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Incunabula

The word incunabulum (the plural is incunabula) derives from the Latin term meaning swaddling clothes. The term is most often used to refer to the infancy of European printing and specifically as a book prior to 1501 A.D. These books were typeset and printed by hand from moveable type. The Association of the Bar of the City of New York has 24 works bound in 17 volumes.

Accursius,. Codex Justinianus [with the Glossa ordinaria of Accursius and the Summaria of Hieronymus Clarius] Venice : Bernardinus Stagninus, 1495.

The Codex Justinianus was the first part of the Corpus Juris Civilis to be completed in 529. It collects the statutes (constitutiones) of the Roman Emperors. The earliest “constitutio” preserved in the code was made from Emperor Hadrian. The latter codes come from Justinianus himself. A second edition of the Codex was issued in 534. (Burdick, Principles of Roman Law)

Bartolomeo, da Brescia. Casus Decretorum Bartholomei Brixiensis. In vrbe Basilien[si] [Basel] : per Nicolaum Kesler, 1489. Bound with: Casus breves Decretalium [Sexti et Clementinarum] / attributed to Michael de Dalen; printed by Johann Koelhoff the elder of Cologne, 1485.

Bartholomaeus Brixiensis lived in the first half of the thirtheenth century. He studied Roman law under the jurist Hugolinus and Canon law under Tancredi. Casus Decretorum was important to the student studying canon law and for the lawyer interpreting the law. It was also incorporated into the 1505 Paris edition of Gratian’s Decretum. Bound with Casus Decretum is Casus breves Decretalium printed by Johann Koelhoff. Koelhoff is best remembered as the printer who first used signatures to indicate to the binder the order of the sheets. This eventually became a general practice among printers. (Esdaile, A Students Manual of Bibliography)

Birnbaum, Heinrich von dem. Henricus de Pyro super Institutis. [Cologne : Conrad Winters, ca. 1482]

Chiari, Isidoro. Decretales Gregorii IX. Decretales : cum summariis suis et textuum divisionibus ac etiam rubricarus continuationibus / Hieronymi Clarii Brix Venetis : Baptiste de Tortis, 1498.

This is the basic text of medieval canon law. The text was commissioned in 1230 by Gregory IX and was completed in 1234 by Raymond of Peafort, Dominican canon lawyer, and later supplemented by the decretals of Bonifacius VIII in 1298 and of Clemens V in 1317. The 3 comprised the corpus of canon law. Though the text was known and used throughout all Europe, substantially complete manuscripts are relatively rare outside ancient public libraries.

Cino, da Pistoia. Lectura super codicem Venetiis [Venice] : Andreas Torresanus, de Asula, 1493.

Del Monte, Pietro. Repertorium utriusque iuris Nuremb[er]ge : Andreas Frisner et Johannes Sensenschmid, 1476.

Guarinus, Johannes. Domini Justiniani sacratissimi principis perpetui semper Augusti iuris enucleati ex omni veteri iure collecti Digestorum seu Pandectarus incipit liber XXXVIIII et primus huius / Johannes Guarinus Capranicen. Rome : aput sanctum Marcus, 1476.

Johannes, de Imola. In Clementinas opus. Venice : Jacobus Rubeis, 1475. Bound with:
Cautele famosissimi uiri domini Bartholomei de Cepolla de Verona. [lacks colophon]

Pope Clemens V was elected June 5, 1305 at Perugia as successor to Benedict XI, after a conclave of eleven months, the great length of which was owing to the French and Italian factions among the cardinals. He completed the medieval "Corpus Juris Canonici" by the publication of a collection of papal decretals known as "Clementineæ.” This is the only known copy of this edition.

Justinianus. Digestum vetus. Venice : Baptista de Tortis, 1494.

Maino, Giasone dal. Jason Maynus super secundo parte codicis Venetiis : per Bernardinum Benalius, 1496 Bound with: (a) Florianus, de Sancto Petro Bononiensis. Lecture Peregrina et Ravissima ... exatracta De finibus regundor (Bononiae, 1491?; 40 leaves) -- (b) Bartholomaeus Bologninus. De privilegiis [ecclesiasticis?] (Bononiae, 1498 Jan 15) (c) Accolti de Aretio, Franciscus. Commentaris de soluto matri (Henricus de Colonia Senis, Cologne, 1486 July 15) -- (d) Nicolai de Neapoli. Super tribus libris codicis Paduae (Christophorus de Canibus, 1491 Oct. 12; 38 leaves) -- (e) Bartholomeus Susinus Senensis. Solemnis repetitio (undated, 30 leaves)

Paulus, de Castro. Consilia et allegationes clarissimi ac prestantissimi utruisque iuris doc. Pauli de Castro incipiunt. Venetiis [Venice] : Paganinus de Paganinis, 1489.

Petrus. Exceptiones legum Romanorum cum tractatu actionum : carundemq. longinquitate
Strassburg : Johann Schott, 4 Nov. (feria quarta post festum Omnium Sanctorum) 1500

[Statham, Nicholas] Abridgement of cases [Rouen : Guillaume Le Talleur] for Richard Pynson, [1490?]

This is the first printed abridgement of case-law. Richard Pynson is documented as a glover and bookbinder before he was known as a printer; “Statham” is the earliest book in which his name appears: 'per me Ricardum Pynson.' He dominated the market for printed law books from the 1490's. Statham collected his materials from the Year-Books extending from Edward I to the end of Henry VI. He also abridges some decisions not elsewhere to be found. The cases are distributed chronologically, in the alphabetical order of the titles of the law...it has the merit of originality, and has served as a model for similar productions." (Marvin, Legal Bibliography 661)

Torti, Battista,,printer. Infortiatum de Tortis. Venice : Baptista de Tortis, 1497

Voerda, Nicasius de. Institutiones. Cologne : Johannis Hoelhoff, 1493.

Wernherus, of Schussenried. Modus legendi abbreviaturas in vtroque iure [S.l. : s.n.], 1486
Bound With: Vocabularius juris utriusque. Strassburg: [Printer of the 1483 Jordanus de Quedlinberg (Georg Husner)] 16 Sept 1486

The Modus Legendi Abbreviaturas is a glossary of abbreviations commonly found in Roman and Canon law texts. It was first published anonymously around 1475 in Strassburg, but was later attributed to Wernherus of Schussenried. The Vocabularius Utriusque Iuris was first published around 1474 and during the next 150 years produced more than seventy editions. The Vocabularius was very popular with the layperson. It introduced the public to the language of the law that was making its way into the German speaking region of Europe . (Tarlton Law Library, University of Texas School of Law , Harper, Selection of Incunabula 566)