Bodl. 579, the Leofric Missal, 10th cent., fol. 52v, added after the verse ‘Nonae Aprilis’ in a later hand.

Our table and text are found together, but without the list of regulars, in MS. B.M. Royal 13 A. xi, beg. 12th cent., fol. 145v.

9. (fol. 16, on the right, followed by table on the left fol. 16v)
Twin tables (19 × 30 and 19 × 29), using ‘litterae punctatae’ to show the age of the moon on any day of the year

To the right of the first table is a column headed ‘Hoc numero post insertum emb. utere’.

Headed by Cusanus: ‘Tabula ad etatem lune. Vide in Kalendario litteram nigram ante litteram domini calem et cum ista intra tabulam hanc sub aureo numero anni presentis et tunc numerus ostendit etatem’.

Pr. as one table in PL 90 col. 755–6. See Jones, op. cit., p. 65; pr. by him in Bedae Opera cit., p. 225.

10. (table on right, fol. 16v)
Table, apparently to be used in conjunction with the first table on fol. 16, showing what the age of the Paschal moon on Easter day will be in any one year if the epacts and concurrents are known

On the left, three columns: letters b.-.q; dominical days; concurrents; on the right, headed ‘Epactę cum luna paschali’ are the corresponding epacts, with the age of the moon on Easter day written above them in red.

11. (upper table, fol. 17r)
Table (7 × 19) showing the date or age of the moon at Easter if the number of the year in the nineteen-year cycle (or epact) and its concurrent (or dominical letter) are known

Basically the same as PL 90 coL 733. See Jones, op. cit., p. 61.

(To the right)
an explanatory text
Incipit: Si quolibet anno paschalem diem vel lunam ipsius diei vel litteram quae dominicam diem designet scire volueris.

Below this the scribe appears to have been experimenting with ‘litterae punctatae’.

12. (lower table, fol. 17r)
Table (19 × 12) showing the age of the moon on the first day of each month of a nineteen-year cycle

Described by Cusanus: ‘Etas lune in Kal. mensium iuxta dclum decemnovenalem anni’.

Pr. PL 90 col. 753–4A. See Jones, op. cit., p. 64. The table is arranged the other way round in our MS., with the names of the months at the left and the numbers of the years along the top. The epacts have been omitted, but the embolisms and ‘saltus lunę’ are noted.

13. (fol. 17v)
Easter table for 1045–1110 taken from the Dionysian nineteen-year cycles

Pr. PL 90 col. 844–5. See Jones, op. cit., pp. 80–1.

Outside the table is written the relevant letter for each year from the b.–.q series. The table was cancelled by the later scribe, who had, however, made a correction to an entry for the year 1108.

14. (fol. 20r)
A collection of computistical formulae or ‘argumenta’

Apparently an expanded version of the collection pr. PL 90 col. 799–802, on which see Jones, op. cit., pp. 74–5. See also above, Calendar and additions.

Incipit: Primus embolismus id est supercrescens mensis.

PL 90 col. 799A16–800A19.

Rubric: De inditionibus
Incipit: Si vis scire quota sit indictio sume annos ab incarnatione domini et adice III

Cf. PL 90 col. 718C1; see Jones, op. cit., pp. 58–9.

Rubric: De concurrentibus
Incipit: Si vis sdre quot sint epactę solis id est concurrentes septimanę dies sume annos ab incarnatione domini.

Cf. ‘Dionysian’ formula in Krusch, ‘Stud. zur christlich-mittelalt. Chronol.’, Abh.preuss. Akad., Phil.-hist. Kl., 1937, 8, p. 76, no. iv, and PL 90 col. 718D1.

Rubric: De bissextili anno
Incipit: Si vis scire quo anno bissextus contingat.

Version of PL 90 col. 801A17-B2.

Rubric: Unde concurrentes oriantur
Incipit: Si scire laboras unde concurrentes procedant scito quot dies annus solaris habeat et hos dies per vndivide.

Cf. PL 90 col. 722B5

Rubric: De epactis inveniendis
Incipit: Si scire desideras quota epacta sit sume annos ab incarnatione domini et eos per xviiii divide
Rubric: Item sume annum cycli decennovenalis quotus sit et 1 dimitte.

Cf. PL 90 col. 599B9, on which see Jones, op. cit., p. 39.

Rubric: Unde epactę oriantur
Incipit: Si vis scire unde oriantur epactę id est adiectiones lunares.

PL 90 col. 801C3–D.

i. (fol. 20v)
Rubric: De regularibus lunę
Incipit: Annus solaris habet dies ccclxv. Hos divide per xxx.

Cf. PL 90 col. 706B16; see Jones, op. cit., p. 56.

Rubric: De qualibet luna
Incipit: Si quolibet die lunam quota sit vis scire.

Cf. PL 90 col. 703A15; see Jones, op. cit., p. 56.

Rubric: De anno cycli decennovenalis
Incipit: Si vis scire quotus sit annus cycli decennovenalis sume annos domini et imum adice.

Cf. PL 90 col. 600B2 and 718D15.

Incipit: Item sume annos ab initio mundi et 1 subtrahe, reliquos vero per decemnovem partire
Rubric: De lunari cyclo
Incipit: Si vis scire quotus sit annus cycli lunaris sume annos ab incarnatione domini et de ipsis duos subtrahe.

Cf. PL 90 col. 600A12 and 719A2.

Incipit: Item sume annos ab initio mundi et mi ex eis tolle
Rubric: Ad inveniendum paschalem terminum
Incipit: Si paschalem terminum, id est lunam ximam primi mensis volueris scire.

PL 90 col. 802B1–16.

Rubric: De regularibus termini paschalis
Incipit: Si vis scire unde ipsi regulares oriantur
Explicit: et remanent regulares.

PL 90 col. 802B17–C4.

Incipit: Item si terminum paschalem vis scire scias omni anno quot sint lunares epactę et totam in xi kal. Aprilis lunam semper noveris esse
Incipit: Quod si feriam in qua terminus ipse contingat vis nosse eiusdem termini ^vel anni^ quot sint debes scire

Glossed by the later hand.

Rubric: Ad terminum paschalem inveniendum
Incipit: Martius habet regulares xxxvi, Aprilis xxxv. Cum igitur epactas plures V vel pauciores xvidm habueris, cum regularibus Marcii.

Cf. PL 90 col. 709C6.

u. (fol. 21r)
Incipit: Ad feriam vero eiusdem termini inveniendam eundem numerum qui subtractis epactis remanet.

Cf. PL 90 col. 709D3.

Incipit: Hoc quoque sciendum est quod xima luna, si communis annus est, xi diebus prius
Rubric: De incensione lunę
Incipit: Si vis scire ubi luna paschalis accendatur, scito omni anno quota in Kal. Ian. luna sit
Rubric: De embolismis et communibus annis
Incipit: Sciendum est quod ab una xiiii luna paschali ad alteram lunaris annus semper computatur
Explicit: Hos autem lunares annos a paschali luna secundum antiquam hebreorum auctoritatem inchoamus
y. (fol. 21v)
Rubric: De ratione bissexti
Incipit: Annus solaris id est qui secundum solem computatur habet dies ccclxv et vi horas id est quadrantem diei
Explicit: Qui videlicet lunę quadrans quantis temporum particulis in singulis mensibus procrescat in presentiarum volumus omittere ne nos venerabili Bedę presbitero videamur proferre in aliquo qui in libro de temporibus quesitu hoc maiori dixit indigere
Rubric: De ratione saltus lunae
Incipit: Aantiquorum industria liquido compertum est, quod in xvim annorum circulo solis et lunę cursus ita equantur
Rubric: De cursu planetarum per xii signa
Incipit: Luna infima planetarum unumquodque signum in nbus diebus vi. horis ac bissę unius horę lustrat… Post lunam Mercurius unumquodque
bb. (fol. 22r)
Incipit: Sol in uno signo moratur xxx dies horas ac semis usque XII kal. Mai
Rubric: De cursu lunę per signa
Incipit: Luna in uno signo dies 11, horę vi bisse(?) horę moratur
Rubric: Argumentum in quo signo luna sit
Incipit: Si vis scire in quo signo luna est sume lunam quam volueris et eius etatem per mi multiplica
Incipit: Si vis scire quot horas luna luna luna[sic] luceat eius etatem per mi multiplica
Rubric: Quot gradus sol per singulas horas ascendat in initio et medietate cuiusque signi in climate vil
Incipit: Initio capricomi hora i et xia finiente ascendit sol gradus v
Explicit: (fol. 22va) Lva et vna xli, via lxvi.
15. (fol. 24r)
Hermannus Contractus, Computus Lib. i
Rubric: Incipit adbreviatus cuiusdam idiotę compotus
Incipit: Qui compoti regulas ipsarumque regularum causas
Explicit: (fol. 20vb) tarditatem exercentes.

23 chapters. See G. Koch, ‘Die Bamberger Überlieferung des Computus des Hermann von Reichenau’, Bericht des Historischen Vereins Bamberg 102 (1966), 89–125, who lists fourteen other MSS. Her nos. 7 and 8, MSS. Bamberg Lit. 160, 12th cent, from Bamberg Cathedral (21 chapters), and Berlin Staatsbibl. lat. qu. 106, 12th cent, from Maria Laach, also contain the first book only. Our MS. follows the chapter divisions of the 47 chapter version (two books of 24 and 23 chapters: see Koch, pp. 102–6), except that cap. iii-iv are written as one.

This original part of our MS. is clearly related to fol. 101–124v of MS. Berlin lat. qu. 106 cit. (Rose, Verzeichnis lat. Hss. Berlin II, 3, pp. 1173–4), as E. Schulz (see below) noted. It contains the same collection of argumenta , and the same fragment of the Computus of Hermannus.

Another scribe added further computistical material to the MS. in the 12th cent., using margins and blank spaces, filling blank leaves and inserting extra leaves:

a. (fol. I, upper margin)

Two verses for remembering the ferial letters for the Kalends of each month:

Incipit: Arcitenens dominans dominus genitor bonus exstat.

2 lines. An unusual variant of the common verse beg.: ‘Altitonans dominus’, which is often found at the beginning of Calendars and later appeared in Alexander de Villa Dei’s Massa Compoti. B. Bischoff, ‘Ostertagtexte und Intervalltafeln’ in his Mittelalterliche Studien 2 (1967), p. 194 n. 9, cites only our MS. (from Schulz’s description).

Rubric: Ad idem
Incipit: Alta domat dominus gratis beat equa gerentes.

2 lines. Uncommon in MSS. of this date: found in Munich clm. 14569, 11th cent., St. Emmeran, fol. 16v, see Bischoff, loc. cit, and pr. J. Werner, Beiträge zur Kunde der lat. Lit. des M.A., 2nd ed., 1905, p. 44, from MS. Zürich C. 58, 12th cent., fol. nv. Later used by Guü. Durandus, Rationale Divinorum Officium. Walther, Initia, no. 843.

b. (fol. 14v, in space at bottom)
Fragment on the small divisions of time
Incipit: Ostentum[sic] est lx pars hors habens athomos ccclxxvi

Apparently an abbreviation of Rabanus Maurus, Computus, ch. xii–xvii, xix, PL 107 col. 677–9.

c. (fol. 18)
Rubric: Compotus vulgaris qui dicitur ephemerida id est supputatio singulorum dierum vel syderum subtilis inspectio de feria, de luna, et his quę ad lunam pertinent id est epactis, mensibus, signis, terminis, annis cydi decennovalis

PL 90 col. 727–80.

(following heading)
Abbo, Table (30 × 30) formed of the verses
Incipit: Ardua conexe libat sacraria formae

Pr. PL 90 col. 729–30. See A. Van de Vyver, ‘Les œuvres inédites d’Abbon de Fleury’, Rev. Bén. 47 (1935), 152. This table is usually accompanied by an explanatory text, a version of which is found in our MS. on fol. 29–29v.

d. (fol. 18v–19)
Abbo, Pair of tables, preceded by explanatory text
Incipit: In sequenti figura singulę litterę binos complectuntur dies
Explicit: simul xxx lunationes.

Cf. PL 90 col. 803–4A1–15; our text is fuller. The first table (fol. 18v) is the equivalent of PL 90 col. 805–8, in which the dots after some letters are wrongly omitted; the second (fol. 19r) is pr. PL 90 col. 803–4, upper table. In Oxford, St, John’s Coll. MS. 17, fol. 22v–23, these two tables are presented as one, in the same order as ours, with the explanation as in PL and headed ‘Tabula antiquorum … ad inveniendam lunam per×et ix annos.’ Jones, op. cit., pp. 75, 77, does not mention this combination of tables.

e. (fol. 19v)
Rubric: Incipit ordo Solaris anni cum litteris a s. Ieronimo superpositis ad explorandam per septimanę dies lunę etatem cottidie per xviiii a(nnos)

Followed by a table (30 × 38) using litterae punctatae to discover the age of the moon on any day of the year, pr. PL 90 col. 803–4, lower table. In our MS. it is arranged the other way round with the numbers of the years in the nineteen-year cycle in Greek figures on the left, and the numbers of the days of the months along the top and bottom. It is a conflated form of the two tables on fol. 16–16v (PL 90 col. 755–6), which appear with the heading as here in MS. Berne 250, Fleury, 10th cent., fol. 23, see Jones, op. cit., p. 77. Jones (op. cit., p. 75) knew of no MS. with the table arranged as in ours.

f. (fol. 22va, in blank space)
Diagram of a Greek cross with symbolical interpretations

At the ends of the arms are written the Greek names of the four comers of the world: Anathole, Mesimbrion, Disis, Arctos, and at the centre is the number xlvi: symbolism explained by Rabanus Maurus, De laudibus S. Crucis, 1, Fig. xii, PL 107 col. 197–8.

Along the arms are written: ‘Spes in sublimitate; Perseverantia in longitudine; Karitas in latitudine; profundum oculta iudicia dei vel misericordia dei’; similar inscriptions are found in miniatures of the Cross in two MSS. from Regensburg: Munich clm. 13601, the Uta Gospels, 11th cent., fol. 3v, for which see G. Swarzenski, Die Regensburger Buchmalerei des×u. XI Jh., 1901, p. 95 and Taf. xiii; and Munich clm. 14159, Anon., De Laudibus S. Crucis, 12th cent., no. 54, for which see A. Boeckler, Die Regensburg-Prüfeninger Buchmalerei des XII u. XIII Jh., 1924, pp. 41–2 and Tal. xxxvi. Cf. also the text on the Cross (beg.: Apostolicam sententiam in qua dicitur) accompanying miniatures of the Crucifix in two 12th-cent. MSS. of Florence of Worcester: Oxford, Corpus Christi ColL 157, p. 77b and Bodl. 297, fol. 71. For both MSS. see Rosalie B. Green, ‘A Typological Crucifixion’ in Festschrift Ulrich Middeldorf, ed. A. Kosegarten and P. Tigler, Berlin, 1968, pp. 20–3, with plate of the Corpus MS. A fresco of a crucifix at SS. Udalric and Afra, Augsburg, painted under Abbot Udascalcus (1126–52) had references both to the parts of the world and to the virtues; see Wittwer’s 15th-cent. Catalogus Abbatum, pr. A. Steichele in Archiv für Gesch. des Bisthums Augsburg, iii (1860), 115.

Round the centre of the cross is written: ‘fides,’ and along the left and right arms, and above: ‘Pater, Filius, Spiritus Sanctus voluntas ab utroque procedens.’

Beside the diagram are the lines: ‘Ex deitate(?) dei stetit hoc insigne trophei / Nobis velle mori sibi quo vivemus honori.’ Another version of the first line, written above, beg.: ‘Ex altare dei’, has been erased.

g. (fol. 22vb, in blank column)
Three circular diagrams in red and black, illustrating the relationship of the sun and moon
Rubric: Eglipsis solis lunę interventu contingit. Eglipsis solis nunquam nisi in xxvim vel in xxx luna fit, id est in coitu solis et lunę
Incipit: Eglipsin lunę umbra terre facit. Eglipsis lune nunquam nisi in plenilunio contingit
Eight phases of the moon
Rubric: Exemplar lunam non nisi a sole lumen habere.

Similar diagrams are found in MS. Hanover iv. 394, ‘De ratione spere’, 13th cent., fol. 23v, 26v, 27. The same work is in MS. Digby 83, 12th cent., but it only contains diagrams (i) and (ii) (fol. 30v–31). There are isolated diagrams similar to (ii) and (iii) in MS. Digby 23, fol. 52–52v (12th cent.?). A diagram similar to (iii) accompanies Abbo’s astronomical texts (see Van de Vyver, op. cit., pp. 140–4) in MSS. Harl. 2506, Fleury, 10th–11th cent., fol. 31, Cotton Vit. A. xii, English, 11th cent., fol. 10, Oxford, St. John’s Coll. 17, fol. 38v, Cotton Tib. E. iv. Winchester, 12th cent, fol. 141v. It is pr. PL 90 col. 255–6, 407–8, 1157–8. In MS. Bodl. 232, fol. 21 the diagram stands alone.

h. (fol. 23, upper diagram)
Lists of the names of the months: Roman, Hebrew, Egyptian, Greek, English, Armenian

Also found in the Chronicle of Bemoldus of Constance, pr. M.G.H. Script. v, 1844, p. 395. The Armenian names are rare, and seem to have been introduced to Europe c. 1100; see B. Bischoff, ‘The study of foreign languages in the Middle Ages’ in his Mittelalterliche Studien 2 (1967), p. 232 n. 23, where he cites Schulz’s description of our MS. (see below).

j. (fol. 23, lower diagram)
Word square of thirty-four letters

Containing the line: ‘Solamen misero tu sis mihi tempore longo.’

k. (fol. 23v)
Two diagrams set together in a red frame with yellow wash:
(i). (upper diagram)
A ‘rota’ with the title ‘Spera ad inveniendos terminos per circulum anni atque eorum lunationes’, divided into twenty segments, for the nineteen years of the lunar cycle, and one for the headings

Each segment contains, in descending order from the circumference: ‘Claves terminorum’; ‘Epacte lunares’; ‘Cyclus decennovenalis’ (letter and number, with note of whether the year is common or embolismic); terminals for Septuagesima, Lent, Easter, Rogations, Pentecost, each ‘cum luna’; ‘Cyclus lunaris’; ‘Regulares terminorum’; ‘luna in Kal. Ian.’; ‘Incensio pascalis lune’; three series of letters: ‘ad lunam’, apparently ‘litterae punctatae’ grouped in twos or threes beg.: c–m, ending do.p.; ‘anni’, in Greek numerals; ‘ad terminum’, single letters, apparently relating to the b.–.q table on fol. 15, but here using it to find the terminal of Easter, instead of its actual date. At the four comers outside the rota, and in the centre, are added formulae for finding the five terminals listed above.

There is a similar rota, with fewer data, in MS. Madrid, Bibl. Nac. 9605, 12th cent., fol. 85. In MS. Bodl. 232, 11th cent., fol. 21v there is a rectangular table which displays most of the data found here. It is called: ‘Spera terminorum in festivitatibus annorum’.

Text and diagram showing how gravity affects the fall of rain

From Macrobius, Comm, in Somn. Scip. 1, xxii. n–13, ed. Willis, 1963, p. 93 1. 14 (Esto enim)-l. 28 (pondera) and fig. p. 167. Cf. PL 90 col. 266 (glosses), 439–40B-C. The same diagram and text follow an extract from Isidore (De Nat. Reram xi. 1–3) in MSS. Oxford, St. John’s Coll. 17, fol. 39v and B.M. Cotton Tib. C. I, Peterborough, 12th cent., fol. 7. In the St. John’s MS. they are preceded by Abbo’s Sententia, for which see Van de Vyver, Rev. Bén. 47 (1935), 140–4. In MS. Digby 23, fol. 52v, the diagram, in a form much closer to ours, stands alone.

l. (fol. 20vb, in blank space)
Bede, De Nat. Rerum xvi
Incipit: Zodiacus vel signifer
Explicit: duabus ut sol

Pr. PL 90 col. 231. The text accompanies a diagram entitled ‘Cursus planetarum per zodiacum’ which is similar to one found in MS. Canon. Class. Lat. 279, 9th cent. (P), fol. 34, where it accompanies the first part of the so-called York Excerpts from Pliny’s Nat. Hist., ed. K. Rück, Auszüge aus der Naturgeschichte des C. Plinius Secundus (Progr. Königl. Ludwigs-Gymnasium 1887–8), Munich, 1888, pp. 34–43. For a discussion of the diagram and its relation to the Pliny excerpts see also H. P. Lattin, ‘The 11th cent. MS. Munich 14436’, Isis 38 (1947–8), 215–22 and fig. 2. In MS. B.M, Cotton Vit. A. xii, fol. 9, it is used to explain the ‘Sententia Abbonis’, for which see Van de Vyver, loc. cit. See also MSS. St. John’s 17 cit., fol. 38; Cotton Tib. E. iv, fol. 141 and Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore, W. 73, English, 12th cent., fol. 5v. In this last MS. the Bede text is on fol. 2; see H. Bober, in Journal of Walters Art Gallery 19–20 (1956–7), 85–6, 90, 92 and fig. 14–15. The diagram in PL 90 col. 363–4A and 1153–4B is different again.

In the lower margin Cusanus has written: Ad illam figuram vide Rabanum in c(apitul)o de cursu planetarum per signiferum quod et hic ascribitur. See PL 107 col. 690B7-C8; Rabanus is however copying Bede.

m. (fol. 27r)
Rubric: Incipit minor libellus Bedę presbiteri de temporibus
Bede, De temporibus i–xv

Pr. Jones, Bedae Opera De Temp., cit., pp. 295–302. Our MS. belongs to his ‘K’ group and is closest to his S (MS. St. Gall 250, 9th cent.), omitting completely the passage at the end of xiii.

n. (fol. 28v)
Hermannus Contractus, De utilitatibus astrolabii 11, 3
Rubric: De magnitudine totius terrę
Incipit: Erat sostenes [lege Eratosthenes] philosophus geometraque sagacissimus
Explicit: vel non multo plus dicat habere.

Pr. PL 143 col. 408C11–409A2. This piece must be distinguished from a piece deriving from Martianus Capella vi. 598, which has a similar incipit. Our piece is also found, isolated as here, accompanying and explaining a letter to Hermannus from his disciple Meinzo, in Paris B.N. lat. 7377C, fol. 46–47, 12th–13th cent., pr. Duemmler in Neues Archiv v (1880), 202–3 (see Van de Vyver, ‘Les premières trad, latines de traités arabes sur l’astrolabe’, Premier congrès international de géog. historique 2 (1931), 270–2) and in MS. B.M. Arundel 270, 12th cent., fol. 40.

o. (fol. 28v, upper table)
Six circles containing a list of the thirty-five possible intervals between Christmas and Lent and dates for the beginning of Lent, with their corresponding dominical letters

Cf. items 6a, 8 above.

p. (fol. 28v, lower table)
Table (19 × 7) for finding the beginning of Lent and date of Easter, with the age of the moon on those days, from the number of the year in the nineteen-year cycle or the epact for the year, together with the concurrent or dominical letter for the year

The years are numbered i–xix and a–t along the top, epacts are listed along the bottom and concurrents and dominical letters along the side. Cf. tables in PL 90 col. 815–18.

q. (fol. 29, upper text and table on left)
Table (15 × 15) to be used in conjunction with the vowel series a–v

Often found in Calendars (no. 6 in Jones, Pseudepig., p. 108) for finding the age of the moon on any day of the year. Pr. incompletely in PL 90 col. 802D, see Jones, op. cit., p. 75.


Accompanied by explanatory text:

Incipit: Hec paginula v constans vocafibus cuiusque diei lunam hoc ordine pandit.

A slightly fuller version of this text, beg.: ‘Pagina ista quinque constans vocalibus’, accompanies the same table in MS. St. John’s 17 cit., fol. 24v and is followed by the beginning of Abbo’s ‘Computus Vulgaris’, see c above.

r. (fol. 29, table on right)
Table (7 × 19) for finding the date of Easter, substituting the letters angelvs for the Dominical letters

The concurrents are written above, and in columns on the left are Hsted: the number of the year in the nineteen-year cycle, the terminals for Easter, and the lunar regulars. In a separate table on the right the possible ages of the moon for Lent, Easter (in red) and Rogations are collated with the letters angelus.

Cf. PL 90 col. 743–4, lower table, where the correspondence of the letters to the age of the moon is different. The separate table on the right seems especially to be a feature of St. Gall MSS.: see Jones, op. cit., p. 63; A. Cordoliani, ‘Contrib. à la litt. du comput ecclés. au m.â.’, Studi medievali, ser. 3, 1 (1960), 129. See also Jones, ‘A Legend of St. Pachomius’, Speculum 18 (1943), 209.

Above the table is an explanatory verse:

Incipit: Littera sub certa si concurrente reperta

3 lines.

s. (fol. 29–29’)
Texts explaining item c above (Abbo’s table Ardua Conexe)
Incipit: Quadratus equilaterus
Explicit: (fol. 29v) Iunii quartam.

Pr. with slight differences in PL 90 col. 727–30.

(ii). (fol. 29v)
Incipit: Iam linearum primam et duodecimam aperiamus utilitatem
Explicit: triginta transiliens numeres primam
Incipit: Si qualis sit luna per singulos dies queris
Explicit: utiliter hic digessi.

Pr. PL 90, col. 810 1. 38–8111. 2.

Item (i) is the final version of Abbo’s explanation of his table; see Van de Vyver in Rev. Bén. 47 (1935), 152–3. Item (iii) is an explanation of part of the same table in conjunction with the small table in PL 90 col. 810A. In MS. B.M. Arundel 356, fol. 7v–8, they are found together immediately after Abbo’s table ‘Ardua Conexe’ and item (i). Item (iii) is part of a longer text by Abbo which is found in the fundamental Abbo MS., Berlin Phill. 1833, fol. 33. There Abbo’s table and item (i) follow on fol. 33v; see Van de Vyver, loc. cit.; Rose, Verz. lot. Hss. Berlin 1, 1893, no. 138, p. 311. Item (ii) is unprinted. In our MS. it follows item (i) without a break. It refers to the same table and seems to be a rather longer version of some of the arguments found in item (iii).

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: parchment
Extent: 29 leaves,
Dimensions (leaf): 263 × 190 mm.


[quire or quires missing?], 1⁸, 2⁶, 3⁶ (+2 leaves (fol. 18–19) added in the middle), 4⁴ (+4 leaves added round the quire, but the first cancelled: fol. 23, 28–9)
Secundo Folio: A XV kl.febr.


185–90 × 142–52 mm. : longer items of text (except fol. 29–29v long lines) written in 2 cols., 37–38 lines


Written in S. Germany or Switzerland in two hands.

mid-11th cent., fol. i–17v, 20–22va, 24–20v;

12th cent., fol. 18–19v, 23v, 27–29v and additions on fol. 1, 14v, 22v, 20v.


Plain red initials.

Diagrams. (P&A i. 35)


Binding of type apparently common in Amplonian MSS: 15th-cent. wooden boards with quarter-binding of white skin nailed down with a strip of red leather, only partly surviving; original sewing; original two leather straps and metal clasps with pin fastening on upper board; traces of labels on upper board.


Origin: 11th century, middle, and 12th century, early ; German, South or ; Swiss

Provenance and Acquisition

The MS. belonged in the 15th cent, to the Collegium Amplonianum, Erfurt; note on fol. 29v, partly erased: ‘Ad librariam Collegii porte Celi in Erffordia’, but it is not identifiable in the Amplonius catalogue of 1410–12; cf. Schulz (see below), p. vi. It was presumably at Erfurt when Nicholas of Cusa wrote his annotations on fols. 2, 15, 16, 17, 26v. He visited Erfurt in May–June 1451; see J. Koch, ‘Nikolaus von Kues und seiner Umwelt’, Sitz. Heidelberger Akad. der Wiss., Phil.-hist. Klasse, 1944–8, 2 Abh., 123–4. Our MS. is listed with other MSS. annotated by Nicholas of Cusa by A. Krchnâk, ‘Neue Handschriftenfunde in London und Oxford’, Mitteilungen und Forschungsbeiträge der Cusanus–Gesellschaß 3 (1963), 105.

Later owned by Jacques Rosenthal of Munich: Kat. 95, 1934, pp. iii–viii: a detailed description of the MS. by Ernst Schulz, to which the present description is much indebted. It was he who identified the hand of Nicholas of Cusa. According to him the MS. was in France in the 19th cent., and was bought by Rosenthal at an auction in Italy.

Subsequently no. 18 and pl. v (fol. 16r) in Cat. xix (1936) of Art Ancien S.A., Zurich. Bought by Lyell from A. Rosenthal in January 1942.

James P. R. Lyell, 1871–1948

Chosen as one of the hundred manuscripts bequeathed to the Bodleian by Lyell in 1948.

MS. Lyell 49, offsets on boards


Language(s): Latin

Petrus de Vineis, Epistolae Lib. 1

The front board has parts of the end of Ep. xvi and beginning of Ep. xviii. The back board has parts from the middle of Ep. xxi.


Origin: 14th century ; Italy

Additional Information

Record Sources

Description adapted from A. de la Mare, Catalogue of the Medieval Manuscripts Bequeathed to the Bodleian Library Oxford by James P. R. Lyell (1971); with additions by Andrew Dunning.

Digital Images

Digital Bodleian (full digital facsimile)


Last Substantive Revision

2020-12-16: Andrew Dunning Revised from description by Albinia de la Mare.