Antiquitatum Romanarum Pauli Manutii Liber de Legibus.

Paris, Bernard Turrisan, 1557.


8vo., pp. 288. Roman letter, privilege and index in Italic. Large Aldine anchor device on title, woodcut initials, occasional early marginalia. Lower outer corner of title page a little frayed. Very small, light damp stain to outer margin of last two quires, touching a few letters of text. A good copy in near-contemporary vellum, edges speckled red. Two earlier manuscript notes to title page (in Latin in blank portions of title), the longer apparently a punning epitaph on one ‘Ludovicus Flamen’ ‘flamen obiit…caelo vivit.’ The hand is North-West European from mid- to late-16th century; ‘Flamen’ was a surname often used by Flemish residents in France in this period. 17th century manuscript ex-libris on front pastedown, ‘Ex libris M. Nic. le Bachelier.’

The Parisian reprint of the first edition, first issue (appearing in the same year) of an interesting work on ancient Roman law, intended to inaugurate Manutius’ monumental work on the antiquities of Rome. During his lifetime, Manutius published this section on law, and after his death the Senate (1581), the Comitia (1585), and his description of the Roman state and its political institutions were also printed. The posthumous editions were the work of his son, Aldus Manutius the Younger (1547-1597).

Bernard Turrisan was the grandson of Andrea Torresani, the father in law of Aldus, who used the Aldine device as his trademark on the title pages of his publications; he worked in Paris between 1554 and 1571. Most of the books published under his supervision were printed by Federic Morel.

BM STC Fr. 300; Renouard 279:9; Adams M-475; Graesse IV, 375.


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