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14th-century manuscript containing the 'Lectura Clementinarum', 'Liber Sextus', and part of the 'Lectura Decretalium' of Zenzelinus de Cassanis, as well as a 15th-century insertion of the 'Arbor Actionum' of Johannes Bassianus.

Identifier: Adv.MS.10.1.3

Scope and Contents

A manuscript containing a collection of works on canon law by Zenzelinus de Cassanis. According to Dolezalek, the work was written in Italy some time after 1328 and probably illuminated in either France or England. The manuscript is written in Littera Bononiensis in double columns of 70 lines each.

The contents of the manuscript are as follows:

Later insertions of a 15th century example of the 'Arbor Actionum' of Johannes Bassianus, probably written in the hand of Johannes Derdinger. Folios iv-iir.

An index to the works, in the hand of Johannes Derdinger. Folio iiv.

Zenzelinus de Cassanis, Lectura Clementinarum. Folios 1r-64v.

Zenzelinus de Cassanis, Lectura Libri Sexti Decretalium. Folios 65r-135v.

Folio 136 is blank, recto and verso.

Zenzelinus de Cassanis, Lectura Decretalium X.4. Folios 137r-146v.

Notes on the life and works of Zenzelinus de Cassanis. Folio iiir.

Notarial instrument witnessed by Christianus Sibens de Turnhout, clericus Cameracensis (?Cambrai), in 1447. Folio iiiv.

There are two large illuminated initials in the volume on folios 1r and 65r. These initials are blue relieved with white tracery, on grounds of burnished gold with prolonged ends of buds, volutes, or sprays of ivy.

Throughout the rest of the work there are many smaller floriated, anthropomorphic, and zoomorphic illuminated initials with tailwork into the margins. These illuminated initials are either blue or lake relieved by white tracery. The ordinary initials throughout are blue and red, and have extended pen flourishes into the margins. Paraphs are given in blue and red alternately. On folios 65r-146v a rubric occupies the centre of the head of each folio recto and verso: on each verso, the capital 'L', for 'Liber', in red; on each recto, the Roman numeral for the particular book. The numerals for books 'I' and 'V' are in blue. The pen strokes forming the numerals for books 'II' to 'III' are alternately red and blue.

Some marginal annotations are present, mostly scribal, although some also appear to be in the hand of Johannes Derdinger and refer to his index at the beginning of the volume. Also present throughout are maniculae.

Each folio, recto and verso, has been lined and ruled in red. Pricking is very occasionally evident on the edges, but this is infrequent. There are a small number of contemporary repairs to the vellum.

A 15th-century foliation in Arabic numerals, probably in the hand of Johannes Derdinger, runs from folio 1r to 135r. From folio 136r onwards the foliation is continued in pencil by a modern hand.

Horizontal catchwords are visible on the following folios: 12v, 20v, 30v, 50v, 62v, 74v, 84v, 94v, 104v, 114v, 124v, and 134v. A vertical catchword is on folio 40v.

Quire signatures are present in the lower margins of the following folios in the form of scores, letters and Roman numerals: 31r-35r, 51r-56r, 66r-70r, 75r-80r, 85r-90r, 95r-100r, 105r-109r, 115r-120r, 125r-130r, 135r, 137r-142r.


  • Creation: 14th century, after 1328.


Conditions Governing Access

Normal access conditions apply.

Conditions Governing Use

Normal reproduction conditions apply, subject to any copyright restrictions.


1 Volumes ; 40.5cm x 26cm x 4.9cm

Language of Materials



i-ii + 146 + iii-iv folios, as well as one vellum flyleaf to the front and one vellum flyleaf to the back.

Collation as recorded by Catherine Borland: a-e¹⁰, f¹², g², h-o¹⁰, p², q¹⁰

Custodial History

In the 15th century the manuscript was in the possession of a lawyer based in Ingolstadt by the name of Johannes Derdinger. On the verso of folio ii there is the following inscription: 'Iste Genzelin[us] sup[er] Sexto et Clementis est d[omi]ni Jo.[hannis] Derdinger de Franconia utriusque juris doctoris legentis in Ingolstat 1472'.

The manuscript is next known to be in the possession of an auction house, possibly German, which affixed a note to the volume. On the recto of folio iii is an excerpt from a sale catalogue, probably of the 18th century, which reads: '5. Genzelinus super sexto. auct. Jo. Derdinger de Franconia, utriusque juris Doctor Legens, in Ingelstatt. 1472. Mspt. auf Pergament, wohl conditionirt'.

It is not clear how or when the manuscript came to be in the possession of the Library of the Faculty of Advocates. On the same side of the same leaf as the sale label is an inscription which reads 'Advocates Library'.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Deposited, 1925, by the Faculty of Advocates.


Borland, C. R. 'Catalogue of the Mediaeval Manuscripts in the Library of the Faculty of Advocates at Edinburgh', 4 volumes (Unpublished manuscript, 1906-8), Volume II, folios 369-372. NLS Reference: F.R.196a/2.

Dolezalek, G. 'Manuscripta Juridica', online resource provided by Max-Planck-Institut für europäische Rechtsgeschichte:

'Folio Catalogue of Manuscripts: Law' (Unpublished manuscript, Edinburgh [18??]), folio 15. NLS Reference: FR.185.

'Summary Catalogue of the Advocates' Manuscripts' (Edinburgh, 1971), page 68, number 849; page 104, number 1335.

Physical Description


The binding, probably 15th-century, is half calf over oak boards, with traces of medieval writing and evidence of two clasps, since lost. The spine is leather and has raised bands, in part restored in 1911 by W.H. Smith and Sons. A gold-tooled title on the restored spine reads 'GENZELLINUS'.

National Library of Scotland Catalogue of Manuscripts
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Repository Details

Part of the National Library of Scotland Archives and Manuscripts Division Repository

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