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12th-century manuscript of 'De Trinitate' of St Augustine.

Identifier: Adv.MS.18.2.7

Scope and Contents

Manuscript, probably written in Italy, containing a complete copy of 'De Trinitate' of St Augustine, as well as a work entitled 'Expositio fidei Catholicae'.

The manuscript is probably of the 12th century, and has been dated as such by the summary catalogue, Römer, and Borland. In private correspondence with the National Library of Scotland Michael Gullick suggests that this manuscript may be of Italian origin from the 11th century. Heinrich Schenkl suggests that the work can be dated to the end of the 11th century, but also that it may be a forgery of the 15th century due to the condition of the vellum.

The work appears to be written by one hand in a protogothic book hand with 31 lines to a page.

The contents are as follows:

St Augustine of Hippo, 'De Trinitate'. Each Book opens with a table of contents. Folios 1r-210r.

'Expositio fidei Catholicae'. Incipit: 'Quicumque vult salvus esse ante omnia opus est ut teneat catholicam fidem.' Folios 210r-215r.

On folio 215r there are 8 lines of philosophical syllogisms.

On folio 215v there is a passage on hospitality in monasteries.

Folio 215 is a palimpsest. There is a partially erased text of Luke, chapter 18, on the verso side. This was possibly part of a rejected faulty copy of a leaf of a missal or breviary rather than of a Bible or New Testament.

There are marginal annotations visible throughout the manuscript. These are scribal and provide additions or amendments to the text.

Incipits and explicits are given in red. At the beginning of each book are red and gold decorated initials which are ornamented with strapwork or floriated. Each chapter begins with a large red initial, and smaller capitals are stroked throughout in yellow. Guide letters are occasionally visible in the margins for the decorated initials.

Hard point lining and ruling is visible on each folio recto and verso. Pricking is visbile for both the horizontal and vertical lines.

Catchwords are visible on the following folios: 16v (cropped), 88v, 96v (cropped), 212v (cropped).

Contemporary repairs to the vellum can be seen on folios 210 and 211.


  • Creation: 12th century.


Conditions Governing Access

Normal access conditions apply.

Conditions Governing Use

Normal reproduction conditions apply, subject to any copyright restrictions.


1 Volumes ; 30cm x 21cm x 5.5cm

Language of Materials



i + 215 folios, as well as 3 modern paper flyleaves to the front and 3 modern paper flyleaves to the rear.

Collation as recorded by Catherine Borland: 26 gatherings of 8 and one, the last, of 7 (wanting 8).

Custodial History

There is an obliterated 15th century ownership inscription on folio 215r which possibly reads: 'Hunc librum donavit loco Sancti Job ... Anno Domini MCCCLXVI XVIII Junii'.

There are two further illegible inscriptions on folio 215v in two later hands. One possibly reads: '...valet ducatos.v'.

The manuscript was bought by the Library of the Faculty of Advocates from Robert Freebairn, bookseller, on 18 March 1736 for £2.2.0, alongside Adv.MS.18.2.11 and Adv.MS.72.1.3-4.

The previous shelfmark assigned to the volume by the Library of the Faculty of Advocates is present on folio ir: 'a.7.20', since superseded.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

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


Borland, C. R. 'Catalogue of Mediaeval Manuscripts in the Library of the Faculty of Advocates at Edinburgh', 4 Volumes. (Unpublished manuscript, Edinburgh, 1906-1908). Volume I, folios 292-294. NLS Reference: FR.198a/1.

'Folio Catalogue of Manuscripts: Miscellaneous Manuscripts' (Unpublished manuscript, Edinburgh [after 1837]), folio 15. NLS Reference: FR.195.

Schenkl, H. 'Bibliotheca Patrum Latinorum Britannica: Zweites Bandes dritte Abtheilung, die schottischen Bibliotheken (Wien, 1896), pages 2-3.

Römer, F. 'Die Hanschrftliche Überlieferung der Werke des heiligen Augustinus: Band 2/2' (Wien, 1972), page 115.

'Summary Catalogue of the Advocates' Manuscripts' (Edinburgh, 1971), page 108, number 1406; page 135, number 1798.

Physical Description


The binding is of red morocco leather, probably of the early 19th century. The front and back boards have gold-tooled foliage borders with depictions of human and animal figures. There is gold tooling on the three edges of the boards, although this is now worn away on the head end of the boards. The three edges of the leaves are gilt. The spine has raised bands and panels with gold-tooled floral diamonds, as well as a gold-tooled title which reads: 'AUR. AUGUSTINI EPISTOLE M.S.'.

The manuscript was rebacked and boxed by HMSO in December 1967 - March 1968. Much of the early back has been retained.

National Library of Scotland Catalogue of Manuscripts
National Library of Scotland Archives and Manuscripts Division
Description rules
International Standard for Archival Description - General
Language of description
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Repository Details

Part of the National Library of Scotland Archives and Manuscripts Division Repository

Archives and Manuscript Division
National Library of Scotland
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Edinburgh EH1 1EJ
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