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MS 138: Composite manuscript including seventeen texts, c 1455

Identifier: MS 138


MS 138 contains many small texts and fragments bound together, by different hands. This manuscript belonged to the Carthusian monastery at Erfurt, and seems to have been compiled initially in the mid-15th century. The evidence of the inclusion of various texts in different hands indicates that this volume was taken up and added to by different inhabitants of the monastery at Erfurt. The texts are described separately, but are generally quite fragmentary and difficult to identify.

f.1r: fragment of an 11th century lectionary, author unknown

ff. 1v-2r: A tabula, beginning with the words Hic libellus est Carthusiensium prope Erffordiam

ff. 3r-29v: Excerpt from 'Doctrinale', by Alexander of Villedieu

f. 30r: several lines of a song with lyrics, title and author unknown

ff. 31r-57r: First four tracts of the 'Summulae Logicales' by Peter of Spain

ff. 57v-61v: blank

ff. 62r-88r: text on Suppositions, Confessions, etc in four books, author unknown

ff. 88v- 97v: blank

ff. 98r-167v: Alphabetical word list, beginning with 'Artifex' and ending with 'Velox'

ff. 169r-240v: collection of comments and notes on auctoritates

ff. 241r-248r: unidentified notes on obedience and humility, from Saint Bernard, and others

ff. 249r-250r: A text headed with Urbanus Papa

ff. 250r-251r: De excommunicatis non vitandis, a papal decree

ff. 252r-256v: Text on the third evil of the clergy, from De Pluralitate Beneficiorum by John of Legnano

ff. 258r-294r: 'Notabilia de Virtutibus Diversis cum quibusdam sermonibus', an unidentified text on the Virtues, and other sermons

ff. 295v: a note in German

ff. 296r-310r: 'Speculum Amatorum mundi' by Dionysius the Carthusian

ff. 310v-311r: 'Vanitas Vanitatum', attributed to 'Walter Mapes' [De Mundi Vanitate]

ff. 311v-325v: unidentified text relating to Pope Innocent I on the Canon of Scripture

The texts are described separately, under MS 138/f. 1r; MS 138/ff. 1v-2r; MS 138/ff. 3r-29v; MS 138/f. 30r; MS 138/ff. 31r-57r; MS 138/ff. 62r-88r; MS 138/ ff. 98r-167v; MS 138/ ff. 169r-240v; MS 138/ ff. 241r-248r; MS 138/ff. 249r-250r; MS 138/ff. 250r-251r; MS 138/ff. 252r-256v; MS 138/ff. 258r-294r; MS 138/f. 295v; MS 138/ff. 296r-310r; MS 138/ff. 310v-311r; and MS 138/ff. 311v-325v.


There are many hands, all poor and very difficult. Spaces for initials are left blank almost throughout.


  • Creation: c 1455

Language of Materials

Latin and German

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 is a volume from the library of the Carthusian monastery at Erfurt. The evidence for this is found in three inscriptions:

(1) The heading of an almost contemporary list of contents, Hic libellus est Carthusiensium prope Erffordiam.

(2) A 15th century inscription on f. 309r, Ludwig Waldeck de Franckfordia dicit gratiarum actionis [?] domino Johanni [. . .] in Carthusia Erffordiensi.

(3) The inscription Cartusiae Erfordiensis, by a 17th century hand, the same which appears in other Erfurt manuscripts in the Edinburgh University collection.

The two sale entries at the beginning are misleading on several points : e.g. Alanus de Insulis is not the author of this Doctrinale, though on the authority of the printed entry his name appears in the title. The price at this sale, in the original binding, was apparently £2.

Previous title

Title given to the manuscript in Catherine Borland’s catalogue: Alexandri de Villa Dei Doctrinale et Excerpta de quibusdam alus.

Previous reference

Laing 48


Paul J. G. Lehman, Mittelalterliche Bibliothekskataloge Deutschlands und der Schweiz, vol. 2, (München: C.H. Beck, 1918-), p. 483, N.12

Physical Facet

Material: Paper

Binding: Modern, stamped ' D. L.,' entitled 'Alanus de Insulis Doctrinale, etc.'

Collation: a13, b12-n12, o11, p12, q16, r12, s8, t12, v12, x8, y3, z6, A12, B12, C14, D12, E6, F12 =325.


15.56 cm X 10.80 cm


Secundo folio: namque tenent

Foliation and number of lines to a page: ff. 325, with varying number of 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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Edinburgh EH8 9LJ Scotland
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