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Published by LOMBARDY ITALY, 1525
Condition: Good+ Hardcover
From M Benjamin Katz FineBooksRareManuscripts (Toronto, ON, Canada)

AbeBooks Seller Since May 11, 2005 Seller Rating 4-star rating

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About this Item

On offer is an ancient, very charming and even beautiful, manuscript relic of early civil law and legal procedure, bound in vellum, being the "Corpus Iuris Civilis of Justinian", the Digesta [Digests or Pandects] Books 1 through 38 in condensed form. [All titular headings from 1.1.0 through 38.17.0 with each followed by an abbreviated explanation of the premise. In some instances may also have portions of subsections such as 1.5.6. The text does not contain the elaborations of Ulpianus, Pomponius, Florentinus or their like.] Justinian the Great "Justice is the constant and perpetual wish to render to everyone his due" was the Roman Emperor of Byzantine Constantinople from 527 to 565. He was the last Roman Emperor to speak Latin as his first language. He tried to revive the greatness of the empire by reconquering the lost western half of the classical Roman Empire, achieving only partial success in this, although he did retake the city of Rome. But probably his most enduring legacy was the uniform rewriting of Roman law, the Corpus Iuris Civilis, which is still the basis for much civil law in many modern states and with which this volume is concerned. Dated October 30, 1525, handwritten in one humanist hand, this version appears to be a synopsis of the first 38 books of the Digesta and may have been used as a primer for a law student or as is more likely in this case given the marginalia a reference by a civil authority such as a lawyer or civil magistrate. On the spine is the word "Castaldus". Castaldus [Gastaldo in Italian] was also a term for a Lombardy official in charge of some portion of a demesne (a gastaldia or castaldia) with civil, martial and juridical powers. When Lombardy submitted to a codified Roman law, the term came to be used as a reference for civil magisterial matters. Another possiblility is this was owned by a Restaurus Castaldus, an Italian civil lawyer, d. 1564, and known to be the author of published book: "De imperatore, in Tractatus universi iuris", or this book may possibly be a redaction or some other volume of the same Castaldus by another hand. [This book offers a wonderful research opportunity for the right researcher!] Description: CASTALDUS, 1525, Italy. Cover of limp vellum (148x 119x 20mm) Held by two leather straps through the spine to under the covers. Small section of cover on spine is missing. 124 leaves of linen rag paper, 140 x105mm, the first and last blank. 122 paginated folios; 1-109, CX-CXXII. Collation; i + I (13)[13 a singleton] + II(16) + III(15) [39 a singleton] + IV(15) [51 a singleton] +V(16) + VI(15) [90 a singleton] + VII(16) + i. COMPLETE. 243 pages of text. Dated on recto of f.CXXII October 30, 1525, verso blank. The pages have 15 lines in brown ink written in an elegant Humanist Bookhand with italic traits, a few initials with minor flourishes near the beginning, and marginal notations. Folios 73-79 some ink smear from damp stain, f.74-75 stuck together in center toward spine. Folios 107-CXXII with spill stain over one half of page. In all instances the text is legible. The book is in unusually good condition for it's nearly five hundred years of life, although it naturally shows appropriate signs of age and use and there is some brittleness to the cover. Overall G+. Size: 16mo - over 5" - 6" tall. Bookseller Inventory # 0001371

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Bibliographic Details



Publication Date: 1525

Binding: Original Vellum

Book Condition:Good+

Book Type: Latin

Store Description

M. Benjamin Katz, Fine Books/Rare Manuscripts: M. Benjamin Katz, Fine Books/Rare Manuscripts is located in Toronto, Canada doing business by appointment, and having an online presence selling rare books and manuscripts since 1999. Specializing in handwritten, historically significant books, manuscripts, diaries, documents and ephemera. A member of The Manuscript Society each treasure on offer is guaranteed authentic and as represented for life. Worldwide clientele includes public, private and university libraries on both sides of the Atlantic and Pacific. Always buying collections and estates.

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Ben Katz
358 Danforth Avenue
Suite 65276
Toronto ON
M4K 3Z2

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