DCL MS. B.II.5John Chrysostom, On the Epistles of St Paul
Held by: Durham Cathedral Library: Durham Cathedral Manuscripts

Later 14th century copy of Burgundio of Pisa's translation of St John Chrysostom's commentary on the Epistles of St Paul, used at Oxford University in 15th century.

Digitised: https://n2t.durham.ac.uk/ark:/32150/t1ms4655g65r.html

Physical description of manuscript


Extent: v+191+i f
Size: 382 mm x 270 mm


Pagination, 15th or 16th century. Modern pencil foliation.

Secundo folio: esse tempora

Medieval flyleaves (unclear whether a bifolium or two singletons); I-VII12, VIII14, IX-XV12, XVI10, XVII7 (=8 with leaf 8, probably blank, lost or cancelled). Quires of different sizes (VIII and XVI-XVII) coincide with the end either of a major textual section or of the book as a whole.

Signatures: Contemporary signatures on every quire except VIII and XVII. To those on I-VI was added, “correctus diligenter”. Leaf numbering in lead (very faint) in first half of quires.

41 lines, pricking and lead drawn lines


Written in Textualis libraria, neat and regular, a single hand. The same hand was doubtless responsible for the many corrections that are presented in the first marginal column, generally underlined or boxed in red and possibly for the marginal headwords in their final form.


The text is headed (f.1r) by a 9-line-high historiated initial O, and is flanked on three sides by border bars of gold, blue and pink, with ivy leaf excrescences. This features an enthroned bishop, doubtless John Chrysostom, blessing with his right hand and holding a pastoral staff with his left. Other parts are headed with a blue 4-line initial flourished in red, although that on f.46v was not completed.


Eighteenth century, thin paste-board boards; delicately tooled with blind foliated roll around outer edge and forming an inner rectangular panel; the latter has with foliate corner-pieces. Marbled endpapers. The spine is splitting and the boards detaching. Sewn on 6 bands; 2 metal clasps. The outlines of the turnovers from an earlier binding are visible on the former pastedown, ir.

Manuscript history

Written in England or France, mid 14th century.


Erased cautiones, fol. iv, show that the volume was pawned in Oxford in 1414 and 1416.

Inscription: f.iv of ownership by Robert who gave the book to another.

Erased inscription on f.iiv: “Liber Willelmi Seton monachi Ecclesie Cathedralis Dunelm” (monk of Durham Priory 1428-65, attended Durham College, Oxford and Warden there).

Inscription: f.iiv: “Liber quondam Magistri Willelmi Seton In theologia doctoris Assignatus Communi libraria Ecclesie Cathedralis Dunelm per Venerabilem in Christo patrem dominum Ricardum Bell eiusdem Ecclesie Priorem Anno domini Millesimo quadringentesimo sexagesimo quinto In festo Venerabilis Bede Presbiteri”

Pressmark, 15th century: 1a 3i V, f.1r top.

Manuscript contents
Original title: Super quinque Epistolas Pauli
Author: John Chrysostom, Saint, -407
Burgundio, da Pisa, approximately 1110-1194
Incipit: Omnibus in Christo fidelibus, Burgundio iudex ciuis pisanus
Explicit: simul cum sancto spiritu gloria, imperium, honor, nunc et semper et in secula seculorum. Amen
Rubric: In nomine domini incipit tractatus sancti Iohannis Crisostomi super quinque epistolas sancti pauli
Language: Latin

John Chrysostom on St Paul's Epistles to Timothy I and II, Titus, Philemon, Hebrews, translated by Burgundio of Pisa

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.5 - John Chrysostom, On the Epistles of St Paul
Digitised March 2017 as part of the Durham Priory Library Recreated project. Pages with marginalia not visible in the image because they are too far into the gutter: f.12r, f.18r, f.36r, f.71r
Index terms