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Roe Manuscripts


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Manuscripts collected by Sir Thomas Roe. Of the collection, 27 are Greek, one Hebrew, one Arabic, and one Latin.


  • 10th-17th cent.


30 shelfmarks

Language of Materials

Ancient Greek, Hebrew, Arabic, and Latin

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, e.g. MSS. Roe 1].
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Full range of shelfmarks:

MSS. Roe 1-17, 18a-b, 19-29

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 13432

Biographical / Historical

Sir Thomas Roe was born in 1580 or 1581, and matriculated at Magdalen College, Oxford, in 1593, but took no degree. On March 23, 1605 he was knighted, and in 1614 began his official journeys to the East which made him famous. From that year to January 1618 he was Ambassador to Jehângîr, the Mogul emperor of Hindustan, and from September 1621 till the summer of 1628 to the Turkish Court. In October 1640 Roe was elected a burgess of the University in Parliament, and died on November 6 1644. Details are given in the Dictionary of National Biography.

Other Finding Aids

Full descriptions, in Latin, are in Henry O. Coxe, Catalogi codicum manuscriptorum Bibliothecae Bodleianae pars prima recensionem codicum Graecorum continens (Oxford, 1853; reprinted with corrections, 1969).

Brief one-line descriptions, with shelfmarks and short titles, are in 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, nos. 247-275.

The illuminated manuscripts in this collection are described in detail in I. Hutter, Corpus der Byzantinischen Miniaturenhandschriften. Oxford Bodleian Library, 4 vols. (Stuttgart, 1977-1982).

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The manuscripts were presented to the Library by Roe in 1628, according to an inscription placed in each manuscript, which records that it was brought from the East and presented to the Public Library [the Bodleian] 'in gratitudinis suae erga Matrem Academiam perpetuum testimonium', but the manuscripts actually arrived with the Barocci Collection about the end of May 1629, see Macray's Annals of the Bodleian, 2nd ed. (1890), pp. 70, 72.
Roe Manuscripts
Emily Tarrant
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom