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

MS. Barlow 6

Summary Catalogue no.: 6418


John of Salisbury, Polycraticus

Contemporary marginalia.

Language(s): Latin

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: parchment
Extent: 209 fols.
Dimensions (leaf): 325 × 240 mm.


2 cols., 39–40 lines, column space 243–50 × 65 mm.


Fine historiated and other initials, added in the second quarter of the 13th century. (Pächt and Alexander iii. 368, pl. XXXII)

Illuminated initials (some historiated), coloured initials, rubrics.


Origin: 1187 × 1205; decoration added, 13th century, second quarter ; English, Malmesbury, Benedictine Abbey

Provenance and Acquisition

Written at Malmesbury Abbey by Salomon under Abbot Robert of Meldon (1187–1205); inscription, fol. 209: ‘Explicit Policraticus per Salomonem sub Abbate Roberto .iiº’.

Fol. 142r-v: ‘Thomas Lonwell’ or ‘Lonewell’. 16th century (?).

Fol. 209 : ‘Richardus Ramsaeus possidet’, mid-16th century.

Fol. 209v: ‘Wyllyam Fyttz’, mid-16th century.

Thomas Barlow, 1607–1691: acquired 1633, inscription fol. 1.

Bequeathed by him in 1691.

Record Sources

Description adapted (2018) from the following sources:
A. G. Watson, Catalogue of Dated and Datable Manuscripts c.435–1600 in Oxford Libraries (Oxford, 1984), no. 65 [physical description, origin, provenance]
Otto Pächt and J. J. G. Alexander, Illuminated Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, III (1973), no. 368 [decoration]
Summary Catalogue (1937) [contents, provenance]

Digital Images

Digital Bodleian (2 images from 35mm slides)


Last Substantive Revision

2018-10-24: Fully revised to incorporate all information in Watson, Pächt and Alexander, and SC.