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MS 6: Biblia sacra [Bible. Latin. Vulgate], 13th century

Identifier: MS 6
Biblia Sacra (MS 6)
Biblia Sacra (MS 6)

Scope and Contents

The manuscript contains the complete text of the Vulgate with the exclusion ofe Psalms. It also contains the Interpretationes nominum hebraicorum ('Explanations of the Hebrew names'), a list (mostly in alphabetical order) of Hebrew names found in the Bible, attributed to Stephen Langton (died 1228); each name is accompanied by a short explanation in Latin.
The Prayer of Salomon is included at the end of Ecclesiasticus and begins with the words Et declinavit salomon genua sua.
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 is introduced by the rubricated words Hic est pricipium [...] Incipit epistola sancti ieronimi presbiteri ad paulinum de omnibus divine historie libris and begins with Frater ambrosius tua michi minuscola preferens.
Prologue of Jerome to the Pentateuch (Letter to Desiderius): starts on f. 3r. It is introduced by the rubricated words Incipit secundum proemium ieronimi. Explicit epistula et incipit prologus sancti ieronimi in pentateucum ad desiderium and begins with the words Desiderii mei desiderata accepi epistulas. 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. 17r), Leviticus (starts on f. 28r), Numbers (starts on f. 36v), Deuteronomy (starts on f. 47r).
Historical Books: start on f. 57r. They are composed of: Prologue to Joshua (on f. 57r), Joshua (starts on f. 57v), Judges (starts on f. 63v), Ruth (starts on f. 70v), Prologue to Kings (starts on f. 71r), First Kings (starts on f. 71v and corresponds to First Samuel), Second Kings (starts on f. 81v and corresponds to Second Samuel), Third Kings (starts on f. 89r and corresponds to First Kings), Fourth Kings (starts on f. 98r and corresponds to Second Kings), Prologue to First Chronicles (starts on f. 105v), First Chronicles (starts on f. 106r), Second Chronicles (starts on f. 113r), Prologue to Ezra (starts on f. 121v), Ezra (starts on f. 122r), Nehemiah (starts on f. 124r; listed as "Second Esdras" in the manuscript; the initial words Verba Neemiae filii Hechliae are omitted), First Esdras (starts on f. 128r), Prologue to Tobit (starts on f. 132r), Tobit (on f. 132r), Prologue to Judith (on f. 135r), Judith (starts on f. 135r), Prologue to Esther (starts on f. 138r), Esther (starts on f. 138v).
Wisdom Books: start on f. 141v. They are composed of: Prologue to Job (starts on f. 141v), Job (starts on f. 142r), Prologue to Proverbs (on f. 149r; there are three prologues), Proverbs (starts on f. 149r), Prologue to Ecclesiastes (on f. 155r), Ecclesiastes (starts on f. 155r), Song of Songs (starts on f. 157r), Prologue to Wisdom (on f. 158r), Wisdom (starts on f. 158r), Prologue to Ecclesiasticus (on f. 162r), Ecclesiasticus (starts on f. 162r, with the Prayer of Salomon at the end).
Prophets: start on f. 173v. They are composed of: Prologue to Isaiah (on f. 173v), Isaiah (starts on f. 173v), Prologue to Jeremiah (on f. 186v), Jeremiah (starts on f. 186v), Lamentations (starts on f. 201v), Prayer of Jeremiah (starts on f. 202v), Prologue to Baruch (on f. 203r), Baruch (starts on f. 203r), Prologue to Ezekiel (starts on f. 204v), Ezekiel (starts on f. 205r), Prologue to Daniel (starts on f. 217v), Daniel (starts on f. 218r).
Twelve Minor Prophets: start on f. 223r. They are composed of: Prologue to the Twelve Prophets (on f. 223r), Prologue to Hosea (starts on f. 223r; there are four prologues), Hosea (starts on f. 223v), Prologue to Joel (starts on f. 225r; there are two prologues), Joel (starts on f. 225v), Prologue to Amos (starts on f. 226r; there are two prologues), Amos (starts on f. 226v),Prologue to Obadiah (starts on f. 227v; there are two prologues), Obadiah (on f. 228r), Prologue to Jonah (on f. 228r; there are two prologues), Jonah (starts on f. 228r), (Prologue to Micah (starts on f. 228v), (Micah (starts on f. 229r), Prologue to Nahum (starts on f. 229v; there are two prologues), Nahum (starts on f. 230r), Prologue to Habakkuk (on f. 230v; there are two prologues), (Habakkuk (starts on f. 230v), Prologue to Zephaniah (on f. 231r; there are two prologues), Zephaniah (starts on f. 231r), Prologue to Haggai (starts on f. 231v; there are two prologues), Haggai (starts on f. 232r), Prologue to Zachariah (on f. 232v; there are two prologues), Zachariah (starts on f. 232v), Prologue to Malachi (starts on f. 234v; there are three prologues), Malachi (starts on f. 235r).
Maccabees: starts on f. 235v. It is composed of Prologue to Maccabees (on f. 235v), First Maccabees (starts on f. 235v), Second Maccabees (starts on f. 244r).
Gospels: start on f. 257r. They are composed of: Prologue to the Gospel of Matthew (starts on f. 251r; there are four prologues), Gospel of Matthew (starts on f. 252r), Prologue to the Gospel of Mark (on f. 260v), Gospel of Mark (starts on f. 260v), Prologue to the Gospel of Luke (starts on f. 265v), Gospel of Luke (starts on f. 266r), Prologue to the Gospel of John (on f. 273r), Gospel of John (starts on f. 273r).
Pauline Epistles: start on f. 282r; each letter is accompianied by 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. The letters consist of: a general prologue (starts on f. 282r), Prologue to Romans (starts on f. 282v; there are two prologues to this letter, but one of the two has been copied on f. 282r before the general prologue to the Pauline letters), Letter to the Romans (starts on f. 283r), First Letter to the Corinthians (starts on f. 286r), Second Letter to the Corinthians (starts on f. 289v), Letter to the Galatians (starts on f. 291v), Letter to the Ephesians (starts on f. 293r), Letter to the Philippians (starts on f. 294r), Letter to the Colossians (starts on f. 295r), First Letter to the Thessalonians (starts on f. 295v), Second Letter to the Thessalonians (starts on f. 296v), First Letter to Timothy (starts on f. 297r), Second Letter to Timothy (starts on f. 297v), Letter to Titus (starts on f. 298v), Letter to Philemon (on f. 299r), Letter to the Hebrews (starts on f. 299r).
Acts of the Apostles: the text starts on f. 302r. It is preceded by three prologues on f. 301v.
Catholic Epistles: start on f. 311r. Each letter is accompianied by an argumentum, a short introductory text, or by a longer prologue. The letters consist of: a general prologue (on f. 311r), Letter of James (starts on f. 311), First Letter of Peter (starts on f. 312r), Second Letter of Peter (starts on f. 313r), First Letter of John (starts on f. 313v), Second Letter of John (starts on f. 314v), Third Letter of John (on f. 314v), Letter of Jude (starts on f. 314v).
Book of Revelation: starts on f. 315r and it is preceded by a prologue and by an argumentum, another short introductory text.
Interpretationes nominum hebraicorum: starts on f. 320r with the name Aaz and finishes with Zuzim.
Writing Extremely small, neat, and uniform script. The Interpretationes nominum hebraicorum are by a different hand, and indeed may have belonged to quite another manuscript since both the vellum and the ornament are different.
Illumination Chapters and prologues have red and blue filigree initials, the latter partly inset. Book initials are decorative, of a rather unusual type. Some are floriated on backgrounds of gold and colour, others have single heads rather indifferently executed.


  • 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

From the script and illumination this appears to be an Italian book. The earlier marks of ownership are difficult to read; they consist of an erased inscription on f. 1r, the name P. Nobides [?] followed by the date 1544 on f. 319, and a partially erased signature followed by two dates, 1595 and 1589, on f. 346v. The erased marks have been identified through U.V. photography and they read respectively: -ve, James Fairlie and J. Fairleseus 1589.
On f. 347r there is a long inscription by the same hand: L'estat de l'eglise avec le discours des temps depuis les Apostres sous Neron jusques a present sous Charles V, contenant en bref les histoires tant anciennes que novelles, celles specialement qui concernent l'Empire et le siege romaine, la vie et decrees des Papes, les conciles, le commencement, accroissement et decadence de la religion. Quatriesme Edition MDLXI. ('The State of the Church with the discourse of time from the Apostles under Nero until the present time, under Charles V, containing in brief the stories both anciet and new, in paticular those which concern the Empire and the Roman seat, the life and decrees of the Popes, the councils, the beginning, development and decandence of religion. Fourth edition 1561'). This is the title of a book written by the Swiss clergyman Jean de Hainault, edited by (and sometimes attributed to) the publisher Jean Crespin, active in Geneva between 1550 and 1572. The edition mentioned in the inscription, that of 1561, seems to be an unauthorised edition. A copy of this text revised by the Dutch minister and theologian Jean Taffin, printed in 1605 at Bergues sur le Zoom, is in the library of the University of Edinburgh.
The Bible was evidently one of Reverend Charles Lumsden's books, as it bears on f. 251r the 17th century inscription: Ex libris Caroli Lummisden pastoris ecclesie Dudinstoniensis ('From the books of Charles Lumsden, pastor of the Church of Duddingston'); and by the same hand on f. 347v: numerus foliorum 346. Charles Lumsden was regent in the University in 1587, 1588; he was made minister of Duddingston by James VI in 1611; died in 1630 (see Scott, Hew. Fasti Ecclesiae Scoticane. Edinburgh, 1915, vol. 1, p. 17).

Previous reference


Physical Facet

Material: Vellum.

Binding: Modern.

Collation: a12-k12, l14, m14, n12-v12, x6, y10, z12-E12, F15 = 347.


15.24 cm x 11.43 cm


Secundo folio: [salva]toris in cruce.
Foliation and number of lines to a page: ff. 347, double columns (3 in the Interpretationes nominum hebraicorum), 59 lines to a page.



Repository Details

Part of the Edinburgh University Library Special Collections Repository

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