CCCC 010

CCCC 010
The Decretum of Gratian, Gratiani Decretum
12th century
13th century

CCCC 10 represents one of a number of luxury French or English manuscripts from the late-twelfth century containing the Decretum, a twelfth century canon law collection ascribed to the medieval legal scholar Gratian. The text on each folio sits in two columns of 55 lines, the boundaries of which are ruled by light, yet visible pencilmarks. Also traced out by pencil rulings are three narrow columns in the outer margin of each page and one in the inner margin; these often include notes penned in a later hand. The script of the main text is protogothic (i.e. angular and laterally compressed); the hand remains consistent throughout. Enlarged initials and litterae notabiliores are common throughout the manuscript; they generally indicate the beginning of a new section in the text. Gratian's text begins on folio 12r with one such inital—a beautiful sixteen-line "H" in blue and gold inhabited by coiled dragons with orchid-like tails and small white lions common in manuscripts from Christ Church, Canterbury. Similarly elaborate initials, some historiated and some inhabited, introduce the causae, or legal cases, presented later in the DecretumSmaller litterae—alternately blue and red—punctuate the text between such initials, marking the subdivisions within the sections they introduce. The manuscript features one full page miniature—that of a hoary man in a purple robe standing with his arms outstretched behind a blank consanguinity table (i.e. family tree).