from Francesca Galligan, Rare Books, Dept. of Special Collections
The Birmingham Medical Institute, established in 1875, offered a first part of its historical medical books at auction in April. The Bodleian purchased six lots, of fifteen editions, adding important new texts and editions to our extensive medical collections. Many of the books were chosen for their focus on women, and include a group on midwifery.
Fielding Ould, A Treatise of midwifry (1748; Vet. A4 e.3676)
This is the rare first London edition of a book striking in its concern for the wellbeing of and respect for the mother, and in its focus on observations from nature and on natural delivery. It includes a glossary: “To make this treatise of more general use, (especially to women who live in the country remote from the assistance of skilful persons) the editors have here subjoined an explanation of the tems of art”. Most of the words in the glossary are of a technical nature, though some are very general: ‘adult’, ‘pregnant’, ‘spine’, ‘intestines’. Ould discusses the work of several others in this field, including Henry Deventer, whose The art of midwifery improv’d was purchased in its 4thedition (1746, Vet. A4 e.3676).
Deventer’s book contains a series of illustrations of the foetus in utero [Fig. 1].
Illustrations were, for some, a point of concern. Edmund Chapman notes in the preface to his Treatise on the improvement of Midwifery, purchased in its 2nd and 3rd editions (1735 and 1759, Vet. A4 e.3678, Vet. A5 e.7466), that plates of the body would only “serve to raise and encourage impure thoughts” (p. xx). He states “my design, on the contrary, was to compose such a treatise as one of either sex might read without a blush”, and the only illustrations present are forceps and another extraction tool called the fillet. [Figs 2 and 3.] The author recommends the book specifically to midwives, though he hopes that surgeons will also find it useful.
Women’s health – general
Jean Astruc, Treatise on the diseases of women (1762, in two volumes, together with the rarer third volume, 1767), Vet. A5 e.7469 and Vet. A5 e.7470
An English translation of this important French work that includes an extensive “Chronological catalogue of the physicians, who have written treatises, particularly on the diseases of women…”, divided into four periods. In his preface, Astruc likens his task to that of Vergil, picking over the poetry of Ennius: “I acknowledge it is not without being surfeited with them, that I have gone over so great a number of such collections: and I question whether Virgil was ever so much so in reading the verses of Ennius. But we had both the same design: for I endeavoured, like him, to extract something useful from this heap of things, that contained so little of what was good; and this supported my patience” (p. iv).
Also purchased were:
William Rowley, A treatise on female, nervous, hysterical, hypochondriacal, bilious, convulsive diseases; apoplexy and palsy; with thoughts on madness, suicide, &c. in which the principal disorders are explained from anatomical facts, and the treatment formed on several new principles(1788), Vet. A5 e.7468 [Fig. 4].
John Friend, Emmenologia (1752), Vet. A5 e.3
An edition in English, with a typographical error corrected in manuscript [Fig. 5].
Charles Perry’s rare A mechanical account and explication of the hysteric passion (1755), Vet. A5 e.74711st and 3rd editions of Pierre Pomme’s Traité des affections vaporeuses des deux sexes(Lyon, 1763 and 1767), Vet. E5 f.549 and Vet. E5 e.1221
William Salmon’s Parateremata: or Select physical and chyrurgical observations: containing divers remarkable histories of cures, done by several famous physicians (1687); Vet. A3 e.2219
One of three editions of this year, all rare, and all thus far absent from the Bodleian. [Figs 6 and 7]
Domenico Panaroli, Discorso delle stufe da bagni di Roma, e suoi nocumenti. (Rome, 1646); Vet. F3 e.66
A treatise on the perils of Rome’s modern public baths, known in only a few copies. [Fig. 8]
Robert Bunon, Essay sur les maladies des dents, (Paris, 1743); Vet. E4 e.92
One of the first books devoted to children’s teeth.
An Edinburgh edition of Anton Störck’s An essay on the medicinal nature of hemlock (1762).
Vet. A5 e.7465
The importance for a library such as the Bodleian Library of making provenance information more available for its users, with the aim of helping provenance research, was already mentioned on this blog in a previous post. Indeed supplying images of provenance evidence was described as the easiest way to allow comparison between several unidentified monograms or coats of arms, for example. Displaying the pictures on Flickr was also presented as one simple possibility for sharing them, organizing them in sets and receiving corrections and comments from any person interested in provenance research.
A family or institutional coat of arms is a very good example of provenance evidence that might be helpfully identified by a picture. The Provenance Index of the Bodleian Incunable Catalogue registers more than 80 unidentified coats of arms. For each of them an extended blazoning is provided in the text of the catalogue. But heraldic language is so specific that it could be difficult for non-specialists to imagine what these really look like. Supplying photos allows visual connections… and perhaps identification!
Now almost all of the unidentified coats of arms registered in the Bodleian Incunable Catalogue (Bod-Inc) have been imaged. A few examples of these pictures are shown in the slideshow below.
But you’ll find much more on Flickr. Indeed all (or almost all) the pictures of those unidentified coats of arms have been put with their descriptions in the set called “Unidentified coats of arms in Bodleian incunables“. A caption for each picture includes:
the location of the coat of arms in the incunable;
its blazoning (verbal description), as it is provided in Bodleian Incunable Catalogue;
a short notice of the incunable: shelfmark, author, title, publisher details and publication date;
the link to the online PDF version of the incunable catalogue with the Bod-Inc number.
Tags have been added as well:
keywords (“coat of arms”, unidentified and incunables).
There are other types of unidentified provenance evidence noted in the Bodleian Incunable Catalogue which might usefully be imaged and put on Flickr for the same purpose: bookplates, monograms…
Identifications, if any are forthcoming, can be made in comments to this blogpost.
Aristoteles’ Opera from the Premonstratensians of Weissenau
Aristoteles, Opera Venice: A. Torresanus and B. de Blavis (in part for Johannes de Colonia), 1483.
Folio (ISTC ia00962000; Bod-inc A-387(1)). Bodleian Library Auct. P inf. 1.3
Weissenau, Württemberg, dioc. of Konstanz, Premonstratensians, SS.Petrus et Paulus
Founded in 1145, dissolved in 1802. On a1r «Coenobii Minoraugiensis»; on 3A1r «Bibliothecae Weissenaviensis».
Samuel Butler (1774-1839), Bishop of Lichfield
Purchased in 1840 at the Butler sale for £18. 0. 0; not found in Books purchased for the Bodleian (1840).
South-German decoration. On 3A1r a circular portion which presumably bore a coat of arms has been cut out and replaced by blank paper. A different artist has supplied a new coat of arms, unidentified.
Contemporary blind-tooled pigskin over wooden boards, made in/for Weissenau.
Medieval manuscripts surviving from the Premonstratensians of Weissenau are today in:
Amiens, Berlin, Bloomington Indiana, Brussels, Cambridge, Cambridge MA, Cologny, Freiburg i. Br., Karlsruhe, Kremsmünster, St Petersburg, Liebenau, London BL, Manchester, Munich SBS, Nantes, New Haven, Nuremberg, Paris BnF, Prague (the largest number), Princeton, St Gallen, St Paul im Lavanttal, Sigmaringen, Stuttgart, Washington DC, Williamstown MA, Wolfenbüttel, Zeil.
Bibliography: Handschriftenerbe des deutschen Mittelalters, ed. S. Krämer, 2 vols, Munich 1989, p. II 818.
Other incunables surviving from the Premonstratensians of Weissenau are today in:
Oxford, Bodleian Library (22); Cambridge UL (1); Copenhagen (1); Frankfurt/M (1); Freiburg UB (6); Hannover (2); Harvard (1); Leipzig (1); London, BL (1); New York, P. Morgan Lib. (1); Paris, BnF; Diocese Rottenburg-Stuttgart (20); Sigmaringen Hofbibliothek (1); Stockholm (1); Stuttgart, Württembergische Landesbibliothek (106); Tübingen UB (9); Ulm (1); Weimar, Herzogin Anna Amalia Bibl. (1) and further research may trace more in…?
An Augustinus from the Augustinian Canons regular of the Lateran congregation of Padua
Augustinus, De civitate Dei Venice: Johannes and Vindelinus de Spira, 1470.
Folio (ISTC ia01233000; Bod-inc A-520). Bodleian Library: Broxb. 18.10
Petrus de Montagnana (d. 1478), grammarian and bibliophile
Padua, Augustinian Canons Regular of the Lateran Congregation, S. Johannes Baptista in Viridario, 1478
A gift from Petrus de Montagnana as stated in the inscription on E9r: «Librum hunc Canonicis Regularibus Lateranensibus in monasterio diui Ioannis Baptiste de uiridaria Padue agentibus uir uenerabilis ac deuotus Christi sacerdos & bonarum artium cultor Grece Latine Hebraice eque peritissimus D. Petrus Montagnana optima fide pietatis studio proque salute adscripsit atque donauit quem quisque legens proficiat primum deinde sit gratus | M.CCCCLXXVIII». The collection was moved in the late 18th century to the Marciana Library of Venice.
Fol. 9r: inscription
Sir John Hayford Thorold (1773-1831)
Quaritch, London antiquarian booksellers, 1897
The book features in Monumenta typographica (1897), no. 233 for £28. 0. 0.
Charles Stephen Ascherson (d. 1945)
Bookplate dated 1902.
Quaritch, London antiquarian booksellers, c. 1954
Albert Ehrman (1890-1969)
Purchased from Quaritch in 1954 for £210
Oxford, Bodleian Library
Presented by John Ehrman in 1978.
Bibliography: P. Sambin, ‘La formazione quattrocentesca della Biblioteca di S. Giovanni di Verdara in Padova’, Atti dell’Istituto Veneto di Scienze Lettere ed Arti, Classe di Scienze Morali, Lettere ed Arti, 114 (1956), 263-80; R. W. Hunt, ‘Pietro da Montagnana: a Donor of Books to san Giovanni di Verdara in Padua’, The Bodleian Library Record, 9 (1973), pp. 17-22.
History of the Collection:
The monastery housed not only a valuable library which contained the collections of scholars such Pietro da Montagnana, Giovanni Marcanova, and Marco Mantova Benavides, but also portraits, sculptures, coins, archeological and natural history specimens. When in 1783 the Senate of Venice decreed the closure of the institution, it also arranged for the tranfer of the collection in approriate locations: manuscripts and early printed books were assigned to the Marciana Library, the rest of the book collection to the public library of Padua.
Other books surviving from the Augustinian canons regular of Padua are today in:
Paul Needham’s IPI refers that Thomas Coke (1697-1759) 1st Earl of Leicester, on Grand Tour bought 40 manuscripts from S. Johannes in Viridario in 1717.
Other incunabula are today in Venice, Oxford, Bodleian Library (2); Harvard Houghton Lib., New York, P. Morgan Library, in private collections, and further research may trace more in…?
An incunable from the Benedictines of Fiecht (Tyrol)
Hugo de Sancto Victore, Didascalicon [Strasbourg: Printer of Henricus Ariminensis (Georg Reyser?), not after 1474]
(ISTC ih00532000; Bod-inc H-242(1)). Bodleian Library: Auct. 6Q 5.7
Caspar Augsburger, Abbot of St Georgenberg (1469-91)
Fol. a1r: Within the South-German decorated border the arms of Caspar Augsburger and of the monastery: argent, cross of St George, gules, with escutcheon en surtont, argent, a watering can, gules.
St Georgenberg, Tyrol, Benedictines
Founded in 1138 and moved to Fiecht in 1708
Fol. a1r: Later inscription: «In usum Fratrum Montis S: Georgii |1652»
Fiecht, Tyrol, Benedictines
St Gergenberg, then S. Josephus, suppressed by the Bavarian government in 1807.
Purchased in 1851 for £1. 1. 0, as published in List of Books Purchased for the Bodleian for 1851, p.64.
Contemporary German blind-tooled leather over wooden boards, with a title-label on the upper cover.
Bibliography: 805 Jahre Benediktinerabtei Sankt Georgenberg, Fiecht: 1138-1988, Studien und Mitteilungen zur Geschichte des Benediktiner-Ordens und seiner Zweige, Ergänzungsband 31 (St Ottilien, 1988).
Other books surviving from the Benedictines of Fiecht are today in:
Oxford, Bodleian Library (12); Augsburg, Uppsala, Stockholm, Dublin Trinity College, Cambridge UL, Cambridge Fitzwilliam Museum Lib., London Library, Paris BnF, New York, P. Morgan Library, Harvard Univ Houghton Lib., in private collections, and further research may trace more in…?
Clicking on each picture below will lead to more extended articles about the Bodleian’s incunable, its monastic provenance and further indication of where else in the world incunabula with the same provenance can be found today.
The slideshow below gathers all the pictures shown in this series of five articles:
Gualtherus Burlaeus, De vita et moribus philosophorum [short edition]
[Nuremberg: Anton Koberger, not after 1473].
Folio (ISTC ib01319000; Bod-inc B-610(1)) Bodleian Library: Auct. 2Q 3.46(1)
Andreas Hindermair (fl. 1479-93) chaplain of Passau
Inscription on front pastedown: “Istum librum comparauit dominus Andreas Hindermair capellanus capelle omnium sanctorum Patavie pro i aur[o] hung[arico] anno incarnationis 79. Et obtulit deo et santo Quirino Regi et martiri patrono nostro in Tegernsee pro salute anime sue et usu fratrum ibid. Anno domini etc. 1493. Deus sit sibi semper propicius hic et in eternum. Amen”.
Tegernsee, Bavaria, Benedictines, S. Quirinus
Received in 1493 from A. Hidermair; inscription on rear pastedown: “Attinet monasterio Tegernsee liber iste 1493 obtulit nobis Andreas Hindermayr capellanus in Patauia in altari omnium sanctorum”; printed shelfmark on front cover: “M 53. 2o”.. The institution was dissolved in 1803.
Munich, Royal Library,
Duplicate: original shelfmark on the spine and inside front pastedown: “Inc. s.a. 255”.
Purchased from Munich via Thomas Rodd for Fl. 18, that is £1. 10. 0, as published in List of Books Purchased for the Bodleian for 1837, p. 7.
Contemporary German binding from the Nuremberg workshop of Johann Sulzcpach (Kyriss no. 66): blind-tooled calf over wooden boards; with contemporary manuscript label with title, and a printed shelfmark label (Tegernsee) on the upper cover; yellow-edges; 325 x 220 x 50 mm.
History of the Collection:
Founded in the 8th century, it housed a scriptorium and large library. When the monastery was dissolved in 1803, 1,478 manuscripts and 2,317 incunabula were transferred to Munich. The monastery had an in-house bindery and the ownership inscriptions often included purchasing details, the only reliable source for the development of Tegernee’s collection: about 75% of the books now in Munich contain year of purchase and means of acquisition. By 1500 about 500 incunabula were acquired, a fifth donated, the rest by purchase. A catalogue of incunabula, from the end of the 18th century, is now in Munich, BSB, Cbm Cat. 768.
Bibliography: Bettina Wagner, Venetian incunabula in Bavaria. Early evidence for monastic book purchases, in The Books of Venice / Il libro veneziano, ed. Lisa Pon and Craig Kallendorf, Miscellanea Marciana, 20 (2008 for 2005-2007), pp. 153-177.
Medieval manuscripts surviving from the Benedictines of Tegernsee are today in:
Augsburg UB, Austin Texas, Berlin, Pressburg, Wrocław, Cambridge, Cologny, Darmstadt, Evreux. Freising, London BL, Mainz, Melk, Munich BSB (the largest number), Munich UB, New Haven, Nuremberg, Oxford Bodley (3), Paris BnF, Prague, Stuttgart, Vatican Library, Vienna.
Bibliography: Handschriftenerbe des deutschen Mittelalters, ed. S. Krämer, 2 vols, Munich 1989, p. II 753.
Other incunables surviving from the Benedictines of Tegernsee are today in:
Over 1,034 incunabula, the largest collection from an individual monastery to survive in BSB. As a result of 19th-century duplicate sales books from Tegernsee can be found today in:
Frankfurt/Main, Hamburg, Karlsruhe, Nuremberg, Speyer, Stuttgart, The Hague, Copenhagen (2), Bodley (31 copies), Oxford Colleges (2), Harvard (4), Cambridge UL (3), Paris, BnF, Yale, Washington, Library of Congress, and further research may trace more in…?
A Bible from the Benedictines of San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice
Venice: Franciscus Renner, de Heilbronn, 1480.
Folio and 4o (ISTC ib00566000; Bod-inc B-275) Bodleian Library: Auct. M 2.12
Venice, Benedictines, S. Georgius maior [San Giorgio Maggiore], from 1429 a member of the Congregation of Sta Justina of Padua. The institution was dissolved in 1782.
Maffeo Pinelli (Venice 1735-1785) hereditary director of the official Venetian Press; the catalogue of his library was prepared by Jacopo Morelli, Marciana librarian in 1787 (listed there in vol. I no. 132); all the books were purchased by the London bookseller James Edwards for £600, and auctioned by him in 1789. The Pinelli collection was made of books from aristocratic collections and from religious institutions, mostly from the Veneto.
The Bodleian purchased some 79 incunabula at the Pinelli sale through Peter Elmsley; this volume, lot 5041, cost £1.10.0 as listed in the annotated sale catalogue and in the published List of Books Purchased for the Bodleian for 1789, p. 1.
Binding: 18th-century English calf, c.1790, bound for the Bodleian Library; yellow edges; 255 x 185 x 60 mm.
Bibliography: Antonella Barzazi, «Un tempo assai ricche e piene di libri di merito». Le biblioteche dei regolari tra sviluppo e dispersione, in “Alli 10 agosto 1806 soppressione del monastero di S. Giorgio”: Atti del convegno di studi nel bicentenario, Venezia S. Giorgio Maggiore, 10-11 novembre 2006 / a cura di Giovanni Vian, Cesena, Badia di Santa Maria del Monte, 2011, pp. 71-92.
History of the Collection:
The first nucleus of the library at San Giorgio Maggiore dated to at least the early 15th century, though a new building, by Baldassarre Longhena, was ready in 1671 and filled with new books purchased by the Abbot Alvise Squadron, mostly from the booksellers at the Mercerie, the commercial heart of the city.
In 1782 the Venetian Republic began the dissolutions; in 1789 Jacopo Morelli, librarian of the Marciana Library, was charged by the Council of Ten to investigate the state of Venetian religious libraries; in San Giorgio he noted 19 manuscripts and 62 rare books (BMV Archivio, busta: biblioteche delle corporazioni religiose 1789-1812, fasc. 1 ‘Nota dei migliori codici manoscritti e dei piu’ rari libri stampati della Libreria di S. Giorgio Maggiore’).
In 1797 the French entered the city and started taking away to Paris the best books according to a selection prepared by the commissaries Berthollet and Monge: the 470 volumes included 4 manuscripts and 24 printed books from San Giorgio Maggiore. In the same year other books were taken away, without receipt, by a citizen Brunet, described by a local historian as a pedlar turned general (‘venditore di chincaglierie divenuto poi generale’), who removed several books from the libraries of the monasteries of the city. Moreover, the library of the monastery was also runsacked by the population, and rare books taken away, during a short spell when the monks had to leave the monastery. Other volumes were probably taken away by the monks themselves in an attempt to save them. So, ironically, the books that survived are those who had been taken away to Paris or stayed in the Marciana.
In 1806 a new inventory of the library of San Giorgio Maggiore recorded 213 manuscripts and 78 incunabula. With the annexation of Venice to the French ‘Regno Italico’ in 1806, books from the religious houses of the city were sent to Padua, where volumes from some 40 monasteries were gathered in the ex-monastery of St Anna. They were left there for years, almost forgotten, with plenty of opportunities to remove them. With the fall of Regno Italico in 1815, valuable manuscripts and rare books ended up in the University Library of Padua. However, the books of San Giorgio Maggiore which can be found today in various European and American libraries are witness of different, more complex, events.
Other books surviving from San Giorgio Maggiore are today in:
Oxford, Bodleian Library:
Johannes Crastonus, Lexicon Graeco-latinum, [Milan]: Bonus Accursius, [not after 28 Mar. 1478]. “Iste liber est monasterii sancti Georgii maioris … numero 708”; purchased in 1824 for £10. 10. 0. (Bod-inc C-470).
Franciscus de Platea, Opus restitutionum, usurarum, excommunicationum, [Venice]: Bartholomaeus Cremonensis, 1472. “Iste liber est … deputatus monasterio sancti Georgii maioris … no. 619”; purchased in 1831 from Thomas Thorpe for £0. 10. 0. (Bod-inc P-334(1))
Plautus, Comoediae, Venice: Simon Bevilaqua, 17 Sept. 1499. “Reuerendus dominus Andreas Mocenicus prothonotarius apostolicus pro anime sue salute diui Georgii maioris cenobio dicauit signatus C.115”. Purchased in 1956 from McLeish. (Bod-inc P-356(2))
Cambridge, University Library:
Boethius, De consolatione philosophiae, Nuremberg: Anton Koberger, 8 June 1495. “Est S. Georgii Maioris Venetiarum”. (Oates 1037)
Clifford C. Rattey, Torquay:
Plato, Opera, Venice: B. de Choris and Simon de Luere, for A. Torresanus, 13 Aug. 1491.
With a ms note on the final leaf [exactly like the Bodleian copy] recording thetransfer from the Benedictine monastery of St Justina, Padua, to the monastery of St George the Great Venice; later Robert Finch (1783-1830); Taylor Institute Oxford. (Catalogue of the library at Corbyns, Torquay, formed by Clifford C. Rattey, Leamington Spa, 1965, no. B112)
Copenhagen, Royal Library:
Marsilius Ficinus, De religione christiana. Venice: Otinus de Luna 1500. “Est sancti Georgij maioris de Venetiis…N. Wandstad Venetiis emit 20 s. 1658”. Georgius Francus de Frankenau (1644-1704). Hafniae 1698. Count Otto Thott (1703-1785), part of a donation which included 6,159 books printed before 1530 and 4,154 manuscripts; nothing known specifically on how he acquired them. (Madsen no. 1591)
Edinburgh, University Library:
Geraldus Odonis, Expositio in Aristotelis Ethicam, Venice: Simon de Luere, for A. Torresanus, 14 July 1500 (ISTC: io00029000).
With the inscription: “Est Bibliotecae S. Georgij Maioris Venetiarum”. (Papers of Edinburgh Bibl. Society, IX, 1913, no. 150)
Harvard Univ., Houghton Library:
Plinius Secundus, Gaius, Historia naturalis, Parma: Stephanus Corallus, 1476.
On [a]2r “Est Bibl.ae S. Georgij M.is Venet.rum”; on the lower margin of [P]3r“Iste liber e(st) monachorum congregationis s. Justine de Padua deputatus in s. Georgio Venetiarum signatus numero 545”. In Cambridge Mass, by 1841: Ms note in upper margin of [o]2r “King’s Chapel, Boston, to the library of Harvard University, Cambridge. 1841”. Gift of the Minister, Wardens, and Vestry of King’s Chapel, Boston. (Walsh 3350)
London, Valmadonna Collection:
Johannes Picus de Mirandula, Opera, Venice: Bernardinus de Vitalibus 1498 (ISTC: ip00634000).
On f.1r: “R[everen]dus dns Andreas Mocenicus protonotarius pro anime sue salutis diui Georgii maioris cenobio dicauit signatus numero 114”. Andreas Mocenigo (Venice 1473-1542) was a historian, scholar, Proctor of St Mark and ambassador to Pope Julius II. The book was later in the library of Gotha, and eventually disposed as a duplicate: on f. 1r: black oval stamp: “DUPLUM | BIB | GOTH”.
Lucca, Biblioteca Statale:
Biblia, Venice: J. Herbort, 30 Apr. 1484.
On c. 408r: “Congregationis s. Justine de padua deputatus monachis in monasterio s. Georgij maioris […] habitantibus ac signatus numero 281”. (M. Paoli, Le edizioni del 400 in una raccolta toscana, Lucca, 1990-92, no. 140)
Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France:
Antoninus Florentinus, Summa moralis, Venice: Nicolas Jenson, 1477-1480. Prov.Benedictines of S. Giorgio Maggiore, Venice, 15th c.; Count Sebastiano d’Ayala (1744-1811); purchased at his sale in 1802. (CIBN A-453*).
Augustinus, De Civitate Dei, Venice: Nicolas Jenson, 2 Oct. 1475. Prov.Benedictines of S. Giorgio Maggiore, Venice, 1484; ex-libris of Venice, Biblioteca Marciana, circa 1780 [ ?]. (CIBN A-682)
[Biblia.] – Interpretationes Hebraicorum nominum, Venice: Nicolas Jenson, 1476. Prov. Benedictines of S. Giorgio Maggiore, Venice, 15th c., evidence from illumination (representation of St George on a5) and erased ex-libris; Vienna, Imperial Library, removed in 1809. (CIBN B-382*)
Cicero, Pseudo-, Rhetorica ad C. Herennium, Milan: Antonio Zarotto [for Marco Roma], 12 Aug. 1474. Prov.Benedictines of Sta Justina of Padua (annotation of Van Praet), or possibly Benedictines of S. Giorgio Maggiore, Venice (from Van Praet 1813). (CIBN C-465*)
Dante Alighieri, La Commedia, Florence: Nicolò di Lorenzo, 30 Aug. 1481. Prov. Orlando di Francesco Franceschi, 1728; Benedictines of S. Giorgio Maggiore, Venice, 18th c.; ex-libris of Venice, Biblioteca Marciana, circa 1780. (CIBN D-13*)
Franchinus Gafurius, Practica musicae, Milan: Guillaume Le Signerre for Giovanni Pietro da Lomazzo, 30 Sept. 1496.
Prov. Benedictines of S. Sisto of Piacenza, used by Johannes Maria, Piacenza, 16-17th c.; Benedictines of S. Giorgio Maggiore, Venice, 17th c. (CIBN G-000)
Guillelmus Duranti, Rationale divinorum officiorum, [Mainz]: Johann Fust and Peter Schoeffer, 6 Oct. 1459.
On the last leaf: “Iste liber est congregationis monachorum sancte Justine deputatus monasterio sancti Georgii maioris Venetiarum ac signatus numero 315″“Constitit ducatorum decem octo emptus anno 1461”. (CIBN D-278; DeRicci, Mayence, 65).
Aulus Gellius, Noctes Atticae, Brescia: Bonino de’ Bonini, 3 Mar. 1485. Prov.Benedictines of Sta Justina of Padua, 16th c.; Benedictines of S. Giorgio Maggiore, Venice[ ?]; removed in 1796. (CIBN G-000)
Lactantius, Opera, Venice: Wendelinus de Spira, 1472. Prov. Benedictines of S. Giorgio Maggiore, Venice. (CIBN L-5*)
Nicolaus Perottus, Rudimenta grammatices, Venice: [Jacopo da Fivizzano for] Marco de’ Conti and Gerardo Alessandrino, 17 Jan. 1476/77. Prov. Benedictines of S. Giorgio Maggiore, Venice. (CIBN P-124)
Bartholomæus Platina, Vitæ pontificum, [Venice:] Johannes de Colonia et Johannes Manthen, 11 June 1479. Prov.Benedictines of Sta Justine of Padua; Benedictines of S. Giorgio Maggiore, Venice; ex-libris of Venice, Biblioteca Marciana. (CIBN P-443*)
Priscianus, Opera, [Milan: Domenico da Vespolate for Bonino Mombrizio, after 24 Feb. 1476.] Prov.Benedictines of S. Giorgio Maggiore, Venice; ex-libris of Venice, Biblioteca Marciana. (CIBN P-595*)
Strabo, Geographia, Venice: Wendelinus de Spira, 1472. Prov. Benedictines of S. Giorgio Maggiore, Venice, 16th c.; Cardinal Loménie de Brienne (1727-1794); purchased at his sale in 1792. (CIBN S-471*)
Johannes Tortellius, Orthographia, Venice: Nicolas Jenson, 1471. Prov.Benedictines of S. Giorgio Maggiore, Venice. (CIBN T-290*)
Laurentius Valla, Elegantiæ linguæ latinæ, Venice: Nicolas Jenson, 1471. Prov. Unidentified coat of arms; Benedictines of S. Giorgio Maggiore, Venice, 16th c.; Cardinal Loménie de Brienne (1727-1794); purchased at his sale in 1792. (CIBN V-37*)
Subiaco, Biblioteca Statale del Monumento di Santa Scolastica:
Bartolomeo Facio, De rebus gestis Alphonsi Aragonij regis libri 7, Mantuam Feb. 1563.
On the titlepage: “Est Bibliothecae S. Georgii Maioris Venetiarum”. (ANT.500 XXIII B 22)
Uppsala, University Library:
Nicolaus Perottus, Cornucopiae linguae latinae, Venice: P. de Paganinis, 14 May 1489 (ISTC ip00288000).
Inscription: “Iste liber est Congregationis monachorum s. Justine de Padua ordinis s. Benedicti deputatus in monasterio s. Georgij maioris Venetiarum signatus 947”. (Sallander 1907 no. 1885).
Even if nothing has been published more in detail, some books are very probably still in Venice.
The fifth in the 2012 series of the Oxford Seminars on the History of the Book was held at All Souls College, Oxford, on 17 February, 2012. Professor Raphaële Mouren of the École nationale supérieure des sciences de l’information et des bibliothèques (ENSSIB) in the University of Lyon spoke on “The humanist editor as author”. Her paper provided a fascinating insight not only into concepts of authorship in the sixteenth century, but into how scholarly editions of classical texts were prepared during this period.
For the purposes of Professor Mouren’s paper, the term “humanist” was understood to mean a scholar who reads, studies, revises, corrects, and edits classical texts for the purpose of producing a “reference edition”, that is to say an edition that will be used for preference by scholars working on a particular text. The person responsible for producing such an edition can be referred to as a “reference editor”, although there were also examples of “reference printers”, where the same person would be responsible both for the intellectual work of preparing the text, and for the physical production of the edition itself. The best known examples of such reference printers are perhaps the Manutius family in Venice or the Estienne family active in Paris and Geneva.
So, can these humanist editors of classical texts be considered as authors in the same way as the creators of original texts in the vernacular? And where can we look to find evidence of their activity? The most obvious place to start is by looking at the information provided in the editions themselves, and particularly at title pages, dedicatory letters, colophons, and other paratextual material. It is important to bear in mind in this context that the inclusion or omission of particular information on the title page, and the way in which that information is presented, are the result of conscious or unconscious decisions. These decisions will generally have been made by the printer; the specific format of the title page was in the sixteenth century, and generally still is, one of the few aspects of an edition over which the author or editor has no control. If the printer controlled the title page, the editor had an equivalent control over the dedicatory letter, and many humanists used such letters as a means of asserting their editorship of the text, and of spelling out the editorial strategies adopted and the problems encountered. One might expect the title page to an edition of a classical author to provide the name of the original author, the name of the editor, and the name of the printer or publisher. When looking at sixteenth century editions of such texts, however, it is striking how frequently the information provided on the title page is incomplete, or does not match the reality of how the edition was actually prepared.
As the reasons for these omissions or inaccuracies tend to vary from edition to edition, the remainder of Professor Mouren’s paper was devoted to looking at specific examples. These examples were chiefly taken from the editions produced by Pietro Vettori, a university lecturer and prolific editor of classical texts active in Florence in the mid- to late-sixteenth century.
The first example chosen was the three editions of the pseudo-Demetrius Phalereus’s De elocutione, printed in Florence between 1542 and 1562, all edited by Vettori and printed by the Giunta family. The title page of the 1542 edition merely gives the name of Demetrius Phalereus, the title of the work, and the date of publication. A colophon adds that the work was printed in Florence, but not much more. This lack of information may possibly be explained by the fact that the edition is in fact simply a reproduction of an existing edition of the text, and it was not usual for editors to be credited unless they had done substantial work on the text. An additional explanation may lie in the circumstances in which the edition was produced; it was printed at the beginning of the university year, and it is therefore probable that this was a text that Vettori intended to use in his university teaching, and that the priority was to have the edition available to his students as quickly as possible. This 1542 edition may even have functioned as a starting point from which Vettori and his students would go on to correct and revise the text. The extent of the editorial work Vettori ended up doing on this particular text is perhaps indicated by the difference in wording of the title page to the 1562 edition, which is described as Vettori’s commentary on Demetrius Phalereus, despite the fact that the edition includes both the pseudo-Demetrius’s original text, and a Latin translation of it.
The next example considered was the edition of Cicero’s complete works published by the Giuntas in Venice in 1537. The edition consists of four volumes of Cicero’s works, the first volume edited by Andrea Navagero and the remaining three volumes edited by Vettori. The title page to volume one does indeed credit Navagero as editor, but the title pages to volumes 2-4 make no mention of Vettori. In fact, the only mention of Vettori’s input is as the author of an ancillary volume of “Emendationes”. This is probably explained by the fact that in 1537, Vettori was only at the beginning of his career, whereas Navagero was already an established name, and therefore Navagero’s name, unlike Vettori’s would have been seen by the publishers as adding scholarly weight to their edition.
Vettori’s editions of Clement of Alexandria, Porphyry and Sallust are interesting in that they do not mention Vettori’s name on the title page, but do specify the manuscript he used to prepare his edition, the text selected being described as “E Bibliotheca Medicea”. It was common practice to indicate that a famous or important manuscript had been used in the preparation of an edition, since this was seen by printers as a way of making their edition seem newer and better than any of the other existing editions.
A final example considered was the various editions of Cicero’s Epistolae familiares published by Paulus Manutius during the sixteenth century. When Paulus Manutius published his first edition of the Epistolae familiares in 1540, he did not mention his own involvement either as editor or as publisher on the title page. As a result of this, when Vettori began work on his own edition of Cicero, he had to ask his own publisher, Bernardo di Giunta, to find out who had been responsible for the 1540 edition of the Epistolae familiares. When told that it had been Paulus Manutius, Vettori couldn’t quite believe it, and referred to the edition rather dismissively. This then left Paulus Manutius with the problem of how to record his own involvement as editor and publisher on the title page, and in his subsequent editions of the Epistolae familiares, he experimented with a number of different ways of achieving this, most of which involved his name appearing on the title page in two different places. Eventually, however, he settled on the formula “Corrigente Paulo Manutio”, used as an imprint, but also acknowledging his editorial input.
The first in the seventeenth annual series of Oxford Seminars on the History of the Book, convened by Professor I.W.F. Maclean, was given at All Souls College, Oxford, on 20 January, 2012, by Dr. William Poole of New College, Oxford, on the subject of “John Fell’s New Year Books”.
Dr. John Fell, 1625-1686, was one of the dominant figures in the intellectual life of Oxford in the mid to late 17th century. He was elected Dean of Christ Church in 1660 at the age of 35, served as Vice-Chancellor of the University from 1666 to 1669, and, in 1676, became Bishop of Oxford, while still serving as Dean of Christ Church, continuing to hold both offices, as well as a number of other official and ecclesiastical positions, until his death in 1686. He was also an important figure in the development of printing in Oxford. He was one of the partners leasing the University press, and arranged for the use of the Sheldonian Theatre for printing purposes, as well as setting up a type foundry in Oxford and encouraging the Wolvercote paper mill.
Fell’s scholarly output includes sermons, biographical works, and numerous editions of classical and patristic texts, but Dr Poole’s paper focused on one particular aspect of this; the series of small format editions published in Oxford at Fell’s expense between 1666 and 1686, and known as the New Year Books because they were intended to be given by Fell as New Year gifts to his students.
The tradition of exchanging gifts at New Year was an old one, and it is not surprising that within academic communities these gifts should have come to take the form of texts. There is evidence of works having been printed in England as New Year gifts as early as the 16th century, most of which are attempts on the part of the author to attract the attention of wealthy and influential patrons rather than serious intellectual undertakings. In University settings, this exchange of gifts generally seems to have taken the form of students presenting their latest work to their tutors. Fell acknowledges this tradition in the 1669 edition of Clement of Rome, in which he states that part of his motivation for producing the series of New Year Books is that he frequently received New Year gifts of texts from his students, and that he felt it was, as he puts it, “turpissimum” for him to have nothing to give them in exchange. In addition to this practical motivation, Fell also seems to have had a general interest in producing a series of cheap editions of teaching texts for students long before he actually started the New Years Books. But he had to be careful not to upset the London Stationers, who monopolised the textbook market.
Fell’s New Year Books are generally small format (octavo or duodecimo) editions of texts by classical and patristic authors. They are distinguished by austerity and plainness, both in production and in editorial style, which demonstrates Fell’s preference for text over commentary and collation over exegesis. In most cases, the texts and versions presented were not new, and Fell seems to have done comparatively little work on them. It has been stated that the New Year Books are primarily patristic in nature, and this is certainly true after 1679 (possibly because at this point Fell was also working on his edition of Cyprian). Before 1679, however, there is generally a fairly equal balance between Christian and pagan authors. In general, the choice of authors and texts shows a preference for early Christian authors who warn of the dangers of schism, and who propound an episcopal, but definitely not papal, form of church government. Despite this inherent conservatism, it should not be assumed that the authors and texts chosen were always neutral, or that the texts were always read and received in a friendly manner; the choice of Nemesius as the New Year Book for 1671 appears, from the tone of the annotations in some surviving copies, notably Thomas Barlow’s, to have been particularly controversial.
Fell’s editorial practice appears to have depended heavily on collation; in most cases, the texts provided are collated from around four manuscripts. Although the manuscripts used are sometimes clearly identified, Fell tends to be less clear about which specific readings have been taken from which manuscript, making it hard to trace the collation process in any detail. It has been suggested that Fell used the New Year Books as an annual exercise for his students in preparing and editing a text, but the evidence for this is patchy. Fell does seem to have had some help in preparing these editions, certainly from Thomas Spark, who edited the 1679 edition of Zosimus and the 1678 edition of Herodian which may have been the New Year Book for that year and is certainly affiliated to the series, and probably from Edward Bernard, who Madan associates with the preparation of the 1666 edition of Pachymeres. Bernard also presented a copy of the 1686 edition of Origen to Friedrich Spanheim, and appears to have borrowed manuscripts from New College library on Fell’s behalf. However, Fell rarely if ever appears to have conceded overall editorial control to anyone else.
The final question considered was how these works were circulated, and to whom. Fortunately, as many of the books were acquired by Oxford college libraries, a large number of them have survived, in many cases in series which can be traced to particular academic owners. The majority of copies do appear to have been given as gifts, with several surviving copies having ex dono inscriptions recording the gift. These gifts were widely circulated within Christ Church, and less widely circulated outside, although this is more difficult to trace. Fell appears to have given copies to his academic peers and contemporaries, as well as to his students. Fell certainly had some copies bound for him by the Oxford binder Henry Ingram, but since these constitute relatively few copies, it is probable that he gave away unbound copies as well. Copies were passed on from one academic to another, and were certainly still being used as live academic texts in the eighteenth century. There is little evidence of the works having been circulated outside England. Although the nature of the works as gifts is always insisted on, and they are only rarely referred to in the Term Catalogues, there is also evidence of a commercial element to their production; they were produced in print runs of up to a thousand, more than could have realistically been given away, and there is also evidence of Fell having used copies of the books as capital within Oxford.
A stimulating final discussion considered many of the issues raised in the paper in more detail, such as whether there is evidence of the works having been given to a particular type of student, and whether the production of this kind of “teaching text” allowed for the publication of texts without the level of scholarly editorial work that would be required for a full-scale critical edition.