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MS 154: Digestum Novum by Justinian the Great [incomplete], 11th-12th century

Identifier: MS 154
ff. 268v-269r
ff. 268v-269r


This manuscript was created in the 11th or 12th century, possibly in England or Italy. It contains the Digestum Novum by Justinian I, traditionally called Justinian the Great. Justinian was the Eastern Roman emperor from 527 to 565. This text is a compendium or digest of juristic writings on Roman law compiled by him, and makes up one part of his Corpus Juris Civilis. It is also known as the Pandects, or the Digesta seu Pandectae, and was part of the reduction and codification of all Roman laws. It is made up of fifty books; this manuscript only contains Books 39-50.

The manuscript begins with the final paragraph of Book 38 on f. 1. It starts with the words tissimi principio nostri oratione cavetur and ends with post liminio non sit reversus.

Book 39 also starts on f. 1r, with the words Domini Justiniani sacratissimi principis juris enucleati, ex omni vetere jure collecti digestorum seu pandectarum. Explicit lib. xxxviii. Incipit xxxviiii. De operis novi enunciationes. The text itself starts with the words Hoc edicto promittitur ut sine jure. This book ends on f. 12r. In this book, and throughout, the gloss is both marginal and interlinear.

Book 40 starts on f. 12v and ends on f. 28r.

Book 41 starts on f. 28r and ends on f. 38r.

Book 42 starts on f. 38v and ends on f. 46r.

Book 43 starts on f. 46r and ends on f. 60r.

Book 44 starts on f. 60r and ends on f. 67r.

Book 45 starts on f. 67r and ends on f. 77r.

Book 46 starts on f. 77r and ends on f. 89v.

Book 47 starts on f. 89v and ends on f. 100r.

Book 48 starts on f. 101r and ends on f. 116v.

Book 49 starts on f. 116v and ends on f. 125v.

Book 50 starts on f.125v and ends on f. 140v. The text ends with the words causa abesse non potest. Domine justiniani sacratissimi principis perpetui augusti. Juris enucleati ex omne vetere jure collecti. Digestorum seu pandectarum Liber L. Feliciter.


A fine small minuscule script, with minute contemporary gloss as well as later notes. The rubrics are good, and the ordinary capitals plain red, the first words of books and chapters being in semi-uncial capitals.


Book initials, where they are filled in, are finely outlined with the pen in brown ink and filled with interlaced scroll work or grotesque animal forms. They are without colour.


  • Creation: 11th-12th century


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open to all. The manuscripts can be consulted in the Centre for Research Collections, Edinburgh University Main Library.


1 bound MS volume

Custodial History

May be English or Italian, but has no marks of definite provenance or ownership.

The margins are badly cropped, the pages occasionally stained with moisture, and the right top corner nibbled away slightly. From the pencil foliation in the lower right-hand corner, it would seem to have been fairly recently part of a much larger volume.

Previous reference

D. b. II. 2.

Previous title

Title given to the manuscript in Catherine Borland’s catalogue: Digestum Novum Justiniani (xxxix-l).

Physical Facet

Material: Vellum

Binding: Modern (Zaensdorf), brown morocco with clasp

Collation: a6 (incomplete), b2, c8, d8, e10, f8- m8, n10, o8- s8=140


33.97 cm x 23.50 cm


Secundo folio: [edifica]turum quam

Foliation and number of lines to a page: ff. 140, double columns, 57-60 lines to a page.

Repository Details

Part of the University of Edinburgh Library Heritage Collections Repository

Centre for Research Collections
University of Edinburgh Main Library
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Edinburgh EH8 9LJ Scotland
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