Physical description and Materiality
Parchment, most of a leaf, c.215×165mm, lacking the margins and part of the inner and lower edges but with wide margins on the two other sides, ruled in ink in two columns of which with 32 lines are preserved, written in a good gothic bookhand below top line, with rubrics in red and the first letter of the authorities’ names in red.
The leaf does not show many physical signs of having been used as a flyleaf, except for the way it has been cropped at the lower edge, to fit into its host volume. The pair of full-width horizontal rulings, after 16 lines of text from the top, suggests that a full column would have had 33 lines (16 + 1 + 16), in which case only one final line is cropped at the bottom edge of the leaf.
The script has rather squat proportions: ascenders, descenders, and the lower bowl of ‘g’ do not extend very far above or below other minims; round ‘s’ only occurs at the end of words and as a capital, ‘d’ is always rounded, ‘pp’ and ‘bo’ are fused, but other adjacent round letterforms are not always (‘do’, ‘pe’, ‘po’, etc.), ‘z’ is like a ‘3’, ‘y’ is not dotted and is used instead of ‘i’ in words such as “ymaginem” and “dyabolus”. One letter-form in particular suggests that the scribe was German: double ‘u’ is written as ‘w’ in the word “wlnerare (verso, col. 1, line 14).
recto: “[Dyab]olus hominem donis ac spoliat. [Pr]in[ceps vitiorum] omnium. dum uidit A[dam ex li]mo terre ad ymaginem dei [factum] … Homines die noctuque demones infestat … Habet uires nequicie dyabolus [C]ipr(ianus). In baptismo omnes … Mare illud sacramentum baptismi fuisse”
verso: “[Moy]se bapizati sunt … Debet dyabolus Iehenna … Dyabolis odit esse bonum. …”.
Named demons are naming Belial, Beemoth, Gehenna, and Sathan. The running header at the top of the recto appears to read “de dia[bolis]”. Cited authors include “Aug(ustinus)”, “Cip(ri)an(us)”, “Gra(tia)nus”, “Ha(imo?)”, and “Ioh(anne)s”.
It appears that all, or most, of these extracts can be found in Gratian’s Decretum (in discussing legal cases, causae, he cites such authorities), and most extracts here end with a heavily-abbreviated reference such as “de pe d.ii.”, “xxvi.q.v”, “xvii.q.iiii”, “xii.q.ii”, in which “d” apparently stands for “distinctio”, “q” for “quaestio”, and “depe” for “De penitentia” (i.e. the Tractatus de penitentia). A much shorter index of references to demons in the Decretum Gratiani occurs within Martinus Polonus’s Margarita decreti (Pearls of the Decretals), but the present one is unidentified and possibly unique.