DCL MS. A.IV.11Mark, glossed
Held by: Durham Cathedral Library: Durham Cathedral Manuscripts

Glossed copy of Gospel of Mark, written in England or Northern France, mid 12th century

Digitised: https://n2t.durham.ac.uk/ark:/32150/t2mwh246s22m.html

Physical description of manuscript


Extent: ii+100 f
Size: 212 mm x 155 mm


Modern pencil foliation.

Secundo folio: in uoce angeli

flyleaves (fols. i-ii), a bifolium; I9 (10 with leaf 1, lost or cancelled), II-X8, XI8 (leaves 3 and 6, f.84 and 87, are singletons), XII11 (12 with leaf 12 lost or cancelled).

Signatures: Contemporary signatures on I-XI (Roman numerals i-xi, surrounded by four dots).

Condition of manuscriptParchment generally stout; some sheets even-toned, others with a clear H/F contrast; generally of lower quality in quires XI-XII. Arranged HF, FH. Parchment tab, labelled “3”, attached to f.52. The remains of a straw bookmark between f.39/40.

Written area up to 140 x 120 mm (text and gloss); up to 140 x 40 mm (biblical text). Three column glossed book design, with modest variations in the width of the central column. Lines: up to 15 of biblical text (space, 10 mm; height of minims, 3 mm); up to 31 of gloss (space, 5 mm; height of minims, 2 mm).

Prickings survive in all three outer margins. Three prickings were normally supplied at top and bottom to guide each of the pairs of verticals bounding the biblical text; single for the single verticals at the edge of the text-block as a whole. Prickings were supplied for the widely-spaced biblical text horizontals, but not for the gloss horizontals.

Ruling. Ink and lead. Single verticals (guided by single prickings) flank the text-block as a whole; double verticals (guided by two out of the three prickings supplied) flank the central biblical text column; widely-spaced horizontals (guided by prickings) for the biblical text, the first two and the last two extended. Horizontal rulings for the gloss (interlinear and in the two side columns alike) were added on an ad hoc basis, unsupported by prickings.


Written in Protogothic, larger and more formal for the biblical text than the gloss; a single scribe for both.


Arabesque initials, 2 (biblical text) lines high mark Fuit iohannis (1.4) and Posquam [sic] (1.14); the rubric “Passio domini nostri iesu christi”, a 2-line-high red and green “E”, plus “rat” in display capitals mark 14.1; 1+-line high initials at 1.32, 8.34, 12.29, and 15.47.

Simple arabesque initials in red, green and blue, plus coloured display script, head the preface (f.1r) and biblical incipit (f.3r), 4 and 8 (biblical text) lines high respectively. Smaller, simpler arabesque initials mark 1.4, 1.14 and 14.1 (f.3v, 5v, 78v). Most sentences are headed by a coloured capital, 1 (gloss) line high, generally red then green in alternation, occasionally (e.g. f.4v, 5r, 38v, 39r, 41v, 42r, 44v, 45r) blue. The start of lesser syntactical units are headed by a Rustic capital in ordinary ink, stroked in red. The final word of the biblical text is written in Rustic capitals stroked in red. Blocks of marginal gloss are normally headed by an ink paraph, stroked in red. Where two marginal glosses were written side-by-side, they were separated by a wavy line in green (e.g. f.19r, 43r) or red (55v, 96r-v), occasionally blue (4v, 45r).


Medieval, probably contemporary with the writing. Wooden boards (8 mm), slightly beveled, with four channels in the outer sides (those at the head and tail diagonal, the two in the middle at right-angles to the spine); the text-block flush with the edge of the boards. Sewn with white twine onto two double sewing supports, and with white and blue twine (alternating every 3 or so threads) onto head and tail bands; a blue and white fabric bookmark, now detached, lies between f.53/54; virgin parchment spine padding between the sewing supports. White ?pigskin cover; flat spine; integral projecting tabs at head and tail (lined with ?parchment, held in place and reinforced with a needlework lining in red, white and blue, much decayed); original paste-downs in situ. Modern gold armorial of Durham Cathedral embossed at the centre of both covers; 1 modern metal clasp; 215 x 153 x 45 mm.

Manuscript history

Written in England or Northern France, mid 12th century.


Inscription: “liber Sancti Cuthberti de dunel′”, end 12th century, f.1r, top, to which “in le Spendement” was added start of 15th century.
“.D. Marcus glo.”, mid 14th century, f.ir, top left.
“D”, 14/15th century, f.1r, top right.
In late 12th century catalogue “Marcus glossatus”; 1392 and 1416 Spendement catalogues.

Manuscript contents
(a)     f.1-100
Modern title: Mark, glossed
Incipit: Marcus dei ewangelista electus electus
Language: Latin

Prologue: f.1-2. Marcus dei ewangelista electus electus ... qui autem incrementum prestat deus est. First marginal gloss: Marcum pene intactum maiores nostri pretereunt ... ccxxxiii sunt capitula. Second: Ieronimus. Marcus euangelista dei, discipulus petri ... aquila ascendendo. Third: Marcus, excelsus mandato. Lucas iste consurgens uel ipse eleuatus. Fourth: Beda. Marcus petri discipulus ... litterarum memoria. Fifth: Ieronimus. Quattuor sunt qualitates ... cum gaudio metamus in celo. Sixth: Malachia propheta. Labia sacerdotis custodiunt sapientiam ... Quia angelus domini est.

Gospel of Mark (no chapter numbering). Principium sancti euangelii iesu christi filii dei sicut scriptum est in ysaia propheta ... domino cooperante, et sermonem confirmante sequentibus signis. First marginal gloss: Ieronimus. Iesus ebraice; sother grece, saluatoris latine. Second: ¶Χρς grece ... et leuitico. Third: Ieronimus. Euangelium, bona annuntiatio ... euangelio, et approprinquabit regnum celorum. Fourth: Beda. Matheus dicit, filii dauid, filii abraham ... in resurrectione euangelium [sic] consummat. Fifth: Beda. Marcus testimonia prophetarum ... sine altero suscipiat. First interlinear gloss (on ‘Iesu christi’): saluatoris uncti. Second (on ‘ecce mitto’): spiritus ad patrem. Last marginal gloss: Nota quod marcus euangelium suum quanto inchoauit ... per totum obem seminauerint. Last interlinear gloss (on ‘predicauerunt ...’, 16.20): preceptum obedientia ... signa comitantur.

Citation: Stegmüller RBMA 607
Citation: Stegmüller RBMA 11828.1
Citation: Stegmüller RBMA 11828.2
Citation: Stegmüller RBMA 11828.3
Citation: Stegmüller RBMA 11828.4
Citation: Stegmüller RBMA 11828.5
Citation: Stegmüller RBMA 11828.6
Citation: Stegmüller RBMA 11828.9
Citation: Stegmüller RBMA 11828.11
Citation: Stegmüller RBMA 11828.12
Citation: Stegmüller RBMA 11828.13
Citation: Stegmüller RBMA 11828.14

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 A.IV.11 - Mark, glossed
Digitised September 2018 as part of the Durham Priory Library Recreated project


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)

Index terms