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INSTITUTIONES
Mainz: Peter Schoeffer, 23 May 1476. Third Schoeffer Printing. This is a tall, attractive copy of an introductory textbook of Roman law, part of the "Corpus Juris Civilis," or "Body of Civil Law" codified by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian in the sixth century A.D., and first printed by Gutenberg successor Peter Schoeffer in 1468. Born a barbarian, Justinian I (483-565) became the most famous of all the late Roman emperors, with a reign filled with great events and achievements. Above all else, he is remembered today as a legislator and codifier of the law. He took the Roman law, which he found in a very confused state at the beginning of his rule in 528, and immediately formed the first of a number of commissions and committees, the original fruit of which was the "Codex," promulgated in 529. This was a simplification and clarification of the imperial ordinances passed during the middle and later empires. This was followed by the "Digest" of older Roman treatises, the "Novels," setting forth additional constitutions of Justinian and later emperors, and the present "Institutes" textbook for use in training lawyers. It is divided into three parts, discussing laws that relate to persons, property, and actions. The extensive gloss here is the work of 13th century Bolognese lawyer Accursio (ca. 1182-1263), who undertook the enormous task of compiling and arranging the thousands of commentaries on Justinian that had been produced over seven centuries. The present copy was extensively annotated by a 15th century student or instructor. It also has a distinguished provenance: in the 18th century it was owned (and perhaps rebound) by Michael Wodhull (1740-1816), counted by DNB as one of "the most knowledgeable of English bibliophiles"; Dibdin described him as "the present father of bibliography," and works from his library typically have, as here, Wodhull's bibliographic notations on the front flyleaf. The book later passed into the possession of Michael Tomkinson (1841-1921), who made his fortune in carpet manufacturing before turning his attention to philanthropy, country sports, and collecting rare books and manuscripts. And owner Albert May Todd (1850-1931) was known as the "Peppermint King" because he made a fortune processing and selling mint extract and other essential oils from offices in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He assembled a first-rate collection of ornithological and other natural history books, handsomely bound classics, early printing, and fine bindings as well as a representative sampling of Western and Oriental illuminated material. ISTC finds seven copies of this work in the United States, including this copy.. 410 x 285 mm. (16 1/8 x 11 1/8"). 103 hand-numbered leaves. With the Glossa Ordinaria of Accursius. Third Schoeffer Printing. Stately 18th century red morocco, gilt, covers with triple fillet border, raised bands, spine compartments with floral sprig centerpiece in a lozenge of small tools, flourish cornerpieces, two black morocco labels, gilt-rolled turn-ins, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt. Front pastedown with armorial bookplate of Michael Tomkinson; front free endpaper with bookplate of Albert May Todd; front flyleaf with signature (and bibliographical notes) of M. Wodhull, dated 18 June 1792; occasional marginalia in an early hand. Goff J-512; BMC I, 33. Spine lightly sunned, covers with a few short scratches, extremities a little rubbed, occasional small brown stains to head edge, isolated minor marginal smudges or small stains, otherwise A FINE, FRESH COPY, clean and rather bright with generous margins, in a sound binding. This is a tall, attractive copy of an introductory textbook of Roman law, part of the "Corpus Juris Civilis," or "Body of Civil Law" codified by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian in the sixth century A.D., and first printed by Gutenberg successor Peter Schoeffer in 1468. Born a barbarian, Justinian I (483-565) became the most famous of all the late Roman emperors, with a reign filled with great events and achievements. Above all else, he is remembered today as a legislator and codifier of the law. He took the Roman law, which he found in a very confused state at the beginning of his rule in 528, and immediately formed the first of a number of commissions and committees, the original fruit of which was the "Codex," promulgated in 529. This was a simplification and clarification of the imperial ordinances passed during the middle and later empires. This was followed by the "Digest" of older Roman treatises, the "Novels," setting forth additional constitutions of Justinian and later emperors, and the present "Institutes" textbook for use in training lawyers. It is divided into three parts, discussing laws that relate to persons, property, and actions. The extensive gloss here is the work of 13th century Bolognese lawyer Accursio (ca. 1182-1263), who undertook the enormous task of compiling and arranging the thousands of commentaries on Justinian that had been produced over seven centuries. The present copy was extensively annotated by a 15th century student or instructor. It also has a distinguished provenance: in the 18th century it was owned (and perhaps rebound) by Michael Wodhull (1740-1816), counted by DNB as one of "the most knowledgeable of English bibliophiles"; Dibdin described him as "the present father of bibliography," and works from his library typically have, as here, Wodhull's bibliographic notations on the front flyleaf. The book later passed into the possession of Michael Tomkinson (1841-1921), who made his fortune in carpet manufacturing before turning his attention to philanthropy, country sports, and collecting rare books and manuscripts. And owner Albert May Todd (1850-1931) was known as the "Peppermint King" because he made a fortune processing and selling mint extract and other essential oils from offices in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He assembled a first-rate collection of ornithological and other natural history books, handsomely bound classics, early printing, and fine bindings as well as a representative sampling of Western and Oriental illuminated material. ISTC finds seven copies of this work in the United States, including this copy.
      [Bookseller: Phillip J. Pirages Fine Books and Mediev]
Last Found On: 2017-07-22           Check availability:      Biblio    

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