Digital fragment collection

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

Description of UB Bergen MS 791, a

A text of Civil law?


This bifolium is one in a group of five, of which the four others are from a glossed version of Justinian’s digest (see MS 791, b-e). The contents in this fragment also seem to be from a law manuscript, but which one is still unknown.

Facsimiles and transcriptions

Manuscript Identification


Bergen University Library, Art and Humanities Library


Bergen University Library


MS 791, a

A text of Civil law? [Parchment, one cropped bifolium, leaf size: ca. 40, 5 x 25,5 cm, Italy, 14th century (?).]

Manuscript Content

The contents of 791 a seems to be connected with law, but which text is unknown. This leaf came to the library along with four other leaves (MS 791, b-e), which are from a glossed version of Justinian’s digest.

Physical Description

Parchment, one cropped bifolium, ca. 40, 5 x 25,5 cm

Lay-out: Writing space, 32,5 x 19, 5. Two columns 32,5 x 8, 5 cm. 78 lines. The ruling is not visible.

Script: A smaller southern Gothic textualis currens. There are paragraphs in alternately red and blue. The marginal notes are in a cursive script, and there is also the drawing of a face.

Initials: On the outer side of the bifolium are the remains of the red flourishing from two initials, now missing.

Condition: The fragment has been cut to serve as a book cover. In addition it is torn, so that the half of one of the leaves is missing. On the outer side of the bifolium the ink has turned a pale green, except a zone in the middle of the fragment, following the spine of the book it covered. Along the same zone, from one side to another, are four rectangular holes from the binding, ca 5,5 x 1,5 cm. Here the fragment is marked with the number 14., ca. 3,5 cm high. Some small leather “flaps” are still in place, inserted in the parchment.



Italy, 14th century (?).


The fragment 791 a was apparently used as a bookcover. The fragments 791 b-e were used in similar covers, and the backs of the books, now the outer sides of the bifolia, were marked with numbers, and in some instances, with titles. Fragment 791 a. was marked with the number 14, but no title.


All the five fragments labelled MS 791 came to the University Library from Prof. Hannaas’s collections in 1934.


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 al.: Bergen University Library Manuscript Catalogue [unpublished]