The "Excellency" of the Civil Law Wiseman, Sir Robert [1613-1654]. The Law of Laws: Or, The Excellency of the Civil Law, Above All Other Humane Laws Whatsoever. Shewing of How Great Use and Necessity the Civil Law is to this Nation. London: Printed by J[ohn]. G[rismond]. for R. Royston, 1657 [i.e. 1656]. [xiv], 184, 187-190,  pp. Pagination irregular. Text complete. Two parts with continuous pagination, part two, dated 1656, has separate title page reading: Lex Legum, Or, The Excellency of the Roman Civil Law Above All Other Humane Laws Whatsoever. Quarto (7-1/8" x 4-3/4"). Contemporary sheep, blind rules to boards, morocco lettering piece to spine. Moderate rubbing to extremities, tiny chip to foot of spine, corners bumped and lightly worn, worm hole hear head of front joint, front hinge cracked. Title page of first part, which has a small early owner signature, printed in red and black. Moderate toning to text, chip to foot of leaf Z4 (pp.175-176) with no loss to text. $2,500. * First edition. In this book Wiseman, the Dean of Arches and a member of Doctors' Commons, lamented the decline of Roman law in England and gave reasons why it should be revived. As Holdsworth notes, his "argument is that Roman law is the most reasonable body of law in the world; that all nations had found it necessary to adopt its rules for the regulation both of municipal and international affairs; and that the common law had no rules sufficient to deal with such matters as the law of war and naval discipline, and diplomatic questions. It is a clearly written argument for the revival of Roman law, from the point of view of jurisprudence and comparative law; but it is the book of an advocate, who can find no defect in his favourite system--he even defends the use of torture in the Roman criminal procedure." Later editions were published in 1664 and 1686. Holdsworth, A History of English Law XII:640. English Short-Title Catalogue R204077.
Book number 70298