A catalogue of Western manuscripts at the Bodleian Libraries and selected Oxford colleges

A 1.11 Art. Seld., pastedowns to the upper and lower board

Corpus juris civilis: Institutiones Justiniani with the Glossa ordinaria of Accursius; English, late 13th or early 14th century


Justinian, Institutes (with the Glossa ordinaria of Franciscus Accursius)

Two complete leaves from the same manuscript, with part of book two of Justinian’s Institutiones, framed by the Glossa ordinaria of Franciscus Accursius (d. 1260). For Accursius and the Glossa ordinaria, see Dondorp and Schrage, pp. 23‒25.

Fragm. I (pasted to the upper board; originally a verso)

]superuenerit et fundum uendicet de fructibus … ¶Is uero ad quem ususfructus fundi pertinet … ¶Uendite uero res et tradite non aliter emptori adquiruntur: quam si is uenditori[.

]agere. nec ad precium ut .J. de officio iudicis … teneri possunt. ut ff. de act. emp. lex iulia. ₵ offerri.[.

This is followed, at the foot of the page, by a five-line addition of a passage from the gloss omitted earlier: 'ad exiben. lex thesaurus. suo. iure directo … rerum do. lex si is qui ₵ quod si creditor. ac.[' (from the gloss to Inst. 2.1.39).

Inst. 2.1.35‒41; Corpus iuris civilis, ed. Krüger and Mommsen, pp. 12‒13; framed by the corresponding Glossa ordinaria of Franciscus Accursius.

Fragm. II (pasted to the lower board; originally a recto)

]serui secundum partem dominii quod nos difficimus [emended to diffiniuimus] accipiente. [red heading] Quibus licet uel non licet alienare. [black] Accidit aliquando … dampno celebrata hoc permittat. conchi quo subsecuto: si et iudex pronun-[

Gloss: ']ntetur sicut alii dicuntur domini rerum pennarum … corrigentes in duobus capitulis et in aliis non. … Expl. securitas. ut nec restitutio detur secus in predio alienato cum decreto et em[

Inst. 2.7.4‒8.2; Corpus iuris civilis, ed. Krüger and Mommsen, pp. 15‒16; framed by the Glossa ordinaria of Franciscus Accursius for 2.8. intro. ‒ 8.2.

The gloss is that printed, with only minor variations, in the 1468 edition of Justinianus, Institutiones [with the Glossa ordinaria of Accursius], for which we have consulted Bod-Inc. J‒230 (Oxford, Bodleian Library, Auct. 4Q 2.1). Only one side of each fragment is visible as the leaves remain pasted to the boards. The left-hand margin of Fragm. II (approximately 4 mm), which formerly formed a hook round the last quire of the De animalibus, is now lost, with the result that in each line of the gloss the first few letters are missing.

Interlinear and occasional marginal glosses in several hands. The interlinear glosses, mostly in Fragm. II, and one marginal note are contemporary with the text hand, whereas an Isaiah quotation (5:12) and Latin verses (‘Pronaque cum spectant …’ (Ovid, Metamorphoses, 1.84‒87), and ‘Collige natura que perveniunt sine cura | Messes cultura lac lanum collige cura’, unidentified) in Fragm. I are in distinctive late-medieval English hands, most likely added after the leaf was used in this binding. The two-line note at the foot of Fragm. II (‘Versus [:] Mutuo dat nummos ...’, with a definition of ‘Alienacio’), also in a distinctive English hand, may be an earlier addition. These hands are similar in character (although not identical) to those of the early 16th-century marginal notes that run throughout the two parts of the incunable Sammelband.

The leaves are incorrectly identified in Bod-Inc. I 91 (A-100) as Dig. 22.28 and Inst. 2.8.

Language(s): Latin

Physical Description

Form: fragment
Support: Parchment.
Extent: 2 complete leaves. 309 × 208 mm (Fragm. I); 309 × 204 mm (Fragm. II); main text block 162 × 96 mm; intercolumnar space 12 mm; text block including gloss 265 × 166 mm.
Foliation: None.


Some staining, but generally in good condition and legible.


Ruled in lead point for 2 columns of text (35 lines) and 2 columns of gloss (76 lines).

2 columns of text and 2 columns of gloss. Text 34/35 lines, gloss 76 (Fragm. I) and 66 (Fragm. II) lines.

Main text in 2 columns (43 mm, intercolumnar space 12 mm), framed by the surrounding gloss in 2 columns (6 or 7 lines of gloss above the text, 16 lines below in Fragm. I, 8 lines below in Fragm. II). Running heads in blue and red: ‘Ł’ on the verso (Fragm. I) and ‘II’ on the recto (Fragm. II). For the tradition of the textus inclusus in legal manuscripts of this period, see L’Engle and Gibbs, Illuminating the Law (2001), pp. 56‒57.


Northern Textualis. A small gothic book-hand of medium quality, probably English and datable to the later 13th or possibly early 14th century. Most likely the work of two different scribes for the text and the gloss (as indicated, for example, by two forms of ‘box-a’). Punctuation with punctus and punctus elevatus; red and blue paraphs. One red chapter heading. A smaller script is employed for the gloss; lemmata underlined. English origin is indicated, for example, by the letter ‘a’ in the gloss, which rises slightly above the headline (ex inf. Patricia Stirnemann).


A single two-line blue initial in Fragm. II, with red flourishing, accompanied by a red heading; alternating red and blue paraphs in the text.

Accompanying Material


Two incunable editions in chancery folio make up this volume:

1. Aristoteles, De animalibus. 88 fols. Venice: Bartholomaeus de Zanis, 9 Aug. 1498. (Bod-Inc. A‒392, ISTC ia00976000, GW 233).

2. Albertus Magnus, De animalibus. 261 fols. Venice: Johannes and Gregorius de Gregoriis, de Forlivio, 21 May 1495. (Bod-Inc. A‒100, ISTC ia00225000, GW 589).

Date: Bound together shortly after 1498.

Place of origin: Printed in Venice.

Binding: English (Cambridge). Contemporary blind-tooled brown calf over wooden boards, assigned by Oldham to the Cambridge Heavy Binder, active 1485–1505 (Oldham, pp. 18, 92‒94, with pl. xi).


1. John Sampson, 'Liber Joannis Sampson' on q6v of item 1; in view of the contemporary Cambridge binding probably the John Sampson who was Vice-Provost of King's College, Cambridge (d. 1517). See Bod-Inc. VI 2913.

2. John Selden (1584‒1654), with whose library the volume came to the Bodleian in in 1659; listed in the catalogue of the Selden library (MS. Selden Supra 111, f. 44r). See Bod-Inc. VI 2915‒16.


Origin: English; late 13th or early 14th century

Record Sources

Description by Ruth Mullett & Nigel Palmer (August 2016)


Orderable through SOLO



    Alan Coates et al. , A Catalogue of Books printed in the Fifteenth Century now in the Bodleian Library, 6 vols (Oxford, 2005), vol. I, p. 91 (A-100). Cited as ‘Bod-Inc.’.

    Host volume

    Coates et al., A Catalogue of Books (2005), vol. I, p. 91 (A-100).

    Manuscripts and Early Printed Books

    Oxford, Bodleian Library, Auct. 4Q 2.1.

    General Literature

    Corpus iuris civilis: Institutiones, ed. Paul Krüger. Digesta, ed. Theodor Mommsen, 7th stereotype edn (Berlin, 1895).
    Harry Dondorp and Eltjo J. H. Schrage, ‘The sources of medieval learned law’, in: The Creation of the Ius Commune: From Casus to Regula, ed. John W. Cairns and Paul J. du Plessis, Edinburgh Studies in Law 7 (Edinburgh, 2010), pp. 7‒56.
    Justinianus, Institutiones [with the Glossa ordinaria of Accursius] (Mainz: Peter Schöffer, 24 May 1468).
    Susan L’Engle and Robert Gibbs, Illuminating the Law: Legal Manuscripts in Cambridge Collections (London/Turnhout, 2001).
    J. Basil Oldham, English Blind-stamped Bindings, Sanders Lectures, Cambridge 1949 (Cambridge, 1952).

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