Codex Londiniensis, British Library,


In the British Library, London, among the Royal MSS. Parchment. Contains the Apologeticum followed by a couple of pages containing a work by Methodius.  32 leaves in all.  

Harnack dated this MS to the 10th century, J.P. Gilson a century later on grounds of the letters.

The first three folios are missing; folio 4 begins with ch.2,14, the words vos adversus formam. Also missing are ch.7,12 acmulationis - ch.9,20 perspiceretis. Ends on folio 32r, with the words Apologenem Quinti Tertulliani explicit. fi.

Folios 32r - 35v contain a sermon of Methodius.

Listed in the Supplement to Ker1, on  p.61, as a book from the Cathedral Church of the B.V.M, Salisbury, s.xi/xii, for reasons of script type.

Petitmengin (2004, p.71) identifies it as a member of an Anglo-Norman group together with the St. Evroult Ms. and lost Mss from Bec and Durham.

[Inspected 1st May 1999.]

BL Catalogue Entry

1. Tertullian, Apologeticus, imperfect wanting two leaves at the beginning (ch. 1, Si non licet ... - 2, lateat in occulto quae); one after folio 4 (ch.7, aut arbitio suscipionis - 9, non esses perspiceretis); one after folio 12 (ch.21, de humilitate sequebatur - si vera sit ista); one after folio 20 (ch. 36, ad velamentum sui - 38, dignitatis ardore sui gentibus).  Printed in PL Im 258.  Chapter divisions differ from printed text.  At end "Apologenem [sic] Quinti Tertulliani Explicit. fi."

2. 'In Christi nomine incipit liber beati methodi episcopi aeclesie Pateren[s]is et martiris Christi quem de hebreo et greco in latinum transferre curavit, id est de principio seculi et interregna gentium et finem seculorum.  Quem illustrissimus virorum beatus Hieronymus in suis opusculis colludauit'; the revelations attributed to Methodius, Bishop of Patara.  Very different to printed text in La Bigne, Maxima Bibliotheca iii, p 727, f. 29b.

Vellum, 32 folios, 10.5 inches x 7 inches, XIth century.  The two parts are in different hands.  Gathering originally of 8,8,10,8 and 4 leaves.   Headings and initials in red.  Not in catalogue of 1666.  CMA 8691.

Microfilms Available?  None but black/white negatives of folios28v-32v are held by the museum.

Binding : Decorative modern binding.   Unfortunately  has been bound together with Royal MS 5F XVII, which makes a fat volume that won't lie flat.  All the leaves have been attached to stubs of modern parchment which are then attached to the binding.  Some holes likewise repaired.

Spine Modern.

End-leaves Modern.

Material details On very thin parchment, ruled in hard-point, with pricking at the outside edge.  The leaves are all damaged a bit, and most are discoloured.  The red lettering has nearly all faded to black.   Chapter titles and initials in red.  The chapter titles are also written in black in the margin at right-angles to the text in small letters.  Chapter numbers have been added later in the margins.  Pages are 18cm wide x 26cm high.  The written area is 11cm wide x 20.5cm high.  The script is a beautiful Carolingian minuscule with few abbreviations.  Some pages are much more faded than others (e.g. the opening f6v-7r) suggesting it may have been left open on a lectern/display case for some period.

The MS has been given pencil folio numbers starting at number 1.


I examined all the leaves for traces of writing, but all were blank.

Folio Notes
f.3 Large hole in parchment, which has been written around!
f.29r Apologeticum ends at the foot of this page with the words:

...duobis; adeo absolvimus. | Apologenem. Qvinti TERTULLIANI EXPLICIT. ~

f.29v Top of page commences with incipit from BL catalogue.
f.32v Methodius ends with A.M.EN. followed by a large British Museum red stamp.


1.  Ker, N.R., Medieval Libraries of Great Britain: A list of surviving books, second edition, London (1964):  Supplement to the second edition, ed. Andrew G. Watson, London (1987) ISBN 0-86193-114-9.

2. Pierre PETITMENGIN, Tertullien entre la fin du XIIe et le début du XVIe siècle, in M. CORTESI (ed), Padri Greci e Latini a confronto: Atti del Convegno di studi della Società Internazionale per lo Studio del Medioevo Latino.  Firenze: SISMEL (2004).  pp. 63-88.  Checked.

This page has been online since 11th December 1999.

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