270 leaves : parchment ; 400 x 200 (325 x 130) mm bound to 410 x 260
A very interesting late 13th or early 14th century copy of the Digestum with the famous glossa by Accursius, also known as Glossa Ordinaria. The text was written in Italy, possibly Bologna, and glossed somewhere in Southern France. Occasionally, we can recognize a later English hand (mid 15th century) that wrote several tiny notes in the outer margins. Throughout the manuscript is visible a large number of grotesques and probationes calami with human heads, human bodies, real and fantastic animals, drawn in a surprisingly accurate way in pen, possibly by the scribe himself. The text of the Digestum and the Glossa Ordinaria are both surrounded with later additions and notes (marginal ones and interlinear ones) by various hands.
Ms. codex. Title supplied by cataloger. Collation: Parchment, fol. i (modern paper) + 270 + i (modern paper). No catchwords, no quire numbering and no contemporary foliation are provided. The collation seems to be impraticable because most folios have been cut and possibly resewn. Layout: The text is written in two columns of 60 lines, while the Glossa Ordinaria is written in two columns of 90-92 lines. Ruled in ink and lead. The margins are very wide and mostly full of glosses. Cropped running titles on the upper margins. Visual aids in many different shapes throughout the text. No contemporary foliation and no catchwords are provided. Quires numbered in Roman numerals. Script: The text is written in textualis libraria script, very close to the Littera Bononiensis, while the Glossa of Accursius is written in a textualis libraria possibly from Southern France. Decoration: Red and blue paragraph marks throughout the text, black paragraph mark throughout the Glossa. Blue 3-line initials and red and blue 2-line initials, often penworked. Red rubrics, red and blue paragraph marks. Chapter headings written in capital or uncial blue letters, on 7 lines, penworked in red. Every single page shows an incredible amount of pen drawings which shows animals of all kind, mostly fantastic, as much as human beings in various attitudes, and many heads, legs or arms coming out of the written page. Line fillers in light brown and green ink. Binding: The former binding used to be in dark brown paper, hardback, leather spine and corners. Now the manuscript is bounded with pasteboard. On the leather spine is gold-tooled the title: "Digestum vetus sec. XIV. II." Origin: Written in Italy, possibly Bologna, at the very end of the 13th century or during the first decades of the 14th. Glossed in Southern France or by a scribe who was trained there. Shelfmark: Berkeley, CA, The Robbins Collection, UC Berkeley School of Law, Robbins MS 36.
Formatted Contents Note
Fol. 1r-207v: [the incipit is not legible because it is faded] ... etsi concubinam sibi adhibuerit idem erit comprobandum.
RESTRICTED ORIGINAL: Use of original only by permission. Inquiries concerning this item should be directed, in writing, to the reference librarian for The Robbins Collection.
The manuscript was pledged by a student from Oxford by the name of Thomas Bykken in 1347, as is apparent from reading the ownership notes on fol. 270v. The book was put in the Warwick Chest at Oxford University by Bykken (whose name does not appear in the Register of Oxford scholars and students compiled by Emden) as collateral for a loan, as was a common practice at the time at Oxford. Other pawn-broker notes are barely legible on fol. 270v. The manuscript also had a 17th-18th century owner, who wrote some marginal notes in English (e.g. on fol. 268r). This manuscripts used to have the same binding as Robbins MS 37: the two manuscripts were clearly bound as a set by a former 19th century owner, and this manuscript was supposed to be the second one, which is why the Roman number "II" on the spine is there. Some notes written in pencil by a 20th century hand on the back flyleaf.