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Incunabura Collection

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Incunabula Leaves from Italy

Historia Romanae decades by Titus Livius
32.Historia Romanae decades by Titus Livius
Livius, Titus. Historia Romanae decades.
Rome: Conradus Sweynheym and Arnoldus Pannartz, [1469]
GW M18470. Typ.2:115R
Call No. YP21-85, Taf.33

It was two Germans, Conradus Sweynheym and Arnoldus Pannartz, who introduced the art of printing in Italy, and they produced Cicero's De oratore in 1465 at a Benedictine abbey in Subiaco on the outskirts of Rome. The set of types they used (Typ.1:120R) is said to have been the first Roman type, and later, Ashendene Press printed books using an imitation of this typeface. Sweynheym and Pannartz moved to Rome in 1467, and by 1475 they had printed 50 works using a new Roman type. The works included those of church fathers such as St. Augustine and St. Jerome as well as many Roman period works such as those by Cicero, Apuleius and Pliny.

Livy (59 B.C. - 17 A.D.) was a historian in Roman times, and his Historia Romanae decades describes the history of the Roman Empire from its foundation to 9 B.C. There are 22 known editions of incunabula of this book, the one shown here being the first.


Opera by Lucius Coelius Firmianus Lactantius
33.Opera by Lucius Coelius Firmianus Lactantius
Lactantius, Lucius Coelius Firmianus. Opera.
Rome: Ulrich Han(Udalricus Gallus) and Simon Nicolai Chardella, 12 Feb. 1474.
GW M16537. Typ.6:125R
Call No. YP21-85, Taf.35

Ulrich Han (d.1478 or 79), who came from Ingolstadt, was invited to Rome by Cardinal G. Torquemada (c.1420-1498) and began printing there in 1467, the same year as Sweynheym and Pannartz (See 32) started printing in Subiaco. There are about 100 titles of incunabula known as his works, 20 of which were printed together with Nicolai Chardella from Lucca. When Han died, the printing house was taken over by S. Plannck (See 34) as it was.

Lactantius was a church father in the 3rd to 4th century, and there are 19 titles of incunabula known to have been written by him. Opera (1465), printed by Sweynheym and Pannartz, was the first edition, and Greek type was used for the quotations. When Han printed this book, he also used Greek type in the same way.


Margarita poetica by Albrecht von Eyb
34.Margarita poetica by Albrecht von Eyb
Eyb, Albertus de. Margarita poetica.
[Rome: Stephan Plannck], 15 July 1480.
GW 9532. Typ.2:88G
Call No. YP21-85, Taf.40

After Ulrich Han died (See 33), Stephan Plannck, who came from Passau, produced numerous incunabula at his printing house. Although many of them have no name in the colophon, there are about 400 known incunabula using 11 different sets of types. Among them, Missale Romanum, which was printed in 1496, is especially famous.

Albrecht von Eyb (1420-1475), a German humanist, wrote Ehebüchlein, Spiegel der Sitten and other books. Margarita poetica is a textbook of rhetoric consisting of a collection of passages from the Roman period. Margarita poetica, Ehebüchlein, and Spiegel der Sitten were printed as incunabula. There are 24 known incunabula of these three books altogether. His main book, Spiegel der Sitten, was printed in 1511.


Scriptores rei rusticae
35.Scriptores rei rusticae
Scriptores rei rusticae.
Venice: Nicolaus Jenson. 1472.
GW M41065. Typ.1:113R
Call No. YP21-85, Taf.49

Nicolaus Jenson (1420-1480) was engaged in toreutic work at the French mint before he was dispatched to Mainz by order of Charles VII in 1458 to learn printing techniques. However, he opened a printing house in Venice, where he began printing using the most refined Roman typeface in 1470. It is said that Johannes de Spira had already started using Roman type in Venice and owned the exclusive right to use the Roman type for 5 years, but as he died in 1470, Jenson was able to use the Roman type. Jenson printed about 90 titles of incunabula using 8 different sets of types before he died. After his death, the printing was continued under the name of Nicolaus Jenson et Socii, the name of the company which he established in 1473 with capital raised from book dealers across Germany, and which functioned as a sales agency as well. After his death, his printing types, punches, and matrices were sold to Andrea Torresano (1451-1528), whose daughter married the famous Aldus Manutius (See 12).

Scriptores rei rusticae is a collection of works on agriculture written by four Romans: Cato, Varro, Columella, and Palladius. Greek type (115Gk) is used for this book.


Infortiatum by Justinianus
36.Infortiatum by Justinianus
Justinianus. Infortiatum.
Venice: Jacobus Rubeus, 31 May 1477.
GW 7679. Typ.3:104G, Typ.5:88G
Call No.YP21-85, Taf.63

Jacobus Rubeus (See 6) is believed to have been engaged in the printing business under the influence of N. Jenson (See 35). In his will, Jenson left 100 ducats to J. Rubeus as a gift.

Corpus Juris Civilis, a statute book compiled under the orders of Emperor Justinian I (483-565), consists of 4 parts: Institutiones, Digesta, Codex, and Novellae. Digesta is divided into 3 parts: Digestum vetus, Infortiatum, and Digestum novum. There are 23 known editions of Infortiatum only, and 225 known titles of incunabula in total for Corpus Juris Civilis. J. Rubeus printed 8 editions of Corpus Juris Civilis including the one shown here.


Fasciculus temporum by Werner Rolewinck
37.Fasciculus temporum by Werner Rolewinck
Rolewinck, Werner. Fasciculus temporum.
Venice: Georgius Walch, 1479.
GW M38741. Typ.1:75G
Call No. YP21-85, Taf.75

Georgius Walch printed 5 titles of incunabula between 1479 and 1482. He is said to have been a relative of Jacob Walch (Jacopo de'Barbari in Italian), a printmaker whose name appeared in Dürer's diary.

W. Rolewinck (c.1425-1502) was a Carthusian monk in Cologne and the author of many books. Fasciculus temporum is an easy-style chronicle for the general public, and there are 32 known incunabula editions including this one, seven of which are translated versions (1 edition in Dutch, 4 in French and 2 in German), each of which includes woodcut illustrations.


Biblia latina
38.Biblia latina
Biblia latina.
Venice: Franciscus Renner, de Heilbronn, 1480.
GW 4241. Typ.6:64/65G, Typ.7:130G
Call No. YP21-85, Taf.56

F. Renner (See 7) produced 5 editions of Biblia latina, and the one shown here is the third. From this edition, he changed the typeface to a slightly smaller one for the main text. He started to use this small Gothic type (65G) in 1478, and two different kinds of this type have been identified. The type used for this Bible is the latter one of the two. The fourth and fifth editions of Biblia latina printed in 1482 and 1483 also used this 65G type.


Missale Dominicanum seu Ordinis Praedicatorum
39.Missale Dominicanum seu Ordinis Praedicatorum
Missale Dominicanum seu Ordinis Praedicatorum.
Venice: Octavianus Scotus, 24 Dec. 1482.
GW M24176. Typ.7:92G, Typ.8:91/92G
Call No.YP21-85, Taf.76

Octavianus Scotus (d.1498) provided B. Locatellus (See 10) with the funds to print more than 120 titles of incunabula, while he himself was a printer who produced about 30 titles of incunabula using 11 sets of types during the period from 1479 to 1487.

There are 11 editions of incunabula of Missale Dominicanum seu Ordinis Praedicatorum, and the one shown here is thought to be the first or second. In 1494, J. Hamman (See 42) printed Missale Dominicanum seu Ordinis Praedicatorum with funds provided by O. Scotus. This book includes a musical score which is based on the method used for writing music at that time.


Chronicon by Eusebius Caesariensis
40.Chronicon by Eusebius Caesariensis
Eusebius Caesariensis. Chronicon.
Venice: Erhard Ratdolt, 13 Sept. 1483.
GW 9433. Typ.6:76G
Call No. YP21-85, Taf.68

This book is edited by J.L. Santritter, and is believed to have been printed using funds provided by Santritter, as was Paulus Pergulensis's Compendium logicae printed by E. Ratdolt in 1481. It includes the two-color printing and table-style printing at which Ratdolt excelled. Santritter himself was a printer, and there are five known titles of incunabula that he printed. Some of the five titles were jointly printed with Hieronymus de Sanctis.

Eusebius (c.263-339) was a theological scholar famous for his works, Historia ecclesiastica and De evangelica praeparatione. Another work of his, Chronicon, is a book describing the world's history up to 325 A.D. There are 14 known titles of incunabula of these three books. The first Chronicon was printed by Philippus de Lavagnia in Milan around 1474, and there are two known editions including the one shown here.


Biblia latina
41.Biblia latina
Biblia latina.
Venice: Johannes Herbort, de Seligenstadt, 30 Apr. 1484.
GW4255. Typ.9:160G, Typ.12:63G
Call No.YP21-85, Taf.78

Johannes Herbort, de Seligenstadt, began his printing career in Padua in 1475, and moved to Venice in 1481 where he engaged in printing through funds provided by Johannes de Colonia and Nicolaus Jenson et Socii. Later, he pursued printing independently and there are about 50 known titles of incunabula in total. He printed Biblia latina three times in Venice and the one shown here is the last. Johannes Herbort used three different printer's marks but none of them are printed on this book.


Missale Romanum
42.Missale Romanum
Missale Romanum.
Venice: Johannes Hamman, 1 Dec. 1493.
GW M24055. Typ.5:70G
Call No. YP21-85, Taf.98

Johannes Hamman began printing in 1482 together with Hermannus Liechtenstein from Cologne, and from 1486, except for a period of time when he worked with Johannes Emericus, he was engaged in printing on his own. As many of his works were funded by O. Scotus (See 39), Hamman used a printer's device that was similar to the one used by Scotus. There are about 90 known titles of incunabula of his work.

There are 90 known editions of incunabula of Missale Romanum including the first, printed in 1474 by Antonius Zarotus of Milan.


Opera by Aristotle
43.Opera by Aristotle
Aristoteles. Opera. [Greek]
Venice: Aldus Manutius, Romanus, 1495-98.
GW 2334. Typ.1:146/147Gk
Call No. YP21-85, Taf.113

Aldus Manutius (See 12) was renowned for printing the exact text of the original Greek classics. The groundwork for his success in this work was established after publishing five volumes of Opera by Aristotle, which took four years. This Opera includes not only the works of Aristotle but also those of Galen, Philo of Alexandria, Theophrastus, and Alexander Aphrodisaeus. The Greek text of Aristotle's Problemata (See 5) is also included in Volume 4. Records indicate that a five-volume set cost 11 ducats, which was three to four times the average monthly salary of a printer at that time.

Francesco Griffo (d.1518) of Bologna carved the printing punches for Aldus, and four different Greek typefaces are known to have been used.


Aquila volante by Leonardus Bruny
44.Aquila volante by Leonardus Bruny
Brunus Aretinus, Leonardus. Aquila volante.
Venice: Theodorus de Ragazonibus, 28 June 1497.
GW 5652. Typ.11:108R
Call No. YP21-85, Taf.101

Theodorus de Ragazonibus began printing around 1487 and produced about 20 titles of incunabula by 1497.

Leonardo Bruni (c.1370-1444), a famous Italian humanist, wrote many works including Historiarium Florentinarum. His works are known to have been published as about 50 titles of incunabula including De bello Italico adversus Gothos gesto, Epistolarum familiarium, etc, and there are 4 known editions of Aquila volante. It is now, however, considered that the true author of Aquila volante is not L. Bruni, but in question. This edition is a reprint of the one printed in Venice by Peregrinus de Pasqualibus in 1494.


Commentaria in omnes epistolas Sancti Pauli by Thomas Aquinas
45.Commentariain omnes epistolas Sancti Pauli by Thomas Aquinas
Thomas Aquinas. Commentaria in omnes epistolas Sancti Pauli.
Venice: Bonetus Locatellus, 22 Dec. 1498.
GW M46154. Typ.1:73/75G, Typ.2:120G, Typ.4:92
Call No.YP21-85, Taf.91

B. Locatellus (See 10) produced more than 120 titles of incunabula as a printer for O. Scotus. He produced 11 titles of incunabula for the works of Thomas Aquinas, among which four were printed on the same day, December 22, 1498, including the one shown here. (Another interpretation suggests that there are five printed on the same date).


Della cristiana religione by Marsilius Ficino
46.Della cristiana religione by Marsilius Ficino
Ficinus, Marsilius. Della cristiana religione.
[Florence: Nicolaus Laurentii, Alamanus, 1474 or early 1475]
GW 9878. Typ.4*:113
Call No. YP21-85, Taf.11

There are several theories about who the first printer of Florence was, but the oldest book with a printer's name in the colophon is the Commentarii in Vergilii opera of H. Servius Maurus printed in 1471 by Bernardus and Dominicus Cenninus, a father and son, who both were famous toreutic workers. The second oldest printer was Johannes Petri and the third was Nicolaus Laurentii Alamanus. There are about 40 known titles of incunabula of the work by Laurentii, who is famous for printing the first incunabula with copperplate engraving illustrations (Antonio da Siena: Monte Santo di Dio. 1477). The incunabula of Dante's La Commedia (1481) and F. Berlingieri's Geographia (about 1482) are also famous for copperplate engraving illustrations. There are seven known different sets of types used by Laurentii.

M. Ficino (1433-1499), a Florentine humanist, is renowned for his study on Plato. While there are 18 titles of incunabula of his works, the one shown here is the first. This book is the Italian translation of the original Latin text, which Laurentii also printed as De christiana religione in 1476. Besides this book, there are 16 known titles of incunabula of Ficino's works including translations (See 12).


Opera by Horatius Flaccus
47.Opera by Horatius Flaccus
Horatius Flaccus, Quintus. Opera.
Florence: Antonio di Bartolommeo Miscomini, 5 Aug. 1482.
GW n0004. Typ.3:110/114R, Typ.4:80
Call No. YP21-85, Taf.14

Antonio di Bartolommeo Miscomini, who came from Bologna, began printing in Venice around 1475 and moved to Florence in 1481. There are more than 90 known titles of incunabula of his work. From 1487 to 1489 he printed two titles of incunabula with Dominicus Rocociolus at Modena.

Horace (Quintus Horatius Flaccus) (65 B.C. - 8 B.C) was a Roman poet. There are more than 60 known titles of incunabula of his works.


Dialogi by Lucianus Samosatensis
48.Dialogi by Lucianus Samosatensis
Lucianus Samosatensis. Dialogi. [Greek]
Florence: [Laurentius(francisci) de Alopa, Venetus], 1496.
GW M42000. Typ.5:109/114G
Call No.YP21-85, Taf.17

Laurentius de Alopa, who began printing around 1484, produced Plato's Opera (in Latin) translated by M. Ficino for the first time (1484-85), and in 1494 he started printing using Greek types. Only in Anthologia Graeca Planudea does his name appear in the colophon, but he printed Euripides' Tragoediae quattuor (around 1495) and Apollonius Rhodius's Argonautica (1496), among other works.

Lucian was a Greek satiric poet and there are 28 known titles of incunabula of his works, most of which are Latin translations. The book shown here is the only original Greek text.


Rationale divinorum officiorum by Guillelmus Duranti
49.Rationale divinorum officiorum by Guillelmus Duranti
Duranti, Guillelmus. Rationale divinorum officiorum.
Vicenza: Hermannus Liechtenstein, 1478.
GW 9115. Typ.5:73/74G, Typ.6:150
Call No.YP21-85, Taf.119

Leonardus Achates was originally from Basel, and then was engaged in printing in Padua from 1472. He introduced the art of printing into Vicenza in 1474. Hermannus Liechtenstein from Cologne began printing in Vicenza in 1475 and produced almost 20 titles of incunabula by 1480. He also did some printing in Treviso around 1477. In 1482 Liechtenstein moved to Venice and printed about 20 titles of incunabula there.

W. Durandus (c.1230-1296), a church jurist, describes the laws, ceremonies and customs of the Roman Rite in Rationale divinorum officiorum, which was first printed by Fust and Schoeffer in 1459. There are 44 known editions of incunabula of this book including the one shown here.


Historia ecclesiastica by Eusebius Caesariensis
50.Historia ecclesiastica by Eusebius Caesariensis
Eusebius Caesariensis. Historia ecclesiastica.
Mantua: Johannes Schallus, [not before 15] July 1479.
GW 9437. Typ.3:112R
Call No.YP21-85, Taf.25

It is believed that the art of printing was introduced in Mantua in 1472 and that Petrus Adam de Michaelibus, a local lawyer, was the first printer in the city. Johannes Schallus of Germany printed six titles of incunabula in Mantua in 1475, and seven titles of incunabula including the one shown here are known today as his work.

There are six known editions of Historia ecclesiastica by Eusebius of Caesarea, including this one.


De claris mulieribus by Giacomo Filipo Foresti
51.De claris mulieribus by Giacomo Filipo Foresti
Jacobus Philippus de Bergamo. De claris mulieribus.
Ferrara: Laurentius de Rubeis, de Valentia, 29 Apr. 1497.
GW M10959. Typ.5:106
Call No.YP21-85, Taf.9

Andreas Belfortis from France introduced the art of printing in Ferrara in 1471. Laurentius de Rubeis who came from Valencia began printing in Ferrara in 1482 and there are 27 known titles of incunabula of his work. The book shown here is an enlarged edition of Boccaccio's De claris mulieribus which had been printed by Johann Zainer in Ulm in 1473. This enlarged edition is famous for its beautiful woodcut illustrations, as is the original edition. It bears a dedication to Beatrice of Aragon, Queen of Hungarian King Matthias Corvinus.

Giacomo Filippo Foresti (1434-1520) was an Augustine monk renowned for his written works, such as De claris mulieribus, Confessionale, and Supplementum chronicarum. Supplementum chronicarum became the basis for H. Schedel's Liber chronicarum, printed in 1493 by A. Koberger (See 24) of Nuremberg.


Epistolae et carmina by Sidonius Apollinaris
52.Epistolae et carmina by Sidonius Apollinaris
Sidonius Apollinaris. Epistolae et carmina.
Milan: Uldericus Scinzenzeler, 4 May 1498.
GW M42001. Typ.3:110/111R, Typ.10:80R
Call No.YP21-85, Taf.23

U. Scinzenzeler of Milan (See 13), a prolific printer, used Roman type when printing Roman classics and humanistic writings. U. Scinzenzeler and the other two prolific printers of Milan, A. Zarotus and I. Pachel, printed about 30% of their works by using Roman type. Among the incunabula printed independently by Scinzenzeler, 51 titles are printed in Roman type.

Sidonius Apollinaris (c.430-c.480) was a Roman aristocrat renowned for his letters and poems. Epistolae et carmina was first printed in Utrecht around 1474, and the one shown here is the second edition. Hieronymus de Asula and Johannes de Abbatibus were the publishers of this book.


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