DCL MS. C.IV.29Grammatical Notes on Priscian and Cicero
Held by: Durham Cathedral Library: Durham Cathedral Manuscripts

Grammatical Notes on Priscian and Cicero

Digitised: https://n2t.durham.ac.uk/ark:/32150/t2mw3763678z.html

Physical description of manuscript


Extent: i+216+i f


Modern pencil foliation: 1-9, 9*-215.

Secundo folio: nomen a legere

41 lines in 2 columns


Written in Romanesque Caroline minuscule in one hand, possibly that of Reginald of Durham. Many blank spaces and lacunae within the text suggest that the scribe may have had difficulty reading the exemplar.


No decoration.


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). Previously bound by John Waghorn in 1727.

Manuscript history

Written in England, Durham, mid 12th century.


Inscription, 13th century: “liber Sancti Cuthberti de dunelm’”, f.1v top right.

Pressmark, 14th/15th century: “.F.” (crossed through), f.2r.

Title, 12th/13th century: “[N]ote [super Pris]cianum et super Rethoricam veterem tullii”, f.1v, top.

Title, 14th/15th century: “Note super priscianum et super rethoricam veterem tullii in fine libri”, f.2r top (with addition by Thomas Swalwell, monk of Durham).

In Spendement catalogues of 1392 and 1416.

Mynors, number 82.

Manuscript contents
(a)     f.2r-193v
Modern title: Notes on Priscian's Institutiones grammaticae
Language: Latin

The only known copy of the work, derived from the Glosulae in Priscianum.

Cited: Bursill-Hall, 75.4
Extracts: Hunt 1941
Select translation: Copeland 2012, p.382-3
(b)     f.196r-215v
Modern title: Notes on Cicero’s De inventione
Language: Latin

Anonymous excerpts from a commentary or set of quaestiones on De inventione by a disciple of Master “W” (possibly William of Champeaux).

Edited: Ward 1995
Edited: Cox and Ward 2011

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. C.IV.29 - Grammatical commentary on Priscian and Cicero
Digitised May 2016 as part of the Durham Priory Library Recreated project There are two f.9, the second identified as f.9*


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]).

Bursill-Hall, R.L., A census of medieval latin grammatical manuscripts   OCLC citation, (Stuttgart: Frommann-Holzboog, 1981)

Copeland, R. (ed.), Medieval grammar and rhetoric: language arts and literary theory, AD 300-1475   OCLC citation, (Oxford: OUP, 2012)

Cox, V. and Ward, J. (ed.),The rhetoric of Cicero in its medieval and early Renaissance commentary tradition   OCLC citation (Leiden: Brill, 2011)

Hunt, R. W., "Studies on Priscian", Medieval and Renaissance Studies 1 (1943), 194-231

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)

Ward, J., Ciceronian rhetoric in treatise, scholion and commentary   OCLC citation (Turnhout: Brepols, 1995)

Index terms