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MS 100: Composite manuscript including four texts, 12th century

Identifier: MS 100


Contains four different texts, in two different hands.
ff. 1r-53v: ‘Hexameron’ by Basil of Caesarea
ff. 53v-97v: ‘De Conditione Hominis’ by Gregory of Nyssa
ff. 98r-116r: ‘De Anima’ by Cassiodorus
ff. 116v-119v: Sermon on the Sacrament of the Altar
The texts are described separately, under MS 100/ff.1r-53v; MS 100/ff.53v-97v; MS 100/ff. 98r-116r; MS 100/ff. 116v-119v.
Writing The first three texts (ff.1-116) are written by the same 12th century hand, but the sermon (ff.116-119) was included later in a different hand. The script is scarcely so good as that of the other Reading manuscript (MS 101), and it is probably rather later.
Illumination The illumination is not so good as that of the other Reading manuscript (MS 101). It consists of ornamental initials in red with some rough filigree work. The general appearance of the volume is extremely dignified and good.


  • 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

Like manuscript MS 104, this manuscript is from the library of Saint Mary's Abbey, Reading. It contains the same inscription, Hic est liber Sce. Marie de Radingia. Quem qui celaverit vel fraudem de eo fecerit anathema sit (This book belongs to Saint Mary’s of Reading. Anyone found hiding it or damaging it will be anathema), by the same hand. It is also described in the Catalogue which is part of Lord Fingall's Cartulary. Its subsequent history is unknown, even to how it came into Laing's possession. The book has been very skilfully repaired.

Previous title

Title given to the manuscript in Catherine Borland’s catalogue: Exameron Basilii. Gregorii Niseni de condicione hominis. Cassiodori Senatoris de Anima.

Previous reference

Laing 146.


This manuscript is mentioned as Exameron Basilii on p. 119 of Barfield, S. ‘Lord Fingall's Cartulary of Reading Abbey.’ The English Historical Review, vol. 3, no. 9, 1888, pp. 113–125. JSTOR, JSTOR,

Physical Facet

Material: Vellum

Binding: Oak boards covered red leather. The title 'BASILII HEXAMERON ETC. S. MARIE DE RADING M.S. SAEC. XV.' is stamped on the outer cover spine upright.

Collation: a8-o8, p7=119.


30.48 cm x 20.32 cm


Secundo folio: In principio fecit
Foliation and number of lines to a page: ff. 119, 30 lines to a page.

Repository Details

Part of the Edinburgh University Library Special Collections Repository

Centre for Research Collections
University of Edinburgh Main Library
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Edinburgh EH8 9LJ Scotland
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