Azo of Bologna, Summa Codicis

Book 9, titles 1–8


Victoria, B.C., University of Victoria Libraries, Fragm.Lat.3

Remarks by the Editor

Description completed by student in Adrienne Williams Boyarin's "In the Archives" course at University of Victoria (Canada), Spring 2021; student in this case builds on her previous work with the same fragment in 2018. Partial transcription is available in the PDF.

General Information

Title Azo of Bologna, Summa Codicis
Material Parchment
Place of Origin France?
Date of Origin 1208–1250
General Remarks

The  Summa Codicis  (likely produced between 1208 and 1210) is the best known work of the influential glossator Azo of Bologna (d. Approx. 1230). Azo and his fellow Bolognese glossators analyzed and interpreted the Corpus iuris civilis , the sixth-century Roman emperor Justinian's canonical compilation of Roman law. Throughout this fragment are citations to the summarized text, the Code, as well as the Digest and the Institutes, two other texts in the Corpus iuris civilis

Current Condition

Extent 1 leaf
Dimensions 300 x 190 mm (265 x 163 mm)
More about the Current Condition

Single leaf of parchment trimmed for use as a pastedown. Flesh side is the recto, hair side the verso. Text in two columns in a Gothica Textualis bookhand. Ruled in plummet, text in black ink. Recto damaged from use as a pastedown, obscuring much of its text, especially in the upper half and the bottom left. A rubric on the verso has been erased and corrected by a later hand.

Book Decoration and Musical Notation


Initials in red and blue outside the text block, paraphs in alternating red and blue normally inside the text.


  • Content Item
    • Persons
    • Text Language Latin
    • Title Summa Codices
    • Content Description

      Consisting of the six complete divisions (from “De accusationibus et inscriptionibus” to “Si quis imperatori maledixerit”), and two partial divisions (the end of “Qui accusare non possunt” and the beginning of “Ad legem iuliam maiestatis”) that summarize the first eight titles of Book 9 of Justinian's Code.

    • FragmLat3_R
    • Edition Azo. 1563. Svmma Azonis, Locvples Ivris Civilis Thesavrvs . Basel, Switzerland: Ioannem Heruagium.
    • Remarks

      The Summa Codicis (likely produced between 1208 and 1210) continued to be widely read and cited until the sixteenth century, although there have been no modern editions of Azo's work beyond a 1966 reprint of a 1578 edition and Select Passages from the Works of Bracton and Azo (1895), which does not include Fragm.Lat.3's passages. Azo's Summa Codicis summarized the Code, Justinian's compilation of his predecessor's constitutions, one of the four texts that make up the Corpus Iuris Civilis. Throughout Fragm. Lat. 3 are citations to the Code, and well as the Digest and the Institutes. These heavily abbreviated citations follow medieval convention: the particular text is indicated, then the rubric of a title, then the initium or number of that title's divisions and, if applicable, its subdivisions. Medieval citations do not note which book of a text is being cited. Modern citations of the Corpus Iuris Civilislist the text's initial, then the book, title, division and subdivision by numbers. Because the Corpus made its way to western Europe piecemeal over the course of the twelfth century, the medieval vulgate versions are somewhat incomplete and divide themselves into five parts that do not line up with the four parts of modern editions. For this reason, the Corpus's numerical divisions sometimes differ between the medieval vulgate version that Azo is citing and modern editions.



Origin unknown, though the cramped and highly abbreviated Gothic bookhand is typical of the French university system.


Dr. Erik Kwakkel has dated the script to the first half of the thirteenth century and the corrected rubric to the fifteenth century, so the leaf's time as a pastedown postdates the fifteenth century. Acquired by Herman Mulder of Belgium in 1994 from Antiquariaat Hermione of the Netherlands. Purchased by Erik Kwakkel from Mulder for University of Victoria Libraries in 2006.


Other available descriptions