Institutes / Emperor Justinian I.

Uniform title
Manuscript, Book
[France] : [producer not identified], [between 1225 and 1250]
1 volume (ii, 82, ii leaves) : parchment, illustrations ; 31 cm


Former owner
  • Script: Textualis libraria.
  • Decoration: Two-line initials beginning chapters are in red ink with blue penwork or in blue ink with red penwork. Each of the four books in the Institutes begins with a column miniature or historiated initial. fol. 1r,* Column miniature depicting the Emperor Justinian as law giver, seated on throne with a sword in his right hand, facing a knight with sword and shield and two clerics--one standing in a blue cloak and a red tunic and the other seated in a red cloak and blue tunic recording the Emperor's words. fol. 14r*, Historiated initial N (Nous auons) at the beginning of book II, which concerns things (“De rebus”). Emperor Justinian seated on throne with a sword in his left hand, while addressing a cleric in a blue cloak and red tunic with hands extended and a knight in red behind him. fol. 40v,* Historiated initial C (Cil muert) on fol. 40v at the beginning of book III on intestate succession. Emperor Justinian seated on throne with what may be a scepter in his right hand, facing a cleric in red cloak with hood and blue tunic, who holds the hand of a child in a blue tunic. fol. 62v,* Historiated initial P (Porce que) at beginning of book IV on delicts and relating to titles xvii-xviii of this book, which concern public prosecutions and judgments. Emperor Justinian, with a scepter in his left hand, perhaps pronouncing sentence on a criminal in a red tunic. His neck is in a rope or noose held by a knight in a blue surcoat.
Binding note
France, mid-19th century. Bound in Paris by the binder Thompson of Paris, active in the 1840s and 1850s. Brown morocco over pasteboard; gilt and gauffered; blind-tooled rectangles with gold-tooled fleurons at each corner.
Kane MS. 49 is of unknown early provenance. It is very likely to be identified with DeRosny MS. 2390, owned by the French historian Lucien de Rosny (1810-1871). The manuscript was subsequently acquired by the London and New York antiquarian bookseller Wilfrid M. Voynich (1865-1930), who sold it in 1917 to Grenville Kane (1854-1943), of Tuxedo Park, N.Y. Princeton University Library acquired the manuscript from Kane's heirs in 1946.
Medieval & Renaissance manuscripts in the Princeton University Library, volume 2, pages 111-113.
Cite as
Kane MS. 49, Manuscripts Division, Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, Princeton University Library.
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