JUSTINIANUS (ca. 482-565). Institutiones. With the Glossa ordinaria of Accursius. [Venice:] Nicolaus Jenson, [ca. 1478-1480].
Super-royal 2o (431 x 284 mm). Collation: a-b10 c6 d-e8 f10 g-i8 k6 (a1 blank, a2r prologue, a3r text, k6r colophon, k6v blank). 81 leaves (of 82, without initial blank). Text in two columns with double-column commentary surround, commentary 70 lines. Types: 5:93GA (commentary), 8:93GB (text). 4- to 7-line initial spaces, most with printed guide letters, those in text red-printed. Headings printed in red. Parti-colored blue and red Lombard initials (a few smudged), the opening initial with filigree infill and flourishes, paragraph marks and running titles (book numbers) alternately blue and red. Two pinholes visible in outer corners of most leaves. (Occasional minor marginal soiling, marginal tear to a3, tiny wormhole in last few leaves.) ?16th-century vellum over wooden boards, 19th-century lettering on spine, vellum pastedown endleaves, 19th-century flyleaves, contemporary quire guards to first and last quires (tears along spine, some scrapes to lower cover).
Provenance: contemporary marginal note, a calculation of distances (b7r) -- 16th or 17th-century marginalia in first 2 quires, a few pointing fingers and sketched profiles elsewhere -- Bibliotheca Bredensis (18th or 19th-century inkstamps) -- Eduardo J. Bullrich (bookplate, sale, Sotheby's 17-19 March, 1952, lot 207).
Second or third Venetian edition. The third part of the Corpus juris civilis, Emperor Justinian's monumental codification of Roman law, the Institutes were conceived as an introductory manual that would provide a concise and clearly arranged outline of the law. Written by a commission of three under the direction of Tribonian, and largely based on Gaius' 2nd-century Commentarii institutionum, the work continued to serve for centuries as the elementary text with which students began their studies of Roman law. Jenson published the remaining texts of the Corpus in three editions between 1477 and 1480.
HC 9488*; GW 7595; Harvard/Walsh 1592; IGI 5502; Goff J-519.