An Essay on Colophons, with Specimens and Translations by Pollard, Alfred W. (Alfred William)
The following presumed errors have been corrected in the text.
Page 107, “1457” changed to “1497” (printed by Geoffroy de Marnef in 1497)
Page 154, “precedette” changed to “procedette” (non diligente impressore procedette)
Page 162, “rari” changed to “rara” (Cum quondam fuerit copia rara tui.)
Footnote 4, “nome” changed to “nomen” (Enee Siluio nomen erat) and “incolaru” changed to “incolam” (de Lubeck Colonie incolam)
Index entry for Indictions, page reference “70” changed to “170”
The Publication Committee of the Caxton Club certifies that this copy of “An Essay on Colophons” is one of an edition consisting of two hundred and fifty-two copies on French hand-made paper and three copies on imperial Japanese paper, printed from type, and completed in the month of August, nineteen hundred and five.
AN ESSAY ON COLOPHONS
AN ESSAY ON COLOPHONS
WITH SPECIMENS AND TRANSLATIONS
BY ALFRED W. POLLARD
AND AN INTRODUCTION BY RICHARD GARNETT
CHICAGO THE CAXTON CLUB MCMV
Copyright, 1905, by THE CAXTON CLUB
CONTENTS AND LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
I. THE COLOPHON’S REASON FOR EXISTENCE 3
Homer. Florence: [B. Libri,] 1488 5
Breslau Missal. Mainz: P. Schoeffer, 1483 8
II. COLOPHONS AT MAINZ 9
Latin Bible. Mainz: Fust and Schoeffer, 1462 10
Balbus. Catholicon. Mainz: [J. Gutenberg,] 1460 14
Cicero. De Officiis. Mainz: Fust and Schoeffer, 1465 18
S. Jerome’s Epistles. Mainz: P. Schoeffer, 1470 20
Tritheim. Chronicarum opus. Mainz: Joh. Schoeffer, 1515 27
III. COLOPHONS AT VENICE 30
Cicero. Epistolae ad Familiares. Venice: John of Speier, 1469 32
Cicero. Epistolae ad Familiares. Second Edition. Venice: John of Speier, 1469 33
Pliny. Historia Naturalis. Venice: John of Speier, 1469 35
Dante. Divina Commedia. Venice: Wendelin of Speier, 1476 40
Cicero. Rhetorica. Venice: N. Jenson, 1470 42
Decor Puellarum. Venice: N. Jenson, 1461 for 1471 45
Cicero. De Oratore. Venice: C. Valdarfer, 1470 49
Cicero. Orationes. Venice: C. Valdarfer, 1471 50
Caracciolus. Quadragesimale (and several other books). Venice: Bartolommeo of Cremona, 1472 52
IV. PRINTERS’ COLOPHONS IN OTHER TOWNS 57
Meissen Missal. Freiberg: C. Kachelofen, 1495 66
Bononia illustrata. Bologna: Plato de Benedictis, 1494 73
Guido de Baysio. Super Decretis. Venice: John of Cologne and Nicolas Jenson, 1481 78
Boniface VIII. Decretals. Basel: M. Wenssler, 1477 82
Fasciculus Temporum. Louvain: Veldener, 1476 84
Ioh. Faber. Breuiarium super codice. Louvain: John of Westphalia, c 1475 84
S. Cyprian. Epistulae. Rome: Sweynheym and Pannartz, 1471 (and in many other of their books) 87
Cicero. Orationes Philippicae. Rome: Ulrich Han  (and in several other of Han’s books) 88
V. PUBLISHERS’ COLOPHONS 91
Latin Bible. Vicenza: Leonardus Achates, 1476 94
Laurentius Valla. Elegantiae. Rome: Arnold Pannartz, 1475 96
Gasparo Visconti. Rithmi. Milan: Ant. Zarotus, 1493 103
Journal Spirituel. Paris: Vérard, 1505 105
Statius. Achilleis. Parma: Steph. Corallus, 1473 109
Franciscus Curtius. Consilia. Milan: U. Scinzenzeler, 1496 116
VI. COLOPHONS OF AUTHORS AND EDITORS 123
Georgius Natta. Repetitiones. Pavia: C. de Canibus, 1492 126
Henricus Bruno. Super Institutionibus. Louvain: Aeg. van der Heerstraten [1488?] 128
Petrus de Ancharano. Repetitio. Bologna: Jo. Jac. de Benedictis for Benedictus Hectoris, 1493 141
Roman Missal. Venice: G. Arriuabenus and P. de Paganinis, 1484 147
Cicero. Epistolae Familiares. Milan: Lauagna, 1472 150
Homiliae. Basel: N. Kessler, 1498 155
VII. REPETITIONS, THEFTS, AND ADAPTATIONS 159
VIII. DATES IN COLOPHONS 170
Leaving the Colophon in its bibliographical aspects to the able hand by which these are about to be treated, it may not be amiss to preface Mr. Pollard’s researches by a brief inquiry into the origin and significance of the term itself, and the reason why the colophon for so long performed the office of the title-page.
_Colophon_ originally meant the head or summit of anything. It is clearly cognate with κορυφή, but is a word of far less importance, for while thirteen derivatives from κορυφή are given in Liddell and Scott’s Dictionary, κολοφών has not one. The former word is continually used by Homer; the latter is first met with in Plato, and then and afterwards only in a figurative sense. Yet it is clear that the word must from the first have borne the signification of “summit” or “crest,” for such is the position of the city of Colophon, which must have derived its name from its elevation, just as a modern house may be called “Hilltop.” Names of this kind, if not given at the first, are rarely given at all; we must suppose, then, that _colophon_ was a recognized Greek word for “summit” when the city was founded about the tenth century B.C., according to Strabo by a Pylian colony, though this seems difficult to reconcile with the fact of Colophon being an Ionian city. In any case, the word has long survived the place.
According to the information supplied by the New English Dictionary, _colophon_ made a brief appearance in English, in the first half of the seventeenth century, in its secondary classical sense of a “finishing stroke” or “crowning touch,” being used thus in Burton’s “Anatomy of Melancholy,” and again in 1635 by John Swan, who writes in his “Speculum Mundi” of how God “comes to the Creation of Man and makes him the colophon or conclusion of all things else.” Of the use of the word _colophon_ in the particular significance elucidated in this essay—the end or ultimate paragraph of a book or manuscript—the earliest example quoted in the New English Dictionary is from Warton’s “History of English Poetry,” published in 1774. A quarter of a century before this it is found as a term needing no explanation in the first edition of the “Typographical Antiquities” of Joseph Ames, published in 1749. How much older it is than this cannot lightly be determined. The bibliographical use appears to be unknown to the Greek and Latin lexicographers, medieval as well as classical. Pending further investigation, it seems not unlikely that it may have been developed out of the secondary classical sense already mentioned sometime during the seventeenth century, when the interest in bibliography which was then beginning to be felt would naturally call into existence new terms of art. The Latin word _subscriptio_, which is used in a not very dissimilar sense, could hardly have been modernized without ambiguity. The Greek κορωνις, used for a flourish at the end of a manuscript, had not entered into any modern language. It is possible that it was thus only at a comparatively late date that a need was felt for a special word to denote the final paragraph of a book, and that the metaphorical use of _colophon_ for a “finishing touch” caused it to be specialized in this sense. But whenever this use of the word _colophon_ may have arisen, it is manifest that if this paragraph is to convey any description of the book, it fulfils the office of a title-page; and when we examine the manner in which _colophon_ came to bear this special connotation, we shall see that the printer’s colophon could not, except for a very short period while men’s ideas were still indefinite, have coexisted with the title-page.
The idea especially implied in the Greek proverbial phrase “to put on the colophon” is that of putting the finishing stroke to anything, as when a building is completed by the addition of the coping-stone, or a discourse is summed up by a recapitulation of its general gist. Is the word simply used in the sense of a crowning peak? or has it a special connection with the city of Colophon? Ancient writers assert the latter, and assign two reasons, one of which at least seems fanciful. Strabo says that the allusion is to the decisive charges of the Colophonian cavalry, which were made at the last moment. There seems no other indication of Colophon having possessed a high military reputation. The Scholiast on the “Theaetetus” of Plato gives a more probable derivation; he says that, on account of their having received the Smyrnaeans into their city, the people of Colophon were allowed a casting-vote in the Panionium, or congress of the twelve Ionian cities, and hence the expression was equivalent to “turn the scale.” There would be nothing unreasonable in this supposition if we were sure that the Colophonians actually had this casting-vote; but the notion may well have been invented to explain the proverb; and, after all, if κολοφών has the sense of “crest,” no historical explanation seems necessary.
We have, however, solely to consider here the application of the term _colophon_ to books, and must ask, What portion of a book would embody that final touch which we have seen to be essential to the idea of a colophon? In modern times we should probably say the imprint, for although the printer’s name, as well as the publisher’s, may be given at the bottom or on the reverse of the title-page, it is more usual to find it at the end. The ancient colophon also gave this information, but it commonly gave much more. To understand the part it played in early printing, we must go back to its predecessor, the manuscript.
Manuscripts, as the parents of printed books, have necessarily exercised the greatest influence on their development. A step which might have been very important was taken when, probably early in the fifth century, the form most convenient for the printed book was established by the definitive supersession of the roll form of manuscript by the _codex_, or manuscript in modern book form. Codices are of sufficient antiquity to be figured in the paintings at Pompeii, but the derivation from _caudices_, thin leaves of wood, shows that they were not at first much used for literary purposes, but rather for accounts or memoranda. When they began to compete with the roll, a step in the direction of convenience which may be appreciated by us if we can imagine that all our books had at one time been printed in newspaper form, we find the colophon already installed under the title of _index_. This did not denote the key to the contents of a book, thought so indispensable in modern times, but to the title, giving generally the subject and author of the book with the utmost brevity, and written at the end, precisely like a colophon, which in fact it was, though not bearing the name. As the papyrus roll was not bound, there could be no lettering upon a cover unless when, as was sometimes the case, a fine manuscript was inclosed within a case or wrappage for its protection; and the inconvenience of having to open every roll to find the title soon suggested the idea of hanging the index outside the roll on a separate slip, brightly dyed so as to attract attention. Examples may be seen in paintings from Pompeii. The general, though as yet by no means universal, displacement of papyrus by parchment led to the introduction of binding, early in the fifth century, as the best method of preserving codices. It had, of course, been practised before, but could not make much progress while the majority of books were papyrus scrolls; and even in the case of codices it seems to have been chiefly employed for the opportunity it afforded of adorning a valued manuscript with a splendid exterior. The disuse of the roll, however, soon made binding universal. In the Customs of the Augustinian priory at Barnwell it is distinctly laid down: “As the books ought to be mended, printed, and taken care of by the Librarian, so ought they to be properly bound by him.”
The question of binding, as it concerns the colophon, is chiefly interesting from the point it raises whether the colophon, representing as it certainly did the title-page, was the sole clue to the contents of a manuscript, or whether the binding was lettered by a label affixed, or by the author’s name being written on it. The books represented in the picture of “Ezra Writing the Law,” the frontispiece to the Codex Amiatinus, reproduced in Mr. Clark’s work on “The Care of Books,” show no signs of lettering; and centuries later, in the Augustinian Customs, we find the librarian enjoined not to pack the books too closely together, “_ne nimia compressio querenti moram invectat_.” Delay, therefore, in finding a book on the shelf was recognized as an evil to be guarded against: it is scarcely likely that this would have been so manifest if the books had been distinctly lettered, or that the librarian would not have been enjoined to supply lettering if lettering had been the practice.
It would seem, then, that the colophon of a manuscript would be the principal means of affording information respecting its contents; but, if we may so far extend the signification of the term as to cover any addition made at the end by the transcriber, and having no reference to the subject-matter of the book, it was capable of conveying much beside. How touchingly the feelings of the copyist, “all with weary task fordone,” craving to be assured that he has not labored in vain, are portrayed in this final note to a volume written in the ninth century!
I beseech you, my friend, when you are reading my book, to keep your hands behind its back, for fear you should do mischief to the text by some sudden movement, for a man who knows nothing about writing thinks that it is no concern of his. Whereas to a writer the last line is as sweet as the port is to a sailor. Three fingers hold the pen, but the whole body toils. Thanks be to God, I, Warembert, wrote this book in God’s name. Thanks be to God. Amen.
Very moving, too, is the injunction of some tender spirit in a manuscript of the fourteenth century:
Whoever pursues his studies in this book, should be careful to handle the leaves gently and delicately, so as to avoid tearing them by reason of their thinness; and let him imitate the example of Jesus Christ, who, when he had quietly opened the book of Isaiah and read therein attentively, rolled it up with reverence, and gave it again to the Minister.
On the other hand, manuscripts frequently contain anathemas against the pernicious race of book thieves, which can hardly be deemed uncalled for when we remember the frank admission innocently volunteered by a Sicilian knight, in a ballad translated by Rossetti, that he had stolen his Bible out of a church, “the priest being gone away.” Sometimes additional force is sought to be given to these imprecations by the assertion that the book is to be regarded as the personal property of the patron saint of the church or monastery—St. Alban, for example.
We have dwelt at some length upon the question of colophons, or inscriptions corresponding to colophons, in manuscripts, as these have been little investigated, and form the groundwork of the more important inquiry concerning the development of the colophon in the printed book, which is the subject of Mr. Pollard’s essay. It would be interesting to collect from medieval manuscripts and bring together in one corpus the ejaculations of medieval scribes, whether minatory, hortatory, or simply expressive of gratitude or relief at the termination of their irksome labors. How far this latter sentiment may have been qualified by the artist’s pleasure in his calligraphy must be matter of conjecture. If he was illuminator as well as transcriber, he must frequently have had ample ground for complacency. It would be a proof how little the conception of painting as an art independent of every other was developed if we could suppose the illustrator of a fourteenth-century Dante, for example, whose talent would in this age have made his fortune as a painter of pictures, condescending to the humble labors of a copyist, exquisite as his calligraphy might be. Yet the craft of the illuminator was destined to be absolutely obliterated by printing, while that of the transcriber exercised an important influence on early printing, as evinced by the care which the first printers took to adapt their types to the forms of letters prevalent in the manuscripts of their respective countries.
The same adaptation is observable in the use of the colophon by the early printers in the place of a title-page, when, as was not always the case, they thought fit to give a title at all. To us this seems almost incomprehensible. The immense advantage of a book bearing a title on its front and manifesting its nature from the first is so apparent that our practical age cannot comprehend how it could have been less obvious to our predecessors than to ourselves. It further seems in accordance with common sense and general usage in all similar matters that proclamation should be made at the beginning and not at the end, at the entrance and not at the exit, as the dedication of the temple is inscribed above the portico. The neglect of this apparently self-evident rule is perhaps to be explained by the influence of the “traditions of the scribes,” which affected early printing in many ways. We have alluded to the manner in which types were modelled upon the style of handwriting in use in the respective countries, the beautifully clear Italian type contrasting so markedly with the massive and imposing ruggedness of the Gothic. We also see how the tradition of illumination long induced printers to leave blank spaces for capital letters, especially at the beginnings of chapters, to be filled in by the artist, and to employ the services of a “rubricator” to preserve at least some phantom of the wealth of color which the printing art was destroying as effectually as in our day the photograph has killed the woodcut. The elegant border, also, was a legacy from the manuscript to the printed book, and this, fortunately lending itself to engraving, admitted of preservation. The service rendered by printing to engraving, it may be parenthetically remarked, is a great set-off against the injury it inflicted upon art in the shape of pictorial illustration. All these circumstances indicate the strong influence of the scribe upon the printer; and it is perhaps not surprising that the latter should for some time have followed the example of his predecessor, and given no title except occasionally the brief heading which frequently precedes the first chapter of a manuscript. This was never set out on a distinct leaf, an indispensable condition of a title-page, until many years after printing had effectually dethroned transcription as the method of the reproduction of books. The first title-page did not appear until some twenty years after the invention of printing. Title-pages became the rule about 1490, but it was not until 1493 that the announcement of the printer or publisher, hitherto buried in the colophon, began to appear upon them.
This it is which gives the colophon such extraordinary importance in the history of early printing. Wherever one exists, the question of place and printer, and frequently the question of date, is entirely solved. Where there is no colophon, we are left to conjecture. The problem is, indeed, generally soluble by a really scientific investigation, but it is only of late that science has been thoroughly brought to bear upon it by a Bradshaw and a Proctor. It is no unimportant matter, for every determination of the locality of an early book is a paragraph added to the history of the culture of the country where it originated. The beginnings of printing, as of other arts, were obscure, and we must be most grateful for any information which has been afforded us by men who assuredly no more thought of posterity than does any tradesman who advertises his wares without reflecting that he too is contributing something to the history of culture or of industry. The ancient printers had no more notion than Shakspere had what interesting figures they would appear in the eyes of posterity.
The colophon, however, does much more than reveal matters of fact. It admits us in a measure into the intimacy of the old printer, shows us what manner of man he was, and upon what he rested his claims to esteem as a benefactor of the community. We find him very decided in asserting his superiority to the copyist, a reaction, perhaps, against a feeling entertained in some quarters that the new art was base and mechanical in comparison with the transcriber’s, with which, in the estimation of the devotee of calligraphy, it could only compare as a motor-car may compare with an Arab steed. That such a feeling existed in highly cultivated quarters we learn from the disdain for printing expressed by the eminent scholar and educator Vespasiano da Bisticci, who had collected the library of the Duke of Ferrara, and who looked upon the manuscripts he had gathered with such joy and pride as an admiral of the old school may have looked upon his lovely frigates in comparison with the ugly, but undeniably more powerful, ironclad. Such printers as Jenson might have replied that their typographical productions were hardly inferior in beauty to the manuscript, but we are not aware that they ever took this line. They rather lay stress upon a more tangible advantage—their superior accuracy. They also affirm, and with truth, that their work is easier to read. “As plain as print” is a proverb which has grown up of itself. They might also have dwelt upon the various sorrows and afflictions which copyists prepared for their employers, so graphically described by Petrarch. Petrarch’s lamentation must have been a rare enjoyment to the first printer who published it, if he understood it and had professional feeling.
Much more might be said about the old printer as revealed by the colophon—his trade jealousies, his disposition to monopolize, his deference to patrons, his joy at having carried his work through the press, his conviction that his labors have not been unattended by the divine blessing. That inferior person, the author, too, occasionally gets a good word, especially when his authorship assumes the form of translation or commentary. But our business is mainly with the colophon in its literary and bibliographical aspects, and it is time to make way for Mr. Pollard, whose monograph upon it will, we believe, be found the fullest, the most entertaining, and the most accurate extant.
AN ESSAY ON COLOPHONS
THE COLOPHON’S REASON FOR EXISTENCE
The interest of individual colophons in early printed books has often been noted. The task which, under the kind auspices of the Caxton Club, is here to be assayed is the more ambitious, if less entertaining, one of making a special study of this feature in fifteenth-century books, with the object of ascertaining what light it throws on the history of printing and on the habits of the early printers and publishers. If, instead of studying each colophon singly for the sake of the information it may give us as to the book which it completes, or for its own human interest,—if it chance to have any,—we compare the same printer’s colophons in successive books, and the colophons of different printers in successive editions; if we group those which have similar characteristics, and glance also at the books which have no colophons at all, or quite featureless ones, then if there is anything to be learnt from colophons, we ought to be by way of learning it; and if there is only very little to be learnt, that also is a fact to be noted.
The existence, incidentally referred to in our last paragraph, of books which have no colophons, or colophons from which all positive information is conspicuously absent, is a point which may well be enlarged on. In Mr. Proctor’s “Index of Early Printed Books” the one unsatisfactory feature is the absence of any distinguishing mark between the books which themselves contain a statement of their printer’s name, and those of which the printer was discovered by the comparison of types, or ornaments, or other inferential evidence. Mr. Proctor used humorously to excuse himself for this omission on the ground that he had already used so many different symbols that if he had added one more to their number the camel’s back would have broken. But the omission, while occasionally vexatious to the student, is regrettable chiefly as obscuring the greatness of Mr. Proctor’s own work. If all books gave full particulars as to their printers and dates, there would have been little need of Bradshaw’s “natural-history” method, or of Mr. Proctor’s almost miraculous skill in applying it. It is the absence of colophons in so many books that calls into play the power of identifying printers by their types, and of dating books by the appearance of new “sorts,” or the disuse of old ones. A single instance will suffice to illustrate the secrets thus revealed. To Ludwig Hain, Bartolommeo di Libri of Florence is the printer of four books. In Mr. Proctor’s Index he is credited with no fewer than one hundred and twenty-six in the collections of the British Museum and the Bodleian alone, among these being the famous first edition of Homer and some of the finest Florentine illustrated books. He is thus raised from obscurity to the front rank of Italian printers, an example of a man who, though he did excellent work, hardly ever troubled himself to take credit for it. In the face of such an instance the partial nature of the information we can gather from colophons is at once plain. And yet from this very absence of Libri’s name we glean some really characteristic evidence. For, to begin with, the great Florentine Homer is not without a colophon. On the contrary, it possesses this very explicit one:
[Illustration: Homer. Florence: [B. Libri,] 1488.]
Ἡ τοῦ Ὁμήρου ποίησις ἅπασα ἐντυπωθεῖσα πέρας εἴληφεν ἢδη σὺν θεῷ ἐν Φλωρεντίᾳ, ἀναλώμασι μὲν τῶν εὐγενῶν καὶ ἀγαθῶν ἀνδρῶν, καὶ περὶ λόγους ἑλληνικοὺς σπουδαίων, Βερνάρδου καὶ Νηρίου Τανάιδος τοῦ Νεριλίου φλωρεντίνοιν· πόνῳ δὲ καὶ δεξιότητι Δημητρίου μεδιολανέως κρητὸς, τῶν λογίων ἀνδρῶν χάριν καὶ λόγων ἑλληνικῶν ἐφιεμένων, ἔτει τῷ ἀπὸ τῆς Χριστοῦ γεννησέως χιλιοστῷ τετρακοσιοστῷ ὀγδοηκοστῷ ὀγδόῷ μηνὸς Δεκεμβρίου ἐνάτῃ.
This printed edition of all Homer’s poetry has now come to its end by the help of God in Florence, by the outlay of the well-born and excellent gentlemen, enthusiasts for Greek learning, Bernardo and Nerio, sons of Tanais Nerli, two Florentines, and by the labor and skill of Demetrio of Milan, a Cretan, for the benefit of men of letters and professors of Greek, in the year from Christ’s birth the one thousand four hundred and eighty-eighth, on the ninth day of the month of December.
Here Demetrio Damilas, the Cretan of Milanese descent, is anxious enough to advertise himself: perhaps all the more anxious because his name seems to have been suppressed in the case of some previous Greek books in which he may have had a share. He compliments also, as in duty bound, the brothers Nerli, without whose munificence the book could not have been produced. But the craftsman at whose press the Homer was printed was too insignificant a person for a scholar of the very self-regarding type of the first professors of Greek to trouble to mention him, and thus Libri is ignored by Damilas as completely as the later printers were ignored by the publishers. In some of his larger works of a less learned kind,—books by Boccaccio, the Florentine Histories of Bruni and Poggio, and the Logic of Savonarola,—Libri, when left to himself, was at the pains to print his name. But in the mass of “Rappresentazioni,” Savonarola pamphlets, and other seemingly ephemeral books which he made attractive by procuring for them delightful woodcuts, he did not take sufficient pride to claim the credit which Mr. Proctor after four centuries recovered for him. The scribes who preceded the printers were by no means forward in naming themselves. Though not to the same extent as Libri, the early printers largely imitated their reticence. More especially with vernacular books they were careless of connecting themselves, because vernacular books were as yet despised. Hence, though we shall have to quote some in the chief languages of Western Europe, the comparative rarity of vernacular colophons. Hence, on the other hand, the comparative frequency of the Latin ones, which can be culled from all kinds of learned books, more especially from the laborious legal commentaries which now possess so few attractions beyond their beautiful, though crabbedly contracted, typography. It is a pity, because the Latin found in colophons is often far from classical, and occasionally so difficult that our renderings will be offered in fear and trembling. But it was in Latin that literary distinction was mainly to be won in the fifteenth century, and it was therefore with Latin books that the printers desired their names to be associated. Colophons, in fact, are the sign and evidence of the printer’s pride in his work, and this is the main clue we have in seeking for them.
[Illustration: Breslau Missal. Mainz: P. Schoeffer, 1483.]
COLOPHONS AT MAINZ
[Illustration: Latin Bible. Mainz: Fust and Schoeffer, 1462.]
It was said at the end of our first chapter that the presence of a colophon in an old book is to be taken as a sign of its printer’s pride in his work. This being so, it would seem only reasonable to expect that the very earliest books of all, the books in which the new art made its first appearance before the book-buying world, should be found equipped with the most communicative of colophons, telling us the story of the struggles of the inventor, and expatiating on the greatness of his triumph. As every one knows, the exact reverse of this is the case, and a whole library of monographs and of often bitterly controversial pamphlets has been written for the lack of the information which a short paragraph apiece in three of the newly printed books could easily have given. What was the reason of this strange silence we are left to guess. It will be thought noteworthy, perhaps, that all three of these too reticent books are Latin Bibles—the 42-line Bible variously assigned to Gutenberg and to Fust and Schoeffer, the 36-line Bible variously assigned to Gutenberg and Pfister, and the 48-line Bible known to have proceeded from the press of Johann Mentelin of Strassburg. It is indeed a curious fact, and it is surprising that the folly of Protestant controversialists has not leapt at it, that not merely these three but the great majority of Latin Bibles printed before 1475 are completely silent as to their printers, place of imprint, and date. Of the fourteen editions which in the catalogue of the British Museum precede that which Franciscus de Hailbrun and Nicolaus of Frankfort printed at Venice in 1475, only three reveal their own origin—those printed at Mainz by Fust and Schoeffer in 1462 and by Schoeffer alone ten years later, and the edition of 1471, printed by Sweynheym and Pannartz at Rome. On the other hand, the three editions printed before 1462, as well as those of Eggestein and the “R-printer” at Strassburg and of Ruppel and Richel at Basel, are all anonymous. We might imagine that there was a fear that the natural conservatism of the church would look askance at the new art, and that therefore in printing the Bible it was thought best to say nothing about it. But, as a matter of fact, it was not only in their Bibles that these printers showed their reticence. Gutenberg never put his name in any book at all. Bertold Ruppel never dated one; Eggestein dated nothing till 1471, Mentelin nothing till 1473, Richel nothing till 1474. Most of their books are anonymous. When we remember that Mentelin was printing at Strassburg, a city with which Gutenberg had many relations, as early as 1458, and Eggestein not long after; that Ruppel was Gutenberg’s servant and Richel was Ruppel’s partner and successor, it would almost seem as if all this reticence were part of a distinct Gutenberg tradition, an attempt to keep the new art as secret as possible, either in order to lessen competitors and keep up prices, or (to take another alternative) because some of these printers may have broken promises of secrecy imposed on them with this object, and were thus less anxious to advertise themselves.
In strong contrast to the almost furtive behavior of this group of printers is the insistent glorification of themselves and the new art by Johann Fust the goldsmith and Peter Schoeffer the scribe, his son-in-law. The contrast is so great that it must certainly be reckoned with by those who hold that to Fust and Schoeffer must be assigned the production of the anonymous 42-line Bible, though in the tangled relations of the Mainz printers about 1454 there may have been reasons for silence at which we cannot guess. As printers in their own names the known career of Fust and Schoeffer begins with the publication, in 1457, of the famous Psalter in which we find our first colophon:
Presens spalmorum [_sic_ for psalmorum] codex venustate capitalium decoratus Rubricationibusque sufficienter distinctus, Adinuentione artificiosa imprimendi ac caracterizandi absque calami vlla exaracione sic effigiatus, Et ad eusebiam dei industrie est consummatus, Per Johannem fust ciuem maguntinum, Et Petrum Schoffer de Gernszheim Anno domini Millesimo.cccc.lvij In vigilia Assumpcionis.
The present copy of the Psalms, adorned with beauty of capital letters, and sufficiently marked out with rubrics, has been thus fashioned by an ingenious invention of printing and stamping without any driving of the pen, And to the worship of God has been diligently brought to completion by Johann Fust, a citizen of Mainz, and Peter Schöffer of Gernsheim, in the year of the Lord 1457, on the vigil of the Feast of the Assumption.
A few notes on some of the words in this colophon may be offered. “Codex,” which has been paraphrased “copy,” meant originally a collection of tablets waxed over for writing on, and so any book in which the leaves are placed one on another instead of being formed into a roll. “Capital letters” must be understood of large initials, not merely, as the phrase is often used to mean, majuscules, or “upper-case” letters. “Adinventio” appears to mean simply invention, and not, as with our knowledge of stories of “prefigurements” of printing in Holland afterward completed in Germany we might be inclined to think, the perfecting of an invention. The epithet “artificiosa” probably only means skilful, without emphasizing the contrast between the artificial methods of printing as compared with the natural use of the hand. About “caracterizandi” it is not easy to feel quite sure. Does it complete “imprimendi” by adding to the idea of pressing the further idea of the letter (χαρακτήρ) impressed, or is “imprimendi” already fully equivalent to printing, while “caracterizandi” refers to engraving the letters on the punches? Lastly, it may be noted that in _calamus_, “reed,” and _exaratione_, “plowing up,” which properly refers to the action of the “stilus” of bone or metal on the waxed surface of a tablet, we have reference to two different methods of writing, one or other of which must necessarily be slurred. Not all colophons present so many small linguistic difficulties as this, but few are wholly without them, and many of the renderings which will be offered in ensuing chapters must be accepted merely as the best paraphrases which could be attained.
This first colophon was repeated by Fust and Schoeffer with very slight alterations in the Psalter of 1459 (in which were added the words “et honorem sancti iacobi,” “and to the honour of S. James,” the patron of the Benedictine monastery at Mainz, for whose use the edition was printed), in the “Durandus” of the same year, the Clementine Constitutions published in 1460, and the Bible of 1462.
Meanwhile, in 1460, there had been published at Mainz an edition of the “Catholicon,” a Latin dictionary compiled by Joannes Balbus of Genoa, a Dominican of the thirteenth century. The colophon to this book, instinct with religious feeling and patriotism, and interesting for its pride in the new art and use of some technical terms, yet lacks the one important piece of information which we demand from it—the name of the printer.
Altissimi presidio cuius nutu infantium lingue fiunt diserte, Quique numerosepe paruulis reuelat quod sapientibus celat, Hic liber egregius, catholicon, dominice incarnacionis annis Mcccclx Alma in urbe maguntina nacionis inclite germanice, Quam dei clemencia tam alto ingenij lumine, donoque gratuito, ceteris terrarum nacionibus preferre, illustrareque dignatus est, Non calami, stili, aut penne suffragio, sed mira patronarum formarumque concordia proporcione et modulo, impressus atque confectus est.
Hinc tibi sancte pater nato cum flamine sacro Laus et honor domino trino tribuatur et uno Ecclesie laude libro hoc catholice plaude Qui laudare piam semper non linque mariam. Deo Gracias.
[Illustration: Balbus. Catholicon. Mainz: [J. Gutenberg,] 1460.]
By the help of the Most High, at Whose will the tongues of infants become eloquent, and Who ofttimes reveals to the lowly that which He hides from the wise, this noble book, Catholicon, in the year of the Lord’s Incarnation 1460, in the bounteous city of Mainz of the renowned German nation, which the clemency of God has deigned with so lofty a light of genius and free gift to prefer and render illustrious above all other nations of the earth, without help of reed, stilus, or pen, but by the wondrous agreement, proportion, and harmony of punches and types, has been printed and finished.
Hence to Thee, Holy Father, and to the Son, with the Sacred Spirit, Praise and glory be rendered, the threefold Lord and One; For the praise of the Church, O Catholic, applaud this book, Who never ceasest to praise the devout Mary. Thanks be to God.
In addition to the “Catholicon,” the British Museum possesses three books in the same type, which are, therefore, ascribed to the same press—a “Tractatus racionis et conscientiae” of Matthew of Cracow, and two editions of the “Summa de articulis fidei” of S. Thomas Aquinas; but these, perhaps because they are only little books, have no printer’s colophon. On November 4, 1467, a Latin-German vocabulary known as the “Vocabularius Ex Quo” was finished at Eltville, near Mainz, by Nicolaus Bechtermünze and Wigandus Spiess of Ortenberg, having been begun by Heinrich Bechtermünze, brother of Nicolaus. It is printed in the same type as the “Catholicon,” reinforced by some slight additions, and it is noteworthy (as illustrating what we may call the hereditary or genealogical feature which runs through many colophons) that in taking over the type used in the “Catholicon,” part of the wording of its colophon was taken over also, though a few words appear to be borrowed from Fust and Schoeffer. To show this we may quote the colophon to the 1467 “Vocabularius” as transcribed by Mr. Hessels (“Gutenberg: was he the inventor of printing?” p. 141):
Presens hoc opusculum non stili aut penne suffragio sed noua artificiosaque invencione quadam ad eusebiam dei industrie per henricum bechtermuncze pie memorie in altauilla est inchoatum et demum sub anno domini M.cccc.l.xvij ipso die leonardi confessoris, qui fuit quarta die mensis nouembris, per nycolaum bechtermuncze fratrem dicti henrici et wygandum spyesz de orthenberg est consummatum.
Hinc tibi sancte pater nato cum flamine sacro Laus et honor domino trino tribuatur et uno: Qui laudare piam semper non linque mariam.
This present little work, not by the help of stilus or pen, but by a certain new and skilful invention to the worship of God, was diligently begun at Eltville by Heinrich Bechtermünze of pious memory, and at last, in the year of the Lord 1467, on the day of Leonard the Confessor, which was on the fourth day of the month of November, by Nicolaus Bechtermünze, brother of the said Heinrich, and Wigandus Spiess of Orthenberg, was brought to completion.
Hence to Thee, Holy Father, and to the Son, with the Sacred Spirit, Praise and glory be rendered, the threefold Lord and One. O thou who never ceasest to praise the devout Mary.
The omission of the third line of the “Catholicon” quatrain, obviously because the word “Catholice” no longer had especial import, makes the construction even more mysterious than in the original, nor is this the only instance we shall find of such mauling.
While the Eltville colophon thus mainly takes its phrasing from that of the “Catholicon,” with a few words from Fust and Schoeffer’s thrown in, the latter firm were themselves not above borrowing a happy phrase, since in the “Liber Sextus Decretalium Bonifacii VIII” not only do we find an antithesis introduced to the “artificiosa adinuentio,” but in some copies, if Maittaire is to be trusted, the praise of Mainz is bodily taken over, so that the full colophon now reads:
Presens huius Sexti Decretalium preclarum opus alma in urbe Maguntina inclyte nacionis germanice, quam dei clemencia tam alti ingenii lumine donoque gratuito ceteris terrarum nacionibus preferre illustrareque dignatus est, non atramento plumali canna neque aerea, sed artificiosa quadam adinuentione imprimendi seu caracterizandi sic effigiatum et ad eusebiam dei industrie est consummatum per Iohannem Fust ciuem et Petrum Schoiffher de Gernsheim. Anno domini M.cccclxv. die uero xvii mensis Decembris.
The present splendid edition of this sixth book of Decretals, in the bounteous city of Mainz of the renowned German nation, which the clemency of God has deigned with so lofty a light of genius and free gift to prefer and render illustrious above all other nations of the earth, has been thus fashioned not by ink for the pen nor by a reed of brass, but by a certain ingenious invention of printing or stamping, and to the worship of God diligently brought to completion by Johann Fust, a citizen of Mainz, and Peter Schoiffher of Gernsheim, in the year of the Lord 1465, and on the 17th day of December.
By this time even a patient reader may well be weary with this ringing of the changes on the two colophons first printed, respectively, in 1457 and 1460. But, without pushing the suggestion too far, we may at least hazard a guess as to how they came thus to be amalgamated in December, 1465. For it was in this year that Gutenberg, who, when all is said, is the most probable printer for the “Catholicon” and the other books which go with it, became a pensioner of Adolph II, Archbishop of Mainz, and presumably gave up printing. The two small books in the “Catholicon” type (_i.e._ the “Tractatus racionis et conscientiae” and the “De articulis fidei”) appear in Schoeffer’s catalogue of 1469-70. Whether he bought the stock of them as early as 1465 cannot be proved, but it would seem reasonable to connect his taking over the “Catholicon” colophon in that year with the disappearance of Gutenberg from any kind of rivalry. As between printers in different cities, there was certainly no copyright in colophons any more than there was in books. We shall see presently how, when books of Schoeffer’s were reprinted at Nuremberg and Basel, his colophons, with slight alterations, were taken over with them. But in Germany at this time, between citizens of the same town, trade rights, I fancy, were much more respected than at Venice, for instance, or at Paris, where the editions of Caesaris and Stoll were impudently pirated by two other firms in the very same street. At all events, it is worth noticing that the “Catholicon” printer’s colophon seems to have been taken over by Schoeffer, who bought some of his stock, and by the brothers Bechtermünze, who had the use of his types.
Passing now to other of Schoeffer’s colophons, we find in the edition of the “Officia et Paradoxa” of Cicero of this same year, 1465, a more personal form of the colophon, which gives us an explicit statement that Fust, the capitalist of the business, probably owing to failing health, now left the actual superintendence of the printing to his son-in-law Schoeffer, the quondam scribe. It runs:
[Illustration: Cicero. De Officiis. Mainz: Fust and Schoeffer, 1465.]
“Presens Marci tulii clarissimum opus Iohannes Fust Moguntinus ciuis, non atramento plumali, canna neque aerea, sed arte quadam perpulcra, Petri manu pueri mei feliciter effeci finitum, Anno 1465.” This statement, that “I, Johann Fust, citizen of Mainz, completed the book by the labor or instrumentality (manu) of my son Peter,” was repeated in the reprint of February 4, 1466, and thenceforth the name of Fust disappears from the annals of printing.
In 1467 we find the colophon attributed by Maittaire to some copies of the “Sextus Decretalium” repeated (with the omission of Fust’s name) in the “Secunda Secundae” of S. Thomas Aquinas and the second edition of the Clementine Constitutions, and this became for some time Schoeffer’s normal colophon. In 1470, however, he varied it in his edition of S. Jerome’s Epistles in order to introduce a compliment paid by the saint to the city of Mainz, which made it peculiarly appropriate that his work should be popularized by a Mainz printer. This colophon runs:
[I]gitur Sophronii Eusebii Ieronimi orthodoxi, Ecclesie Christi propugnatoris clarissimi, Liber Ieronimianus, aut si mauis, quod et ipse velim, Liber Epistolaris explicit, ut dignitas nominis Ieronimiani egregio viro Johanni Andree permaneat, qui hoc ipsum zelo deuotionis erga virum sanctum affectus tempore prisco vulgauit in orbem. Est autem presens opus arte impressoria feliciter consummatum per Petrum schoiffer de Gernsshem in ciuitate nobili Moguntina. Cuius nobilitati vir beatus Ieronimus scribens ad Agerutiam de monogamia testimonium perhibet sempiternum multis milibus incolarum eiusdem in ecclesia pro fide catholica sanguine proprio laureatis.
Huic laudatori reddit moguntia vicem, Tot sua scripta parans usibus ecclesie.
Anno domini M.cccc.lxx. Die septima mensis septembris que fuit vigilia natiuitatis Marie. Da gloriam Deo.
[Illustration: S. Jerome’s Epistles. Mainz: P. Schoeffer, 1470.]
Thus of Sophronius Eusebius Hieronimus [_i.e._, S. Jerome], the Orthodox, the most renowned champion of the Church of Christ, there comes to an end the book called after him Hieronominian, or if you prefer it the Book of his Epistles, the title I myself should wish to give it in order that the honor of the title Hieronimian may be reserved for the illustrious Johannes Andreae, who in olden time published to the world this very work from the zeal of his devotion to the holy man. Now the present work by the printing art has been happily brought to completion by Peter Schoiffer of Gernsheim in the noble city of Mainz, as to whose nobility the blessed man Jerome, writing to Agerutia concerning monogamy, bears eternal witness to the many thousands of its inhabitants who with their own blood have won crowns of laurel in the church for the catholic faith.
Printing the words of him who gave this praise, Mainz helps the church the while her debt she pays.
In the year of the Lord 1470, on the seventh day of September, which was the vigil of the Nativity of Mary. Give glory to God.
In 1472, in the “Decretum Gratiani cum glossis,” we get another variant and an addition of some importance:
Anno incarnationis dominice 1472 idibus Augustiis, sanctissimo in Christo patre ac domino domino Sixto papa quarto pontifice maximo illustrissimo, nobilissime domus austrie Friderico, Romanorum rege gloriosissimo, rerum dominis, Nobili nec non generoso Adolpho de Nassau archiepiscopatum gerente maguntinensem, in nobili urbe Moguntia que nostros apud maiores Aurea dicta, quam diuina etiam clementia dono gratuito pre ceteris terrarum nationibus arte impressoria dignata est illustrare, hoc presens Gratiani decretum suis cum rubricis, non atramentali penna cannaue, sed arte quadam ingeniosa imprimendi, cunctipotente adspiranti deo, Petrus Schoiffer de Gernsheym suis consignando scutis feliciter consummauit.
A similar colophon was used in the “Nova compilatio Decretalium Gregorii IX” of 1473, and the phrase “suis consignando scutis” occurs again in Schoeffer’s edition of S. Bernard’s Sermons (1475) and in several books of the three following years. In 1479, in an edition of the “Decretals of Gregory IX,” the phrase is varied to “cuius armis signantur,” after which Panzer records it no more. This first mention of the shields has for us far more interest than the pompous recital of how Sixtus IV was pope, and Frederick of Austria king of the Romans, and Adolph of Nassau archbishop of Mainz when this “Decretal of Gratian” was printed “in the noble city of Mainz, which our ancestors used to call the golden city, and which has been so highly favored by its preëminence in printing.” Needless discussions have been raised as to what was the use and import of printers’ devices, and it has even been attempted to connect them with literary copyright, with which they had nothing whatever to do, literary copyright in this decade depending solely on the precarious courtesy of rival firms, or possibly on the rules of their trade-guilds. But here, on the authority of the printer who first used one, we have a clear indication of the reason which made him put his mark in a book—the simple reason that he was proud of his craftsmanship and wished it to be recognized as his. “By signing it with his shields Peter Schoiffer has brought the book to a happy completion.” When Wenssler of Basel copied Schoeffer’s books, he copied him also in affixing their marks and in drawing attention to them in the same way. Wenssler, too, was a good printer, and though he was certainly not claiming copyright in books which he was simply reprinting, he was equally anxious to have his handiwork recognized.
If yet further evidence be wanted, we can find it in the colophon to Schoeffer’s 1477 edition of the “Tituli Decisionum antiquarum et nouarum,” which reads as follows:
Anno domini M.cccc.lxxvij. pridie nonis Ianuariis graui labore maximisque impensis Romanam post impressionem opus iterum emendatum: antiquarum nouarumque decisionum suis cum additionibus dominorum de Rota: In ciuitate Maguntina impressorie artis inuentrice elimatriceque prima Petrus Schoyffer de Gernssheym suis consignando scutis arte magistra; feliciter finit.
Some other features which occur in the wording of this will be noted later on. For our present purpose it is of interest to find the mark of the shields attached to a book which is distinctly stated to have been printed “Romanam post impressionem,” “after the edition printed at Rome,” and for which, therefore, no literary copyright is conceivable.
In the 1473 reprint of the “Sextus Decretalium” we note that Schoeffer now considered himself venerable, or perhaps it would be fairer to say “worshipful” (“per venerandum virum Petrum schoiffer de Gernshem feliciter est consummatum”), but in his edition of S. Augustine’s “De Ciuitate Dei,” of the same year, we find a more important variant. This reads:
Igitur Aurelii Augustini ciuitatis orthodoxe sideris prefulgidi de ciuitate Dei opus preclarissimum, binis sacre pagine professoribus eximiis id commentantibus rubricis tabulaque discretum precelsa in urbe moguntina partium Alemanie, non calami per frasim, caracterum autem apicibus artificiose elementatum, ad laudem Trinitatis indiuidue, ciuitatis dei presidis, operose est consummatum per Petrum schoiffer de gernsheim. Anno domini M.cccc.lxxiij. die v. mensis septembris. Presidibus ecclesie catholice Sixto tercio pontifice summo Sedi autem moguntine Adolfo secundo presule magnifico. Tenente autem ac gubernante Christianismi monarchiam Imperatore serenissimo Frederico tercio Cesare semper augusto.
Thus the most renowned work of Aurelius Augustinus, a shining star of the city of orthodoxy, the De Ciuitate Dei, with the notes of two distinguished professors of Biblical Theology, set out with rubrics and index, in the exalted city of Mainz of the parts of Germany, not by the inditing of a reed, but skilfully put together from the tips of characters, to the praise of the undivided Trinity, ruler of the City of God, has been toilfully brought to completion by Peter Schoiffer of Gernsheim, in the year of the Lord 1473, on the fifth day of the month of September, the catholic church being under the rule of Sixtus III as supreme pontiff, and the see of Mainz under that of the magnificent patron Adolf II, while the most serene Emperor Frederick III, Caesar Augustus, held and guided the monarchy of Christendom.
The struggles of the fifteenth-century Latinists to express the technicalities of printing are always interesting, and the phrase “caracterum apicibus elementatum” is really gallant. Following the Greek στοιχεῖα, the Romans used the word “elementa” originally for the component sounds of speech and then, by transference, for the letters of the alphabet. “Elementatum,” therefore, is strictly appropriate, and might be rendered “with the letters built up or put together,” while “caracterum apicibus” of course refers to the engraving in relief which forms the face of the type.
In 1475, perhaps as an echo of some verses in the “Noua compilatio Decretalium Gregorii IX” of 1473, we find a new phrase tacked on to the “arte impressoria” in an edition of Justinian, noting the fact that though Providence did not consider antiquity worthy of the art, it had been granted to our times (“qua quidem etsi antiquitas diuino non digna est visa indicio, nostra nichilominus tempestate indulta”). In 1476 again Schoeffer advertises that his edition of Justinian’s Institutes was printed “in the noble city of Mainz am Rhein, the inventress and first perfectress of the printing art” (“In nobili urbe Maguncia Rheni, impressorie artis inuentrice elimatriceque prima”), while in the Clementine Constitutions of the same year he substitutes “alumnaque” for “elimatriceque,” presumably in the sense of pupil or practiser, reverting subsequently to “elimatrice.” In 1478 he once more varies the praises of Mainz by calling her “domicilium Minerve firmissimum,” “the most stable home of Minerva.” With this year 1478, which closes the period of Schoeffer’s chief activity, we may bring our survey of his colophons to an end. Thereafter he printed more intermittently, and, if the absence of colophons may be trusted, as I think it may, with less interest in his work. But during these twenty-two years from 1457 to 1478, inclusive, he had made his books bear continual testimony to one great fact, that the art of printing had been invented and brought to perfection in Germany, in the city of Mainz; and in any weighing of the comparative claims that have been advanced on behalf of Germany and Holland, I think that the evidence of Schoeffer’s colophons alone would suffice to give the priority to Germany and Mainz.
Of the clearness and energy of the claim made in these Mainz colophons, we have already given abundant illustration, nor can there be any doubt that it obtained wide publicity. Schoeffer printed at least one advertisement of his books, and he had an agency for their sale in Paris. Besides this, his editions were copied by other printers. So far as publicity could be insured in the fifteenth century, it was insured by Schoeffer, aided by the printer of the “Catholicon,” for the statement that printing was invented at Mainz; and despite the rivalry between city and city, and between country and country, during all the years that this assertion was being repeated in one colophon after another, no printer in any other book ventured to challenge it. No doubt there are facts on the side of Holland which have to be explained as best we may, but in the face of these Mainz colophons the explanation must be of such a kind as to leave undisputed the fact that it was at Mainz that printing with movable types—“mira patronarum formarumque concordia proporcione et modulo”—first became a practicable art. On the other hand, as to the individual inventor of this art the fifteenth-century colophons are absolutely silent. There is nothing in any Mainz colophon answering to the boast of John of Speier at Venice, “primus in Adriaca formis impressit aenis,” by which he asserted his individual priority over any other firm. The only statement of the kind is in the extraordinarily crabbed verses added by the corrector Magister Franciscus, after the colophon, to the “Institutiones Justiniani” of 1468, and reprinted in that of 1472, and in the Decretals of 1473, but omitted in 1476. This states that two Johns, both of whom the town of Mainz produced (genuit), were the renowned first stampers of books (librorum insignes protocaragmaticos), and that with them was associated a Peter; and the natural interpretation of these allusions identifies the “protocaragmatici” (though the “proto” may refer to preëminence quite as well as to priority) with Johann Gutenberg, Johann Fust, and Peter Schoeffer.
So far as they are intelligible, therefore, these verses in the Institutes of Justinian confirm and extend the evidence of the colophons, and may be cheerfully accepted. Our last colophon in this chapter is not quite in the same case. This famous and ingeniously arranged addendum to the edition of the “Compendium de Origine regum et gentis Francorum” of Johann Tritheim, printed by Johann Schoeffer at Mainz in 1515, is shown as one of our illustrations, but may nevertheless be transcribed here for the sake of expanding its contractions:
[Illustration: Tritheim. Chronicarum opus. Mainz: Joh. Schoeffer, 1515. (Reduced.)]
Impressum et completum est presens chronicarum opus, anno domini MDXV. in uigilia Margaretae uirginis. In nobili famosaque urbe Moguntina, huius artis impressorie inuentrice prima. Per Ioannem Schöffer, nepotem quondam honesti uiri Ioannis Fusth, ciuis Moguntini, memorate artis primarii auctoris. Qui tandem imprimendi artem proprio ingenio excogitare specularique coepit anno dominice natiuitatis M.CCCC.L. indictione XIII. Regnante illustrissimo Romanorum imperatore Frederico III, praesidente sanctae Moguntinae sedi Reuerendissimo in Christo patre domino Theoderico pincerna de Erpach, principe electore. Anno autem M.CCCC.LII. perfecit deduxitque eam (diuina fauente gratia) in opus imprimendi, opera tamen ac multis necessariis adinuentionibus Petri Schöffer de Gernsheim ministri suique filii adoptiui, cui etiam filiam suam Christinam Fusthinn, pro digna laborum multarumque adinuentionum remuneratione nuptui dedit. Retinuerunt autem hii duo iam praenominati, Ioannes Fusth et Petrus Schöffer, hanc artem in secreto (omnibus ministris ac familiaribus eorum, ne illam quoquo modo manifestarent, iureiurando astrictis) Quo tandem de anno domini M.CCCCLXII per eosdem familiares in diuersas terrarum prouincias diuulgata haud parum sumpsit incrementum.
Cum gratia et priuilegio Caesaree Maiestatis iussu et impensis honesti Ioannis Haselperg ex Aia maiore Constantiensis dioecesis.
This may be rendered:
The present historical work has been printed and completed in the year of the Lord 1515, on the vigil of Margaret, virgin, in the noble and famous city of Mainz, first inventress of this printing art, by John Schöffer, grandson of a late worthy man, John Fust, citizen of Mainz, foremost author of the said art, who in due course by his own genius began to think out and investigate the art of printing in the year of the Lord’s nativity 1450, in the thirteenth indiction, in the reign of the most illustrious Emperor of the Romans Frederick III, and when the most reverend father in Christ, Theoderic the cup-bearer, of Erbach, prince-elector, was presiding over the sacred see of Mainz, And in the year 1452 perfected and by the favor of divine grace brought it to the work of printing, by the help, however, and with many necessary inventions of Peter Schöffer of Gernsheim, his workman and adoptive son, to whom also he gave his daughter Christina Fust in marriage as a worthy reward of his labors and many inventions. And these two already named, Ioannes Fust and Peter Schöffer, kept this art secret, all their workmen and servants being bound by an oath not in any way to reveal it; but at last, from the year of the Lord 1462, through these same servants being spread abroad into divers parts of the world, it received no small increase.
With the favor and privilege of the Imperial Majesty and at the command and expense of the worthy John Haselperg of Reichenau of the diocese of Constance.
It would be too much to call this colophon untruthful, inasmuch as the term “primarius auctor,” like “protocaragmaticus,” does not necessarily claim primacy in point of time; nevertheless, it certainly suggests this primacy and generally assigns to Fust a more decisive part than we can easily believe that he played. We need not censure too hardly John Schoeffer’s family feeling, even though it led him to ignore Gutenberg in a way which earlier testimony forbids us to believe to be just; but it seems evident that family feeling was so much to the fore as to place this long historical colophon on quite a different footing from that of the earlier ones written by Schoeffer himself.
COLOPHONS AT VENICE
While to Mainz belongs the supreme credit of having brought printing to the position of a practical art, the city in which it attained its highest perfection and popularity in the fifteenth century was undoubtedly Venice. The output from the Venetian presses represented some forty per cent. of the entire book production of Italy, and its quality was at least as remarkable as its quantity. It is natural, therefore, to turn from Mainz to Venice in our quest for interesting colophons, as wherever printers did good work and took pride in it we may expect to find correspondingly good colophons. Certainly at Venice we have no ground for disappointment in this respect. The Venetian colophons are plentiful and full of information, though chiefly about the publisher’s side of printing. What makes them a little alarming to the pedestrian editor is that so many of the earliest and most interesting specimens are in verse. The books most favored by the first Venetian printers were editions of the Latin classics and Latin translations of the Greek ones. To see these through the press each printer had to retain the services of a corrector, who filled a position half-way between the modern proof-reader’s and editor’s. The printers, not being able to write Latin themselves with any fluency, naturally left their colophons in the hands of their correctors, and these gentlemen preferred to express themselves in verse. The verse, even allowing for the fact that it is generally intended to be scanned by accent rather than quantity, is often of a kind which would get an English school-boy into considerable trouble; and it would be a nice question as to whether Omnibonus Leonicenus and Raphael Zovenzonius, who wrote it for John and Wendelin of Speier; Antonius Cornazanus, who was in the pay of Jenson; or Valdarfer’s corrector, Lodovicus Carbo, should be held the most successful. Just, however, because its poetic ornaments are commonplace, to render this verse into prose seems more than usually unsportsmanlike. Good poetry can stand the test of prose, and the poetaster meddles with it at his peril, as witness the uniform inferiority of metrical renderings of the Psalms to the prose of the Great Bible or Prayer-Book version. But mediocre poetry when turned into prose becomes simply ridiculous, and so the present translator, without reckoning himself as even a “minimus poeta,” has wrestled manfully with these various verse colophons and “reduced” them, as best he could, into English rhymes, since these, poor as they are, misrepresent the originals less than any attempt he could make in prose. Here, then, without more apology, are the colophons from the earliest Venetian books, which fall into an interesting sequence.
The first printer at Venice, it will be remembered, was John of Speier, who obtained a special privilege for his work which would have cramped the whole craft at Venice had not his death removed the difficulty. In his first book, an edition of Cicero’s “Epistolae ad Familiares,” printed in 1469, the colophon is cast into these verses:
[Illustration: Cicero. Epistolae ad Familiares. Venice: John of Speier, 1469.]
Primus in Adriaca formis impressit aenis Vrbe Libros Spira genitus de stirpe Iohannes. In reliquis sit quanta uides spes, lector, habenda, Quom labor hic primus calami superauerit artem.
In Adria’s town, one John, a son of Speier, First printed books by means of forms of brass. And for the future shall not hope rise higher When the first fruits the penman’s art surpass?
Of this first Venetian edition of Cicero’s letters we know from a subsequent colophon that only one hundred copies were printed, one twenty-fifth part of the whole edition now being preserved in the four copies at the British Museum. It was obviously sold out very rapidly, and in some three or four months’ time the printer had got out a second edition, to which he added a new colophon.
[Illustration: Cicero. Epistolae ad Familiares. Second Edition. Venice: John of Speier, 1469.]
Hesperiae quondam Germanus quisque libellos Abstulit: en plures ipse daturus adest. Namque uir ingenio mirandus et arte Ioannes Exscribi docuit clarius aere libros. Spira fauet Venetis: quarto nam mense peregit Hoc tercentenum bis Ciceronis opus.
From Italy once each German brought a book. A German now will give more than they took. For John, a man whom few in skill surpass, Has shown that books may best be writ with brass. Speier befriends Venice: twice in four months has he Printed this Cicero, in hundreds three.
The puzzle here is to determine how many copies there were of the second edition. Mr. Horatio Brown, in “The Venetian Printing Press” (p. 10), courageously asserts that “the second edition of the _Epistulae_ consisted of six hundred copies, published in two issues of three hundred each; and that the whole six hundred took four months to print.” This is clearly inadmissible, as everything we know of fifteenth-century printing forbids us to suppose that John of Speier kept the whole book standing in type and printed off a second “issue” when he found there was a demand for it. The fourth month must be reckoned from the date of the first edition, and we have to choose, as to the number of copies in the second, between supposing that the three hundred, the “tercentenum opus,” refers to this alone, and that the poet did not intend to make any statement about the number of the first edition at all, or else that the second edition consisted of two hundred copies, and that these, with the hundred of the first, made up a total of three hundred. In either case his language is ambiguous, as the language of poets is apt to be when they try to put arithmetic into verse.
I have followed Mr. Proctor in making the second edition of Cicero’s letters precede the Pliny, but—as, in common with many other students of old books, I am made to feel daily—to be no longer able to go to him for information is a sore hindrance. I should have thought myself that the Pliny, a much larger book, was begun simultaneously with the first edition of Cicero, and that Wendelin’s colophon to the “De Civitate Dei” obliged us to link the Pliny with the first rather than the second edition. Perhaps, however, this arithmetic in verse is once more a little loose. Certainly the Pliny colophon, which is free from figures, is all the better poetry for that reason. It is the book here that speaks:
[Illustration: Plinius. Historia Naturalis. Venice: John of Speier, 1469.]
Quem modo tam rarum cupiens vix lector haberet, Quique etiam fractus pene legendus eram: Restituit Venetis me nuper Spira Ioannes: Exscripsitque libros aere notante meos. Fessa manus quondam moneo: calamusque quiescat, Namque labor studio cessit: et ingenio.
I, erst so rare few bookmen could afford me, And erst so blurred that buyers’ eyes would fail— To Venice now ’twas John of Speier restored me, And made recording brass unfold my tale. Let rest the tired hand, let rest the reed: Mere toil to zealous wits the prize must cede.
The aspersion on the scribes was undeserved. If truth be told, either because they used too thin an ink, or else from too slight pressure, the early Venetian printers seldom did full justice to their beautiful types; and though their vellum copies are really fine, those on paper are no easier to read than the average fifteenth-century manuscripts which they imitated. We must, however, forgive John of Speier his little boastings, as this was the last colophon he was to print; and our next, which comes at the end of S. Augustine’s “De Civitate Dei,” contains his epitaph:
Qui docuit Venetos exscribi posse Ioannes Mense fere trino centena uolumina Plini Et totidem magni Ciceronis Spira libellos, Ceperat Aureli: subito sed morte peremptus Non potuit ceptum Venetis finire uolumen. Vindelinus adest, eiusdem frater et arte Non minor, Adriacaque morabitur urbe.
John, who taught Venice there might written be A hundred Plinys in months barely three, And of great Cicero as many a book, Began Augustine, but then death him took, Nor suffered that he should Venetians bless Finishing his task. Now Wendelin, no less With skill equipped, his brother, in his room Means to take Adria’s city for his home.
The business which thus passed into his hands was certainly carried on by Wendelin vigorously, for during the next three years he turned out over a dozen folios or large quartos a year. He seems, indeed, to have outrun his resources, for as early as 1471 his colophons tell us that some of his books were financed for him by John of Cologne, and after the summer of 1473 his type passed into the possession of this John and his “very faithful partner, Johann Manthen.” As Wendelin’s name disappears from colophons for three years, it is probable that his services were taken over with his types; in 1470, however, he was his own master and the object of much praise from his colophon-writer. In his Sallust of this year we read:
Quadringenta dedit formata volumina Crispi Nunc, lector, Venetis Spirea Vindelinus. Et calamo libros audes spectare notatos Aere magis quando littera ducta nitet?
To Venice Wendelin, who from Speier comes, Has given of Sallust twice two hundred tomes. And who dare glorify the pen-made book, When so much fairer brass-stamped letters look?
The Livy of the same year ends with a poem of forty-six lines, which praises Wendelin for bravely rescuing such of Livy’s Decads as remained, “saevis velut hostibus acri Bello oppugnatas,” and by multiplying copies saving them from the fate which had befallen the rest. A poem like this, however, must be reckoned rather with congratulatory verses than as a colophon, though the line in these Venetian books is not always easy to draw. Two more of Wendelin’s publications in 1470 may be pressed into our service—a Virgil and a Petrarch. Of these the Virgil ends:
Progenitus Spira formis monumenta Maronis Hoc Vindelinus scripsit apud Venetos. Laudent ergo alii Polycletos Parrhasiosue Et quosuis alios id genus artifices: Ingenuas quisquis Musarum diligit artes In primis ipsum laudibus afficiet: Nec vero tantum quia multa uolumina, quantum Quod perpulchra simul optimaque exhibeat.
Wendelin of Speier these records of the art Of Maro now to Venice doth impart. Let some of Polycletus praise the skill, Parrhasius, or what sculptor else you will; Who loves the stainless gifts the Muses give Will pray that Wendelin’s renown may live; Not that his volumes make so long a row, But rather for the grace and skill they show.
The colophon to the Petrarch claims credit for the restoration of a true text, a point on which the scholars of the Renaissance were as keen, up to their lights, as those of our own day, and which is often emphasized in their laudatory verses as the one supreme merit:
Que fuerant multis quondam confusa tenebris Petrarce Laure metra sacrata sue, Christophori et pariter feruens Cyllenia cura Transcripsit nitido lucidiora die. Vtque superueniens nequeat corrumpere tempus En Vindelinus erea plura dedit.
The songs that Petrarch to his Laura made With many a doubt obscure were overlaid: Now, by Cristoforo’s and Cyllenio’s care, Than day itself their text shall shine more fair. Lest by corrupting time they still be tried, Wendelin these printed copies multiplied.
In 1471 Wendelin, or his correctors, lest their inspiration should be too hard worked, invented a simple couplet which would apply to any book equally well.
Impressum formis iustoque nitore coruscans Hoc Vindelinus condidit artis opus.
Printed from forms, with modest splendors bright, This Wendelin designed to give delight.
This is found in the “Apophthegmata” of Plutarch, the “Memorabilia” of Valerius Maximus, the “Singularia” of Pontanus, the “Aureae Quaestiones” of Bartolus de Saxoferrato, etc.; and must have been a welcome second string in case of need. Nevertheless, when a second edition of Sallust was called for, Wendelin’s private poet was equal to the occasion, producing the quatrain:
Quadringenta iterum formata uolumina nuper Crispi dedit Venetis Spirea Vindelinus. Sed meliora quidem lector, mihi crede, secundo Et reprobata minus antea quam dederat.
The verses are so incredibly bad, not merely in their entire disregard of quantity, but in grammar as well, that it would be pleasant to reproduce the peculiar iniquity which makes their charm. What the writer meant to say was something to the effect that:
Wendelin of Speier to Venice now once more Of printed Sallusts hath given hundreds four. But here all’s better, all may trusted be: This text, good reader, is from errors free.
Faithfully to reëcho the discords of the original is above the present translator’s skill.
As money troubles thickened about him, Wendelin’s colophons became less buoyant and interesting; but in 1473, when the transfer of his business to John of Cologne and Manthen of Gerresheim was impending, we find these verses in one of the huge law-books in which the early printers were so bold in investing their money—the “Lectura Bartoli de Saxoferrato super secunda parte Digesti Veteris”:
Finis. M. cccc. lxxiii.
Non satis est Spire: gratissima carmina Phoebo, Musarum cantus, historiasque premi. Omnis habet sua vota liber. Non cessat ab arte. Has pressit leges, Iustiniane, tuas. Spira tua est virtus Italas iam nota per urbes, Ore tuum nomen posteritatis erit.
’Tis not enough for Speier to print the songs That Phoebus loves, the Muses’ tales and lays: Each book is favored. Not for rest he longs, But thus to print Justinian’s laws essays. Speier, now Italy’s cities know thy glory, And future ages shall repeat the story.
When Wendelin resumed business on his own account in 1476, he published very few books; but one of these, the “Divina Commedia” of Dante, printed in that year, has an Italian colophon in the ambitious form of a sonnet:
[Illustration: Dante. Divina Commedia. Venice: Wendelin of Speier, 1476.]
Finita e lopra del inclito e diuo Dante alleghieri Fiorentin poeta La cui anima sancta alberga lieta Nel ciel seren oue sempre il fia vivo. Dimola benvenuto mai fia priuo Deterna fama che sua mansueta Lyra opero comentando il poeta, Per cui il texto a noi e intellectiuo. Christofal Berardi pisaurense detti Opera e facto indegno correctore Per quanto intese di quella i subietti. De Spiera Vendelin fu il stampatore: Del mille quattrocento e settanta setti Correuan gli anni del nostro signore.
Here ends the work of Dante, the most high Florentine poet, famed to every age, Whose holy soul now finds glad harborage (Aye may he there abide!) in heaven’s clear sky. From Benvenuto d’Imola let none try To wrest the credit due for comment sage On this great poem, by which every page, Poet himself, he helps to clarify. Pesaro’s son, Christoph Berardi hight, Hath all corrected, though with many a fear Of lofty themes, hard to pursue aright. The printer Wendelin, who from Speier came here: And since Christ’s birth there urges now its flight The fourteen hundred six and seventieth year.
This putting of dates into verse is sad work. In Jenson’s early colophons, instead of dates (which are added in prose), we have the name of the reigning doge to wrestle with. Thus, in his edition of the “Rhetorica” and “De Inuentione” of Cicero we find the following verse and prose colophon:
[Illustration: Cicero. Rhetorica. Venice: N. Jenson, 1470.]
Emendata manu sunt exemplaria docta Omniboni: quem dat utraque lingua patrem. Haec eadem Ienson Veneta Nicolaus in urbe Formauit: Mauro sub duce Christoforo.
MARCI TVLLII CICERONIS ORATORIS CLARISSIMI RHETORICORVM LIBER VLTIMVS FELICITER EXPLICIT.
Omnibonus with his learned hand hath these Copies revised, skilled in two languages; And Nicolas Jenson shaped them by his pains At Venice, while Cristoforo Moro reigns.
The last book of the Rhetorics of Marcus Tullius Cicero, the most renowned orator, comes happily to an end. 1470.
So again in an edition, of the same year, of the Letters to Atticus we have a similar colophon, the poetical portion of which might easily have led a reader to believe that he was invited to buy a work by Atticus himself instead of letters mainly addressed to him:
Attice, nunc totus Veneta diffunderis urbe, Cum quondam fuerit copia rara tui. Gallicus hoc Ienson Nicolaus muneris orbi Attulit: ingenio daedalicaque manu. Christophorus Mauro plenus bonitate fideque Dux erat: auctorem, lector, opusque tenes.
MARCI T. C. EPISTOLAE AD ATTICVM BRVTVM et Quintum fratrem, cum ipsius Attici vita feliciter expliciunt. M.CCCC.LXX.
All Atticus is now in Venice sold, Though copies were right rare in days of old. French Nicolas Jenson this good gift has brought, And all with skill and crafty hand has wrought. Our doge, Cristoforo Moro, true and kind. Thus book and author, reader, here you find.
The Letters of Marcus Tullius Cicero to Atticus, Brutus, and his brother Quintus, with the life of the said Atticus, come happily to an end. 1470.
In the next year we have to deal with the little group of vernacular books printed by Jenson, to one of which the omission of an X from the date in the colophon has given such notoriety. The three which are correctly dated are: (i) “Una opera la quale se chiama Luctus Christianorum ex Passione Christi, zoe pianto de Christiani per la Passione de Christo in forma de Meditatione.”
COLOPHON: A Christi Natiuitate Anno M.CCCCLXXI. Pridie nonas Apriles a preclarissimo librorum exculptore Nicolao gallico. Impressa est passio christi dulcissima.
In the year 1471 from Christ’s Nativity, on April 4th, by the most famous engraver of books, Nicolas Jenson, there was printed The Most Sweet Passion of Christ.
(ii) “Parole devote de lanima inamorata in Misser Iesu.”
COLOPHON: MCCCCLXXI. Octauo Idus Aprilis: per Nicolaum Ienson gallicum opusculum hoc feliciter impressum est.
1471, April 6th, by Nicolas Jenson, a Frenchman, this booklet was happily printed.
(iii) “Una operetta la quale si chiama Palma Virtutum zioe triumpho de uirtude: la quale da Riegola forma et modo a qualunque stato,” etc.
COLOPHON: Deo Gratias. Amen. Opus Nicolai Ienson Gallici. M.CCCCLXXI.
Thanks be to God, Amen. The work of Nicolas Jenson, a Frenchman. 1471.
It will be noticed that the second colophon is shorter than the first, and it should be mentioned that in yet another book of the same kind, the “Gloria Mulierum,” Jenson did not trouble to put his name at all, doubtless thinking, according to the view propounded in our first chapter, that these little vernacular books of devotion would bring him no particular credit. If we look now at the book with the misprinted date, “Una opera la quale si chiama Decor Puellarum, zoe Honore de le Donzelle: la quale da regola forma e modo al stato de le honeste donzelle,” we find this colophon:
[Illustration: Decor Puellarum. Venice: N. Jenson, 1461 for 1471.]
Anno a Christi Incarnatione MCCCCLXI per Magistrum Nicolaum Ienson hoc opus quod Puellarum Decor dicitur feliciter impressum est. Laus Deo.
In the year from Christ’s Incarnation 1461, by Master Nicolas Jenson, this book, which is called Maidens’ Honor, was happily printed. Thanks be to God.
Just as the subjects of all the books are of the same class, and just as they are all printed in the same types and the same size, so we find a general agreement in the colophons (as compared with those used by Jenson in the books issued in 1470), tempered with modifications which seem to fall into an orderly sequence. In subject the “Pianto de Christiani” and “Parole devote de l’anima inamorata” seem to pair best together, and the “Decor Puellarum” (regola de le honeste donzelle) with the “Palma Virtutum” (regola a qualunque persona). The first two are exactly dated within three days of each other, the second pair have only the date of the year. Probably there were two sets of compositors, one of whom printed the first pair, the other the second, and we see them starting by calling Jenson a “most famous engraver of books,” dropping these flowers in the “Decor Puellarum,” and quickly getting down to the curt formula of the “Palma Virtutum.” The typographical evidence, without further corroboration, would entitle us to feel sure that the omission of a second X in the date MCCCCLXI was purely accidental, but it is satisfactory to find that the form of the colophon itself makes it impossible to separate it from its fellows and unreasonable to place it earlier than the fuller and more boastful form used in the “Pianto de Christiani.”
Though the colophons of his vernacular books were thus already tending to curtness in 1471, Jenson still paid some attention to those of his Latin publications. Thus, in an edition of Suetonius’s “Lives of the Caesars” of that year we find the quatrain:
Hoc ego Nicoleos Gallus cognomine Ienson Impressi: mirae quis neget artis opus? At tibi dum legitur docili Suetonius ore Artificis nomen fac, rogo, lector ames.
Nicolas Jenson, a Frenchman, I This book have printed. Who’ll deny The skill it shows? Then, reader kind, The while ’tis read please bear in mind The printer’s name with friendly thought Who this Suetonius has wrought.
In the “De Bello Italico aduersus Gotthos” of Leonardo Aretino, printed in the same year, we find this sentiment expressed more concisely in a couplet which could be inserted in any book:
Gallicus hunc librum impressit Nicolaus Ienson. Artifici grates, optime lector, habe.
Nicolas Jenson, a Frenchman, took The pains to put in print this book. Then to the craftsman, reader good, Be pleased to show some gratitude.
Lastly, in this same year, we have two variants of a prose colophon which contains a fine phrase of epigrammatic brevity. In an edition of the “Familiar Letters of Cicero” it runs:
Opus praeclarissimum M. T. Ciceronis Epistolarum Familiarium a Nicolao Ienson Gallico viuentibus necnon et posteris impressum feliciter finit.
A very notable book, the Familiar Letters of Marcus Tullius Cicero, printed by Nicolas Jenson for this and also for future generations, comes happily to an end.
The phrase, but slightly enlarged, recurs in the “Institutes of Quintilian” of the same year.
Quintilianum eloquentiae fontem ab eruditissimo Omnibono Leoniceno emendatum M. Nicolaus Ienson Gallicus viuentibus posterisque miro impressit artificio annis M.CCCC.LXXI Mense Maii die xxi.
Quintilian, the fountain of eloquence, corrected by the most learned Omnibonus Leonicenus, was printed by Nicolas Jenson, a Frenchman, with wonderful craftsmanship, for this and future generations, in the year 1471, on the 21st day of the month of May.
After this, until he joined John of Cologne, Jenson’s colophons become short and featureless. Meanwhile, however, a third printer, Christopher Valdarfer of Ratisbon, had set up a press at Venice, and toward the close of 1470 joined in the contest of poetical colophons. His first contribution to it appears to be these three couplets in praise of his edition of Cicero’s “De Oratore”:
[Illustration: Cicero. De Oratore. Venice: C. Valdarfer, 1470.]
ANNO DO. M.CCCC.LXX.
Si quem oratoris perfecti audire iuuabit Materiam: fons est hoc Ciceronis opus. Hic tersum eloquium uelut Attica lingua refulget: Christophori impressus hic liber arte fuit. Cui stirps Valdarfer patria estque Ratispona tellus. Hunc emat, orator qui uelit esse, librum.
Who’d know the perfect orator’s stock-in-trade Only this work of Cicero let him read, Where polished speech, like Greek, doth light impart, And all is printed by Cristoforo’s art, Whose clan’s Valdarfer, Ratisbon his home. The would-be orator need but buy this tome.
In the following year he issued another volume of Cicero, containing thirty orations, and added to it, doubtless by the hand of “Lodovico Carbo,” his corrector, seven couplets of verse whose phrasing has somehow impelled me to render them into disgracefully jingling rhymes:
[Illustration: Cicero. Orationes. Venice: C. Valdarfer, 1471.]
Germani ingenii quis non miretur acumen? Quod uult Germanus protinus efficiet. Aspice quam mira libros impresserit arte: Quam subito ueterum tot monumenta dedit Nomine Christophorus, Valdarfer gentis alumnus, Ratisponensis gloria magna soli. Nunc ingens Ciceronis opus causasque forenses, Quas inter patres dixit et in populo, Cernis quam recto, quam emendato ordine struxit: Nulla figura oculis gratior esse potest. Hoc autem illustri Venetum perfecit in urbe Praestanti Mauro sub duce Christophoro. Accipite hunc librum quibus est facundia cordi: Qui te Marte colet sponte disertus erit.
M.CCCC.LXXI. LODO. CARBO.
Of praising German talent what tongue can ever tire? For what a German wishes, ’tis done as soon as said. The skilful printing of this book should cause you to admire. How quickly, too, are published all these records of the dead. ’Tis Christopher who prints them, of the old Valdarfer stock, A credit and a glory to the soil of Ratisbon; Who issues now the speeches of great Cicero _en bloc_, “To the Senate,” “To the People,” and his Pleadings every one. You may see the order follows the best editorial school: No appearance could more justly please the eye. ’Tis printed here in Venice, ’neath the noble Moro’s rule; Who Cicero reads no other road to eloquence need try.
1471. Lodo. Carbo.
After 1471 Valdarfer moved from Venice to Milan, where books from his press began to appear in 1474. Adam of Ammergau made some original contributions to the poetical tradition, but in his 1472 edition of Cicero’s Orations conveyed, and very clumsily, a couplet from Valdarfer’s edition of the previous year:
Hoc ingens Ciceronis opus, causasque forenses Quas inter patres dixit et in populo, Tu quicunque leges, Ambergau natus ahenis Impressit formis. Ecce magister Adam.
Who prints you now the speeches of great Cicero _en bloc_, “To the Senate,” “To the People,” and his Pleadings every one? Know, reader, that in Ammergau is his ancestral stock; ’Tis Master Adam of that place has this edition done.
The Venetian verse tradition seems now to have settled down into a convention that a new printer should announce his arrival in Latin elegiacs, but need not continue the practice. Franciscus de Hailbrun complied with it to this extent in some dull lines in an edition of the “Quadragesimale” of Robertus de Licio in 1472; and it is in another edition of the same work that Panzer first records three couplets which, with the addition of a prose sentence, also constant in form, occur in numerous books printed by Bartolommeo de Cremona:
[Illustration: Caracciolus. Quadragesimale (and several other books). Venice: Bartolommeo of Cremona, 1472.]
Quem legis impressus dum stabit in aere caracter Dum non longa dies uel fera fata prement, Candida perpetue non deerit fama Cremonae. Phidiacum hinc superat Bartholomeus ebur. Cedite chalcographi: millesima uestra figura est, Archetypas fingit solus at iste notas.
M.CCCC.LXXII. NICOLAO TRVNO DVCE VENETIARVM REGNANTE IMPRESSVM FVIT HOC OPVS FOELICITER.
There is nothing very remarkable in these lines, but they are better than most of those with which I have been wrestling, and shall be dignified, therefore, by being rendered into prose instead of doggerel; for which also there is another reason in the fact that the meaning, just when it becomes interesting, is not as clear as could be wished. The best version I can make is as follows:
While the character which you read shall remain stamped in brass, while neither length of days nor the cruel fates destroy it, Cremona shall not lack a continuance of glittering fame. By this craft Bartolommeo surpasses the ivory of Pheidias. Give place, ye writers in brass; your number is a thousand, but he alone fashions the well-known models.
In 1472, when Nicolò Truno was ruling Doge of Venice, this book was successfully printed.
“Chalcographi,” which I have rendered literally as “writers in brass,” is, of course, no more than “typographers,” which means literally “writers with type.” But what exactly were the “notas archetypas,” the well-known models? And how did Bartolommeo of Cremona use them so as to distinguish himself from other “chalcographi”? For a moment the obvious answer appears to be that Bartolommeo is claiming credit for himself, not as a printer, but as a type-founder. The explanation, however, cannot stand in any sense which would differentiate Bartolommeo from his fellows in the way in which a modern type-founder differs from the printers who buy their types of him. For we know that Bartolommeo was himself a printer; and, on the other hand, it was the rule at this period for every printer to cast his own types, so that in doing this he would not be accomplishing anything exceptional. If he had been a type-seller in the modern fashion, we may be assured that he would have addressed the chalcographers, his presumable customers, much more respectfully. I can only imagine, therefore, that the “notas archetypas” was simply a good font of type which Bartolommeo thought that other printers were likely to copy.
In the editions of Virgil which he printed at Padua in 1472 (unless there is a mistake in the date), and again in 1473, Leonardus Achates announces himself very concisely:
Urbs Basilea mihi, nomen est Leonardus Achates: Qui tua compressi carmina, diue Maro.
Anno Christi humanati M.CCCC.LXXII. Venet. Duce Nicol. Trono.
Basel I have for my town, for my name Leonardus Achates, I who have printed thy lays, Virgil, thou poet divine.
In the year of Christ’s taking our manhood 1472. At Venice, Nicolò Trono being Doge.
The verse tradition was also complied with by Jacobus de Fivizano in a Virgil of 1472, by Jacobus Rubeus in an Ovid of 1474, and by Erhard Ratdolt and his companions on the title-page of the Calendar of Johannes de Monteregio in 1476. Two years later, when printing was becoming so great an industry at Venice that such toys as colophons in verse must have begun to appear a little undignified, an editor in the service of John of Cologne, ordinarily a man of quite commercial colophons, burst out into this song in his praise, at the end (of all places in the world) of the Commentary of Bartolus de Saxoferrato on a section of the Justinian Code:
Sacrarum occiderant immensa uolumina legum, Proh scelus! et uanos damnabat menda labores, Tantus in ora hominum calamosque influxerat error. Nullus erat tantam auderet qui uincere molem, Et dubium nullus posset qui nauibus equor Scindere foelici cursu; nulli hec uia uiuo Insuetumne patebat iter; mortalia nondum. Ingenia aptarant scribendis legibus era. Ergo noua est primus celebrandus laude Ioannes Quem magni genuit preclara Colonia rheni: Elysiis certe dignus post funera campis Inuentas propter, iustus si est Iuppiter, artes. Hic uenetis primus leges impressit in oris Et canones, nostro grandis prouintia celo, Quodque hominum generi cunctis uel gentibus unum Sufficiebat opus: soli hec est palma Ioanni. Addidit et doctis multum censoribus aurum Solus matura ut liberarent omnia lance Peruigiles, magnum emptori et memorabile donum. Nam uia que erratis fuerat durissima quondam Nunc facilem cupidis monstrat discentibus arcem. Emptor habes careant omni qui crimine libri, Quos securus emas procul et quibus exulat error. Accipe et Auctori dentur sua premia laudes.
The Volumes of the Sacred Law had died, So much were they by error damnified; Which had so deeply steeped each mouth and pen, To free them seemed too hard for mortal men; Nor was there one dared hope that he might be A happy pilot through that doubtful sea. No feet that unaccustomed road might pass; None yet for writing laws had moulded brass. John of Cologne on Rhine, to him we raise, Earnt by new merits, a new song of praise. Yes, his invention, if Jove justice yields, Shall win him when he’s dead Elysian Fields. To the great profit of our realm, his hands These laws first printed in Venetian lands; And from that work which served for all mankind ’Tis given to John alone glory to find. He, too, alone gave learned men much gold That they might free each text from errors old, And in the ready platter place such food That the blest buyer find there nought but good. Thus all the road, erst for men’s feet too hard, Right to the topmost height lies now unbarred. Buy, then, these flawless books with a light heart; And, buying, praise the printer for his art.
With these lines, certainly more poetical than those of most verse colophons, we may bring this chapter to a close.
PRINTERS’ COLOPHONS IN OTHER TOWNS
The examples already quoted from books printed at Mainz and Venice will have sufficiently illustrated some of the general features which run through early colophons—the professions of religious thankfulness and devotion, and the desire of the printer to glorify not only the new art but himself as its most expert practitioner. These features will recur in other colophons we shall have occasion to quote, but there is no need to pick out many examples from books printed in other towns specially to illustrate them. The piety of German printers frequently prompted such devout colophons as this which Johann Zainer at Ulm added to his edition of the “Quodlibet” of S. Thomas Aquinas, and the one example may serve for all:
Immensa dei clementia finitur Quodlibet liber sancti Thome de Aquino ordinis fratrum predicatorum in eiusdem gloriam compositus. Impressus Ulm per Iohannem czainer de Rutlingen. Anno domini Millesimo quadringentesimo septuagesimo quinto. Pro cuius consummatione Rex regum laudetur in secula benedictus. Amen.
By the unbounded clemency of God there is brought to an end the book Quodlibet of St. Thomas Aquinas, of the order of Friars Preachers, composed for the glory of the same. Printed at Ulm, by Johann Zainer of Reutlingen, in the year of the Lord fourteen hundred and seventy-five. For the completion of which may the King of kings, for ever blessed, be praised. Amen.
As to boasting, there is more than enough of it to be found wherever we turn; but it will not be amiss to collect some instances of the special vaunts of the prototypographers,—the men who claimed to have been the first to practise their craft in any particular town,—as these are sometimes of importance in the history of printing. Thus, in the “Lectura super Institutionum libros quatuor” of Angelus de Gambilionibus de Aretio, printed by Joannes de Sidriano of Milan, we have a most precise statement of the day on which the first printed book was finished at Pavia:
Explicit prima pars huius operis revisa per me Angelum de Gambilionibus de Aretio die xvi octobris ferrarie. 1448. Fuit hoc opus impressum Papie per Ioannem de Sidriano Medioanensem [_sic_] huius artis primum artificem qui in urbe ticicensi [_sic_] huiusmodi notas impresserit et istud pro primo opere expleuit die xxx mensis octobris 1473.
Here ends the first part of this work revised by me, Angelus de Gambilionibus of Arezzo, 16th October, 1448, at Ferrara. This work was printed at Pavia by Joannes de Sidriano of Milan, the first practiser of this art who printed books of this kind in the city once called Ticinum, and who finished this as his first work on the 30th October, 1473.
Equally precise is Bartolommeo de Cividale in the short colophon he adds to his edition of Petrarch’s Trionfi, the first book printed at Lucca:
Impressus Lucae liber est hic: primus ubi artem De Civitali Bartholomeus init.
Anno mcccclxxvii die xii Maii.
This book was printed at Lucca, where Bartolommeo de Cividale first inaugurated the art, on May 12, 1477.
In the “Manuale” or “Liber de salute siue de Aspiratione Animae ad Deum” of S. Augustine, printed at Treviso in 1471, we find Gerard de Lisa boasting, with more poetry, but less precision:
Gloria debetur Girardo maxima lixae, Quem genuit campis Flandria picta suis. Hic Tarvisina nam primus coepit in urbe Artifici raros aere notare libros. Quoque magis faueant excelsi numina regis Aurelii sacrum nunc manuale dedit.
Gerard de Lisa may great glory claim— He who from Flanders’ glowing meadows came— For in Treviso’s town he foremost was To print rare books by the skilled use of brass. And that the heavenly powers may more him bless, Comes Austin’s holy manual from his press.
Curiously enough, a year before Joannes de Sidriano issued the first book at Pavia, printing had been inaugurated at Mantua with another work by the same not very illustrious author—Gambiglioni’s “Tractatus Maleficiorum.” In this Petrus Adam de Michaelibus writes:
Petrus Adam Mantus opus hoc impressit in urbe. Illic nullus eo scripserat aere prius.
Petrus Adam printed this work in the town of Mantua. None had written there on brass before him.
All these claims seem sufficiently well established, but that of Filippo of Lavagna in the “De medicina” of Avicenna (translated by Master Gerard of Cremona) is much less tenable. Here he says distinctly at the end of Book II:
Mediolani die xii februarii 1473 per Magistrum Filippum de Lauagnia huius artis stampandi in hac urbe primum latorem atque inventorem.
At Milan, on the 12th day of February, 1473, by Maestro Filippo of Lavagna, the first bearer and inventor of the art of stamping in this town.
We know that Antonio Zaroto had printed at Milan a “Festus de Verborum significationibus” on the 3d August, 1471, while the earliest date credited to Lavagna is that of his edition of the “Epistolae ad Familiares” of Cicero, 25th March, 1472. It is true that the pretty colophon to his “Miraculi de la Vergene Maria” tells another tale:
Dentro de Milano e doue stato impronta L’opra beata de miraculi tanti Di quella che nel Ciel monta e dismonta Accompagnata con gli angeli e sancti. Philippo da Lauagna qui vi si conta E state el maestro de si dolce canti.
Impressum anno Domini MCCCCLXVIIII di xviiii Maii.
Within Milan is where has been printed the blessed work of so great miracles of Her who ascends and descends in Heaven, accompanied by the angels and saints. Filippo da Lavagna here is the speaker, and is become the master of so sweet songs. Printed in the year of the Lord 1469, on May 19.
But this is another instance of the risks of using Roman numerals (compare the three “1468” colophons cited in Chapter III), since the V in this date is clearly a misprint for a second X, which in some copies correctly takes its place.
A possible explanation of Lavagna’s boast in 1473 lies in the fact that he was by birth a Milanese, while Zaroto came from Parma; so that if we may take the latter half of the colophon to mean “the first man in this town who introduced and discovered this art of printing,” it would be literally correct—that is, if we can be sure that Lavagna was actually a printer at all, a point on which Mr. Proctor was very doubtful. But to raise this question is perhaps only a modern refinement, since without the help of the doctrine _qui facit per alium facit per se_ we must accuse many worthy fifteenth-century tradesmen of lying in their colophons.
Another dubious statement, which may perhaps be explained, was introduced, amid some very vainglorious boasting, in the colophon to the Oxford edition of the Epistles of Phalaris. This runs:
Hoc opusculum in alma vniuersitate Oxonie a natali christiano Ducentesima et nonagesima et septima Olimpiade foeliciter impressum est.
Hoc Teodericus Rood quem Collonia misit Sanguine Germanus nobile pressit opus: Atque sibi socius Thomas fuit Anglicus Hunte Dii dent ut Venetos exsuperare queant. Quam Ienson Venetos docuit vir Gallicus artem Ingenio didicit terra britanna suo. Celatos Veneti nobis transmittere libros Cedite: nos aliis, vendimus, O Veneti. Que fuerat uobis ars prima nota latini Est eadem nobis ipsa reperta patres. Quamuis semotos toto canit orbe Britannos Virgilius, placet his lingua latina tamen.
This little work was happily printed in the bounteous University of Oxford in the two hundred and ninety-seventh Olympiad from the birth of Christ.
This noble work was printed by Theodoric Rood, a German by blood, sent from Cologne, and an Englishman, Thomas Hunte, was his partner. The gods grant that they may surpass the Venetians. The art which the Frenchman Jenson taught the Venetians, the British land has learnt by its mother-wit. Cease, Venetians, from sending us the books you engrave: we are now, O Venetians, selling to others. The art which was first known to you, O Latin Fathers, has been discovered by us. Although Virgil sings of the Britons as all a world away, yet the Latin tongue delights them.
This is certainly not a truthful colophon, for we cannot believe that any foreign students would have sent to Oxford to buy the letters of the pseudo-Phalaris or any other books there printed, while the assertion that Britons learnt printing by their mother-wit accords ill with the fact that Theodoric Rood came from Cologne to practise the art on their behalf. Mr. Horatio Brown, however, perhaps presses the fifth line a little too hard when he asserts that “these verses prove that public opinion abroad assigned the priority of printing in Venice to Jenson.” John of Speier had died so early in his career, and the work of Jenson is to this day so universally recognized as the finest which was produced at Venice, that the Frenchman may fairly be said to have taught the Venetians printing, without claiming for him priority in order of time. It should, perhaps, also be noted that while Hain and Mr. Brown print the important word as _docuit_, Mr. Madan gives it as _decuit_, from which it might be possible to extract the assertion, not that he _taught_ the Venetians the art, but that he _graced_ them with it. It would need, however, a fifteenth-century Orbilius to do justice upon the perpetrator of such vile Latin, while _e_ for _o_ is an easy misprint, and _docuit_ is confirmed by the obvious antithesis of _didicit_ in the next line.
More important, because more detailed than any of the boasts we have yet quoted, are the claims and pleas put forward in the colophons to the edition of the commentary of Servius on Virgil, printed by Bernardo Cennini and his son Domenico, at Florence, in 1471-72. The first of these occurs at the end of the Bucolics, and is repeated, with the substitution of “Georgica” for “volumen hoc primum,” after the Georgics. The second comes at the end of the book.
(1) Ad Lectorem. Florentiae. vii Idus Nouembres. MccccLxxi. Bernardus Cennius [_sic_], aurifex omnium iudicio prestantissimus, et Dominicus eius F[ilius] egregiae indolis adolescens, expressis ante calibe caracteribus, ac deinde fusis literis, volumen hoc primum impresserunt. Petrus Cenninus, Bernardi eiusdem F[ilius], quanta potuit cura et diligentia emendauit ut cernis. Florentinis ingeniis nil ardui est.
(2) Ad Lectorem. Bernardinus Cenninus, aurifex omnium iudicio praestantissimus, et Dominicus eius F[ilius], optimae indolis adolescens, impresserunt. Petrus eiusdem Bernardi F[ilius] emendauit, cum antiquissimis autem multis exemplaribus contulit. In primisque illi cura fuit, ne quid alienum Seruio adscriberetur, ne quid recideretur aut deesset, quod Honorati esse peruetusta exemplaria demonstrarent. Quoniam uero plerosque iuuat manu propria suoque more Graeca interponere, eaque in antiquis codicibus perpauca sunt, et accentus quidem difficillimi imprimendo notari sunt, relinquendum ad id spatia duxit. Sed cum apud homines perfectum nihil sit, satis uideri cuique debebit, si hi libri (quod vehementer optamus) prae aliis emendati reperientur. Absolutum opus Nonis Octobribus. M. cccc Lxxii. Florentiae.
(1) To the Reader. At Florence, on November 7, 1471, Bernardo Cennini, by universal allowance a most excellent goldsmith, and Domenico his son, a youth of remarkable ability, having first modelled the stamps with compasses, and afterward moulded the letters, printed this first volume. Pietro Cennini, son of the aforesaid Bernardo, has corrected it, as you see, with all the care and diligence he could. To Florentine wits nothing is difficult.
(2) To the Reader. Bernardino Cennini, by universal allowance a most excellent goldsmith, and Domenico his son, a youth of very good ability, have been the printers. Pietro, son of the aforesaid Bernardo, has acted as corrector and has made a collation with many very ancient copies. His first anxiety was that nothing by another hand should be ascribed to Servius, that nothing which very old copies showed to be the work of Honoratus should be cut down or omitted. Since it pleases many readers to insert Greek words with their own hand and in their own fashion, and these in ancient codices are very few, and the accents are very difficult to mark in printing, he determined that spaces should be left for the purpose. But since nothing of man’s making is perfect, it must needs be accounted enough if these books (as we earnestly hope) are found exceptionally correct. The work was finished at Florence on October 5, 1472.
The references to the leaving of blank spaces for the Greek quotations (a common practice of the earliest printers in Italy) and to the trouble caused by the accents are particularly interesting, and by ill luck were not noticed by Mr. Proctor, who would have been delighted to quote them in his admirable monograph on “The Printing of Greek.”
Difficulties were natural in the early days of the art, and must often have beset the path of the wandering printers who passed from town to town, or from monastery to monastery, printing one or two books at each. As late as 1493 one such printer, not yet identified, who started his press at Acqui, though he was engaged on only a humble school-book, the “Doctrinale” of Alexander Gallus, found himself in sore straits owing to the plague raging in the neighboring towns.
Alexandri de villa Dei Doctrinale (Deo laudes) feliciter explicit. Impressum sat incommode, cum aliquarum rerum, quae ad hanc artem pertinent, impressori copia fieri non potuerit in huius artis initio: peste Genuae, Ast, alibique militante. Emendauit autem hoc ipsum opus Venturinus prior, Grammaticus eximius, ita diligenter, ut cum antea Doctrinale parum emendatum in plerisque locis librariorum vitio esse videretur, nunc illius cura et diligentia adhibita in manus hominum quam emendatissimum veniat. Imprimentur autem posthac libri alterius generis litteris, et eleganter arbitror. Nam et fabri et aliarum rerum, quarum hactenus promptor indigus fuit, illi nunc Dei munere copia est, qui cuncta disponit pro sue voluntatis arbitrio. Amen.
The Doctrinale of Alexander of Villedieu (God be praised!) comes to a happy end. It has been printed amid enough inconveniences, since of several things which belong to this art the printer, in making a beginning with it, could obtain no proper supply, owing to the plague raging at Genoa, Asti, and elsewhere. Now this same work has been corrected by the prior Venturinus, a distinguished grammarian, and that so diligently that whereas previously the Doctrinale in many places seemed by the fault of booksellers too little corrected, now by the application of his care and diligence it will reach men’s hands in the most correct form possible. After this date books will be printed in type of another kind, and elegantly, I think; for both artificers and a sufficiency of other things of which hitherto the putter forth has been in need he now possesses by the gift of God, who disposes all things according to the judgment of his will. Amen.
All these promises may have been carried out, but we know of no other book from this press, and it is more than likely that no other was issued. Nor was this the only press which was inconvenienced by the plague, since two years later the disease interrupted Conrad Kachelofen in the pious task of printing a missal at Leipzig, and caused him to become the first exponent of the art at Freiberg, as we duly learn from the colophon:
[Illustration: Meissen Missal. Freiberg: Conrad Kachelofen, 1495. (Reduced.)]
Quanquam alias codices librorum missalium iuxta rubricam ecclesie Misnensis per Reuerendissimum in christo patrem et dominum dominum Iohannem f[elicis] r[ecordationis] olim episcopum Misnensem imprimi satis exacta diligentia procurati sunt: tamen quia predicti codices multa necessaria que presentes in lucem dedere omiserunt et eorum numerus Misnensis diocesis latitudini ac personarum inibi deo famulantium & pro libris huiusmodi sepenumero auide inquirentium multitudini non satisfacit Ideo Reuerendissimus in cristo pater et dominus dominus Iohannes de Salhusen modernus misnensis ecclesie episcopus, his aliisque penuriis et defectibus succurrere uolens, presens missalium opus iuxta rubricam iam dicte sue Misnensis diocesis diligenti opera castigatum atque distinctum per industrium Conradum Kachelofen huius impressorie artis magistrum oppidique lipsensis conciuem in oppido eodem inchoari: atque grassante pestifero morbo in oppido Freiberg perfici et foeliciter finiri procurauit. Quod quidem opus ad nouarum etiam festiuitatum, pro diuini cultus augmento, institutiones aptissimum erit: quarum historie in prioribus codicibus minime habentur et in presentibus cum multis aliis specialibus uotiuis missis suo ordine annotantur ita ut hec noua uolumina cum precedentibus conferentes necessaria potius quam superuacanea fuisse animaduertant. Anno salutis quinto et nonagesimo supra quadringentesimum et millesimum, Die uero lune mensis nouembris nona.
IOANNIS CUBITENSIS EPIGRAMMA
Gallicus hoc nostro Conradus muneris euo Attulit: ingenio dedalicaque manu. Antistes Misne, plenus bonitate fideque, Dux erat. Auctorem lector opusque tenes.
Although copies of the missal-books according to the rubric of the diocese of Meissen have been caused by the most reverend Father in Christ and lord, the lord John of happy memory, formerly Bishop of Meissen, to be printed elsewhere with sufficiently exact diligence, yet inasmuch as the aforesaid copies omitted many necessary things which the present ones have published, and the number of them does not suffice for so wide a diocese as Meissen and for the multitude of persons of the household of God in it who ofttimes eagerly seek for books of this kind, Therefore, the most reverend Father in Christ and lord, the lord Johann von Salhusen, the Bishop, that now is, of the Church of Meissen, wishing to come to the aid of these and other wants and defects, caused the present missal-book, according to the rubric of his aforesaid diocese of Meissen, diligently corrected and arranged, to be begun by the industrious Conrad Kachelofen, a master of this art of printing and citizen of the town of Leipzig, in that same town, and on the approach of the plague to be accomplished and happily finished in the town of Freiberg. The which missal-book will be found most suitable for the institutions also of new festivals for the increase of the divine worship, the lessons for these being very defective in the former copies, while in the present ones they are noted with many other special votive masses in their proper order, so that those who compare these volumes with the preceding ones will count them as necessary rather than superfluous. In the year of salvation 1495, on Monday, November 9th.
EPIGRAM OF JOHANNES CUBITENSIS
This gift French Conrad brought unto our age; His wit and skilful hand achieved the task. Meissen’s good, faithful bishop blessed the page: Of book or author need none further ask.
From Hain 10425 we learn that a Machasor, or Compendium of Prayers, for the use of the Italian synagogues was begun at Soncino in September, 1485, and finished at Casal Maggiore in August, 1486; but to what this change of scene was due the colophon does not say. One would have thought that in the fifteenth century war as well as pestilence must often have interrupted the printer at his work; and indeed the sack of Mainz in 1462 was a very notable event in the history of printing. Yet the only two references to war I can remember in contemporary colophons hardly view it as an interruption—the first Paris printers (Gering, Krantz, and Friburger), indeed, tried to use it as an advertisement for their Sallust, where the verses at the end run:
Nunc parat arma uirosque simul rex maximus orbis, Hostibus antiquis exitium minitans. Nunc igitur bello studeas gens Pariseorum, Cui Martis quondam gloria magna fuit. Exemplo tibi sint nunc fortia facta uirorum, Quae digne memorat Crispus in hoc opere. Armigerisque tuis alemannos adnumeres, qui Hos pressere libros, arma futura tibi.
The King of France his armaments and men is mustering, Upon his ancient enemies destruction threatening. Now therefore, men of Paris, show your ardor for the wars, Who erst won mighty glory in the service of great Mars. Set before you as examples each brave, heroic deed Of which in Sallust’s pages due record you may read; And count us German printers as adding to your store Of fighters, since this history will stir up many more.
The other allusion takes the form of sympathy with the sufferers from Turkish oppression and invasion, and comes at the end of an edition of the story of Attila, in a colophon which leads up to the statement that the book was printed at Venice by showing how it was the fear caused by Attila which brought about the foundation of the island city.
Atila persecutore de la Christiana fede. Primamente vene verso aquilegia nel tempo de papa Leone e de odopio imperatore de li christiani. Laqual cita insembre con molte altre cita castelli e forteze nela fertile e bella Italia destrusse. Li habitatori de li dicti luoghi fugiendo la sua canina rabia ad modo che nel presente tempo, cioe del summo pontifice papa Innocentio, e di Federico imperatore e del Inclyto duce Augustino Barbadico in Venetia imperante neli anni del signore del M.cccc lxxxxi se fuge la crudele ed abhominabile persecutione del perfido cane turcho il qual come e ditto de sopra abandonando le lor dolce patrie perueneno a le prenominate isole: nelequale fu edificata la potentissima famosa e nobile cita de Venetia laqual Idio per la sua pieta mantenga felice e prospera e victoriosa per mare e per terra longo tempo.
FINIS. Impressum Venetiis.
Attila, the persecutor of the Christian faith, first came to Aquilegia in the time of Pope Leo and of Odopius, Emperor of the Christians. The which city, together with many other cities, castles, and strong places in fertile and beautiful Italy, he destroyed. The inhabitants of the said places fled from his dog-like rage just as in the present time (that is, the time of the most high pontiff Pope Innocent, and of the Emperor Frederick, and of the renowned doge Agostino Barbadico, holding rule in Venice, in the year of our Lord 1491) people are flying the cruel and abominable persecution of the treacherous dog of a Turk. Abandoning their sweet fatherlands, as was said above, they came to the afore-named islands, in the which was built the most potent, famous, and noble city of Venice, the which for its piety may God long preserve in happiness and prosperity, victorious by sea and land. Finis. Printed at Venice.
Printers—though Pynson’s head was broken in a street riot, and Pierre le Dru took part in a Paris brawl during his prentice days—have usually been men of peace; but despite this and any care they may have taken in avoiding the plague, they died like other men, and several colophons record the death of the master craftsman while engaged on the work. We have already seen the rather businesslike lamentation of Wendelin of Speier for his brother John. In the edition of Boccaccio’s “Genealogiae Deorum gentilium” printed at Reggio in 1481, Bartholomeus Bruschus (or Bottonus) mourns rather more effusively for Laurentius:
Dum tua, Boccacci, propriis Laurentius auget Sumptibus et reddit nomina clara magis, Hoc opus aere notans, tunc stirps bottona uirentem Et quem flet Regium mors inopina rapit. Post lachrymas tandem frater uirtutis amore Tam pulchrum exegit Bartholomeus opus.
Impressum Regii anno salutis M.cccc.Lxxxi. pridie Nonas Octobris.
Boccaccio, while at his proper cost Lorenzo toiled your honor to increase, Printing this book, the Bruschian clan him lost; And Reggio, in his prime, mourns his decease. Tears dried, Bartolommeo undertook, With emulous love, to end his brother’s book.
Printed at Reggio in the year of salvation 1481. October 4th.
But neither do these verses come anywhere near the simple pathos of the colophon to the “Cronycles of the londe of England,” printed at Antwerp in 1493, which records the death of the famous printer Gerard Leeu.
Here ben endyd the Cronycles of the Reame of Englond, with their apperteignaunces. Enprentyd In the Duchye of Braband in the towne of Andewarpe In the yere of our Lord M.cccc.xciij. By maistir Gerard de leew a man of grete wysedom in all maner of kunnyng: whych nowe is come from lyfe unto the deth, which is grete harme for many of poure man. On whos sowle God almyghty for hys hygh grace haue mercy. Amen.
A man whose death is great harm for many a poor man must needs have been a good master, and a king need want no finer epitaph, though the phrase is full of the one thought which makes the prospect of death terrible. One rather wonders what the workmen of Plato de Benedictis had to say about _him_ when he died; for, if the colophon to his edition of “Bononia illustrata” (Bologna, 1494) was worded with his consent, he had a nasty readiness to take all the credit to himself and leave all the blame for his workmen.
[Illustration: Bononia illustrata. Bologna: Plato de Benedictis, 1494.]
Bononiae: anno salutis .M.cccc.lxxxx.iiii. Ex officina Platonis de Benedictis huiusce artis exactoris probatissimi Libellus quam pulcherrimis caractheribus impressus. In quo Origo, situsque Bononiae. Hinc uiri illustres: qui ingenio claruerint tam domestici quam externi. Templa quoque ac corpora sanctorum ibidem consepulta. Postmodum oppida, uicus, factiones: quae quondam hic uiguere. Gestaque Bononiensium sub breuitate contenta: una cum illustri Bentiuolorum genologia [_sic_] connumerantur. Si quid tamen in eo mendae et erroris insertum fuerit: non impressoris negligentia sed potius famulorum incuria pretermissum putes. Nam ille ingenio litteraturaque non mediocri dotatus: et tali exercitio inter caeteros excultissimus est.
To the Reader. At Bologna: in the year of salvation 1494, from the workshop of Plato de Benedictis, a most skilled master of this art, a book printed with very beautiful types, in which the origin and position of Bologna, its illustrious men, both native and foreign, who have become famous for their ability, its temples also and the bodies of the saints there buried, moreover the towns, villages, and parties which formerly flourished here, and the exploits of the Bolognese, briefly set forth, together with the illustrious descent of the Bentivogli, are all enumerated. Should anything faulty or erroneous have been inserted in it, you must think it was overlooked, not by any neglect of the printer, but rather by the carelessness of his workmen. For he himself is endowed with exceptional ability and literary gifts, and in such practices is preëminent among the rest.
Better than this is the frank plea that misprints in a learned book are very hard to avoid, put forward by Anima Mia at the end of a book by Raphael Regius containing discussions on a letter of Pliny’s and on passages in Persius and Quintilian:
Si quid forte litterarum immutatione: transpositione: inuersione omissione offenderis studiose lector: id non ulli negligentiae sed correctionis difficultati ascribas: quoniam nihil verborum praetermissum esse depraehendis: rogat Gulielmus Tridinensis cognomento Anima Mia: cuius opera hoc opusculum Venetiis fuit descriptum. Principe Augustino Barbadico decimo Calendas Iunias. M.cccc.lxxxx.
Studious reader, if by chance you find a stumbling-block in any alteration, transposal, inversion, or omission of letters, ascribe it not to any carelessness, but to the difficulty of correction, since you find that none of the words have been omitted. This is the prayer of Guglielmo of Tridino, called Anima Mia, by whose exertion this little work has been set forth at Venice, when Agostino Barbadico was doge, on May 23, 1490.
From the colophon of the Lecture of Antonius de Alexandro “super secundo codicis Iustiniani,” printed at Naples by Sixtus Riessinger in 1473-74, we learn, though only by mysterious hints, that at least some printers had other enemies besides war and pestilence to contend against. This colophon appears to have been written by the literary partner in the firm, Francesco Tuppo, since no one but himself would have used the Chinese humility of the phrase “inter trecentos studentes minimus.” From the books which he took up, Tuppo must have been a man of some culture; but his Latin, if we may judge by this colophon, was not his strong point.
Finis huius utilissime lecture ordinarie codicis Iustiniani Almani In florenti studio Neapolitano impresse per expertissimum ac clarum Sixtum Riessinger Almanum, qui inter sua aduersa floret uiret atque claret Nec perfidos maliuolos ac uersutos existimat maiora perficiet [_sic_] ad gloriam eterni Dei et felicitatem Ferdinandi Regis patrie. Et licet non miniis apparet ornata Attamen claret decisionibus et singularibus iurium ciuilis et poli ut lector studendo doctissimus perfici poterit mendisque caret. Nam summis uigiliis et laboribus fideliter correcta est per Franciscum Tuppi Partenopensem tanti clarissimi utriusque iuris interpretis Antonii de Alexandro legum perule [_sic_] inter trecentos studentes minimus [_sic_]. Qui una cum fido sodali Sixto hanc preclaram et lucidam lecturam de propriis sumptibus sumpserunt [_sic_] Finieruntque xxi. die mensis Februarii Anni .M.cccc.lxxiiii. Feliciter. Amen.
The end of this very useful ordinary exposition of the Codex of Justinian the German, printed in the flourishing University of Naples by the most expert and renowned Sixtus Riessinger, a German, who, amid his obstacles, flourishes, thrives, and wins renown, nor thinks that traitors, malignants, and shifty rogues will accomplish more for the glory of Eternal God and the welfare of the country of King Ferdinand. And although it appears unadorned by red printing, yet it is clearly set forth with decisions and single points of the civil and heavenly laws, so that a reader by studying it may be able to become very learned. Moreover, it is free from errors, for it has been faithfully corrected with the utmost watchfulness and toil by Francesco Tuppo of Naples, the least among the three hundred students of that so renowned interpreter of both codes, Antonius de Alexandro. He and his trusty partner, Sixtus, at their own cost have taken up this noble and lucid exposition and have brought it successfully to an end on the twenty-first day of February, 1474.
One would like to hear something more about the traitors, malignants, and shifty rogues (perfidos, maliuolos ac versutos) against whom the colophon declaims; but I have failed to discover any other references to them. The phrase “cum fido sodali,” used of Tuppo’s relations to Riessinger, raises the question as to whether any real partnership existed between them. In the colophons to three other books their names appear conjointly; three more of later date (1480-89), of which Riessinger appears to have been the actual printer, are stated to have been printed by Tuppo. The point is of some little interest as possibly throwing some light on the vext question of who were the “fidelissimi Germani” who printed Tuppo’s Aesop in 1485, and also in the same year the account of the process of King Ferdinand against his rebellious nobles. As to this Mr. Proctor wavered between the claims of Johann Tresser and Martin of Amsterdam on the one hand, and “Matthias of Olmutz and his German workmen” on the other. (See his Index, p. 450, and “CCC Notable Books,” pp. 107 _sq._) But Riessinger also was a German, and from his relations both to Tuppo and to the king (of whom he calls himself, in the “Super feudis” of Andreas de Ysernia in 1477, the “devotus atque fidelis servus”) seems to have some claim to consideration. The phrase “fidelissimi Germani” is in itself a very curious one, as it leaves us wondering whether they were “fidelissimi” in the abstract, or to one another, or to the king. If to one another, we may find a parallel in the frequency with which John of Cologne and Manthen of Gerretzem proclaim their loyalty to each other. Thus in their first dated book, the Sallust of 23d March, 1474, we find them writing:
Haec Crispi Sallustii opera quam optime emendata Venetiis fuere impressa, ductu et impensa Iohannis Colonie Agripinensis, necnon Iohannis Manthen de Gherretsem, qui una fideliter uiuunt. Anno a natali Christi M.cccc.lxxiiii. die xxiii Martii.
These works of Crispus Sallustius, most excellently corrected, were printed at Venice under the guidance and at the expense of Johann of Köln and also of Johann Manthen of Gherretsem, who loyally live together. In the year from the birth of Christ 1474, on the twenty-third day of March.
As another example we may take their Bartolus of 1476, where a phrase of the same kind is followed by another of some interest:
Finis partis prime Bartholi super ff. nouum que peroptime emendata Venetiis impressionem habuit impensis Iohannis de Colonia sociique eius Iohannis manthen de Gerretzem: qui vna fideliter degentes ipsius laboratores conduxerunt. Anno M.CCCC.LXXVI.
The end of the first part of Bartolus on the New Digest, which has been very excellently corrected and printed at Venice at the expense of John of Cologne and of his partner Johann Manthen of Gerretzheim, who, loyally living together, have hired the workmen engaged on it. In the year 1476.
While many publishers pure and simple took to themselves the credit of being their own printers, these careful statements on the part of the loyal partners, that their function has been that of superintendence and finance (ductu et impensa), and as to the hiring of the workmen (laboratores conduxerunt), are rather notable. When John of Cologne joined with Jenson and others as publishers in employing Johann Herbort of Seligenstadt to print for them, he still carried with him one of his old phrases—witness this typical colophon from the “Super Decretis” of Guido de Baysio, 1481:
[Illustration: Guido de Baysio. Super Decretis. Venice: John of Cologne and Nicolas Jenson, 1481.]
Exactum insigne hoc atque preclarum opus ductu auspitiis optimorum Iohannis de Colonia, Nicolai ienson sociorumue. Qui non tantum summam curam adhibuere ut sint hec et sua queque sine uicio et menda, verumetiam ut bene sint elaborata atque iucundissimo litterarum caractere confecta, ut unicuique prodesse possint et oblectare, more poetico, et prodesse uolunt et delectare poete. Huiusce autem operis artifex extitit summus in hac arte magister Ioannes de Selgenstat alemanus, qui sua solertia ac uigiliis diuoque imprimendi caractere facile supereminet omnes. Olympiadibus dominicis Anno uero millesimo.cccc.lxxxi. tertias nonas Apriles.
This noble and distinguished work was finished under the guidance and auspices of the most excellent John of Cologne, Nicolas Jenson, and their partners, who have applied the greatest care not only that this and all their works might be free from fault and stain, but also that they might be well finished and set up in a most pleasant style of letter, for general profit and delight, according to the fashion of the poets, who desire both to profit and please. And of this work the craftsman is the distinguished master in this art, John of Seligenstadt, a German, who in his skill and watchfulness and in the divine character of his printing easily surpasses all. In the Olympiads of the Lord and the year 1481, on April 3d.
Herbort was fond both of the phrase about the Olympiads (which might be more idiomatically translated by “in the Christian era”) and also of his eulogy on himself, and several others of his colophons run on the same lines. The pride which many of the early printers took in their work was indeed immense. Of some of its manifestations we have already had more than enough; but we may stop to note two colophons which show that they sometimes expected their customers to recognize the origin of a book by its types, though they can certainly never have anticipated the scientific investigations of Mr. Proctor in this field. The first of these is from Hain *10614, a Mandeville, of which I have never seen a copy.
Explicit Itinerarius a terra Anglie in partes Ierosolimitanas et in ulteriores transmarinas, editus primo in lingua gallicana a domino Iohanne de Mandeuille milite, suo auctore, Anno incarnacionis domini Mccclv. in ciuitate Leodiensi et paulo post in eadem ciuitate translatus in dictam formam latinam. Quod opus ubi inceptum simul et completum sit ipsa elementa, seu singularum seorsum caracteres litterarum quibus impressum, vides venetica, monstrant manifeste.
Here ends the Itinerary from the land of England to the parts of Jerusalem and to those further off beyond the sea, published first in French by Sir John de Mandeville, Knight, its author, in the year of the incarnation of the Lord 1355, in the city of Liège, and shortly after in the same city translated into the said Latin form. And as to where this work has been both begun and completed, its very elements, the characters of the single letters with which it has been printed,—Venetian, as you see,—plainly tell its tale.
A good many literary mistakes, and the investigations needed to correct them, would have been spared if this quite accurate statement of the supremacy of the French Mandeville as compared with the Latin (and also the English) had been generally accepted. What we are here concerned with is the attention called to the fact that it is printed in the Venetian letter. Of course, even before the invention of printing a school of handwriting would have grown up at Venice sufficiently distinct for experts to distinguish it; but this expectation that any buyer of the book would recognize at once where it was printed is interesting, and would be made much more so if a copy of the edition could be found and the press identified. In our next colophon the printer expects his capital letters to serve his readers instead of his name. This is from the first Augsburg edition of the “Catholicon” of Joannes Balbus, about the Mainz edition of which we have already had to speak. The Augsburg colophon runs:
Grammatice partes et vocum proprietates Verius inuenies hoc codice: si quoque queres Nomen qui libro scripturam impressit in illo, Tunc cito comperies per litterulas capitales: Hinc poteris certe cognomen noscere aperte. Ex Reutling Zainer hic dicitur esse magister, Recte presentis artis doctissimus ipsus. Vt pateat nomen libri qui dicitur esse, Sumptus de varijs autoribus atque poetis Katholicon, fertur quem collegisse Iohannes, Cui nomen patrium dat ianua, iuncta sit ensis. Hoc compleuit opus lux vltima mensis aprilis, Dum currunt anni nati factoris in orbem, Mille quadringenti, quis sexaginta nouemque Adijce. Vindelica finitur in vrbe serena, Quam schowenberg tenuit qui libro preludia dedit Titulo cardineus praeses vbique coruscus. Terminat sed diuus presul ex Werdemberg altus. Cum paulo secundo papa, imperante fridrico. Deo Gratias.
The parts of grammar and the proper meanings of vocables you will truly find in this codex. If you also ask his name who printed the text in the book, you will quickly discover it by the capital letters. Hence you will be able for certain to know openly his surname. He is called Zainer of Reutling, in truth a most learned master of the present art. To reveal the name of the book, as it is taken from various authors and poets it is called Catholicon, and it is said to have been compiled by the John whose place-name is given by _Janua_ with _Ensis_ joined to it. The last day of April completed the work, while fourteen hundred, to which you must add sixty-nine, years are running since the Creator was born into the world. It is finished in the town of the Wendels (Augusta Vindelicorum=Augsburg), where resided he who gave the book its prologue, Schowenberg, called Cardineus, a distinguished moderator; and it is finished by a divine president who comes from Werdenberg, Paul II being pope and Frederick emperor. Thanks be to God.
Not every one could be expected, even at a time when interest in the new art must have been very keen, to identify the printer of a book from the type or initials used in it; and, as has already been noted, the whole reason for the existence of printers’ colophons was to identify the master-craftsman with any book of which he was proud, and so to advertise his firm. To make this advertisement more conspicuous many printers add their device at the end of the colophon, and five or six of them call special attention to this in their colophons, Peter Schoeffer leading the way in this, as already noted. _Suis consignando scutis_ and _cujus arma signantur_ are the phrases Schoeffer used (see Hain, 7885, 7999, 8006), and Wenssler of Basel, who was often on the lookout to follow Schoeffer’s leads, followed him also in this. The elaborate praise of his own work, which we find in his 1477 edition of the Sixth Book of the Decretals by Boniface VIII, is of a piece with this desire to hall-mark it as his own by affixing his device:
[Illustration: Boniface VIII. Decretals. Basel: M. Wenssler, 1477.]
Pressos sepe vides lector studiose libellos Quos etiam gaudes connumerare tuis. Si fuerint nitidi, tersi, si dogmata digna Contineant et sit litera vera bona. Dispeream nisi inuenias hec omnia in istis Quos pressit Wenszlers ingeniosa manus. Nam quecunque fuit hoc toto codice pressa Litera solicito lecta labore fuit.
Insigne et celebratissimum opus Bonifacii octaui quod sextum decretalium appellant In preclarissima vrbe Basiliensi ingenio et arte Michaelis Wenszlers Impressum, glorioso fauente deo suis consignando scutis, feliciter est finitum Anno domini septuagesimo septimo post millesimum et quadringentesimum quarto ydus Decembris.
Student, you oft must see a printed book And think how well upon your shelves ’twould look: The print of shining black, the page pulled clean, A worthy text, and misprints nowhere seen! Where Wenssler’s skilful hand the work has printed I’ll die for it if of these charms you’re stinted; For throughout all this book no single letter Has ’scaped his reader’s care to make it better.
The notable and most celebrated work of Boniface VIII, which is called the Sixth of the Decretals, printed in the renowned city of Basel by the skill and art of Michael Wenssler, by the favor of the glorious God, marked with the printer’s shields, has come happily to an end, in the year of the Lord 1477, on December 12.
[Illustration: Fasciculus Temporum. Louvain: Veldener, 1476.]
[Illustration: Ioh. Faber. Breuiarium super codice. Louvain: John of Westphalia, c. 1475.]
So, in 1475, Sensenschmidt and Frisner at Nuremberg issued their Latin Bible “suis signis annotatis”; and at Cologne, in 1476, Conrad Winters ends an edition of the “Fasciculus Temporum”: “Impressum per me Conradum de Hoemberch meoque signeto signatum” (printed by me, Conrad de Hoemberch, and signed with my signet); and in the same year we find Veldener at Louvain using nearly the same phrase (proprio signeto signata) in his edition of the “Fasciculus Temporum.” As an amusing variation on this we have the custom adopted by John and Conrad of Westphalia, in some of the books they printed at Louvain, of placing their own portraits after their colophons and referring to them as their “solitum signum.” Thus in an edition of Laet’s “Pronosticationes euentuum futurorum anni lxxvi” John of Westphalia writes in this very interesting fashion:
Hec ego Ioannes de Paderborne in Westfalia, florentissima in uniuersitate Louaniensi residens, ut in manus uenerunt imprimere curaui: nonnullorum egregiorum uirorum desideriis obsecutus, qui prenominatum pronosticantem futura uere, inculto quamuis stilo, compluribus annis prenunciasse ferunt. Non reuera quo utilitatem magnam ipse consequerer (utilius enim opus eam ob rem suspendi) sed quo simul plurimorum comodis ac uoluptati pariter inseruiens, stilum meum nouum, quo posthac maiori et minori in uolumine uti propono, signi mei testimonio curiosis ac bonarum rerum studiosis palam facerem.
These things have I, John of Paderborn in Westphalia, residing in the most flourishing University of Louvain, caused to be printed as they came to hand, following the desires of some noble gentlemen who say that the aforesaid prognosticator has in many years truly foretold future things, though in an uncultivated style. Of a truth my object was not to obtain any great advantage for myself (for I held over, on account of this, a more profitable work), but that, while at the same time serving alike the convenience and pleasure of many, I might make publicly known to the curious and connoisseurs my new style which hereafter, both in greater and smaller size, I propose to use as a witness of my sign.
Laet’s Prognostications were the Moore’s Almanacs of the fifteenth century, and by putting his new device (which he used again about the same time in the “Breviarium super codice” of Iohannes Faber) on such a publication John of Westphalia secured a wide advertisement.
The arts of advertisement must assuredly have been needed by the early printers when they came as strangers and aliens to a new town and began issuing books at their own risk. Even with the help of Latin as a universal language, and with the guidance of native patrons and scholars, pushing their wares must have been a difficult matter. Sweynheym and Pannartz at Rome tried to make their names known, and to express at the same time their obligations to their patron, by a set of verses which recur frequently in their books:
[Illustration: S. Cyprian. Epistulae. Rome: Sweynheym and Pannartz, 1471 (and in many other of their books).]
Aspicis illustris lector quicunque libellos Si cupis artificum nomina nosse lege. Aspera ridebis cognomina Teutona: forsan Mitiget ars musis inscia uerba uirum. Conradus Suueynheym Arnoldus pannartzque magistri Rome impresserunt talia multa simul. Petrus cum fratre Francisco Maximus ambo Huic operi aptatam contribuere domum.
Illustrious reader, whoever you are, who see these books, if you would know the names of their craftsmen, read on. You will smile at the rough Teutonic surnames: perhaps this art the Muses knew not will soften them. Conrad Sweynheym and Arnold Pannartz have printed many such books together at Rome. Pietro da Massimi and his brother Francis have lent a house fitted for the work.
Ulrich Han, another German printer at Rome, advertised himself in many of his books in another set of verses, perhaps the only instance of a colophon deliberately intended to raise a laugh, which recall the part played by the Sacred Geese in defending the Capitol against the Gauls (Galli), Gallus being also the Latinized form of Han’s name (Cock).
[Illustration: Cicero. Orationes Philippicae. Rome: Ulrich Han  (and in several other of Han’s books).]
Anser Tarpeii custos Iouis: unde quod alis Constreperes: Gallus decidit: ultor adest. Udalricus Gallus, ne quem poscantur in usum Edocuit pennis nil opus esse tuis. Imprimit ille die quantum non scribitur anno Ingenio: haud noceas: omnia vincit homo.
Bird of Tarpeian Jove, though died the Gaul ’Gainst whom thou flap’dst thy wings, see vengeance fall. Another Gallus comes and thy pen-feather Goes out of fashion, beaten altogether. For what a quill can write the whole year through, This in a day, and more, his press will do. So, Goose, give over: there’s no other plan; Own yourself beaten by all-conquering man.
In addition to their colophons, the printers, at least in Germany, used many modern forms of advertisement. When he returned to Augsburg from Venice, Ratdolt issued a splendid type-sheet with specimens of all his different founts. Schoeffer, the Brothers of the Common Life, Koberger, and other firms printed lists of their new books as broadsides, and gave their travellers similar sheets in which purchasers were promised “bonum venditorem” (a kindly seller), and a space was left for the name of the inn at which he displayed his wares, to be filled in by hand. We have all heard of Caxton’s advertisement of his Sarum Directory (most indigestible of “Pies”) and its final prayer, “Please don’t tear down the bill.” In 1474 Johann Müller of Königsberg (Iohannes Regiomontanus), the mathematician-printer, issued what I take to be the first fully developed publisher’s announcement, with a list of books “now ready” (haec duo explicita sunt), “shortly” (haec duo opera iam prope absoluta sunt), and those he hoped to undertake. Its last sentence is not strictly a colophon, but I am sure that I shall be forgiven for quoting it. “Postremo omnium,” it runs, “artem illam mirificam litterarum formatricem monimentis stabilibus mandare decretum est (deus bone faueas) qua re explicita si mox obdormierit opifex mors acerba non erit, quom tantum munus posteris in haereditate reliquerit, quo ipsi se ab inopia librorum perpetuo poterunt vindicare.”—“Lastly it has been determined to commit to abiding monuments that wondrous art of putting letters together (God of thy goodness be favorable!), and when this is done if the craftsman presently fall asleep death will not be bitter, in the assurance that he has left as a legacy to posterity this great gift by which they will forever be able to free themselves from lack of books.” Shortly after writing these words Müller was called to Rome by Sixtus IV to give his help in reforming the calendar, but his foreboding was not unfulfilled, for death came to him in 1476, only two years after this announcement was written.
The heading adopted for this chapter is not intended to imply that the colophons here grouped together are separated by any hard line from those already considered, only that they deal with the publishers’ side of book-making, the praises by which the printers and publishers recommended their wares, the financial help by which the issue of expensive and slow-selling books was made possible, the growth of competition, and the endeavors to secure artificially protected markets.
If colophons could be implicitly believed, the early printers would have to be reckoned as the most devout and altruistic of men. As a matter of fact, books of devotion and popular theology were probably the safest and most profitable which they could take up. Yet we need not doubt that the thought that they were engaged on a pious work, and so “accumulating merit,” gave them genuine satisfaction, and that colophons like this of Arnold therhoernen’s were prompted by real religious feeling:
Ad laudem et gloriam individue trinitatis ac gloriose virginis marie et ad utilitatem ecclesie impressi ac consummati sunt sermones magistri alberti ordinis predicatorum in colonia per me Arnoldum therhurnen sub annis domini M.cccc. Lxxiiii ipso die gloriosi ac sancti profesti nativitatis domini nostri Iesu Christi.
To the praise and glory of the undivided Trinity and of the glorious Virgin Mary, and to the profit of the church, the sermons of Master Albert of the order of Preachers were printed and finished in Cologne by me, Arnold therhoernen, in the year of our Lord 1474, on the very day of the glorious and holy vigil of the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Examples of colophons in this vein could be multiplied almost indefinitely. That appended by the Brothers of the Common Life, at their convent of Hortus Viridis (Green Garden) at Rostock, to an edition of the “Sermones de Tempore” of Johannes Herolt is much more distinctive. Herolt’s name is duly recorded in editions printed at Reutlingen and Nuremberg, but his work was usually quoted as the “Sermones Discipuli,” and the good brothers begin by commenting on his modesty.
Humilibus placent humilia. Huius gratia rei Doctor hic precellens supresso proprio nomini uocabulo Sermones hos prehabitos Discipuli prenotatosque alias maluit nuncupari. Quique tamen, ut luce clarius patet, de sub manibus euasit Doctor magistri. Huic applaudere, hunc efferre laudibus, hunc predicatum iri, miretur nemo, cum certissime constat inter modernos sermonistas eum in uulgi scientia tenere principatum. Huius igitur zeli cupientes fore consortes nos fratres presbiteri et clerici Viridis Horti in Rostock ad sanctum Michaelem, non uerbo sed scripto predicantes, virum hunc preclarum apud paucos in conclauis iactitantem foras eduximus Arte impressoria, artium omnium ecclesie sancte commodo magistra, in notitiam plurimorum ad laudem cunctipotentis Dei. Anno incarnationis Dominice M.cccc.Lxxvi. tercio Kalendas Novembris.
Humble courses please the humble. For which cause this eminent Doctor preferred to suppress his own name and have these Sermons, already delivered and set down elsewhere, announced as the Sermons of a Disciple. And yet he, as is clearer than day, has passed as a Doctor from the rule of his master. Let no one wonder that he should be applauded, that men should extol him with their praises, that he should be preached, since it is most assuredly true that among modern sermon-writers he, in knowledge of the people, holds the first place. Desiring, therefore, to be partners of this zeal, we, the brothers, priests, and clergy of Green Garden in Rostock attached to S. Michael, preaching not orally but from manuscript, have thought that this admirable book, which was lurking in the hands of a few in their cells, should be published abroad by the printing art, chief of all arts for the advantage of holy church, that it may become known to many, to the praise of Almighty God. In the year of the Lord’s incarnation 1476, on October 30th.
Of the dated editions of the Sermons this of Rostock is the earliest, so that the claim of the brothers to have rescued it from neglect was apparently justified. Their praise of printing as “chief of all arts for the advantage of holy church” is very notable, though quite in accordance with German feeling. In the sixteenth century the doctors of the Sorbonne were much more doubtful on the subject. The brothers printed a few secular works at Rostock, _e.g._ the Metamorphoses of Ovid and Guido delle Colonne’s History of the Destruction of Troy. But the bulk of their work was theological or devotional, and their desire to improve their own sermons seems touchingly genuine and by no means commercial.
In the same year as the Rostock brothers printed the “Sermones Discipuli,” Leonardus Achates of Basel issued at Vicenza a Latin Bible to which was appended a lengthy colophon in praise of the study of the Scriptures, almost the only eulogy of the kind with which I have met.
[Illustration: Latin Bible. Vicenza: Leonardus Achates, 1476.]
Lector quisquis es, si christiane sentis, te non pigeat hoc opus sanctissimum, que biblia inscribitur, magna cum animi voluptate degustare, degustandumque aliis persuadere: nuper impressum a Leonardo Basileensi magna cum diligentia. In eo enim fidei nostre fundamentum situm est: et christiane religionis decus ac radix. Ex eo tibi cognitionem rerum omnium in quibus salus nostra consistit legendo comparabis: quod eo libentius facere debes quo in tam felici seculo codex hic preciosissimus in lucem emendatissimus uenit, pontificatus uidelicet sanctissimi domini nostri pape domini Xisti [Sixti] quarti anno quinto, et imperii christianissimi Frederici tertii anno uigesimo sexto, et Andree Vendramini ducis inclyti uenetorum anno primo. MCCCCLXXVI sexto ydus maias.
Reader, whoever you are, if you have Christian feelings let it not annoy you to acquaint yourself with great pleasure of mind with this most sacred work which is entitled the Bible, and to persuade others to acquaint themselves with it, as it has lately been printed by Leonard of Basel with great diligence. For in it is seated the foundation of our faith, and the glory and root of the Christian religion. From reading it you will provide yourself with knowledge of all the things in which our salvation consists, and you should do this the more willingly because this most precious manuscript has been published in a most correct form at so happy an epoch, in the fifth year namely of the pontificate of our most holy lord Pope Sixtus IV, the twenty-sixth of the imperial rule of the most Christian Frederick III, and the first of the noble doge of Venice Andrea Vendramini. May 10, 1476.
As a rule, the books chosen for praise were of less self-evident merit, notably grammatical works by which a royal road was promised to the mysteries of Latin. Thus an unidentified Strassburg printer (possibly Husner, but known only as the “Printer of the 1493 Casus breues Decretalium”) recommended his “Exercitium Puerorum Grammaticale” not only to boys, but to friars, nuns, merchants, and every one else who needed Latin, in these glowing terms:
Finit tractatus secundus exercitii puerorum grammaticalis, in quo de regimine et constructione omnium dictionum secundum ordinem octo partium orationis processum est per regulas et questiunculas adeo lucidas faciles atque breues, doctissimorum virorum exemplis creberrimis roboratas, ut quisque sine preceptore eas discere, scire et intelligere possit. In quo si qui grammatici studiosi, cuiuscunque status fuerint, pueri, fratres, sorores, mercatores, ceterique seculares aut religiosi legerint, studuerint atque se oblectauerint, Finem grammatice ausim dicere breuissime sine magno labore consequentur. Impressum Argentine et finitus Anno &c M.cccc.xciiij.
Here ends the second treatise of the boys’ grammatical exercise, in which a course is given on the government and construction of all phrases according to the order of the eight parts of speech, by rules and little questions so clear, easy, and short, and confirmed by very numerous examples from the works of most learned men, that any one without a teacher can learn, know, and understand them. If any grammatical students, of whatever rank they be, whether boys, friars, nuns, merchants, or any one else, secular or religious, have read, studied, and delighted themselves in this, I make bold to say that very shortly and without much labor they will quickly reach the end of grammar. Printed at Strassburg and finished in the year, &c., 1494.
So, again, Arnold Pannartz, one of the prototypographers at Rome, vaunted the “De Elegantia Linguae Latinae” of Laurentius Valla as affording diligent students (they are warned that they must bring care and zeal to the task) a chance of making rapid progress.
[Illustration: Laurentius Valla. Elegantiae. Rome: Arnold Pannartz, 1475.]
Laurentii Vallae uiri eruditissimi et oratoris clarissimi de Elegantia linguae latinae Liber Sextus et ultimus diligenti emendatione finitus ab incarnatione domini anno M.CCCC.LXXV. die uero secunda mensis Iulii: sedente Sixto IIII Pon. Max. Anno eius quarto. Hos uero libros impressit Clarus ac diligentissimus artifex Arnoldus Pannartz, Natione Germanus, in domo nobilis uiri Petri de maximis, ciuis Romani. Tu qui Latine loqui cupis hos tibi eme libros, in quibus legendis si curam studiumque adhibueris, breui te haud parum profecisse intelliges.
The sixth and last book of Laurentius Valla, a man of the greatest learning and a most distinguished orator, on the Elegance of the Latin Tongue, after diligent correction, has been completed in the year from the Lord’s incarnation 1475, on July 2d, in the fourth year of the papacy of Sixtus IV. Now these books were printed by a distinguished and most diligent craftsman, Arnold Pannartz, a German, in the house of the noble Pietro dei Massimi, a Roman citizen. You who desire to speak Latin buy yourself these books, for in reading them, if you bring care and zeal to the task, in a short time you will understand that you have made no small progress.
Perhaps the eulogies of their own wares by publishers reaches its climax in the praises by Paulus Johannis de Puzbach of his edition of the “Expositio Problematum Aristotelis,” of which it is said that it will be useful to every creature in the universal world, though with the wise proviso that the said creature must use great diligence in its study (cuius utilitas erit omni creature in universo orbe que apponet huic operi studium summa cum diligentia).
Publishers who offered their readers a chance of buying books like these naturally posed as public benefactors, and in the colophon to a collection of the works of various illustrious men (Diui Athanasii contra Arium, etc.) printed at Paris in 1500 the reader is informed categorically that he owes four several debts of gratitude which apparently no such trifling consideration as the price demanded for the book could affect.
Finis. Habes, lector candidissime, sex opuscula, etc. Reliquum est igitur vt iis qui hec peperere grati animi significationem feceritis. Atque adeo in primis prestantissimo viro domino Simoni Radin, qui hec situ victa in lucem edenda curauit. Deinde F. Cypriano Beneti: qui castigatrices manus apposuit. Tum iohanni paruo bibliopolarum optimo qui suo ere imprimenda tradidit. Nec minus M. Andree Bocard calcographo solertissimo qui tam terse atque ad amussim castigata compressit: Ad quartum Calendas Iulias. Anno Millesimoquingentesimo. Deo sit laus et gloria.
Here you have, most honest reader, six works, etc. It remains, therefore, for you to make grateful acknowledgment to those who have produced them: in the first place to that eminent man Master Simon Radin, who saw to their being brought to light from the obscurity in which they were buried; next to F. Cyprian Beneti for his editorial care; then to Jean Petit, best of booksellers, who caused them to be printed at his expense; nor less than these to Andrieu Bocard, the skilful chalcographer, who printed them so elegantly and with scrupulous correctness, June 28, 1500. Praise and glory to God.
In this book, printed at the very end of the century in Paris, where the book trade had for centuries been highly organized, it is natural to find printer and publisher clearly separated, both being tradesmen working for gain. The lines for such a distinction already existed in the days of manuscripts, the scribes and the stationers belonging to quite separate classes, though they might assume each other’s functions. In the earliest days of printing the craftsmen were, as a rule, their own publishers; but the system of patronage and the desire of well-to-do persons in various ranks of society to get special books printed led to divers bargains and agreements. We find the Earl of Arundel encouraging Caxton to proceed with his translation of the “Golden Legend,” not only by the promise of a buck in summer and a doe in winter by way of yearly fee, but by agreeing to take “a reasonable quantity” of copies when the work was finished. The “Mirrour of the World” was paid for by Hugh Brice, afterward Lord Mayor of London. Whether William Pratt, who on his death-bed bade Caxton publish the “Book of Good Manners,” or William Daubeney, Treasurer of the King’s Jewels, who urged him to issue the “Charles the Great,” offered any money help, we are not told. Caxton was probably a man of some wealth when he began printing, and could doubtless afford to take his own risks; but other printers were less fortunate, and references in colophons to patrons, and to men of various ranks who gave commissions for books, are sufficiently numerous. Thus at Pescia we find two brothers, Sebastian and Raphael dei Orlandi, who subsidized works printed at two, if not three or even four, different presses. Most of the books they helped to finance were legal treatises, as for instance the Commentaries of Accoltus on Acquiring Possession, printed by Franciscus and Laurentius de Cennis, 1486.
Finiunt Commentaria singularia et admiranda super titulo de acquirenda possessione, quem titulum mirabiliter prefatus dominus Franciscus novissime commentatus est in studio Pisano, Anno Redentionis domini nostri Iesu cristi, M.cccc Lxxx. ultima Iulii. Impressa vero Piscie et ex proprio auctoris exemplari sumpta Anno M.cccc Lxxxvi. die Iovis. IIII. ianuarii. Impensis nobilium iuvenum Bastiani et Raphaelis fratres [_sic_] filiorum Ser Iacobi Gerardi de Orlandis de Piscia. Opera venerabilis religiosi Presbiteri Laurentii et Francisci Fratrum et filiorum Cennis Florentinorum ad gloriam omnipotentis Dei.
Here end the singular and wonderful Commentaries on the title Of Acquiring Possession, which title the aforesaid Master Franciscus lately lectured on marvellously in the University of Pisa, in the year of the Redemption of our Lord Jesus Christ 1480, on the last day of July. Printed at Pescia and taken from the author’s own copy, Thursday, January 4, 1486, at the charges of the noble youths the brothers Bastian and Raphael, sons of Ser Jacopo Gerardo dei Orlandi of Pescia, with the help of the venerable religious priest Lorenzo de Cennis and Francis his brother, Florentines, to the glory of Almighty God.
Another law-book was printed for them by the same firm also in 1486, and three others in that year and in 1489 by firms not yet identified. But their interests though mainly were not entirely legal, and in 1488, from the press of Sigismund Rodt, there appeared an edition of Vegetius, in the colophon to which their views on the physical degeneration question of the day were very vigorously set forth.
Non sunt passi diutius situ et squalore delitescere illustrem Vegetium De militari disciplina loquentem, uirum omni laude dignissimum, ingenui adolescentes Sebastianus et Raphael de Orlandis. Quem ob eam maxime causam imprimi curauerunt ut et antique uirtutis exemplo Italici iuuenes, longa desidia ignauiaque torpentes, tandem expergiscerentur: cum preter singularem de arte doctrinam ita in omni genere uirtutum consummatum iudicamus: ut non solum illius artis meditatione tyro optimus miles fiat, sed omnis etas solertior, omnis spiritus uigilantior omne denique humanum ingenium prestantius efficiatur. Piscie, iiii Nonas Aprilis. M. cccc.lxxxviii. Sigismondo Rodt de Bitsche operis architecto.
The noble youths Sebastian and Raphael dei Orlandi have not suffered the illustrious Vegetius (a man most worthy of every praise), in his speech On Military Discipline, any longer to lurk in neglect and squalor. And especially for this cause they have concerned themselves that he should be printed, that the youths of Italy, drowsy with long sloth and cowardice, moved by the example of ancient virtue, might at length awake, since, besides his remarkable teaching on his art, we hold him so perfect in virtues of every kind, that not only by meditating on his art may a tyro become an excellent soldier, but that every age may be made more expert, every spirit more watchful, finally every human character more excellent. At Pescia, April 2d, 1488, Sigismund Rodt being the architect of the work.
Between 1471 and 1474 Ulrich Han printed a dozen or more books at Rome with Simon Chardella, a merchant of Lucca, whose help, if we may trust the colophon to the Commentary of Antonio de Butrio on the Decretals, was given from the purest philanthropy.
Finis est huius secundi libri eximii ac celeberrimi utriusque iuris doctoris domini Anthonii de Butrio super primo decretalium in duobus voluminibus: quem quidem et nonnullos diuersorum electorumque librorum a domino Vdalrico Gallo almano feliciter impressos a prudenti equidem uiro Simone Nicholai chardella de lucha merchatore fide dignissimo: sua facultate cura diligentia amplexos: quia pauperum census diuitumque auariciam miseratus, ab egregiis uero uiris emendatos, in lucem reddidit anno salutis M.cccc.lxxiii. die xv nouembris III anno pontificatus Sixti IV.
Here ends this second book of the distinguished and most renowned doctor of both laws, Master Antonio de Butrio, on the first of the Decretals, in two volumes. And this and some of the divers selected books successfully printed by Master Ulrich Han, a German, have been financed and diligently supervised, in his compassion for the means of the poor and the avarice of the rich, by the prudent Simone di Niccolo Chardella of Lucca, a merchant of the highest credit; corrected by noble scholars and published in the year of salvation 1473, on November 15th, in the third year of the pontificate of Sixtus IV.
Single books, of course, were financed by people of many classes and ranks, from kings, princesses, and archbishops down to the Spanish bell-ringer who paid for a Lerida Breviary, as its colophon very explicitly sets forth.
Breuiarii opus secundum Illerdensis ecclesie consuetudinem ex noua regula editum clareque emendatum per dominum Laurentium Fornes, virum doctum, eiusdem ecclesie presbiterum succentoremque, prehabita tamen ab egregio Decano ceterisque Canonicis eiusdem ecclesie licentia, Anthonius Palares campanarum eiusdem ecclesie pulsator propriis expensis fieri fecit. Impressitque venerabilis magister Henricus Botel de Saxonia alamanus, vir eruditus, qui huic clarissimo operi in urbe Illerde xvi Augusti anno incarnationis dominice millesimo quadringentesimo lxxixº finem fecit. Amen.
A Breviary according to the use of the church of Lerida, edited in accordance with the new rule and clearly corrected by Master Lourenço Fornes, a man of learning, priest and sub-cantor of the said church, with allowance previously obtained from the illustrious Dean and the rest of the Canons, published at his own cost by Antonio Palares the bell-ringer. Printed by the venerable master Heinrich Botel, a German of Saxony, an erudite man, who brought this glorious work to an end in the town of Lerida on August 16th, in the year of the Lord’s incarnation 1479. Amen.
We might have imagined that, a bell-ringer being sometimes equivalent to a sacristan, and the sacristan being often responsible for the choir-books, the commission to print this Breviary was given by Palares only in the name of the chapter. We are, however, so distinctly informed that he caused the book to be printed “propriis expensis” (at his own cost), that no such explanation is tenable, and we must imagine either that the bell-ringer was actuated by very creditable motives, or else that he saw his way to dispose of the books. On either view of the case, this bell-ringer’s edition may, perhaps, rank for strangeness with that of the poems of Gasparo Visconti, printed to the number of a thousand copies by Franciscus Corniger, a Milanese poet, to whom he presumably stood in the relation of a patron.
[Illustration: Gasparo Visconti. Rithmi. Milan: Ant. Zarotus, 1493.]
Ne elegantissimi operis lepos mellifluus temporis edacis iniuria tibi, lector optime, aliquando periret, aut illustrissimi auctoris inclyta memoria aeuo obliteraretur, ne etiam posteritas, hac delectatione defraudata, cupidineis lusibus careret, Franciscus Tantius Corniger, poeta Mediolanensis, hos rithmos Gasparis Vicecomitis lingua uernacula compositos, quanquam inuito domino, in mille exempla imprimi iussit, Mediolani anno a salutifero Virginis partu M.cccc.lxxxxiii. Quarto Calendas Martias. Finis.
Lest to your loss, excellent reader, the honeyed grace of a most elegant book should some day perish by the wrongs of devouring time, or the noble memory of the most illustrious author be blotted out by age, lest also posterity, defrauded of their pleasure, should lack amorous toys, Franciscus Tantius Corniger, a Milanese poet, ordered these Rhythms of Gasparo Visconti, written in the vernacular tongue, to be printed, against their master’s will, in an edition of a thousand copies, at Milan, in the year from the Virgin’s salvation-bringing delivery 1493, on February 26th. Finis.
No doubt Gasparo Visconti duly repaid the admiration thus shown for his poems; but though the admiring friend or patron was not without his uses in the fifteenth century, and even now is occasionally indispensable, when all is said and done the success of a book depends on the reception it meets from an unbiased public, and it is to the public, therefore, that its appeal must finally be made. Colophons recognize this in different ways—sometimes, as we have seen, by praising the book, sometimes by drawing attention to its cheapness, very often by the care with which they give the exact address of the publisher at whose shop it can be bought. Vérard’s colophons are particularly notable in this respect. What could be more precise than the oft-repeated directions which we may quote from his edition of “Le Journal Spirituel” because of the careful arrangement of its lines?
[Illustration: Journal Spirituel. Paris: Vérard, 1505.]
Cy finist le Journal spirituel Imprime a paris pour honnorable homme Anthoine Verard bourgoys marchant et libraire demorant a paris deuant la Rue neufue notre dame a lymage sainct Jehan leuangeliste ou au palais deuant la cha- pelle ou lon chante la messe de mes- seigneurs les presidentz. Lan mil cinq cens et cinq le seziesme iour de decembre.
Here ends the Spiritual Journal printed at Paris for an estimable man Antoine Vérard burgess, shopkeeper, and bookseller dwelling at Paris before the New Street of Our Lady at the image of Saint John the Evangelist or at the palace before the cha- pel where is chanted the Mass of the Lords Presidents. In the year one thousand five hundred and five, the sixteenth day of December.
Occasionally a verse colophon would be employed to tempt a purchaser to come to the publisher’s shop, as in the case of the French translation of the “Ship of Fools” by Jodocus Badius from the German of Sebastian Brant, printed by Geoffroy de Marnef in 1497. This ends:
Hommes mortels qui desirez sauoir Comment on peut en ce monde bien vivre Et mal laisser: approchez, venez veoir Et visiter ce present joyeux livre. A tous estats bonne doctrine il livre Notant les maux et vices des mondains. Venez y tous et ne faictes dedains Du dit livre nomme Des Fols la Nef Si vous voulez vous en trouuerez maints Au Pellican cheux Geoffroy de Marnef.
Mortal men who fain would know How well to live in this world below, And evil quit: come hither, see, And with this book acquainted be. To each estate good rede it gives, Notes all the evils in men’s lives. Come hither, all, and think no shame Of this said book, which has to name The Ship of Fools. You’ll find good store if in you’ll drop At honest Geoffroy Marnef’s shop, Where the Pelican rules.
As to advertisements of cheapness, in addition to instances already incidentally noted we may take as our example another colophon partly in verse—that to the edition of the “Liber cibalis et medicinalis pandectarum” of Matthaeus Silvaticus printed at Naples by Arnold of Brussels in 1474.
Explicit liber Pandectarum quem Angelus Cato Supinas de Beneuento philosophus et medicus magna cum diligentia et emendate imprimendum curauit, et in clarissima et nobilissima atque praestantissima dulcissimaque ciuitate Neapoli, regum, ducum, procerumque matre, prima Aprilis M.cccc.Lxxiiii. Idcirco excelso deo gratias agamus.
Noscere qui causas et certa uocabula rerum Et medicas artes per breue queris iter, Me lege: nec multo mercaberis: Angelus en me Sic et diuitibus pauperibusque parat. Cui tantum me nunc fas est debere, Salernum, Urbs debet quantum, patria terra, mihi.
Here ends the book of the Pandects which Angelus Cato Supinas of Benevento, a philosopher and physician, has procured to be printed, with great diligence and correctly, in the most illustrious, most noble, most excellent, and most delightful city of Naples, mother of kings, dukes, and nobles, April 1, 1474. For which cause let us give thanks to God on high.
Who’d quickly learn each ill to diagnose, The terms of art and all a doctor knows, Let him read me, nor will the cost be great, My Angel editor asks no monstrous rate. To whom, Salernum, I as great thanks owe As thou upon thy offspring canst bestow.
No doubt in this instance the book was much obliged to its editor for his care in revising it, and the great medical school of Salerno might justly be expected to be grateful for the publication of an important medical work: the trouble of the situation was that there were so many of these not wholly disinterested benefactors in the field at the same time. Editions, it is true, were mostly small, owing to the slowness of the presswork; and, no doubt, each several printer reckoned that he had all literary Europe for his market. But when Rome was vying with Venice, and the rest of Italy with both, and almost every important press was turning out classical editions, the market quickly became overstocked, and great printers like Wendelin of Speier at Venice and Sweynheym and Pannartz at Rome found that they had burnt their fingers. Hence a commercial motive reinforced that natural self-esteem which still causes every editor to assume that his method of crossing a _t_ or dotting an _i_ gives his edition a manifest superiority over every other. In the next chapter we shall see how editors persistently depreciated their predecessors; but we may note here how, even when he had Chardella to help his finances, Ulrich Han could not help girding at rival firms. Thus in his edition of the Decretals of Gregory IX he bids his readers buy his own text with a light heart and reckon its rivals at a straw’s value.
Finiunt decretales correctissime: impresse alma urbe Roma totius mundi regina per egregios uiros magistrum Udalricum Gallum Alamanum et Symonem Nicolai de Luca: cum glosis ordinariis Bernardi Parmensis et additionibus suis: que paucis in libris habentur: summa diligentia et impresse ac correcte. Quas, emptor, securo animo eme. Talia siquidem in hoc uolumine reperies ut merito alias impressiones faciliter floccipendes. Anno domini M.cccc.Lxxiiii. die xx mensis Septembris, Pontificatus uero Sixti diuina prouidentia Pape quarti anno quarto.
Here end the Decretals, most correctly printed in the bounteous city of Rome, queen of the whole world, by those excellent men Master Ulrich Han, a German, and Simon di Niccolo of Lucca: with the ordinary glosses of Bernard of Parma and his additions, which are found in few copies; both printed and corrected with the greatest diligence. Purchase these, book-buyer, with a light heart, for you will find such excellence in this volume that you will be right in easily reckoning other editions as worth no more than a straw. In the year of our Lord 1474, September 20, in the fourth year of the Pontificate of Sixtus IV, by divine providence Pope.
If Han relied on the superiority of his work to defeat his rivals, other publishers preferred to have the advantage of coming earlier to market, and we find Stephanus Corallus, at Parma, actually apologizing with a very vivid metaphor for misprints in his edition of the “Achilleis” of Statius on the ground that he had rushed it through the press to forestall rivals. Of course, the rivals were envious and malevolent,—that might be taken for granted,—but the assumption that a purchaser was to acquiesce in bad work in order that Corallus might hurry his book out quickly only for his own profit was merely impudent.
[Illustration: Statius. Achilleis. Parma: Steph. Corallus, 1473.]
Si quas, optime lector, hoc in opere lituras inueneris nasum ponito; nam Stephanus Corallus Lugdunensis inuidorum quorundam maliuolentia lacessitus, qui idem imprimere tentarunt, citius quam asparagi coquantur id absoluit, ac summo studio emendatum literarum studiosis legendum tradidit Parme M.cccc.lxxiii. x Cal. April.
Should you find any blots in this work, excellent reader, lay scorn aside; for Stephanus Corallus of Lyons, provoked by the ill will of certain envious folk who tried to print the same book, finished it more quickly than asparagus is cooked, corrected it with the utmost zeal, and published it, for students of literature to read, at Parma, March 23, 1473.
When publishers were as ready as this to forestall each other, a cry for some kind of regulation of the industry was sure to be raised, and at Venice, the greatest book-mart in the world, regulation came in the form of the privilege and spread thence to various countries of Europe. I do not at all agree with the opinion which Mr. Gordon Duff has expressed so strongly, that the power of freely importing books given by Richard III was by any means an unmixed blessing, or that its revocation by Henry VIII fifty years later had disastrous effects on English printing. Printing started late in England and was handicapped by the impoverishment wrought by the Wars of the Roses. The facility with which all learned books were supplied from abroad quickened the growth of English learning, but restricted the English printers to printing and reprinting a few vernacular books of some literary pretensions and an endless stream of works of popular devotion and catch-penny trifles. Neither Oxford nor Cambridge could support a permanent printer, and English scholars were obliged to have their books printed abroad. Nevertheless, free trade, however hardly it might press on a backward industry, was infinitely better than the privilege system, which was altogether haphazard and liable to gross abuse. For the story of its introduction and development at Venice, the reader must be referred to Mr. Horatio Brown’s “The Venetian Printing Press” (Nimmo, 1891), a book which leaves a good deal to be desired on its purely typographical side, but which is quite admirable as regards the regulation of the industry. Our concern here is only with the privileges in so far as they make their appearance in colophons. The earliest colophon in which I have found allusion to them is six years later than the first grant which Mr. Brown records, that to Marc’ Antonio Sabellico in September, 1486, for his “Decades rerum Venetarum,” printed by Andrea de Torresani in 1487 (Hain *14053). By 1492 the system must have been in full swing, as is shown by this colophon to the “Liber Regalis” of Albohazen Haly, printed by Bernardinus Ricius:
Impressum Venetiis die 25 Septembris, 1492, opera Bernardini Ricii de Nouaria, impensa vero excellentissimi artium et medicine doctoris domini magistri Ioannis dominici de Nigro, qui obtinuit ex speciali gratia ab illustrissimo ducali dominio Venetorum Quod nemini, quicumque fuerit, liceat tam Venetiis quam in universa ditione Veneto dominio subiecta, imprimere seu imprimi facere hunc librum, aut alibi impressum in predicta ditione vendere, per X annos, sub pena immediate et irremissibilis omnium librorum, et librarum quinquaginta pro quolibet volumine. Que quidem pena applicetur recuperationi Montis Noui.
Printed at Venice on September 25, 1492, by the pains of Bernardinus Ricius of Novara, at the expense of the most excellent doctor of arts and medicine, Master Giovanni Dominico di Nigro, who obtained, by special grace, from the most illustrious dogal government of the Venetians that no one soever should be allowed, either at Venice or in the entire dominion subject to the Venetian government, himself to print this book or cause it to be printed, or to sell in the aforesaid dominion a copy printed elsewhere, for ten years, under the penalty of the immediate and irremissible forfeiture of all the books, and a fine of fifty lire for any volume, the penalty to be applied to the restoration of the Monte Novo.
The three points as to the duration of the privilege, the amount of the fine, and the charity to which it was to be applied are here stated quite plainly, but many publishers preferred to leave the amount of the penalty mysterious by substituting a reference to the grace itself, as for instance is the case in the edition of Hugo de S. Caro’s “Postilla super Psalterium,” printed by the brothers Gregorii in 1496.
Et sic est finis huius utilis et suauis postille super totum psalterium. Impressa autem fuit Venetiis per Iohannem et Gregorium de Gregoriis fratres, impensis Stefani et Bernardini de Nallis fratrum, suasu reuerendissimi patris et predicatoris egregii fratris Dominici Ponzoni. Habita tamen gratia ab excelso Venetorum dominio ne quis per decennium primum imprimere possit aut imprimi facere seu alibi impressam vendere per totum dominium &c. sub penis &c. prout in ipsa gratia plenius continetur. Completa uero fuit die 12 Nouembris, 1496.
Thus ends this useful and delightful lecture on the whole Psalter. And it was printed at Venice by the brothers Giovanni and Gregorio dei Gregorii, at the expense of the brothers Stefano and Bernardino dei Nalli, on the persuasion of the most reverend father and preacher, the noble brother Dominico Ponzoni. Grace was granted by the exalted government of the Venetians that no one for the first ten years should print it, or cause it to be printed, or sell a copy printed elsewhere, throughout the whole dominion, &c., under penalty, &c., as is more fully contained in the grace itself. And it was finished on November 12, 1496.
The Gregorii followed the same course, in their 1498 edition of S. Jerome’s Commentary on the Bible, a work (rather condescendingly praised by the printers) which it is amazing to find on the privileged list at all.
Habes itaque, studiosissime lector, Ioannis et Graegorii de Gregoriis fretus officio, ea nouiter impraessa commentaria: Vnde totius ueteris et noui testamenti ueritatem rectumque sensum quam facillime appraehendere possis: quae si tuae omnino bibliotecae ascripseris magnam consequeris uoluptatem, maioresque in dies fructus suscipies. Venetiis per praefatos fratres Ioannem et Gregorium de Gregoriis, Anno domini 1498, die 25 Augusti. Cum priuilegio quod nullus citra decem annos ea imprimere ualeat nec alibi impressa in terras excellentissimo uenetorum dominio subditas uenalia afferre possit sub poenis in ipso contentis.
Thus you have, most studious reader, thanks to the good offices of Giovanni and Gregorio dei Gregorii, these commentaries newly printed, whence you can very easily apprehend the truth and right meaning of all the Old and New Testament, and by adding these to your library you will obtain a great pleasure and receive daily greater profit. At Venice by the aforesaid brothers Giovanni and Gregorio dei Gregorii. With a privilege that no one within ten years may print them or bring for sale copies printed elsewhere into territories subject to the most excellent government of the Venetians, under the penalties therein contained.
The instances we have quoted so far are of references in colophons to privileges granted to the printer-publishers. They were granted also (as in the case of Sabellico) to authors, and from his translation of Seneca’s plays we learn that Evangelio Fossa obtained from the Senate protection for all his writings.
Finisse la nona Tragedia di Senecha ditta Agamemnone in uulgare composta per el uenerabile Frate Euangelista Fossa da Cremona. Impressa in Venesia per Maestro piero bergamascho a le spese de zuan antonio de Monsera. Nel anno M.cccc.lxxxxvii. adi xxviii zenaro. El Venerabile Frate Euangelista Fossa compositore de la presente opera a Impetrado gratia che nesuno possa imprimere ne far imprimere opera chel compona hic per anni x. poi che la hara data fora, sotto pena da ducati x. per ogni uolume come apare nella gratia. Amen.
Here ends the ninth Tragedy of Seneca, called Agamemnon, composed in the vulgar tongue by the venerable Brother Evangelista Fossa of Cremona. Printed in Venice by Master Piero Bergamascho at the expense of Juan Antonio of Monsera. In the year 1497 on the twenty-eighth day of January. The venerable Brother Evangelista Fossa, the composer of the present work, has obtained a grace that no one may print or cause to be printed a work of his composition for ten years after his publication of it, under penalty of ten ducats for every volume, as appears in the grace. Amen.
Privileges were obtainable not only by publishers in Venice itself, but also by those in the towns under Venetian rule, and the two following examples are taken respectively from a Quadragesimale printed by Angelus Britannicus at Brescia in 1497, and a Martianus Capella printed by Henricus de Sancto Urso at Vicenza in 1499.
Explicit quadragesimale quod dicitur lima vitiorum. Diuino huic operi Angelus Britannicus ciuis Brixianus optimo fauente deo: eiusque genetrice Maria: finem optatum imposuit: cuius fidem solertiamque principes veneti charipendentes: ne quis alius opus ipsum infra sex annos imprimat: aut impressum vendat in ditione sua: preter ipsius angeli nutum: Senatusconsulto pena promulgata cauerunt: anno domini M.cccc.lxxxxvii. die xviii Aprilis.
Here ends the Quadragesimal which is called the File of Vices. To this divine work by the favor of God the Most High, and of his Mother Mary, the desired end has been put by Angelo Britannico, a citizen of Brescia, whose loyalty and skill the Venetian princes held so dear that by a decree of the Senate and by the promulgation of a penalty they gave warning that no one else should print this work within six years, or sell it, if printed elsewhere, in their dominion, against the will of the said Angelo. In the year of the Lord 1497, on the eighteenth day of April.
Martiani Capellae Liber finit: Impressus Vicentiae Anno Salutis M.cccc.xcix. xvii Kalendas Ianuarias per Henricum de Sancto Vrso. Cum gratia et priuilegio decem annorum: ne imprimatur neque cum commentariis: neque sine: & cetera: quae in ipso priuilegio continentur. Laus deo & beatae Virgini.
Here ends the book of Martianus Capella, printed at Vicenza in the year of salvation 1499, on December 16th, by Henricus de Sancto Urso. With a grace and privilege for ten years, that it be not printed either with commentaries or without, and the other particulars which are contained in the privilege itself. Praise be to God and the Blessed Virgin.
As publishers went on applying for these privileges, it is to be presumed that they found them profitable; but they were certainly sometimes contravened, and the fines do not appear to have been enforced. Nevertheless they soon spread beyond the Venetian dominions. Thus in 1496, for instance, we find Scinzenzeler obtaining one at Milan, and warning other booksellers, with effusive friendliness, not to incur these dreadful penalties by ignorant piracy.
Famosissimi iureconsulti Francisci Curtii ex proprio exemplari exceptum Consiliorum volumen primum per Iohannem Vinzalium Turrianum summa cum diligentia reuisum, ac Ulderici Scinzenzeler artificio operoso impressum Mediolani M.cccc.lxxxxvi die xx Decembris.
Ne in penam non paruam imprudenter incurras, O bibliopola au[i]dissime, scias obtentum esse ab Illustrissimo et Sapientissimo Mediolani principe rescriptum ne Curtiana Consilia ad decimum usque annum, aut imprimi possint, aut alibi impressa importari venalia in eius districtum sub poena indignationis Caesaree et eris in eo contenta. Itaque ne ignarus erres te admonitum esse voluit Iohannes Vinzalius.
[Illustration: Franciscus Curtius. Consilia. Milan: U. Scinzenzeler, 1496.]
The first volume of the Opinions of the most famous jurist Franciscus Curtius, taken from his own copy, revised with the greatest diligence by Giovanni Vinzalio Turriano, and by the busy skill of Ulrich Scinzenzeler printed at Milan on December 20, 1496. To save you from rashly incurring no small penalty, most greedy bookseller, you are to know that a decree has been obtained from the most illustrious and most wise prince of Milan, that until the tenth year from now no copies of the Opinions of Curtius may be printed, or if printed elsewhere may be imported for sale into his district, under the penalty of his royal indignation and a fine, as there expressed. Therefore, lest you should err in ignorance, Giovanni Vinzalio wished you to be informed.
Without attempting to follow the subject of Privileges all over Europe, it may be worth while to note a few other instances of them in different countries. Thus they begin to make their appearance in Vérard’s colophons at Paris in 1508, the earliest I can find set forth in Mr. Macfarlane’s Bibliography being that in the “Epistres Saint Pol” of 17th January of that year, called 1507 because of the Paris custom of reckoning from Easter. This reads:
Ce present liure a este acheue dimprimer par ledit Verard le xviiᵉ iour de ianuier mil cinq cens et sept. Et a le roy nostre sire donne audit Verard lectres de priuilege et terme de trois ans pour vendre et distribuer ledit pour soy rembourser des fraiz et mises par luy faictes. Et deffend le roy nostredit seigneur a tous inprimeurs libraires et autres du royaulme de france de non imprimer ledit liure de trois ans sur paine de confiscation desditz liures.
This present book has been finished printing by the said Vérard the 17th day of January, 1507. And the king our master has given to the said Vérard letters of privilege and a term of three years to sell and distribute the said book to recoup himself for the costs and charges he has been at. And the king our said lord forbids all printers, booksellers, and others of the kingdom of France to print the said book under pain of the confiscation of the copies.
From this date onwards an allusion to a privilege is found in most of Vérard’s books, but it will be noted that its term is the very moderate one of three years. In England, in the earliest instance I have noted,—Pynson’s edition of the Oration of Richard Pace in 1518,—it is shorter still. The colophon here reads:
Impressa Londini anno verbi incarnati M.D.xviii. idibus Nouembris per Richardum Pynson regium impressorem, cum priuilegio a rege indulto, ne quis hanc orationem intra biennium in regno Angliae imprimat aut alibi impressam et importatam in eodem regno Angliae vendat.
Printed at London in the year of the Incarnate Word 1518, on November 13th, by Richard Pynson, the royal printer, with a privilege granted by the king that no one is to print this speech within two years in the kingdom of England, or to sell it, if printed elsewhere and imported, in the same kingdom of England.
Herbert notes of this book, “this is the first dated book, wholly in the Roman or white letter, that I have seen of his [Pynson’s] printing, or indeed printed in England.” The foreign custom of privileges seems to have made its appearance with the foreign type.
In Spain the duration of the earliest privilege I have found (in an edition of the “Capitulos de governadores” printed in June, 1500, with the types of Pegnitzer and Herbst of Seville) is the same as in those granted to Vérard in France, and the benevolent Spanish government accompanies it by a stipulation as to the price to be charged to purchasers.
Por quanto maestre Garcia de la Torre librero vezino de Toledo & Alonso Lorenço librero vezino de Seuilla se obligaron de dar los dichos capitulos a precio de xvi [_sic_] mrs: manda su alteza & los del su muy alto consejo que ninguno no sea osado de los empremir ni vender en todos sus reynos & señorios desde el dia dela fecha destos capitulos fasta tres años primeros siguientes sin licencia d’los dichos maestre Garcia de la Torre & Alonso Lorenço libreros: so pena que el que los emprimiere [o] vendiere sin su licencia pague diez mill marauedis para la camara de sus altezas.
Forasmuch as Master Garcia de la Torre, bookseller, of Toledo, and Alonso Lorenço, bookseller, of Seville, bind themselves to offer the said Ordinances at the price of sixteen maravedis, His Highness, with those of his illustrious Council, commands that no one presume to print nor to sell copies in all his kingdoms and dominions from the day of the ratification of the said Ordinances for the first three years following, without the license of the said Master Garcia de la Torre and Alonso Lorenço, booksellers, under penalty that the unlicensed printer or vendor shall pay ten thousand maravedis for the Chamber of their Highnesses.
In Germany, on the other hand, the longer period favored in Italy seems to have been adopted. Here the earliest privileges I have come across are those granted to the Sodalitas Celtica of Nuremberg—_i.e._, to Conrad Celtes and his partners or friends—for printing books in which he was interested. In the first of these privileges—that for the Comedies of the nun Hroswitha—the period for which it held good is not specified; but in that granted to Celtes in the following year for his own “Quatuor Libri Amorum” it is distinctly stated, “ut nullus haec in decem annis in Imperii urbibus imprimat”; _i.e._, that under the terms of the privilege no one might print the book in any town of the Empire for ten years.
The instances of privileges here quoted may not be the very earliest in their several countries, but they at least show how quickly the demand for this form of protection spread from one country of Europe to another. It seems to me a little remarkable that while publishers were at the pains to obtain such legal monopolies (which presumably cost money), and advertised all the other attractions of their books so freely, they should have said so little about the illustrations which often form so pleasant a feature in the editions of this period. In the colophon, as on the title-page, of the “Meditationes” of Cardinal Turrecremata printed by Ulrich Han at Rome we are informed where the woodcuts were copied from:
Contemplaciones deuotissime per reuerendissimum dominum dominum Iohannem de Turrecremata cardinalem quondam Sancti Sixti edite, atque in parietibus circuitus Marie Minerue nedum litterarum caracteribus verum eciam ymaginum figuris ornatissime descripte atque depicte, feliciter finiunt Anno salutis M.cccc.lxxii. die uero uigesima quarta mensis decembris sedente Sixto quarta [_sic_] pontifice magno, etc.
The most devout contemplations published by the most reverend lord, Lord Johannes de Turrecremata, formerly cardinal of S. Sixtus, and in the walls of the cloisters of S. Maria Minerva not only in words and letters but also in pictorial figures set forth and painted, come to a happy end, in the year of Salvation 1472, on December 24th, in the pontificate of Sixtus IV.
So again the colophon of the Verona Valturius notes not only that John of Verona was the first printer in his native town, but also that the book appeared with most elegant types “et figuratis signis,” by which we must understand the pictorial representations of the numerous military engines he describes. In some of the French Horae the illustrations are just alluded to in the titles or colophons, and in Meidenbach’s “Ortus Sanitatis” there is a fairly long reference, in the Address to the Reader, to the “effigies et figuras” with which the book is so successfully adorned. But the only colophon which really does justice to the illustrations of a fifteenth-century book is that to Hartmann Schedel’s “Liber Chronicarum,” or “Nuremberg Chronicle.”
[A]Dest nunc studiose lector finis libri Cronicarum per viam epithomatis et breuiarii compilati, opus quidem preclarum et a doctissimo quoque comparandum. Continet enim gesta quecunque digniora sunt notatu ab initio mundi ad hanc usque temporis nostri calamitatem. Castigatumque a uiris doctissimis ut magis elaboratum in lucem prodiret. Ad intuitum autem et preces prouidorum ciuium Sebaldi Schreyer et Sebastiani Kamermaister hunc librum dominus Anthonius Koberger Nuremberge impressit. Adhibitis tamen uiris mathematicis pingendique arte peritissimis, Michaele Wolgemut et Wilhelmo Pleydenwurff, quorum solerti acuratissimaque animaduersione tum ciuitatum tum illustrium uirorum figure inserte sunt. Consummatum autem duodecima mensis Iulii. Anno salutis nostre 1493.
You have here, studious reader, the end of the book of Chronicles, compiled by way of an epitome and abridgment, a notable work indeed, and one to be bought by every learned man. For it records all the matters specially worthy of note from the beginning of the world to these last distressful times of our own. And it has been corrected by very learned men, that it may make a more finished appearance. Now at the respect and prayers of those prudent citizens, Sebald Schreyer and Sebastian Kamermaister, this book has been printed by Master Anton Koberger at Nuremberg, with the assistance, nevertheless, of mathematical men, well skilled in the art of painting, Michael Wolgemut and Wilhelm Pleydenwurff, by whose skilful and most accurate annotation the pictures both of cities and of illustrious men have been inserted. It has been brought to an end on July 12th. In the year of our salvation 1493.
Out of all the hundreds of fifteenth-century books with interesting pictures, this is the only one I can call to mind which gives explicit information as to its illustrations. Perhaps the publishers thought that the woodcuts were themselves more conspicuous in the books than the colophons. But it is certainly strange that when authors, editors, press-correctors, printers, patrons, and booksellers all get their due, the illustrators, save in this one instance, should have been kept in anonymous obscurity.
COLOPHONS OF AUTHORS AND EDITORS
Booksellers are a much more learned body than they used to be, but few readers of second-hand catalogues can have failed to meet with ascriptions of dates for the printing of books long anterior to the invention of the art, on the ground of colophons which they know at once to have been written by the authors. Where only a few years separate the dates of composition and publication the mistake is easily made and not always easily detected. The retention of the author’s original colophon is, however, common enough for cataloguers to be prepared for it; and there are plenty of cases in which a book possesses two quite distinct colophons, the first by the author, the second by the printer or publisher. Thus, to take a simple example from a famous book, we find at the end of the text of the “Hypnerotomachia” the author’s colophon:
Taruisii cum decorissimis Poliae amore lorulis distineretur misellus Poliphilus. M.cccc.lxvii. Kalendis Maii.
At Treviso, while the wretched Polifilo was confined by love of Polia with glittering nets. May 1, 1467.
That of the printer is thirty-two years later:
Venetiis mense Decembri M I D in aedibus Aldi Manutii, accuratissime.
At Venice, in the month of December, 1499, in the house of Aldo Manuzio, with very great accuracy.
A more interesting instance of a double colophon occurs in an equally famous book, the “Morte d’Arthur” of Sir Thomas Malory. In this Malory writes:
Here is the end of the booke of Kyng Arthur and of his noble Knyghtes of the Round Table, that when they were hole togyders there was euer an C and xl, and here is the ende of the deth of Arthur. I praye you all Ientyl men and Ientyl wymmen that redeth this book of Arthur and his knyghtes from the begynnyng to the endyng, praye for me whyle I am on lyue that God sende me good delyuerance, and whan I am deed I praye you all praye for my soule. For this book was ended the ix yere of the reygne of Kyng Edward the fourth, by Syr Thomas Maleore Knyght. As Ihesu helpe hym for hys grete myght, as he is the seruaunt of Ihesu bothe day and nyght.
This colophon was written between Malory’s outlawry in 1468 and his death on March 14, 1471, and its request for the reader’s prayers for his “delyuerance” and for the repose of his soul after death is made all the more pathetic when we remember the author’s declaration that by sickness “al welthe is birafte” from a prisoner (Book ix, ch. 37). Caxton’s preface as editor, printer, and publisher, on the other hand, is purely businesslike, and gives us no more information about the author.
¶ Thus endyth thys noble and joyous book entytled Le Morte D’Arthur. Notwythstondyng it treateth of the byrth, lyf and actes of the sayd Kyng Arthur, of his noble knyghtes of the Rounde Table, theyr meruayllous enquestes and aduentures, thacheuyng of the Sangreal, & in thende the dolorous deth & departyng out of thys world of them al. Whiche book was reduced into englysshe by Syr Thomas Malory Knyght as afore is sayd, and by me deuyded in to xxi bookes, chapytred and enprynted, and fynysshed in thabbey westmestre the last day of Iuyl the yere of our Lord Mcccclxxxv.
¶ Caxton me fieri fecit.
Despite outlawry, sickness, and probably imprisonment, Malory finished his book. In the troublous days of the fifteenth century war and disease must often have proved sad interruptions to authors, and in his “Repetitio de verborum significatione” (Hain 11679) Georgius Natta is evidently as proud of having triumphed over these hindrances as of his official position. Thus he writes:
Reliquum est Deo summo gratias agere quo auctor huic operi, iam bis armis et pestilentia Pisis intermisso, Georgius Natta, iuris utriusque doctor, ciuis Astensis ac illustrissimi et excellentissimi Marchionis Montisferrati consiliarius, multis additis et priori ordine in aliquibus mutato, extremam manum imposuit anno dominice natiuitatis Millesimo.cccc.lxxxii, quo tempore pro memorabili Guilielmo Montisferrati Marchione ac ducali capitaneo generali Mediolani oratorem agebat apud illustrissimum Io. Galeam Mariam Sfortiam uicecomitem Ducem sextum, Ludouico patruo mira integritate gubernante, quippe qui Mediolanensium res iam tunc adeo gnauiter ampliabat et oranti Italie pacem adeo largiter elargiebatur ut nec superior etas optabiliorem habuerit nec nostra uiderit prestantiorem. Profecto mira res quod diuinus ille preses Marti pariter et Minerue satisfaceret.
Impressum Papie per Christoforum de Canibus Anno a natiuitate domini. M.cccc.lxxxxii. die xv septembris.
[Illustration: Georgius Natta. Repetitiones. Pavia: C. de Canibus, 1492.]
It remains to give thanks to the Most High God, by whose grace the author, Georgius Natta, doctor of both laws, a citizen of Asti and councillor of the most illustrious and most excellent Marquis of Monferrat, to this work, which had been twice interrupted by war and plague at Pisa, with many additions and some changes in the former arrangement, put the finishing touch in the year of the Lord’s nativity 1482, at which time, on behalf of the memorable Guglielmo, Marquis of Monferrat, and ducal captain-general, he was acting as ambassador at Milan, at the court of the most illustrious Viscount Giovanni Galea Maria Sforza, sixth duke, whose uncle Lodovico was governing with wondrous uprightness, inasmuch as he was already so skilfully enlarging the fortunes of the Milanese, and so liberally imparting peace to Italy which craved it, that neither did any earlier age present a more enviable person nor did our own behold one of greater excellence. Wonderful indeed was it that that heroic ruler gave their due alike to Mars and to Minerva.
Printed at Pavia by Cristoforo degli Cani in the year from the Lord’s nativity 1492, on the fifteenth day of September.
Less contented with his lot, Henricus Bruno, in his lectures “Super Institutionibus” published at Louvain, after writing the formal colophon takes up his pen anew to give eloquent expression to the woes of the professional man who devotes his leisure not to rest but to literature.
Ad laudem et honorem summi ac omnipotentis deique marie matris sue intacte Explicit Henricus de piro super Institutionibus Per Egidium van der Heerstraten in alma Louaniensi uniuersitate Impressus duodecima die Nouembris. Nouissime domini et fratres dilectissimi reminiscite queso ac tacite in animis vestris cogitate quantis laboribus quantisque capitis vexationibus Ego Henricus Brunonis alias de Piro de Colonia inter legum dectores [_sic_] minimus hoc opusculum ex scriptis aliorum pro vestris beniuolenciis atque augmentatione huius nouelli studii Louaniensis expleuerim Qui singulis diebus post lectionem fftorum mihi a publico deputatam in continenti hoc opus quasi intollerabili onere assumpsi. Quare fratres humanissimi si quicquid erroris vel dignum correctionis inueneritis oro, rogo atque obtestor vestros immortales animos vt illud benigne non mordaciter, caritatis zelo non liuoris aculeo, corrigendum ac emendandum curetis. Ad laudem summi dei qui viuit et regnat in secula benedictus. Amen.
[Illustration: Henricus Bruno. Super Institutionibus. Louvain: Aeg. van der Heerstraten [1488?].]
To the praise and honor of the Most High and Almighty God and of Mary his Virgin Mother there comes to an end Henricus de Piro on the Institutions, printed by Egidius van der Heerstraten in the bounteous University of Louvain, on the twelfth day of November. Lastly, masters and most beloved brothers, remember, I pray you, and silently in your minds consider with how great toils and how great harassments of the head I, Henricus, the son of Bruno, otherwise Henricus de Piro of Cologne, the least among the doctors and readers of the law, have completed this little work out of the writings of other men for your profiting and for the advancement of this new university of Louvain. Now I, day by day, after lecturing on the Pandects according to the terms of my public appointment, forthwith took up this work, though intolerably burdensome. Wherefore, my most courteous brethren, if you find any trace of error or anything worthy of correction, I request, pray, and entreat you, by your immortal souls, that you see to its correction and amendment in a kindly rather than a biting spirit, with the zeal of love rather than the spur of envy. To the praise of the Most High God, who lives and reigns, blessed to all ages. Amen.
Even as late as 1580 an author, a musician this time, used the colophon to pour out the griefs of which nowadays we disburden ourselves in prefaces. It is thus that, in his “Cantiones seu Harmoniae sacrae quas vulgo Moteta vocant,” Johann von Cleve took advantage of the tradition of the colophon to bespeak the sympathy of students and amateurs of music for his troubles in bringing out his book:
Sub calce operis, Musicae studiosos & amatores admonere, operae pretium visum est hoc Motetorum opus, primo Philippo Vlhardo, ciui et Typographo Augustano, ad imprimendum esse delegatum, qui ob aduersam corporis valetudinem (vt fieri solet) aequo morosior, saepe nostram intentionem non est assecutus, meque opus ipsum, praetermissis quibusdam mutetis (quae tamen breui, vita comite & Deo fauente, in lucem prodibunt) abbreuiare coegit, praesertim cum idem Typographus, opere nondum finito, diem suum clauserit extremum: ac deinceps idem opus Andreae Reinheckel, ad finem deducendum, sit commissum. Quare si quid, quod curiosum turbare posset occurrerit, Musici (oro) animam ferunt aequiore. Valete. Anno Domini M.D.lxxx. Mense Ianuario.
As I come to the end of my task it seems worth while to inform students and amateurs of music that this collection of Motets was in the first place entrusted to Philip Ulhard, citizen and printer of Augsburg, to be printed, and that he (as often happens), being made unreasonably capricious by bodily ill-health, often did not carry out our intention, and compelled me, by leaving out some motets (which, however, if life bears me company and God helps, will shortly be published), to abridge the work, and more especially as the same printer, when the work was not yet finished, came to an end of his days, and thereupon the said work was entrusted to Andreas Reinheckel to be completed, if anything, therefore, is found which might disturb a connoisseur, I pray musicians to bear it with equanimity. Farewell. In the year of the Lord 1580, in the month of January.
An earlier author, Bonetus de Latis, when he came to the end of his “Annulus astronomicus siue de utilitate astrologiae” (Rome, Andreas Freitag, c. 1496; Hain 9926), dedicated to the Pope, had no complaints to make of his printer or of working after office hours, but used the colophon to ask for lenient criticism of any flaws in his Jewish Latin.
Hec sunt, Beatissime Pater, Anuli astronomici puncta peregregia una mecum ad S. tue pedes humillime oblata que positis superciliis hilari uultu, ut spes fovet, recipias. Nec mirum si grammatice methas qui hebreus sum latinitatis expers nonnunquam excesserim. Nolens utile per inutile viciari malui S. T. rosulas uili quam urticas loliumue in preciosa offerre sportula: ut que ad S. T. totiusque reipublice commodum omniumque rerum Opificis laudem utilia comperta sunt ob connexiones verborum enormes non obmitterentur, summa verum auctoritate tua interposita a cunctis patule agnoscerentur.
Parce precor rudibus que sunt errata latine: Lex hebraea mihi est: lingua latina minus.
These notable points of the Astronomical Ring are most humbly offered, most blessed Father, together with myself, at the feet of your Holiness. May you lay aside all disdain and receive them, as hope encourages, with a joyful countenance. Nor is it any wonder if a Hebrew such as I am, with no scholarship in Latin, should sometimes have overstepped the bounds of grammar. In my unwillingness that the useful should be made of no effect by the useless, I preferred to offer to your Holiness rosebuds in a cheap basket rather than nettles or tares in a precious one, so that such useful discoveries as have been made for the advantage of your Holiness and of the whole state, and to the praise of the Artificer of all things, should not be passed over on account of unusual collocations of words, but by the interposition of your authority should be plainly recognized by all.
Be lenient, you who find some Latin flaw: Not Latin I profess, but Hebrew law.
Jacobus Bergomensis, when he finishes his “Supplementum Chronicarum,” can boast proudly of promises performed, and gives not only the dates of its completion and printing, but his own age.
Hic igitur terminum ponam Supplementi historiarum: quam [_sic_] me promisi cum omni veritate traditurum. Nisus autem sum sine errore successiones regum principum et actus eorum: ac virorum in disciplinis excellentium et origines religionum: sicut ex libris hystoricorum descriptio continet. Hoc enim in exordio huius operis me facere compromisi. Perfectum autem per me opus fuit anno salutis nostre 1483. 3º Kalendas Iulii in ciuitate Bergomi: mihi vero a natiuitate quadragesimo nono. Impressum autem hoc opus in inclita Venetiarum ciuitate: per Bernardinum de Benaliis bergomensem eodem anno. die 23º Augusti.
Here, then, I will make an end of the Supplement of Histories, which I promised that I would relate with all truth. Now I have tried to set down without mistake the successions of kings and princes, and the activities of them and of the men who excelled in studies, and the origins of religions as they are embraced in the description taken from the books of the historians. For in the introduction of this work I pledged myself to do this. The work has been finished by me in the year of our salvation 1483, on June 29th, in the city of Bergamo, and as regards myself in the forty-ninth year from my birth. Now this book was printed in the renowned city of Venice by Bernardino dei Benali of Bergamo on August 23d of the same year.
When the “Supplementum Chronicarum” was reprinted in 1485-86, Bergomensis duly altered his statement as to his age to fifty-one and fifty-two. In the 1490 edition the author’s colophon still reads:
Perfectum autem est et denuo castigatum atque auctum per me opus fuit Idibus Octobris: anno a Natali Christiano M.cccc.lxxxvi, in ciuitate nostra Bergomi: mihi vero a natiuitate quinquagesimo secundo.
That of the printer, on the other hand, is duly brought up to date:
Impressum autem Venetiis per Bernardum Rizum de Nouaria anno a Natiuitate domini M.cccc.lxxxx. die decimo quinto Madii, regnante inclito duce Augustino Barbadico.
It is thus evident that with this and later editions Bergomensis, though he lived to be eighty-six, did not concern himself.
An author’s colophon must often have been omitted by the scribe or printer who was copying his book precisely because a double colophon seemed confusing, and the scribe or printer wished to have his own say. Nicolaus de Auximo in his Supplement to the Summa of Pisanella ingeniously forestalled any such tampering by linking his remarks to his exposition of the word “Zelus,” the last which he had to explain. After quoting from the Psalms the text “Zelus domus tue comedit me,” “The zeal of thy house has eaten me up,” he proceeds:
et hic zelus me fratrem Nicolaum de Ausmo, ordinis minorum indignum pro aliquali simpliciorum subsidio ad huius supplementi compilationem quod struente domino nostro Iesu Cristo, excepta tabula capitulorum et abbreuiaturarum et rubricarum expletum est apud nostrum locum prope Mediolanum sancte Marie de Angelis nuncupatum, et uulgariter Sancti Angeli, M.cccc.xliiii, nouembris xxviii, die Sabbati ante aduentum, hora quasi sexta. Et omnia quae in eo ac ceteris opusculis per me compilatis compilandisue incaute seu minus perite posita continentur peritiorum et praesertim sacrosancte ecclesie submitto correctioni, et cetera.
And this zeal hath urged me, Nicholas of Osimo, an unworthy brother of the order of Friars Minor, to the compilation, for some aid of more simple men, of this Supplement, which by the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, save for the table of chapters and abbreviations and rubrics, has been completed at our abode near Milan, called Saint Mary of the Angels, and vulgarly Sant Angelo, in 1444, on November 28, the Saturday before Advent, at about the sixth hour. And both in it and in the other works which either have been or are to be compiled by me, all things which are found stated incautiously or unskilfully I submit to the correction of the better skilled and especially of the Holy Church, etc.
The submission of a book, more particularly a theological one, to the correction of the learned and the church was of course “common form” while the Roman dominion was undisputed, and many colophons containing such phrases could be collected. We must pass on now, however, from authors to editors, taking William Caxton, by the way, as an editor and translator who put so much of himself into his work that he deserves honorary rank among authors. That he was his own printer and publisher as well has certainly rather hindered the appreciation of his literary merits, but gives to his colophons, prologues, and epilogues a special flavor of their own. As to which of these opportunities of talking to his readers he should use, Caxton seems to have cared little; but even if we confine ourselves fairly strictly to colophons properly so called, there is no difficulty in finding interesting examples, as, for instance, this from his “Godefroy of Boloyne”:
Thus endeth this book Intitled the laste siege and conqueste of Iherusalem with many other historyes therin comprysed, Fyrst of Eracles and of the meseases of the cristen men in the holy lande, And of their releef & conquest of Iherusalem, and how Godeffroy of Boloyne was fyrst kyng of the latyns in that royamme, & of his deth, translated & reduced out of frensshe in to Englysshe by me symple persone Wylliam Caxton to thende that euery cristen man may be the better encoraged tenterprise warre for the defense of Christendom, and to recouer the sayd Cyte of Iherusalem in whiche oure blessyd sauyour Ihesu Criste suffred deth for al mankynde, and roose fro deth to lyf, And fro the same holy londe ascended in to heuen. And also that Cristen peple one vnyed in a veray peas myght empryse to goo theder in pylgremage with strong honde for to expelle the sarasyns and turkes out of the same, that our lord myght be ther seruyd & worshipped of his chosen cristen peple in that holy & blessed londe in which he was Incarnate and blissyd it with the presence of his blessyd body whyles he was here in erthe emonge vs, by whiche conquest we myght deserue after this present short and transitorye lyf the celestial lyf to dwelle in heuen eternally in ioye without ende Amen. Which book I presente vnto the mooste Cristen kynge, kynge Edward the fourth, humbly besechyng his hyenes to take no displesyr at me so presumyng. Whiche book I began in Marche the xii daye and fynysshyd the vii day of Juyn, the yere of our lord M.cccc.lxxxi, & the xxi yere of the regne of our sayd souerayn lord kyng Edward the fourth, & in this maner sette in forme and enprynted the xx day of nouembre the yere a forsayd in thabbay of Westmester, by the said Wylliam Caxton.
Here, it will have been noticed, Caxton runs epilogue, colophon, and dedication all into one after his own happy and unpretentious fashion. Our next example is from a book which had indeed a royal patron in France, but in England was brought out at the request of an unnamed London merchant, though its name, “The Royal Book,” has probably had something to do with its high pecuniary value among Caxton’s productions. This colophon runs:
This book was compyled and made atte requeste of Kyng Phelyp of Fraunce, in the yere of thyncarnacyon of our lord M.cc.lxxix, and translated or reduced out of frensshe in to englysshe by me Wyllyam Caxton, atte requeste of a worshipful marchaunt and mercer of London, whyche instauntly requyred me to reduce it for the wele of alle them that shal rede or here it, as for a specyal book to knowe al vyces and braunches of them, and also al vertues by whiche wel vnderstonden and seen may dyrecte a persone to euerlastyng blysse, whyche book is callyd in frensshe le liure Royal, that is to say the ryal book, or a book for a kyng. For the holy scrypture calleth euery man a kyng whiche wysely and parfytly can gouerne and dyrecte hymselfe after vertu, and this book sheweth and enseygneth it so subtylly, so shortly, so perceuyngly and so parfyghtly that for the short comprehencion of the noble clergye and of the right grete substaunce which is comprysed therin It may and ought to be called wel by ryghte and quycke reason aboue al other bookes in frensshe or in englysshe, the book ryal or the book for a kyng, and also bycause that it was made and ordeyned atte request of that ryght noble kyng Phelyp le bele kynge of Fraunce ought it to be called Ryall, as tofore is sayd, whiche translacyon or reducyng oute of frensshe in to englysshe was achyeued, fynysshed and accomplysshed the xiii day of Septembre in the yere of thyncarnacyon of our lord M.cccc.lxxxiiii And in the second yere of the Regne of Kyng Rychard the thyrd.
Our third Caxton colophon belongs to another book which had no royal or princely patron, only Master William Daubeney, keeper of the jewels. There are certainly, however, no lack of kings in the colophon to “Charles the Great”; for Caxton, who had good reason to be attached to the House of York, alludes very ceremoniously to “his late master Edward IV,” while chronology compels him to name also both Richard III and Henry VII, though in neither case does he bestow any complimentary epithets.
And by cause I Wylliam Caxton was desyred & requyred by a good and synguler frende of myn, Maister Wylliam Daubeney, one of the tresorers of the Iewellys of the noble & moost crysten kyng our naturel and souerayn lord late of noble memorye kyng Edward the fourth, on whos soule Ihesu haue mercy, to reduce al these sayd hystoryes in to our englysshe tongue, I haue put me in deuoyr to translate thys sayd book as ye here tofore may se, al a long and playn, prayeng alle them that shall rede see or here it to pardon me of thys symple & rude translacyon and reducyng, bysechyng theym that shal fynde faute to correcte it, & in so doyng they shal deserue thankynges and I shal praye god for them, who brynge them and me after this short and transytorye lyf to euerlastyng blysse Amen. The whyche werke was fynysshed in the reducyng of hit in to englysshe the xviii day of Iuyn the second yere of kyng Rychard the thyrd, And the yere of our lord M.cccc.lxxxv. And enprynted the fyrst day of decembre the same yere of our lord & the fyrst yere of kyng Harry the seuenth.
Explicit per William Caxton.
The double dating which the worthy translator and printer gives so calmly has here a special interest as (unless indeed he began setting up the translation before it was finished) it shows that he was able to print a book of considerable size between June 18th and December 1st, and also because between these two dates Bosworth Field was lost and won, and the English throne had passed to a new king, on whom Caxton was perhaps at first inclined to look with rather critical eyes. If this was so, however, Henry VII found a sure way to conciliate him, for in the “Fayts of Arms” of Christine de Pisan we find that the translation and printing of the book were undertaken at the king’s request, and there is now no lack of honorific epithets attached to the mention of him.
Thus endeth this boke whiche Cristyne of Pyse made and drewe out of the boke named Vegecius de Re Militari and out of th’ Arbre of Bataylles wyth many other thynges sett in to the same requisite to werre and batailles. Whiche boke beyng in Frenshe was delyuered to me William Caxton by the most crysten kynge and redoubted prynce my natural and souerayn lord kyng Henry the VII, kyng of Englond and of Fraunce in his palais of Westmestre the xxiii day of Ianyuere the iiii yere of his regne and desired and wylled me to translate this said boke and reduce it in to our English and natural tonge, and to put it in enprynte to thende that euery gentylman born to armes and all manere men of werre, captayns, souldiours, vytayllers and all other, shold haue knowlege how they ought to behaue theym in the fayttes of warre and of bataylles, and so delyuered me the said book thenne, my lord th’ Erle of Oxenford awayting on his said grace, Whyche volume conteynyng four bokes I receyued of his said grace and according to his desire, whiche to me I repute a comandement, and verili glad to obeye, and after the lityl connyng that God hath lente me I haue endeuoyrd me to the vtterest of my power to fulfylle and accomplisshe his desire and comaundement, as wel to reduce it in to englyshe as to put it in enprinte, to thende that it may come to the sight and knowlege of euery gentylman and man of warre. And for certayn in myn oppinyon it is as necessary a boke and as requisite as ony may be for euery estate hye and lowe that entende to the fayttes of werre, whether it be in bataylles, sieges, rescowse, and all other fayttes, subtyltees and remedyes for meschieues. Whiche translacyon was finysshed the viii day of Iuyll the sayd yere and enprynted the xiiii day of Iuyll next folowyng and ful fynyshyd. Thenne syth I haue obeyed his most dredeful comaundement I humbly byseche his most exellent and bounteuous hyenes to pardone me of this symple and rude translacion, where in be no curyous ne gaye termes of rethoryk, but I hope to almighti God that it shal be entendyble and vnderstanden to euery man and also that it shal not moche varye in sentence fro the copye receyued of my said souerayn lord. And where as I haue erryd or made defaulte I beseche them that fynde suche to correcte it and so dooyng I shal praye for them, and yf ther be ony thyng therin to his pleasir I am glad and thinke my labour wel enployed for to haue the name to be one of the litel seruantes to the hiest and most cristen kyng and prince of the world, whom I byseche almyghty God to preserue kepe and contynue in his noble and most redoubted enterpryses, as wel in Bretayn, Flaundres and other placis, that he may haue victorie, honour and renommee to his perpetual glorye. For I haue not herd ne redde that ony prynce hath subdued his subgettis with lasse hurte &c and also holpen his neighbours and frendis out of this londe, In whyche hye enterprises I byseche almyghty God that he may remayne alleway vyctoryous And dayly encreace fro vertu to vertue, and fro better to better to his laude & honour in this present lyf, that after thys short and transitorye lyf he may atteyne to euerlastyng lyf in heuen, whiche God graunte to hym and to alle his lyege peple Amen.
Passing now from authors and semi-authors (if we may invent such a class to do honor to Caxton) to editors of a more ordinary stamp, we shall find that they, or the printers who hired them, in their anxiety to magnify their achievements, have frequent recourse to the opportunities offered by colophons. For unflinching and pretentious self-advertisement the palm, as far as my experience reaches, must be given to Bartolommeo Cepolla, who collected and edited the “consilia,” or counsel’s opinions, of Paulus de Castro, a celebrated jurist:
Si quis rerum omnium naturas inspexerit: vnamquamque non minus suo ordine quam partibus constare facile intelliget. Nec qui pro construendis edibus structori materiam parat sed qui pro consummati operis expeditione dispositam artificiose connectit domum edificare perhibetur: eique iure optimo architecti dum taxat nomen indidimus. Nemo namque sane mentis plineturgos aut cementarios edificatores merito nuncupabit, hi licet coctilia ac reliquia pro ceteris conglutinandis particulis administrent: hominem neque progenuisse naturam iudicaremus si hominis crura vertebris vero ac inguinibus caput et humeros addidisset, quando quidem et si nullius portiuncule integritate caruisset solius tamen situs incongruitate monstruosa res non rationis particeps animal diceretur. Cum itaque clarissimi ac excellentissimi iureconsulti Pauli Castrensis dilapsa undique neque in unum corpus redacta consilia cernerentur non ea fuisse edita seu composita dici posse videbant[ur], ac deperiisse potius tantum opus tamque elegantissimum quam in lucem peruenisse merito arbitraretur, communi studentium utilitati parens, quibus maxima pro eorum beniuolentia summisque in eum benemeritis seipsum debere fatetur, insignis eques et comes ac iuris ciuilis et pontificii interpres famosissimus Bartholomeus Cepolla Veronensis, aduocatus consistorialis, in florentissimo gymnasio Patauino ordinariam iuris ciuilis de mane publice legens, singula queque ab eo clarissimo uiro hinc inde consulta colligere elaborauit: fieri etiam unum reintegratum volumen (quod merito Repertorium Pauli Castrensis appellamus) ad faciliorem doctrinam capescendam curauit ac omnibus eius professionis imposterum accomodatum patere studuit. Idque impressoria arte Nurnberge de mense Octobris M.cccc.lxxxv Indictione tercia: per Anthonium Koburger actum est et diligentia completum.
Any one who has examined the natures of things in general will easily understand that each of them is the result quite as much of its arrangement as of its parts. Nor is he who makes ready the material for the mason to construct a dwelling considered to be the builder of the house, but rather he who skilfully combines the material available for the furtherance of the complete work, and by the best right it is only to this man that we have given the name of architect. For no one in his right mind will entitle tilers and bricklayers builders, although they furnish the bricks and what else is wanted for cementing together the other parts, nor should we judge nature to have given birth to a man if a man’s legs had been added to his vertebræ and a head and shoulders to his middle, since although every portion were there in its entirety, yet merely from the incongruity of their position the result would be called a monstrosity, not an animal partaking of reason. So when of the most famous and excellent counsellor Paulus Castrensis the Opinions were perceived to have been scattered abroad and not brought together into one body, it seemed impossible to speak of them as having been edited or compiled, and it might justly be thought that this great and most elegant work had rather utterly perished than been brought to the light of day. Obeying therefore the convenience of students, to whom he acknowledges himself indebted for their great good will and many services to him, a noble knight and count and very renowned exponent alike of civil and papal law, Bartholomeus Cepolla of Verona, an advocate of the consistorial court, who lectures publicly of a morning in the most flourishing University of Padua on the ordinary course of civil law, has taken the pains to gather from all sides all the individual opinions given by that most distinguished man, and has arranged, in order that his teaching may more easily be understood, for the publication of a single renovated volume, which we rightly call the Repertory of Paulus Castrensis, and has made it his care that this should be available in future for all of his profession, and this by the printer’s art has been finished and diligently completed at Nuremberg in October, 1485, the third indiction, by Anton Koburger.
A more normal example of the custom of blaming previous printers and editors—and it must be owned that the accusations hurled at them are, as a rule, much better justified than the vituperator’s assertions of his own superiority—may be taken from another law-book, a lecture or commentary by Petrus de Ancharano, printed and, as he asserts, edited by Benedictus Hectoris at Bologna.
[Illustration: Petrus de Ancharano. Repetitio. Bologna: Jo. Jac. de Benedictis for Benedictus Hectoris, 1493.]
Opus pene diuinum celeberrimi vtriusque censure interpretis d. Petri de Ancharano in materia statutorum super caput canonum statuta de constitutionibus, quod prius Rome tum Bononie Impressum fuerat, adeo corruptum atque inemendatum fuerat vitio scriptorum et impressorum incuria vt vix tanti viri opus obtenebratum foret: nunc vero per Benedictum Hectoris librarium prius magna arte castigatum, demum originali proprio reperto enucleatius emendatum, editum est, quo si vera fateri licet et multa frustra addita detraxit et maiora detracta addidit impressitque fideliter in eadem ciuitate Bononie. Anno Domini M.cccc.lxxxxiij. tertio nonas Augusti.
The little less than divine work of the most famous interpreter of both codes, Dom. Petrus de Ancharano, in the matter of the statutes, on the chapter “Canonum statuta de constitutionibus,” which first at Rome, afterwards at Bologna, had been printed, by the fault of copyists and the carelessness of the printers, so corruptly and with so little correction that the work of so great a man was hardly shadowed out, now, on the other hand, by Benedictus Hectoris, stationer, has first with great skill been corrected and then by the discovery of the author’s original more purely emended, and so published, whereby, if truth may be told, he has both removed many vain additions and has added more things that had been removed, and has faithfully printed it in the same city of Bologna in the year of the Lord 1493, on August 3d.
Legal works are usually crabbed reading in themselves, and in the fifteenth century were made infinitely more so by the multiplicity of contractions used in printing them. It might seem natural, therefore, that there should be a special difficulty in obtaining correctness in these texts. But, as a matter of fact, to whatever department of knowledge we turn, we shall still find the fifteenth-century editor exclaiming against the wickedness of his predecessors. Thus, if we go to divinity, we may find as loud complaints as any law lecturer could formulate in the colophon to the Hagenau edition of Gabriel Biel’s sermon on the Lord’s Passion.
Dominice passionis trium partium notabilium sermo preclarus domini Gabrielis Biel supranotati. Qui olim negligenter: ex mendoso exemplari: et sub falso titulo impressus, postea emendatus ex originali et per prefatum Florentium diel diligenter revisus: in laudem altissimi innovatus clariusque interstinctus atque emendatus: non modo in sententiarum quarundam defectibus: verum etiam in orthographia. Et in imperiali opido hagenau impressus.
The excellent sermon of the above-mentioned Dom Gabriel Biel on the three noteworthy parts of the Lord’s Passion, which formerly was carelessly printed from a faulty copy and under a wrong title, afterwards corrected from the original and diligently revised by the aforesaid Florentinus Diel, unto the glory of the Most High has been renovated, more clearly divided, and emended, not only in the defects of certain sentences but also in the spelling, and printed in the imperial town of Hagenau.
To print a book (i) carelessly, (ii) from a faulty copy, and (iii) under a wrong title was really reprehensible, yet after all this detraction there is something quite pleasing in coming across a colophon like that to S. Augustine’s Exposition on the Psalms, in which Johann von Amerbach of Basel, instead of vilifying his predecessors, is content to appeal to the judgment of experts in matters of editing and textual criticism.
Post exactam diligentemque emendationem. Auctore deo: perfectum est insigne atque preclarum hoc opus explanationis psalmorum: Diui ac magni doctoris Augustini. Opus reuera maiori commendatione se dignum exhibens legentibus, quam quibusvis verbis explicari possit: vt ex prefatione et prologo ipsius evidenter colligi potest. Quanto vero studio et accuratione castigatum: emendatum: et ordinatum sit: hi iudicent qui illud aliis similibus sibi: siue manuscriptis: siue ere impressis litteris contulerint. Consummatum Basilee per magistrum Ioannem de Amerbach Anno Domini M.cccc.lxxxix.
After exact and diligent revision, by the help of God, this renowned and excellent work has been completed, the Explanation of the Psalms of the divine and great doctor Augustine, a work in very truth approving itself to its readers as worthy of greater praise than can be unfolded in any words, as can plainly be gathered from its preface and prologue. But with how much study and accuracy it has been corrected, emended, and set in order, let those judge who have compared it with other texts like itself, whether in manuscript or in brass-printed letters. Finished at Basel by Master Johann von Amerbach A.D. 1489.
Perhaps even more cheering than this pleasant and reasonable self-confidence is the mild shadow of an oath, a simple “Hercule,” with which Heinrich Quentell asseverates that his edition of the De Veritate of S. Thomas Aquinas truly rejoices in the true title of truth! We may note also the little arrangement by which the printer contrived to bring his work to an end on the very day of the saint’s festival.
Diui Thome aquinatis doctoris angelici illuminatissimi summa de veritate, per theozophie professorem eximium, Magistrum Theodericum de Susteren, insignis conuentus Coloniensis ordinis fratrum Predicatorum regentem profundissimum, denuo peruigili studio in luculentam erecta consonantiam, adeo hercule vt vere vero veritatis titulo gaudeat. Impressa Agrippine opera atque impensis prouidi viri Henrici Quentell, ciuis eiusdem. Anno salutis humane nonagesimonono supra millesimum quadringentesimum Ipso die celebritatis autoris cursu felici ad finem vsque perducta.
The Summa de Veritate (Epitome of Truth) of St. Thomas Aquinas, the angelic and most illuminate doctor, by the distinguished professor of divine learning Theoderic of Susteren, a regent deeply versed of the famous Cologne Convent of the order of Preaching Friars, newly by assiduous study restored to a fruitful harmony, so by Hercules that it truly rejoices in the true title of Truth, and printed at Cologne by the efforts and at the expense of the prudent Heinrich Quentell, citizen of the same, in the year of man’s salvation 1499, has been brought with favorable course even unto completion on the very festival of its author.
In all these books editors could have had no difficulties to deal with save those which arise when texts are copied and recopied with the inevitable introduction of small errors at every stage, and perhaps some even more dangerous attempts to correct those already made. But in one class of printing, that of liturgical books, in which absolute accuracy of text and punctuation was of supreme importance, the need for careful supervision was really very great,—so much so, indeed, that the great bulk of liturgical printing was entrusted to firms who made a specialty of it. It is not surprising, therefore, to find some special insistence on the editorial virtues of a missal-printer; and the colophon to the Salzburg Missal printed by Georg Stuchs at Nuremberg in 1498 is interesting for its detailed account of the system of punctuation.
Missale et de tempore et de sanctis non modo secundum notulam metropolitane ecclesie Salisburgensis ordinatum, verum etiam haud exigua opera adhibita, tum in quottis foliorum locandis, tum in remissionis discreto numero tam circa quamlibet lectionem vel prophetalem vel apostolicam quam circa quodlibet euangelium alio in loco plenarie locatum, situando reuisum. Deinde autem per cola et comata distinctum. Simplici puncto in collectis secretis complendis lectionibus epistolis et euangeliis locato colum indicante, gemino uero puncto coma significante: sed in introitu graduali alleluia sequentiis offertoris et communione puncto simplici locato mediam distinctionem que comatis appellatione venit presentante, gemino autem puncto subdistinctionem que colum nuncupatur signante. Demum uero in officina Georii [_sic_] Stöchs ex Sulczpach, ciuis Nurnbergensis, expensa Ioannis Ryman impressum. Idibus Augusti anni ab incarnatione Messye nonagesimi octaui supra millesimum quadragintesimum: finit.
A missal both for the seasons and saints’ days, not only arranged according to the order of the metropolitan church of Salzburg, but also revised with no small pains, both in setting down the numbers of the leaves and in assigning a distinctly numbered reference for every lesson, whether taken from the books of the Prophets or of the Apostles, and also for every gospel placed elsewhere in its full form: Distinguished, moreover, by colons and commas: in the Collects, Secrets, Post Communions, Lessons, Epistles and Gospels, the placing of a single point denoting a colon, a double point signifying a comma; but in the Introit, Gradual, Alleluia, Sequences, Offertory and Communion the placing of a single point indicating the middle distinction which goes by the name of a comma, the double point the subdistinction which is called a colon. Now at last printed in the workshop of Georg Stuchs of Sulzbach, citizen of Nuremberg, at the expense of Johann Ryman, and completed on the 13th August of the year from the Messiah’s incarnation 1498.
In a Roman missal printed by G. Arrivabenus & P. de Paganinis at Venice in 1484 the colophon alludes to the common practice of correcting the text of a printed missal by hand, sometimes to bring it up to date, but also for the elimination of the printer’s errors. In this case the printers make bold to say that their text is so correct that any one who tampers with it rashly is as likely to turn right into wrong as wrong into right.
[Illustration: Roman Missal. Venice: G. Arriuabenus and P. de Paganinis, 1484.]
Explicit missale secundum morem romane ecclesie, summa cum diligentia et fideli studio purgatum ab his erroribus quibus uel ignorantia uel incuria librariorum adductis communis abusus inualuit. Quocirca quicunque legerit obsecratum uelim ne adhibeat manum precipitem ad corrigendam uel potius corrumpendam libri rectitudinem magno partam labore, sed multiplicato sincero examine postmodum exequatur quicquid recta ratio et spiritus veritatis ingesserit. Ad laudem omnipotentis dei et sanctissime uirginis matris eius, totiusque curie celestis. Impressum Venetiis arte et impensis Georgii de Riuabenis Mantuani et Paganini de Paganinis Brixiani sociorum: sub Inclyto duce Ioanne Mocenico, quinto kalendas octobris. M.cccclxxxiiii. Amen.
Here ends the Missal according to the custom of the Roman Church, with the utmost diligence and faithful study purged from the errors with which, introduced by the ignorance and carelessness of copyists, the common perversion became established. Wherefore I would pray whoever reads it not to lay hasty hands to the correction, or rather corruption, of the accuracy of the book, which was obtained only by great labor; but let him examine it again and again with a single heart and thereafter carry out whatever right reason and the spirit of truth suggest. To the praise of Almighty God and of the most holy Virgin his Mother, and of all the court of heaven. Printed at Venice by the skill and at the charges of Georgio di Arrivabene of Mantua and Paganino dei Paganini of Brescia, partners, under the renowned doge Giovanni Mocenigo, 27 September, 1484. Amen.
Somewhat in the same spirit as the boast of the Venetian missal-printers, we find Koberger declaring—let us hope, after consulting ecclesiastical authorities—that his edition of the Revelations of S. Bridget is so complete that if any one produces additional revelations they may be dismissed as spurious.
Finit diuinum volumen omnium celestium Reuelationum preelecte sponse christi sancte Birgitte de regno Suetie. A religiosis patribus originalis monasterii sanctarum Marie et Brigitte in Watzstenis, prematuro studio et exquisita diligentia, in hos suprascriptos numerum et ordinem accuratius comportatum. Et si forte alique alie reuelationes, sicut repertum est, beate Brigitte per errorem aut temerarie a quoque quomodolibet ascribantur, preter has que in hoc presenti volumine aut in vita seu legenda sancte Birgitte maiori continentur, tanquam false et erronee decernentur.
Insuper iam alterato per Anthonium Koberger ciuem Nurembergensem impresse finiunt. Anno domini M.ccccc. xxi. mensis Septembris. Laus omnipotenti deo. Amen.
Here ends the divine volume of all the heavenly Revelations of the preëlect spouse of Christ, Saint Bridget of the kingdom of Sweden. The religious fathers of the original monastery of Saints Mary and Bridget in Wadstena, by most mature study and extraordinary diligence, have reduced them more accurately to the above number and arrangement. And if haply, as has been found the case, other revelations are through error or carelessness by any one or in any manner ascribed to the blessed Bridget besides those contained in this present volume or in the larger Life or Legend of Saint Bridget, they shall be treated as false and erroneous.
Printed now for the second time by Anton Koberger, citizen of Nuremberg, and brought to an end on September 21st, A.D. 1500. Praise be to Almighty God. Amen.
Of the views of the editors of classical texts we have already had some specimens in some of the early Venetian colophons. That of Filippo da Lavagna to his edition of the Epistolae Familiares of Cicero (Milan, 1472) is, however, of considerable interest, and tells us, moreover, the number of copies printed, besides conveying a stray hint to the students of the day that the production of further editions of the same excellence would depend on the liberality of their support.
[Illustration: Cicero. Epistolae Familiares. Milan: Lavagna, 1472.]
Epistolarum Familiarium M. Tull. Cic. multa uolumina in diuersis Italiae locis hac noua impressorum arte transcripta sunt, que si ut plurima numero ita etiam studio satis correcta essent nouo hoc labore non fuisset opus. Sed tanto errorum numero confunduntur ut non modo littere pro litteris et pro uerbis uerba perturbatissime inuoluta, uerum etiam epistole in epistolas, libri in libros, sic inueniantur confusi, ne tam doctorum diligentia ad communem utilitatem confecta quam auarissimorum hominum cupiditate lucri gratia festinando conuoluta contorta contaminataque manifeste uideantur. Que cum audirem ex uiris cum doctissimis tum etiam prudentissimis ego Philippus Lauagna, ciuis Mediolanensis, ut pro uirili mea aliqua ex parte meis ciuibus prodessem, nactus exemplar correctissimum, studio diligentissimo hominum doctrina prestantium, trecenta uolumina exscribenda curaui, opera adhibita ut singule pagine antea quam imprimerentur ab aliquo doctorum perlecte essent et castigate: quem ego laborem nisi profudisse uidebor pleraque in futurum accuratissime ut transcribantur laborabo non minori publice quam mee utilitatis ratione seruata.
Barbara cum Marci uerbis admixta legebas: Hunc lege quod verum est hoc Ciceronis opus.
Virgo decus coeli Christi sanctissime mater Laus tibi cum nato sit sine fine tuo.
M.cccc.lxxii. viii kal. Apriles.
Of the Familiar Letters of M. Tullius Cicero many volumes have been copied in different places of Italy by this new art of the printers, and if these, as they are many in number, were also zealously and sufficiently corrected, there had been no need for this new work. But they are confused by so many errors that not only are letters and words substituted for one another in a most disorderly tangle, but also whole epistles and books are found so confused with others that the result plainly appears not so much a compilation by the diligence of learned men for the common profit, as some tangled and contorted mass of corruptions produced by the greed of the avaricious by hurrying for the sake of gain. This when, by the report of most learned and also prudent men, I, Philip Lavagna, a citizen of Milan, understood, in the hope of doing a man’s part in benefiting in some respect my fellow-citizens, I obtained by the most diligent zeal a very correct copy with the help of distinguished scholars, and made it my business to have 300 volumes written out, attention being paid that each page, before it was printed off, should be read over and corrected by one of the doctors. And unless I shall find that I have wasted this labor, I will make it my business that many other texts for the future shall be most accurately copied, the interests of the public being as carefully preserved as my own.
With Tully’s words once phrases rude were twined: Here uncorrupted Cicero you shall find.
Glory of heaven, Christ’s mother, holiest maid, Ever to thee, with him, all praise be paid.
25 March, 1472.
Even better than this, however, is the colophon to the Brescia Lucretius, in which we see the editor dismayed at first by the obvious defects of his copy, but resolving at length to print it on the ground that his inability to find any other was the best proof of its rarity.
Titi Lucretii Cari finis. Lucretii unicum meas in manus cum pervenisset exemplar de eo imprimendo hesitaui: quod erat difficile unico de exemplo quae librarii essent praeterita negligentia illa corrigere. Verum ubi alterum perquisitum exemplar adinuenire non potui, hac ipsa motus difficultate unico etiam de exemplari volui librum quam maxime rarum communem multis facere studiosis: siquidem facilius erit pauca loca uel aliunde altero exemplari extricato uel suo studio castigare et diligentia: quam integro carere uolumine. Presertim cum a fabulis quae uacuas (ut inquit poeta) delectant mentes remotus Lucretius noster de rerum natura questiones tractet acutissimas tanto ingenii acumine tantoque lepore uerborum ut omnes qui illum secuti poete sunt: eum ita suis in descriptionibus imitentur, et Virgilius presertim, poetarum princeps, ut ipsis cum uerbis tria interdum et amplius metra suscipiant. Thoma Ferando auctore.
The end of Titus Lucretius Carus. When a single copy of Lucretius came into my hands I hesitated as to printing it, because it was difficult from a single copy to correct the slips due to the carelessness of the copyist. But when by diligent search I could find no second copy, moved by this very difficulty I was minded even from a single copy to make a book of the greatest rarity common to many scholars, since it will be easier to correct a few places, either by a second copy unearthed from another quarter or by one’s own study and diligence, than to lack a whole volume. Especially since, far removed from the fables which (as the poet says) delight empty minds, our Lucretius handles the keenest questions concerning the nature of things with so much intellectual acumen and verbal elegance that all the poets who have followed him imitate him so in their descriptions, more especially Virgil, the prince of poets, that with his very words they sometimes make three lines and more. Thomas Ferrandus.
The name of Lucretius seldom appears in any of the medieval catalogues, and the number of manuscripts of his “De Rerum Natura” now extant is so small that his first printer’s plea may well be received. Even in comparatively modern books, indeed, a satisfactory text was not always to be obtained for the asking. Chaucer has had no more devout lover than William Caxton, and yet when Caxton printed the “Canterbury Tales” he only succeeded in obtaining a manuscript of the worst class to work from, and when a friend offered him a better text for his second edition the improvement was very slight. In the same way we find the anonymous Florentine editor of two tracts of Domenico Cavalca (we cannot be wrong in assuming that the same editor worked on both) apologizing for the bad text from which he printed the first few pages of the “Frutti della Lingua,” and telling how in the case of the “Specchio di Croce” he had to collate a number of copies in order to replace them by a good printed edition.
(i) Frutti della Lingua.
Impresso in Firenze con somma diligentia emendato e correcto, excepto alcuni fogli del principio di decto tractato: e tale defecto non da nostra inaduertentia, ma da una copia o uero exemplo tutto corropto e falsificato, impresso per lo adrieto in firenze per un altro non diligente impressore procedette. Onde noi cio conoscendo, inuestigando altra copia emendatissima, secondo quella, quanto ledebole forze del nostro ingegno ci hanno porto, habbiamo imposto emendato fine al presente tractato.
Printed in Florence, emended and corrected with the greatest diligence, except for some leaves of the beginning of the said tract, and such defect not through our inadvertence, but from a copy or example wholly corrupt and falsified, printed heretofore in Florence by another printer by no means diligent. Whence we, on learning this, sought out another copy of the greatest correctness, according to which, to the best of the poor powers of our mind, we have put a revised ending to the present tract.
(ii) Specchio di Croce.
Impresso in Firenze con somma diligentia correcti: nella quale correptione non poco habbiamo insudato & affatichatoci: concio sia che di moltissime copie, o vero exempli di questa utile operetta, parte scripti in penna e parte impressi, nessuno nhabbiamo trouato correcto, ma tutti aequalmente incorrecti. Onde noi (benche insufficienti) con quel poco sapere che la natura ci ha porto, habbiamo transcorrendo di molti corropti facto uno quasi correpto: Si che preghiamo li lectori di questa operetta da noi impressa se in epsa alcuna scorreptione troueranno, non ci debbino biasimare, se di quella non pocha faticha che spesa ci habbiamo laudare non ci vorranno: Solo in dio regna perfectione.
Printed in Florence, corrected with the utmost diligence: in the which correction we have sweated and wearied ourselves more than a little; whereas of very many copies or examples of the said useful booklet, some written with pen, some printed, we have found not one correct, but all equally incorrect. Whence we (though ill equipped), with such little skill as nature has given us, have by much revision made out of many corrupt copies one which may be taken as correct. So that we pray the readers of this booklet printed by us, if they shall find any incorrectness in it, not to reproach us therefor, if they will not praise us for the great trouble which we have expended. Perfection reigns only in God.
No doubt the early printers and the editors whom they employed made the most of all these difficulties; yet they must have been real enough, so that, despite the affected language in which it is phrased, the colophon of Nicolas Kessler of Basel to his edition of the “Homeliarius Doctorum” may well command our sympathy.
[Illustration: Homiliae. Basel: N. Kessler, 1498.]
Preclarum Omeliarum opus plurimorum sanctorum aliorumue famosissimorum doctorum super euangeliis de tempore et sanctis, quibusdam eorundem adiunctis sermonibus, Tam verborum ornatu limatum, tamque sententiarum grauitate vbertateque sparsim plantatum, in mercuriali Nicolai Kessler officina Basilee impressum (Imperante illustrissimo Maximiliano rege Romanorum inuictissimo). Non igitur in factorem liuoris tractus aculeo theonino dente correctionis insanias, Sed potius beneficii non ingratus ad exhibita donaria discretionis oculos adhibeas columbinos. Anno incarnationis dominice millesimo quadringentesimo nonagesimo octauo decimo Nonas Augusti. Finit feliciter.
An excellent book of Homilies of many saints and other most famous teachers on the Gospels of the Seasons and the Saints, with certain of their sermons added, polished with verbal ornament and with weighty and fruitful sayings scattered all over it: printed in the mercurial workshop of Nicolas Kessler at Basel (the most illustrious Maximilian the Unconquered, King of the Romans, being Emperor). Do not therefore, impelled by the sting of malice, rage against the compiler with the small satirist’s fang of correction; but rather, not ungrateful for a benefit, turn to the offerings before you the dovelike eyes of discretion. In the year of the Lord’s incarnation 1498, on the tenth of the Nones of August, happily finished.
It is to be feared that the pay of a fifteenth-century “corrector,” when he was paid at all, was far from princely. It is pleasant, therefore, to find that at least one printer, the veteran Ulrich Zell, was so genuinely grateful to a friendly priest who had helped him in seeing Harderwyck’s “Commentaries on Logic” through the press as to make most handsome acknowledgment in his colophon and in verses added to it.
Commentarii in quatuor libros noue logice processum burse Laurentiane famosissimi Agrippinensis Colonie gymnasii continentes per honorabilem virum artium magistrum necnon sacre theologie licentiatum Gerardum Herdarwiccensem actu in eodem regentem, ex diuersis et potissimum Magni Alberti comentarius collecti, et per Udalricum Zell prope Lyskirchen impressoria artis in sancta Coloniensi ciuitate protomagistrum fabre characterizati. Anno virginalis partu Millesimo quadragintesimo super nonagesimum quarto in profesto Conuersionis euangelice tube Pauli Apostoli ad finem optatum sunt perducti, de quo sit deo uni et trino laus honor et gloria per infinita seculorum secula. Amen. Ex quo in hoc tomorum stromateo opere non paruo adiumento mihi fuit honorabilis dominus diue memorie Iacobus Amsfordensis, artium liberalium et sacrarum litterarum professor dum vitam in humanis ageret profundissimus, Ecclesie sancti Iohannis Baptiste pastor, mihi ut frater amicissimus, decreui in calce horum titulum sepulcralem, trito sermone epitaphium appellatum, quem prestantissimus et generosus dominus Rodolphus Langius, vir omnium litterarum laude cumulatissimus, ecclesie Monasteriensis Canonicus, in eundem defunctum, precibus amicorum impulsus, exornauit subjungere, ut dum hunc quos ab errore salutari exhortatione reuocauerit legerint apud altissimum pro anima eius vitificum sacrificium offerant.
The notes on the four books of the new logic containing the process of the Laurentian bursary of the most famous school of Cologne, by an honorable man, master of arts and licentiate of sacred theology, Gerard of Harderwyck, president at that function, brought together from divers notes and specially from those of Albertus Magnus, and by Ulrich Zell, near the Lyskirche, chief practiser of the printer’s art in the holy city of Cologne, skilfully set in type, in the year of the Virgin Birth 1494, on the eve of the Conversion of the Gospel-trumpet, the Apostle Paul, have been brought to their wished-for end, for which to God the One and Three let there be praise, honor, and glory through infinite ages of ages. Amen. And because in this laying down of volumes I received no small help from an honorable master of sacred memory, Jakob of Amsfort, while he lived among men a most profound professor of liberal arts and sacred literature, minister of the church of Saint John Baptist, and to me as a most friendly brother, I determined to subjoin at the end of all this a sepulchral inscription, commonly called an epitaph, which the most excellent and well-born Dom. Rudolph Lange, a man of great distinction in every kind of literature, canon of the monastic church, urged by the prayers of friends, furnished in honor of the dead, that while those whom by his wholesome exhortation he recalled from error read this, they may offer before the Most High the life-giving sacrifice for his soul.
And the Epitaph duly follows, though it need not be quoted here.
REPETITIONS, THEFTS, AND ADAPTATIONS
In our opening chapter it was suggested that if all early books were provided with colophons the work of bibliographers would be much simplified. Some qualifying epithet ought, however, to have been inserted; for there are some colophons which, instead of simplifying the task of assigning to every book its place, printer, and date, greatly aggravate the bibliographer’s troubles. Of deliberately untruthful colophons I can, indeed, only think of a single fifteenth-century example—that in the “Incunabulum of Brescia hitherto ascribed to Florence,” which the late Mr. R. C. Christie tracked down so neatly in the fourth volume of the Bibliographical Society’s Transactions. This occurs in a copy of some of the works of Politian, and reads:
Impressum Florentiae: et accuratissime castigatum opera et impensa Leonardi de Arigis de Gesoriaco Die decimo Augusti M.I.D.
Printed at Florence and most accurately corrected by the work and at the cost of Leonardo dei Arigi of Gesoriaco, on the tenth day of August, 1499.
As a matter of fact, the book, as Mr. Christie showed (and Mr. Proctor accepted his conclusions), was printed with the types of Bernardinus Misinta of Brescia, and the colophon which looks so simple and straightforward deceived bibliographers for some four centuries. Even the increased study of types would by itself hardly have sufficed to detect the fraud, but the fact that it was alluded to, though without mention of the name of the book, in the petition of Aldus to the Venetian Senate (17th October, 1502) put Mr. Christie on the track, and he ran it down with his accustomed neatness and precision. The fraud, of course, was the direct outcome of the first imperfect attempts to give the producers of books a reasonable copyright in them by means of privileges. As Brescia was subject to the Venetian Senate, Misinta, had he put his name in the colophon, could have been punished, and he therefore used a false imprint in order to divert suspicion. When restrictions, right and wrong, multiplied during the sixteenth century, false imprints became increasingly common, and they form a subject by themselves with which we must not here meddle farther. While Misinta’s “Politian” stands by itself, as far as I know, in deliberately trying to mislead purchasers as to its place of imprint, there are quite a considerable number of early books which reprint the colophons of previous editions, and thus tempt the unwary to mistake them for the originals which they copied. Since the decision in the case of Parry _v._ Moring and another, English publishers and those they employ are likely to be much more careful; but in the years immediately preceding it the carelessness with which one “editor” used the text of his predecessor to print from was often extraordinary, one reprint even including a number of duly initialled and copyright notes from another which had appeared only a year or two earlier. If this could be done in our own day, despite the existence of reviewers and the law courts, we may easily imagine that the smaller printers and publishers of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, who could not afford to keep their own scholarly “corrector,” simply handed over existing texts to their workmen and printed them as they stood. In most cases, of course, they had the sense to stop when they came to the colophon; but they did not always do so, and, more especially, when the colophon was in verse an unlearned compositor might easily imagine that it formed an essential part of the book. Thus twelve Latin couplets from the Milan edition of the “Confessionale,” of Bartholomaeus de Chaimis, though they end with the clear statement that Christopher Valdarfer of Ratisbon came to the help of the Milanese and printed this book (October, 1474), were reprinted as they stood in several anonymous Strasburg editions, while Creusner at Nuremberg and Schoeffer at Mainz compromised by leaving out the last six lines, which contain Valdarfer’s name.
Occasionally this careless reprinting leads to a book possessing a double colophon, as in the 1478 Naples edition of the “De Officiis” and other works of Cicero, which uses for his “Letters to Atticus” Jenson’s text of 1470. The colophon begins exactly (save for differences in contractions, punctuation, etc.) as in the Jenson edition already quoted (Chapter III):
M. T. C. epistolae ad Atticum Brutum et Q. Fratrem cum ipsius Attici uita foeliciter expliciunt. M.cccc.lxx
Attice, nunc totus Veneta diffunderis urbe, Cum quondam fuerit copia rara tui. Gallicus hoc Ienson Nicolaus muneris orbi Attulit ingenio Daedalicaque manu. Christophorus Mauro plenus bonitate fideque Dux erat. Auctorem, lector, opusque tenes.
and then proceeds:
Principis Latine eloquentie M. T. C. liber quinque operum intitulatus finit foeliciter. Impressus Neapoli sub pacifico Ferdinando Sicilie rege anno salutis M.cccc.lxxviii. sedente Xisto quarto Pontifice maximo.
The book of the five works of the prince of Latin eloquence, Marcus Tullius Cicero, comes happily to an end. Printed at Naples under Ferdinand the Peaceful, King of Sicily, in the year of salvation 1478, Sixtus IV being Pope.
Such an instance as this shows clearly enough that colophons could be copied verbatim without any intention to make the purchaser believe that he was purchasing the original edition, though it must be owned that many printers took no pains to inform him that he was _not_ purchasing it. It is thus a matter of opinion as to whether they deserve the severest condemnation, or whether this should not rather be reserved for the pirates—for such they really were—who seized another printer’s book, colophon and all, merely substituting their own name for his, and thus claiming in some cases all the credit for the preparation of an original edition.
A striking instance of piracy of this kind, with a curious after-story to it, is that of Conrad of Westphalia’s appropriation of Veldener’s edition of Maneken’s “Epistolarum Formulae,” and of the colophon attached to it. Though a wordy and dull composition, this colophon is certainly distinctive enough:
Si te forsan, amice dilecte, nouisse iuuabit quis huius voluminis Impressorie artis productor fuerit atque magister, Accipito huic artifici nomen esse magistro Iohanni Veldener, cui quam certa manu insculpendi, celandi, intorculandi, caracterandi [_sic_] assit industria: adde et figurandi et effigiandi et si quid in arte secreti est quod tectius oculitur: quamque etiam fidorum comitum perspicax diligentia, ut omnium litterarum imagines splendeant ad gratiam ac etiam cohesione congrua gratiaque congerie mendis castigatis compendeant, tanta quidem concinnitate quod partes inter se et suo congruant universo, ut quoque delectu materie splendoreque forme lucida queque promineant, quo pictionis et connexionis pulchre politure clarique nitoris ecrescat multa uenustas, sunt oculi iudices. Idnam satis facies huius libelli demonstrat, quem multiplicatum magni numeri globo sub placidis atramenti lituris spreto calamo inchoauit, anni septuagesimi sexti aprilis primus perfecitque dies ultimus! Quem artis memorate magistrum si tibi hoc predicto aprili mense cure fuisset querere, facile poteras eundem Louanii impressioni uacantem in monte Calci inuenire. Hoc ideo dixisse uelim ne eius rei inscius permanseris, si forsitan ambegeris. Ubi ars illi sua census erit Ouidius inquit. Ubi et etiam uiuit sua sic sorte et arte contentus, tam felicibus astris, tantaque fortune clementia, ut non inducar credere quod eidem adhuc adesse possit abeundi, ne cogitandi quidem, animi impulsio: id etiam adiecerim quo tam quid poteris quam quid potuisses agnoscas. Vale.
Dear friend, if perchance you would fain know who was the producer and master of this volume of the printing art, learn that the craftsman’s name is Master Jan Veldener. Your eyes will tell you what industry he possesses, how sure his hand in cutting, engraving, pressing and stamping, add also in designing and fashioning and whatever secret in the art is more closely hid; how keen-eyed, again, is the diligence of his trusty comrades, so that the shapes of all the letters are pleasantly clear and harmonious, hanging together, with all faults corrected, in a delightful mass, and with such skilful arrangement that the parts are in agreement both with each other and with their whole, so that both by choice of material and splendor of form everything is strikingly distinct, while by his method of inking and joining the letters there is a great increase in the charm of beautiful polish and shining clearness. All this the appearance of the book sufficiently shows, and the multiplying of this in a mass of great number by the gentle spreading of ink, leaving the pen despised, the first day of April, 1476, began, and the last completed. Should you have been anxious to find this master of the commemorated art in this aforesaid month of April, you could easily have found him at Louvain, with leisure for printing, on Flint-hill. This I am anxious to say lest, if haply you are in doubt, you should remain ignorant of the fact. “Where he works there will be his wealth,” says Ovid. There also he lives so content with his lot and craft, under such happy auspices, and with so much favor of fortune, that I cannot be induced to believe that any impulse to depart, or even to think about it, can have come to him. I would also add that by which you may recognize what you will be able to do as well as what you could have done. Farewell.
As Veldener’s device is here added, the meaning of the last cryptic sentence appears to be either that authors with books to print who had not found his shop in April might find it by its sign in May, or that readers would be able to recognize the printer’s handiwork in the future books they would have a chance of purchasing, as well as in those already sold out. What Conrad of Westphalia made of it is doubtful, since, without affixing his own mark, he cribbed this sentence with all the rest of the colophon, only substituting his own name and address (“in platea Sancti Quintini”—“in St. Quentin’s Street”) for Veldener’s, altering the date of the inception of the book from April to December, and saying nothing as to when it was completed. A more disgraceful trick for one printer to play another living in the same town can hardly be imagined, and Holtrop may be right in considering it a deliberate attempt to annoy Veldener and the cause of his leaving Louvain the next year. Strange to say, however, the history of the colophon does not stop here. M. Claudin has shown, in the first volume of his “Histoire de l’imprimerie en France,” that a copy of Maneken’s “Formulae” exists printed in the types of Guillaume Balsarin of Lyons, but with the name of the Paris printer Caesaris substituted for that of Veldener in the colophon. It is clear, therefore, that in an edition now lost to us Caesaris must have played Veldener the same trick as Conrad of Westphalia had already played him, and that this Paris edition must have been reprinted by Balsarin at Lyons without troubling to alter the colophon. Truly there are pitfalls for the unwary in dealing with early books!
Perhaps one reason why colophons were sometimes reprinted as they stood was that a printer without a scholarly “corrector” to aid him had a wholesome dread of plunging into the middle of a Latin sentence. Those who rushed in hastily sometimes left very obvious footprints in the wrong places. Thus Ulrich Han, in printing from one of Schoeffer’s editions of the “Liber sextus decretalium,” changed his well-known “Alma in urbe Maguntina inclyte nacionis germanice quam dei clemencia tam alti ingenii lumine donoque gratuito ceteris terrarum nacionibus preferre illustrareque dignatus est” (see Chapter II), into “Alma in urbe Roma Totius mundi regina et dignissima Imperatrix [_sic_] que sicut pre ceteris urbibus dignitate preest ita ingeniosis uiris est referta.”
To call Rome “the Queen and most worthy Empress of all the world, which, as it takes precedence of all other cities in dignity, so is it filled with men of wit,” was quite a pleasing variation on Schoeffer’s tune. Unluckily Han did not note that his Queen and Empress ought to be in the ablative, and thus printed “Imperatrix” instead of “Imperatrice.” So again, when we look at the colophon to the third and fourth parts of the “Speculum” of Durandus printed at Venice in 1488, we find reason for suspicion:
Explicit tertia et quarta pars Speculi Guilhelmi Duranti cum additionibus Ioannis Andree et Baldi suis in locis ubique positis. Impressa Venetiis per Magistrum Paganinum de Paganinis Brixiensis, ac Georgium de Arriuabene de Caneto qui salua omnium pace est inter ceteros amandus ac uenerandus propter ipsius in hac arte curam in corrigendis operibus ac in imprimendo charactere. Anno domini M.cccc.lxxxviii. vi die Septembris.
Here ends the third and fourth part of the Speculum of Gulielmus Durandus, with the additions of Joannes Andreae and Baldus inserted everywhere in their proper places. Printed at Venice by Master Paganinus de Paganinis of Brescia, and Georgius de Arrivabene de Caneto, who, with due respect to every one, is, among all others, to be loved and revered for his care in this art both in correcting works and in printing them in type. In the year of our Lord 1488, on September 6th.
The slip of “Brixiensis” for “Brixiensem” is not reproducible in English, but the reader who notes how the two partners are treated as singular instead of plural will easily see that this colophon could not have been written for them. It appears, indeed, to have been borrowed from Bernardinus de Tridino.
Sometimes the inaccuracies introduced are not of a merely verbal kind. Thus at the end of an edition of the “Fasciculus Temporum” printed by Heinrich Wirzburg at the Cluniac monastery at Rougemont in 1481 we have the following colophon:
Chronica que dicitur fasciculus temporum edita in alma Universitate Colonie Agrippinae super Renum, a quodam deuoto Cartusiensi finit feliciter. Sepius quidem iam impressa sed negligentia Correctorum in diuersis locis a uero originali minus iuste emendata. Nunc uero non sine magno labore ad pristinum statum reducta cum quibusdam additionibus per humilem uirum fratrem Heinricum Wirczburg de Vach, monachum in prioratu Rubei Montis, ordinis cluniacensis, sub Lodouico Gruerie comite magnifico anno domini M.cccc.lxxxi. Et anno precedenti fuerunt aquarum inundationes maxime, ventusque [_sic_] horribiles multa edificia subuertentes.
The Chronicle which is called Fasciculus Temporum, set forth in the bountiful University of Cologne on the Rhine by a certain devout Carthusian, ends happily. Often enough has it been printed already, but by the carelessness of correctors in various places it has not been amended as justly as it ought from the true original. Now, however, not without great labor, it has been restored to its pristine state, with certain additions, by a humble brother, Heinrich Wirzburg of Vach, a monk in the priory of Rougemont, of the Cluniac order, under Count Lodovico Gruerie the Magnificent, in the year of the Lord 1481. And in the preceding year there were the greatest floods and horrible winds, overthrowing many buildings.
Save that he substituted the address, “by the humble Bernhard Richel, citizen of Basel, in the year of the Lord 1482, on February 20,” this colophon was taken over in its entirety the following year by Richel. To us, until we compare it with the Rougemont version, there may seem no reason for suspicion. But if any one in those days remembered that the year of the great floods was 1480, and not 1481, his doubts may easily have been awakened. A Genevese printer was much more wise, for, while he doubtless kept the Rougemont colophon in his mind, he adapted its local coloring very skilfully, informing us that the book was:
Imprime a Genesue lan mille cccc.xcv auquel an fist si tres grand vent le ix iour de ianuier qu’il fit remonter le Rosne dedans le lac bien ung quart de lieue au-dedans de Geneue.
Printed at Geneva the year 1495, in which year there was so great wind on January 9th that it made the Rhone mount back into the lake a full quarter of a league above Geneva.
Even when a colophon was in verse it was not safe from emendation, for when Giovanni da Reno of Vicenza in 1478 reprinted the Valdarfer Boccaccio we find him substituting for the line and a half, “Christofal Valdarfer Indi minprese Che naque in Ratispona,” the variant, “Giovanne da Reno quindi minprese Cum mirabile stampa.”
For other instances of more than one printer following the same leader we may note how Koberger in 1496, and Pierre Levet in 1497, both adopt the colophon of the 1485 Cologne edition of the “Destructorium Vitiorum,” with its curious phrase “ad laudem summe Monadis”; how Han in his editions of the Clementine Constitutions in 1473 and 1476, and Wenssler in those of 1476 and 1478, copy the colophon of Schoeffer’s editions, substituting the praises of Rome and Basel for those of Mainz; and how in editions of the Gregorian Decretals Paganinus de Paganinis in 1489, and Johann Hamann de Landoia in 1491, adopted the favorite tag of Jenson and John of Cologne:
Qui non tantum summam curam adhibuere ut sint hec et sua queque sine uicio et menda, uerum etiam ut bene sint elaborata atque iucundissimo litterarum caractere confecta: ut unicuique et prodesse et oblectare possint.
Who not only have taken the greatest pains that these and all their works may be free from fault and blot, but also that they may be well finished off and composed with the most pleasing type, so that they may at once profit and delight every one.
Not to be able to boast with originality is sad indeed, but to the students of early types and of the manners of the men who used them these traces of borrowing may at any point of an investigation prove useful. A printer who borrowed the wording of a colophon probably borrowed something else as well. In most cases this was the text, with which students of early printing seldom concern themselves as much as they should, but sometimes also typographical peculiarities which may be worth some attention.
DATES IN COLOPHONS
Dates form such an important feature in colophons that this essay cannot be brought to a close without some attempt to explain the difficulties which arise in connection with them. As regards the method of expressing the year there is very little to say. Theodoric Rood (see page 61) preferred to speak of 1485 as the 297th Olympiad from the birth of Christ, being under the impression that Olympiads consisted of five years instead of four. Other printers showed great ingenuity in finding elaborate synonyms for what we are now content to express in the two words “Anno Domini,” and among other phrases employed “Olympiades Dominicae” (see page 79), but without any attempt to introduce the intervals between the Olympic Games into the Christian reckoning.
As an additional method of dating we occasionally find a reference to the year of the indiction, a method of dating by cycles of fifteen years, instituted by the Emperor Constantine in 312. To find the indictional year, 312 must be subtracted from the year of the Lord (the same results will be obtained by adding 3), and then after dividing by 15, the remainder will give the number of the year in the indiction. Thus (1488-312)/15 or (1488+3)/15 in each case leaves a remainder of six, and A.D. 1488 was thus the sixth indiction.
According to different methods of reckoning, indictions began in September or October, at Christmas or on January 1st. In colophons, I believe, they are always used in conjunction with years of the Lord reckoned from January 1st, and they have only the effect of a chronological flourish.
A much more important supplementary method of dating is that by the names of ruling popes, emperors, sovereigns, or princes, or still better by their regnal years. I have long cherished an ambition to compile a kind of “Bibliographer’s Vade-mecum,” one section of which would be devoted to exhaustive lists of the smaller as well as the greater sovereigns of Europe during the period when their names in old books are of chronological value. Here, however, it must suffice to offer lists of popes, kings of England and France, and doges of Venice, for the periods which concern us, and to use these as illustrations of the way in which such information can be brought to bear on the dating of early books.
Pius II. 19 Aug. 1458 - 15 Aug. 1464. Paul II. 31 Aug. 1464 - 28 July 1471. Sixtus IV. 9 Aug. 1471 - 13 Aug. 1484. Innocent VIII. 29 Aug. 1484 - 25 July 1492. Alexander VI. 11 Aug. 1492 - 18 Aug. 1503. Pius III. 22 Sept. 1503 - 18 Oct. 1503. Julius II. 1 Nov. 1503 - 21 Feb. 1513. Leo X. 11 March 1513 - 1 Dec. 1521. Adrian VI. 2 Jan. 1522 - 24 Sept. 1523. Clement VII. 19 Nov. 1523 - 26 Sept. 1534.
KINGS OF ENGLAND
Edward IV. 4 March 1461 - 9 April 1483. Edward V. 9 April 1483 - 22 June 1483. Richard III. 26 June 1483 - 22 Aug. 1485. Henry VII. 22 Aug. 1485 - 21 April 1509. Henry VIII. 22 April 1509 - 28 Jan. 1547. Edward VI. 28 Jan. 1547 - 6 July 1553. Mary, 6 July 1553 - 24 July 1554. Philip and Mary, 25 July 1554 - 17 Nov. 1558. Elizabeth, 17 Nov. 1558 - 24 March 1603.
KINGS OF FRANCE
Louis XI. 22 July 1461 - 30 Aug. 1483. Charles VIII. 30 Aug. 1483 - 7 April 1498. Louis XII. 7 April 1498 - 1 Jan. 1515. François I. 1 Jan. 1515 - 31 March 1547. Henri II. 31 March 1547 - 10 July 1559. François II. 10 July 1559 - 5 Dec. 1560. Charles IX. 5 Dec. 1560 - 30 May 1574. Henri III. 30 May 1574 - 2 Aug. 1589. Henri IV. 2 Aug. 1589 - 14 May 1610.
DOGES OF VENICE
Cristoforo Moro, 12 May 1462 - 9 Nov. 1471. Nicolò Tron, 23 Nov. 1471 - 28 July 1473. Nicolò Marcello, 13 Aug. 1473 - 1 Dec. 1474. Pietro Mocenigo, 14 Dec. 1474 - 23 Feb. 1476. Andrea Vendramino, 6 March 1476 - 6 May 1478. Giovanni Mocenigo, 18 May 1478 - 4 Nov. 1485. Marco Barbarigo, 19 Nov. 1485 - 14 Aug. 1486. Agostino Barbarigo, 30 Aug. 1486 - 24 Sept. 1501. Leonardo Loredano, 2 Oct. 1501 - 26 June 1521. Antonio Grimani, 6 July 1521 - 7 May 1523. Andrea Gritti, 20 May 1523 - 28 Dec. 1538.
As our first example of how these tables may be used we will take a colophon where no year of the Lord is given, and sovereigns are mentioned without their regnal years. We shall find that even the mere names may help us to a close approximate date. Our instance shall be Wendelin of Speier’s edition of the “Supplementum” of Nicolaus de Auximo, the colophon to which ends:
Vendelinus opus pressit Spireus utrunque: Labe repurgatum (crede) uolumen emis. Impressum est Sixto sacrorum antistite quarto, Et Veneto Troni principis imperio.
Sixtus IV became pope early in August, 1471, Nicolò Tron was elected doge on November 23d of the same year, and died in July, 1473. We can thus date the book as “about 1472” with absolute confidence.
Writers of poetical colophons are naturally more inclined to use regnal dates than the year of the Lord, which it is seldom easy to get into a verse. In the “Moral Prouerbes of Cristyne” Caxton gives us the month, the day, and the regnal year, together making a precise date. This colophon runs:
Of these sayynges Cristyne was the aucturesse, Whiche in makyn[g] hadde suche intelligence, That thereof she was mireur and maistresse; Hire werkes testifie thexperience; In Frenssh languaige was writen this sentence, And thus englished doth hit reherse Antoin Wideuylle, therle Ryuers.
Go thou litil quayer and recommaund me Unto the good grace of my special lorde Therle Ryueris, for I haue emprinted the At his commandement, following eury worde His copye, as his secretarie can recorde, At Westmestre, of Feuerer the xx daye And of Kyng Edward the xvij yere veraye.
Emprinted by Caxton In Feuerer the colde season.
The seventeenth year of Edward IV ran from 4th March, 1477, to 3d March, 1478, so that the “Moral Proverbs” were finished on February 20th of the latter year.
When a change of sovereigns occurred in the year in which a book was printed, the mere name of the earlier or the later of the two shows in which part of the year the colophon was written, and regnal dates supply the same information for years in which no change of sovereigns took place. Thus the colophon to Wynkyn de Worde’s edition of the “Vitas Patrum” ends: “Enprynted in the sayd towne of Westmynstre by me Wynken de Worde, the yere of our lorde M.cccc.lxxxxv. and the tenthe yere of our souerayne lorde Kyng Henry the seuenth.” As Henry VII’s reign began 22d August, 1485, its tenth year would cover the twelvemonth, August, 1494, to August, 1495, and we are thus told not only that the book was issued in 1495, but that it was printed before August 21st of that year.
A subsidiary date, of course, as a rule loses its usefulness when the printer explicitly mentions also the month and day on which the book was completed. It may, however, have a special value as furnishing a means of fixing the day from which the printer reckoned his year. In the fifteenth century the year could be reckoned as beginning on Christmas day, on January 1st, on March 1st, on March 25th, or at Easter. In arranging the books issued from any press in chronological order, it is of vital importance to know which reckoning the printer followed, and we may now give some examples to show how regnal years can be used to settle this.
Finiunt Petri de Abano remedia uenenorum. Rome in domo nobilis uiri Iohannis Philippi de Lignamine Messanensis, S. D. N. familiaris, hic tractatus impressus est. Anno domini Mcccclxxv. die xxvii Mensis Ianuarii, Pontificatu Syxti IIII, Anno eius quarto.
End the remedies of Petrus de Abano against poisons. At Rome in the house of the noble gentleman Ioannes Philippus de Lignamine of Messina, servant of our holy Lord, this tract was printed. In the year of the Lord 1475, on the 27th day of the month January, in the pontificate of Sixtus IV, in his fourth year.
The fourth year of Sixtus IV began on 9th August, 1474, and ended 8th August, 1475; therefore January, 1475, in his fourth year must be January, 1475, according to our modern reckoning, not January, 1476, as it would be had the year been calculated from March 25th or Easter day—two similar examples will be found in Hain’s “Repertorium Bibliographicum” under the numbers 255* and 2050*.
On the other hand, Caxton’s colophon to the “Mirrour of the World” ends:
whiche book I began first to translate the second day of Ianyuer the yer of our lord M.cccc.lxxx. And fynysshed the viij day of Marche the same yere, and the xxj yere of the Regne of the most Crysten kyng, Kynge Edward the fourth. Vnder the shadowe of whos noble proteccion I have emprysed and fynysshed this sayd lytyl werke and boke. Besechynge Almyghty god to be his protectour and defender agayn alle his enemyes and gyue hym grace to subdue them, And inespeciall them that haue late enterpraysed agayn ryght & reson to make warre wythin his Royamme. And also to preserue and mayntene hym in longe lyf and prosperous helthe. And after this short and transytorye lyf he brynge hym and vs in to his celestyal blysse in heuene. Amen. Caxton me fieri fecit.
As the twenty-first year of Edward IV ran from 4th March, 1481, to 3d March, 1482, Caxton’s 8th March, 1480, must clearly be 1480, old style, or 1481 of our reckoning, and Caxton is thus shown to have begun his year on March 25th.
So again the long colophon or epilogue to the “Cordyale” tells us that the book “was deliuered to me William Caxton by my saide noble lorde Ryuiers on the day of purificacion of our blissid lady, fallyng the tewsday the secund day of the moneth of feuerer. In the yere of our lord M. cccc. lxxviij for to be enprinted.… Whiche werke present I begann the morn after the saide Purification of our blissid Lady, whiche was the daye of Seint Blase Bisshop and Martir, And finisshed on the euen of thannunciacion of our said blissid Lady, fallyng on the Wednesday the xxiiij. daye of Marche in the xix yere of Kyng Edwarde the fourthe.”
Earlier bibliographers got very confused over this book and made absurd mistakes as to the time which Caxton took to print it. But Mr. Blades had no difficulty in showing that the different dates follow closely on each other. Caxton received the book on February 2d, began printing it on February 3d, and finished it on March 24th, all in the same year 1479. We have a double method of proving this, by the two week-days mentioned and by the regnal year, which covered the period March 4, 1479, to March 3, 1480. The only March 24th in this twelvemonth was that in 1479, and in 1479 March 24th, as Caxton says, fell on a Wednesday. In 1479, moreover, February 2d fell on a Tuesday, in 1478 on a Sunday. It is thus clear that the Tuesday, February 2, 1478, of the colophon must be an old-style date, answering to 1479 of our reckoning.
The occasional mention of the day both of the week and the month in German colophons offers us, in the absence of regnal years, almost the only proof we can obtain that German printers began their year either at Christmas or on January 1st,—I am not prepared to say which. Thus the colophon of an edition of the “De remediis utriusque fortunae” of Adrianus Carthusiensis reads:
Explicit liber de remediis fortuitorum casuum nouiter compilatus et impressus Colonie per Arnoldum therhoernen, finitus Anno domini Mºccccºlxxiº die veneris octaua mensis Februarii. Deo Gracias.
Ends the book of the remedies of casual haps, lately compiled and printed at Cologne by Arnold therhoernen. Finished in the year of the Lord 1471, on Friday, February 8th. Thanks be to God.
In 1471 February 8th fell on a Friday, in 1472 on a Saturday. Therefore it is clear that in therhoernen’s reckoning January and February were the first months of the year, as they are with us.
Before inquiring as to what printers reckoned the year as beginning at Easter, we must give the following table:
EASTER DAY, 1470-1521
1470 April 22 1471 April 14 1472 March 29 1473 April 18 1474 April 10 1475 March 26 1476 April 14 1477 April 6 1478 March 22 1479 April 11 1480 April 2 1481 April 22 1482 April 7 1483 March 30 1484 April 18 1485 April 3 1486 March 26 1487 April 15 1488 April 6 1489 April 19 1490 April 11 1491 April 3 1492 April 22 1493 April 7 1494 March 30 1495 April 19 1496 April 3 1497 March 26 1498 April 15 1499 March 31 1500 April 19 1501 April 11 1502 March 27 1503 April 16 1504 April 7 1505 March 23 1506 April 12 1507 April 4 1508 April 23 1509 April 8 1510 March 31 1511 April 20 1512 April 11 1513 March 27 1514 April 16 1515 April 8 1516 March 23 1517 April 12 1518 April 4 1519 April 24 1520 April 8 1521 March 31
That Pierre Gerard and Jean Dupré at Abbeville reckoned the year from Easter to Easter, we get a broad hint in the colophon to their magnificent edition of Augustine’s “De Ciuitate Dei” in French. This is in two volumes, the colophon to the first of which is dated “le xxiiii jour de Nouembre l’an mil quatre cens quatre vingt et six,” while the second runs:
Cy fine le second volume contenant les xii derreniers liures de monseigneur saint augustin de la cité de dieu. Imprime en la ville dabbeuille, par Iehan du pre et pierre gerard marchans libraires: Et icelluy acheue le xii iour dauril lan mil quatre cens quatre vingtz et six auant pasques.
Here ends the second volume containing the last twelve books of my lord Saint Augustin of the City of God. Printed in the town of Abbeville by Jean Dupré and Pierre Gerard, booksellers: and it was finished the twelfth day of April, the year 1486, before Easter.
That the second volume of so large a work must have been printed after the first is so nearly certain that this alone might have caused us to look out for a means of making April 12, 1486, later than November 24th of the same year. The words “auant pasques” put the matter beyond doubt, for Easter in 1486 of our reckoning fell on March 26th, but in 1487 on April 15th. Clearly, therefore, the book was finished on Holy Thursday, 1487, and Easter was the date from which Dupré and Gerard reckoned their year.
We can obtain an equally neat proof of the French year beginning at Easter from a copy of Pierre Gringore’s “Chasteau de Labour,” in which, underneath the name of Philippe Pigouchet, appears the colophon:
Le chasteau de labour auec aucunes balades et addicions nouuellement composees a este acheue le dernier iour de Mars Lan Mil Cinq cens. Pour Simon Vostre libraire demourant a Paris en la rue neuue nostre dame a lenseigne sainct iehan leuangeliste.
This edition consists of sixty leaves and does actually contain a long interpolation not found in the first edition of 22d October, 1499, or the second, which is dated 31st December, 1499, or in yet another edition dated 31st May, 1500, all three of which have only fifty leaves instead of sixty. Thus it would appear at first sight that Pigouchet and Vostre printed Gringore’s additions in March, 1500, and omitted them again two months afterwards in May. Inasmuch, however, as the French year 1500 ran from Easter Sunday, 19th April, 1500, to Easter Sunday, 11th April, 1501, it is obvious that the only 31st March in it fell in 1501 according to our reckoning, and that the edition of 31st March, 1500, was really produced in March, 1501, and is ten months later than that of May, 1500. We thus get an orderly sequence of three unaugmented editions of fifty leaves, followed by an augmented one of sixty, and all difficulties vanish.
In Italy the year appears generally to have begun on January 1st, but in Florence on Lady day, March 25th. At Venice the legal year is known to have begun on March 1st, and most writers on Aldus have asserted positively that this was the date to which he conformed. That other Venetian printers observed January 1st as the first day of the year can be proved from the mention of Pietro Mocenigo as doge in the colophon to an edition of the “Istoria Fiorentina” of Leonardo Aretino. This ends:
Impresso a Vinegia perlo diligente huomo Maestro Iacomo de Rossi di natione Gallo: Nellanno del Mcccclxxvj. a di xii de Febraio: Regnante lo inclyto Principe Messer Piero Mozenico.
As our table of Venetian doges shows, Mocenigo died on February 23, 1476, eleven days after this colophon was printed; and it is thus clear that February, 1476, meant the same to “Maestro Iacomo de Rossi” as it does to us.
That the antiquarian Aldus troubled his head about the beginning of the Venetian legal year seems a strange inconsistency. But the late Mr. R. C. Christie, who proved conclusively, in an article in “Bibliographica,” that in his later books Aldus began his year on January 1st, was yet obliged to admit that the Lascaris, which is dated “M.cccc.lxxxxiiii ultimo Februarii,” was probably finished only a few days before the Supplement, which bears date March 8, 1495, and that the Theodore Gaza of January, and the Theocritus of February, 1495, both really belong to 1496. I would suggest that in adopting March 1st as his New Year’s day in these three volumes, Aldus pleased himself with the idea that he was reckoning not “more Veneto” but “more antiquo Romano,” since (as the names of our last four months still testify) the Roman year originally began in March, and it was only the fact that after B.C. 153 the consuls entered office in January that caused our present reckoning to come into use, the sacerdotal year continuing to begin on March 1st. If Aldus, after adopting the Venetian legal year because it agreed with the earliest Roman reckoning, was convinced that he was being a little more Roman than the Romans themselves, it is easy to understand his change of practice.
It would appear, then, that the only books for which we must reckon the year as beginning later than January 1st are a few early books of Aldus (March 1st), all English books of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, and books printed at Florence (March 25th) and in France (Easter). I strongly suspect, moreover, that in Florentine and French editions of learned works written in Latin there would be a tendency toward January 1st, but I cannot offer any proof of this at present, though it is a question which I hope some day to work out.
As the examples quoted in our text will have abundantly shown, the days of the month are expressed either according to our present use or by the Roman notation, reckoning from the Calends, Nones, and Ides. The Calends were always the first day of the month, the Nones fell on the 5th, and the Ides on the 13th, except in March, May, July, and October, when they were each two days later. Days were counted backwards from the Nones, Ides, and Calends, both the day from which and the day to which the reckoning was made being included in the calculation. Thus March 2d was called the sixth day before the Nones (ante diem sextum Nonas Martis), and March 25th the seventh before the Calends of April (ante diem septimum Kalendas Aprilis, or a. d. vii. Kal. Apr.). July and August are sometimes called by their old names Quintilis and Sextilis.
In Germany, more especially at Strassburg, and in Strassburg more especially by an unidentified craftsman known as the “Printer of the 1483 Jordanus de Quedlinburg,” we often find books dated on such and such a day of the week before or after a festival of the church or a particular Sunday, the Sunday being indicated by quoting the first word of the introit used at high mass. Thus in 1485 the anonymous printer of the Jordanus finished a “De Proprietatibus Rerum” on S. Valentine’s day (in die Valentini, February 14th), the “Historia Scholastica of Petrus Comestor” after the feast of S. Matthias (post festum Matthie, February 24th), the “Postilla” of Guillermus on Thursday (March 9th) before the feast of S. Gregory (quarta feria ante festum Gregorii), a “Casus breues decretalium” on the day of SS. Vitus and Modestus (in die Viti et Modesti, June 15th), and Cardinal Turrecremata’s “Gloss on the Psalter” on S. Michael’s eve (in profesto Michaelis, September 28th). To another edition of the “Postilla” of Guillermus he adds the imprint:
Impressa Argentine Anno Domini M.cccc.xciij. Finita altera die post Reminiscere.
“Reminiscere” is the beginning of the introit for the second Sunday in Lent, and as Easter in 1493 (see our table) fell on April 7th, this was March 3d, and the “Postilla” were finished on Monday, March 4th.
The colophon to a Strassburg edition of the sermons known by the title “Dormi secure” tells us that it was issued “secunda feria post Laetare” in the same year 1493. “Laetare” being the first word of the introit for the fourth Sunday in Lent, it thus appeared on Monday, March 18th, exactly a fortnight after the “Postilla” of Guillermus. So again we find Hans Schauer of Augsburg dating an edition of a “Beichtbuchlein,” or manual of confession, “am Samstag vor Invocavit in dem XCij. iar,”—on Saturday before Invocavit, 1492,—which gives the date (Invocavit marking the first Sunday in Lent and Easter in 1492 falling on April 22d), Saturday, March 10th. It is generally only the introits of the first four Sundays in Lent (Invocavit, Reminiscere, Oculi, and Laetare) and that of the first Sunday after Easter (Quasimodo) that are used in colophons in this way.
We may bring this chapter to an end by noting one or two fruitful causes of error in dating books which arise from misunderstanding the reference or meaning of the dates in their colophons. In Chapter VI it has already been noted that where an author or editor has given the date on which he finished writing, such a date has often been confused with the date of imprint. More dangerous but much rarer than such a pitfall as this is the case of the reprinted colophon (see Chapter VII), which can be detected only by experts in typography. The majority of mistakes, however, arise from very simple misreadings. In many fifteenth-century fonts of type the symbols x and v are very imperfectly distinguished, so that the five has often been mistaken for a ten. Modern eyes, again, being used to the symbols iv, ix, xl, are very apt to read the fifteenth-century iiii as iii, the viiii as viii, and the xxxx as xxx. On the other hand, as they neared the end of the century the printers not only expressed ninety-nine by ic, but also used the forms vc, iiiic, iiic, iic, to express the years ’95 to ’98; and, as has been done here for the sake of brevity, occasionally omitted the precedent Mcccc., as in the “in dem XCij. iar” of the colophon of the “Beichtbuchlein,” quoted a page or two back. They also, it may be noted, frequently expressed eighty by the reasonable symbol for fourscore, or quatre vingt—namely, iiiixx. These latter methods of writing dates, however, though they may puzzle for a moment, can hardly mislead; but in the case of books issued in the years 1470, 1480, 1490, and 1500 (more especially the last) there is one error so easily made that it has left its mark on every old catalogue of incunabula. Thus when Hermann Lichtenstein dated an edition of the “Opuscula” of S. Thomas Aquinas “anno salutis M.cccc.xc. vii Idus septembris” he encouraged any ignorant or careless cataloguer to misread the date as 1497 on the “Ides of September,” instead of 1490 on the seventh day before the “Ides of September.” The mistake may be made just as easily when words are used instead of numerals, for “anno nostre salutis millesimo quadringentesimo octogesimo quinto kalendas Iunij” is very easily read as 1485. It is, of course, equally easy to make the opposite mistake and transfer to the record of the month a number which relates to the year. As a rule, the printers, by interposing “die” or “vero” or both, or by a change of type, put their meaning beyond dispute; but sometimes they got confused themselves, and by leaving out either the last numeral of the year, or that of the day of the month, produced a puzzle which can be solved only by independent knowledge of the years during which a printer worked.
 We follow Mr. Clark’s rendering, but think that, in spite of Priscian, the writer must have intended by “_nullum se putat habere laborem_,” “thinks all that mighty easy.”
 Adinuentionibus. The preposition was probably here intended to be pressed, giving the meaning of “additional inventions” or improvements. But as it may have been suggested by the “adinuentione” of the Psalter of 1457, I keep the same translation.
 I make this emendation with much misgiving, as the medieval use of “quisque” was very elastic, and the text may be right.
 As regards the misprint MCCCCLXI for MCCCCLXXI, the ease with which a compositor could omit a second X is evident of itself; but it may be worth while, as proof of the frequency with which this particular error actually occurred, to quote here four several colophons from a single year, 1478, in all of which it occurs. These are:
(i) At Barcelona, in an edition of the “Pro condendis orationibus iuxta grammaticas leges” of Bartollommeo Mates:
COLOPHON: Libellus pro efficiendis orationibus, ut grammaticae artis leges expostulant, a docto uiro Bertolomeo Mates conditus et per P. Iohannem Matoses Christi ministerum presbiterumque castigatus et emendatus sub impensis Guillermi Ros et mira arte impressa per Iohannem Gherlinc alamanum finitur barcynone nonis octobriis anni a natiuitate Cristi MCCCCLXVIII.
A booklet for making speeches as the rules of the art of grammar demand, composed by a learned man, Bartolommeo Mates, and corrected and amended by Father Juan Matoses, a minister and priest of Christ, at the expense of Guillermo Ros, and printed with wonderful art by Johann Gherlinc, a German, is ended at Barcelona on October 7th, in the year from Christ’s birth MCCCCLXVIII.
(ii) At Oxford, in the edition of the Exposition on the Creed written by Rufinus of Aquileia and attributed to S. Jerome:
COLOPHON: Explicit exposicio sancti Ieronimi in simbolo apostolorum ad papam laurencium Impressa Oxonie et finita Anno domini M.CCCC.LXVIII, xvii die decembris.
Here ends the Exposition of St. Jerome on the Apostles’ Creed addressed to Pope Laurence. Printed at Oxford and finished A.D. M.CCCC.LXVIII, on the 17th day of December.
(iii) At Venice, in an edition of the “De componendis versibus hexametro et pentametro” of Mataratius printed by Erhard Ratdolt.
COLOPHON: Erhardus Ratdolt Augustensis probatissimus librarię artis exactor summa confecit diligentia. Anno Christi M.CCCC.LXVIII. vii calen. Decembris. Venetiis.
Erhard Ratdolt of Augsburg, a most upright practitioner of the bookish art, finished this with the utmost diligence. In the year of Christ M.CCCC.LXVIII. On November 25th. At Venice.
(iv) At Cologne, in an edition of the letters of Pope Pius II printed by Johann Koelhoff, the omission in this case being a double one.
COLOPHON: Pii secundi pontificis maximi cui ante summum episcopatum primum quidem imperiali secretario, mox episcopo, deinde etiam cardinali senensi Enee Siluio nomen erat Familiares epistole date ad amicos in quadruplici vite eius statu finiunt. Per me Iohannem Koelhoff de Lubeck Colonie incolam Anno incarnationis M.CCCC.LVIII.
Of Pope Pius II, who, before he attained the supreme bishopric, as imperial secretary, afterward as bishop, then as cardinal, was called Enea Silvio, the Familiar Letters, written to his friends in his fourfold condition of life, come to an end. By me, Johann Koelhoff of Lubeck, an inhabitant of Cologne, in the year of the Incarnation M.CCCC.LVIII.
The antiquaries of Oxford and Barcelona at various times have made what fight they could for the correctness of the dates as printed, but the contest has long since been decided against them, while the careers of Ratdolt and Koelhoff are so well known that in their cases the incorrectness of the dates has always been a matter of certainty.
 A colophon to Wynkyn de Worde’s edition of the Lives of the Fathers (Vitas Patrum) deserves mention here as presenting us with a picture of Caxton, like the Venerable Bede, engaged in his favorite task of translation up to the very close of his life. It runs: “Thus endyth the moost vertuose hystorye of the deuoute and right renowned lyues of holy faders lyuuynge in deserte, worthy of remembraunce to all wel dysposed persones, whiche hath be translated out of Frenche into Englisshe by William Caxton of Westmynstre, late deed, and fynysshed at the laste daye of his lyff. Enprynted in the sayd towne of Westmynstre by me Wynken de Worde the yere of our lorde MCCCCLXXXXV and the tenth yere of our souerayne lorde Kyng Henry the Seuenth.”
 Hain put a _sic_ against these words, and I am unable to translate them, unless they be a misprint for “legum periti”—skilled in the law.
 Impressa est hec presens cronica que fasciculus temporum dicitur in florentissima vniuersitate louaniensi ac sicut propriis cuiusdam deuoti carthusiensis, viri historiarum studiosissimi, manibus, a mundi inicio vsque ad sixti huius nomine pape quarti tempora contexta erat, per me iohannem veldener summa diligentia maiorique impensa, nonnullis additis ymaginibus ad finem vsque deducta, et proprio signeto signata, Sub anno a natiuitate domini .M.cccc.lxxvi. quarto kalendas ianuarias secundum stilum romane curie, de quo sit deus benedictus. Amen.
The present chronicle, which is called the “Fasciculus Temporum,” printed in the most flourishing university of Louvain and in like manner as it was compiled by the very hands of a devout Carthusian, a most zealous student of history, by me, Jan Veldener, with the utmost diligence and at unusual expense, with additional illustrations, brought to an end and signed with my own device, in the year from the Lord’s nativity 1476, on the fourth day before the Kalends of January (December 29), by the style of the Roman court. For which God be blessed. Amen.
 _Aptatam_, a better reading than the _optatam_ of the earliest version. So, in l. 2, the original reading, _nosce_, has been corrected to _nosse_.
 Finis operum Hrosvithae clarissimae virginis et monialis Germaniae gente Saxonica ortae. Impressum Norunbergae sub priuilegio sodali[ta]tis Celticae a senatu Rhomani Imperii impetratae. Anno Quingentesimo primo supra millesimum.
Here end the works of Hroswitha, the most illustrious virgin and nun of Germany, sprung from the Saxon race, under a privilege of Celtes and his company, obtained from the Senate of the Roman Empire in the year 1501.
 Iohannes ex uerona oriundus: Nicolai cyrugie medici filius: Artis impressorie magister: hunc de re militari librum elegantissimum: litteris & figuratis signis sua in patria primus impressit. An. M.cccc.lxxii.
 Insignis notabilisque compilatio haud modicum cuique statui conferens omne genus vitiorum suis cum speciebus clarissime euidenterque eradicans. ob id non immerito destructorium vitiorum nuncupata. a cuiusdam fabri lignarii filio. maximam ad ecclesie vtilitatem Anno M.cccc.xxix. collecta de nouo Colonie exactissime correcta. ac summo studio impressa. ad laudem summe Monadis. xvii Kalendas Septembris. Anno domini Millesimo quadringentesimo octuagesimo-quinto finita.
 The regnal years of Mary before her marriage are usually added to those of Philip and Mary as joint sovereigns. Thus dates from 25 July, 1554-5 July, 1555, inclusive, are quoted as 1st and 2d Philip and Mary, _i.e._, the first year of their joint rule and the second of Mary’s reign. Dates from 6 July (the anniversary of her accession) to 24 July, 1555, are 1st and 3d Philip and Mary, _i.e._, the first year of their joint rule and the third of Mary’s reign.
BOOKS FROM WHICH COLOPHONS ARE QUOTED
Accoltus, F. Commentaria de acquirenda possessione. 1486. _Pescia, L. & F. de Cennis_, 99
Adrianus Carthusiensis. De remediis utriusque fortunae. 1471. _Cologne, A. therhoernen_, 177
Albertus, Magister. Sermones. 1474. _Cologne, A. therhoernen_, 92
Albohazen Haly. Liber Regalis. 1492. _Venice, B. Ricius_, 111
Alexander Gallus. Doctrinale. 1493. _Acqui, s. n. t._, 65
Antonius de Alexandro. Super secundo codicis Iustiniani. 1474. _Naples, S. Riessinger_, 75
Athanasius contra Arium &c. 1500. _Paris, A. Bocard_, 98
Atila persecutore de la christiana fede. 1491. _Venice, s. n. t._, 70
Augustine. De Ciuitate Dei. 1473. _Mainz, P. Schoeffer_, 23
—— 1470. _Venice, J. & W. of Speier_, 36
—— 1486/87. _Abbeville, Dupré & Gerard_, 179
Augustine. Explanatio Psalmorum. 1489. _Basel, Jo. de Amerbach_, 143
Augustine. Manuale. 1471. _Treviso, G. de Lisa_, 59
Avicenna. De medicina. 1473. _Milan, F. da Lavagna_, 60
Balbus, Jo. Catholicon. 1460. _Mainz, s. n. t._, 13
—— 1469. _Augsburg, G. Zainer_, 81
Bartolus de Saxoferrato. Lectura super prima parte Digesti Veteris. 1478. _Venice, John of Cologne & J. Manthen_, 55
Bartolus de Saxoferrato. Lectura super secunda parte Digesti Veteris. 1473. _Venice, W. of Speier_, 39
Biblia Latina. 1462. _Mainz, Fust & Schoeffer_, 10
—— 1476. _Vicenza, L. Achates_, 94
Biel, Gabriel. Sermo Dominicae Passionis. _s. a. Hagenau, s. n. t._, 143
Boccaccio, Giovanni. Genealogiae Deorum. 1481. _Reggio, L. & B. Bruschus_, 71
Bonetus de Latis. Annulus Astronomicus. c. 1496. _Rome, A. Freitag_, 130
Boniface VIII. Liber Sextus Decretalium. 1465. _Mainz, Fust & Schoeffer_, 17
—— 1473. _Mainz, P. Schoeffer_, 23
—— 1472. _Rome, U. Han_, 165
—— 1477. _Basel, M. Wenssler_, 82
Bononia Illustrata. 1494. _Bologna, P. de Benedictis_, 74
Brant, Seb. La Nef des Fols. 1497 [misprinted in text 1457]. _Paris, G. Marnef_, 106
Breviarium Illerdense. 1479. _Lerida, H. Botel_, 102
Bridget, S. Revelationes. 1500. _Nuremberg, A. Koberger_, 149
Bruno, Hen. Super Institutionibus. c. 1488. _Louvain, Aeg. van der Heerstraten_, 128
Butrio, Antonio de. Comment. super primo decretalium. 1473. _Rome, U. Han_, 101
Capella, Martianus. Opera. 1499. _Vicenza, H. de Sancto Urso_, 115
Capitulos de governadores. 1500. _Seville, Pegnitzer & Herbst_, 118
Castro, Paulus de. Consilia. 1485. _Nuremberg, A. Koberger_, 139
Cavalca, Domenico. Frutti della Lingua. _s. a. Florence, s. n. t._, 154
Cavalca, Domenico. Specchio di Croce. _s. a. Florence, s. n. t._, 154
Caxton, William. Cronycles of England. 1493. _Antwerp, G. Leeu_, 72
Charles the Great. 1485. _Westminster, W. Caxton_, 136
Christine de Pisan. Fayts of Arms. 1489. _Westminster, W. Caxton_, 137
Christine de Pisan. Moral Proverbes. 1478. _Westminster, W. Caxton_, 174
Cicero. De Officiis. 1478. _Naples, s. n. t._, 162
Cicero. De Oratore. 1470. _Venice, C. Valdarfer_, 49
Cicero. Epistolae ad Atticum. 1470. _Venice, N. Jenson_, 43
Cicero. Epistolae ad Familiares. 1469. _Venice, John of Speier_, 32
—— Second edition, 33
—— 1471. _Venice, N. Jenson_, 48
—— 1472. _Milan, F. da Lavagna_, 149
Cicero. Officia et Paradoxa. 1465. _Mainz, Fust & Schoeffer_, 18
Cicero. Orationes. 1471. _Venice, C. Valdarfer_, 50
—— 1472. _Venice, Adam of Ammergau_, 52
Cicero. Orationes Philippicae. c. 1470. _Rome, U. Han_, 88
Cicero. Rhetorica. 1470. _Venice, N. Jenson_, 42
Cleve, Johann von. Moteta. 1580. _Augsburg, P. Ulhard & A. Reinheckel_, 129
Colonna, F. de. Hypnerotomachia Poliphili. 1499. _Venice, Aldus_, 124
Cordyale. 1479. _Westminster, W. Caxton_, 176
Curtius, Franciscus. Consilia. 1496. _Milan, U. Scinzenzeler_, 115
Cyprian. Epistulae. 1471. _Rome, Sweynheym & Pannartz_, 87
Dante. Divina Commedia. 1476. _Venice, W. of Speier_, 40
Decor Puellarum. _See_ Honore de le Donzelle.
Destructorium Vitiorum. 1485. _Cologne, s. n. t._, 168
—— 1496. _Nuremberg, A. Koberger_, ib.
—— 1497. _Paris, P. Levet_, ib.
Durandus, Gul. Speculum. 1488. _Venice, Paganinis & Arrivabene_, 166
Exercitium puerorum grammaticale. 1494. _Strassburg, s. n. t._, 95
Faber, Joannes. Breviarium super codice. c. 1475. _Louvain, John of Westphalia_, 84
Fasciculus Temporum. 1476. _Louvain, J. Veldener_, 84
—— 1481. _Rougemont, H. Wirzburg_, 167
—— 1482. _Basel, B. Richel_, ib.
—— 1495. _Geneva, s. n. t._, 168
Gambilionibus, Angelus de. Lectura super Institutionum libros quatuor. 1473. _Pavia, Jo. de Sidriano_, 58
Gambilionibus, Angelus de. Tractatus Maleficiorum. 1472. _Mantua, Petrus Adam_, 60
Godefroy of Boloyne. 1481. _Westminster, W. Caxton_, 134
Gregory IX. Decretales. 1474. _Rome, U. Han_, 108
—— 1489. _Venice, P. de Paganinis_, 169
—— 1491. _Venice, Jo. Hamann_, ib.
Gringore, P. Le Chasteau de Labour. 1500/01. _Paris, Pigouchet for Vostre_, 179
Guido de Baysio. Super Decretis. 1481. _Venice, John of Cologne & Jenson_, 78
Guillermus. Postilla. 1493. _Strassburg, s. n. t._, 183
Harderwyck, Gerard. Commentarii in quatuor libros noue logice. 1494. _Cologne, U. Zell_, 156
Herolt, Joannes. Sermones Discipuli de Tempore. 1476. _Rostock, Brothers of the Common Life_, 93
Homeliarius Doctorum. 1499. _Basel, N. Kessler_, 155
Homer. Opera. 1488. _Florence, B. Libri_, 5
Honore de le Donzelle. ‘1461.’ _Venice, N. Jenson_, 45
Hroswitha. Opera. 1501. _Nuremberg, Sodalitas Celtica_, 119
Hugo de S. Caro. Postilla super Psalterium. 1496. _Venice, Gregorii_, 112
Jacobus Bergomensis. Supplementum Chronicarum. 1483. _Venice, B. Benalius_, 131
—— 1490. _Venice, B. Rizus_, 132
Jerome. Commentaria in Bibliam. 1498. _Venice, Gregorii_, 112
Jerome. Epistulae. 1470. _Mainz, P. Schoeffer_, 19
Jerome. Expositio in symbolum Apostolorum. _See_ Rufinus.
Journal Spirituel. 1505. _Paris, A. Vérard_, 105
Justinian. Codex. 1475. _Mainz, P. Schoeffer_, 24
Justinian. Institutiones. 1476. _Mainz, P. Schoeffer_, 26
Laet, Joannes. Pronosticationes. 1476. _Louvain, John of Westphalia_, 86
Leonardo, Aretino. De Bello Italico. 1471. _Venice, N. Jenson_, 48
Leonardo, Aretino. Istoria Fiorentina. 1476. _Venice, Ja. de Rossi_, 180
Lima Vitiorum. _See_ Quadragesimale.
Lucretius. De Rerum Natura. c. 1473. _Brescia, T. Ferrandus_, 153
Luctus Christianorum. _See_ Pianto de Christiani.
Malory, Sir Thomas. Morte d’Arthur. 1485. _Westminster, W. Caxton_, 125
Mandeville, Sir John. Itinerarius. _s. a. Caracteribus Veneticis_, 80
Maneken, Carolus. Epistolarum Formulae. 1476. _Louvain, J. Veldener_, 164
Mataratius, Franciscus. De componendis versibus. ‘1468.’ _Venice, E. Ratdolt_, 46 _note_
Mates, Bartolommeo. Libellus pro efficiendis orationibus. ‘1468.’ _Barcelona, Jo. Gherlinc_, 46 _note_
Matthaeus Silvaticus. Liber cibalis. 1474. _Naples, Arnold of Brussels_, 106
Miraculi de la Vergene Maria. ‘1469.’ _Milan, Lavagna_, 60
Mirror of the World. 1480. _Westminster, W. Caxton_, 176
Missale Vratislauiense. 1483. _Mainz, P. Schoeffer_, 8
Missale Misnense. 1485. _Freiberg, C. Kachelofen_, 66
Missale Romanum. 1484. _Venice, Paganinis & Arrivabene_, 147
Missale Salisburgense. 1498. _Nuremberg, G. Stuchs_, 145
Natta, Georgius. Repetitio de verborum significatione. 1482. _Pavia, C. de Canibus_, 125
Nicolaus de Auximo. Supplementum Summae Pisanellae (author’s colophon), 133
—— (Printer’s) c. 1472. _Venice, W. of Speier_, 173
Nuremberg Chronicle. _See_ Schedel.
Pace, Richard. Oratio. 1518. _London, R. Pynson_, 118
Parole devote de l’anima inamorata. 1471. _Venice, N. Jenson_, 44
Paul, S. Epistres S. Pol. 1507. _Paris, A. Vérard_, 117
Petrarch. Sonetti. 1470. _Venice, W. of Speier_, 38
Petrarch. Trionfi. 1477. _Lucca, Bar. de Cividale_, 59
Petrus de Abano. Expositio Problematum Aristotelis. 1475. _Mantua, Paul of Butzbach_, 97
Petrus de Abano. Remedia Venenorum. 1475. _Rome, J. P. de Lignamine_, 175
Petrus de Ancharano. Repetitio. 1493. _Bologna, Ben. Hectoris_, 141
Phalaris. Epistolae. 1485. _Oxford, Rood & Hunte_, 61
Pianto de Christiani. 1471. _Venice, N. Jenson_, 43
Pius II, Pope. Epistolae. ‘1458.’ _Cologne, J. Koelhoff_, 47
Pliny. Historia Naturalis. 1469. _Venice, John of Speier_, 35
Plutarch. Apophthegmata. 1471. _Venice, John of Speier_, 38
Politian. Opera. 1499. ‘Florence.’ [Brescia, B. Misinta.] 160
Psalterium. 1457. _Mainz, Fust & Schoeffer_, 12
Psalterium. 1459. _Mainz, Fust & Schoeffer_, 13
Quadragesimale quod dicitur Lima Vitiorum. 1497. _Brescia, Ang. Britannicus_, 114
Quintilian. Instituta. 1471. _Venice, N. Jenson_, 48
Regius, Raphael. Epistulae Plinii. 1490. _Venice, Anima Mia_, 74
Robertus de Licio. Quadragesimale. 1472. _Venice, B. de Cremona_, 52
Rolewinck, Werner. _See_ Fasciculus Temporum.
Royal Book. 1484. _Westminster, W. Caxton_, 135
Rufinus of Aquileia. Expositio in symbolum Apostolorum. ‘1468.’ Oxford. [T. Rood.] 46 _note_
Sallust. Opera. 1470. _Venice, W. of Speier_, 37
—— [Second edition.] 1471, 39
—— 1470. _Paris, Gering, &c._, 69
—— 1474. _Venice, John of Cologne & J. Manthen_, 77
Schedel, Hartmann. Liber Chronicarum. 1493. _Nuremberg, A. Koberger_, 121
Seneca. Tragediae. 1497. _Venice, P. Bergamascho_, 113
Statius. Achilleis. 1473. _Parma, S. Corallus_, 109
Suetonius. Vitae Caesarum. 1471. _Venice, N. Jenson_, 47
Thomas Aquinas. De Veritate. 1499. _Cologne, H. Quenteil_, 145
Thomas Aquinas. Quodlibet. 1475. _Ulm, J. Zainer_, 58
Tituli Decisionum. 1477. _Mainz, P. Schoeffer_, 23
Tritheim, Joh. Compendium de Origine regum et gentis Francorum. 1515. _Mainz, J. Schoeffer_, 26
Triumpho de Virtude. 1471. _Venice, N. Jenson_, 44
Turrecremata, Cardinal. Meditationes. 1472. _Rome, U. Han_, 120
Valla, Laur. De Elegantia Linguae Latinae. 1475. _Rome, A. Pannartz_, 96
Valturius. De Re Militari. 1472. _Verona, J. de Verona_, 120
Vegetius. De Militari Disciplina. 1488. _Pescia, Sig. Rodt_, 100
Virgil. Opera. 1472. _Padua, L. Achates_, 54
—— 1471/72. _Florence, Cennini_, 63
Visconti, Gasparo. Rithmi. 1493. _Milan, A. Zarotus_, 103
Vitas Patrum. 1495. _Westminster, W. de Worde_, 72, 174
Vocabularius ex quo. 1467. _Eltville, Bechtermünze & Spiess_, 15
Achates, Leonardus, colophon quoted, 54.
Acqui, colophon of unknown printer at, 65.
Adam of Ammergau, colophon borrowed from Valdarfer, 52.
Adinventio, possible meanings of the word, 12, 29 note.
Advertisements used by 15th-century printers, 89.
Aldus Manutius, date from which he reckoned his years, 181; colophon of his edition of the ‘Hypnerotomachia,’ 124.
Armorial devices used by printers, 20, 22.
Arnold of Brussels, colophon quoted, 106.
Arriuabenus and Paganinis, colophons quoted, 147, 166.
Arundel, Earl of, his financial help to Caxton’s ‘Golden Legend,’ 99.
Asparagus,—a book printed quicker than asparagus can be cooked, 109.
Authors, privileges for exclusive printing granted to, 113; authors’ and editors’ colophons, 123-158.
Balsarin, G., copies the Caesaris copy of a Veldener colophon, 165.
Barcelona, book printed at, dated ‘1468,’ 46 note.
Bartholomaeus de Chaimis, German copies of Valdarfer’s Milan edition of his ‘Confessionale,’ 161.
Bartolommeo of Cremona, colophon quoted, 52.
Bell-ringer, Lerida Breviary financed by a, 102.
Benedictus Hectoris, an example of an editor’s contempt for his predecessors, 142.
Bergamascho, Piero, colophon quoted, 113.
Bible, praises of the, in colophons, 94, 112; rarity of colophons in the early printed editions, 10 sqq.
Bistricci, Vespasiano da, his contempt for printed books, xix.
Boastfulness in colophons, 58.
Bottonus. See Bruschus.
Brescia, privileges granted at Venice affected printing at, 114.
Brice, Hugh, finances Caxton’s ‘Mirror of the World,’ 99.
Brothers of the Common Life, at Rostock, colophon quoted, 92.
Brown, Horatio, his ‘The Venetian Printing Press’ quoted, 34, 62, 110.
Bruno, Henricus, complaint of overwork, 127.
Bruschus, Bartholomaeus, on his brother’s death, 71.
Caesaris, P., his copy of a Veldener colophon copied by Balsarin, 165.
Calends, method of reckoning days of the month by, 182.
Capitales litterae, capitalia, initial letters, not simply majuscules, 12, 81 (N. B. The explanation in the text at p. 81 is wrong, the reference being to the initial letters of the first seven lines of the colophon, which make the name Günther).
Capitalia. See Capitales litterae.
Caracterizare, meaning of the word, 12 sq.
Carbo, Lodovicus, his verse colophons, 31, 50 sq.
Casal Maggiore, Hebrew book finished at, 69.
Caxton, William, specimens of his colophons, 133-138, 174, 176; his patrons and helpers, 99, 135; his advertisement of the Sarum Directorium or ‘Pie,’ 89; his difficulties with the text of Chaucer, 153; De Worde’s reference to his last hours, 72.
Cennini, Ber. and Dom., colophons to their Virgil quoted, 63 sq.
Cepolla, Bartolommeo, his self-advertisement, 139.
Chalcographi, meaning of the word, 53.
Chardella, Simon, finances Ulrich Han, 101.
Chaucer, Geoffrey, Caxton’s difficulties with his text, 153.
Cheapness, vaunts of, in colophons, 106.
Christie, R. C., his detection of the 1499 Brescia Politian, purporting to be printed at Florence, 159 sq.
Cividale, Bartolommeo de, colophon quoted, 59.
Classical texts, the Italian market in 1472 overstocked with, 108 sq.; their editors’ colophons, 149-153.
Cleve, Johann von, musician, his troubles with his printers, 129.
Cluniac monastery at Rougemont. See Rougemont.
Codex, meaning of the word, 12.
Cologne, book dated ‘1458’ printed at, 47 note.
Colophon, the city, xi.
Colophons, original meaning and derivation of the word colophon, ix; history of its use in England, x; its connection with the city of Colophon, xi; GENERAL REMARKS ON, 1-7; colophons not found in all early printed books, 4, 9 sqq., 15; their information often defective, 4; more often found in Latin than in vernacular books, 6 sq., 44, 47; their use a sign of the printer’s pride in his work, 6, 9, 22, 82, 85; EXAMPLES OF COLOPHONS USED AT MAINZ, 8-29; difficulty of exactly translating words used in, 12 sq., 24, 53; phrases taken over from one colophon to another, 15 sq.; possible significance of this, 17 sq., 52; attachment of printers’ devices to, 20, 23, 82; their evidence as to the invention of printing, 25 sqq.; EXAMPLES OF VENETIAN COLOPHONS, 30-56; their information as to the size of early Venice editions, 32, 34, 37; use of verse in, 31, 52, 54; misprinted dates in, 43 sqq., 60; PRINTERS’ COLOPHONS IN GENERAL, 57-90; frequent expression of religious feeling in, 57 sq., 92 sq.; boastfulness in, 58; often used to claim credit for introducing printing into a particular town, 58-60; allusion in an Oxford colophon to Venice printers, 62; Florentine allusion to spaces left for Greek words, 64; their allusions to the plague, 65 sqq.; tell us of books begun in one place and ended at another, 67 sqq.; their allusions to war, 69 sq.; to deaths of printers, 36, 71 sq.; to relations between masters and workmen, 72 sq., 78; their apologies for misprints, 72-74; allusions in a Naples colophon to the printers’ enemies, 75; boasts of loyalty, 76 sq.; references in colophons to types, 80; an Augsburg colophon with an acrostic of the printer’s name (see under Capitales litterae), 81; references to their printers’ marks, 82-86; express their printers’ desire to make their names known, 87 sq.; PUBLISHERS’ COLOPHONS, 91-122; their professions of unselfish zeal, 91 sqq.; praise of the books to which they are appended, 94 sqq.; their demand for gratitude, 92; allusions to the help given by patrons, 99 sqq.; or by a philanthropic partner, 101, 108; the publisher in one case a bell-ringer, 102; in another a poet, 103; colophons often precise in their note of their publishers’ address, 104; their vaunts of cheapness, 106; or of a correctness beyond price, 108; allusions to quick printing, 109; their references to privileges for exclusive printing, 110-120; their scanty allusions to pictures in books, 121 sq.; COLOPHONS OF AUTHORS AND EDITORS, 123-158; examples of these in combination with printers’ or publishers’ colophons, 124 sqq.; colophons an outlet for the author’s thankfulness, 125; or his complaints—a grumble at overwork, 127; complaints of printers, 129; apologies for bad Latin, 130; details as to author’s age, 131; an author’s precaution to prevent his colophon being omitted, 132; colophons of William Caxton, 133-138; colophons used to advertise the author, 139 sq.; or to allow editors to depreciate their predecessors, 140 sqq.; colophons of liturgical printers and editors, 145-148; of editors of classical texts, 149-153; allusions to textual difficulties also in modern works, 154; editorial pleas for indulgence, 156; editorial gratitude to helpers, 157; REPETITIONS, THEFTS, AND ADAPTATIONS OF COLOPHONS, 159-169; grammatical errors introduced by thieves, 165; DATES IN COLOPHONS, 170-184; common errors in reading them, 183 sq.
Conrad of Westphalia, steals a colophon of Veldener’s, 162.
Copyright, possibly more respected in German cities than elsewhere, 17 sq.; at first dependent on courtesy or rules of trade-guilds, 22; secured by ‘privileges,’ 110-120.
Corallus, Stephanus, colophon quoted, 109.
Cornazanus, Antonius, his verse colophons, 31.
Corniger, Franciscus, prints his patron’s poems, 103.
Creusner, Fridericus, copies a Valdarfer colophon, 161.
Damilas, Demetrio, corrector of the Florentine Homer, 5 sq.
Dates in colophons, 170-184.
Daubeney, W., urges Caxton to print ‘Charles the Great,’ 99, 136.
Deaths of printers, allusions to, in colophons, 36, 71.
Demetrio of Milan. See Damilas.
Devices, attached to colophons, 82; examples of portraits used as, 84 sq.
Diel, Florentinus, his charges against previous editors, 143.
Doges, names of, in colophons, 41; list of, 173.
Dupré and Gerard, colophon quoted, 179.
Easter day, 1470-1521, list of dates on which it fell, 178; French year began with, 179.
Editions, number of copies in those first printed at Venice, 32, 34, 37; at Milan, 151 sq.
Editors’ and authors’ colophons, 123-158.
Eggestein, Heinrich, his books before 1471 not dated, 11.
Elementa, Elementatum, meaning of the words, 24-80.
England, year used to begin on March 25th in, 176; regnal years of kings (1461-1603), 172.
Errors of dating in colophons and in reading them, 183 sq.
Floods, allusion to, in a colophon, 167.
Florence, colophons of books printed at, 5, 63, 154, 160; Florentine year began on Lady day, 181.
Foresti, Jacobus. See Jacobus Bergomensis.
Fossa, Evangelio, privilege granted to, for all his writings, 113.
France, regnal years of kings (1461-1610), 172.
Franciscus, Magister, his verses in Mainz editions of Justinian, 26.
Free trade, effect of, on English printing, 110.
Freiberg, first book printed at, 67.
Fust, Johann, colophons from books printed by, 10 sqq.; failure of his health, 18.
Geese of the Capitol, Ulrich Han’s allusion to, 88.
‘Germani fidelissimi,’ who they were, 77.
Germany, day on which the year began in, 177; method of indicating days of the month and week by saints’ days, introits, etc., used in, 182 sq.; privileges for exclusive printing granted in, 119.
Grammars vaunted as royal roads to learning, 95 sqq.
Grammatical slips in borrowed colophons, 165 sq.
Greek, allusion in a Florentine colophon to the practice of leaving blank spaces for Greek quotations, 64; a Greek colophon, 5.
Gregorii, J. and G., colophons quoted, 112 sqq.
Gutenberg, Johann, never put his name to any printed book, 11; his tradition of secrecy imitated, _ib._; sale of his types, 17.
Hamann, Johann, adopts part of a colophon, 169.
Han, Ulrich, colophons quoted, 88, 101, 108, 120; financed by Simon Chardella, 101; copies Schoeffer’s colophons and makes blunders in them, 165-168.
Henry VII, Caxton’s relations with, 137.
Herbort, Johann, colophons quoted, 78 sq.
Hoemberch, Conrad de. See Winters.
Horae, references in, to their pictures, 120.
Hortus Sanitatis, reference in the colophon of Meidenbach’s edition to its pictures, 121.
Ides, method of dating by, 182.
Indictions, method of reckoning by, used in colophons, 170.
Introit at high mass, first word used to denote the Sunday to which it belonged, 183.
Invocavit Sunday, 184.
Jacobus Bergomensis, his age when he finished different editions of the Supplementum Chronicarum, 131 sq.
Jakob of Amsfort, Ulrich Zell’s acknowledgment of his help, 157.
Januensis (of Genoa), 81.
Jenson, Nicolas, colophons quoted, 41-49; partnership with John of Cologne, 78; one of his colophons reprinted at Naples, 162.
John of Cologne, finances Wendelin of Speier, 36; colophons quoted, 55, 77 sq., 169.
John of Speier, colophons in his books, 32 sq.
John of Verona, colophons quoted, 120.
John of Westphalia, his portrait device mentioned in his colophons, 84, 86.
Justinian, verses of Magister Franciscus in Mainz editions of the Institutes and Decretals, 26.
Kachelofen, Conrad, colophon to Meissen Missal, 67.
Kessler, N., colophon quoted, 155.
Koberger, Anton, colophons quoted, 121, 148; borrows a Cologne colophon, 168.
Koelhoff, Johann, book dated ‘1458’ printed by, 47 note.
Lady day, March 25, in England and Florence year used to begin on, 176, 181.
Laetare Sunday, 183.
Latis, Bonetus de, asks indulgence for his bad Latin, 131.
Lavagna, F. da, colophons quoted, 60, 149.
Leeu, Gerard, allusion to his death, 72.
Levet, Pierre, uses a Cologne colophon, 168.
Libri, Bartolommeo di, Proctor’s discovery of his importance as a Florentine printer, 4-6.
Lisa, Gerard de, colophon quoted, 59.
Liturgical books, colophons in, 145-148.
Livy, verses in Wendelin of Speier’s 1470 edition of, 37.
Lucca, first book printed at, 59.
Lucretius, rarity of medieval texts of, 153.
Mainz colophons, 8-29.
Malory, Sir Thomas, his illness and death, 124.
Manthen, Johann, partnership with John of Cologne, 78.
Mantua, first book printed at, 59.
Marnef, Geoffroi, colophon quoted, 106.
Masters and workmen, references to the relations between, 72 sq., 78.
Matthias Moravus, was he one of the ‘Germani fidelissimi’? 77.
Mentelin, Johann, his books before 1473 not dated, 11.
Milan, rival claims to the first introduction of printing at, 60.
Misinta, Bernard, his attribution of his 1499 Politian to Florence, 160.
Misprints, apologies for, 72 sqq.; in dates in colophons, 43-48.
Missal printers, their special claims to accuracy, 145 sqq.
Müller, Johann, his advertisement of his books, 89.
Natta, Georgius, embassy to Milan, 127.
Nerli, Bernardo and Nerio, finance the Florentine Homer, 5 sq.
New Year, date of, in various countries, 175 sqq.
Nicolaus de Auximo, finishes in 1444 his Supplementum Summae Pisanellae, 133.
Nones, method of dating by, 182.
Oculi Sunday, 183.
Olympiades Dominicae, 79, 170.
Olympiads, Theodoric Rood’s misreckoning by, 61, 170.
Omnibonus Leonicenus, his verse colophons, 31, 42.
Orlandi, Sebastian and Raphael dei, patrons of Pescia printers, 99.
Ortus Sanitatis. See Hortus.
Oxford, book dated ‘1468’ printed at, 46 note; the colophon of the 1485 ‘Phalaris,’ 62.
Paderborn, John of. See John of Westphalia.
Paganinus de Paganinis, adopts part of a John of Cologne and Jenson colophon, 169.
Palares, Antonio, bell-ringer, finances a Lerida breviary, 102.
Pannartz, Arnold, his praise of Valla’s ‘De Elegantia Linguae Latinae,’ 96; see also Sweynheym and Pannartz.
Pavia, first book printed at, 58.
Pictures in early printed books, colophons alluding to, 120-122.
Pigouchet and Vostre, colophon quoted, 179.
Plague, allusions to, in colophons, 65, 67.
Pleydenwurff, W., illustrator of the ‘Nuremberg Chronicle,’ 121.
Politian, edition of, printed at Brescia with the false imprint ‘Florentiae,’ 159.
Popes, 1458-1534, list of, 171 sq.
Portrait devices, 84 sq.
Pratt, William, urges Caxton to print the ‘Book of Good Manners,’ 99.
Printers’ devices, use of, in colophons, 20; their significance, 22.
Printing, invention of, secrecy observed by Gutenberg and his followers as to, 11; evidence obtainable from colophons as to, 25 sq.; Johann Schoeffer’s account of, 27 sqq.
Privileges for exclusive printing, early history of, 110-120.
Proctor, Robert, his identifications of the printers of incunabula, 4 sqq.; his arrangement of the earliest Venetian books, 34.
Punctuation, explanation of the system used in a Salzburg Missal, 145.
Pynson, Richard, colophon quoted, 118.
Ratdolt, Erhard, book dated ‘1468’ printed by, 46 note; his specimen-sheet, 89.
Regiomontanus, Joannes. See Müller.
Regnal years of popes and kings of England and France, 171 sqq.
Religious feeling in colophons, 57.
Reminiscere Sunday, 183.
Richel, Bernard, his books before 1474 not dated, 11; adopts a Rougemont colophon, 167.
Ricius, Bernardus, colophon quoted, 111.
Riessinger, Sixtus, complains of his enemies, 75; relations with F. Tuppo, 76.
Roman letter, first book wholly printed in, in England, 118.
Rood, Theodoric, his misreckoning by Olympiads, 61, 170; colophon of his ‘Phalaris’ quoted, 61.
Rougemont, Cluniac monastery at, colophon of book printed there, 167.
Ruppel, Bertold, never dated any of his books, 11.
Sabellico, Marc’ Antonio, privilege for exclusive printing granted to, 111.
Saints’ days, German books often dated by, 182.
Schoeffer, Johann, his account of the invention of printing, 27-29.
Schoeffer, Peter, his colophons quoted, 8, 10, 16, 18, 20 sqq.; his glorification of the art of printing, 11; his allusion to his printer’s device imitated by Wenssler, 22; copies one of Valdarfer’s colophons, 161; his own colophons copied by Han, 165, and Wenssler, 168.
Scinzenzeler, Ulrich, colophon quoted, 115.
Scribes, their influence on printers, xvii.
Sensenschmidt and Frisner allude to their device in a colophon, 85.
Sidriano, Jo. de, colophon quoted, 58.
Sodalitas Celtica of Nuremberg, colophon quoted, 119.
Spain, privileges for exclusive printing granted in, 118.
Speier. See John of Speier, Wendelin of Speier.
Stuchs, Georg, colophon quoted, 146.
Sweynheym and Pannartz, their apology for their harsh names, 87.
Therhoernen, Arnold, colophon quoted, 92.
Title-pages, first appearance of, xvii.
Tuppo, Francesco, relations with Riessinger, 76.
V misprinted for X, 61; often mistaken for it, 183.
Valdarfer, Christopher, colophons quoted, 49, 51; his colophon to his 1474 ‘Confessionale’ unintelligently copied in Germany, 161.
Veldener, Jan, mentions his device in a colophon, 84 sq.; one of his colophons pirated by Conrad of Westphalia, 163 sq.; its subsequent history, 165.
Venice, colophons quoted, 25-56, 77, 80, 111, 112, 124, 131, 132, 147, 173; Oxford colophon’s allusion to Venice printers, 62; a reference to its foundation, 70; book privileges granted at, 111-113; list of doges of, 173; date when the year began at, 180.
Vérard, Antoine, careful address in his colophons, 105; colophons quoted, 105, 117.
Verona, colophon quoted, 120.
Verse, use of, in colophons, 31; the author’s apology for his renderings, _ib._
Vicenza, books printed at, protected by Venetian privileges, 115.
Virgil, verses in Wendelin of Speier’s 1470 edition, 37.
War, references to, in colophons, 69 sq.
Wendelin of Speier, colophons quoted, 36-41.
Wenssler, Michael, colophon quoted, 82; imitates Schoeffer’s use of armorial device, 22; copies one of Schoeffer’s colophons, 168.
Westminster colophons. See Caxton.
Westphalia, John of. See John.
Winds, allusion to, in a colophon, 168.
Winters, Conrad, mentions his device in a colophon, 85.
Wirzburg, Heinrich, colophon quoted, 166.
Wolgemut, M., illustrator of the ‘Nuremberg Chronicle,’ 121.
X, examples of accidental omission of, from dates in colophons, 43, 46 sq.; V printed in the place of, 61; often mistaken for it, 183.
Year, date of beginning in various countries, 175 sqq.
Zainer, Günther, verse colophon with acrostic of his Christian name, 81.
Zainer, Johann, colophon quoted, 58.
Zaroto, Antonio, his claim to be the first printer at Milan disputed by Lavagna, 60 sq.
Zell, Ulrich, colophon quoted, 156.
Zovenzonius, Raphael, his verse colophons, 31.
PRINTED FOR THE CAXTON CLUB
[Illustration: THE DE VINNE PRESS IMPRIMATVR]