St John's College (Oxford) Library, MS. 61


Produced: England (York), 13th century
Location: St John's College (Oxford) Library (University of Oxford), Oxford, England, UK
Type: Bestiary
Family: Second
Language: Latin
Folios: 106
Illustrated: Yes
Binding: 17th century dark brown leather
Media: Vellum
Script: Gothic textura
Dimensions: Height: 29.3 cm Width: 21 cm
Folio 103v


Bodleian Library MS Ashmole 1511; also to the Pseudo-Hugh of St Victor De bestiis et aliis rebus book 3 text in Migne, PL 177:83-136. The illustrations resemble those in Cambridge University Library MS Ii. 4. 26.

Incipit: Omnibvs animantibus adam primus vocabula indidit appellans unicuique nomen ex presenti institutione
Explicit: ab adam usque nunc in filios inobedientie debachatvr

There are about 90 illustrations of the animals, with most chapters up to f. 69v illustrated, mostly on a gold background. Many have English captions in the margins, of ca. late 15th century. There are also five full-page illustrations: f. 1v - Creation, in four cartoons (God creating the birds and beasts; God creating Eve from Adam's side; the fall; the expulsion); f. 2r - Adam naming the animals; f. 3v - three lion illustrations; f. 68r - the salamander (man lying under a tree filled with salamanders poisoning the fruit); f. 103v - fire stones (lapides igniferi). Five additional full-page illustrations may have been on removed leaves (based on the related manuscripts): after f.23 - dogs (two pages); after f. 35 - eagles; after f. 72 - whale; after f. 85 - Isidore writing his book.

About five leaves missing; note on folio 1 says "This volume contains 103 folios now in 1816, about ten having been cut out at some former period by me P.B."

Additional Descriptions

Additional description (Oxford)

Editions and Facsimiles

None known