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13th-century manuscript of the 'Institutes' of Justinian with the 'Glossa Ordinaria' of Accursius, and a fragment of the 'Lectura Institutionum' of Guillaume de Ferrières.

Identifier: Adv.MS.28.4.10

Scope and Contents

Manuscript produced in France containing the 'Institutes' of Justinian with the gloss of Accursius. Dolezalek has dated the manuscript to the end of the 13th century. Borland has suggested that the manuscript is a work of the 14th century.

The manuscript is written in littera textualis in double columns of irregular length, with a gloss surrounding the text. The gloss is written in one hand, but there are many marginal notes throughout in various later hands.

The contents are as follows:

Justinian, 'Institutiones'. Accursius, 'Apparatus ad Institutiones', with an index on folio 88v. Folios 1r-88v.

Guillaume de Ferrières, 'Lectura Institutionum (4.6 de actionibus)'. Fragment. Folios 88v-90v.

Folio 91rv contains various legal notes and inscriptions.

At the beginning of each book the first word is written in elongated characters in dark blue with red penwork decoration. The capital letter at the beginning of each rubric is blue with red penwork extending into the margins. Rubrics are in red. Paraphs are red and blue alternately. There is a running title in the upper margin; the 'L' for 'Liber' is in red, the numbers of the books in Roman numerals in red and blue. There are occasional scribal maniculae and penwork drawings of animals in later hands.

On folio 88r in place of a colophon there is the following inscription: 'Rota quod cives romani sunt privilegiati quia quilibet ipsorum excusati a tutela si habet tres liber vivo superstiteo'.

The fragment of the 'Lectura Institutionum' is badly worn are almost illegible. It is written in double colums with very little spacing and no gloss.

Quire signatures are infrequently visible on the verso sides in the form of Roman numerals.


  • Creation: Late 13th century.


Conditions Governing Access

Normal access conditions apply.

Conditions Governing Use

Normal reproduction conditions apply, subject to any copyright restrictions.


1 Volumes ; 29cm x 20cm x 3cm

Language of Materials



91 folios, as well 1 modern paper flyleaf and 3 modern vellum flyleaves to the front, and 1 modern paper flyleaf and 3 modern vellum flyleaves to the rear.

Collation as recorded by Catherine Borland: abc⁸, d¹², e¹⁰, f⁴, gh⁸, i¹⁰, k⁸, l⁷

Custodial History

There is an owernership inscription of a student, 'Johannes Johannes', on folio 88r which reads: 'Ista instituta est Johannes Johannes studentis theologie et eni anno domini 1579...'.

Dolezalek has identified an ownership inscription for an official of Bordeaux in the top margin of folio 91v which reads: 'Officialis Burdegalensis'.

It is unclear exactly when the manuscript came into the Library of the Faculty of Advocates. The volume is recorded in the 1819 Library Catalogue. There is an ownership inscriptions for the Library on folio 1r.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Deposited, 1925, by the Faculty of Advocates.


Borland, C. R. 'Catalogue of Mediaeval Manuscripts in the Library of the Faculty of Advocates at Edinburgh', 4 Volumes. (Unpublished manuscript, Edinburgh, 1906-1908). Volume II, folios 343-344. NLS Reference: FR.198a/2.

Dolezalek, G. 'Verzeichnis der Handschriften zum Römischen Recht bis 1600' (Frankfurt am Main, 1972).

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

'Folio Catalogue of Manuscripts: Law' (Unpublished manuscript, Edinburgh [18??]), folio 5. NLS Reference: FR.185.

'Summary Catalogue of the Advocates' Manuscripts' (Edinburgh, 1971), page 67, number 824; page 109, number 1427.

Walters, D. B. 'Civilian Manuscripts in the Advocates' Library (National Library of Scotland), Edinburgh', in 'Zeitschrift der Savigny-Stiftung für Rechtsgeschichte: Romanistische Abteilung' Volume 89, Number 1 (1972), pages 376–378.

Physical Description


The binding dates from the early 19th century and is of red morocco leather with marbled endpapers. The front and back boards have gold tooled-borders with gold-tooled floral corner-pieces. The three edges of the boards and the turn-ins are tooled with gold. The spine has raised bands, with gold tooling on the bands and panels. There is a gold-tooled title which reads: 'JUSTINIANI INSTITUTION'. On the tail end of the spine is a remnant of a library sticker.

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Repository Details

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

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