[Carniolan legal manuscript]. Schönleben, Johann Ludwig, historiographer and theologian (1618-1681) (ed.). Varia Statum Politicum, Judicialem, et Oeconomicum Carnoliae Concernentia. Conscripta per Anonymum circa annum 1590. Descripta manu scribae, et famuli Joannis Ludovici Schönleben St. Theol. Doct. Proton. Ap.lici Archidiaconi Inf. Carn. Anno MDCLXXIX.

[Probably Laibach, likely 1620s, with additions to 1681].

Small folio (205 x 300 mm). German and Latin manuscript on paper. (2), 188 (but: 186, omitting 88); (15); (4), 25; (32); (9 blanks); 4 ff. (ca. 530 written pages). With a contemporary sanguine portrait of Emperor Leopold I on the front pastedown and a receipe for aloe pills, dated 1679, written on the lower. 17th century vellum.


A collection of mainly German (and a few Latin) legal texts, assembled thus in the 1670s by the Carniolan protonotary apostolic and sometime Jesuit J. L. Schönleben. His title page (as quoted above) is followed by a single, frayed leaf of contents covering folios 1-62, so that at least two further leaves of contents may be assumed to be lacking at the beginning. This is followed by the first and earliest part of the collection, foliated to leaf 188 and written in an earlier 17th century hand, containing the common law of the Duchy of Carniola. Because this section incorporates large parts of the so-called Private-Law Treatises of Bernhard Walther (the "father of Austrian law" who in the mid-16th century collected the Lower Austrian customary law), the present manuscript served as an important source for Max Rintelen's 1937 edition of the Treatises (cf. references below). As a form of oath on f. 5r refers to Emperor Ferdinand II, this section can be dated to no earlier than 1620; occasional textual amendments in Schönleben's later hand suggest that it was closely studied by the scholar.

The remainder of the collection is written in a different single, later scribal hand, likely by an assistant of Schönleben's, containing copies of rare legal codes and mandates: "N. ainer Ersamen Landschafft in Crain verpesserte Landschrannen Ordnung" (copied from the book printed in Graz in 1565); "Neu-auffgerichte Bergkwerchs-Ordnung über all Eisen-, Pergk- und Hammerwerch deß Fürstenthumbs Crain" (copied from the book printed in Laibach in 1587, with a facsimile of the title page traced in ink on now browned translucent paper), various addenda ("Lebensberueff Formular", "Generale ratione ecclesiasticorum bonorum de dato 1. Januar 1587", "Cassatio privilegiorum a privatis concessorum"); a long collection of the decrees of the apostolic visitation of Laibach in 1621 (extracts of which were published in 1862 based on this MS; cf. below); the milling ordinances issued by Emperor Maximilian II in 1572; instructions issued to the verderer of Crain by Emperor Ferdinand III in 1650, and numerous similar mandates mostly issued in the 17th century (but also including a Papal bull from 1122). The end is brought up by the copy of a communication of a Laibach Capuchin monk concerning the traditional Good Friday penance procession (dated 1 June 1681), a tax list for 1633-75, and a curious, extensive and apparently unpublished polemical version of the Lord's Prayer levelled against the King of Sweden ("Des Khinigs in Schwöden Vatter Unser"), juxtaposed line for line with the received text of the prayer: "Ach Khinig du khanst noch nicht recht betten / Ich glaub nit daß auf Erden Einmall / Ein solcher Khirchenrauber gewesen sey alß / Du stilst, raubst, bringst mir schaden [...]".

Provenance: 1) autograph ownership of the Carniolan jurist and historian Johann Gregor Thalnitscher von Thalberg (Dolnitscher, in Slovene: Janez Gregor Dolnicar, 1655-1719), dated 1679, on the pastedown, and his printed bookplate, dated 1680, on the title page. Thalnitscher, who obviously received the book during Schönleben's lifetime, has been called "the spirit of cultural rebirth in the Baroque in Ljubljana". He was keenly interested in the arts, and it is likely that the gifted portrait of Emperor Leopold I (here called "Semper Augustus Princeps Carniolae") under his handwritten ownership is his own work. 2) Private collection of Baron Anton Codelli (fl. 1850s), director of the Historical Society for Carniola. 3) Acquired by the Historical Society for Carniola from Codelli in 1856. 4) Traded to the Austrian legal historian and numismatist Arnold Luschin von Ebengreuth (1841-1932) in 1880, as confirmed by a signed and sealed statement issued by the Society (represented by their secretary, August Dimitz) mounted on the reverse of the title page: "Bestätigung daß die Handschrift 'Tractate Walters, Landschrannenordnung für Krain etc.' vom historischen Verein für Krain im Tauschwege an Herrn Prof. Dr. Arnold Luschin v. Ebengreuth gegen 'Rosolenz Anti-Rungius Gründlicher Gegenbericht etc. Gräz 1607' und mehrere Familie Khisel betreffende Archivalien überlassen wurde. Laibach, 29. März 1880". 5) Given to Lushin's former student, the legal historian Max Rintelen (1880-1965), by Lushin's heirs ca. 1933 (cf. his signed note in blue ink on the reverse of the title page: "Von Luschins Erben erhalten"); his visiting card (as lecturer in Königsberg, 1909) is loosely inserted.

Spine and extremeties professionally repaired. Interior very well preserved and clean throughout; entirely complete save for the table of contents; the extant leaf of contents frayed at the edges with some loss to text (professionally repaired).

Von dem historischen Vereine für Krain im J. 1856 erworbene Gegenstände, in: Mittheilungen des historischen Vereins für Krain 11 (1856), p. 111 no. LXXV. A. Dimitz, Decreta visitationis Apostolicae Ecclesiae ac Diocesis Labacensis a Fre Sixto Carcano Ep.o Germanicense Visitatore Apostolico peractae ao. 1621, in: Mittheilungen des Historischen Vereins für Krain 17 (1862), pp. 11f., 30-32. A. Dimitz, Geschichte Krains von der ältesten Zeit bis auf das Jahr 1813 (Laibach 1874), p. 251 note 1. M. Rintelen, Bernhard Walthers privatrechtliche Traktate (Leipzig 1937), Ms. LK (p. XVIII).

Stock Code: BN#47691 Tags: , , ,