Policraticus

Title

  • Policraticus.
Location 
  • Oxford Bodleian Library 
Subject
  • Political science written by John of Salisbury.  

Provenance
  • Evidence of Malmesbury ownership from locally specific contents, including obits, scribbles, etc.
  • "Explicit Policraticus per Salamonem sub abbate Roberto iio" in the hand of the scribe.
  • Other ownership "Richardus Ramsæus possidet" (s. xvi).

  • Thomas Barlow 1633, English academic and clergyman, who became Provost of The Queen's College, Oxford, and Bishop of Lincoln.

Description
  • Material: Parchment

  • Policraticus was the first book of political science to be produced during the Middle Ages. Written by John of Salisbury around 1159. It is most famous for attempting to define the responsibilities of kings and their relationship to their subjects.

  • The inscriptions on the manuscript suggest that this copy was transcribed by a Malmesbury monk called Salomon during the abbacy of Robert of Melun in the 1190s.

  •   Detail. Historiated initial 'S(olent)', four men in a sailing ship, the wind is shown as a face blowing at the sail. Decorated and historiated initials added in the second quarter of the 13th century.

  • Latin

Age
  • 1187-1205

Comment
  • Robert de Melun was abbot of Malmesbury, 1189/90–1205, the second abbot of Malmesbury named Robert.

  • A Salamon occurs as scriptor at Malmesbury, AD 1193.

Ownership/Copyright
Reference Information
  • Shelfmark: Bodleian Library MS. Barlow 6

  • Folio/page: fol. 155v

Link to full information