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n. pl. co·di·ces (kō′dĭ-sēz′, kŏd′ĭ-)
A manuscript volume, especially of a classic work or of the Scriptures.

[Latin cōdex, cōdic-, tree trunk, wooden tablet, book, variant of caudex, trunk.]
Word History: Cōdex is a variant of caudex, a wooden stump to which petty criminals were tied in ancient Rome, rather like our stocks. This was also the word for a book made of thin wooden strips coated with wax upon which one wrote. The usual modern sense of codex, "book formed of bound leaves of paper or parchment," is due to Christianity. By the first century bc there existed at Rome notebooks made of leaves of parchment, used for rough copy, first drafts, and notes. By the first century ad such manuals were used for commercial copies of classical literature. The Christians adopted this parchment manual format for the Scriptures used in their liturgy because a codex is easier to handle than a scroll and because one can write on both sides of a parchment but on only one side of a papyrus scroll. By the early second century all Scripture was reproduced in codex form. In traditional Christian iconography, therefore, the Hebrew prophets are represented holding scrolls and the Evangelists holding codices.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(ˈkəʊdɪˌsiːz; ˈkɒdɪ-)
1. (Library Science & Bibliography) the plural of codex
2. (Law) the plural of codex
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈkoʊ dɛks)

n., pl. co•di•ces (ˈkoʊ dəˌsiz, ˈkɒd ə-)
1. a manuscript volume, usu. of an ancient classic or the Scriptures.
2. Archaic. a code; book of statutes.
[1575–85; < Latin cōdex, caudex tree-trunk, book (formed orig. from wooden tablets); compare code]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Christoph Fliieler at the University of Fribourg with the intent to digitize medieval manuscripts and make them freely available online to scholars and researchers through the Codices electronici Sangalleses (CESG) website (henceforth, "e-codices").
These were called codices, and each took years to create.
He provides 34 texts to support his contentions, including eight codices of diaconal ordination ceremonies for women: the famous Codex Barberini gr.
Thomas Amos, have collaborated with the Newberry in acquiring three additional codices. The first, acquired in 1996, was a mid-fifteenth-century manual for nuns, written in Nuremberg with texts in Latin accompanied by German vernacular rubrics; (Illustration 1) the second, acquired in 1998, was an Antiphonary in a portable format suitable for individual use during performance.
In his preface, Griggio provides a census of the nearly 250 codices that contain letters to or from Barbaro, each with its own siglum denoting city and library where the manuscript is housed.
The year 1995 marked the fiftieth anniversary of the discovery of the thirteen codices which comprise the Nag Hammadi library.