DCL MS. A.IV.14Gospel of Luke, glossed
Held by: Durham Cathedral Library: Durham Cathedral Manuscripts

Manuscript codex copy of Gospel of Luke, glossed written in England at the turn of the 12th and 13th centuries, given to Durham Priory by John of Jarrow.

Physical description of manuscript

Parchment: modest to low quality with pronounced H/F distinction; edgecuts; flaws (a large, repaired flaw runs through the text on f.36v), prominent follicle marking. Arranged HF, FH.

Extent: i+124+i f
Size: 230 mm x 156 mm


Foliated (1)-(4) in modern pencil, then 1-120 in ink (18th century?)

Secundo folio: Plures fuisse

I4 (leaves 1 and 4 are singletons, 2+3 a bifolium (possibly folded back-to-front with f.4 misplaced), II-XVI8

Catchwords: Contemporary catchwords (invariably citing the biblical text).
Signatures: Contemporary leaf marking in quires II-XVI: in quire II f.1v-4v were lettered “a”-“g” in sequence; thereafter pairs of sigla were used to mark the facing pages of each opening.

Condition of manuscriptDamp damage to the bottom of the leaves, with erosion of parchment towards the spine; from f.105-120, the relevant areas have been excised.

Written area: 165 x 105 mm. Up to three columns of variable width. Complex glossed book design with biblical text (written every other line, starting below top line) in a variable line length, the gloss (written every line, starting above top line) fitted around it.
Lines: up to 21 of biblical text (space between lines, 5 mm; minims, 2+ mm); up to 43+ of gloss (minims, 1 mm). Pricking: awl. Prickings supplied only for the verticals and (in both side margins) for the top three and the bottom three horizontals.
Ruling: lead. Single verticals at the outer edge of the text-block as a whole; two pairs of vertical define three columns within in (their placement varying from page to page according to the needs of biblical text and gloss); the top three, the middle three (lines 19-21) and the bottom three horizontals are extended.


Written in Textualis libraria for both biblical text and gloss, larger and slightly more formal for the former. One scribe; also responsible for corrections, the Nota marks, and probably the rubrics.


Historiated initial “F” (featuring a half-length, cowled, tonsured figure, his right hand raised in blessing) heads the incipit to the biblical text on f.1r; the letter extends the length of the page with flourishing continuing along the lower margin; qualitatively crude.
Flourished initials, 4+ lines high, head items 1-4. Those for 1, 2, and 4 are red flourished in blue (or vice versa); that for 3 was sketched in lead in the same style but the flourishing was not in the event realised, while the bowl of the letter was filled with foliate curls done in brown ink, shaded in yellow. Divisions within the biblical text are marked by red initials, 3-6 lines high, plain or embellished. Sentence capitals within the biblical text are generally stroked in red. The blocks of marginal gloss are normally headed by a 1-line-high red capital; short final lines therein are often justified with red flourishes. Paraphs heading interlinear glosses are often stroked in red. In quire XVI (f.113v-120v), the marginal “B”s and “Ambr”s are stroked in red.


Standard Tuckett binding, mid 19th century full brown calf over thick wooden boards (Charles Tuckett, binder to the British Museum, rebound many Durham manuscripts in the 19th century)

Manuscript history

Written in England, 12th/13th century.


Inscription: Liber sancti Cuthberti ex dono Iohannis de Iarwe., early 13th century, f.(2)r, top. John of Jarrow, (possible monk of Durham?).
Inscription: In hoc uolumine continetur EWangelium luce parte glossatum, early 14th century. [Ambiguous letter written in rasura], later 14th century, f.(1)r.
Pressmark: “.B.”, later 14th century, f.(2)r, top right. “B.”, 14th/15th century, f.1r, top left.
Inscription: lucas glosatus de communi libraria dunelm′ in le spendement, early 15th century, f.1r, top. de le splendement, added by Thomas Swalwell, monk of Durham, f.(2)r, top. Recorded in Spendement Catalogue of 1392.

Manuscript contents
(a)     f.(2)r-120v
Modern title: Luke, glossed
Incipit: Fuit in diebus herodis regis
Explicit: semper in templo laudantes et benedicentes deum
Explicit Liber Lvce, in nomine domini. Hic liber est scriptus; Qui scripsit sit benedictus. Amen.
Language: Latin

f.(1)r-v is blank bar added note of content. f.(4)r-v is blank. Though the bifolium (3)+(4) has seemingly been arranged thus since 12th/13th century (inscription on f.(2)r), were it to be folded the other way (i.e. with the pages running 3r, 3v, 2r, 2v) and to precede ink f.1 (without the intrusion of the blank singleton f.(4)), then the texts would be in the more logical order. No original chapter numbering (some standard numbers were added by an early modern hand) but the text is clearly subdivided by red initials (3-6 lines high) and rubrics (sometimes coinciding with the initials, sometimes not). The lead guide words that preceded these rubrics often remain visible, and there are some that were not inked. Sigla used to link glosses split across different pages. From f.104v-120v “B”s and “Ambr′s” were supplied in the outer margins by the original scribe, indicating the authority behind the glosses in question.

Citation: Stegmüller RBMA 596
Citation: Stegmüller RBMA 614
Citation: Stegmüller RBMA 620
Citation: Stegmüller RBMA 11829.
Citation: Stegmüller RBMA 11829.2
Citation: Stegmüller RBMA 11829.3
Citation: Stegmüller RBMA 11829.4
Citation: Stegmüller RBMA 11829.5
Citation: Stegmüller RBMA 11829.6
Citation: Stegmüller RBMA 11829.7
Citation: Stegmüller RBMA 11829.8
Citation: Stegmüller RBMA 11829.9
Citation: Stegmüller RBMA 11829.10
Citation: Stegmüller RBMA 11829.11
Citation: Stegmüller RBMA 11829.12
Citation: Stegmüller RBMA 11829.13
Citation: Stegmüller RBMA 11829.14
Citation: Stegmüller RBMA 11829.15
Citation: Stegmüller RBMA 11829.16

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.


Catalogi veteres librorum Ecclesiae cathedralis dunelm. Catalogues of the library of Durham cathedral, at various periods, from the conquest to the dissolution, including catalogues of the library of the abbey of Hulne, and of the mss.   OCLC citation, Surtees Society 7, (London: J.B. Nichols and Son, [1838]).

de Hamel, Christopher, Glossed books of the Bible and the origins of the Paris book trade   OCLC citation, (Woodbridge, Suffolk, England: Boydell Press, 1984)

Mynors, R.A.B., Durham Cathedral manuscripts to the end of the twelfth century. Ten plates in colour and forty-seven in monochrome. With an introduction [including a list of all known Durham manuscripts before 1200]   OCLC citation, (Durham: 1939)

Stegmüller, Friedrich, Repertorium biblicum medii aevi   OCLC citation, (Madrid: 1950-1980)

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