`Oculus Sacerdotis`, 1320-?1328, by William of Pagula, written in England in the 14th century. Edit




  • 1320-?1328. (Creation)


  • 0.00 linear metres (Whole)
    v (folio iii paper) + 135 folios.



  • Physical Description

    0.00 linear metresv (folio iii paper) + 135 folios.182.00 x 257.00 millimetres

  • Dimensions

    182.00 x 257.00 millimetres

  • Scope and Contents

    The text (folio 12) contains the three sections of the treatise, ‘Pars Oculi`, `Dextera Pars` and `Sinistra Pars`, but cap. 26 to the end of the `Sinistra Pars` is missing.

    The text is preceded by:

    (i) Four short works on diet and blood-letting in English, beginning ‘Here seyth galian ye leche and thecheth of metes and drinkes’. At the end is a rubric ‘Secundum Robertum[?] Grant de Everton’ (folio 1 verso).

    (ii) Remarks on the qualities of the Virgin revealed at the Annunciation, and forms of absolution (folio 2).

    (iii) Chapter headings of the `Oculus Sacerdotis` (folio 2 verso).

    (iv) The `Great Sentence` or Curse (folio 3 verso).

    (v) Tables for calculating the date of Easter, etc. The period covered is 1128 to 1631 (folio 4 verso).

    (vi) Calendar containing many English saints and the dedication of Mont Saint Michel (16 October). The obits of Joanna Graunt, 1374 and John Graunt, father of Robert, 1386, have been added at 24 January and 20 October respectively. Notes on medicine and on the significance of thunder have also been added in each month (folio 6).

    The `Oculus Sacerdotis` is followed (folio 132) by Robert Grosseteste`s `De modo confitendi’. See ‘The Writings of Robert Grosseteste’, page 126. The beginning is missing. The colophon reads `Expliciunt diversitates penitencie secundum magistrum Robertum Grossete Amen`.

    Large initials in red, blue and gold with decorative penwork; smaller initials in red and blue. There are some scribbles on folios 1 recto and 134 verso-135, and an English recipe for ringworm on folio 135 verso. The name Thomas Sowtham appears in the upper margin of folio 120 in a 15th or 16th-century hand.

    Descriptions of the contents by Sir James Balfour are on folios iii and 1, and his signature and cipher occur on folios 1 and 134 respectively.

  • Arrangement

    Collation: 1¹⁰ (+1 after 4), 2-11¹², 12⁴(wants a leaf before 1). Catchwords parallel to the text. Signatures c-m on the first halves of gatherings 4-12. The gathering containing signature 1 is missing. 2 columns of 40 lines.

  • Related Materials

    The same texts as in (i) occur in a 15th-century manuscript in the British Library (Sloane MS.1315, folios 30-32 verso).

  • Bibliography

    For a discussion of the work and a list of manuscripts, see `The Oculus Sacerdotis and some other works of William of Pagula` by L E Boyle, in ‘Transactions of the Royal Historical Society’, 5th Series, v (London, 1955), pages 81-110.

    G R Owst in ‘Preaching in mediaeval England’ (Cambridge, 1926), page 359, prints the conclusion from section (iv).

    Thomson, S Harrison. ‘Writings of Robert Grosseteste’ (Cambridge, 1940).

  • Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

    Vellum. 19th-century binding of red morocco, gilt stamped.

  • Immediate Source of Acquisition

    Presented, 1925, by the Faculty of Advocates to the nation on the foundation of the National Library of Scotland.

  • Custodial History

    The manuscript was bought by the Advocates’ Library in 1698. Former press-mark: A.5.45.