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Ancient manuscript found in library cellar

June 7, 2010 at 6:48 PM

STOCKHOLM, Sweden, June 7 (UPI) -- A library in northern Sweden has found in its cellars a rare volume of hand-written German legal code from the 15th century, authorities say.

Officials at the Sundsvall library say they believe the Sachsenspiegel (Saxon mirror) from 1481 is the second existing copy of a law book written by hand in low German in the early 1200s by the Saxon nobleman Eike von Repgau, The Local reported Monday.

"There is only one other known copy in the world, at the Royal Library in Copenhagen," said Ulf Johansson, head of Sundsvall libraries.

Said to be the most important German book of law from the Middle Ages, it was in force in parts of Germany until the 1900s, The Local said.

The historical item is reported to be in good condition and is now housed at the national library in Stockholm.

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