provenanceBought from Quaritch in 2001; Schøyen MS 4596.
"Faced with increasing demand for inexpensive books and accurate texts, the bookdealers in university towns developed the pecia or piece system, probably beginning in the late 13th century. [Copies of curriculum books] ... were divided into pieces, each of which was numbered separately and could be rented out to individuals who needed an exemplar from which to copy the text. Several scholars could copy from one complete text at the same time, speeding up production." (Shailor, The Medieval Book, 1988, p.98).
The University of Bologna was founded in 1088, and quickly became the principal centre for the study of law in the Middle Ages. Bernard of Parma (d.1263) was one of the great canonists of the thirteenth century, who held the chair of canon law and subsequently the chancellorship of Bologna University. The pecia mark here ("Fi[nis] iii pec[iae]") appears at the end of the section, rather than at its beginning, is typical of Bolognese practice. The principal studies of this revolutionary system for book production are J. Destrez, La Pecia dans les Manuscrits Universitaires, 1935; G. Pollard, 'The Pecia System in the Medieval Universities', Medieval Scribes, Manuscripts and Scholars, 1978, pp.145-61; and G. Murano, Opere diffuse per exemplar e pecia, 2005 (citing the present manuscript on p.365).
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