Law manuscripts – University of Copenhagen

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Beginning of the preface of the Jutlandic Law: Mæt logh scal land byggæs, i.e. with law shall a country be built.

Law manuscripts

The old Danish provincial laws were compiled in the 1200s and are the bulk of the literature in the Old Danish language that has been handed down to us from the period 1200-1400. The Danish provincial laws consist of the Scanian Law (written between 1202 and 1216), the Jutlandic Law (issued in 1241) along with King Valdemar's Zealandic Law and King Eric's Zealandic Law. 

Most law texts are preserved in manuscripts of a manageable size, i.e. in quarto, octavo or duodecimo. Only a single law manuscript in folio is preserved: AM 286 fol. from the beginning of the 14th century.

AM 4 4to. The Jutlandic Law from around 1300

Dating to around 1300, AM 4 4to is the second oldest preserved copy of the Jutlandic Law. Click on the picture to turn the pages in the manuscript.

AM 28 8vo. Codex Runicus

AM 28 8vo from around 1300 is written entirely with runes, and is therefore known as Codex Runicus. The manuscript contains the Scanian Law and other texts. Click on the picture to turn the pages in the manuscript.