English illustrated copy of Church law


This illustrated copy of Church or canon law features the distinctive layout common to medieval legal manuscripts. The main text, consisting of legal cases or questions, appears in the centre of the page, with the outer and lower margins occupied by a commentary, or gloss.

The commentary in this copy was composed principally by Master Rolandus (fl. 1150), a Bolognese legal scholar. Illustrations, as well as coloured initials and words, assist in distinguishing various sections of the cases, questions and analysis. The volume’s decoration was completed at the abbey of St Victor in Paris, demonstrating the book’s continued use by scholars across the Channel.

This manuscript was digitised with the support of The Polonsky Foundation.

Full title:
English illustrated copy of Church law
4th quarter of the 12th century, England
Usage terms
Public Domain
Held by
Bibliothèque nationale de France
Latin 14316

Full catalogue details

Related articles

Legal manuscripts in England and France

Article by:
Joanna Frońska
History and learning

The study of law in medieval Europe was revitalised in the 12th century. Joanna Frońska explores the production of legal works and their use by scholarly communities in this period.

Related collection items