A Landmark in English Legal Lexicography Spelman, Sir Henry [1564-1641]. Archaeologus. In Modum Glossarii ad Rem Antiquam Posteriorem: Continentis, Latino-Barbara, Peregrina, Obsoleta, Et Novatae Significationis Vocabula, Quae Post Labefactatas a Gothis Vandalisq[ue]; Res Europaeas, In Ecclesiasticis Profanisq[ue]; Scriptoribus; Variarum Item Gentium Legibus Antiquis, Chartis & Formulis Occurrunt Scholiis et Commentariis Illustrata, in Quibus Prisci Ritus quam Plurimi, Magistratus, Dignitates, Munera, Officia, Mores, Leges, Et Consuetudines Enarrantur. London: Apud Johannem Beale, 1626. [vi], 110 [i.e. 164], 177-194, 193-250, 241-452 pp. Pagination irregular; text complete. Main text in parallel columns. Folio (10-3/4" x 7-1/4"). Recent three-quarter speckled calf over marbled boards, gilt spine with raised bands and lettering piece, speckled edges, endpapers added. Light toning to text, somewhat heavier in places, negligible faint dampstaining to head of text block in a few places, recent repairs to a few leaves, one with minor loss to text, brief early annotations to endleaves, light soiling to title page. A handsome copy. $1,500. * First edition, one of two issues from 1626. The Archaeologus was the earliest English dictionary of legal and historical terms based on philological methods. The product of considerable archival research and consultation with scholars throughout Europe, it superseded all previous attempts at legal lexicography. As Holdsworth observes: "It is a great deal more than a law dictionary, being a dictionary of Latin and other words to be found in all the post-classical authors and documents English and foreign....In fact it is a product of that new school of historians and historically minded lawyers." This point is supported by Winfield, who notes its usefulness when interpreting terms used in the Domesday Book. The first edition, which is designated "Partis Primae" at the end of the text, contains terms from A to L. Spelman died before he could issue the second part covering M to Z. (The second edition, titled Glossarium Archaiologicum, contains both parts. It was edited by William Dugdale.) Holdsworth, A History of English Law V:402. Winfield, Chief Sources of English Legal History 112. English Short-Title Catalogue S123508.
Book number 71250