Thursday, September 1, 2016
Decretals of Gregory IX, 1241
See how this super dense page can serve as a site of communication and exchange. The differences in red and blue mean that these texts were written at different times. "Decretals" (decree) were written by the Pope and bishops that stated Church laws. These decretals were taught in medieval universities, particularly Bologna and Paris, the commentaries were possibly added during the lectures.
Bound in eighteenth-century French sheep. Covers with blind double-rule border, spine in seven compartments with six raised bands, decoratively tooled in gilt in a floral design in six compartments and with a burgundy morocco gilt lettering label in the remaining compartment, board edges decoratively tooled in gilt, marbled endpapers (French curl, or snail, pattern). The binding is rubbed and worn, the joints are tender and starting to split at head and tail, there is worming in the top and bottom spine compartments, and a few small stains to the top edge. This manuscript shows signs of considerable use over several centuries, with occasional staining and soiling. There is minor worming at the beginning and end occasionally affecting a letter or two.
What is interesting here is design as self-design. In other words see it as a kind of DIY of legalese.
See more here.