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Claudii Salmasii De subscribendis et signandis testamentis, item de Antiquorum & Hodiernorum sigillorum differentia, Tractatus; contra Desid. Heraldum.
Leiden (Lugd. Batav.), Ex officinâ Elseviriorum, 1653. 8vo. 376,(7 index),(1 blank) p. Calf 16 cm One of the most learned controversies in the annals of jurisprudence (Ref: Willems 734; Berghman 1985; Rahir 737) (Details: Back gilt and with 5 raised bands. Boards with gilt triple fillet borders. Edges dyed red. Title in red and black. Woodcut printer's mark on the title, featuring an old man standing in the shade of a vine-entwined elmtree, symbolising the symbiotic relationship between scholar and publisher. The motto is enigmatic: 'Non solus', probably indicating the interdependency of publisher and scholar. They cannot do it alone, and need each other. ((www).elsevier.com/about/history/elsevier-tree) (Condition: Binding worn at the extremities; head & tail of back repaired with small strip of leather. Flyleaves in the front and at the end removed. Joints split but firm, showing pieces of rope) (Note: This treatise on the Roman Law of Wills was produced by the French classical scholar Claude de Saumaise, latinized Claudius Salmasius, 1588-1653. He was a prolific author, and distinguished himself in his editions as a textual critic and erudite commentator. He was easy to get along with, but haughty and murderous on paper. In 1623 he was appointed as the successor of Scaliger at the University of Leiden, a city he was going to hate. In the same year he married Anne Mercier, daughter of the French philologist Josias Mercier des Bordes. She seems to have been a real Xanthippe. The marriage contract was formulated by a friend of Salmasius, the classical scholar and jurist Desiderius Heraldus. § The French philologist Didier Hérault, or latinized Desiderius Heraldus, born in 1579, was appointed professor of Greek at the 'Académie de Sedan' at a very young age. When he was only 20 he published 'Adversariorum libri duo', a book filled with his learned 'Adversaria', critical observations on a great number of ancient authors. Heraldus' professorship didnot last long, for he fell victim to religious intolerance. He was, like Salmasius, a protestant, and when he spoke in favour of the moderate Arminius, the orthodox Tilenus, who was more influential than the young newcomer, forced him to give up his chair. Heraldus went to Paris, and established himself as a lawyer. In 1623 he formulated, as told, the marriage contract for his friend, the famous classicist Claude De Saumaise. In Paris Heraldus held the office of counselor of the parliament. Heraldus chiefly distinguished himself by the cultivation of classical literature. He produced a commentary on Martial (Paris 1600), an edition with commentary of 'Arnobii disputatio adversus gentes' (Paris 1605), an edition with commentary of Minucius Felix (Paris 1613), an edition with commentary of Tertullian's 'Apologeticus' (Paris 1613), and several other works on law. (Biographie Universelle Ancienne et Moderne, Tome 67, Suppl., Paris 1840, p. 78/79) § In 1645 Salmasius published in Leiden his 'Miscellae Defensiones de variis Observationibus et Emendationibus ad Jus Atticum et Romanum pertinentibus'. Heraldus, who found himself injuriously treated by his former friend Salmasius in this book, accepted the challenge and prepared an ample, learned and very critical reply to Salmasius. Heraldus did however not live to see its publication, for he died in 1649. The book was posthumously published by his son Isaac in 1650 in Paris, under the title: 'Desiderii Heraldi Observationes ad Jus Atticum et Romanum, in quibus Claudii Salmasii Miscellae Defensiones, ejusque Specimen expenduntur'. But already in 1648 Salmasius had got wind of the critical refutations of Heraldus, who attacked him in detail concerning his opinions of the right of the creditor. The printing of the book of Heraldus had already started in 1648. Salmasius, as was his want, eager to insult his former friend, frankly tells the reader on the first page of the preface, that he succeeded in acquiring parts of the not yet published book. What he saw was enough to raise his anger. He calls the undertaking of his Parisian colleague 'risu digna', and 'ludibrium potius debere, quam refutationem mereri' (Preface p. 3) In that same year, 1648, the Elseviers of Leiden published Salmasius' quick retalliation, a work full of venom directed against Heraldus, under the title 'Specimen confutationis animadversionum Desiderii Heraldi, sive tractatus de subscribendis et signandis testamentis, item de antiquorum et hodiernorum sigillorum differentia'. So it anticipated the publication of Heraldus book by two years. A very quick response! (See Willems 'Les Elsevier', no. 645 and 734) Willems adds in his note that Salmasius' Tractatus is useful and 'curieux', it treats 'toutes les formalités que les anciens employoient pour rendre leurs actes authentiques'. Salmasius' book was apparantly not a great success. The unsold remainders were brought on the market in 1653 for a second time by the Elsevier brothers under a new title: 'De subscribendis et signandis testamentis, item de Antiquorum & Hodiernorum sigillorum differentia, Tractatus'. It is exactly the same book, except for the first gathering signed A, which consists of the titlepage and Salmasius' preface. So, a new titlepage was made for this reissue of 1653, and the preface was reset. Posterity assigned the victory in this quarrel to Heraldus. 'Die Nachwelt hat für Heraldus entschieden, dessen Arbeiten noch heut zu Tag für einen Schatz civilisitischer Gelehrsamkeit gelten'. (Friedrich Creuzer, 'Zur Geschichte der classischen Philologie seit Wiederherstellung der Literatur', Frankfurt 1864, p. 72) (Collation: A-2A8 (leaf 2A8 verso blank)) (Photographs on request)
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Last Found On: 2017-06-15           Check availability:      Biblio    

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