Oxford, Bodleian Library, Laud Misc. 567

Present Location


Medieval Provenance

General Information




A miscellaneous manuscript, s. xii, containing the Viaticus of Constantine of Africa and other medical texts (see, Doane and Grade 2001, pp. 90-92). On fols 67-73, there are around 250 Old English glosses which are included in a Latin-Old English herbal glossary, beginning 'Absinthium .i. Weremod' and finishing 'Zarnabum .i. careu'. The majority of the Old English glosses are also found in Hunter 100 (Ker 1957, p. 424). Stracke suggests that the scribe's language was French, as there are many errors in the transcriptions of the Old English (1974, p. 5).

Object Description



Support: Parchment.


  • 280 mm x 193 mm (dimensions of all - size of leaves)
  • 217 mm x 140 mm (dimensions of fols 1-66 - size of written space)
  • 218 mm x 142 mm (dimensions of fols 67-73 - size of written space)

Foliation/Pagination: Foliated 1-73 in pencil in the top right hand corner of the rectos.


Quires: 14 wants 2, 3, 4, 29, 3-108, 111

Signatures: Signatures are on the top margins of the rectos and versos of the leaves listed below: Quire 1: '1' in pencil from fol. 3r; Quire 2: '2' in ink, fols 10-14. fol. 14v also has '2' in pencil; Quire 3: '3' in ink from 15r-21v. The leaves also have '3' written severally in pencil in the left and right margins; Quire 4: a medieval '4' in ink on all folios; Quire 5: a sign that looks like a 'q' in ink in all folios; Quire 6: a medieval '6' in ink; Quire 7: a medieval '7'; Quire signatures stop at fol. 51; Quires 3, 4, 5 and 6 have signs on the verso of the last folio.

Note: Fol. 1 is ruled for two columns of 43 horizontal lines. Fols 2-66 are ruled for one column, with 43 horizontal lines. The first and last line extends across the width of the leaf. Fols 67-73 are ruled for three columns, with double bounding lines roughly 5mm apart at the inner margin and in between the columns, and a single bounding line at the outer margin. The columns are 47mm, 45mm and 35mm from the inner to the outer side; whilst the outer column is narrower, the writing often transects the bounding line.

Hand Description

Number of Hands: 1

Summary: One hand wrote both the Latin and Old English texts. A second hand (in black ink) added a supplement to the Latin text of the Herbal on blank spaces on fol. 73rv. A thirteenth-century hand has continued a list for five lines, and various later hands occur.

Hand: main text

Scope: major

Scribe: Ker 345 Scribe 1

Script: English Vernacular Minuscule

Description: Fols 1-73. Doane and Grade describes the hand as 'a single expert Anglo-caroline script' (2001, p. 89).

Summary of the characteristics of the hand:

  • a is Caroline.
  • e is horned.
  • d has a flick to the right at the end of the ascender.
  • g is Caroline. The tail is open and extends quite far to the left.
  • The ascender of l is wedged.
  • The limb of is wavy.
  • Long s is used in all positions. It often has a broken shaft.
  • ð is of the same size and shape as d, with a flick to the right at the end of the ascender.
  • The descender of þ is very short. The graph is very similar to ƿ.
  • ƿ used in Old English. Very similar to þ.
  • y is dotted and the two strokes bend out from the centre.
Decoration Description

Rubrics are in red.

Large initials are in red, some with decoration in the same colour ink as the main text.

Some decorative doodles, in the same colour ink as the main text, often next to words which stand alone on the bottom line.


The endleaf recto contains: 'In the name of Gregory Pryse', son of John Prise (1502/3-1555).

Names on the verso of the front flyleaf include 'Edmond North'.

The bottom margin of fol. 1 recto has the inscription 'Liber Guilielmi Laud Archiepi: Cantuarˉ: et Cancellarii Uniuersitatis Oxōn 1633'.

Binding Description

A medieval binding, s. xii, leather on oak. There are the remains of a leather strap attached to the front cover with four tacks. On the back cover, the nail which would have held the clasp is visible. On the inside covers, one can see parts of four thongs in grooves in the wooden boards, three horizontal, and the fourth at an angle. These are no longer attached to the spine, but the ends of the three horizontal thongs are visible at the inner edges of the covers. The outside of the covers are brown, but the insides are white, with a thick brownish paste on top (see also, Doane and Grade 2001, p. 90 and Pollard 1962).

Additional Information

Administration Information

Manuscript described by Orietta Da Rold and Hollie Morgan with the assistance of Owen Roberson (2010; 2012).


EM Project facsimile

Doane, Alger Nicolaus, and Tiffany J. Grade, Anglo-Saxon Manuscripts in Microfiche Facsimile, Medieval & Renaissance Texts & Studies (Tempe, AZ: Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 2001), vol. 9

Images of Oxford, Bodleian Library, Laud. Misc. 567 are available on LUNA at the Bodleian Library, fols. 50r and 50v, but no Old English (accessed 24 July 2018)




Provenance: The inscription 'In the name of Gregory Pryse' suggests it belonged to Gregory Prise, son of John Prise, Welsh bibliophile and decommissioner of monasteries (Ker 1955, p. 424).

Acquisition: Belonged to Archbishop Laud in 1633 and was given by him to the Bodleian Library in 1635.




Beccaria, Augusto, I Codici di Medicina del Periodo Presalernitano (Secoli IX, X e XI) (Rome: Edizioni di Storia e Letteratura, 1956)

Bos, Gerrit, 'Ibn Al-Gazzar's Risala Fin-Nisyan and Constantine's Liber de oblivione', in Constantine the African and Ali ibn al-Abbas al-Magusi: The 'Pantegni' and Related Texts, ed. by Charles Burnett and Danielle Jacquart, Studies in Ancient Medicine, 10 (Leiden, New York, Köln: E. J. Brill, 1994), pp. 203-32

Coxe, H. O., Laudian Manuscripts, Bodleian Library Quarto Catalogues (Oxford: Bodleian Library, 1973; repr. from the edition of 1858- 1885, with corrections and additions and an historical introduction by R. W. Hunt), vol. 2

Doane, Alger Nicolaus, and Tiffany J. Grade, Anglo-Saxon Manuscripts in Microfiche Facsimile, Medieval & Renaissance Texts & Studies (Tempe, AZ: Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 2001), vol. 9

Garbers, Karl, ed., Ishaq ibn 'Imran, Maqala fi 'l-Malihuliya (Abhandlung über die Melancholie) und Constantini Africani Libri Duo de Melancholia(Hamburg: Helmut Buske Verlag, 1977)

Green, M. H., 'The De genecia attributed to Constantine the African', Speculum, 62 (1987), 299-323

Ker, N. R., Catalogue of Manuscripts Containing Anglo-Saxon (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1957; repr. 1990), item 345

---, 'Sir John Prise', The Library, 5th series, 10 (1955), 1-24

Laing, Margaret, Catalogue of Sources for a Linguistic Atlas of Early Medieval English (Woodbridge: Brewer, 1993), p. 138

LUNA (http://bodley30.bodley.ox.ac.uk:8180/luna/servlet; accessed 23 July 2018)

Petrus, Henricus, ed., Constantini Africani ... Opera ... . (Basel: Henricus Petrus, 1536)

Pheifer, J. D., Old English Glosses in the Épinal-Erfurt Glossary (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1974)

Pollard, Graham, 'The Construction of English Twelfth-Century Bindings', The Library, 5th series, 17 (1962), 1-22

Sezgin, Fuat, Geschichte des arabischen Schrifttume. (Leiden: G. J. Brill, 1970), vol. Bd. III: Medizin-Pharmazie-Zoologie-Tierheilkunde bis ca. 430

Spach, Israel, ed., Gynaeciorum sive de mulierum tum communibus, tum gravidarum, parientium, et puerperarum affectibus et morbis (Strassburg: Lazar Zetzner, 1597)

Stracke, J. Richard, ed., The Laud Herbal Gossary (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1974)

Thorndike, Lynn, and Pearl Kibre, A Catalogue of Incipits of Mediaeval Scientific Writings in Latin (Cambridge, MA: The Medieval Academy of America, 1963)

Turini, Andrea, ed., Omni Opera Ysaac ... cum quibusdam aliis opusculis ... Viaticum Ysaac quod Constantinus sibi attribuit (Lyons: Bartholomeus Trot in officina Johannis de platea, 1515)

Wack, Mary Francis, Lovesickness in the Middle Ages: The Viaticum and its Commentaries, Middle Ages Series (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1990)

Wolf, Caspar, ed., Gynaecorium, hoc est, de mulierum tum aliis, tum grauidarum, parientium & puerperarum affectibus & morbis libri ueterum ac recentiorum aliquot, partim nunc primum editi, partim multo quam antea castigores (Basel: Thomas Guarinus, 1566), vol. 1