The Text


This page discusses the conventions governing the transcription of the text.  The download links for the gloss text as well as the abbreviations spreadsheet appear towards the bottom of this page.  Note that you may have to disable your pop-up blocker on this page to preview the files, though they can be downloaded with or without that extension engaged.  For a separate discussion of the conventions employed for rendering and searching the legal allegations -- along with citations of other jurists, and mnemonic verses -- see the Legal Allegations page.

Text Base

Taking as its base the text of the Editio Romana [=ER], the Digital Decretals aims to present the Glossa Ordinaria in full.  I have, therefore, excluded a few elements that were intermixed with the gloss in the ER.

I have kept, however, all of the non-Bernard glosses that he himself added from previous canonists like Vincentius Hispanus, Johannes Tetuonicus, Alanus Anglicus and others, which are identified as such by those canonists' sigla [on querying the names of specific jurists, see the second section of the Legal Allegations page].  Besides the Casus and the Correctores' comments, the sum total of the non-Bernard material excluded is actually quite minimal, and I am open in the future to adding it back in. 

Orthography, abbreviations, punctuation and numeration


I have basically followed the orthography of the ER – the changes I have applied for the sake of standardization have tended to skew in the direction of classical spelling rather than medieval usage.  Thus, most of the diphthongs are spelled out, particularly “ae” and “oe” instead of just “e” (e.g., quae instead of que; saecularis instead of secularis; poenitentia instead of penitentia).  There are a few exceptions arising from the conventions of the abbreviated titles, but these may be easily gleaned from a simple spot-search of the text (e.g., hereditas instead of haereditas; femina instead of foemina)Finally, “v” is used in its classical form rather than “u” (vultus instead of uultus).

The overall imperative has been to achieve consistency, and so once an orthographical form has been settled upon, it is used consistently throughout the entire transcription.

Note that no diacritical marks have been employed, such as a cedilla (ę), diaeresis (ö), or accents (é). 


All of the conventional textual abbreviations in the printed edition have been expanded, with the exception of a few stock elements that are pervasive in medieval and early modern legal commentary.  These are limited to:


While the punctuation of the ER is not necessarily idiosyncratic, it is governed by conventions that are no longer appropriate in modern usage, even for a Latin legal text.  I have, therefore, standardized the punctuation of the text, prioritizing making grammatical sense of the sentences:

Besides those just mentioned, no other punctuation marks have been employed in the text, such as hyphens --, quotation marks " ", parentheses ( ), or square brackets [ ].  The one exception is the addition of a double slash // to mark line breaks in the mnemonic verses, which are discussed at the bottom of the Legal Allegations page.


The ER is not consistent in how it records numbers, and employs all three conventions -- Latin numerals (X), alphabetized enumeration (decem), and Arabic numerals (10) -- sometimes in the same gloss.  To avoid any confusion with the legal allegations, I have decided to standardize the numeration in alphabetized form, reserving Arabic numerals for the legal allegations and Latin numerals for proper names (e.g., Innocentius III).

Gloss Files and Abbreviations spreadsheet

NB: You may have to disable your pop-up blocker on this page to preview files.

A file of the complete gloss rendered to date (Books 1, 3, 4 and 5) is given below, followed by separate files for individual books for those looking to do more targeted investigation book by book.

Comment on Use of the Word Files

The Gloss architecture is viewable through the Navigation Pane sidebar, which can be opened by checking the "Navigation Pane" box under the "View" tab in the top menu.

Note that to search the text in Word (ctrl+F), it helps to have enabled the "Highlight all" and "Incremental find" options in the Navigation sidebar that opens automatically when doing a search.  These options appear as a dropdown list when clicking on the down arrow at the right of the bar where the text is entered.  Additional options, such as prefix/suffix matching, searching whole words only, or ignoring punctuation, may occasionally prove useful as well.

Comment on Use of the PDF Files

The Gloss architecture is viewable through the Bookmarks tree in the left sidebar of Adobe Acrobat.

Note that of the two search methods in Acrobat, the advanced search feature (Shift+Ctrl+F) is usually more useful -- as opposed to the basic find function (Ctrl+F) -- since it opens up a separate window and produces a hyperlinked list of all search hits.

Glossa Ordinaria (Complete Books 1-5)

(Rev. 9/23)

Word (.doc) and PDF versions

Decretals Gloss, Books 1-5 Complete, rev. 9.23.docx
Decretals Gloss, Books 1-5 Complete, rev. 9.23.pdf

Abbreviations Spreadsheet

(rev. 9/23)

The spreadsheet contains 9 separate sheets:

Note that each sheet (except for the "Decretals Sortable" tab) is individually protected with the same password, Decretals, visible at the top of every page.  I did this to prevent accidental cell overwrite, but you may unprotect any and all sheets to sort the data or to add to them however you like.  To unprotect the data choose the "Unprotect Sheet" option under the "Review" tab.  If you want to again lock the data after any changes have been made, simply choose the "Protect Sheet" option under the same tab. 

Please note that the spreadsheet does not contain an abbreviation for every Roman Law title in the Corpus iuris civilis, but only those that have been cited in the gloss. 

Decretals Gloss Title Abbreviations, rev. 9.23.xlsx