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MS 14: Saint John's Gospel (glossed) [Bible. John. Latin. Vulgate], late 12th century

Identifier: MS 14


The manuscript contains the gospel of Saint John according to the text of the Vulgate and a set of glosses [i.e. annotations and comments] to the whole text. These include both marginal and interlinear glosses. The text is not complete, but ends at John 19:, verse 36.
The gospel is preceded by the monarchian prologue, so called because it relates to the monarchian doctrine, which saw God as one person. It accompanies several extant copies of the Vulgate, although its text is not derived from Jerome.
Prologue:: starts on f. 1r. It begins with the words Johannes unus ex discipulis Domini.
Glosses to the prologue: also start on f.1r. They are divided into four sections. The first brief section is on the left left margin of f. 1r; it opens with the words Johannes interpretatur gratia. The second section starts on the right margin of f. 1r and continues on the left margin of f. 1v; it opens with the words Omnibus divine scripture. The third section begins on the right margin of f. 2r and continues on the left margin of f. 2v; it opens with the words Contra eos qui. A fourth, brief section appears on the left margin of f. 2v; it opens with the words Alii evangeliste describunt.
Text of the Gospel: starts at the end of f. 2v with the words In principio erat. It ends at John 19:36 on f. 78v with the words Facta sunt einim hec ut scriptura inpleretur. Os non.
Glosses to the Gospel: start on f. 2v with the words In patre qui. The last gloss reads Ad hoc quod dixit lancea latus eius aperuit.
Writing The script is good, uniform, and well spaced.
Writing The initials are plain red, blue, or green; the first line of the prologue has red and blue capitals alternately and the first line of text has red capitals.
Illumination There are two decorative initials.
  1. At the beginning of the prologue (f. 1r) the 'J' has been cropped. It is a plain gold initial on a green ground, with a grotesque animal, half bird, half snake, coiling round it.
  2. At the beginning of the main text (f. 2v) the 'I' consists of two broad bands of punctured gold with a band of lake between, on a green ground, with a central medallion, on which is an eagle on a blue ground. Conventional foliage and fruit make up an ornamental tailpiece.


  • late 12th century

Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open to all. The manuscripts can be consulted in the Centre for Research Collections, Edinburgh University Main Library.


1 bound MS volume

Custodial History

A pencil note on a fly-leaf at the beginning (19th century) gives the most likely provenance and approximate date of the manuscript. It says About A.D. 1200 MS. French execution.
The inscription on f. 1, Bibliothcae Ivesianae, indicates that it was in the library of John Ives, Suffolk Herald Extraordinary, whose books were sold in March 1777 (see Baker, Samuel, and George Leigh. A Catalogue of the Entire and Valuable Library of John Ives, jun. Esqu.. London, 1977, p. 16, n. 417). Ives inserts a note to the effect that the manuscript belongs to the beginning of the 14th century, obviously a mistake, but repeated in the printed slip on the first fly-leaf. This slip, evidently from an exhibition catalogue, has, in a modern hand, Lent by Godwin Austin Esq. A book-plate has been removed.

Previous Reference

Laing 8

Physical Facet

Material: Vellum.

Binding: Modern. The manuscript has gilded edges to the text block.

Collation: a6, b8-k8 = 78.


23.81 cm x 16.21 cm


Secundo folio: [appa]reant. Hoc autem.
Foliation and number of lines to a page: ff. 78, 3 columns, text 16, gloss 32, lines to a page.

Repository Details

Part of the University of Edinburgh Library Heritage Collections Repository

Centre for Research Collections
University of Edinburgh Main Library
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