By Kristin Leaman
Extent: 0.5 Cubic feet. More info below.
Access Restrictions: Collection is open for research.
Acquisition Method: It is very possible Eleanore Cammack ordered these rare book leaves from Dawson’s Book Shop. Cammack served as a librarian in the Purdue Libraries. She was originally hired as an order assistant in 1929. By 1955, she had become the head of the library's Order Department with a rank of assistant professor.
MSP 136, Medieval Manuscript Leaves collection
Collection of Tycho Brahe engravings
Collection of British Indentures
Palm Leaf Book
Original Leaves from Famous Books Eight Centuries 1240 A.D.-1923 A.D. Call No: 094 Or4
“Liber Chronicarum”: A folio of the Nuremberg Chronicle, restored from an incomplete copy from the library of Lambton Castle, England: with biographical note. Call No: 093 Sch 2
Preferred Citation: MSP 137, Rare Book Leaves collection, Archives and Special Collections, Purdue University Libraries
“Justinian’s greatest accomplishment was the codification of Roman law. This was done under his direction, by his principal law officer Tribonian, assisted by ten learned civilians, between the years 529 and 533 A.D. This intensive enterprise produced Corpus Juris Civilis, a work in four parts.
<ol> <li> The Code, in which earlier codes were recast and brought together.</li> <li> The Digest, 9, 123 excerpts of legal opinions gathered from over 2000 works.</li> <li> The Institute, a concise manual aid.</li> <li> The Novellae, or laws of Justinian.</li></ol> The formulation of Roman Law is often considered the greatest triumph of the ancient world, and its reorganization and transmission in the Justinian codes one of the greatest gifts of the Middle Ages to the western world. Roman law established each man’s right in regard to his labor and property. It was a powerful tool in the struggles between the secular rulers and the powerful of the church.
This code of laws survived the centuries primarily because it was flexible, capable of growth, and international in viewpoint. Universities were crowded by students from far and near the text expounded by noted glossators. Meynial states that this Roman law, more than any other factor, facilitated the passage of west European societies from the economics of the agricultural family to the rule of commercial and industrial individuals. It stressed the principle of representative government; this, together with its ideas of justice and equality, are now part of our American government.
The printer, Baptista de Tortis, was one of the first printers to specialize in jurisprudence. His reputation for accuracy of texts enabled him to dispose of edition after edition of 2000 or more copies, folio size, of his various publications, while many another 15th century printer went into bankruptcy after printing only one or two volumes in editions of 500 copies or less.
Tortis’s round, gothic type found such favor with the early Spanish printers that they copied it for several centuries under the name "letra de Tortis." The typographical problem of planning a certain amount of text to correspond exactly with related glosses complete on the same page was successfully handled in this unit.”
Printed in Latin in Tortis’ round, gothic type on paper with black ink. Red and blue initials and chain lines are present. It is an incunable and has rubricated text. Larger red initials are printed throughout. There is no watermark present. This leaf is from the Second Book. Folio number is printed on the top recto side in Arabic numerals, 50. Signature Sii is printed on bottom recto side. 2 columns, 82 lines [11.75”X17”]