My friend and collaborator Mark Weiner has produced the latest installment in his series of videos on rare law books. “Water, Paper, Law” is an almost poetic meditation, in which “an eighteenth-century Italian legal treatise about water inspires some thoughts about law, rare books, and the passage of time.” I’ve embedded the video below. You can also view it on Weiner’s Worlds of Law blog. When the video appeared on the Environment, Law, and History blog, blogger David Schorr wrote “I’d love to hear more about these works!”. In partial satisfaction, here’s a list of the books that Mark included in the video:
- Battista Aimo, Tractatus singularis de universo alluvionum jure (Jena, 1675). This is the second edition of an influential treatise on the Roman law of alluvion and riparian rights. The first edition (Bologna, 1580) was my introduction to law books with illustrations.
- Bartolo, of Sassoferrato, Consilia cum summariis, quaestiones & trac. bar. et alii tractatus practicabiles & valde quothidiani circa materiam testium (Lyon, 1518). This collection of works by the great medieval jurist Bartolus (1313-1357) include his short treatises on water law (“De fluminibus seu Tyberiadis”) and islands (“De insulis”).
- Giuseppe Carmagnola, Trattato delle alluvioni: diviso in ragionamenti teorico-pratici sopra l’origine, il diritto, e la divisione degli incrementi fluviali (Turin, 1793). This is a treatise on Roman and local laws relating to alluvion, riparian rights, flood control, mills and dams. The last plate is a 5-foot long, narrow folded map of the river Po.
- Johannes Deneken, Neu-vermehrtes Dorff- und Land-Recht (2 vols.; Frankfurt & Leipzig, 1719-1723). A treatise on German agricultural laws.
- Gelderland (Netherlands), Water-recht waar nae een yder in het Furstendom Gelre en Graafschap Zutphen, sich voortaen zal hebben te reguleren (Arnhem, 1715). “First edition of an official publication of the provincial States assembly of Gelderland standardizing water rights in the province, including rights to shifting land and to property that washes ashore, rights of transport, rights to build jetties or groynes, rules for surveying waterways, etc. It includes eight folding river and riverbank maps drawn for the occasion by Isaack van Heuvel (ca. 1675?-1745) of Zutphen, surveyor to the province of Gelderland, and engraved by Mattheus Berkenboom (d. ca. 1715) in Nijmegen.” (Antiquariaat Forum, July 2013)
- Jacob Schuback, Commentarius de iure littoris; Vom strand-rechte (Hamburg, 1751). German maritime law and salvage.
– MIKE WIDENER, Rare Book Librarian