Books & Manuscripts
- Books & Manuscripts
- Middle East & Holy Land
- Australia & Oceania
- Prints & Posters
Praxis rerum criminalium, prætoribus, proconsulibus, magistratibus, reliquis’que id genus [...]
Large 8vo (22,5 x 17 cm),  ff., 508 pp.,  ff. ; contemporary soft vellum, title handwritten on spine, inventory number pasted to spine, laces (one broken, binding stained, traces of handwritten inscripion in red ink on upper cover)
Illustrated with 73 woodcuts , some full-page, including the portrait of Damhouder and his coat of arms.
New Latin edition of the important work on criminal law by the Flemish jurisconsult Joost de Damhouder (1507-1581), which strongly influenced the practice of criminal law. Originally published in French in 1554 under the title "La practique et enrichidion des causes criminelles...", the work caused a scandal at the time of its publication because it was accused of plagiarism, but this did not prevent it from being a great success, thanks in particular to its engravings (several of which were judged to be licentious, in particular the scenes of adultery on p.263, fornication on p.294, incest on p.299, rape on p.302, etc.). These describe crimes, tortures and the stages of legal proceedings, with a depiction of a judge in a courtroom in the last plate.
Provenance: double blue wet stamp of the Grenoble lawyers' library on the title and second leaf, handwritten ownership marks on the title, one of which is crossed out in ink. Some handwritten annotations in brown ink in the margins, some soiling, the engravings slightly enhanced in red ink, some pages browned.
Brunet II, 479; Graesse II, 322
Joost de Joost de Damhourder (1507-1581) is a Flemish lawyer. After obtaining his doctorate in 1533, he practiced as a lawyer in Bruges. In 1537 he was appointed legal adviser to the city authorities, a position he left in 1550 to become clerk of the urban criminal court. In 1552 he was appointed member of the Council of Finance by Maria of Hungary, governor of the Habsburg Netherlands, and held this position until 1575.
His main work is the Praxis rerum criminalium (1554), a manual on the practice of criminal law, which he plagiarized almost entirely from an unpublished text by Filips Wielant and other works. The work was a great success and was translated into many other European languages, in particular thanks to Damhouder's original approach of illustrating the different crimes and the stages of the procedure with woodcuts.