For.Ma. The Forgotten Manuscripts – The forgotten manuscripts of the Biblioteca Universitaria di Padova (numbers 688 and 941)
‘For.Ma. – The Forgotten Manuscripts’ is a research project launched by the Department of Private Law and Critique of Law of the University of Padua thanks to the financial support of the Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Padova e Rovigo, which awarded it as one of the 'Projects of Excellence 2017'. The project intends to study and enhance two precious and almost forgotten twelfth century manuscripts preserved at the Biblioteca Universitaria di Padova, which contain some parts of the Corpus Juris Civilis, the monumental collection of Roman legal texts created by Justinian in the sixth century AD.
Two of these manuscripts are kept at the Biblioteca Universitaria di Padova.
One of them, marked with number 941, contains the first 24 books of the Digest, in its Bolognese (or Vulgata) version. It corresponds to the so-called Digestum vetus, i.e. the first of the three parts into which the Digest was divided (and circulated) during the medieval age. If we exclude the well-known Codex Florentinus (dating back to the VI/VII century A.D. and containing the entire text of Justinian's Digesta), there are only three other manuscripts in the world, relating to this part of the Digest, as old as the one from Padova: they are kept in Paris, Leipzig and in Vatican City.
An essential part of the For.Ma. project is to make these manuscripts freely accessible to scholars and enthusiasts, through their digitization and online uploading, as well as through the publication of two facsimile reproductions.
This will be accompanied by a study dedicated to their characteristics, their history, the role played in the transmission, dissemination and interpretation of the Digesto and Codex in the Middle Ages (especially in northern Italy and Padova), their position and relations with other manuscripts of the same period that contain the same texts, their relevance to the teaching of Roman law at the University of Padua and finally their importance in the process of preparing the modern editions of the Digest and the Codex, edited by Mommsen and Krüger.
The Principal Investigator of the project is Prof. Paola Lambrini, Professor of Roman Law at the University of Padua.