DCL MS. A.III.29Paul the Deacon, Homiliary
Held by: Durham Cathedral Library: Durham Cathedral Manuscripts

Homiliary of Paul the Deacon (summer Portion), probably written in Winchester in the later 11th century and given to Durham Priory by William of St Calais.

Digitised: https://n2t.durham.ac.uk/ark:/32150/t2mqn59q401m.html

Physical description of manuscript


Extent: iii+346+i f
Size: 310 mm x 205 mm


Late medieval ink foliation in arabic numerals, often more or less cropped off, sometimes obscured by the modern foliation being written on top of it. Modern ink foliation (in pencil on 37, 332, 341*), applied after loss of leaves to the current state, runs 1-341, 341*-345.

Secundo folio: que nunc dies dominica

I8 (leaves 3 and 6 singletons), II8 (leaves 3 and 6 singletons), III8 (leaves 4 and 5 singletons), IV8, V8 (leaves 4 and 5 singletons), VI8, VII8 (leaves 4 and 5 singletons), VIII8, IX8 (leaves 4 and 5 singletons), X8, XI7 (a 6 [in which leaves 1 and 6 are singletons], plus a final singleton [fol. 87, its counterstub now after 95], XII8, XIII7 (two bifolia [96+102, 97+101] outside three singletons [98, 99, 100, all their counterstubs between 97 and 98], XIV8, XV8 (leaves 4 and 5 singletons), XVI8, XVII4 (?originally 7, now lacks leaves 3-5; the medieval foliation jumps from 129 on modern 128 to 133 on modern 129; 15th century note in upper margin of f.129r, notes, ‘Hic deficit …’) - there may be a whole quire missing between the present XVII and XVIII - XVIII-XX8, XXI6 (8 with leaves 7-8 [after 160], probably blank, cancelled), XXII6 (= 8 lacks leaves 4-5, after f.163), XXIII8, XXIV8 (leaves 4 and 5 singletons), XXV4 (= 8 lacks 3-6 after f.184), XXVI8 (leaves 3 and 6 singletons), XXVII8 (leaves 4 and 5 singletons), XXVIII-XLV8

Condition of manuscriptMany leaves, especially at the beginning and end, damaged by fire and water, with some loss of text. Most of this damage occurred at an early date is shown by the retracing of damaged passages on many pages from f.234r.

Written area: 262 x 148 mm. 35 lines (space, 8 mm; height of minims, 3+ mm).


Written in Caroline minuscule by three scribes (f.1-87; 88-160; 161-282


Homilies headed by single colour initials, alternately red then blue, plain or slightly embellished, 3+ lines high. The rest of the first line is written in black ink in Uncial-based display script. Rubrics are in red Rustic Capitals.


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, Winchester?, later 11th century.


Probably among the books given by William of St Calais.
Inscriptions: “Emeldon”, “Staplay” (twice), jotted on f.160v, 14/15th century (there were Durham monks with these surnames).
“Omelie d ... orum super diuersa evvangelia ut infra p3 de libraria dunelm’”, f.1r, lower margin,15/16th century, in hand of Thomas Swalwell.

Manuscript contents
(a)     f.1-345
Original title: Homiliary
Author: Paul, the Deacon, approximately 720-799?
Language: Latin

From Holy Saturday to feast of Thomas the apostle (3 July)

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.III.29 - Paul the deacon, Homilary (Summer)
Digitised in January 2015 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]).

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)

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