Rare Treatise Dealing With Legal Rights of Farmers and Other Rural People Choppin, Rene [1537-1606]. De Privilegiis Rusticorum: Lib. III. O Fortunatos Nimium, Sua Si Bona Norint, Agricolas, Gnauosque Senes, Extrema per Illos Iustitia Excedens Terris Vestigia Fecit. Paris: Apud Nicolaum Chesneau, 1575 [colophon: 29 November 1574]. [xvi] 248,  pp. Quarto (9" x 6-1/2"). Contemporary limp vellum, early calligraphic title to spine, ties lacking. Negligible light shelfwear, text block partially detached from binding. Woodcut printer device to title page, woodcut decorated initials. Some toning, light dampspotting and early annotations to a few leaves. $2,000. * First edition. Choppin (or Chopin) was a French jurist and an avocat of the Parlement of Paris. Like Jean Bacquet and Jean Bodin, Choppin drew on Roman law and feudal principles to advocate a centralized state under royal rule. De Privilegiis Rusticorum addresses legal privileges enjoyed by rural people in Roman and civil law, such as access to uncultivated land. A well-written and remarkably comprehensive work, it went through seven subsequent editions in Latin. Its final edition, translated into French, was published in 1634. This was a rarely explored topic, and Choppin's treatise is the only early example we have encountered. According to the Biographie Universelle, "it deserves notice for the singularity of its subject, for its profound research, and the decisions it contains" (8:499). All editions are scarce today and rare in North American law libraries. OCLC locates three copies of the 1575 edition (at Columbia, George Washington University and Harvard). Camus, Profession d'Avocat 1477.
Book number 57504