Henrici Spelmanni equi. anglo-brit. archæologus: in modum glossarii ad rem antiquam posteriorem

Londini: Johannem Beale, 1626. First edition, folio, pagination is erratic throughout, but the book is complete, as issued; *, A-2O6, 2P4; full contemporary calf, recently rebacked with original spine laid down, unadorned spine in 6 compartments, raise bands, 19th-century manuscript "Spelman's Glossarium" on upper cover; extremities rubbed; pages darkened, tear to bottom edge of 2G6, else very good and sound. 19th-century bookplate of "G.S.C" mounted to front pastedown, small ownership signature "Th. Holden" on ffep. STC 23065, with the 13th line of the title page "Chartis & Formulis". The title and the first leaf were subsequently reset; this copy is in the first state. The work evolved out of Spelman's studies of early English law, but "at the outset he experienced so much difficulty in assigning the proper meanings to Anglo-Saxon and Latin terms, that he determined to postpone his legal researches" in favor of the philological question. "In 1626 the first volume of the Glossary, extending to the end of the letter 'L' was published. Spelman had offered it in vain to Beale, the King's printer, for five pounds, or for books of that value. He consequently bore all the expenses of publication. The importance of the volume was immediately recognized by the great scholars of the day, but the greater part of the edition remained on Spelman's hands for ten years. He was collecting materials for the completion of the work until 1638" but it was not published in his lifetime. An imperfect continuation edited by Dugdale appeared in 1664. "As an ecclesiastical lawyer he ranks among the best informed that this country has produced, and his Glossary gives him a title to the name of inaugurator philological science in England" (DNB). Item #43061

Price: $750.00

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