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The Michael H. Hoeflich Collection of Roman Law Books - Spring 2013

Daniel R. Coquillette Rare Book Room

In December 2009 and December 2012, Michael H. Hoeflich, John H. & John M. Kane Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Kansas School of Law, donated his fine collection of antiquarian and modern Roman law books to the Boston College Law Library. Professor Hoeflich is a well-known scholar in many areas of law and legal bibliography, including legal history, comparative law, ethics, contracts, art law, and the history of law book publishing. His 1997 book, Roman and Civil Law and the Development of Anglo-American Jurisprudence in the Nineteenth Century, is a classic in the field.

Dating from 1536, Professor Hoeflich’s collection of over 500 titles includes both seminal and lesser-known works on Roman, civil, and canon law in Latin, German, French, and English. The collection is both broad and deep, reflecting his knowledge of and passion for Roman law, bibliography, and the bookmaker’s art. All of us at the Boston College Law School and Law Library are profoundly grateful to Professor Hoeflich for his generous donation.

The exhibit was curated by Laurel Davis, Curator of Rare Books/Legal Reference Librarian.  It is largely based on a 2011 exhibit by Karen Beck, now Curator of Special Collections at Harvard Law Library.  The current exhibit includes many books that were previously displayed, but it also incorporates some lovely works from Professor Hoeflich’s most recent gift. 

A handout describing the entire exhibit is available here; some images of books from Professor Hoeflich’s 2012 gift are featured below. 


Louis Roussard. Codicis DN Iustiniani Sacratissimi Principis PP. A. Ex Repetita Praelectione, Lib. XII : Ex Codicis Theodosiani...  Lyon, 1561.

This lovely vellum edition of Justinian’s Code was printed with the volume featured next.  Both volumes have an impressive provenance, having once lived in the libraries of Joseph Scaliger (French religious leader and scholar), Nicolaas Heinsius (Dutch classicist), and Andrew Fletcher of Saltoun (Scottish writer and politician). 

Christian Wolff Spine

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Louis Roussard.  Ius Civile, Manuscriptorum Librorum Ope: Summa Diligentia & Integerrima fide Infinitis Locis Emendatum, & Perpetuis Notis IllustratumLyon, 1561. 

Like its partner above, this edition of The Pandects features the device of printer Gulielmum Rouillium—the eagle with two snakes rising from beneath him.

Ius Civile-Pandects 1561
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Heinrich Christian von Senckenberg, et al. Brachylogus Iuris Civilis Siue Corpus Legum Paulo Post Iustinianum Conscriptum Pandens Totum Iuris Iustinianei Ambitum. Frankfurt and Leipzigalae, 1743.

The Brachylogus is an anonymous work, designed as textbook and based on THE INSTITUTES. Its origins are somewhat controversial, but it first appeared in Europe in 1550, published in Lyon. It is notable for the application of classical Roman law to contemporary problems. This lovely German edition was printed in Frankfurt and Leipzig during the eighteenth century and is displayed open to the beautiful title page and frontispiece.

Brachylogus Title Page

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Iacobo Gothofredo. Fragmenta XII. Tabularum. Heidelberg, 1616.

This rare volume represents French scholar Jacques Godefroy’s discussion of the famous Twelve Tables, important laws publicly displayed in Rome to inform citizens of their rights and duties.

Twelve Tables Title Page

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Arnoldus Vinnius. Jurisprudentiae Contractae, sive, Partitionum Juris Civilis. Rotterdam, 1664.

This work addresses the Roman law of contracts, as well as the laws surrounding inheritance and succession.

Vinnius Title Page

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Robert Eden. Jurisprudentia philologica, sive Elementa juris civilis. Oxford, 1744.

Eden (1701-1759) was an Oxford professor. His introduction to civil law followed the order of Justinian's Institutes and remained popular with students for decades.

Robert Eden Title Page

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B. Philippe Vicat, et al. Vocabularium Juris Utriusque. Naples, 1760.

Complete with terminology from both civil and canon law, this four volume set looks to Brisson, Heineccius, and others as sources.

Vocabularium utriusque Title Page

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