(active 1170s in Paris or Sens)

Gratian: Decretals

Manuscript (Ms. Ludwig XIV 2), 443 x 291 mm
J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

The Decretum Gratiani, a collection of Canon law compiled and written in the 12th century as a legal textbook by the jurist known as Gratian. A teacher at the University in Bologna sometime between 1140 and 1150, Gratian, who was also a monk, organized the study of church law with his compilation of the Decretum.

This manuscript is richly illuminated with two full-page miniatures and a variety of historiated and decorated initials that mark divisions of the text. The northern French Romanesque style of the illuminations was strongly influenced by English art.

The picture shows folio 228 with the Table of Affinity which serves as a pendant to the Table of Consanguinity in the section on matrimony in Gratian's Decretals. This table shows the relationships that a husband and wife bear to each other's families. The Table of Consanguinity and Table of Affinity were essential to Church law because they helped to determine issues of inheritance and the legality of marriages. The pair of tables became standard in copies of the Decretals by the end of the 1100s.