DCL MS. B.II.21Augustine, Epistolae
Held by: Durham Cathedral Library: Durham Cathedral Manuscripts

Augustine, Epistolae, written in Durham and one of the books given to Durham Priory by William of St Calais before 1096.

Digitised: https://n2t.durham.ac.uk/ark:/32150/t2m9k41zd507.html

Physical description of manuscript


Extent: i+158+i f
Size: 335 mm x 232 mm


Modern pencil foliation.

Secundo folio: ruptibili anima

added quire8; I1+10 (original fly-leaf, f.9 + a regular quinion), II-XIV10, XV9 (=10 with leaf 10, blank or cancelled).

Signatures: Contemporary signatures (a Roman numeral flanked by dots), final versos, lower margin, centre

Condition of manuscriptLiquid damage to f.114-115, and to increasing areas of the upper margin then also of the text-block of f.94-158.

Two columns 47 lines


Written by four scribes, the added tabula by a fifth, later hand. (b) has been identified as in the hand of Symeon of Durham, (c) and (d) as the same hand found in Edinburgh National Library of Scotland Advocates MS 18.4.3Anglo-Norman Caroline minuscule transitioning to Protogothic.


(d) starts with a 16-line initial, each letter is marked by a 4-line capital


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-stained holes on f.1r, lower margin, towards fore-edge, possibly from a chain staple fixture on an earlier binding.

Manuscript history

Written in England, Durham, before 1096.


One of the books given to Durham Priory by William of St Calais before 1096.

Inscriptions: “Liber Sancti Cuthbertj”, f.10r, top left. “.N. Epistole beati Augustini De communi libraria monachorum dunelm”, heavily cropped, early 15th century, f.12r. Pressmark “.N.”, later 14th century, f.10r, top centre. “.H.”, 15th century, f.12r, top right. “1. 3. H.”, 15th century, f.1r, top right.

Manuscript contents
(a)     f.1r-8r
Modern title: Tabula for (d)
Date: later 15th century
Incipit: Absentia. Quod deus nulli est absens
Explicit: Explicit Tabula Super omnes epistolas beati Augustini
Language: Latin
(b)     f.9r
Modern title: Extracts
Author: Augustine, of Hippo, Saint, 354-430
Language: Latin

Extracts from Letter 60, sermon 356 and letter 48. Added late 11th - early 12th century

(c)     f.10r-11v
Modern title: Original contents list for (d)
Language: Latin
(d)     f.12r-158v
Original title: Epistolae
Author: Augustine, of Hippo, Saint, 354-430
Incipit: Domino illustri et merito prestantissimo filio uolusiano, augustinus episcopus
Explicit: quarum rescripta non habeo
Rubric: Incipit epistola augustini episcopi ad uolusianum
Language: Latin

Collection of 142 letters, the arrangement approximating to the ordo antea vulgatus of Patrologia Latina 33, columns 1166-70.

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.II.21 - Augustine, Epistolae
Digitised February 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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