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Codex beg. with Jacobus de Cessolis' 'Liber de scacchis', written in the 15th century in Italy (partly in 1458 at Ferrara)

MS. Bodl. 881
Held at the Weston Library

  • Request


  1. (fol. 1) Jacobus de Cessolis' 'Liber de scacchis': 'Incipit prologus fratris Jacobi de Cessolis ordinis fratrum predicatorum super libro quem composuit super ludo Scachorum', sive de moribus hominum et officiis nobilium: followed by the work, which is a moralized treatise on chess.
  2. (fol. 39v) 'Socrates de morte contempnenda Latinus ex Greco factus ab Cincio Romano', a Latin translation of the Axiochus, a dialogue attributed to Plato, preceded by a letter and preface by the translator.
  3. (fol. 44v) A Latin translation by the same of the De virtute et vitio (Περί άρετήѕ καί κακίαѕ) of Plutarch, with a preface. At end: 'Finit feliciter Ferarie scriptus anno Domini millesimo ccccmo lviii° mense Marcii.'
  4. (fol. 46v) 'Practica quatuor virtutum cardinalium secundum narraciones extra res', in four parts, de justitia, prudentia, temperantia, fortitudine, beg. 'Quoniam misericordia & veritas ... Prov. xx. Immo quatuor uirtutes cardinales.' This is the Breviloquium de quatuor virtutibus cardinalibus of Johannes Guallensis (John Wallensis or Waleys), also termed the Breviloquium de virtutibus antiquorum philosophorum et principum. See in no. 5, below.
  5. (fol. 69; the handwriting changes, and paper is mixed with the parchment from here to the end) 'Incipit liber de erudicione principum feliciter': in seven books, of which only part is here, as far as the end of the 32nd chapter of the fifth book (de bono patientiae): prologue beg. 'Cum pars illustris ecclesie': text beg. 'Cum inordinatus amor potestatis' This was written by a Dominican, and appears to be quite different from the Eruditio regum et principum (by Gilbertus Tornacensis?) which follows the Breviloquium in MS. Jesus Coll. (Oxf.) 18. A later hand adds, at fol. 133v, a chapter 'de ordinacione modernorum' (the last word an error for virtutum), which forms a fifth part of the Practica (no. 4 above) as is indicated by a colophon 'Explicit Breuiloquium de virtutibus antiquorum principum & philosophorum.'
  6. (fol. 135) 'Incipit prologus in libro de Consolacione humane vite vel de Consolacione theologie', followed by the work in fifteen tractatus, written by Johannes de Tambaco: prol. beg. 'Quoniam secundum apostolum quecunque scripta sunt': the first tractatus beg. 'Primo igitur ut de hijs que opponuntur.' This appears to be a shortened form of the full original work of J. de Tambaco: the numerous speeches of 'puellae' found in the fuller form, as in the MS. Laud Misc. 298 (O. C. 1027), are wanting: yet the present form is to a large extent the same as the work printed as by J. de Tambaco, for instance in 1492 at Bâle ('Consolatorium theologicum'), though the 15th book in the present volume seems to correspond with the 13th as printed. On fol. 179 follows a note of St. Jerome's account of fifteen signs which will precede the Judgement.
  7. (fol. 180) '... Tractatus de septem Sacramentis': beg. 'Notandum quod in Sacramentis', with a table of subjects.
  8. (fol. 207) '... Epistola quam scripsit Bernardus cuidam militi [Raymundo] domino Castri sancti Ambrosij' de modo et cura rei familiaris utilius gubernandae.


  • Creation: written in the 15th century in Italy (partly in 1458 at Ferrara)


212 Leaves

Language of Materials

  • Latin


MS. Bodl. 881

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. V, no. 27707.

Physical Facet

On parchment and paper


11 3/4 × 8 7/8 in.

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom