DCL MS. A.I.9Commentaries on Biblical Books
Held by: Durham Cathedral Library: Durham Cathedral Manuscripts

Manuscript codex containing commentaries on Biblical Books written in England in the first half of the 13th century

Digitised: https://n2t.durham.ac.uk/ark:/32150/t2m5t34sj733.html

Physical description of manuscript

Parchment: stout, modest quality with clear distinction between H and F sides. Arranged HF, FH. Fire and water damage to the top of most leaves, resulting in loss of text to varying degrees from f.140.

Extent: iii+242+i f
Size: 450 mm x 282 mm


Modern foliation in ink (1-2) for the medieval flyleaves, in pencil thereafter. The original numbering mistakenly included two 237s, the following numbers then being one below the actual total; however, these erroneous numbers have been crossed out and replaced with 238-242.

Secundo folio: in ecclesia

Medieval flyleaves (f.1-2) ?a bifolium, I-XXI10, XXII8, XXIII-XIV10, XXV2

Signatures: Contemporary signatures (Roman numeral) on final verso, lower margin left: a fragment survives on f.12v (the rest trimmed away); then ‘iiii’-‘xiiii’ on quires III-XIII, and ‘xvi’-‘xxiiii’ on quires XV-XXIII - the numbering indicating that one quire has been lost from the start of the book. In addition, an uncertain number of quires are missing from between f.230 and 231, between the present quires XXIII and XXIV (if the texts in question were complete, at least one quire would have been needed for the rest of item (k) and another two for item (l)).

Written area: 256 x 165 mm. Two columns (width, 76 mm). Written above top line.
Lines: 57 (space, 4-5 mm; height of minims, 2+ mm). Pricking: awl and knife. Pricked in both side margins for the horizontal rulings. Ruling: lead. Double vertical bounding lines at the outer edge of text-block, a single vertical at the inner edge, three in total in the intercolumnar space; a further single vertical in both side margins. First three and last three horizontals invariably extended.


Written in Textualis semi-quadrata, the letters always set well above the ruled baseline. Citations generally presented with the first word or words in full, then initials only for any further words; they were flagged by subscript dots. A single scribe, who also supplied some marginalia and running headings (generally in black but in red on f.3v-15r) as part of the original transcription. Text corrected and repunctuated throughout, vertical lines added to clarify word division; rubrics, chapter numbers and marginalia added, in Anglicana, 15th century, by one or more hands. A few such entries in red. The chapter numbers were evidently marked first in lead or lighter ink and then written in more heavily. Many of these entries were underlined in a red ink very similar to that used to rubricate the main text they accompany, suggesting that some or all of the rubrication was in fact done at the time of these additions.


None. Spaces reserved for initials (5 lines high for the incipit of (a), 4 lines high for the incipits of most subsequent texts, 2 lines high for certain subdivisions within texts) remained unfilled. Some or all of the rubrication may have been added in the 15th century.


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). Traces of turnovers from an earlier binding visible on the flyleaves (f.1-2)

Manuscript history

Written in England, earlier 13th century.


Pressmark: “.E.”, later 14th century, f.3r, top, towards the right. Note of content (‘Postilla super iiior Euangelia et epistolas canonicas, actus apostolorum, cantica canticorum, apocaly\p/sim, librum numeri et super librum exodi’ – i.e. items (a), (b), (d), (e), and (h)-(m)), 15th century, f.3r, top. Pressmark “1a 2i.S.”, 15th century, f.3r, top right. Recorded in Cloister catalogue.

Manuscript contents
(flyleaves)     f.1-2
Original title: Codex
Author: Justinian I, Emperor of the East, 483?-565
Language: Latin

f.1: XI.40-XI.43.8. f.2: XI.43.8-XI.48.10. The pages are consecutive, with some text missing between the two, possibly due to the lost lower margin of f.1v. Fragments from the same 13th century Italian manuscript appear in DCL A.I.9 (2 leaves), A.I.11 (2 leaves), B.I.33 (4 leaves), B.III.17 (3 leaves) C.III.1 (8 leaves).

(a)     f.3r65r
Original title: In Mattheum
Author: Petrus, Comestor, active 12th century
Incipit: Cum tota sacra scriptura possit dici euangelium quasi ad nominis interpretationem
Explicit: quia in presenti uobis exhibita presentia diuinitatis est; quasi arra future mercedis
Rubric: Matthaeus ex iudea
Language: Latin

A defective copy, lacking prologue and omitting passages. Lemmata within the text are underlined in red. Some marginalia flagging particular texts and themes, plus occasional distinctiones, neatly written on specially ruled lines, was apparently copied as part of the original transcription. A different hand, 15th century, probably responsible for corrections to text (see, e.g. f.57v-58r), added biblical chapter numbers in the margins plus some further marginalia. This work, too, has been rubricated like the rest.

Cited: Stegmüller, 6575.1
(b)     f.65v-80r
Original title: Commentarium In Marcum
Incipit: Quoniam omnibus legitime certantibus merces eterne retributionis in presenti promittuntur et in future tribuitur
Explicit: alii tanto in longiora tpa’
Language: Latin

Anonymous. Lemmata within text underlined in red. Biblical chapter numbers added in margin, and occasional themes flagged, by 15th century hand.

Cited: Stegmüller, 6576.1
(c)     f.80r/col. i/line 49-80v
Modern title: Notes on Mark
Incipit: Notularum Marci congrua additio hec est
Explicit: id est euangelicam narrationem incepit narrando illud quod per iohannem factum est
Language: Latin

Most of f.80v, col. ii, left blank

(d)     f.81r-142v
Original title: In Lucam
Author: Petrus, Comestor, active 12th century
Incipit: Pedes eorum pedes recti et planta pedis eorum quasi planta pedis uitulis
Explicit: Ego uobiscum sum usque ad consummationem saeculi
Language: Latin

Lemmata in text underlined in red. 15th century correcting hand added marginalia, identifying prefaces, supplying biblical chapter numbers, and occasionally flagging themes. Short gaps within text; most of f.142v, col. ii remains blank.

Cited: Stegmüller, 6577
(e)     f.143r-178v/col. ii
Modern title: Commentarium in Iohannem
Incipit: Huic euangelio prescribit Ieronimus prologum in quo ostendit quis iste iohannis fuerit
Explicit: sed a captiuitate legentium corporis et ceterea
Language: Latin

Anonymous. Incomplete commentary on John, without a prologue, and lacking commentary on 7.28-11.1 (this last flagged by 14th/15th century marginal note on f.162v: “Nota deficient hic tria capitula”). Corrections, chapter numbers, the “Finit”, and other marginalia added in 15th century hand.

(f)     f.178v/col. ii/-179r/i/line 51
Modern title: Notes on John
Incipit: Item. Ex semine uerborum huius libri euidenter colligitur
Explicit: q’ in tempestate quam q’ in tranquillitate
Language: Latin

A quaestio wherein the apostles Peter and John are taken to signify the active and contemplative life respectively. The heading, “Vita activa, contemplativa”, was added in the margin by the 15th century hand.

(g)     f.179r/i/line 51-179v
Original title: De essentia divinitatis
Author: Pseudo-Jerome
Incipit: Sententia sancti Ieronimi de essentia et de inuisibilitate et de immensitate dei
Explicit: de terra egipti, in manu potenti et brachio excelso
Language: Latin

Ends half way down column i; remainder of f.179v, blank.

(h)     f.180r-198v
Original title: In Epistolas canonicas
Author: Langton, Stephen, -1228
Language: Latin

In each case the titles were added in the margins, 15th century. Increasing amount of text (and one title) lost through fire damage, as the work progresses.

(h1)     f.180r-184r/col.ii
Original title: James
Author: Langton, Stephen, -1228
Incipit: Iuxta numerum euangelistarum
Explicit: quam habet in illum quem facit conuerti
Language: Latin
Cited: Stegmüller, 7928
(h2)     f.184r/col. ii-188r/col. ii
Original title: Peter 1
Author: Langton, Stephen, -1228
Incipit: In primitiva ecclesia erant quidam qui de gentilitate ad iudaismum confugerant
Explicit: dicit illa glossa, quasi qui prenominates et cetera
Language: Latin
Cited: Stegmüller, 7929
(h3)     f.184r/col. ii-190v/col. i
Original title: Peter 2
Author: Langton, Stephen, -1228
Incipit: eisdem quibus scripsit primum et secundam hanc scribit epistolam
Explicit: uos prescientes hec custodite et cetera
Language: Latin
Cited: Stegmüller, 7930
(h4)     f.190v/col. i-196r/col. ii
Original title: John 1
Author: Langton, Stephen, -1228
Incipit: Quasi nos annuntiamus uobis illud qui fuit ab initio
Explicit: quorum religio uana est
Language: Latin
Cited: Stegmüller, 7931
(h5)     f.196r/col. ii-196v/col. ii
Original title: John 2
Author: Langton, Stephen, -1228
Incipit: Dubitatum fuit diu an due epistola essent
Explicit: forsitan de filiis alterius metropolis ecclesie
Language: Latin
Cited: Stegmüller, 7932
(h6)     f.196v/col. ii-197r/col. ii
Original title: John 3
Author: Langton, Stephen, -1228
Incipit: Gaius iste cui scribit
Language: Latin

Mostly lost through fire damage

Cited: Stegmüller, 7933
(h7)     f.197r/col. ii-198v/col. i
Original title: Jude
Author: Langton, Stephen, -1228
Incipit: Sicut petrus et iohannes in suis
Explicit: cui nihil restitit, et hoc ante Omnia secula
Language: Latin

Mostly lost through fire damage

Cited: Stegmüller, 7934
(i)     f.198v/col. i-202r
Original title: Commentarium in Actus apostolorum
Incipit: In hoc opera uidendum est quis sit actus
Explicit: In secunda lectione de qua est illa glossa, Paulus romam et cetera
Language: Latin

Anonymous. Title and chapter numeration supplied 15th century. Text ends on line 3 of col. i of f.202r: rest of page blank.

Cited: Stegmüller, 9075
(j)     f.202v-218r
Original title: In Cantica Canticorum
Author: Langton, Stephen, -1228
Incipit: Deus ergo pater osculum
Explicit: Hic uide illam glosam Ita fuge et ceteracet illa cum in montibus
Language: Latin

Imperfect due to losses from fire damage at the top of each leaf. End f.218r, col. i; col. ii and 218v, blank.

Cited: Stegmüller, 7808
(k)     f.219r-230v
Original title: Commentarium in Apocalypsin
Incipit: Johannes apostolus et euangelista dum teneretur in captiuitate et exilio apud pathmos insulam
Explicit: Ecce de quarta uisione qua proponenda erat antequam ingrediatur ...
Language: Latin

Anonymous. Breaks off incomplete at the end of discussion of 11.19

Cited: Stegmüller, 9076
(l)     f.231r-233r
Original title: Commentarium in Numeros
Incipit: ... origenis de diuersis mansionibus usque ad flumen id est usque ad gaudium
Language: Latin

Highly imperfect: acephalus - lacking all commentary on Chapters 1-31 - owing to loss of quires between f.230 and 231; the top of the outer column of each surviving page is missing/illegible owing to fire damage; most of the last nine lines are lost. Most of f.233r, col. ii, is blank.

(m)     f.233v-242r
Modern title: Commentary on Exodus 1.1-10.1
Language: Latin

Start of prologue lost through fire damage, but included resumés of each book of the Pentateuch. Text stops incomplete at the bottom of f.242r, amid discussion of Chapter 22. 15th century note in the lower margin: ‘Hic deficient 16 capitula’. f.242v, blank

Cited: Stegmüller, 9077

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.I.9 - Bible commentaries
Digitised February 2020 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]).

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

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