DCL MS. B.III.11Gregory, Homilies on the Gospels; Antiphoner
Held by: Durham Cathedral Library: Durham Cathedral Manuscripts

A composite volume made up of two distinct contemporary parts, both created in the Low Countries in the later 11th century, which have been together since at least the 14th century. (A) contains Gregory the Great's Homilies on the Gospels; (B) an antiphoner

Digitised: https://n2t.durham.ac.uk/ark:/32150/t2mdb78tc010.html

Physical description of manuscript


Extent: ii+158+i f
Size: 318 mm x 242 mm


Modern pencil foliation

Secundo folio: mo transit. Verba

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

Most of ex libris inscription has been cropped from f.2r; pressmark “ff”; “pars antiphonarii” in hand of Thomas Swalwell on f.136.

Physical description of section of manuscript

I7 (=8 lacks 1), II-IV8, [?lost quire], V8, [lost quire]; VI-VII8, VIII9 (=8 + 1), IX-X8, XI6, XII-XVII8


Two columns 33 lines.


Written in Late Caroline Minuscule in several similar hands.

History of section of manuscript

Written in Low Countries, later 11th century.

Manuscript contents
(a)     f.2r-87v
Original title: Homiliae in Evangeliis
Author: Gregory I, Pope, approximately 540-604
Incipit: In illo tempore. Dixit Iesus discipulis suis, erunt signa in sole et luna et stellis et in terries pressure gentium pre confusione sonitus maris et fluctuum
Explicit: quo nisi inter seraphin numerum sortem sue vocationis acceperunt
Rubric: Explicit Capitula. Incipit Liber Omeliarum Sancti Gregorii Pape Urbis Rome de diuersis lectionis evangelii
Language: Latin

Homilies (as numbered in PL 76, cols. 1077-1312): 1-16, 17 (imperfect), 21-25 (imperfect), 26 (imperfect)-32 (incomplete), 35 (acephalus)-40, 20, 19, 18, 34 (incomplete). The omission of homilies 18-20 may be owing to the very early loss of a quire or because of a peculiarity or deficiency in the exemplar; they were included towards the end of the collection (fols. 76r-83v). The end of 25 and most of 26 are lacking, presumably owing to loss of a quire. The unorthodox order of the homilies mislead the 14th century hand that supplied the number of each homily in Roman numerals in the upper right corner of the rectos of each leaf; a 15th century hand corrects these where necessary.

(b)     f.2r-13v, 15r-17r (outer margins)
Original title: Homiliae
Author: Gregory I, Pope, approximately 540-604
Bede, the Venerable, Saint, 673-735
Language: Latin

Six further homilies added by the original scribes around all three outer margins. Bede, Homily VIII on Luke xi; Homily V on John xvi; Homily VI on John xvi; Homily VII on John xvi; Homily X on John xv; Gregory, Homily 26.

(c)     f.87v
Modern title: Office Texts for Maundy Thursday
Language: Latin
(d)     f.88r-135v
Modern title: Thirty Homilies for the Temporal from Feria secunda Pentecostes to Dominica Vigesima Sexta post Pentecosten
Language: Latin

Similar to those of Haymo of Auxerre

(e)     f.103v-106r outer margins
Modern title: Homily on Matthew 7.20
Incipit: Ex fructibus eorum cognoscetis eos
Explicit: Prestante et adiuuante ipso domino nostro iesu Christo … Amen
Language: Latin

Similar to that of Hrabanus Maurus.

(f)     f.135v
Modern title: Notes on liturgical observances
Language: Latin

Three pieces, added by a single hand

Physical description of section of manuscript



36 lines


Written in Late Caroline Minuscule

History of section of manuscript

Written in Low Countries, possibly Liege, later 11th century.

Manuscript contents
(g)     f.136-159
Modern title: Antiphoner
Language: Latin

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 Cathedral Library MS. B.III.11 - Gregory, Homilies on the Gospels; Antiphoner
Digitised June 2015 as part of the Durham Priory 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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