Leaf from the Digest

Leaf from the Digestum

Medieval (Gothic)
14th century
Author of text Emperor Justinian I (483?–565)

Place of Manufacture: Italy


Overall (page dimensions): 30.9 x 22.4 cm (12 3/16 x 8 13/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Ink on parchment

Not On View





1 leaf with text 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.

Leaf contains the main text from the Digest circumscribed by gloss, or comments on or translations of the main text. 2 columns of 50 primary text lines in Latin, with at least 85 gloss text lines in the inner, outer, and upper margins. Bounding lines in brown plummet, full length to all margins, writing lines brown plummet, crossing intercolumnar space.

Written in a hurried Gothic bookhand, with the gloss in a highly abbreviated and hurried scholastic hand in dark brown ink, gloss slightly lighter. Headings in epigraphic capitals, alternating red and blue, “L[iber]” on verso, “XVII” on recto. Paragraph marks alternating red and blue, one-line initials in blue with minimal red harping or vice versa.

Used as a flyleaf in a later binding.


MFA label in upper right corner of verso.


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

[1] On loan to the MFA by Ross from September 30, 1913.

Credit Line

Denman Waldo Ross Collection