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MS 1: Biblia Sacra [Bible. Latin. Vulgate], 13th century

Identifier: MS 1
Biblia Sacra (MS 1)
Biblia Sacra (MS 1)


The manuscript contains the complete text of the Vulgate, including the apocryphal books.
It also contains the Interpretationes nominum hebraicorum ('Interpretations of the Hebrew names'), a list, mostly in alphabetical order, of Hebrew names found in the Bible, attributed to Stephen Langton (died 1228); each Hebrew name is accompanied by a short explanation in Latin.
The books of the Old Testament are arranged in an unusual order: Tobit follows Judith and Esther, and the two books of Maccabees follow Tobit. There are some anomalies also regarding the prologues: those to Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Ecclesiasticus have been written one after the other at the end of Isaiah; those to Job, Daniel, and Maccabees have not been written at all; the Psalms have four different ones. There are two different versions of the song of Habakkuk (Hab., chapter 3). The text of the Psalms is that of the Gallic Psalter; it is in one single column and is preceded and followed by a blank folio.
There are no prologues to the New Testament, the Gospel of Saint Matthew, and the Book of Revelation. Both letters to the Corinthians, the letters to the Galatians, to the Ephesians, to Philemon and to the Hebrews have an argumentum, a short text which records Paul's reason for writing the letter, the place and circumstances in which he wrote, and the people he entrusted the letter to; before the other letters, the scribe has left a space for the argumentum to be added, but this has never been inserted, except in the case of the letter to the Colossians (whose argumentum has been written later in a darker ink).
On f. 30r there is an interesting example of correction: a passage for insertion is in the corrector's hand and has been copied by the scribe with the addition of humorous grotesques. Annotations are frequent, especially at the beginning of Isaiah.
Prologue of Jerome to the Bible (Letter to Paulinus): starts on f. 1r; this is the letter written by Jerome to Paulinus, bishop of Nola, placed at the beginning of the Vulgate as general preface. It begins with the words Frater ambrosius tua mihi minuscola preferens.
Prologue of Jerome to the Pentateuch (Letter to Desiderius): starts on f. 3r. It begins with the words Desiderii mei desideratas accepi epistulas (the word epistolas is expuncted and substituted with litteras). Pentateuch is the name which collectively identifies to the first five books of the Bible.
Pentateuch: starts on f. 3r. It is composed of: Genesis (starts on f. 3r), Exodus (starts on f. 18r), Leviticus (starts on f. 29r), Numbers (starts on f. 36v), Deuteronomy (starts on f.47r).
Historical Books: start on f. 56v. They are composed of: Prologue to Joshua (starts on f. 56v), Joshua (starts on f. 57r), Judges (starts on f.63v), Ruth (starts on f. 70v), First Kings (starts on f. 72r and corresponds to First Samuel), Second Kings (starts on f. 81v and corresponds to Second Samuel), Third Kings (starts on f. 89v and corresponds to First Kings), Fourth Kings (starts on f. 98v and corresponds to Second Kings), Prologue to Chronicles (starts on f. 107r; there are two different versions of the prologue), First Chronicles (starts on f. 107v), Second Chronicles (starts on f. 115r), Prologue to Ezra (starts on f. 125r), Ezra (starts on f. 125r), Nehemiah (starts on f.127v), First Esdras (starts on f. 131r), Second Esdras (starts on f. 132r), Third Esdras (starts on f. 136r), Prologue to Judith (starts on f. 142v), Judith (starts on f. 142v), Prologue to Esther (starts on f. 146r), Esther (starts on f. 146r), Prologue to Tobit (starts on f. 149v), Tobit (starts on f. 149v).
Maccabees: starts on f. 153r. It is composed of: First Maccabees (starts on f. 153r), Second Maccabees (starts on f. 161r).
Wisdom Books: start on f. 187v. They are composed of: Job (starts on f. 167v), Psalms (starts on f. 176r), Proverbs (starts on f. 204r), Ecclesiastes (starts on f. 210v), Song of Songs (starts on f. 213r), Wisdom (starts on f. 214), Ecclesiasticus (starts on f. 219r; followed by a list of headings).
Prophets: start on f. 232v. They are composed of: Isaiah (starts on f. 232v), Prologue to Isaiah (on f. 248r), Prologue to Jeremiah (starts on f. 284r), Prologue to Ezekiel (on f. 248v), Prologue to Ecclesiasticus (on f. 248v), Jeremiah (starts on f. 249r), Lamentations (starts on f. 268r), Prologue of Jerome to Baruch (on f.), Baruch (starts on f. 269v), Ezekiel (starts on f. 271v), Daniel (starts on f. 289v).
Twelve Minor Prophets: start on f. 296r. They are composed of: Prologue to the Twelve Prophets (on f. 296r), Prologue to Hosea (on f. 296r), Hosea (starts on f. 296r), Prologue to Joel (on f. 298r), Joel (starts on f. 298v), Prologue to Amos (starts on f. 299r), Amos (starts on f. 299r), Prologue to Obadiah (on f. 301r), Obadiah (starts on f. 301r), Prologue to Jonah (on f. 301v), Jonah (starts on f. 301v), (Prologue to Micah (on f. 302r), (Micah (starts on f. 302r), Prologue to Nahum (on f. 303v), Nahum (starts on f. 303v), Prologue to Habakkuk (starts on f.304r), (Habakkuk (starts on f. 304v; on f. 305r and 305v there are two versions of the song of Habakkuk placed side by side in two columns), Prologue to Zephaniah (on f. 305v), Zephaniah (starts on f. 305v), Prologue to Haggai (on f. 306v), Haggai (starts on f. 306v), Prologue to Zachariah (on f. 307r), Zachariah (starts on f. 307r), Prologue to Malachi (starts on f. 309v), Malachi (starts on f. 310r).
Gospels: start on f. 310v. They are composed of: Gospel of Matthew (starts on f. 310v), Prologue to the Gospel of Mark (starts on f. 319v), Gospel of Mark (starts on f. 320r), Prologue to the Gospel of Luke (on f. 325v), Gospel of Luke (starts on f. 326r), Prologue to the Gospel of John (starts on f. 355r; it is followed by a gloss [i.e. annotation] to the prologue which has been incorporated within the main text and begins with the words Omnibus divine scripture paginis evangelium excellet), Gospel of John (starts on f. 335v).
Acts of the Apostles: starts on f. 343r and is preceded by a prologue on 342v.
Pauline Epistles: start on f. 352v. The letters are: Letter to the Romans (starts on f. 352v), First Letter to the Corinthians (starts on f. 356r), Second Letter to the Corinthians (starts on f. 359r), Letter to the Galatians (starts on f. 361r), Letter to the Ephesians (starts on f.362v), Letter to the Philippians (starts on f. 363v), Letter to the Colossians (starts on f. 364r), First Letter to the Thessalonians (starts on f. 365r), Second Letter to the Thessalonians (starts on f. 365v), First Letter to Timothy (starts on f. 366r), Second Letter to Timothy (starts on f. 367r), Letter to Titus (starts on f. 367v), Letter to Philemon (on f. 368r), Letter to the Hebrews (starts on f. 368r).
Catholic Epistles: start on f. 370v. They are preceded by a prologue and are composed of: Letter of James (starts on f. 371r), First Letter of Peter (starts on f. 372r), Second Letter of Peter (starts on f. 372v), First Letter of John (starts on f. 373r), Second Letter of John (starts on f. 374r), Letter of Jude (starts on f. 374v).
Book of Revelation: starts on f. 374v.
Interpretationes nominum hebraicorum: starts on f. 380r with the name Acar and finishes on f. 490r with to Zebulonnes; it is incomplete.
Writing The script is less careful and uniform than in most 13th century Bibles, and by various hands. The marginal annotations are of different periods.
Illumination There are good penwork initials to books and chapters. Genesis and Psalms have a line of elongated capitals in red and blue at the beginning. Song of Songs is written, like Psalms, with a capital at each verse.


  • 13th 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

The presence of the apocryphal books of Esdras normally points towards an English provenance, as does also the version of Third Esdras which begins with the words Et egit Josias. On the other hand, the arrangement of books of this manuscript closely resembles that of three Bibles, one of which is known to be French and the other two conjectured to be (i.e. Fitzwilliam Museum, n. 1; Nicholas of Battle's Bible, belonging to H. Yates Thomson [possibly New York, Morgan Library, MS M.970]; and Hunterian Museum, Glasgow, n. 493).
There is an erased inscription on the bottom of f. 1r. Although it is not legible on the manuscript itself, a U.V. photograph stuck on the interleaf makes it possible to read it: Iste liber est de communitate fratrum ordinis predicatorum Karlii, concessus fratri Ricardo de Kyrby ad terminum vitae suae. quicumque alienaverit a dicto conventu anathema sit ('This book is from the community of the order of Friars Preachers [Black Friars] of Carlisle, loaned to brother Richard of Kyrby for his lifetime. May anyone who steals it from the said convent be cursed').
Later marks of ownership are as follows: on f. 3r, Johannis Wilkinsounis possedit ('John Wilkinson owned'); on f. 1r, Liber Caroli Lumisden ('Book of Charles Lumsden'); on f. 310 v, Liber Caroli Lummisden ministri verbi Dei apud Dudinstonam ('Book of Charles Lumsden, minister of the word of God at Duddingston'). Charles Lumsden was regent in the University in 1587 and 1588, was made minister of Duddingston by James Vi in 1611, and died in 1630. His library was estimated at 1200 merks (see Scott, H. [1915], Fasti Ecclesiae Scoticane, Edinburgh, vol. 1, p. 17). This manuscript was probably bought at his sale, as there is no record of its presentation to the Library. It appears in a catalogue of 1636.
The name Theophilus Wilkinson appears at the bottom of f. 215r.

Previous reference


Physical Facet

Material: Vellum

Binding: Modern. Damaged: the front cover is detached.

Collation: a12-m12, n8, o12, p11, q12-I12, K10, L10 = 399


21.90 cm x 15.56 cm


Secundo folio: videlicet
Foliation and number of lines to a page: ff. 399, double columns (except in the Psalms, whose text is on a single column, with marginal space left for glosses or for another version, and in Habakkuk 3, whose text is on three columns), 50-60 lines to a page.



Repository Details

Part of the Edinburgh University Library Special Collections Repository

Centre for Research Collections
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