DCL MS. A.II.6Kings-Maccabees, glossed
Held by: Durham Cathedral Library: Durham Cathedral Manuscripts

Glossed books of the Old Testament, Kings - Maccabees

Digitised: https://n2t.durham.ac.uk/ark:/32150/t1mnk322d41f.html

Physical description of manuscript


Extent: ii+280+i f
Size: 390 mm x 260 mm


Modern pencil foliation, 2-50, 50*-280 (re-done in ink on 267-280); 281 added in 20th century.

Secundo folio: Fuit uir unde


Catchwords: Contemporary catchwords on quires I-XI and XIII-XXIII
Signatures: Leaf lettering in lead in the first half of quires VI-XI and XXII, in red in quires XIII-XIX.

Condition of manuscript

The top of all leaves damaged by damp (resulting in regular offsets on facing pages from the rubrication), with more extensive damp damage to f.1, 113-114, 173-7 and 184-7.


Up to three columns; up to 32 lines of biblical text; up to 62 lines of gloss

Quire structure and leaf numbering show that the volume was made in two matching parts: (A) f.2-134; (B) f.135-280. These were brought together at an early date (indicated by the 13th century list of contents on f.2r). It is closely comparable overall to DCL MS A.II.14.


Written in Textualis semi-quadrata, probably a single scribe writing both text and gloss.


All biblical incipits except that of (g) are headed by a red and blue initial, 5-30 lines high, flourished in both colours, (a) being the largest. Prefaces to (a), (e), (h), (j), (k), (n), (p) and (q) are headed by 4- to 8-line high initials of the same style. A large (30 lines high) and elaborate ‘L’ was sketched in lead at the start of the Preface to Esther (item (l)1) but not completed.


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). Rust stains on f.2 and 3, lower fore-edge, from the metalwork of a clasp and possibly a chain fixture on an earlier binding.

Manuscript history

Written in France, later 13th century.


List of contents registering (a)-(e), (h)-(q), later 12th century, f.2r, outer margin, top.

Pressmark: Pi .B., 14/15th century, f.2r, upper margin, left. de libraria dunelm′, 15/16th century, in the hand of Thomas Swalwell, monk of Durham, f.2r, upper right margin.

Catalogi veteres, p. 12A and 87A identifies this book with the entry A Glosa super quatuor libros Regum in uno quaterno. ijo fo Fuit uir although this is questionable given the size of uno quaterno.

Manuscript contents
(a)     f.2r-25v
Modern title: I Kings, with gloss
Language: Latin
(b)     f.25v-45r
Modern title: II Kings, with gloss
Language: Latin
(c)     f.45r-73v
Modern title: III Kings, with gloss
Language: Latin
(d)     f.73v-91v
Modern title: IV Kings, with gloss
Language: Latin
(e)     f.91v-111r
Modern title: I Paralipomenon with gloss
Language: Latin
(f)     f.111r-133r
Modern title: II Paralipomenon with gloss
Language: Latin
(g)     f.133r-134r
Modern title: Prayer of Manasse, with gloss
Language: Latin

Manuscript contents
(h)     f.135r-160v
Modern title: Joshua, with gloss
Language: Latin
(i)     f.160v-181r
Modern title: Judges, with gloss
Language: Latin
(j)     f.181r-187v
Modern title: Tobit, with gloss
Language: Latin
(k)     f.187v-195v
Modern title: Judith, with gloss
Language: Latin
(l)     f.195v-201v
Modern title: Esther, with gloss
Language: Latin
(m)     f.201v-204v
Modern title: Ruth, with gloss
Language: Latin
(n)     f.204v-218v
Modern title: I Esdras, with gloss
Language: Latin
(o)     f.218v-231r
Modern title: II Esdras (Nehemiah), with gloss
Language: Latin
(p)     f.231r-264r
Modern title: I Maccabees, with gloss
Language: Latin
(q)     f.264r-280v
Modern title: II Maccabees, with gloss
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 Cathedral Library.

Digitised material for Durham Cathedral Library MS. A.II.6 - Glossed books of the Old Testament, Kings - Maccabees
Digitised August 2016 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]).

de Hamel, Christopher, Glossed books of the Bible and the origins of the Paris book trade   OCLC citation, (Woodbridge, Suffolk, England: Boydell Press, 1984)

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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