* JUSTINIANUS I, Emperor (483-565). Institutiones. [Basel: Nicolaus Kesler, ca 1487-1488].
Folio (348 x 235 mm). Gothic types, text in two columns surrounded by 68 lines of commentary. COLLATION: a4 (with unsigned blank singleton inserted between a1 and a2) bb-mm8 nn8 (-n8, with index on recto): 104 leaves (lacking final index leaf, single blank leaf inserted between aa1 and aa2). Text printed in red and black, 3- to 5-line initials in red or blue, paragraph marks and initial strokes in red and blue. (Mostly marginal dampstaining, a few wormholes occasionally touching letters, first and final leaves outer margins frayed and with some worming or soiling.) Contemporary blind-tooled pigskin-backed wooden boards (some rubbing and wear, a few wormholes, short tears to head of spine); clasps and catches (one clasp detached, leather renewed). Provenance: Michaelsberg Abbey, Bamberg (inscription on first text leaf: "Ad Bibliothecam Mrij. S. Mich. Arch. Bamb. OSB."); notes and marginalia in an early hand.
Later edition of Justinian's Roman Law. "No single authority has had greater influence in shaping the existing legal codes of all nations than the Roman Law; obvious in those which, like the Code Napoléon, sought to impose a theoretic standpoint, it may be felt even in fundamentally empiric bodies of law like the English Common Law...When people speak of the Roman Law today, what they mean is Justinian" (PMM 4). RARE: according to American Book Prices Current, only one copy of this edition of Justinian's Institutiones has sold at auction in the last 40 years (Sotheby's London, 6 July 1982, lot 371). BMC III, 774; BSB-Ink C-652; Goff J530; GW 7615; Hain 9487.
Property from the Estate of Steve and Peggy Fossett, Carmel, California