Theology

On this page, you can find out more about the medieval theological manuscripts in St John’s College Library. The manuscripts here variously date to between the 10th and the 15th centuries.

Oxford, St John’s College, MS 20, fol. 2v.

MS 20

MS 20 contains a commentary on Isaiah, a prophetic book in the Old Testament. The work is attributed to Haymo, who is probably Haymo of Auxerre (d. c. 865). This manuscript, produced in England in the middle of the twelfth century, is notable for its vinework initials.

A full catalogue entry is available here.

Oxford, St John’s College, MS 28, fol. 2r

MS 28

MS 28 was produced in England c.975 / 1000. It contains a copy of Gregory the Great’s hugely influential Cura pastoralis (‘Pastoral Care’). Gregory the Great was the Pope responsible for sending a Christian mission to convert England in 596. MS 28 includes a full-page illustration of Christ, shown here.

A full catalogue entry is available here.
The manuscript is fully digitized here.

Oxford, St John’s College, MS 31, fol. 13v

MS 31

MS 31 contains portions of part 4 of Pantheologus by Peter of Cornwall (d. 1221). This manuscript was produced in England at the turn of the thirteenth century. The Pantheologus was written to support preachers, and the text is preceded here by an alphabetical table.

A full catalogue entry is available here.

Oxford, St John’s College, MS 38, fol. 1r

MS 38

MS 38 contains a copy of Pseudo-Jerome’s commentary on the Psalter, i.e. the Old Testament Psalms. This manuscript was produced in England in the middle of the twelfth century. It includes colourful arabesque capitals, some of which can be seen here.

A full catalogue entry is available here.

Oxford, St John’s College, MS 46, fol. 1r

MS 46

MS 46 contains a copy of the Commentary on the Minor Prophets by Robert of Bridlington, a twelfth-century clergyman and theologian. In this manuscript, major sections are introduced by large arabesque capitals, one of which can be seen here. MS 45 was produced in England in the middle of the twelfth century.

A full catalogue entry is available here.

Oxford, St John’s College, MS 50, fol. 6r

MS 50

MS 50 is one of two copies of Peter Lombard’s Sentences in St John’s College Library, the other being MS 49. Peter Lombard (d.1160) was an Italian theologian and Bishop of Paris. The Sentences, a theological compendium, is his most famous work. This copy was produced in England c.1225.

A full catalogue entry is available here.

Oxford, St John’s College, MS 59, fol. 47r

MS 59

MS 59 is a copy of Thomas Aquinas’s Summa Theologiae. Saint Thomas Aquinas (d. 1274) was a hugely influential Italian philosopher and theologian. The Summa, his best-known work, is a compendium of theology. This copy was produced in England c.1325.

A full catalogue entry is available here.

Oxford, St John’s College, MS 64, fol. 4r

MS 64

MS 64 is a copy of Peter of Harenthals’ commentary the Psalms (Collectarius super librum Psalmorum). A scribal colophon indicates that this manuscript was produced in the Netherlands in 1414. MS 64 was donated to St John’s College by William Laud (d. 1645).

A full catalogue entry is available here.

Oxford, St John’s College, MS 67, fol. 202v

MS 67

MS 67 principally contains a copy of Peter the Chanter’s Verbum abbreviatum. Peter the Chanter (d. 1197) was a French theologian and also a chanter at Notre Dame. His Verbum abbreviatum, a work of moral theology, was enormously popular. MS 67 was produced in England c.1175.

A full catalogue entry is available here.

Oxford, St John’s College, MS 73, fol. 3r

MS 73

MS 73 principally contains a copy of Expositio in Apocalypsim, a commentary on Revelation. This work is generally attributed to Berengaud (d. 892). MS 73 was produced in England in the mid-twelfth century and includes annotations by former St John’s College Librarians including Christopher Wren Sr (d. 1658).

A full catalogue entry is available here.

Oxford, St John’s College, MS 74, fol. 3r

MS 74

MS 74 contains a copy of De ecclesia by John de Turrecremata, a Spanish cardinal and theologian (d. 1468). The manuscript was produced in Italy in the middle of the fifteenth century.

A full catalogue entry is available here.

Oxford, St John’s College, MS 109, fol. 1r

MS 109

MS 109 contains a copy of Pera peregrini, a theological dictionary. This text is generally attributed to John Felton (fl. 1430), a fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford. As of 2002, Pera peregrini was still unpublished. MS 109 was produced in England c. 1425.

A full catalogue entry can be found here.

Oxford, St John’s College, MS 114, fol. 5r

MS 114

MS 114 contains a work on allegories in the Old and New Testament written by Richard of St Victor, an important twelfth-century theologian. This manuscript was produced in England at the end of the twelfth century, and it survives in a sixteenth-century binding.

A full catalogue entry is available here.

Oxford, St John’s College, MS 140, fol. 2r

MS 140

MS 140 contains a copy of Quales sunt, a twelfth-century treatise on spiritual life. This text has been attributed to Pseudo-Peter of Blois, perhaps William, Prior of Grandmont. MS 140 was produced in England at the beginning of the thirteenth century.

A full catalogue entry is available here.

Oxford, St John’s College, MS 144, fol. 3r

MS 144

MS 144 contains a fifteemth-century copy of William Woodford’s De sacramento altaris. William Woodford (d. c. 1397) was a critic of the reformer John Wycliffe (d. 1384). Woodford’s De sacramento altaris was a response to the Confessio of 1381, in which Wycliffe rejected the doctrine of transubstantiation.

A full catalogue entry is available here.

Oxford, St John’s College, MS 169, fol. 1r

MS 169

MS 169 contains a copy of Guillaume de Paris’s De sacramentis (On the Sacraments). The seven sacraments are Baptism, Eucharist, Confirmation, Penance, Anointing of the Sick, Marriage, and Holy Orders. MS 169 was produced in England in the second quarter of the fifteenth century.

A full catalogue entry is available here.

Oxford, St John’s College, MS 189, fol. 7r

MS 189

MS 189 contains a copy of the Breviloquium, a theological text written by Saint Bonaventure (d. 1274). This manuscript was produced in England in the middle of the fourteenth century. MS 189 contains many manicules, i.e. pointing hands used to flag sections of text.

A full catalogue entry is available here.

Oxford, St John’s College, MS 199, fol. 1r

MS 199

MS 199 is a copy of De vita contemplativa by Julianus Pomerius, a fifth-century Christian priest. This work describes the ideals of a contemplative life. MS 199 was produced in England in the twelfth century. The opening page, which is decorated with alternating red and blue initials, is shown here.

A full catalogue entry is available here.

%d bloggers like this: