Maritime Regulations


Libre appellat Consolat de mar (Maritime regulations) is a collection of maritime and commercial ordinances and decrees of medieval origin that once had legal authority. The text comes from the ancient Costumes de la Mar, of Barcelona, written between 1260 and 1270. It integrates Catalan norms as well as those from other sources, including Pisan, Genoese, Venetian, and Marsilian. The definitive writing was done in the 14th century in Barcelona, with the addition of other legal texts. The work was widely circulated. Among the numerous editions printed in Catalan, two incunabula editions stand out. The first is from 1484, possibly by Nicolaus Spindeler; the other is that of Pere Posa, from 1494, with revision and enlargement of the text undertaken by Francesc Celelles. These editions were followed in the 16th century by those of Joan Luschner (1502), Joan Rosembach (1518), Carles Amorós (1518 and 1540), Ballester and Gilio (1523), and Sebastià de Cormellas (1592). Carles Amorós, a printer of Provençal origin established in Barcelona (active circa 1505−48), published the edition presented here, in 1518, in quarto format and in gothic characters—as was the case with all of editions of the 16th century except that of 1592. The work is composed of 129 numbered folios, with numerous woodcuts. Later, in 1540, Amorós produced another edition. It became the commercial code of maritime legislation of the Mediterranean and the common law about subjects relating to ships and the sea, current in many places until the 19th century. In the 16th century, Libre appellat Consolat de mar was translated into Italian, French, and Spanish, and reissued in new editions numerous times up to the present. This copy, bound in leather, is part of the Collecció Bonsoms-Chacón, donated to the Biblioteca de Catalunya in 1948, after the death of Mercedes Chacón, widow of Isidre Bonsoms i Sicart.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

Carles Amorós, Barcelona


Title in Original Language

Libre appellat Consolat de mar

Type of Item

Physical Description

129 folios ; 21 centimeters


  1. Tomàs de Montagut, “Barcelona, a Society and its Law: 11th−13th Centuries,” Catalan Historical Review 1 (2008).

Last updated: January 13, 2015