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Reassessing Legal Humanism and its ClaimsPetere Fontes?$
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Paul J. du Plessis and John W. Cairns

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781474408851

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474408851.001.0001

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The Thesauruses of Otto and Meerman as Publishing Enterprises: Legal Humanism in its Last Phase, 1725–1780

The Thesauruses of Otto and Meerman as Publishing Enterprises: Legal Humanism in its Last Phase, 1725–1780

Chapter:
(p.299) 12 The Thesauruses of Otto and Meerman as Publishing Enterprises: Legal Humanism in its Last Phase, 1725–1780
Source:
Reassessing Legal Humanism and its Claims
Author(s):

Ian Maclean

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474408851.003.0013

This chapter investigates the two largest historical monograph collections of legal humanism to appear in the eighteenth century. The four folio volumes of the Thesaurus Juris Romani (1725-9), selected mainly from Cornelius van Bynkershoek’s personal library, were edited by Everhard Otto, with a fifth volume appearing in 1735. Its successor in seven folio volumes was Gerard Meerman’s Novus Thesaurus (1751-3, with a supplement in 1780), which mainly features works from his own book collection. The material facts of these publications as multi-volume large-scale enterprises are examined in the context of the rise of historia litteraria and the market for law books. The principles of selection used by the editors are set out, and the Thesauruses are placed in their commercial, academic, political and ideological context. A full account of their contents is given in an appendix

Keywords:   Eighteenth century, legal humanism, learned publication in Europe, historia litteraria, the Dutch book market, the Republic of Letters, Cornelius van Bynkershoek, Everhard Otto, Gerhard Meerman

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