The First Legal Work Written About Plague Riva di San Nazarro, Gianfrancesco [c.1480-1535]. De Peste, Libri Tres. [Avignon: Per J. De Channey, 12 September 1522]. [xxviii], 162 pp. Three woodcut text illustrations. Quarto 8-1/4" x 6" (21 x 15 cm). Contemporary limp vellum with lapped edges and fragments of thong ties, raised bands to spine. Some soiling, spine darkened, minor wear to head of spine and corners. Title page printed within handsome woodcut architectural border, the two dedications commence with leaves with woodcut architectural borders and the coat of arms of the dedicatee, the first dedication also feature a woodcut vignette of the author presenting his book on bended knee, woodcut decorated initials and printer device. Light toning to text, somewhat heavier in places, soiling and light foxing to a few leaves, brief annotations, manicules and underlining in a contemporary hand throughout, later owner signature to foot of p. [iii]. A handsome copy of a rare title. $6,000. * First edition, one of two issues from 1522, the other published in Lyon by Jacques Secon, priority uncertain. Riva di San Nazarro, a Lombard noble, was a learned jurist and humanist scholar. His many works, all commentaries on aspects of Roman and canon law, went through several editions and were often excerpted and anthologized. As suggested by its title De Peste is a treatise on Roman and canon law concerning issues relating to plagues. The first legal work written about plague and one of the very first books on public health law, it reflects the near-annual occurrence of plague in early-modern Europe. All editions are scarce. OCLC locates 4 copies of the first edition, all of the Avignon issue, in North American law libraries (George Washington University, Harvard, Library of Congress, UC-Berkeley). Universal Short-Title Catalogue 110507.
Book number 67475