The many law-related books in the Smith collection reflect the high standing Smith eventually achieved in this discipline as Cambridge’s first Regius Professor of Civil Law. Owing to the fact that Smith knew relatively little about law at the time of his initial appointment, he toured Europe during 1540-2 in the hope of acquiring relevant legal texts and familiarizing himself with humanist legal scholarship. Smith came to own several volumes of the Digest, later known as Corpus juris civilis (of which this volume is a part), which was the seminal text on Roman law. Commissioned by the emperor Justinian in the sixth century, it came to form the basis of modern civil law. In Cambridge Smith introduced a new generation of students to the methods of continental jurists, developing an English legal humanism that applied classical learning to the conduct of contemporary life. In this edition, the text of the Corpus juris civilis is printed in double columns surrounded by commentary. Here is a full-page woodcut illustration of a 'legal tree' diagram – a visual representation of the legal system.
Title: Infortiatum [Second part of the Pandects] (Leiden, 1539)
Shelfmark: M.2.12 (catalogue record)