Cassiodorus Senator (c.490-583) was a Roman statesman and writer, who, after retiring, became a monk at the monastery of Vivarium, which he founded on his own land, in emulation of the monastery of Monte Cassino, founded some years earlier by St. Benedict. At the end of his public career his letters were collected and published, and they circulated in the Middle Ages in manuscripts such as this, despite the fact that modern critics have tended to see little value in them, stating, for example, that 'pompous digressions . . . form the basis of these compositions'. This manuscript was at the Convent of Austin Friars, York, by the 14th century. The quire number 7 (vii in Roman numerals) in the lower margin is typical of 12th and early 13th-century manuscripts. It may be compared with quire numbers elsewhere in the volume, which are an exceptionally early example of the use of Arabic numerals.