DCL MS. B.III.26(A) Questions on the Sacrament. (B) Anselm, Meditationes, etc. Ps.-John Chrysostom, Opus imperfectum in Mattheum; etc.
Held by: Durham Cathedral Library: Durham Cathedral Manuscripts

Composite manuscript written in England in the late 13th - early 14th century containing: (A) Questions on the Sacrament. (B) Anselm, Meditationes, etc. Ps.-John Chrysostom, Opus imperfectum in Mattheum; etc. The main body of the book is composed of two separate parts: (A) f.1-2; (B) f.3-123, brought together by later 14th century (contents list on f.1*v; in 15th century, a note of contents and the secundo folio reference for (B) “liber de ortu beate marie virginis cum multis alijs 2o fo posset” were written on the final page of (A), f.2v, column 2, top). (B) is made up of two contemporary sections: f.3-26 (quires I-II), and f.27-123 (quires III-XI).

Digitised: https://n2t.durham.ac.uk/ark:/32150/t2mgx41mj00d.html

Physical description of manuscript


Extent: iv+123+iii f
Size: 332 mm x 223 mm

Condition of manuscriptFire and liquid damage to the bottom of most leaves; substantial liquid stains on f.1*-2*, f.1-8 and f.24-29; smaller liquid stains on other pages. Horizontal tear across f.1*.

Rebound in Durham by John Waghorn (charged 4 shillings 6 October 1727). Paste-board boards, brown calf, blind tooled panelled binding; 2 metal clasps. Durham Cathedral arms subsequently stamped in gold on to boards. Rust-ringed hole in f.1* and 1 from a ?chain staple on an earlier binding. Stains on f.1* from turnovers of an earlier binding.

Manuscript history

Contents list, later 14th century cursive, f.1*v: “In isto libro continentur subscripta. Quadam determinatio de sacramento altaris ... Egressus iesus etc.” itemising (A), (B) items a-b (as one), c, d, e1, e2 or 3, f, g, h, i, j-k-l (as one), m, n, and o.
“liber Sancti Cuthberti et Ricardi Bell prioris Dunelm′”, written twice by the same hand, the lower version neater than the upper one, 1464x1478, f.2v, upper margin. Richard Bell, prior of Durham 1464-78.
“Iste liber Assignatur Nono Armariolo In Claustro Dunelm′ Ecclesie Per Venerabilem Patrem Magistrum Iohannem Auklande Priorem Eiusdem Ecclesie.”, 1484+, f.2v, column 2. John Auckland, prior of Durham 1484-94.
“R Minby/Murby”, later 15th century, f.1v, boldly written in a large, spidery, Textualis.
“F.8.”, early 16th century, f.1*v, top left.

Physical description of section of manuscript

Parchment: modest quality with pronounced follicle marks.

Extent: 2 f


1*, 2* in modern pencil.

Secundo folio: ex eis forma

flyleaves (f.1*-2*) a bifolium, f.1-2, two singletons


Text-block: 245 x 155 mm. Two columns (width, 72 mm). Lines: 57 (space, 4+ mm; height of minims, 2+ mm).


Written in Textualis libraria; highly abbreviated


None. The 2-line-high space reserved for the initial ‘U’ remained unfilled.

History of section of manuscript

Written in England, late 13th century.

Manuscript contents
(a)     f.1r-2v
Modern title: Questions on the Sacrament
Incipit: [U]trum in sacramento altaris sit totus
Explicit: et in respectibus
Language: Latin

“Quodam determinatio de sacramento altaris”, title added in 17th century. Numbering for individual points supplied in the margins by the original scribe. f.2* bears extensive contemporary notes, partly rubbed to illegibility.

Physical description of section of manuscript

Parchment: low quality, with pronounced H/F contrast, prominent follicle marks, flaws; cockled. Arranged FH, HF.

Extent: 121 f


Foliated 1-123 in early modern ink.

Secundo folio: posset

I-X12, XI1 (f.123, now glued at the gutter to 122)

Catchwords: Contemporary catchwords on quires I and III-X; those for quires VIII and IX are boxed and embellished with a profile face.

Text-block: 270 x 157 mm. Two columns (width, 72 mm). Lines: 68 (space, 4 mm; height of minims, 2 mm).


Written in Textualis libraria. Descenders of letters on bottom lines were often calligraphically extended; ascenders of letters on top line were rarely extended, but on f.27r, 91r, 92r, 93r, and 94r they were calligraphically extended and embellished with human heads. Nota words in the margin, the work of the same hand, often have elongated initial letters and ascenders. The same hand wrote rubrics.


None. Spaces left for initials throughout remained unfilled. They were generally 2 or 3 lines high for incipits, and 2 lines high for subdivisions. Exceptions: (g) incipit, 9 lines high, subsequent homilies, 3 lines high; (l) incipit, 4 lines high; (m) incipit, 5 lines high; and (n) incipit, 7 lines high.

History of section of manuscript

Written in England, late 13th century/14th century.

Manuscript contents
(a)     f.3r
Modern title: Genealogy of BVM
Incipit: Anna et emeria fuerunt sorores de emeria nata est elizabeth mater iohannis baptiste. Anna uero tres habuit uiros
Explicit: Quartam mariam magdalenam, licet alii matrem Iacobi et Ioseph materteram eius fuisse contendant
Language: Latin
(b)     f.3r-6v
Modern title: Ps.-Jerome, Epistolae; Gospel of Ps.-Matthew
Incipit: Dilectissimo fratri suo Jeronimo cromacius et elidorus episcopi in domino salutem.
Explicit: et quando iesus dormiebat siue in die siue in nocte, claritas dei splendebat super eum. Qui laus et gloria in secula seculorum. Amen
Rubric: Incipit liber de ortu beate marie virginis ab infantia salvatoris a beato matheo evangelista hebraice scriptus et a beato jeronimo presbitero in latinum translatus
Language: Latin

Two pseudonymous prefatory letters as chapters 1-2, then Gospel of Ps.-Matthew as chapters 3-37. Compares with London, College of Arms, Arundel MS 24, item 17.

(c)     f.6v-9r
Original title: De conceptione BVM
Author: Eadmer, -1124?
Incipit: Principium quo salus mundo processit mihi considerare uolenti
Explicit: ob salutem generis humani de sue carnis substantia verum hominem genuisse
Rubric: Incipit tractatus beati anselmi de conceptione beate marie
Language: Latin
(d)     f.9r-12r
Original title: Meditatio de excellentia BVM
Author: Eadmer, -1124?
Incipit: Supereminentem omni quod post hominem deum creatum est excellenciam beate matris dei
Explicit: et regnat per infinita secula deus. Amen
Rubric: Meditatio cuiusdam peccatoris et pauperis dei beati anselmi de excellentia beate marie
Language: Latin

Marginal cues and Nota marks by the original scribe.

(e)     f.12r-14r
Original title: Meditationes
Author: Anselm, Saint, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1033-1109
Incipit: Anima christiana anima de graui morte resuscitata
Explicit: quoniam in eternum misericordia tua qui es benedictus in secula. Amen.
Rubric: Allocutio Anselmi ad animam redemptam ut sui status memoriam habeat
Language: Latin

Numbers 3, 1 and 2. A couple of Nota marks by the scribe.

(f)     f.14r-26r
Original title: Similitudines Anselmi
Author: Robert de Braci, prior of Lanthony, -1137
Incipit: Voluntas tripliciter intelligitur. Uoluntas etenim dicitur illud anime instrumentum quo uult
Explicit: Sicut enim ursarii uisos, ita angeli spiritus malignos a sua seuitia cohercent et opprimunt, ne nobis noceant in quantum uolunt
Language: Latin

Most of f.26r, col. 2 and all of 26v, blank

Bloomfield, 6538
(g)     f.27r-94r
Original title: Opus imperfectum in Mattheum
Author: Ps.-John Chrysostom
Incipit: Sicut referunt Matheum conscribere Euangelium causa conpulit talis
Explicit: Cum videritis abhominacionem desolationis stantem in loco sancto
Rubric: Iohannes Crisostomus in imperfecto super matheum
Language: Latin

Lemmata underlined in red. Nota etc. in the margins by the original scribe. Reference letters added to the side margins (at least some seemingly rewritten in rasura). Homily numbers and scriptural references as running headings in the upper margin, subjected to correction and rewriting.

Cited: Stegmüller, 4350
(h)     f.94v-102r
Original title: De laudibus sancti Pauli apostoli
Author: John Chrysostom, Saint, -407
Anianus, Celedensis, active 415-419
Incipit: Domino santo euangelo presbiter anianus. Recenti experimento didici quam sint utilia obsequentibus imperia bonorum
Explicit: Oremus etiam, ut ipsi quoque eisdem perfruamur bonis, gratia et misericordia domini nostri iesu christi, per quem et cum quo, gloria patri cum sancto spiritu in secula seculorum. Amen. Amen
Rubric: Incipit epistola Auiani in omel′ beati Iohannis crisost’ de laudibus sancti pauli apostoli
Language: Latin

Comprises the translator's preface and 7 homilies

(i)     f.102r-107r
Original title: In psalmo L
Author: Ps.-John Chrysostom
Incipit: Pictores imitantur arte naturam et colores coloribus permiscentes uisibiles corporum depingunt ymagines
Explicit: et tales nos exhibeamus in hac uita, quo possimus inuenire requiem sempiternam cum sanctis eius, per dominum
Rubric: Incipit liber Johannis crisostomi primus de psalmo quinquagesimo
Language: Latin

Marginal Notas with subject matter, supplied as part of original transcription.

Cited: Stegmüller, 4337.5
Cited: CPPMA, 2412
(j)     f.107r-108v
Original title: De proditione Judae
Author: John Chrysostom, Saint, -407
Incipit: Paucis hodie necessarium est fratres tractare uobiscum et ideo paucis non quia latus uobis sermo sacerdotis
Explicit: et accedamus ad mensam christi cui et deo patri est omnis gloria et honor, uirtus una cum spiritu sancto in secula seculorum
Rubric: Sermo eiusdem de passione domini
Language: Latin

Guide words for rubric only, not rubricated. Marginal Notas with subject matter, supplied as part of original transcription.

(k)     f.108v-110r
Original title: De cruce et latrone
Author: John Chrysostom, Saint, -407
Incipit: Hodierna die dominus noster pependit in cruce et nos
Explicit: ut et celorum regna mereamur per christum dominum nostrum. Amen.
Language: Latin

Marginal Notas with subject matter, supplied as part of original transcription.

(l)     f.110r-111r
Original title: De cruce dominica
Author: Ps.-John Chrysostom
Incipit: Quid dicam Quid loquar Quod uobis nomen imponam
Explicit: Pro hiis autem omnibus gratias agamus deo, per christum dominum nostrum. Amen
Language: Latin

Marginal Notas with subject matter, supplied as part of original transcription.

(m)     f.111r-115r
Original title: De eo quod nemo leditur nisi a semet ipso
Author: John Chrysostom, Saint, -407
Incipit: Scio quod crassioribus quibusque et presentis uite illecebris inhiantibus
Explicit: poterunt ei nocere qui a semetipso non leditur
Rubric: Incipit liber Crisostomi quod nemo ledit nisi a se ipso
Language: Latin

Marginal Notas with subject matter, supplied as part of original transcription.

(n)     f.115r-121v
Original title: De compunctione cordis
Author: John Chrysostom, Saint, -407
Anianus, Celedensis, active 415-419
Incipit: Dum te intueor beate demetri, frequenter insistenti mihi et omni cum uehementia exigentem
Explicit: Grandis enim condempnatio est componenti quidem sermonem suum vitam uero suam atque operam negligenti
Rubric: Incipit liber primus crisostomi de conpunctione
Language: Latin

Marginal Notas with subject matter, supplied as part of original transcription. Rubric for explicit Book I and incipit Book II supplied as guide lettering.

(o)     f.121v-123v
Original title: De muliere Chananaea
Author: Ps.-John Chrysostom
Incipit: Multe tempestates et inquietudo aeris set desiderium concursus uestri non potuit impediri
Explicit: et uoluntate immo fide eius curatam. Pro hiis omnibus gratias agamus deo, per christum
Language: Latin

Rubric only supplied as marginal guide-words; to which were added in the 14th century: “et ista omelia legitur in refectorio”. Marginal Notas with subject matter, supplied as part of original transcription. Modest further annotation. f.123v, column 2, blank.

Microfilmed in 1985/86 by the Hill Monastic Manuscript Library, St John's Abbey and University, Collegeville, Minnesota. Copies held by them and Durham Cathedral Library.

Digitised material for Durham Cathedral Library MS. B.III.26 - Anselm, John Chrysostom, etc.
Digitised March 2019 as part of the Durham Priory Library Recreated project


Bloomfield, M.W., ed., Incipits of Latin works on the virtues and vices 1100-1500 AD including a section of incipits of works on the Pater Noster   OCLC citation (Cambridge, MA: Mediaeval Academy of America, 1979)

Clavis patristica pseudepigraphorum medii aevi. 1A Opera homiletica   OCLC citation (Turnhout: Brepols, 1990)

Stegmüller, F., Repertorium biblicum medii aevi   OCLC citation, (Madrid: Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas, 1950-1961)

Index terms