Lyons: Benoist Bonyn for Jacques and Francois Giunta, 1544 (Part 1) and 1542 (Part 2). 8vo. 2 volumes in one. Collation: [pi]8 aa-cc8 dd12 a-z8 [et]8 [con]8 [rum]8 A-CC8 DD12 (O8 blank); AA-BB8 aa-nn8 oo12. Pagination: , ccccxxviii, , cxv,  ff. Upper corners of four leaves (fols. clxxxiii-clxxxvi) have been inexplicably *mutilated* with significant losses of text, and fols. clxxxvii and clxxxviii are torn in half, with loss of one entire column (SEE IMAGES). Sig. F (Part 1) and sig. aa (Part 2) slightly browned on account of the paper stock. Fol. aa1 (Part 2) with marginal worm-holes (but no other text leaf in the book is affected!). Light persistant staining to textblock at beginning and end (SEE IMAGES). Contemporary (no doubt original) limp vellum with a nice old patina, three sewing supports of broad leather strips, vellum extending over the fore-edges of both covers, evidence of two pair of ties laced into covers at fore-edges, four spine linings of Medieval MS waste (see below). Four original binder's blanks (two at the front, two at the back; portion along the top of the first has been excised (likely an old signature); worming to binder's blanks 1, 2 and 4. MS entry on title page "321" (an early shelf-mark?). Spine with 3" tear in vellum (SEE IMAGES), old shelf-mark on paper label: "D.12." On top edge of textblock in early MS is written "Angelus de Malef[iciis]." An UNSOPHISTICATED copy, but with some faults and priced accordingly. Very good. Item #3549
THE PRINCIPAL AUTHORITY ON FORENSIC CRIMINAL LAW IN CONTINENTAL EUROPE, AND THE MOST FAMOUS TEXT ON PENAL MATTERS OF THE 15TH CENTURY.
With the publication of De Maleficiis in 1472, "Angelus Aretinus effectively replaced Gandinus as the principal authority on criminal law in continental Europe. [...] In his Tractatus, Angelus sets out a single hypothetical criminal case from start to finish (from the crime to the judgments of conviction). He raises in this context as many questions of law as possible, and summarizes the opinions of the most authoritative commentators on each question. Thus, his Tractatus was both a 'nuts-and-bolts' procedural manual for lawyers and judges and a compendium of contemporary criminal law scholarship" (Herrmann and Speer).
Jonathan Davies explains: "A leading centre of learning during the Middle Ages, the Tuscan city of Arezzo produced a series of lawyers whose reputations reached across the Italian peninsula and beyond the Alps. None was more distinguished than Angelo Gambiglioni (d. 1461), the author of the most famous text on penal matters of the fifteenth century, the Tractatus de maleficiis, and of a widely disseminated commentary on the Institutes, the Lectura Institutionum. [...]. The erudition and pragmatism which characterize Gambiglioni's works were shaped by his study under Paolo da Castro at the University of Florence in the 1410s and by his service as a judge in several Italian cities in the 1420s. Gambiglioni's awareness of the demands of an academic readership were honed by his teaching at the University of Bologna from 1431 to 1444 and at the University of Ferrara from 1445 to 1461. His distinction as a teacher can be gauged not only by the Lectura Institutionum but also by the calibre of his pupils who included Alessandro Tartagni, Bartolomeo Cipolla and Paride dal Pozzo. While pursuing his academic career Gambiglioni remained committed to the needs of legal practice. This commitment found its expression in the Tractatus de maleficiis, in a series of lectures on trial procedures, and in a large collection of consilia."
Historians of the so-called Insanity Defense have recently turned to legal precedents that Gambiglio established in De Maleficiis. Linda Ross Meyer ("Unreasonable Revelations: God Told Me to Kill") cites Guiteau v. United States, 10 F. 161 (S.D.N.Y. 1882), and states that: "[...] according to the 1472 treatise De Maleficiis, by Italian jurist Angelus Aretinus, when insanity was intermittent, 'a previous condition of madness shifted the burden of proof to the accuser, who had to prove that the offense occurred during a lucid interval."
Gambiglio's significance in the history of the Insanity Defence was explored by H.C. Erik Midelfort ("A History of Madness in Sixteenth-Century Germany"): "By the mid fifteenth century, criminal jurists had taken over many of the subtle distinctions of the canonists. Perhaps the best example of the increasing skill displayed by legists in dissecting degrees of guilt is the substantial work on crimes, De maleficiis, by Angelus Aretinus (1472). In his analysis, we may survey the basic shape of the insanity defense in the late Middle Ages. The essence of a fully criminal act was that one "knowingly and maliciously" intended to harm (scienter dolose). But a madman does not fit this criterion, "and he is punished enough by his own madness." [...] Sympathetically, Aretinus noted that the mad are born for suffering injury not for causing it in others, and so anyone who injured a mad person should be punished. One of the knottiest problems with the insanity defense, in that age or in ours, was the question of whether an offense was committed during a lucid interval. How could one tell the state of mind of a criminal at the time of his act? Often it was difficult, but Aretinus noted that a previous condition of madness shifted the burden of proof to the accuser who had to prove that the offense had occurred during a lucid interval."
Many Anglo-American legal historians have overlooked the importance of Angelus Aretino, but his work has been the subject of two erudite Italian monographs: Giorgio Zordan, "Il diritto e la procedura criminale nel Tractatus de maleficiis di Angelo Gambiglioni" (Pubblicazioni della Facolta di Giurisprudeoza dell'Universita di Padova No. 77, 1976), and Domenico and Paola Maffei's magisterial bio-bibliographical work cited above: "Angelo Gambiglioni giureconsulto aretino del quattrocento, la vita, i libri, le opere" (Fondazione Sergio Mochi Onory, 1994), reviewed by Jonathan Davies in: The English Historical Review, vol. 112, no. 447, 1997, p. 725-726. Further literature: Frank R. Herrmann and Brownlow M. Speer. "Facing the Accuser: Ancient and Medieval Precursors of the Confrontation Clause" in: Virginia Journal of International Law 34, 1994, p. 531, n. 256. Woldemar Engelmann, Die Wiedergeburt der Rechtskultur in Italien, 1937, pp. 233-236. See Zordan, supra note 210, at 13-27. Linda Ross Meyer, Unreasonable Revelations: God Told Me to Kill, 2019, p. 825 note 330. H.C. Erik Midelfort, A History of Madness in Sixteenth-Century Germany (Stanford UP, 1999), p. 191.
Adams G-196. The present copy appears to be a reissue of the 1532 Guinta edition with new title-pages.
CATALOGUER'S NOTE: Of the Medieval manuscript waste used here as spine liners, only a few letters are visible, but there is a small but excellent red flower (penned in red outline). Whereas there are portions of the text that are lacking (see above), this is an appealing Medieval lawbook in completely unsophisticated state.