Medieval (Gothic)
about 1200–50
Author of text Gratian (died no later than 1159)

Place of Manufacture: France


Overall (page dimensions): 14.2 x 20.5 cm (5 9/16 x 8 1/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Ink and tempera on parchment

Not On View





Several leaves pasted together to make a bookcover, laid on paper. Text is from Gratian’s Decretum of ca. 1140, including his Causa II, Q. viii, C. 57/58. Gratian’s Decretum (also known as Concordantia Discordantium Canonum) is a collection of papal letters and conciliar decrees, which became the most important law book of the 12th century.

1 column of text and 1 column of commentary are extant, 29 lines extant, all in Latin.

Written in an early Gothic bookhand (commentary in Gothic cursive) in black ink with red rubrics.

Later used with other leaves as a binding, with a Hebrew leaf pasted-down onto the binding’s spine. When the Hebrew leaf was removed, it left a mirror-image offset.


By 1913, Denman W. Ross (1853-1935), Cambridge, MA [see note 1]; 1917, gift of Denman W. Ross. (Accession date: February 15, 1917)

[1] From September 30, 1913 until it was accessioned, this manuscript was on loan to the MFA from Denman W. Ross.

Credit Line

Denman Waldo Ross Collection