Canon Law and Capital Punishment Matthaeus, Antonius (III) [1635-1710]. De Jure Gladii Tractatus et de Toparchis qui Exercent id in Dioecesi Ultrajectina. Leiden: Sumptu Auctoris Excudit Johannes Kellenaar, 1689. Quarto (8-1/2" x 7"). Contemporary vellum, fragment of title label to spine, edges rouged. Some soiling, spine somewhat darkened, front joint just starting at head, corners bumped, 3-1/2" x 9" piece of vellum excised from front board. Large arms of the Curia of the Holy Roman Empire (which has a portrait of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V) to title page. Some toning, light browning in places. Faint dampstaining to head of first quarter of text block, internally clean. $350. * Only edition. The son and grandson of distinguished jurists of the same name, Antonius Matthaeus III was a professor of law at the University of Utrecht and later its rector. De Jure Gladii is a treatise on capital crimes in canon law as applied to the diocese of Utrecht. It also addresses corporal punishment and lesser crimes. Capital punishment was complicated topic because it involved conflicts with local feudal law. (On a fundamental level, canon law forbids capital punishment, feudal law applies it to a broad spectrum of crimes.) These tensions were acute in Utrecht. Though part of the Protestant United Provinces (Dutch Republic), Utrecht was historically a Catholic center. The Church continued to be a strong presence in the seventeenth century. About 40% of the population was Catholic. This percentage was higher among elite groups. OCLC locates 4 copies in North American law libraries (Columbia, Harvard, Southern Methodist University, UC-Berkeley). Dekkers, Bibliotheca Belgica Juridica 112 (11).
Book number 58440