Hebrew and Judaica Manuscripts at the Bodleian Libraries, Oxford University

MS. Canonici Or. 31

Oriental Manuscripts Canonici Oriental Collection


Sefer baʿale ha-nefesh

ff. 1v-69r
Abraham ben David, of Posquières, approximately 1125-1198אברהם בן דוד, מפוסקיר, Sefer baʿale ha-nefesh ספר בעלי הנפש
Colophon: Colophon of Barukh ben Daṿid of Narbonne for R. Yitsḥaḳ ben R. Shlomoh (fol. 52v) "אני ברוך בר דויד ז"ל ממדינת נרבונה כתבתי זה ספר בעלי הנפש ליקר ... ר’ יצחק בן כבוד ... ר’ שלמה".
Language(s): Hebrew

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: parchment
Extent: ff. 69
Dimensions (leaf): 265 × 208 mm.
Foliation: Foliation in Arabic numerals.


9 quires: i-viii 8, ix 6-1 no signatures, catchwords at the end of quires.


Good condition.


Hair and flesh side are clearly distinguishable.


Sephardi semi-cursive script.


Colophon in ornamented medallion.


Red leather binding, gold-tooled.


Origin: [Provence?]; [13th century]

Provenance and Acquisition

Censors' signatures: "revisus p. me Laurentiu[s] Franguellus[s] 1575" (fol. 69r); Domenico Irosolomi[ta]no 1598; illegible inscription in upper margin, upside down? (fol. 68v)

Matteo Luigi Canonici's (1727-1805) collections passed to his brother Giuseppe, and on his death in 1807 to Giovanni Perissinotti and Girolamo Cardina, who divided them. To the former fell the MSS., then about 3550 in number, and, after many attempts to sell them, the Bodleian became the purchaser of the greater part in 1817, for £5444 5s. 1d., or including incidental expenses about £6030, the largest single purchase ever made by the Library. The formal list of volumes handed over was signed on May 18, 1817, and the books probably arrived later that year.

Record Sources

Manuscript description based on Catalogue of the Hebrew Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library, vol. I, by Adolf Neubauer, Oxford 1886, No. 555, Catalogue of the Hebrew manuscripts in the Bodleian Library; Supplement of Addenda and Corrigenda to Vol. I, No. 555, and on the data of the Institute of Microfilmed Hebrew Manuscripts, National Library of Israel with additional enhancements by the cataloguer.


Entry to read in the Library is permitted only on presentation of a valid reader's card (for admissions procedures contact Bodleian Admissions). Contact specialcollections.enquiries@bodleian.ox.ac.uk for further information on the availability of this manuscript.

Digital Images

Digital Bodleian (full digital facsimile)


MSS R.R. Film No. F 19426


    Neubauer, Adolf, Catalogue of the Hebrew Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library (Oxford, 1886), no. 555.
    Beit-Arié, Malachi and R.A. May (eds), Catalogue of the Hebrew manuscripts in the Bodleian Library; Supplement of Addenda and Corrigenda to Vol. I (A. Neubauer’s Catalogue) (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1994), no. 555.