Digital fragment collection

Medieval parchment fragments in Bergen University Library and The Regional State Archives in Bergen

Description of UB Bergen MS 1549, 6

Three small fragments


These three small parchment fragments were removed from the binding of a Danish Bible from 1589 (Frederik II’s Bible, printed in Copenhagen), and the origin of the fragments may be Danish or perhaps German. Because the fragments are so small, it is difficult to identify the text. The contents seems to be about matters concerning the buying and selling of property. It may just as likely be a moral text as a legal one. The presence of first person singular (“I have asked...”, “I would rather”) and a reference to Paul (“says Paul...”) could suggest a text along the lines of Thomas Aquinas’ discussion in Summa theologica II-II, 77, about cheating in buying and selling.

Facsimiles and transcriptions

UBB MS 1549 6a, rectoUBB MS 1549 6a, verso.UBB MS 1549 6b, rectoUBB MS 1549 6b, verso.UBB MS 1549 6c, rectoUBB MS 1549 6c, verso.

Manuscript Identification


Bergen University Library, Art and Humanities Library


Bergen University Library


MS 1549, 6


MS 410, 6

Three small fragments [Parchment, three small fragments, 3 x 3,5 cm, unknown origin, 13th century (?).]

Manuscript Content

The specific text has not yet been identified. However, the presence of words like ”ad vendicionem rei” (for the sale of something), ”suo creditori” (to his creditor), ”fundus” (piece of land), ”possessor” (owner) and ”prediis” (farms, pieces of land) suggests that the fragments could be from a book in some way concerned with the buying and selling of property. It need not be a legal text, but may also be a moral discussion. The personal voice that appears in “quesivi ad quid fuit...” (I have asked to what purpose...) or “ego vellem...” (I would rather...) could point in that direction, and even more so the partial “ait paul...” (says Paul). We could perhaps be looking at a text along the lines of Thomas Aquinas’ discussion in Summa theologica II-II, 77, about cheating in buying and selling.

Physical Description

Parchment, three small fragments, 3 x 3,5 cm.

Lay-out: The ruling is done with a lead point. It is not possible to say much about original lay-out or size.

Script: The script is a small and informal Gothic textualis. No visible rubrics, but certain elements are underlined and marked with a paragraph.

Initials: No initials visible.

Condition: The three fragments are very small, and quite wrinkled. There are some holes in the parchment on fragment 1549, 6a and c, while 1549, 6b seems to be in better condition.



The origin is unknown. Based on the roundness of the script in combination with Gothic elements (like the stroke above the i’s) one could suggest a date in the 13th century. The fact that it comes from a Danish Bible could suggest a Danish or perhaps German origin, but this is uncertain.


Used in the cover of a Danish Bible from 1589, the socalled Frederik II’s Bible, printed in Copenhagen. In the original catalogue entry of the fragments the year 1598 was given for the Bible, but a correction to 1589 was suggested in the present handwritten catalogue.


Bought by Bergen Museum in 1913.


Thomas Aquinas: Summa theologica:

Tveitane, Mattias et. al.: Bergen University Library Manuscript Catalogue [unpublished]