Edoardo Volterra (1904-1984)

A catalogue of the early printed books in his library,now in the Ecole française de Rome

Compiled by Douglas J. Osler, with reminiscences by Giovanni Gualandi, Dino Zanobetti, Ennio Cortese and Virginia Volterra

Studien zur europäischen Rechtsgeschichte 211
Bibliographica Iuridica 3
Frankfurt am Main: Klostermann 2006. LVI, 547 S.

ISSN 1610-6040
ISBN 978-3-465-02748-5

Edoardo Volterra (1924-1984) was one of the most eminent Roman law scholars of the 20th century. Over the course of his lifetime he assembled a remarkable library not only of the modern secondary literature on the subject but also a singular collection of early printed books. Thanks to the generosity of the Volterra family, this valuable library has been saved for posterity and has now been placed at the disposition of scholars in the Ecole Française in Rome.The present catalogue provides access to the collection by offering a full description, based on inspection of the individual books, of the entire fondo antico of the library. The particular strength of the library reflects the humanistic historical and philological interests of Volterra himself, but it includes the whole range of Roman law literature, from incunable and 16th century editions of the Medieval Commentators through to 19th century editions of classical Roman law - Gaius, the Fragmenta Vaticana, the Collatio Legum Romanarum et Mosaicarum - which were an abiding interest of Volterra and are particularly well represented in his library.The catalogue is enlivened by a fascinating series of personal studies by his friends and pupils. Ennio Cortese offers a panorama of the collection and teases out the intellectual interests of Volterra himself. Giovanni Gualandi recalls his lifetime acquaintance with the master and the growth of the library. The lifelong family friend, Dino Zanobetti relates his central role in the unknown story of the rescue of the library at Bologna in the last days of World War II. This series of reminiscences is concluded by a charming cameo by Virginia Volterra recalling the memories of a young girl observing her father at work in his library.

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