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The Library of the Breton Jurist and Historian Bertrand d’Argentré in 1582

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Chapter Summary

The library of the jurist and historian Bertrand d' Argentré was one of the largest private collections of Renaissance France. In the sixteenth century, Rennes was a large provincial city, but not one of the main cities of the realm. Argentré was an important figure in Renaissance Brittany, this chapter analyses the library and its contents, and explains why he would have looked to amass such a considerable collection. One of the by-products of Argentré's publications on the Breton judicial system was to highlight the insufficiencies of the existing text of the customs of the duchy. The inventory of the library of Bertrand d' Argentré is a bound folio volume of just under 200 ruled pages, some of them blank. The imprecise nature of the entries in the inventory allows for a great deal of speculation as to what the original title page actually stated.

Keywords: Bertrand d' Argentré; Breton judicial system; Brittany; Renaissance France; Rennes



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