Leaf from the Digest

Folio from the Digestum

Medieval (Gothic)
13th century
Author of text Emperor Justinian I (483?–565)

Place of Manufacture: Germany


Overall (page dimensions): 41.5 x 27.5 cm (16 5/16 x 10 13/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Ink and pencil (modern?) on parchment

Not On View





1 folio cut in half width-wise and now in two pieces. Text is taken from Justinian’s Digest (or Digestum), a compilation of legal rules and statutes from the classical jurists, which formed part of the larger Code of Justinian.

Each piece has 2 columns of 31 text lines in Latin. Bounding lines in blind, doubled at inner and outer margins, tripled between columns, full-length to upper and lower edges, writing lines in blind or light plummet, prickings along outer margin for writing lines only.

Possible catchword on verso, lower right corner, “In conputidi esto” [?].

Written in an early Gothic script in black ink with red rubrics. Three-line initials throughout alternating blue stroked red or vice versa, in-text initials alternate red and blue, paragraph marks alternate red and blue.

At an early date, the leaf was cut in half width-wise, each half folded for use as a wrapper, with some thread still sewn through new “spine.” Some early marginalia.


Inscribed in pencil on verso: "120".


By 1917, Denman W. Ross (1853-1935), Cambridge, MA; 1917, gift of Denman W. Ross. (Accession date: February 15, 1917)

Credit Line

Denman Waldo Ross Collection