Durham University Library Cosin MS V.ii.2Old Testament: Ruth-Esther, glossed; Aelred; Augustine
Held by: Durham University Library: Cosin Manuscripts

Glossed Old Testament, Ruth-Esther with sermons by Aelred of Rievaulx

Digitised: https://n2t.durham.ac.uk/ark:/32150/t2m0v838058g.html

Physical description of manuscript

Parchment (A: 0.17 mm, some flaying edges and flaws; B: 0.13 mm, smoother than A; quires of A and B both with hair side outermost), top edge heavily cropped, outer pricking frequently cropped in A.

Extent: ii+174+i f
Size: 266 mm x 180 mm


Foliated 1-174, with 12 repeated

Secundo folio: A: (f.3)angustia
B: (f.149)Dicit

Singleton (f.1); (A: f.2-147) 18, 2-610, 78, 8-912, 1012 wants 11 cancelled after f.100, [lacking quire 12], 11-1312, 1410; (B: f.148-174) 15-1610, 1710 wants 7 (blank ?) after f.173 and 9-10 (blank ?) after f.174.

Catchwords: Traces of erased catchwords on leaves 1-4 in quires 15 and, in red, 16. Catchword on quire 5 in main ink, and perhaps on quires 7-8 and 12 largely cropped; also on quire 11, added in 15th century.
Signatures: Bifolia of quires 1-16 numbered by horizontal soft brown strokes at the top left margin of the versos in the second half of each quire. Quire 2 numbered, .ii., in the centre of lower margin of the last verso (f.18v), cropped.

(A) items 1-7: pricking in inner and outer margins. Written space approximately 209 x 153 mm; ruling in brown. Two gloss columns, one on either side of text column or single gloss column, generally outside text column. Single text column (73 mm wide, f.1-17v; approximately 90 mm, f.39-45; 72-97 mm, f.18-38v, 45v-60; 105-126 mm, f.60v-61v), not varying in width on any one page; much unfilled space within ruled area. 40 lines for gloss; text on alternate gloss lines. First line of gloss above top ruled line, text below.

(A) item 8: pricking in inner and outer margin. Written space approximately 210 x 130 mm, 32 lines per column, two columns or, 8(c), long lines. First line above top ruled line.

(B): written area approximately 215 x 130 mm; ruling faint sharp grey. 30-31 long lines, the first above the top ruled line.


(A) items 1-7: written in northern European protogothic bookhand, in a very similar hand to item 8.

(A) item 8: written as items 1-7, in a very similar hand. Original punctus flexus item 8(d); added on the last leaf (f.69) of item 8(b).

(B): written in Caroline minuscule, well executed, by one hand, of continental training (according to Gullick), early 12th century.

Mynors (Mynors 120) compares the hand of item 8 to DCL B.II.35 (Mynors 47) and the initials of (A) to DCL A.III.9 (Mynors 94) and DCL A.IV.2 (Mynors 95).


(A) items 1-7: text capitals and headings filled with brownish pink, f.9, 47v-48v. Headings in Lombardic capitals, to items 1 in red, and to 7 in red and green. Initials: (i) to items 5-6 and 7 prologue, 2-line, plain red; (ii) to items 1-4 and 7 texts, and to Canticle of elder Tobias, 5-line or more, with reserve features and foliate terminals etc., in red, and green and/or blue, or (f.9) in green outlined in brownish pink. Mynors (Mynors 120) compares the initials of (A) to DCL A.III.9 (Mynors 94) and DCL A.IV.2 (Mynors 95). Michael Gullick (communication to A I Doyle) says the good arabesque initials in items 1-7 share features with the principal initial of Durham Cathedral MS. A.III.10 (Gilbert of Poitiers on the Psalms s.xii, but those to item 8 are not of the same quality and are probably by a second hand. Ink outlines only, with compass pricks for circles, on f.70v. A pen and ink drawing, apparently contemporary, well executed, of a mythical beast (lion's body and man's head), hind feet cropped, on f. 50v lower margin.

(A) item 8: headings in red capitals to item 8(a), (b), (d) sermons 1-31, (c) explicit, and opening word of (d). Initials: (i) 1-line, to item 8(a) line 9, to 8(b) every “onera”, in plain red or (f.65v) green, or, to 8(c) “Omelia” and “De” (31), in red alternating with alternately green and blue; (ii) to 8(d) sermons 2-31, 3-line or in a few cases more, in red, green or blue, some plain but most with foliate infilling and terminals in green and/or red; (iii) to 8(a, b), 5 or 6 line, in red and blue or green, as (ii), or, to 8(d), over 6-line, ink outline only. Faint sketches: a bearded face, f.103v; two cats (?), f.121v flanking a hole in the parchment.

(B): initials: (i) to chapters, etc., 2-line, plain red or (f.158) green; (ii) opening I, as (i), in green with foliate terminal. Sketch, in brown, of foliage, f.174.

Corrections and annotation

Items 1-8 corrected early and neatly, often in original hand, by erasure and substitution, and supply in more than one hand of omitted matter (e.g. f.10r margin, f.12/3 interlinear gloss, f.16 foot, f.19, f.21v, f.24v, f.34, f.58, f.60v), sometimes ringed in red (e.g. f.29v, f.79). In item 8 original marginal monogrammatic Nota, and D[ignum].M[emorie]. (e.g. f.84v), N[ota].O[ptima?] (f.99v); corrections and annotations in plummet and ink in 14th cnetury anglicana, as also in item 9. 4 line note beginning Apocalipsis xiiii ... of the same period on f.1r. Two lines starting ?de xo ci ... in faint grey, and including sermo de aduentu domini added 12th/13th century at the end of item 8(b), possibly as wording for closing rubric.


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). Rebacked in about 2000.

Manuscript history

The manuscript was originally two separate sections (A and B), brought together by the late twelfth century (see contents list f. 1v); f.63-147v, which at first sight could be supposed a separable section, are integral to (A).

Written in England, second half of 12th century. The use of the punctus flexus in item 8(d), but not elsewhere in (A), may reflect the Cistercian origin of the work and hence the exemplar, rather than the context in which this copy was made. The similarity of the writing of the list of contents on f.1v and of the contemporary Durham ex-libris on f.2 suggest strongly that items 1-7 and 8 were written for the monastery, after 1163 (see item 8a); cf. also item 4's added title.


Inscription: Liber sancti Cuthberti de Dunelmo, f.2, late 12th century, in hand and ink very like that of the contents list on f.1v and of the text of items 1-7.
Item 9 added title, 12th-13th century, is in a hand found in other Durham Cathedral books, cf. Piper plates 58-59.
Liber sancti Cuthberti de Dunelmo, f.1, 13th-14th century, in a cursive hand.
Pressmark D at the top of f.2, 14th-15th century.
Cropped remains of inscriptions at the head of f.2 and 63 in the hand of the Priory librarian written approximately 1400.
Volume listed in the Cloister catalogue of 1395 (Durham Cathedral Library MS B.IV.46, f.19v), pressmark D.

Items 1-7, 8 and 9 listed separately in Cosin's subject catalogue of approximately 1668 (DUL Cosin MS.B.i.23, f.94). As well as providing the usual ex-libris and shelf-numbers of the episcopal library Rud made some marginal notes on the content of items 8 and 9.

Manuscript contents
(1)     f.1v
Modern title: Table of contents
Date: late 12th century
Incipit: In hoc uolumine continentur hec
Language: Latin

List of all the contents of the volume, on separate ruling, perhaps in the main hand and ink of (A). Re-used from a larger parchment sheet, contains part of a geometrical drawing in soft brown, comprising compass drawn arcs in two sizes and circles, suggestive of the plan of an apse.

SECTION: (A)    
(2)     f.2-9
Original title: Ruth, glossata
Incipit: In diebus unius iudicis
Explicit: genuit Dauid regem
Rubric: Incipit Liber Ruth
Language: Latin

Old Testament, Book of Ruth, with Glossa Ordinaria. Ed. ii, 285-306, but without starred paragraphs, save for most of Josephus on 2:1, etc. The final gloss, “Gr[egorius]. Donec ueniat ... ad dispensationem domini nostri iesu christi”, is followed here by five further glosses, “Idem. Si manducabat iesus et bibebat. ... non absurde dicimus; Or[igenes]. Iusticiam accidentem quis habere ... eam possibile est; Or. In secundo de periarchon. Materia extra ... ratione inuenitur; Pamphilus. Incusatur origenes quod dei filium ... rationales sint; Or. In primo libro de peria(r)ch<r>on. Ex his didicimus tantam esse et auctoritatis ... spiritus sancti copulemus.”.

Edited: Stegmüller, 11788/1-4
(3)     f.9-25v
Original title: Tobit, glossata
Incipit: Tobias ex tribu et ciuitate neptalim
Explicit: et cunctis terram habitantibus
Rubric: Liber Tobie incipit
Language: Latin

Old Testament, book of Tobit, with Glossa Ordinaria. Ed. ii, 1499-1554, without starred paragraphs or gloss on 1:6 “Videtur obloqui”

Edited: Stegmüller, 11797/2-3
(4)     f.25v-48r
Original title: Judith, glossata
Incipit: Arfaxat itaque
Explicit: in presentem diem
Rubric: Incipit liber Iudith
Language: Latin

Old Testament, book of Judith, with Glossa Ordinaria. Ed. ii, 1553-1612, but without starred paragraphs, save on 10:5 from “Abre sue. carnalibus”, or the glosses on 1:4 “In gloria”, 11:4 “Aug. Species”, and 16:25 “Amb. Nec his”. Glosses here not in the edition are on 10:3, “ut occidat uermes qui non moriuntur”, and 15:8, “Omnium militum christi quamuis impar labor ... adornatum conferant ecclesie”.

Edited: Stegmüller, 11798/1-4
(5)     f.48r-48v
Modern title: Prologue to Tobit
Author: Jerome, Saint, -419 or 420
Incipit: Chromatio et Heliodoro
Rubric: Prologus in Thobiam
Language: Latin

Tobit, Jerome's Vulgate prologue, first unstarred gloss ed. ii, 1500, which also occurs on f. 9 above.
Tobit capitula, matching neither set in Bib. Sac. viii, 159 61, which have 16 and 15 chapters; Cambridge Pembroke Coll. MS 63 ff. 89v-90 has a similar list of 13 chapters, preceding the gloss from Bede in 5(a).

Edited: Stegmüller, 332
(6)     f.48v-49
Modern title: Prologue to Judith
Author: Jerome, Saint, -419 or 420
Incipit: Arphaxat: superbos signat
Explicit: insidias cogitationis
Rubric: Prologus. In Iudith
Language: Latin

Judith, Jerome's Vulgate prologue and brief typology not in ed. ii, 1553-6.

Edited: Stegmüller, 335
(7)     f.49-62v
Original title: Esther, glossata
Author: Jerome, Saint, -419 or 420
Incipit: In diebus assueri
Explicit: ueru prenotauimus
Rubric: Incipit Liber Hester
Language: Latin

Old Testament, book of Esther, Vulgate, with Jerome's prologue and Glossa Ordinaria: (a) Prologue, Stegmüller, Rep. Bib., Bib. Sac. ix, 3 4; and glosses, as ed. ii, 1614-7 the first, second and fourth unstarred glosses. (b) Text, ending with Jerome's interjection with gloss, ed. ii, 1613-58, without starred paragraphs or marginal glosses on 1:1, 2, save for Virtus ... suadeat and 3 Huius conuiuii which are in (a) above; on 5:5, save for Concordat ... iniqui, and on 8:14.

Edited: Stegmüller, 241; 11799/1-3
(8a)     f.63-64
Original title: Epistola de sermonibus
Incipit: Dilecto et diligendo
Explicit: uel ultra precedere parati
Rubric: Epistola A. Abbatis Rieuallis: ad G. uenabilem episcopum Lundoniensem
Language: Latin

The name initials are glossed by an early 13th century cursive hand “Aldredi” and “Gilebertum”, the latter being Gilbert Foliot who became bishop of London in 1163; Aelred died in 1167.

Edited: Stegmüller, 942
(8b)     f.64-69v
Original title: Sermo in adventu domini
Incipit: Tempus est: fratres carissimi ut misericordiam
Explicit: inueniamur. prestante domino nostro
Rubric: Sermo in aduentu domini: de undecim oneribus
Language: Latin

(8c)     f.70
Modern title: Table of contents to Sermones de oneribus
Incipit: Omelia i. De eo quod scriptum est. Onus babilonis quod uidit ysaias filius Amos
Explicit: Omelia xxxi. De eo quod scriptum est. Uenter meus ad Moab sonabit. usque ad finem oneris Moab.
Language: Latin
(8d)     f.70-147v
Original title: Sermones De oneribus
Language: Latin

Text lost between f.101 and 102, calculable as over 11 leaves so presumably a quire of 12, particularly as this manuscript, like other 12th century English copies appears to contain the longer version. The sermons have the normal numbering, as A. Hoste, Bibliotheca Aelrediana, pp. 55-57, where this copy is listed; Sermon 23 is subdivided (f.123v), with the words Hec fratres moraliter starting a new line with a red capital, but no rubric or number, and this subdivision is also found in Paris, Bib. Nat. MS lat. 17467, and Bib. Mazarine MS 998, which, like Bib. Nat. MS lat. 491, agree with the corrected text here. Now re-edited by G. Raciti, who dates the completion of the work after the spring of 1163 and perhaps before the middle of 1164. The Cosin copy is judged by him to be taken direct from Troyes Bib. Mun. 1045, from Clairvaux, an immediate copy of the archetype.

Edited: Raciti
SECTION: (B)    
(9)     f.148-173
Original title: Contra Julianum
Author: Augustine, Saint, Bishop of Hippo
Incipit: Iam nunc ab alterius uoluminis exordio
Explicit: tunc ueritatem poteris tenere qua uinceris
Language: Latin

Book iv,1-15, here in 18 chapters, followed by short extracts from Books v-vi, ending with the final sentence. Title added early 13th century by a hand found in the similar titles of other Durham Priory books.

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

Digitised material for Durham University Library. Cosin Manuscript V.ii.2 - Old Testament, Ruth-Esther, glossed; Aelred of Rievaulx, sermons
Digitised June 2017 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]).

Hoste, Anselm, Bibliotheca Aelrediana: a survey of the manuscripts, old catalogues, editions and studies concerning St. Aelred of Rievaulx, Instrumenta patristica 2, (Steenbrugge: In Abbatia Sancti Petri, 1962), pp. 51, 57, 87.

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)

Piper, A. J., "The libraries of the monks of Durham" in Medieval scribes, manuscripts & libraries: essays presented to N.R. Ker, ed M.B. Parkes and Andrew G. Watson (London: Scolar Press, 1978), 213-249

Raciti, Gaetano, ed., Aelredi opera omnia: Opera omnia. v. 5, Homeliae de oneribus propheticis Isaiae   OCLC citation, CCCM 2d (Turnhout: Brepols, 2005)

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