History and Genealogy

On this page, you can learn more about the various historical and genealogical items in the St John’s medieval manuscript collection.

Oxford, St John’s College, MS 34, fol. 38v

MS 34

MS 34, produced in France at the end of the twelfth century, is a copy of Peter Comestor’s Historia Scholastica. Peter Comestor (d. 1178/9), whose name literally means ‘Peter the Eater’, reputedly had an insatiable appetite for books and learning. His Historia Scholastica covers biblical history from Creation to Ascension.

A full catalogue entry is available here.

Oxford, St John’s College, MS 58, fol. 2r

MS 58

MS 58 contains Biblical genealogies and diagrams of virtues. It was produced in England at the end of the fifteenth century. The elaborate diagram reproduced here shows the four cardinal plus three theological virtues and their ‘parts’.

A full catalogue entry is available here.

Oxford, St John’s College, MS 92, fol. 1r

MS 92

MS 92 principally contains a copy of Guido delle Colonne’s Historiae destructionis Troiae, a Latin prose narrative on the Trojan War. This manuscript was produced in England in the fifteenth century, and uses both vellum and paper.

A full catalogue entry is available here.

Oxford, St John’s College, MS 95, fol. 1r

MS 95

MS 95 principally contains a copy of Orosius’s Historiae aduersum paganos. Paulus Orosius (d. c. 420 AD) was a theologian and historian, and his Historiae aduersum paganos is notable for being the first world history written by a Christian. MS 95 was produced in England in the mid-twelfth century.

A full catalogue entry is available here.

MS 97

MS 97 contains a copy of the Annales of chronicler Roger de Hoveden (d. c. 1201). This manuscript was produced in England at the beginning of the thirteenth century but has later additions. Some of these may be in the hand of Brian Twyne (d. 1644), an important Oxford academic.

A full catalogue entry is available here.

MS 255

MS 255, a genealogical roll showing Henry VI’s descent from Adam, has been missing from St John’s college library since at least 1971. It was bequeathed to the library by the English antiquary John Pointer in 1754.

A brief catalogue entry is available here.

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