Leipzig: Gregorius Böttiger (Werman), 1493. First Edition. bound in a fourteenth or early fifteenth century leaf. With a 16th century manuscript leaf as a front pastdown on perspective. Goff B254; H 2636*; IBP 863; IDL 706; Kotvan 189.
The Walters Art Museum Library
Univ. of Chicago
Yale University, Law School Library. Quarto 18.5cm. Signatures:A2 a3-8 b–g⁶h⁸ (52 leaves). Item #869
Quarto 18.5cm. Signatures:A2 a3-8 b–g⁶h⁸ (52 leaves).
Bartolus de Saxoferrato, fourteenth century lawyer and professor of law at Perugia was one of the most prominent jurists of Medieval Roman Law. Regarded as an authority on the Corpus juris civilis he was Chief among post glossators and was famous for his ability to modernize and utilized ancient tests into contemporary contexts which were to be come international Common law. This process of adapting ancient authorities into a systematic and logical approach to legal analysis, laid the foundation for modern legal theory Saxoferrato’s sees the role of the Glossator as a mediator between the ancient and the modern. Adjusting (or interpreting) primary texts in the light current times are relevant in the perspective of Renaissance on logic and ethics and political philosophy:
Bartolus paved the way for the modern conception of territorial sovereignty and for a rejection of tyranny on legal grounds. Saxoferrato, uses glosses to transform the law, rather than enforce it. The use of Aristotle as reference only exposes that Aristotle is not Aristotle but “ leges nostrae” . The texts of the Glossators of Aristotle and Aquinas are the sources from which Saxoferrato developed his political theory.
The Tractatuli “Through this process Bartolus wrote several extremely influential legal doctrines, particularly those on the governmental authority of city-states and the rights of individuals and corporate bodies within them. These and other of his principles became the common law of Italy and were also recognized as law in Spain, Portugal, and Germany.” (Britanica)
Bartolus's reputation as an authority in Roman Law endured through the centuries, and he remains an important figure in legal scholarship to this day.
This little book was printed only twice before 1500 and then sparsely thereafter.