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MS 16: Composite manuscript including ten texts, 12th century

Identifier: MS 16

Scope and Contents

This manuscript contains eleven texts bound together, in different hands. It is a 12-century manuscript, probably English. The different texts are listed below and detailed separately.

ff. 1r-108v: 'Biblia Abbreviata'

ff. 108v-143v: 'Testimoniorum Ysidori contra Judeos', also known as De fide catholica contra Iudaeos by Isidore of Seville

ff. 144r-150r: In Platonis Timaeum commentarius, a translation of Plato's Timaeus by Calcidius

ff. 150r-157r: De nuptiis Philologiae et Mercurii [incomplete] by Martianus Capella

ff. 158r-179v: Commentarii in Somnium Scipionis [incomplete] by Macrobius

ff. 180r-192r: De natura deorum [incomplete] by Cicero

ff. 192r-198r: 'Trimogestus ad Asclepium et Hammonam et Ermium' [incomplete], also known as Asclepius (extracts from chapter 2 and 28)

ff. 198r-203v: De Deo Socratis [incomplete] by Apuleius (extract from chapter 3)

ff. 204r-236v: In Platonis Timaeum commentarius, a translation of Plato's Timaeus by Calcidius (extract from chapter 23)

ff. 237r-243r: 'Dicta Albumassar' by Abū Maʻshar, a Latin traduction of Madkhal ilá ʻilm aḥkām al-nujūm (Introduction to Astronomy)

f.243v contains an inscription detailing the provenance of the manuscript (see 'Custodial History'). There are also later notes on the end fly-leaf related to this inscription.

The texts are described separately, under MS 16/ff. 1r-108v; MS 16/ff. 108v-143v; MS 16/ff. 144r-150r; MS 16/ff. 150r-157r; MS 16/ff. 158r-179v; MS 16/ff. 180r-192r; MS 16/ff. 192r-198r; MS 16/ff. 198r-203v; MS 16/ff. 204r-236v; and MS 16/ff. 237r-243r.

An earlier foliation appears on f. 109r, starting at 1 again, and continuing without gaps until the end of the volume. Several pages have been cut out throughout the book.


This is a well-written manuscript, by several different hands, without attempt at ornament. There are plain black capitals, and the rubrics are in rustic capitals.


Some of the headings are late insertions. On f.85 verso, a blank page, there is a crude pen-and-ink drawing of a ship in full sail, obviously also a late insertion. On f.101 verso, there is a drawing of Christ, and on f.157 verso there is a similar drawing of another Saint, both of which also appear to be late.


  • Creation: 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

This appears to be an English book. A 13th century inscription on f. 243 v sets forth its owner and contents as follows: Iste liber est fratris Clementis [Rocha] ordinis fratrum predicatorum. In isto volumine sunt isti libri per ordinem; tota biblia abreviata (sicut) poteris intueri; postea liber qui vocatur testimoniorum Ysidori contra Judeos et sunt du [. . . ] boni et necessarii; postea tymeus platonis; postea marcianus; postea liber macrobii; postea liber tullii de natura deorum; postea trismogestus ad asclepium et hammonam et ermium, postea liber apulii (Platonici) madaurensis de deo socratis, postea liber calcidii in tymeo, postea dicta albumasar. Iste liber est fratris Clementis Rocha [?] ordinis predicatorum. The final clause is by a second hand, but of the same period.

There are no other marks of ownership. The above inscription has been partly transcribed on the fly-leaf by a modern hand, completed by Laing, though this is not one of his books, and rewritten by a third hand.

Previous title

Title given to the manuscript in Catherine Borland’s catalogue: Psalter of Virgin and Prayer Book. Tractatus Varii Mystici.

Previous reference

D. b. IV. 6.

Physical Facet

Material: Vellum.

Binding: Modern. Rebound in 1963 (see note on fly-leaf).

Collation: a7, b8-k8, l6, m8-s8, t2, v10, x4, y8, z8, A6, B8, C8, D2 (=A7 and A8), E6, F8-K8=243.


21.27 cm x 14.92 cm


Secundo folio: audierit deus

Foliation and number of lines to a page: ff. 243, 28 lines to a page.

Repository Details

Part of the University of Edinburgh Library Heritage Collections Repository

Centre for Research Collections
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