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The Start Of The Text, In Gratian's 'The Concord of Discordant Canons', or 'Decretum'

The Start Of The Text, In Gratian's 'The Concord of Discordant  Canons', or 'Decretum'

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1240

Shelfmark: Stowe MS 378

Item number: f.2r

Length: 34.8

Width: 23.5

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

Gratian, an Italian monk who taught at Bologna, has been called 'the true founder of the science of Canon Law': his great achievement was to write this work in the mid-12th century. It was the first successful attempt to bring together and reconcile papal decrees which seemed to be contradictory, and to elucidate the general principles on which Canon Law was based. This copy was owned at Plumstead, in Kent, and then Canterbury. The first page of the text shows the main text in two columns, articulated by coloured initial, rubrics, and marginal headings (D.I, D.II), around which have been added a number of sometimes lengthy glosses. The space left for a decorated initial has never been filled.

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