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Treatises on literary composition (ars dictandi), Written in the first half of the 15th century in England, by Dalton

MS. Selden Supra 65
Held at the Weston Library

  • Request

Treatises on literary composition (ars dictandi):

  1. Fol. 1. 'Tractatus de arte dictandi qui dicitur Tria sunt', in 16 chapters, with additional note and list of contents: beg. 'Tria sunt circa que': a treatise on literary composition, with marginal notes: MS. Douce 147, art. 6.
  2. Fol. 73. Copies of eighteen letters to the pope or to the papal court from English bishops, etc., about A.D. 1400. At least two are from the University of Oxford (foll. 74, 75v, in favour of dr. T. M.) and one from the bishop of Hereford (fol. 73): they appear to be chiefly specimens of recommendations of particular persons. The last ends 'quod Daltone'.
  3. Fols. 85, 140. 'Liber magistri Galfridi [de Vino Salvo] de nova poetria etc. quod Daltone': beg. 'Papa stupor mundi', a poem de arte poetica. Foll. 140-5 contain two omitted passages.
  4. Fol. 111. 'Tractatus [Thomae Merke] episcopi Karliolensis de arte et scientia dictandi': beg. 'Dilectissime frater in Christo quodam timoris & amoris intersticio positus'.
  5. Fol. 125v. 'Compendium artis dictatorie composito [sic] a quodam monacho de S. anno Domini millesimo lxiiij°': in six chapters: beg. 'Ad omnipotentis Dei laudem, gloriosius'.
  6. Fol. 134. 'Tractatus magistri Riginaldi Alcok de arte dictandi': beg. 'Discantus est color rethoricus': after this colophon the lower half of fol. 134 is cut off, and writing on the verso of the leaf erased.
  7. A note of 1456 on fol. 146 mentions 'Willelmus Forsythe scriptor', and on the same leaf is a rather earlier Greek alphabet, with Latin equivalents, etc.


  • Creation: Written in the first half of the 15th century in England, by Dalton


149 Leaves

Language of Materials

  • Latin


MS. Selden Supra 65


Old Selden mark = 65

Other Finding Aids

Falconer Madan, et al., A summary catalogue of western manuscripts in the Bodleian Library at Oxford which have not hitherto been catalogued in the Quarto series (7 vols. in 8 [vol. II in 2 parts], Oxford, 1895-1953; reprinted, with corrections in vols. I and VII, Munich, 1980), vol. II, no. 3453

Custodial History

'John Crowley' and 'Foster' (15th cent.) are on fol. 145.

Manuscript 3468 acquired by the Bodleian Library

Physical Facet

On parchment


7 7/8 × 5 1/2 in.

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom