Bero Magni de Ludosia

From medieval

by Olle Ferm and Erika Kihlman

Bero Magni (Björn Magnusson, Bero de Ludosia), born ca. 1410, dead 1465. Member of the cathedral chapter at Skara and canon at St. Stephen’s cathedral in Vienna (from 1464); lectured extensively within the faculty of arts at the University of Vienna 1433–64 and during certain periods within the faculty of theology; composed university speeches and sermons.


The data of Bero’s life have been culled from charters and chronicles of Swedish provenance, from the records of the University of Vienna, and from the manuscripts of his own works.


Bero came from Old Lödöse (Ludosia) and had become a cleric at Skara cathedral before he was inscribed in the rolls of the Saxon Nation at the University of Vienna in 1429. He became baccalaureus artium in 1431, was promoted to licentiatus in 1432 and from 1433 onwards he is in the records referred to as magister of the Arts Faculty of the University of Vienna where he functioned as teacher and at times as dean until his death in 1465. In the 1430s he studied theology, became cursor biblicus in 1439, sententiarius in 1442, baccalaureus in theologia formatus and in 1464 licentiatus in theologia. We know from the records of the Arts Faculty that he lectured on several set texts of the general syllabus, but reportationes have only been preserved from his lectures on Aristotle’s De anima and De generatione et corruptione. He also studied canon law until 1442 when he was forbidden to do so as he was pursuing studies in theology.

In Skara he was elected a member of the cathedral chapter and was elevated to the rank of praepositus (head of the chapter) on 16 December 1449, but he seems all the time to have remained in Vienna, where he belonged to the Duke’s college of permanent teachers. Even after his election as bishop of Skara in 1460, confirmed by the Pope in 1462, he did not leave Vienna. His refusal to redeem the papal bull of appointment and to present himself for consecration, resulted in his deposition and a new bishop was appointed on 3 May 1465. Bero seems to have died later that same year.

During his many years as teacher in Vienna, Bero acquired numerous books. After his death 138 volumes were bequeathed to Skara Cathedral – the largest private library known to have been owned by a Swede in the Middle Ages. (ASCHBACH 1865, 43–44, 295, 526, 598; KARLSSON 1905; CARLSSON 1918; CARLSSON 1922; LEHMANN 1962, 320).


The extant works of Bero comprise two series of lectures on Aristotle, two academic speeches and two sermons. None of these has been published or studied.

(1) Disputata super libros [Aristotelis] de anima

Reportationes of lectures held no later than 1437 (the manuscript was bought in that year according to a note by the owner).



Circa primum librum de anima queritur primo utrum anima sit subiectum


[...] malos in iehennam ignis perpetui et bonos in vitam Dei Patris eternam, ad quam nos perducat Dominus Deus per seculorum infinita secula benedictus. Amen.


227 leaves.



Medieval Reception and Transmission

Only one manuscript is known: Vienna, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, M 1128/05, formerly: Heiligenkreuz, Stiftsbibliothek, Cod. 303 (GSELL 1891, 195; LOHR 1967, 380).

(2) Disputata super libros Aristotelis de generatione et corruptione

Reportationes of lectures copied in 1441, 1442 and 1447.



Est liber tertius in ordine librorum naturalium […] et iste habet 24 questiones. Utrum ens mobile ad formam sit subiectum (Aug. 130) / Circa libros de generatione et corruptione Aristotelis queritur primo utrum ens mobile ad formam sit subiectum (Klagenfurt 64) / Circa primum librum de generatione et corruptione queritur primo utrum ens mobile ad primam formam sit subiectum (Melk 884).


[...] cui pro conservatione huius laboris sit honor, laus et gloria per infinita secula seculorum. Amen. (Followed in both Aug. 130 and Klagenfurt 64 by indications of date, author and scribe, in Melk 884 by author and date only.)


ca. 120 leaves.



Composition and style

No study exists, but we may note the similar incipit of Marsilius de Inghen’s (1335/40–1396) Quaestiones super libris de generatione et corruptione (see Gesamtkatalog der Wiegendrucke, 7199–7201).

Medieval reception and transmission

Three manuscripts are known containing reportationes copied in 1441, 1442 and 1447:

  • (1) Karlsruhe, Badische Landesbibliothek, Aug. 130, fol. 2r–73r (lib. I), 73v–120r (lib. II): completed 1 Feb. 1441 (HOLDER 1971, 287–88). A set of lectures from 1476 in Karlsruhe, Aug. 135, with very similar incipit and explicit, may be dependent upon Bero’s (HOLDER 1971, 720).
  • (2) Klagenfurt, Universitätsbibliothek, Cart.-Hs. 64, fol. 1r–126v: completed 11 Dec. 1442 (LOHR 1967, 380; MAIROLD 1980).
  • (3) Melk, Stiftsbibliothek, 884, fol. 200r–330v, completed 20 Feb. 1447.

(3) Two sermons ad clerum and two academic speeches

The first sermon ad clerum was held in St. Stephen’s Cathedral for the Nativity, 25 December 1444. The second, for Good Friday 1454, was held at the Duke’s College of the University of Vienna.

(1) The sermon for the Nativity begins and ends


Verbum caro factum est scribitur originaliter Iohannes primo capitulo et in hodierne festivitatis


[...] Patri et Spiritu sancto consubstancialiter. Vivat et regnat unus Deus per infinita secula benedictus. Amen.

(2) The sermon for Good Friday begins and ends=


Lacescente stomacho cunctisque admodum inanitus


[...] toti humano generi hodie reseravit. Pro qua consumacione sit ei cum Patre et Spiritu sancto – uni Deo – laus, honor, virtus, gloria, potestas et imperium per indefessa et immortalia seculorum secula benedicto. Amen.

Two academic speeches

held on 5 July and 13 September 1454, in connection with the summer disputation exercises at the University of Vienna.

(1) The speech of 5 July begins and ends


A secunissimis Austrie ducum principibus


[...] omnium Dominus indefessa per eterna et immortalia seculorum secula benedictus. Amen.

(2) The speech of 13 September begins and ends


Vt finis principio correspondeat


[…] gloria tibi Domine laudabili etc.


Editions are being prepared by C. Gejrot, The National Archives, Sweden and E. Kihlman, Stockholm University.

Medieval Reception and Transmission

The sermon for the Nativity is preserved in:

  • St. Florian, Stiftsbibliothek, XI 115, fol. 273r–276r.

The sermon for Good Friday and the two academic speeches are found immediately following one another in:

  • Vienna, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Cod. 4533, fol. 187r– 197r (DENIS 1793–95, col. 3211; TC, III, 303).

The sermon for Good Friday is also found in:

  • Vienna, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Cod. 4717, fol. 357r–361r (DENIS 1799, col. 94; TC, III, 364).


  • ASCHBACH, J. 1865: Geschichte der Wiener Universität, 1.
  • CARLSSON, G. 1918: “Vårt största enskilda medeltidsbibliotek och dess ägare,” NTBB 5, 228–38.
  • CARLSSON, G. 1922: “Mäster Beros av Lödöse bibliotek,”NTBB 9, 129–42.
  • CARLSSON, G. 1924: “Bero Magni de Ludosia,” in SBL 4, 13–14.
  • DENIS, [J.N.C.] M. 1793–1795: Codices manuscripti theologici Bibliothecae palatinae Vindobonensis latini, I. Wien.
  • DENIS, [J.N.C.] M. 1799: Codices manuscripti theologici Bibliothecae palatinae Vindobonensis latini, II. Wien.
  • FERM, O. 2008 [fortc.]: “Les Suédois comme enseignants et administrateurs dans des universités étrangères,” in Mélanges Mornet, ed. C. Péneau (Publications de la Sorbonne), Paris.
  • GSELL, B. 1891: “Verzeichniss der Handschriften in der bibliothek des Stiftes Heiligenkreuz,” Xenia Bernardina: Sancti Bernardi primi abbatis Claravallensis octavos natales sæculares ediderunt antistites et conventus Cisternienses provinciæ Austriaco-Hungaricæ, P. 2: Die Handschriftenverzeichnisse der Cisternienser-Stifte, vol 1: Reun, Heiligenkreuz-Neukloster, Zwettl, Lilienfeld, 115–291, Vindobonae.
  • HOLDER, A. 1971: Die Handschriften der Badischen Landesbibliothek in Karlsruhe, 6: Die Reichenauer Handschriften, 2: Die Papierhandschriften, Fragmenta, Nachträge. Neudruck mit bibliographischen Nachträgen, Wiesbaden.
  • KARLSSON, K.H. 1905: “Electus Björn i Skara samt striderna om domprosteriet i Skara 1449–1475,” Kyrkohistorisk årsskrift 6, 27–31.
  • LARSSON, A. 1986: “Böcker och bibliotek i Skara från tidig medeltid till stormaktstidens slut,” in Skara, I: Före 1700. Staden i stiftet, ed. A. Sträng et al., p. 00–00, Skara.
  • LEHMANN, P. 1962: “Skandinaviens Anteil an der lateinischen Literatur und Wissenschaft des Mittelalters,” Erforschung des Mittelalters: ausgewählte Abhandlungen und Aufsätze 5, 275–429, Stuttgart.
  • LOHR, C.H. 1967: “Medieval Latin Aristotle Commentaries: Authors A–F,” Traditio 23, 313–413.
  • MAIROLD, M. 1980: “Die Millstätter bibliothek,” Carinthia I 170, 87–106.
  • Die Matrikel der Universität Wien, vol. 1: 1377–1450 (Publikationen des Instituts für österreichische Geschichtsforschung 6:1), Graz–Köln, 1956.
  • SRS III:2, 119 f.
  • TC = Tabulae codicum manuscriptorum praeter graecos et orientales in bibliotheca Palatina Vindobonensi asservatorum, vol. 3: Cod. 3501–Cod. 5000, ed. Academia Caesarea Vindobonensis. Wien, 1869 (repr. Wien, 1965).
  • UIBLEIN, P. (ed.) 1978: Die Akten der Theologischen Fakultät der Universität Wien (1396–1508) vol. 1–2, Wien
  • UNTERKIRCHER, F. 1971: Die datierten Handschriften der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek von 1401 bis 1450 (Katalog der datierten Handschriften in lateinischer Schrift in Österreich 2), Text- und Tafelband, Wien.