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Incunabura Collection

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Incunabula from Italy

Commentarii in Martialem by D. Calderinus
6.Commentarii in Martialem by D. Calderinus
Calderinus, Domitius. Commentarii in Martialem.
Venice: Jacobus Rubeus, 13 Sept. 1474. 1 v.
GW 5889. Typ.2:80R
Call No. WA42-35

In Venice printing techniques were introduced by German-born Johannes de Spira(Johann from Speyer) in 1469 but in 1470 Nicolas Jenson(See 35.) , who was a printer renowned for his beautiful printing types, also began printing. Jacobus Rubeus(in French, Jacques le Rouge) , also from France, was influenced by Jenson's work and printed Roman classics. In this book Greek type(80Gk) , which is a mock of Jenson's Greek(115Gk) printing type, is used. Until about 1478, Rubeus printed in Venice using 5 kinds of printing types, then moved to Pinerolo and ceased printing in about 1483.

Martial(c.40-c.104) was a satirical poet in Rome and 18 incunabula of his Epigrammata are known. D. Calderinus(c.1447-1478) was an Italian humanist who wrote commentaries on a number of Roman classics including Juvenal. 11 incunabula of his works are known.


Biblia Latina
7.Biblia Latina
Biblia Latina.
Venice: Franciscus Renner, de Heilbronn and Nicolaus de Frankfordia, 1475. 1 v.
GW 4216. Typ.2:75G, Typ.3:150G
Call No.WA42-11

Franciscus Renner began printing in Venice in 1471. In cooperation with Nicolaus de Frankfordia, the two printers jointly produced 16 incunabula between 1473 and 1477. After that, Renner began to print works independently and by 1483 had printed more than 40 incunabula using 12 kinds of printing types. He printed five Biblia Latina and this work is the first folio version that he printed. The following year he again printed the same Bible using the same printing type. In 1480, he did a further printing, using a smaller printing type(Typ.6:64/65G) to produce a quarto version(See 38.) .


Elementa Geometriae by Euclid
8.Elementa Geometriae by Euclid
Euclides. Elementa geometriae.
Venice: Erhard Ratdolt, 25 May 1482. 1 v.
GW 9428. Typ.1:109R, Typ.3:91G, Typ.4:56G, Typ.6:76G, Typ.7:92
Call No.WA42-81

Erhard Ratdolt (c.1477-c.1527) studied printing techniques in Nuremburg and in 1476 began printing with Bernhard Maler (Pictor) and Peter Löslein in Venice. Printing on his own from 1480 with 14 kinds of printing types, Ratdolt printed over 60 incunabula in Venice including ones he produced jointly. Superior in printing that includes woodcut illustrations, borders, initials and diagrams as well as multicolored printing (See 40.), this book is the first incunabulum of Euclid's Elementa geometriae (Elements of Geometry). Ratdolt used a text compiled by Campanus of Novara in the 13th century which was based on a text translated from Arabic into Latin by Adelard of Bath in the 12th century. A Latin translation from the Greek was not printed until after 1505 and a Greek version not until after 1533.

In 1486, Ratdolt began printing in Augsburg, his birthplace (See 22) , and there printed more than 100 incunabula.


Facta et dicta memorabilia by Valerius Maximus
9.Facta et dicta memorabilia by Valerius Maximus
Valerius Maximus, Gaius. Facta et dicta memorabilia.
Venice: Johannes and Gregorius de Gregoriis, de Forlivio, 8 Mar. 1487. 1 v.
GW M49177. Typ.10:109R, Typ.11:82R
Call No. WA42-36

The de Gregoriis brothers began printing around 1480 and close to 130 of their incunabula are known. They used more than 40 kinds of printing types. Ketham's Fasciculus medicinae (Compendium of Medicine) (1491) which they printed is famous for its beautiful woodcut plates. They also used four types of printer's marks.

Valerius Maximus was a first century AD Roman historian and in his Facta et dicta memorabilia (Memorable Deeds and Sayings) he detailed for rhetoricians examples of Greek and Roman history based on the writings of Livy and Cicero. There are 30 known incunabula and the first edition was printed by Mentelin in Strassburg around 1470. The de Gregoriis brothers first printed Facta et dicta memorabilia in 1482.


De civitate dei by Aurelius Augustinus
10.De civitate dei by Aurelius Augustinus
Augustinus, Aurelius. De civitate dei.
Venice: [Bonetus Locatellus] 18 Feb. 1489/90. 1 v.
GW 2889. Typ.1:74G, Typ.2:130G, Typ.4:92G, Typ.5:80R
Call No. WA42-33

Bonetus Locatellus was a friar from Bergamo who first began printing around 1485. However, in 1487, after printing St. Augustine's De civitate dei with funds provided by Octavianus Scotus(See 39.) , he became Scotus' printer and printed over 120 incunabula for him. In these works printer's mark of Scotus can be found. He used 15 kinds of printing types.

De civitate dei is the main work of Augustine of Hippo (354-430) and 19 incunabula were published. The first edition was printed at Subiaco by Conradus Sweynheym and Arnoldus Pannartz (See 32.) in 1467. Woodcut illustration was used first for an edition printed by J. Amerbach (See 3.) in Basel in 1489. The woodcut illustration in this book has been recarved from the same design. Locatellus also printed an edition without any illustrations in 1487.


Figurae Bibliae by Antonius Rampigollis
11.Figurae Bibliae by Antonius Rampigollis
Rampigollis, Antonius. Figurae Bibliae.
Venice: Georgius Arrivabenus, 15 Nov. 1496. 1 v.
GW M36973. Typ.13:81R, Typ.17:58G
Call No. WA42-40

Georgius Arrivabenus started a printing press together with Bernardinus Benalius and Paganinus de Paganinis in 1483 but began printing incunabula on his own from 1484 and printed approximately 50 incunabula independently. He used a wide variety of printing types and over 30 of these are known. In addition, there are also seven known printer's marks that he used.

Rampigollis (b.1412) was a priest in the first half of the 15th century and is famous for his Figurae Bibliae and Aurea Biblia which are a collection of phrases from the Bible compiled in an easy-to-understand way for clergymen preparing sermons. Five versions of Figurae Bibliae incunabula are known and the first version was printed by U. Scinzenzeler (See 13.) in Milan in 1494.


De mysteriis Aegyptiorum by Jamblichus, etc.
12.De mysteriis Aegyptiorum by Jamblichus, etc.
Jamblichus. De mysteriis Aegyptiorum, ...
Venice: Aldus Manutius, Romanus, Sept. 1497. 1 v.
GW M11750. Typ.2:114R
Call No. WA42-41

Aldus Manutius (c.1450-1515) is a famous printer known for his accurate texts and exquisite printing. For three generations, until 1598, his family maintained their printing and publishing business and produced over 600 works. Their "anchor and dolphin" printer's mark is well known. They are also famous for adopting the octavo style and using italic type. Representative among their incunabula are works in Greek such as Aristotles' Works (See 43.) and Aristophanes' Comoediae novem as well as books with illustrations such as Hypnerotomachia Poliphili. There are 36 known incunabula of their works.

This book has been translated by Marsilio Ficino (See 46.) and is a collection of short pieces by Neoplatonic writers. In addition to works of Jamblichus, the collection also contains works by Proclus, Porphyrius and others. Ficino also completed translations of Hermetic writings, Plato's Works, and Plotinus' Complete Works. Included in this book is Ficino's De voluptate (On Pleasure), which was completed in 1457. However, this work was first printed in this book.


Mariale by Albertus Magnus
13.Mariale by Albertus Magnus
Albertus Magnus. Mariale.
Milan: Uldericus Scinzenzeler, 17 Apr. 1488. 1 v.
GW682. Typ.2:62/63G
Call No. WA42-37

Printing began in Milan around 1471 and there were three prolific printers: Antonius Zarotus, Leonardus Pachel and Uldericus Scinzenzeler. Together they printed over 60% of the whole incunabula. Scinzenzeler began printing with Pachel in 1477 and by 1490 they had printed close to 150 incunabula. In 1487, he began printing on his own and 200 of his incunabula are known. From the beginning of the 16th century, his son Johannus Angelus (Giovanni Angelo) succeeded him in the printing business.

There are five known incunabula of Albertus Magnus' Mariale, including those printed by U. Zell of Cologne and J. Mentelin of Strassburg around 1473. The incunabulum here is the very last edition.


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