Incunabula

 

The Law Library owns more than 125 incunabula on law and law-related subjects, including canon law, Roman law, witchcraft trials, French customary law, and feudal law, with printings from France, Germany, Italy, and Switzerland.  Among these are some of the treasures of the collection: Coutumes d'Anjou et du Maine (Paris, 1486), an early coutumier of which only two other surviving copies appear to exist, at least one of which is incomplete; Le Songe du Vergier (Paris, ca. 1500), treating issues of church and state; and Modus Legendi Abbreviaturas in Utroque Iure (Strassburg, 1494), a work on Latin legal abbreviations used in Roman and canon law featuring hand-colored illuminations. Other treasures include two incunable editions (1494 and 1500) of the Malleus Malleficarum ("The Witch Hammer"), an early work on criminal law and procedure, created during the Inquisition to assist in identifying, prosecuting, and killing witches, and the 1500 Arbor Cõsanguinitatis of canon law jurist Giovanni d’Andrea, which treats the concept of affinity under canon law and is illustrated with a detailed woodcut tree schema.


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