On this page, you can learn more about the various western medieval manuscripts in St John’s College Library that engage with the topic of morality.
MS 61 is a bestiary, a kind of encyclopedia of animals (both real and fantastical) with moral lessons. The folio shown here treats griffins and elephants. MS 61 was produced in York in the late thirteenth century and is extensively illuminated.
MS 102 was produced in France in the fifteenth century and contains various French didactic treatises. This manuscript was written by several scribes, one for each booklet. The common finishing of the booklets in MS 102 suggests planned collaboration.
MS 124 contains the Archana Deorum of Thomas Walsingham, a moralisation of Ovid’s Metamorphoses. This manuscript was produced in England in the fifteenth century.
MS 137 contains a copy of Pierre Bersuire’s Ovidius moralizatus, a moralisation of Ovid’s Metamorphoses. This manuscript was produced in England at the beginning of the fifteenth century, and it was once owned by Thomas Eborall (master of Whittington College London, 1444–1464).
MS 178 is a miscellany consisting of six originally separate manuscripts, variously produced in England between the thirteenth and the fourteenth centuries. It includes texts on medicine and astronomy, William de Conches’ Dragmaticon, Cato and glossaries in Anglo-Norman, and a bestiary.