The Ames Foundation


Houghton Library’s manuscript of the Digestum Vetus (Houghton b MS typ 121) has been known for some time because of its illuminations. See the Bibliography on it compiled by the Library. It is most fully described on the website known as Digital Scriptorium: “ff. 293 - 15th-century blind-tooled brown calf, with brass bosses and cover-label under horn; rebacked, in case - Bought by Philip Hofer from E. Rosenthal, 1944; donated in 1980 in memory of John Milton Perkins - Illuminated & Calligraphic Manuscripts, no. 133, plate 18; Bond and Faye, Supplement, 260.” While fourteen of the illuminated pages in it have been available online for some time, the text has not been. The Ames Foundation has had the entire text digitized and has made it available through the Harvard University Library’s page delivery service.

The manuscript contains almost the full text of the Digestum Vetus with the Accursian gloss, written in litera Bononiensis. Like the Law School’s manuscript of the Codex, the art-work, the miniatures, the grotesques, the scrolls, the initials, seem to be more in a French rather than in an Italian style. See the description in the HOLLIS catalogue.

Our interest is in the text and the gloss as an example of the Bolognese ‘Vulgate’ edition of the Digestum Vetus produced at a time relatively close to the completion of the Accursian gloss. To this end, we have compiled the ‘metadata’, given below, which link to the pages in the manuscript where each title of the Digestum Vetus begins. Except for fol. 3r and 293r, the manuscript is not foliated, and we have supplied foliation in square brackets. The citations in the metadata use modern form, and the text of the titles is derived from Mommsen’s edition of the Digest. Comparing this text to the text in the manuscript is planned, as is taking the metadata down to the level of the leges, but these are large undertakings. In the meantime, we hope that we have made the digitized copy more ‘user-friendly’.

We found four places where text is missing. The text skips from the middle of D.10.4.11 to the middle of D.11.1.6, from the middle of D.17.2.81 to the middle of D.18.1.8, from the middle of D.22.5.21 to the middle of D.23.1.5, and from the first line of D.23.4.25 to the middle of D.24.1.3. In all cases the skip occurs at a folio break, and the amount that is missing approximates the amount that would occupy a folio with the text and its gloss. In all cases, too, the missing folio begins a new book, where a miniature would have been, and in a couple of cases the stub of the missing folio seems to be visible on the images. While proof positive will not be possible until we make a quire map (which we have not yet done), there seems little doubt that someone vandalized the manuscript in order to take out four miniatures.

In the process of compiling these metadata we discovered an item that does not seem to have been noticed before. After the explicit of the Digestum Vetus and before the final blank end paper, there is a single folio that contains an extensive commentary on, it would seem, D.46.3.100. It is written in a more informal script than the rest of the text, but seems to be roughly contemporary. It runs from [fol. 294ra] to [fol. 294va], three columns, tightly packed and not easily read. ([Fol. 294vb] contains a number of legal notes in a series of even more informal hands with sketches of faces in profile.) Our identification of the three-column item as a Repetitio on D.46.3.100 by an unknown author is highly speculative. The transcription of the heading seems right, but the identification of the citation to D.46.3.100 sits uneasily with what follows because the word creditorem does not appear in either the text or the gloss (though creditor and creditoris do). The incipit, which is also quite clear, itself sits uneasily with D.46.3.100, which does not deal with mutui datio. The explicit is faded, and the transcription of it is almost certainly wrong. The best that we can say is that it is legal citation, probably to the Digest. We offer this description in the hope that it will stimulate someone to do a better job:

Houghton b MS typ 121, fol. [294ra – 294va]. ?Repetitio on D.46.3.100. Heading: Infra de solu[tionibus] l. paulus R’ creditorem. Incipit: Primum quod mutuo datum est. Explicit: ?de novientis l. si certis.

Dennis Mahoney of the Harvard Law School J.D. class of 2016 helped in preparing this metadata. The transition from the printed text of the Corpus of 1604 to the script of the litera Bononiensis was a bit of a jolt, but he soldiered on and ended up by doing a splendid job.


‘Hyperlabel’ Fol. Seq.
Front cover [no fol.] 1
Front pastedown; ex libris [no fol.] 2
Freestanding endpaper with penciled notes at top recording purchase by [Hofer] from Rosenthal in May 1944 [no fol.] 3
Blank freestanding endpaper [no fol.] 4
Blank freestanding endpaper [no fol.] 5
Blank freestanding endpaper [no fol.] 6
Digestorum proemium [const. Omnem rei publicae, 16.xii.533] [fol. 1r] 7
D.1.1 – De iustitia et iure fol. 3r 11
D.1.2 – De origine iuris et omnium magistratuum et successione prudentium [fol. 3v] 12
D.1.3 – De legibus senatusque consultis et longa consuetudine [fol. 7r] 19
D.1.4 – De constitutionibus principum [fol. 8r] 21
D.1.5 – De statu hominum [fol. 8v] 22
D.1.6 – De his qui sui vel alieni iuris sunt [fol. 9r] 23
D.1.7 – De adoptionibus et emancipationibus et aliis modis quibus solvitur potatis  [fol. 10r] 25
D.1.8 – De rerum divisione [fol. 12r] 29
D.1.9 – De senatoribus [fol. 12v] 30
D.1.10; D.1.11; D.1.12 – De officio consulis; De officio praefecti praetorio; De officio praefecti urbi [fol. 13v] 32
D.1.13 – De officio quaestoris [fol. 14r] 33
D.1.14; D.1.15 – De officio praetorum; De officio praefecti vigilum [fol. 14v] 34
D.1.16 – De officio proconsulis et legati [fol. 15r] 35
D.1.17; D.1.18 – De officio praefecti augustalis; De officio praesidis [fol. 16r] 37
D.1.19; D.1.20; D.1.21 – De officio procuratoris caesaris vel rationalis; De officio iuridici; De officio eius, cui mandata est iurisdictio [fol. 17v] 40
D.1.22; D.2.1 – De officio adsessorum; De iurisdictione [fol. 18r] 41
D.2.2 – Quod quisque iuris in alterum statuerit, ut ipse eodem iure utatur [fol. 19r] 43
D.2.3; D.2.4 – Si quis ius dicenti non obtemperaverit; De in ius vocando [fol. 19v] 44
D.2.5; D.2.6; D.2.7 – Si quis in ius vocatus non ierit sive quis eum vocaverit, quem ex edicto non debuerit; In ius vocati ut eant aut satis vel cautum dent; Ne quis eum qui in ius vocabitur vi eximat [fol. 21r] 47
D.2.8 – Qui satisdare cogantur  [fol. 21v] 48
D.2.9; D.2.10 – Si ex noxali causa agatur, quemadmodum caveatur; De eo per quem factum erit quominus quis in iudicio sistat [fol. 23r] 51
D.2.11 – Si quis cautionibus in iudicio sistendi causa factis non obtemperaverit [fol. 23v] 52
D.2.12 – De feriis et dilationibus et diversis temporibus [fol. 25r] 55
D.2.13 – De edendo [fol. 25v] 56
D.2.14 – De pactis [fol. 27r] 59
D.2.15 – De transactionibus [fol. 32v] 70
D.3.1 – De postulando [fol. 34v] 74
D.3.2 – De his qui notantur infamia [fol. 35v] 76
D.3.3 – De procuratoribus et defensoribus [fol. 37v] 80
D.3.4 – Quod cuiuscumque universitatis nomine vel contra eam agatur [fol. 42r] 89
D.3.5 – De negotiis gestis [fol. 42v] 90
D.3.6 – De calumniatoribus [fol. 48r] 101
D.4.1 – De in integrum restitutionibus [fol. 48v] 102
D.4.2 – Quod metus causa gestum erit [fol. 49r] 103
D.4.3 – De dolo malo [fol. 52r] 109
D.4.4 – De minoribus viginti quinque annis [fol. 55r] 115
D.4.5 – De capite minutis [fol. 61v] 128
D.4.6 – Ex quibus causis maiores viginti quinque annis in integrum restituuntur [fol. 62r] 129
D.4.7 – De alienatione iudicii mutandi causa facta [fol. 65v] 136
D.4.8 – De receptis: qui arbitrium receperint ut sententiam dicant [fol. 66v] 138
D.4.9 – Nautae caupones stabularii ut recepta restituant [fol. 71r] 147
D.5.1 – De iudiciis: ubi quisque agere vel conveniri debeat [fol. 72v] 150
D.5.2 – De inofficioso testamento [fol. 77r] 159
D.5.3 – De hereditatis petitione [fol. 81r] 167
D.5.4 – Si pars hereditatis petatur [fol. 88r] 181
D.5.5; D.5.6; D.6.1 – De possessoria hereditatis petitione; De fideicommissaria hereditatis petitione; De rei vindicatione [fol. 89v] 184
D.6.2 – De publiciana in rem actione [fol. 94v] 194
D.6.3 – Si ager vectigalis, id est emphyteuticarius, petatur [fol. 96r] 197
D.7.1 – De usu fructu et quemadmodum quis utatur fruatur [fol. 96v] 198
D.7.2 – De usu fructu adcrescendo [fol. 103r] 211
D.7.3 – Quando dies usus fructus legati cedat [fol. 103v] 212
D.7.4 – Quibus modis usus fructus vel usus amittitur [fol. 104r] 213
D.7.5 – De usu fructu earum rerum, quae usu consumuntur vel minuuntur [fol. 105v] 216
D.7.6 – Si usus fructus petetur vel ad alium pertinere negetur [fol. 106v] 218
D.7.7; D.7.8 – De operis servorum; De usu et habitatione [fol. 107r] 219
D.7.9 – Usufructuarius quemadmodum caveat [fol. 109r] 223
D.8.1 – De servitutibus [fol. 110r] 225
D.8.2 – De servitutibus praediorum urbanorum [fol. 110v] 226
D.8.3 – De servitutibus rusticorum praediorum  [fol. 113r] 231
D.8.4 – Communia praediorum tam urbanorum quam rusticorum [fol. 115v] 236
D.8.5 – Si servitus vindicetur vel ad alium pertinere negetur [fol. 117r] 239
D.8.6 – Quemadmodum servitutes amittuntur [fol. 119r] 243
D.9.1 – Si quadrupes pauperiem fecisse dicatur [fol. 120v] 246
D.9.2 – Ad legem aquiliam [fol. 121r] 247
D.9.3 – De his, qui effuderint vel deiecerint [fol. 127v] 260
D.9.4 – De noxalibus actionibus [fol. 129r] 263
D.10.1 – Finium regundorum [fol. 132v] 270
D.10.2 – Familiae erciscundae [fol. 133r] 271
D.10.3 – Communi dividundo [fol. 138v] 282
D.10.4 – Ad exhibendum [fol. 141r] 287
D.11.1 – De interrogationibus [title missing; text skips from middle of D.10.4.11 to middle of D.11.1.6] [fol. 141v] 288
D.11.2: D.11.3 – De quibus rebus ad eundem iudicem eatur; De servo corrupto [fol. 144r] 293
D.11.4 – De fugitivis [fol. 145v] 296
D.11.5 – De aleatoribus [fol. 146r] 297
D.11.6 – Si mensor falsum modum dixerit [fol. 146v] 298
D.11.7 – De religiosis et sumptibus funerum et ut funus ducere liceat [fol. 147r] 299
D.11.8 – De mortuo inferendo et sepulchro aedificando [fol. 149v] 304
D.12.1 – De rebus creditis si certum petetur et de condictione [fol. 150r] 305
D.12.2 – De iureiurando sive voluntario sive necessario sive iudiciali [fol. 153v] 312
D.12.3 – De in litem iurando [fol. 157r] 319
D.12.4 – De condictione causa data causa non secuta [fol. 158r] 321
D.12.5 – De condictione ob turpem vel causam iniustam [fol. 159v] 324
D.12.6 – De condictione indebiti [fol. 160r] 325
D.12.7 – De condictione sine causa [fol. 165r] 335
D.13.1 – De condictione furtiva [fol. 165v] 336
D.13.2; D.13.3 – De condictione ex lege; De condictione triticiaria [fol. 166v] 338
D.13.4 – De eo quod certo loco dari oportet [fol. 167r] 339
D.13.5 – De constituta pecunia  [fol. 168r] 341
D.13.6 – Commodati vel contra [fol. 170r] 345
D.13.7 – De pignoraticia actione [fol. 172v] 350
D.14.1 – De exercitoria actione [fol. 176r] 357
D.14.2 – De lege rodia [rhodia] de iactu [fol. 177v] 360
D.14.3 – De institoria actione [fol. 179r] 363
D.14.4 – De tributoria actione [fol. 180v] 366
D.14.5 – Quod cum eo, qui in aliena potestate est, negotium gestum esse dicetur [fol. 182r] 369
D.14.6 – De senatus consulto macedoniano [fol. 183r] 371
D.15.1 – De peculio [fol. 184v] 374
D.15.2 – Quando de peculio annalis sit actio [fol. 190v] 386
D.15.3 – De in rem verso [fol. 191r] 387
D.15.4 – Quod iussu [fol. 193v] 392
D.16.1 – Ad senatus consultum velleianum [fol. 194r] 393
D.16.2 – De compensationibus [fol. 197v] 400
D.16.3 – Depositi vel contra [fol. 198r] 401
D.17.1 – Mandati vel contra [fol. 202v] 410
D.17.2 – Pro socio [fol. 211r] 427
D.18.1 – De contrahenda emptione [title missing; text skips from middle of D.17.2.81 to middle of D.18.1.8] [fol. 211v] 428
D.18.2 – De in diem addictione [fol. 221v] 448
D.18.3 – De lege commissoria [fol. 223r] 451
D.18.4 – De hereditate vel actione vendita [fol. 223v] 452
D.18.5 – De rescindenda venditione et quando licet ab emptione discedere [fol. 225v] 456
D.18.6 – De periculo et commodo rei venditae [fol. 226r] 457
D.19.1 – De actionibus empti venditi [fol. 228v] 462
D.19.2 – Locati conducti [fol. 235v] 476
D.19.3; D.19.4; D.19.5 – De aestimatoria; De rerum permutatione; De praescriptis verbis et in factum actione [fol. 241v] 488
D.20.1 – De pignoribus et hypothecis et qualiter ea contrahantur  [fol. 244r] 493
D.20.2 – In quibus causis pignus vel hypotheca tacite contrahitur [fol. 247r] 499
D.20.3 – Quae res pignori vel hypothecae datae olbigari non possunt [fol. 247v] 500
D.20.4 – Qui potiores in pignore vel hypotheca habeantur et de his qui in priorum creditorum locum succedunt [fol. 248r] 501
D.20.5 – De distractione pignorum et hypothecarum [fol. 250r] 505
D.20.6 – Quibus modis pignus vel hypotheca solvitur [fol. 250v] 506
D.21.1 – De aedilicio edicto et redhibitione et quanti minoris [fol. 252v] 510
D.21.2 – De evictionibus et duplae stipulatione [fol. 261r] 527
D.21.3; D.22.1 – De exceptione rei venditae; De usuris et fructibus et causis et omnibus accessionibus [fol. 266v] 538
D.22.2 – De nautico faenore [fol. 270v] 546
D.22.3 – De probationibus et praesumptionibus [fol. 271r] 547
D.22.4; D.22.5 – De fide instrumentorum et amissione eorum; De testibus [fol. 272v] 550
D.22.6 – De iuris et facti ignorantia [entirely missing; text skips from middle of D.22.5.21 to last word of D.23.1.5] [fol. 273v] 552
D.23.2 – De sponsalibus; De ritu nuptiarum [title of D.23.1 missing; text skips from middle of D.22.5.21 to last word of D.23.1.5] [fol. 274r] 553
D.23.3 – De iure dotium [fol. 278r] 561
D.23.4 – De pactis dotalibus [fol. 284v] 574
D.23.5; D.24.1– D.23.5; D.24.1 - De fundo dotali [entirely missing]; De donationibus inter virum et uxorem [title missing; text skips from 1st line of D.23.4.25 to the middle of D.24.1.3] [fol. 286r] 577
D.24.2 – De divortiis et repudiis [fol. 292v] 592
Colophon: EXPLICIT TEXtus digesti veteris mmmmm fol. 293r 591
Blank save for penciled ?quire marking (XXVI 4) in lower right [fol. 293v] 592
?Repetitio on D.46.3.100 [fol. 294r] 593
?Repetitio on D.46.3.101; miscellaneous legal notes [fol. 294v] 594
Blank freestanding endpaper [no fol.] 595
Blank freestanding endpaper [no fol.] 596
Back pastedown with Houghton shelfmark [no fol.] 597
Back cover [no fol.] 598



This page last updated 09/06/14. Contact Rosemary Spang with comments.
URL: /digital/HoughtonDigestumVetus/HoughtonDigVetMetadata.html.
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