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A Ninth-Century Fragment of Lex Dei from Zadar and the Qquestion of Legal Sources of the Early Medieval Cities of Dalmatia

Nella Lonza orcid id ; Zavod za povijesne znanosti HAZU u Dubrovniku, Dubrovnik, Hrvatska

Puni tekst: hrvatski pdf 1.256 Kb


str. 127-144

preuzimanja: 620



Since its discovery in the 1920s, a ninth-century fragment, written in the Caroline script and filed in the Miscellanea of the State Archives of Zadar (HR-DAZD-377, vol. 182, position 2), has not att racted much attention, probably because it was erroneously identified as a part of a monastic Regula. In fact, the fragment pertains to the legal text in which the quotes from the Old Testament were combined with Roman law to provide rules for certain criminal law matters. The collection was known under the name Lex Dei quam praecepit Dominus ad Moysen, as well as under the title Collatio legum Mosaicarum et Romanarum given by a sixteenth-century editor; the identification has been supported by Bernhard Bishoff ’s recently published catalogue of the ninth-century manuscripts. According to the expertise of David Ganz, the fragment was written in the second half of the ninth century and its probable provenance is Northern Italy. The text of Lex Dei is more or less integrally preserved in three codices kept in Berlin (Deutsche Nationalbibliothek, MS. Lat. fol. 269, early ninth c.), Vienna (ÖNB, MS. 2160, late ninth c.), and Vercelli (Biblioteca Capitolare Eusebiana, MS. 122, fi rst half of the eleventh c.). On the ground of language peculiarities and transcription errors, it seems that the Zadar fragment is not directly related to any of them, but stems independently from the archetype. All the three codices with Lex Dei include also the Epitome Iuliani, a summarized translation of Justinian’s Novellae, and the numeration of the tituli demonstrates that the same was true of a manuscript the Zadar fragment was a part of. As already argued by different scholars, between the ninth and the eleventh century, Lex Dei was copied because it could serve as a guideline to bishop’s jurisdiction, which expanded from the area of civil litigation towards penal matters. To determine whether the Lex Dei should be counted among legal sources of the early medieval Dalmatian towns, the fragment’s history has been examined. Archive research showed that the bifolium with the text was recycled in 1403 by the Zadar notary Articutius de Rivignano to serve as a cover of one of his registers. It was the custom of the same notary to re-use dispensable parchments he found in the city offices or in his own production, but upon this particular one he might have stumbled in the chapter premises, where he also provided notary services in 1389–1396. By then, the manuscript had certainly been dismembered for quite some time. In all likelihood, the codex with Lex Dei and Epitome Iuliani was brought to Zadar prior to the twelft h century, i.e. before the new flourishing legal culture off ered text-books of superior quality, and made such old manuals obsolete. Therefore, the Zadar fragment is the only material survival of any legal text that may have been used in early medieval Dalmatian practice.

Ključne riječi

Lex Dei; Collatio legum Mosaicarum et Romanarum; Zadar; Dalmatia; Early Middle Ages; law; Caroline script

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Podaci na drugim jezicima: hrvatski

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