JUSTINIAN I, Emperor of Byzantium (483–565 CE). Novellae constitutiones
et Codicis libri X-XII, with commentary by Accursius Florentinus
(1184–1263). [With:] OBERTUS DE HORTO (fl. 12th century).
Libri feudorum, with commentary by Jacobus Columbi (fl. 13th
century). Printed on vellum. Mainz: Peter Schoeffer, 21 August 1477.
The original owner of this Roman civil law code was Johann von Dalburg
(1455–1503), whose name and coat-of-arms were painted at the bottomof the
first leaf in 1478. One of Germany’s leading humanist scholars, Dalburg was
Chancellor of Heidelberg University, the founder of its college of civil
law, and Bishop of Worms from 1482. Bridwell Library also owns one of his
published works, Gratulatio Innocentio VIII dicta (Rome: Stephan
Plannck, 1485). A great book collector, Dalburg commissioned the printer
Adolf Rusch to purchase books at the Frankfurt book fairs and he bought many
Italian manuscripts while he was studying law at Pavia (1472-75) and Padua
(1476-80). The illuminations and white-vine initials in Bridwell Library’s
book from his collection are unmistakably Italian. They indicate that
Dalburg bought this German-made book from one of Peter Schoeffer’s
bookselling agents in Italy. Bridwell Library’s copy is one of only four
recorded copies printed on vellum, and the only vellum copy preserved in
End of exhibition.