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Full text of "An essay on colophons, with specimens and translations"

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The Publication Committee of the Caxton Club 
certifies that this copy of " An Essay on Colo- 
phons " 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 



PAGE 

INTRODUCTION ix 



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, 

1 5i 5 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, 

H69 35 

Dante. Divina Commedia. Venice : Wendelin of 

Speier, 1476 40 

Cicero. Rhetorica. Venice: N. Jenson, 1470 . . 42 

Decor Puellarum. Venice: N. Jenson, 1461 for 1 4,7 1 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 
vii 



viii CONTENTS 



PAGE 



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, 147 1 (and in many other of their books) . 87 
Cicero. Orationes Philippicae. Rome : Ulrich Han 

[1470] (and in several other of Han's books) . . 88 

V. PUBLISHERS' COLOPHONS 91 

Latin Bible. Vicenza : Leonardus Achates, 1 476 . . 94 
Laurentius Valla. Elegantiae. Rome : Arnold 

Pannartz, 1475 96 

Gasparo Visconti. Rithmi. Milan: Ant. Zarotus, 1493 103 

Journal Spirituel. Paris: Verard, 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 

INDEXES 185 




INTRODUCTION 




JEAVING the Colophon in its biblio- 
graphical aspects to the able hand by 
which these are about to be treated, it 
may not be amiss to preface Mr. Pol- 
lard'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 any- 
thing. It is clearly cognate with KopocpY], but is a word 
of far less importance, for while thirteen derivatives 
from xopocp-yj are given in Liddell and Scott's Dictionary, 
v.o\oyw>v 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 po- 



IX 



x INTRODUCTION 

sition 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 sur- 
vived 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 "Anat- 
omy 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 manu- 
script — the earliest example quoted in the New English 
Dictionary is from Warton's "History of English Poetry," 
published in 1 774. 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 lexi- 
cographers, medieval as well as classical. Pending fur- 



INTRODUCTION xi 

ther investigation, it seems not unlikely that it may have 
been developed out of the secondary classical sense al- 
ready mentioned sometime during the seventeenth cen- 
tury, when the interest in bibliography which was then 
beginning to be felt would naturally call into existence 
new terms of art. The Latin word subscript™, which is 
used in a not very dissimilar sense, could hardly have 
been modernized without ambiguity. The Greek xopcovic, 
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 co- 
existed 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 com- 
pleted 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, 



xii INTRODUCTION 

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 " Theae- 
tetus" 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 unreason- 
able in this supposition if we were sure that the Colopho- 
nians actually had this casting-vote ; but the notion may 
well have been invented to explain the proverb ; and, 
after all, if vcoXo^cbv has the sense of" crest," no historical 
explanation seems necessary. 

We have, however, solely to consider here the appli- 
cation 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 colo- 
phon? In modern times we should probably say the im- 
print, for although the printer's name, as well as the pub- 
lisher'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 com- 
monly 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 ne- 
cessarily exercised the greatest influence on their develop- 



INTRODUCTION xiii 

ment. 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 estab- 
lished 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 caudi- 
ces y 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 ut- 
most brevity, and written at the end, precisely like a colo- 
phon, which in fact it was, though not bearing the name. 
As the papyrus roll was not bound, there could be no let- 
tering upon a cover unless when, as was sometimes the 
case, a fine manuscript was inclosed within a case or wrap- 
page 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 



xiv INTRODUCTION 

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, " tie nimia compressio que- 
rent i moram itivectat." 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 let- 
tering if lettering had been the practice. 

It would seem, then, that the colophon of a manu- 
script would be the principal means of affording infor- 



INTRODUCTION xv 

mation respecting its contents; but, if we may so far 
extend the signification of the term as to cover any addi- 
tion made at the end by the transcriber, and having no 
reference to the subject-matter of the book, it was capa- 
ble 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 mis- 
chief to the text by some sudden movement, for a man who 
knows nothing about writing thinks that it is no concern of his. 1 
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 tear- 
ing 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 ana- 
themas against the pernicious race of book thieves, which 
can hardly be deemed uncalled for when we remember 

'We follow Mr. Clark's rendering, se put at habere labor em," " thinks all 
but think that, in spite of Priscian, the that mighty easy." 
writer must have intended by " nullum 



xvi INTRODUCTION 

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 ejacula- 
tions of medieval scribes, whether minatory, hortatory, 
or simply expressive of gratitude or relief at the termina- 
tion of their irksome labors. How far this latter senti- 
ment 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 



INTRODUCTION xvii 

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 appar- 
ent 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 pro- 
clamation 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 ex- 
plained 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 



xviii INTRODUCTION 

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 en- 
graving, 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 manu- 
script. This was never set out on a distinct leaf, an indis- 
pensable 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 colo- 
phon, began to appear upon them. 

This it is which gives the colophon such extraordi- 
nary importance in the history of early printing. Wher- 
ever 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 scien- 
tific 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 



INTRODUCTION xix 

determination of the locality of an early book is a para- 
graph 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 reflect- 
ing 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 inti- 
macy 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 de- 
cided in asserting his superiority to the copyist, a re- 
action, 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 Bis- 
ticci, 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 power- 



xx INTRODUCTION 

fill, ironclad. Such printers as Jenson might have replied 
that their typographical productions were hardly in- 
ferior 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 ac- 
curacy. 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 pre- 
pared 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 un- 
derstood it and had professional feeling. 

Much more might be said about the old printer as re- 
vealed by the colophon — his trade jealousies, his dispo- 
sition 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, occa- 
sionally 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. 

R. Garnett. 



AN ESSAY ON 
COLOPHONS 




THE COLOPHON'S REASON FOR EXISTENCE 




I H E interest of individual colophons 
in early printed books has often 
been noted. The task which, un- 
der the kind auspices of the Cax- 
ton Club, is here to be assayed is 
the more ambitious, if less enter- 
taining, 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 in- 
formation it may give us as to the book which it com- 
pletes, 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 sim- 
ilar characteristics, and glance also at the books which 
have no colophons at all, or quite featureless ones, then 

3 



4 AN ESSAY ON COLOPHONS 

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 colo- 
phons from which all positive information is conspicu- 
ously 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 distin- 
guishing 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 ap- 
pearance 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. Proc- 
tor's Index he is credited with no fewer than one hun- 
dred 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 



REASON FOR THE COLOPHON 5 

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 infor- 
mation 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 : 

T»oi/ ojiitpov nroiHcri c o.-q-olo'cl. cpT* v*crtt[J<|o*et. -crcpo-c 4\h 
tyi\> hStm o-tui gcu €^ (^AopE^'T-ict^a-yaLAwM-a.D'J oa^j'T-qi/ & 
(eyuy *ci mfmtaf ay S^u^x/i TT^J Aofo vc < AAxy ix.t vc carov 
d\xtuy ftepyaLpV'ov Kail pxpiov tol^cm V'ocfjov yepiAio v <£Aa -*» 
p e yT !yo iy * *c*°V a 2^ e KOUL ^L t£i o'tht » VM/utT-pio V ft- e2Uo Act. 
If MKXfrroC Juy Ao yiuy a-p^pup ^a.piV Koi Ao Y^f c^^M|»f 
•coy €^ic/*.firtt^<a*<lTtt anDroTiiC^picrov nyHwrcuc^iAio #• 
c7oT&po-Koo*ioe;tt or a^0HK«q « onroca juipoc 2uxcjt.0piov 

Homer. Florence: [B. Libri,] 1488. 

'H tov 'Ofxijpov TTOLr)(TL<s aTTCLcra ivTV7T(o0€L(ra Trepas €i\r)(f>€v 
77S77 o~vv Beat iv 4>Xa>pevria, dva\(ofxao~L fiev to>v evyev<ov /cat 
ayaOwv dvSpcov, /cat irepl \6yovs eXXtji/iKous cnrovSaiw, Bep- 
vdphov koll N^piov TcuxuSos tov NepiXiov <j>\(opevTivoiv • ttopo) 
Se kolI Se^tan/Tt ArjfirjTpCov /aeStoXaveajs KprjTos, tgjj/ \oyia>v 
avhpoiv X ( ^P lv KaL ^o-ywv eXX^vi/cwy ifae/Aevcov, eret tw a7ro 
t^9 X^tcrrou yevvrjcreax; ^tXtocrra) TeT/aa/cocrtocrraJ o-ySan/cooTa) 
6y8ow p.r)vb<; AeKe/x/3/nou eWrr?. 

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 



6 AN ESSAY ON COLOPHONS 

the well-born and excellent gentlemen, enthusiasts for Greek 
learning, Bernardo and Nerio, sons of Tanais Nerli, two Floren- 
tines, 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 pro- 
duced. 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 ig- 
nored 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 



REASON FOR THE COLOPHON 7 

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 compara- 
tive 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. 




gtntf^Efm $n incltta tniim* 
tejraaafmna^mus anient* 

mrtprima-gUdofofcafaum 
te-ruifi tofignanto ftutuj-Sf m= 
prrtfiim rt fimtunt /Simo tint 
jmntcl^u>5nuigflia fon* 

$i3*aratoaptttoit- 




Breslau Missal. Mainz: P. Schoeffer, 1483. 




II 



COLOPHONS AT MAINZ 




T was said at the end of our first 
chapter that the presence of a colo- 
phon 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 colo- 
phons, telling us the story of the struggles of the inven- 
tor, 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 

9 



io AN ESSAY ON COLOPHONS 

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 3 6-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 

Pm hot opufaAu} fiiritu ae c6pl&u»et ad 
cufebiaj idttiduftne in awtatc (paguntij 
jxr*Jobanne fiift aue*et JSetru Icboifffcer & 
gernfbpm clen m fciottf cwfdej d> confix 
tnatsi. Atino incarnacois t)fiicc« AWccc-lxtj* 
^nwgiliaaflumpcots gtbfcwgrms marie. 




Latin Bible. Mainz : Fust and Schoeffer, 1462. 

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 1 47 1 , printed by Sweyn- 
heym and Pannartz at Rome. On the other hand, the 



COLOPHONS AT MAINZ n 

three editions printed before 146 2, as well as those of Eg- 
gestein and the " R-printer " at Strassburg and of Rup- 
pel and Richel at Basel, are all anonymous. We might 
imagine that there was a fear that the natural conserva- 
tism 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 reti- 
cence. Gutenberg never put his name in any book at all. 
Bertold Ruppel never dated one ; Eggestein dated no- 
thing till 1 47 1, Mentelin nothing till 1473, Richel no- 
thing till 1474. Most of their books are anonymous. 
When we remember that Mentelin was printing at Strass- 
burg, a city with which Gutenberg had many relations, 
as early as 1458, and Eggestein not long after; that Rup- 
pel 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 them- 
selves. 

In strong contrast to the almost furtive behavior of 
this group of printers is the insistent glorification of them- 
selves 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 



12 AN ESSAY ON COLOPHONS 

publication, in 1457, of the famous Psalter in which we 
find our first colophon : 

Presens spalmorum [sic for psalmorum] codex venustate capi- 
talium decoratus Rubricationibusque sufficienter distinctus, 
Adinuentione artificiosa imprimendi ac caracterizandi absque 
calami vlla exaracione sic effigiatus, Et ad eusebiam dei Indus- 
trie est consummates, 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 SchofFer 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 ini- 
tials, not merely, as the phrase is often used to mean, 
majuscules, or "upper-case " letters. "Adinventio" ap- 
pears 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, with- 
out emphasizing the contrast between the artificial meth- 
ods 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 



COLOPHONS AT MAINZ 13 

idea of pressing the further idea of the letter (/apaxnrjp) 
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 render- 
ings 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 Bene- 
dictine 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 diction- 
ary compiled by Joannes Balbus of Genoa, a Dominican 
of the thirteenth century. The colophon to this book, 
instinct with religious feeling and patriotism, and interest- 
ing 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, 
Hie liber egregius, catholicon, dominice incarnacionis annis 
Mcccclx Alma in urbe maguntina nacionis indite germanice, 



i 4 AN ESSAY ON COLOPHONS 

Quam dei clemencia tarn alto ingenij lumine, donoque gratuito, 
ceteris terrarum nacionibus preferre, illustrareque dignatus est, 
Non calami, stili, aut penne suffragio, sed mira patronarum for- 
marumque 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. 

/JftifTimi prefioio aiius nutu mfantium lingue ft 
unc oifcm*Qui eg mtofcpc gituUe rcuctat* quoo 
topicntibue cclAr.ttic liber esrcsms.catbob'con. 
Oiiicc marittrioms &r\m OQ ace Ix A\m& m ur 
bt maijimtinA ruricnio 'mdm germAntcr.QuAm 
&, i riemenoa tern alto bigtzni if lumine.tono oj $ 
tuifu.ceccris rerrai* narionibuc preFem.Hlufrrarc 
03 oign/itws eft Aon cAUmi.fHli.4Ut porno fufFttf 

done et moculo.impreflTus atq? confectus efK 
bine tibi fencfe pAtvr nato ol flAmmo facra.lau^ 
et bono? Oiio trino rribiiArwi et uno Gedofis Uu 
01 libra boc atbolia? phutt Qui Uudaw piAm 
fcmpernon linque.mAriam $€0.<3&/W?,4$ 

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 na- 
tions 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. 



COLOPHONS AT MAINZ 15 

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, there- 
fore, 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 Aqui- 
nas ; 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 Nico- 
laus Bechtermiinze and Wigandus Spiess of Ortenberg, 
having been begun by Heinrich Bechtermiinze, 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 he- 
reditary 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 in- 
choatum 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. 



16 AN ESSAY ON COLOPHONS 

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 Bechtermunze 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 Bechtermunze, 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 Boni- 
facii 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 tarn 
alti ingenii lumine donoque gratuito ceteris terrarum nacionibus 
preferre illustrareque dignatus est, non atramento plumali canna 



COLOPHONS AT MAINZ 17 

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 men- 
sis 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 in- 
vention of printing or stamping, and to the worship of God dili- 
gently brought to completion by Johann Fust, a citizen of Mainz, 
and Peter Schoiffher of Gernsheim, in the yearof 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, with- 
out 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 Guten- 
berg, 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 



18 AN ESSAY ON COLOPHONS 

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 citi- 
zens 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 impu- 
dently 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 Bechtermiinze, 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 colo- 
phon, 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 : 

Prdcn* AVarct tub) clanflinm opus -"Jo* 
banner fiift Moguttmid ciuu>*no anamc* 
tD'plumalt etna neqj acrea^cd arte qua? 
Dam pcrpulcra* (Sctri mami pucrimet kiu 
dtcr effect finitum* Anno*M«cccc* fcv* 

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 



COLOPHONS AT MAINZ 19 

" I, Johann Fust, citizen of Mainz, completed the book 
by the labor or instrumentality (manu)of myson 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 Se- 
cundae " of S. Thomas Aquinas and the second edition of 
the Clementine Constitutions, and this became for some 
time SchoefFer's normal colophon. In 1 470, 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 impres- 
soria feliciter consummatum per Petrum schoifFer de Gerns- 
shem in ciuitate nobili Moguntina. Cuius nobilitati vir beatus 
Ieronimus scribens ad Agerutiam de monogamia testimonium 
perhibet sempiternum multis milibus incolarum eiusdem in ec- 
clesia pro fide catholica sanguine proprio laureatis. 

Huic laudatori reddit moguntia vicem, 
Tot sua scripta parans usibus ecclesie. 

Anno domini M.cccc.lxx. Dieseptima mensis septembris que 
fuit vigilia natiuitatis Marie. Da gloriam Deo. 



£>itur ^opbronii €ufcbij ~J eronimi Ottfcoto* 
xi€cddw jcpijpugnatozie clarifRtiii iLifccr^csr 
roniimamts aut it maws q6 et ipevdim ttfccr 
epfaris cxpUaMit bifrmtas nomislcroninnV 
^3«i £g recgio viro'Jofii Andree pmaneat* qui 
foocipm *clo irtiofeonis crga wufencKi affe* 
cirue * tpc pi-i fco vulgamt m o?be . £11 aut piis 
opus arte mipflbiia felidter ofumatu per P ctrfi 
fch>iffcr Je jjernfbem hi duitatc n obilt 0)ogti^ 
tina* Cuius 11 obilitati vir bnis~] cronimus fcri^ 
bes ad^gcrutia te monog-amia teftttnotriu per* 
bite fern pitcrnii* multie mi lib? tncola^ eotfcl c 
111 ccSa $ fide catboitca fancf n ejprio laurcanf. 
iOuic laudatoti.rcddkmogtintta viccm 
Cot (ti a fenpta parae vfibus ecdelic. 
Anno tomim* (>)<ccc4)cp 6ie repttmamenfi* 
feptSbrio qucfiiitvigtfia nimuttatie Mane* 
Aaglonam&o. 




S. Jerome's Epistles. Mainz: P. Schoeffer, 1470. 



COLOPHONS AT MAINZ 21 

Thus of Sophronius Eusebius Hieronimus [/. e.> S. Jerome], 
the Orthodox, the most renowned champion of the Church of 
Christ, there comes to an end the book called after him Hie- 
ronominian, 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 Jo- 
hannes 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 Je- 
rome, 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 catho- 
lic 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 1 472, in the"DecretumGratiani cum glossis,"weget 
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, Ro- 
manorum rege gloriosissimo, rerum dominis, Nobili nee non 
generoso Adolpho de Nassau archiepiscopatum gerente magun- 
tinensem, in nobili urbe Moguntiaquenostros apudmaiores Au- 
rea dicta, quam diuina etiam dementia 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, cuncti- 
potente adspiranti deo, Petrus Schoiffer de Gernsheym suis con- 
signando scutis feliciter consummauit. 



22 AN ESSAY ON COLOPHONS 

A similar colophon was used in the " Nova compilatio 
Decretalium Gregorii IX" of 1473, anc * tne 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 edi- 
tion of the "Decretals of Gregory IX," the phrase is va- 
ried to "cuius armis signantur," after which Panzer re- 
cords 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 preeminence 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 depend- 
ing 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 copy- 
right 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 



COLOPHONS AT MAINZ 23 

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 ad- 
ditionibus dominorum de Rota: In ciuitate Maguntina impres- 
sorie 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 con- 
ceivable. 

In the 1473 re p rmt of the "Sextus Decretalium " we 
note that SchoefFer now considered himself venerable, or 
perhaps it would be fairer to say "worshipful" ("per ve- 
nerandum 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 im- 
portant variant. This reads : 

Igitur Aurelii Augustini ciuitatis orthodoxe sideris prefulgidi 
de ciuitate Dei opus preclarissimum, binis sacre pagine profes- 
soribus 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 schoirTer de gernsheim. Anno 
domini M.cccc.lxxiij. die v. mensis septembris. Presidibus ec- 
clesie catholice Sixto tercio pontifice summo Sedi autem mo- 
guntine Adolfo secundo presule magnifico. Tenente autem ac 
gubernante Christianismi monarchiam Imperatore serenissimo 
Frederico tercio Cesare semper augusto. 



24 AN ESSAY ON COLOPHONS 

Thus the most renowned work of Aurelius Augustinus, a shin- 
ing 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 orot/sca, 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 anti- 
quitas diuino non digna est visa indicio, nostra nichilo- 
minus 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 inven- 
tress and first perfectress of the printing art" ("In nobili 



COLOPHONS AT MAINZ 25 

urbe Maguncia Rheni, impressorie artis inuentrice elima- 
triceque prima"), while in the Clementine Constitutions 
of the same year he substitutes "alumnaque" for " elima- 
triceque," presumably in the sense of pupil or practiser, 
reverting subsequently to " elimatrice." In 1 478 he once 
more varies the praises of Mainz by calling her "domici- 
lium Minerve nrmissimum," " the most stable home of 
Minerva." With this year 147 8, 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 J 47^> 
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 Hol- 
land, 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 abun- 
dant 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 



26 AN ESSAY ON COLOPHONS 

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 un- 
disputed the fact that it was at Mainz that printing with 
movable types — "mira patronarum formarumque Con- 
cordia proporcione et modulo" — first became a practi- 
cable art. On the other hand, as to the individual in- 
ventor of this art the fifteenth-century colophons are 
absolutely silent. There is nothing in any Mainz colo- 
phon 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 Francis- 
cus, after the colophon, to the " Institutiones Justin- 
iani" of 1468, and reprinted in that of 1472, and in the 
Decretals of 1473, ^ ut om i tte d 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 interpreta- 
tion of these allusions identifies the " protocaragmatici " 
(though the "proto" may refer to preeminence quite 
as well as to priority) with Johann Gutenberg, Johann 
Fust, and Peter SchoerTer. 

So far as they are intelligible, therefore, these verses in 
the Institutes of Justinian confirm and extend the evi- 
dence 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 151 5, is shown as one of 
our illustrations, but may nevertheless be transcribed 
here for the sake of expanding its contractions: 



«E IMPRESSVM ET COMPLETVM EST PRESENS 

dironicarumopus^annodni* M D XVa'n uigilia Marga 

rctae uirginis* In nobili famofaqj urbcMo£iintina,hiu 

ius aro's impreffbrfe inucntricc prima*Per IO ANNEM 

SchofFei-^icpotequodahoncmuirilOANNISfufth 

ciuis Moguntifi^mcmoratc artis piimairi aucflor is 

Qui tande imprimc nd i arte proprio ingento ex? 

cogitarc Ipeculariq; coepit ano dfii'cg natiuitaf is 

M CCCC .UindidioeXlE Rcgnanteillu 

flriflimoRoampcracoreFREDERICO 

IILPr efidente fanefbe MogUntinae fedi 

Rcucrcdiffim o in chfo pre domino 

THEODERICOpincernadeEr* 

pachpricipe eleclore Anno aut 

MXXCCXmrxrfecitdeditf 

xitt£ea(diuinafauente gra 

tia) in opus inprimedi 

(Opera tnacmultis 

neceilarrj s adin ? 

uentionibus 

PETRI 
Schoffcrde 
Gernshciminfc 
ftri u* iiq$ filn adoptiV 
uQCui ctiam tiliam foam 
CHRISTINAM fufthin p 
digna laboru mul tamq? adinueV 
t ionu remuner arioe nupeui dedit .Re? 
tinerut auchrj duo iaprOTominatilOANNES 
fufth&PETRVS SchofferhScaitemifeacto(omfc 
bus miniftris ac familiaribus coi^nc ilia quo^modo main" 
feftaret,iureiurado aftruftis) Quo fande de ano dniMCCCC 
LXlIgeofdem familiarcsldiucrfas terras ,puinciasdiuulgata 
haud par urn fumpfit IcrcmcncumA 

CVM GRATIA ET PRIVILEGIO CAESAREE MADE* 

ftau'siuiTu&ipenfishoncftilOANNrSHafclpcrgcx Aia maiore 
Conftantiendiocciis/** 




Tritheim. Chronicarum opus. Mainz: Joh. SchoefFer, i 5 15. (Reduced.) 



28 AN ESSAY ON COLOPHONS 

Impressum et completum est presens chronicarum opus, anno 
domini MDXV. in uigilia Margaretae uirginis. In nobili fa- 
mosaque urbe Moguntina, huius artis impressorie. inuentrice 
prima. Per Ioannem Schoffer, nepotem quondam honesti uiri 
Ioannis Fusth, ciuis Moguntini, memorate artis primarii auc- 
toris. Qui tandem imprimendi artem proprio ingenio excogitare 
specularique coepit anno dominice natiuitatis M.CCCC.L. in- 
dictione XIII. Regnante illustrissimo Romanorum imperatore 
Frederico III, praesidente sanctae Moguntinae sedi Reueren- 
dissimo in Christo patre domino Theoderico pincerna de Er- 
pach, principe electore. Anno autem M.CCCC.LII. perfecit 
deduxitqueeam(diuinafauente gratia) in opus imprimendi, opera 
tamen ac multis necessariis adinuentionibus Petri Schoffer de 
Gernsheim ministri suique filii adoptiui, cui etiam filiam suam 
Christinam Fusthinn, pro digna laborum multarumque adin- 
uentionum remuneratione nuptui dedit. Retinuerunt autem 
hii duo iam praenominati, Ioannes Fusth et Petrus Schoffer, 
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 fa- 
miliares in diuersas terrarum prouincias diuulgata haud parum 
sumpsit incrementum. 

Cum gratia et priuilegio Caesaree Maiestatis iussu et impen- 
sis 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 151 5, on the vigil of Margaret, virgin, 
in the noble and famous city of Mainz, first inventress of this 
printing art, by John Schoffer, 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 illus- 
trious Emperor of the Romans Frederick III, and when the 
most reverend father in Christ, Theoderic the cup-bearer, of 



COLOPHONS AT MAINZ 29 

Erbach, prince-elector, was presiding over the sacred see of 
Mainz, And in the year 1452 perfected and by the favor of di- 
vine grace brought it to the work of printing, by the help, how- 
ever, and with many necessary inventions 1 of Peter SchofFer 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. 1 And these two already 
named, Ioannes Fust and Peter SchofFer, 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 "pro- 
tocaragmaticus, ,> 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. 

1 Adinuentionibus. The preposi- But as it may have been suggested by 

tion was probably here intended to be the " adinuentione " of the Psalter of 

pressed, giving the meaning of " addi- 1457, I keep the same translation, 
tional inventions" or improvements. 




Ill 



COLOPHONS AT VENICE 




'HILE to Mainz belongs the su- 
preme 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 pro- 
duction of Italy, and its quality was at least as remark- 
able 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 disappoint- 
ment in this respect. The Venetian colophons are plenti- 
ful and full of information, though chiefly about the 
publisher's side of printing. What makes them a little 

30 



COLOPHONS AT VENICE 31 

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 po- 
sition 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 colo- 
phons in the hands of their correctors, and these gentle- 
men 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 con- 
siderable trouble; and it would be a nice question as to 
whether Omnibonus Leonicenus and Raphael Zoven- 
zonius, 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 or- 
naments 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 vari- 
ous verse colophons and " reduced " them, as best he could, 
into English rhymes, since these, poor as they are, misrep- 
resent 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. 



32 AN ESSAY ON COLOPHONS 

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 Famili- 
ares," printed in 1469, the colophon is cast into these 
verses : 

Primus in Aclriaca fbrmis impreffit acnis 
Vrbc Libros Spira genitus de ftirpc Iobannes 
In reliquis fit quanta uides fpcs lector babcnda 
Quom Labor bic primus calami fupcraucrit artcm 

m.cccc.lxvuh. 

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 hie primus calami superauerit artem. 

M.CCCC.LXVUH. 

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? 

1469. 

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 



COLOPHONS AT VENICE 33 

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. 

Hefperie quondam Germanus quofq; libellos 
Abstulit: En plures ipfc daturus adefc. 

Nanq; uir ingenio mirandus &c arte Ioannes 
Exfcnbi docuitclarius pre libros. 

Spira feuct Venetis:quarto nam menfe pcregit 
Hoc tcrcentcnum bis Ciceronis opus. 

M.CCCCLX Villi. 

Cicero. Epistolae ad Familiares. Second Edition. 
Venice: John of Speier, 1469. 



Hesperiae quondam Germanus quisque 1 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. 

M.CCCC.LXVIIII. 

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. 

1469. 

1 1 make this emendation with much misgiving, as the medieval use of " quisque " 
was very elastic, and the text may be right. 



34 AN ESSAY ON COLOPHONS 

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 as- 
serts 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 every- 
thing we know of fifteenth-century printing forbids us to 
suppose that John of Speier kept the whole book stand- 
ing 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, be- 
tween supposing that the three hundred, the "tercente- 
num 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 con- 
sisted 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 edi- 
tion 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 : 



COLOPHONS AT VENICE 3s 

Qucm modo tarn rarum cupicns uix lector baber&: 
Quiq? ctiam firacftus penc legcndus eram: 
Rcrtitutt Venetis mc nupcr Spira Ioannes: 
Exfcripfitq? hbros ere notante mcos. 
Fcfla manus quondam moneo : Calamufq? quicfcat. 
Nanqj labor Audio ceflit:& ingenio. 

JM.CCCCLXVIIIL 

Plinius. Historia Naturalis. Venice: John of Speier, 1469. 

Quern 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: etingenio. 

M.CCCC.LXVIIII. 

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. 

1469. 

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 



36 AN ESSAY ON COLOPHONS 

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 Hbellos, 
Ceperat Aureli: subito sed morte peremptus 
Non potuit ceptum Venetis finire uolumen. 
Vindelinus adest, eiusdem frater et arte 
Non minor, Adriacaque morabitur urbe. 

M.CCCC.LXX. 

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. 

1470. 

The business which thus passed into his hands was cer- 
tainly 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 1 47 1 his colophons tell us that 
some of his books were financed for him by John of Co- 
logne, and after the summer of 1473 n * s tv P e P assea< mto 
the possession of this John and his "very faithful part- 
ner, Johann Manthen." As Wendelin's name disappears 
from colophons for three years, it is probable that his ser- 
vices were taken over with his types; in 1 470, however, he 
was his own master and the object of much praise from 
his colophon-writer. In his Sallust of this year we read : 



COLOPHONS AT VENICE 37 

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 con- 
gratulatory 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 : 
Nee vero tantum quia multa uolumina, quantum 

Quod perpulchra simul optimaque exhibeat. 

M.CCCC.LXX. 

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 ; 



38 AN ESSAY ON COLOPHONS 

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. 

1470. 

The colophon to the Petrarch claims credit for the res- 
toration 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 1 47 1 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" 



COLOPHONS AT VENICE 39 

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 edi- 
tion 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 en- 
tire 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 Speierto 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 reecho 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 Co- 
logne 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. 



4 o AN ESSAY ON COLOPHONS 

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. 

1473- 
'T is 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: 

J infra t kpn tcHttcltrc a btoo 

Saute fillegbien Sioientin porta 

lacui Mima fenfra alberga Item 

ncl cie! fcren one temp:e tl ffa m'uo 
fc imola be imemiro mat* fia piiuo 

£>etcrna fama cbc fua manfuera 

tyra opero commando i\ pcera 

per cut' t'l uxto s noi e trellcclfuo 
C brtftofal£erardtpifaur*Bfitetrf 

opera e fccke fmfegno corrcftore 

per qtianro fntefe t>i quells t fubtetrf 
Jb tfyicratenddinfuiltimpntorz 

Del millf quattrocento e fettantafetti 

coirawn glianni fcl ncRro figno:c 



fI*J0 

Dante. Divina Commedia. Venice : Wendelin of Speier, 1476. 



COLOPHONS AT VENICE 41 

Finita e lopra del inclito e diuo 
Dante alleghieri Fiorentin poeta 
La cui anima sancta alberga lieta 
Nel del 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 : 



42 AN ESSAY ON COLOPHONS 

Emendate manu funt exemplaria dodta 
Omntbonuquem dat u traq? lingua pa trem. 

Hxc eadem Ienfon ueneta Nicoiaus in utbe 
FormauiuMauro fub duce Chnftoforo . 

MARCITVLLIICICERONIS ORATO 
RIS CLARISSIMI RHETORICORVM 
VETERVM LIBER V LTIMVSFELICI 
TER EXPLICIT. 

.M.CCCC.LXX. 

Cicero. Rhetorica. Venice: N. Jenson, 1470. 

Emendata manu sunt exemplaria docta 

Omniboni: quern datutraque lingua patrem. 

Haec eadem Ienson Veneta Nicoiaus in urbe 
Formauit: Mauro sub duce Christoforo. 

MARCI TVLLII CICERONIS ORATORIS 

CLARISSIMI RHETORICORVM LIBER 

VLTIMVS FELICITER EXPLICIT. 

M.CCCC.LXX. 

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 por- 
tion of which might easily have led a reader to believe 



COLOPHONS AT VENICE 43 

that he was invited to buy a work by Atticus himself in- 
stead 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 hap- 
pily 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 LuctusChristianorum 
ex Passione Christi, zoe pianto de Christiani per la Pas- 
sione de Christo in forma de Meditatione." 

Colophon: A Christi Natiuitate Anno M.CCCCLXXI. Pridie 
nonas Apriles a preclarissimo librorum exculptore Nicolao gal- 
lico. Impressa est passio christi dulcissima. 



44 AN ESSAY ON COLOPHONS 

In the year 147 1 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. 

1 47 1, 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 Gal- 
lici. 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: 



COLOPHONS AT VENICE 45 

ANNO A CHRISTI INCARNA' 
TIONE.MCCCCLXI.PER MAGL 
STRVM NICOLAVM IENSON 
HOC OPVS OVOD PVELLA/ 
RVM DECOR DICITVRFELICI' 
TER IMPRESS VM EST. 

LAVS DEO. 

Decor Puelkrum. Venice: N. Jenson, 1461 for 1471. 

Anno a Christi Incarnatione MCCCCLXI per Magistrum 
Nicolaum Ienson hoc opus quod Puellarum Decor dicitur feli- 
citer impressum est. Laus Deo. 

In the year from Christ's Incarnation 146 1, by Master Nicolas 
Jenson, this book, which is called Maidens' Honor, was hap- 
pily 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 colo- 
phons (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 sub- 
ject the "Pianto de Christiani" and "Parole devote de 
1'anima inamorata" seem to pair best together, and the 
"Decor Puellarum" (regola de le honeste donzelle) 
with the "Palma Virtutum" (regola a qualunque per- 
sona). 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 



4 6 



AN ESSAY ON COLOPHONS 



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 for- 
mula of the " Palma Virtutum." The typographical evi- 
dence, without further corroboration, would entitle us 
to feel sure that the omission of a second X in the date 
MCCCCLXI was purely accidental, 1 but it is satisfac- 
tory to find that the form of the colophon itself makes 
it impossible to separate it from its fellows and unrea- 



1 As regards the misprint MCCCC- 
LXI for MCCCCLXXI, the ease with 
which a compositor could omit a sec- 
ond X is evident of itself; but it may 
be worth while, as proof of the fre- 
quency 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 



(i) At Barcelona, in an edition of 
the "Pro condendis orationibus iuxta 
grammaticas leges" of Bartollommeo 

Mates : 

Colophon : Libellus pro efficiendis ora- 
tionibus, ut grammaticae artis leges ex- 
postulant, a docto uiro Bertolomeo Mates 
conditus et per P. Iohannem Matoses 
Christi ministerum presbiterumque casti- 
gatus et emendatus sub impensis Guil- 
lermi Ros et mira arte impressa per 
Iohannem Gherlinc alamanum finitur 
barcynone nonis octobriis anni a natiui- 
tate Cristi MCCCCLXVIII. 



A booklet for making speeches as the 
rules of the art of grammar demand, com- 
posed by a learned man, Bartolommeo 
Mates, and corrected and amended by 
Father Juan Matoses, a minister and 
priest of Christ, at the expense of Guil- 
lermo 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 MCCCC- 
LXVIII. 

(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 Ie- 
ronimi in simbolo apostolorum ad papam 
laurencium Impressa Oxonie et finita An- 
no domini M.CCCCLXVIII, 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.CCCCLXVIII, 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 Augusten- 
sis probatissimus librarie artis exactor 
summa confecit diligentia. Anno Christi 
M.CCCC.LXVIII. vii calen. Decem- 
bris. 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. 



COLOPHONS AT VENICE 47 

sonable 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. 

M.CCCC.LXXI. 



Nicolas Jenson, a Frenchman, I 
This book have printed. Who '11 deny 
The skill it shows ? Then, reader kind, 
The while 't is read please bear in mind 
The printer's name with friendly thought 
Who this Suetonius has wrought. 

1471. 

(iv) At Cologne, in an edition of the retary, afterward as bishop, then as car- 
letters of Pope Pius II printed by Jo- dinal, was called Enea Silvio, the Familiar 
hann Koelhoff, the omission in this Letters, written to his friends in his four- 
case being a double one. *? ld con ? lt ' on °t life ' c °™ to an encL 

By me, Johann Koelhoff of Lubeck, an 

inhabitant of Cologne, in the year of the 

Colophon : Pii secundi pontificis maxi- Incarnation M.CCCCLVIII. 
mi cui ante summum episcopatum pri- 

mum quidem imperial! secretario, mox The anti ries rf Ox f rd and Bar- 

episcopo, deinde etiam cardinah senensi , „ x . . , , , 

-T £., • . T? .,- ..1 ceJona at various times have made what 

Enee Siluio nome erat Famihares epistole _ . « 

date ad amicos in quadruplici vite eius nght they could for the correctness of 

statu finiunt. Per me Iohannem Koel- the dates as printed, but the contest 

hoff de Lubeck Colonie incolaru Anno has long since been decided against 

incarnationis M.CCCCLVIII. them, while the careers of Ratdoltand 

Koelhoff are so well known that in 

Of Pope Pius II, who, before he attained their cases the incorrectness of the dates 

the supreme bishopric, as imperial sec- has always been a matter of certainty. 



48 AN ESSAY ON COLOPHONS 

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 Ci- 
cero" it runs: 

MCCCCLXXI. 

Opus praeclarissimum M. T. Ciceronis Epistolarum Famili- 
arium a Nicolao Ienson Gallico viuentibus necnon et posteris 
impressum feliciter finit. 

1471. 

A very notable book, the Familiar Letters of Marcus TulHus 
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 " Insti- 
tutes 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. 



COLOPHONS AT VENICE 49 

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 Ratis- 
bon, had set up a press at Venice, and toward the close of 
1 470 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" : 



ANNO.DO.M.CCCC.LXX. 

Lqiiem oratoris perfefti audirc fuuabit w~» 
1 _Materiam:fons eft: hoc ciceroms opus. ^^* 

}^jxMxl^msJ<^i^PlP^ u ^ att ^ lingua refulg&N-"' 
tiCtifl-op bott impreffus hie liber arte fiat, fi 
Cuiftirps Val3arkr:patriaefto^ratifpona tellustv <~% 
$1 Hunc emat:orator qui uelit effedibrum.-^ — >. 

Cicero. De Oratore. Venice: C. Valdarfer, 1470. 



ANNO DO. M.CCCC.LXX. 

Si quern oratoris perfecti audire iuuabit 
Materiam : fons est hoc Ciceronis opus. 

Hie tersum eloquium uelut Attica lingua refulget: 
Christophori impressus hie liber arte fuit. 

Cui stirps Valdarfer patria estque Ratispona tellus. 
Hunc emat, orator qui uelit esse, librum. 



5 o AN ESSAY ON COLOPHONS 

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 Ci- 
cero, containing thirty orations, and added to it, doubt- 
less 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 : 



Gcrmam ingenii quis non mirerur, acumen f 

Quod uuit gcrmanus protinas cfficict : 
Afpice quam mira libros impreffcrit arte : 

Quam fubito ucterum toe monumenta dedit 
Nomine Criftophorus : Valdarfer gentis alumnus: 

Ratifponcnus gloria magna foil ; 
Nunc ingens Ciceronis opus : caufafcp forenfes 

Quas inter patres dixit & in populo* 
Cernis quam recto : quam emendato ordine ftruxit 

Nulla figura ocuhsgratior cIFc potc.fl : 
Hoc autem illuftri Venctumperfecit in urbe 

Pra^tanti M&iro fubDuce Chriftophoro : 
Accipitc kunc librum quibus eft facundia cordi 

Qui te Marce coldi fpon te difertus cri t ♦ 

M.CCCC.LXXI* LODO-CARBO. 

Cicero. Orationes. Venice: C. Valdarfer, 147 1. 



COLOPHONS AT VENICE 51 

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, 't is 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. 
'T is 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. 
'T is printed here in Venice, 'neath the noble Moro's rule ; 

Who Cicero reads no other road to eloquence need try. 

1 47 1. Lodo. Carbo. 

After 1 47 1 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: 



52 AN ESSAY ON COLOPHONS 

Hoc ingens Ciceronis opus, causasque forenses 

Quas inter patres dixit et in populo, 
Tu quicunque leges, Ambergau natus ahenis 

Impressit formis. Ecce magister Adam. 
M.CCCC.LXXII. 

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 ; 
'T is Master Adam of that place has this edition done. 

1472. 

The Venetian verse tradition seems now to have settled 
down into a convention that a new printer should an- 
nounce his arrival in Latin elegiacs, but need not continue 
the practice. Franciscusde Hailbrun complied with it to 
this extent in some dull lines in an edition of the " Quad- 
ragesimale" 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 sen- 
tence, also constant in form, occur in numerous books 
printed by Bartolommeo de Cremona: 

FINIS 
Quern legisnmpreflus dum ftabitin acre cara&er 
Oum non longa dies uel fera fata prcment. 
(VCandida perpctua: non deerit fama Cremonx. 
Pbidiacum bine fuperat Bartbolomeus ebur. 
Ccditc cbalcograpbi:milIefima ueftra figura eft 
Arcbetypas fingit folus at ifle notas. 

M.CCCCXXXII.NICOLAO TRVNO DVCE VEN 
ETIARViM REGNANTE IMPRESSVM FVIT HO/ 
C OPVS FOELICITER. 

Caracciolus. Quadragesimale (and several other books). 
Venice: Bartolommeo of Cremona, 1472. 



COLOPHONS AT VENICE $3 

Quern 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 VENE- 

TIARVM 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 ren- 
dered 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 Nicolo 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 " typog- 
raphers," which means literally " writers with type." 
But what exactly were the " notas archetypas," the well- 
known models ? And how did Bartolommeo of Cre- 
mona 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 



54 AN ESSAY ON COLOPHONS 

himself, not as a printer, but as a type-founder. The ex- 
planation, 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. 

AnnoChristi 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, 
Nicolo 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 com- 
panions on the title-page of the Calendar of Johannes de 
Monteregio in 1 476. Two years later, when printing was 



COLOPHONS AT VENICE 55 

becoming so great an industry at Venice that such toys as 
colophons in verse must have begun to appear a little un- 
dignified, 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 Saxo- 
ferrato 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 
Quern magni genuit preclara Colonia rheni : 
Elysiis certe dignus post funera campis 
Inuentas propter, iustus si est Iuppiter, artes. 
Hie 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 ; 



56 AN ESSAY ON COLOPHONS 

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 
'T is 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. 





IV 



PRINTERS' COLOPHONS IN OTHER TOWNS 




HE examples already quoted from 
books printed at Mainz and Ven- 
ice will have sufficiently illus- 
trated some of the general features 
which run through early colo- 
phons — the professions of reli- 
gious thankfulness and devotion, 
and the desire of the printer to 
glorify not only the new art but himself as its most ex- 
pert 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 colo- 
phons 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 : 

57 



58 AN ESSAY ON COLOPHONS 

Immensa dei dementia finitur Quodlibet liber sancti Thome de 
Aquino ordinis fratrum predicatorum in eiusdem gloriam com- 
positus. Impressus Ulm per Iohannem czainer de Rutlingen. 
Anno domini Millesimo quadringentesimo septuagesimo 
quinto. Pro cuius consummatione Rex regum laudetur in se- 
cula 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 prototypog- 
raphers, — 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 qua- 
tuor" 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 Medio- 
anensem [j/V] huius artis primum artificem qui in urbe tici- 
censi \jic~\ 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 



COLOPHONS IN OTHER TOWNS 59 

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 hie : primus ubi artem 
De Civitali Bartholomeus init. 

Anno mcccclxxvii die xii Maii. 

This book was printed at Lucca, where Bartolommeo de Civi- 
dale first inaugurated the art, on May 12, 1477. 

In the "Manuale" or "Liber de salute siue de Aspira- 
tione Animae ad Deum" of S. Augustine, printed at 
Treviso in 1 47 1 , we find Gerard de Lisa boasting, with 
more poetry, but less precision : 

Gloria debetur Girardo maxima lixae, 
Quern genuit campis Flandria picta suis. 

Hie 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 is- 
sued the first book at Pavia, printing had been inaugu- 
rated at Mantua with another work by the same not very 



60 AN ESSAY ON COLOPHONS 

illustrious author — Gambiglioni's "Tractatus Malefi- 
ciorum." 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 Au- 
gust, 1 47 1 , 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. 



COLOPHONS IN OTHER TOWNS 61 

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 mis- 
print for a second X, which in some copies correctly takes 
its place. 

A possible explanation of Lavagna's boast in 1473 ^ es 
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 La- 
vagna 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 im- 
pressum est. 

Hoc Teodericus Rood quern Collonia misit 
Sanguine Germanus nobile pressit opus : 

Atque sibi socius Thomas fuit Anglicus Hunte 
Dii dent ut Venetos exsuperare queant. 



62 AN ESSAY ON COLOPHONS 

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 Univer- 
sity of Oxford in the two hundred and ninety-seventh Olym- 
piad 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 sur- 
pass 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 en- 
grave : we are now, O Venetians, selling to others. The art 
which was first known to you, O Latin Fathers, has been dis- 
covered 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 Ox- 
ford to buy the letters of the pseudo-Phalaris or any 
other books there printed, while the assertion that Brit- 
ons 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 opin- 
ion 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 re- 
cognized as the finest which was produced at Venice, that 
the Frenchman may fairly be said to have taught the 



COLOPHONS IN OTHER TOWNS 63 

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 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 commen- 
tary 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 re- 
peated, with the substitution of" Georgica " for " volu- 
men hoc primum," after the Georgics. The second 
comes at the end of the book. 

(1) Ad Lectorem. Florentiae. vii Idus Nouembres. Mcccc- 
Lxxi. Bernardus Cennius [sic], aurifex omnium iudicio pre- 
stantissimus, et Dominicus eius F[ilius] egregiae indolis ado- 
lescens, expressis ante calibe caracteribus, ac deinde fusis Uteris, 
volumen hoc primum impresserunt. Petrus Cenninus, Ber- 
nardi eiusdem F[ilius], quanta potuit cura et diligentia emen- 
dauit 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 exem- 
plaribus 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 in- 



64 AN ESSAY ON COLOPHONS 

terponere, eaque in antiquis codicibus perpauca sunt, et accen- 
tus 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. 

(i) 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 abi- 
lity, having first modelled the stamps with compasses, and after- 
ward 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 allow- 
ance 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 pur- 
pose. 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 no- 



COLOPHONS IN OTHER TOWNS 6$ 

ticed 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 monas- 
tery to monastery, printing one or two books at each. As 
late as 1493 one sucn 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 quamemendatissimum 
veniat. Imprimentur autem posthac libri alterius generis lit— 
teris, 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 in- 
conveniences, 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 dili- 
gently 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 



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mourn tn opptw&nufrg pa 
et arltntrr fintri iifurautt.iQS 
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nratatff.jt WiM ntltuf aitgrai 
miRinitio^apriffimunitrqua 
ralitacur tnpaotffr' cotanbus 
mtmc ftabrnf it in otrtrnnb^ riS 

Meissen Missal. Freiberg: Conrad Kachelofen, 1495. (Reduced.) 




COLOPHONS IN OTHER TOWNS 67 

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 pos- 
sesses 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 Kachel- 
ofen 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 : 

Quanquam alias codices librorummissaliumiuxtarubricam eccle- 
sie Misnensis per Reuerendissimum in christo patrem et domi- 
num dominum Iohannem f[elicis] r[ecordationis] olim episco- 
pum 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 inquirendum multitudini non sat- 
isfacit Ideo Reuerendissimus in cristo pater et dominus domi- 
nus Iohannes de Salhusen modernus misnensis ecclesie epis- 
copus, his aliisque penuriis et defectibus succurrere uolens, 
presens missalium opus iuxta rubricam iam dicte sue Misnensis 
diocesis diligenti opera castigatum atque distinctum per indus- 
trium Conradum Kachelofen huius impressorie artis magistrum 
oppidique lipsensis conciuem in oppido eodem inchoari : atque 
grassante pestifero morbo in oppido Freiberg perfici et foelici- 
ter finiri procurauit. Quod quidem opus ad nouarum etiam fes- 
tiuitatum, pro diuini cultus augmento, institutiones aptissimum 
erit : quarum historie in prioribus codicibus minime habenturet 
in presentibus cum multis aliis specialibus uotiuis missis suo or- 
dine annotantur ita ut hec noua uolumina cum precedentibus 



68 AN ESSAY ON COLOPHONS 

conferentes necessaria potius quam superuacanea fuisse animad- 
uertant. Anno salutis quinto et nonagesimo supra quadrin- 
gentesimum 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, for- 
merly Bishop of Meissen, to be printed elsewhere with suffi- 
ciently exact diligence, yet inasmuch as the aforesaid copies 
omitted many necessary things which the present ones have pub- 
lished, 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, accord- 
ing 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. 



COLOPHONS IN OTHER TOWNS 69 

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 Com- 
pendium of Prayers, for the use of the Italian synagogues 
was begun at Soncino in September, 148 5, and finished at 
Casal Maggiore in August, i486; 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. 



70 AN ESSAY ON COLOPHONS 

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 impera- 
tore 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 Inno- 
centio, e di Federico imperatore e del Inclyto duce Augus- 
tino 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 abando- 
nando le lor dolce patrie perueneno a le prenominate isole: ne- 
lequale 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 Aqui- 
legia 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 de- 
stroyed. 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 Fred- 



COLOPHONS IN OTHER TOWNS 71 

erick, 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 avoid- 
ing 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 
1 48 1, 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 quern net Regium mors inopina rapit. 

Post lachrymas tandem frater uirtutis amore 
Tarn pulchrum exegit Bartholomeus opus. 

Impressum Regii anno salutis M.cccc.Lxxxi. pridie Nonas Oc- 
tobris. 

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. 



72 AN ESSAY ON COLOPHONS 

Tears dried, Bartolommeo undertook, 

With emulous love, to end his brother's book. 

Printed at Reggio in the year of salvation 148 1. 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. 1 
One rather wonders what the workmen of Plato de Bene- 
dictis had to say about him when he died; for, if the colo- 
phon to his edition of " Bononia illustrata " (Bologna, 
1494) was worded with his consent,he had a nasty readi- 
ness to take all the credit to himself and leave all the 
blame for his workmen. 

X A colophon to Wynkyn de remembraunce to all wel dysposed per- 
Worde's edition of the Lives of the sones, whiche hath be translated out 
Fathers (Vitas Patrum) deserves men- of Frenche into Englisshe by William 
tion here as presenting us with a pic- Caxton of Westmynstre, late deed, and 
ture of Caxton, like the Venerable fynysshed at the laste daye of his lyff. 
Bede, engaged in his favorite task of Enprynted in the sayd towne of West- 
translation up to the very close of his mynstre by me Wynken de Worde the 
life. It runs: "Thus endyth the yere of our lorde MCCCCLXXXXV 
moost vertuose hystorye of the deuoute and the tenth yere of our souerayne 
and right renowned lyues of holy lorde Kyng Henry the Seuenth." 
faders lyuuynge in deserte, worthy of 



Ad Lectoretn ♦ 

BON Oniar:anno falutis.M. cccc .lxxxxim.Ex of 
ficina Platonis deBenedictis huiufce artis exacto 
lis probariflimi Li bell us <|pulcherTtms caracrheri 
bus imprcflus • In quo Origo / fitufq? Bononix « 
Hinc ufri ill u fetes :qiu in getiio claruerint ram do 
mefrici / § externuTempla quoq? ac corpora fane 
to rum ibidem confepulta • Pof rmedum oppida / 
uicus / factiones : qua: quondam hie uiguere • Ge 
Iraq? Bononiendum fub brcuicate conrenra: ana 
cum illuftri Bentiuolorum gcnologia connume I 
rantur, Sf quid tamen in eo mends et erroris ifer 
turn fuerit:non lmpreflbris negligcntiarfed poti / 
us famuiorum incuria prerermifl'um putei. Nam 
ille ingeniotlitteraturaq* no mediccn dotatus l et 
tail exercitio Iter cxteros exculciflimus eft* 

REGISTRVM. 

abede. 

Omnes funt quaterni pretet e qui eft tenuis* 

♦ ♦ * ♦ •♦ ♦ ♦♦ •»•♦••* 
• *** * * * • * •*♦ * * %*♦ -*» 

Bononia illustrata. Bologna: Plato de Benedictis, 1494. 



74 AN ESSAY ON COLOPHONS 

Ad lectorem. 

Bononiae: anno salutis .M.cccc.lxxxx.iiii. Ex officina Pla- 
tonis de Benedictis huiusce artis exactoris probatissimi Libellus 
quam pulcherrimis caractheribus impressus. In quo Origo. 
situsque Bononiae. Hinc uiri illustres : qui ingenio claruerint 
tarn domestici quam externi. Templa quoque ac corpora sanc- 
torum ibidem consepulta. Postmodum oppida, uicus, fac- 
tiones : quae quondam hie uiguere. Gestaque Bononiensium 
sub breuitate contenta : una cum illustri Bentiuolorum geno- 
logia [sic] connumerantur. Si quid tamen in eo mendae et 
erroris insertum fuerit : non impressoris negligentia sed potius 
famulorum incuria pretermissum putes. Nam ille ingenio lit— 
teraturaque 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, more- 
over the towns, villages, and parties which formerly flourished 
here, and the exploits of the Bolognese, briefly set forth, to- 
gether 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 work- 
men. For he himself is endowed with exceptional ability and 
literary gifts, and in such practices is preeminent 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 dis- 
cussions 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 



COLOPHONS IN OTHER TOWNS 75 

sed correctionis difficultati ascribas : quoniam nihil verborum 
praetermissum esse depraehendis : rogat Gulielmus Tridinen- 
sis cognomento Anima Mia : cuius opera hoc opusculum Vene- 
tiis 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 Alex- 
andro " super secundo codicis Iustiniani," printed at Na- 
ples 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 humil- 
ity 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 Al- 
mani In florenti studio Neapolitano impresse per expertissimum 
ac clarum Sixtum Riessinger Almanum, qui inter sua aduersa 
floret uiret atque claret Nee perfidos maliuolos ac uersutos ex- 
istimat maiora perficiet [j/V] ad gloriam eterni Dei et felicitatem 
Ferdinandi Regis patrie. Et licet non miniis apparet ornata At- 
tamen 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 Fran- 
ciscum Tuppi Partenopensem tanti clarissimi utriusque iuris in- 



76 AN ESSAY ON COLOPHONS 

terpretis Antonii de Alexandro legum perule [sic] 1 inter tre- 
centos 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 wel- 
fare of the country of King Ferdinand. And although it ap- 
pears 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 cor- 
rected 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 trai- 
tors, 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 ap- 
pears to have been the actual printer, are stated to have 
been printed by Tuppo. The point is of some little in- 

1 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. 



COLOPHONS IN OTHER TOWNS 77 

terest as possibly throwing some light on the vext ques- 
tion 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 re- 
bellious 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 Ger- 
man workmen " on the other. (See his Index, p. 450, 
and " CCC Notable Books," pp. 1 07 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 consid- 
eration. 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 Agripi- 
nensis, 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 Koln and also of Johann Manthen of Gherret- 
sem, 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 1 476, 
where a phrase of the same kind is followed by another 
of some interest: 



78 AN ESSAY ON COLOPHONS 

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 Man- 
then 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 them- 
selves 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 pub- 
lishers 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, 148 1: 

£xacmminli5iicbocatq3pd3mopu0 mtctuaufpitijs 
ppamop 3oamus oe Colonic IRtcolai icnfon fodorauc 
l£)ui no tni fumma carl adbibucrc at lint bee % foa qtto& 
fine m'cio z ma\dz.mvicttim at bene Tint datowata at$ in 
cuudiirimolittcra^carattercprcctautumaiiqj^dclTepoP 
ftiUioblectare:inozepoetica*ip2odeJTcuoIuiUzodcaarc 
poete. femufceaatopmDarttfcrctttorumu^mbacarte 
mgr jfolnes oe Selgenftataleman^qaifaafoleitia acui / 
$fl«0 ouioqj impnmSdi caraoere fade fugeminet <>&♦ 
&ly mpudtbus ofuas /Bum mo milldimo.cccc ixm 
fotiasiionaoapitot 

Guido de Baysio. Super Decretis. Venice: John of Cologne and 
Nicolas Jenson, 1 48 1 . 



COLOPHONS IN OTHER TOWNS 79 

Exactum insigne hoc atque preclarum opus ductu auspitiis op- 
timorum 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 pro- 
desse 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 supere- 
minet 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 fin- 
ished 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 crafts- 
man 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 Olym- 
piads of the Lord and the year 148 1, on April 3d. 

Herbort was fond both of the phrase about the Olym- 
piads (which might be more idiomatically translated by 
" in the Christian era ") and also of his eulogy on him- 
self, 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 mani- 
festations 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. 



80 AN ESSAY ON COLOPHONS 

Proctor in this field. The first of these is from Hain 
* 1 06 1 4, 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 in- 
carnacionis 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 ofFbeyond 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 
Liege, 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 



COLOPHONS IN OTHER TOWNS 81 

first Augsburg edition of the " Catholicon " of Joannes 
Balbus, about the Mainz edition of which we have al- 
ready 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 hie dicitur esse magister, 
Recte presentis artis doctissimus ipsus. 
Vt pateat nomen libri qui dicitur esse, 
Sumptus de varijs autoribus atque poetis 
Katholicon, fertur quern 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), 



82 AN ESSAY ON COLOPHONS 

where resided he who gave the book its prologue, Schowen- 
berg, called Cardineus, a distinguished moderator ; and it is fin- 
ished 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 iden- 
tify 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 lead- 
ing 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 SchoefTer's 
leads, followed him also in this. The elaborate praise of 
his own work, which we find in his 1 477 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 affix- 
ing his device : 

P zeflcsfcpe vtbesk&oz ftubtofe Kbdlos 
h U05 ctiam gaubcs connu met arc tuis 
% i f ucrf t nitibi t crfi fi bogmata bigna 
C otitmcant'afitlitcra*vcta*bona* 
D ifpereamnifi muem'asbec omia hi iftis 
fit uospzcffit Wcntyere tngciriofa mamia 
§1 am quecuncgf uit hoc toto cobicc pzcfla 
IL itcra«folicito(cfta(abc:cfuit 



COLOPHONS IN OTHER TOWNS 83 

^nfignc ct cdebratiffinw op? 6onif actj octa* 
tii quob fc^ctti bcctetafiii ajpdlant ^npdarifli 
mavrbc&afilicfi mgenio a artcAVicbadts 
W^rslczs^mpzcflu/gloriorofauctcbco fii* 
is cofignanbo fcutig/ fdicif: eft f itwtu Anno to 
mini feptuagefimofepthnopoft miilefimu et q 
frritisentefimum quarto p&us Deccmbris ♦ 




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 sep- 
tuagesimo septimo post millesimum et quadringentesimum 
quarto ydus Decembris. 



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COLOPHONS IN OTHER TOWNS 85 

Student, you oft must see a printed book 
And think how well upon your shelves 't would 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 '11 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 re- 
nowned 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. 

So, in 1475, Sensenschmidt and Frisner at Nuremberg is- 
sued their Latin Bible "suis signis annotatis"; and at Co- 
logne, in 1476, Conrad Winters ends an edition of the 
"Fasciculus Temporum": "Impressum per me Conra- 
dum de Hoemberch meoque signeto signatum" (printed 
by me, Conrad de Hoemberch, and signed with my sig- 
net) ; 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." 1 As an amus- 
ing variation on this we have the custom adopted by John 

1 Impressa est hec presens cronica The present chronicle, which is 

que fasciculus temporum dicitur in called the "Fasciculus Temporum," 

florentissima vniuersitate louaniensi ac printed in the most flourishing university 

sicut propriis cuiusdam deuoti carthu- of Louvain and in like manner as it was 

siensis, viri historiarum studiosissimi, compiled by the very hands of a de- 

manibus, a mundi inicio vsque ad sixti vout Carthusian, a most zealous student 

huius nomine pape quarti tempora con- of history, by me, Jan Veldener, with 

texta erat, per me iohannem veldener the utmost diligence and at unusual 

summa diligentia maiorique impensa, expense, with additional illustrations, 

nonnullis additis ymaginibus ad finem brought to an end and signed with my 

vsque deducta, et proprio signeto sig- own device, in the year from the Lord's 

nata, Sub anno a natiuitate domini nativity 1476, on the fourth day before 

. M.cccc.lxxvi. quarto kalendas ianua- theKalendsof January (December 29), 

rias secundum stilum romane curie, de by the style of the Roman court. For 

quo sit deus benedictus. Amen. which God be blessed. Amen. 



86 AN ESSAY ON COLOPHONS 

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 impri- 
mere curaui : nonnullorum egregiorum uirorum desideriis ob- 
secutus, qui prenominatum pronosticantem futura uere, inculto 
quamuis stilo, compluribus annis prenunciasse ferunt. Non re- 
uera quo utilitatem magnam ipse consequerer (utilius enim opus 
earn 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 ad- 
vantage 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 " Bre- 
viarium super codice " of Iohannes Faber) on such a 
publication John of Westphalia secured a wide adver- 
tisement. 



COLOPHONS IN OTHER TOWNS 87 

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 : 

Afptcif illuffcnf [ecftor qutcunq? libelfof 

Si cupif araficum nomina noflc;Iege* 

AXpera ndebifcognonunaTeutonai forfeit 

Mittgecarfmufifmfcia uerba uirum. 

C6raduf fuuejmbeym: Axnolduf pSnartzq? rttagifltt« 

R-ome impreflemnc ralia mutt* ftmul. 

Pcrruf cum f ratre Francifco Maximuf ambo 

Huic opertapcacam concnbueredomum 

•M-CCCC.LXXI, 

S. Cyprian. Epistulae. Rome: Sweynheym and Pannartz, 147 1 (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. 

.M.CCCC.LXXI. 



88 AN ESSAY ON COLOPHONS 

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 1 for the work. 

1471. 

Ulrich Han, another German printer at Rome, adver- 
tised himself in many of his books in another set of verses, 
perhaps the only instance of a colophon deliberately in- 
tended 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). 

Anfer Tarpeii cuftos Iouis : iinde | q> alis 
ConGreperes Gallus decidit : ultor adeft 

Vdalncus Gallus i ne quern pofcan? in ufurn 
Edocuit pennis nil opus effe mis . 

Impnmit ilk die quanta non fcribi? anno ♦ 
Ingenio baud noceas ; omnia mat bomo : 

Cicero. Orationes Philippicae. Rome : Ulrich Han [1470] (and in several 
other of Han's books). 

Anser Tarpeii custos Iouis : unde quod alis 
Constreperes : Gallus decidit : ultor adest. 

Udalricus Gallus, ne quern poscantur in usum 
Edocuit pennis nil opus esse tuis. 

Imprimit ille die quantum non scribitur anno 
Ingenio : haud noceas : omnia vincit homo. 

1 Aptatam, a better reading than the optatam of the earliest version. So, in 1. 2, 
the original reading, nosce, has been corrected to nosse. 



COLOPHONS IN OTHER TOWNS 89 

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 is- 
sued a splendid type-sheet with specimens of all his differ- 
ent 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 Miiller of Konigsberg (Iohannes Regio- 
montanus),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 moni- 
mentis stabilibus mandare decretum est (deus bone fa- 
ueas) qua re explicita si mox obdormierit opifex mors 
acerba non erit, quom tantum munus posteris in haeredi- 
tate reliquerit, quo ipsi se ab inopia librorum perpetuo 
poterunt vindicare." — "Lastly it has been determined 



9 o 



AN ESSAY ON COLOPHONS 



to commit to abiding monuments that wondrous art of 
putting letters together (God of thy goodness be favor- 
able!), 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 Muller was 
called to Rome by Sixtus IV to give his help in reform- 
ing the calendar, but his foreboding was not unfulfilled, 
for death came to him in 1 476, only two years after this 
announcement was written. 





PUBLISHERS' COLOPHONS 




| HE heading adopted for this chap- 
ter is not intended to imply that 
the colophons here grouped to- 
gether are separated by any hard 
line from those already considered, 
only that they deal with the pub- 
lishers' 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 de- 
votion 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 

9 1 



9 2 AN ESSAY ON COLOPHONS 

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 ser- 
mons 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 "Ser- 
mones 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 hie 
precellens supresso proprio nomini uocabulo Sermones hos 
prehabitos Discipuli prenotatosque alias maluit nuncupari. 
Quique tamen, ut luce clarius patet, de sub manibus euasit Doc- 
tor 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 



PUBLISHERS' COLOPHONS 93 

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 impres- 
soria, artium omnium ecclesie sancte commodo magistra, in 
notitiam plurimorum ad laudem cunctipotentis Dei. Anno 
incarnationis Dominice M.cccc.Lxxvi. tercio Kalendas No- 
vembris. 

Humble courses please the humble. For which cause this emi- 
nent 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 know- 
ledge 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 admira- 
ble 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 accor- 
dance 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, 



94 AN ESSAY ON COLOPHONS 

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 is- 
sued 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. 

JLCutoz qai'fquw easfi cbzifiume fenrid/te non ptgeit hoc opua 
faiKtiiumihque btblta infatbtnmmagna cu anuni uoluptafc 
oeguftare: oeguftandticK all js pfiiadere: nuper imprefliim a 
Lecnazdo Bafileenfi magna cum ozhgentza, m eo entm fidei 
noltze fundamentti fitum eft; 7 cbrzfhane religjonie otamic 
rad if ex eo ttbt cogntttone; roil ofw:tn qaibue fabia noftra 
ofiftif Jtgendo coparabt6:qtf eo Itbennus facere oebeaquo in 
tarn fetw feculo coaex btc pctofzflimus in Iucem emendati'ilt 
miis uenit ponnficaf us uidehcet fanct iflimi om nfi pope .d. 
Xiftiqoazri anno qutnto/iimperijcbziilianflTf rot fzederict 
tcrttj anouigefzmo fejcro/TdndKeuendzaimni oticig tnclyrt 
aenetoruannopzimo. 

4DCCCCLXXVI- 

Latin Bible. Vicenza: Leonardus Achates, 1476. 

Lector quisquis es, si christiane sends, te non pigeat hoc opus 
sanctissimum, que biblia inscribitur, magna cum animi volup- 
tate degustare, degustandumque aliis persuadere : nuper impres- 
sum a Leonardo Basileensi magna cum diligentia. In eo enim 
fidei nostre fundamentum situm est : et christiane religionis de- 
cus ac radix. Ex eo tibi cognitionem rerum omnium in quibus 
salus nostra consistit legendo comparabis: quod eo libentius 
facere debes quo in tarn felici seculo codex hie 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. 



PUBLISHERS' COLOPHONS 95 

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 salva- 
tion consists, and you should do this the more willingly because 
this most precious manuscript has been published in a most cor- 
rect 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 Pue- 
rorum 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 precep- 
tore eas discere, scire et intelligere possit. In quo si qui gram- 
matici studiosi, cuiuscunque status fuerint,pueri, fratres, sorores, 
mercatores, ceterique seculares aut religiosi legerint, studuerint 
atque se oblectauerint, Finem grammatice ausim dicere breuis- 
sime sine magno labore consequentur. Impressum Argentine 
et finitus Anno &c M.cccc.xciiij. 



96 AN ESSAY ON COLOPHONS 

Here ends the second treatise of the boys' grammatical exer- 
cise, in which a course is given on the government and construc- 
tion 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 de- 
lighted 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. 



Laurcntii Vallf uin eruckiflimi : U oratons cianflimi 
de Elegantia linguae latmae Liber Sextus &ultimus 
diligent! cmcndationc finitus ab tncaroatione dotmni 
Anno. M. CCCCLXX V. Die uero fecunda mentis 
IuliuSedn.SixtoIIILPon.MaxAnno cius quarto. 
Hos uero libros impr$ (Tic Clams: ac d ligentiflimus 
attrfbc Arnoldus Pannartz Naaone Germanus in 
domo nobdis uiri Petri de maximis duis Roman!: 
Tu qui latmf loqui cupts: bos tibt erne librossinqbus 
legendis fl curam (hidiumq; adbibuens : breui tt baud 
parumpfecifle intelliges. 

Laurentius Valla. Elegantiae. Rome: Arnold Pannartz, 1475. 



PUBLISHERS' COLOPHONS 97 

Laurentii Vallae uiri eruditissimi et oratoris clarissimi de Ele- 
gantia linguae latinae Liber Sextus et ultimus diligenti emenda- 
tione 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 erne libros, in quibus legendis si curam studiumque ad- 
hibueris, 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 Ele- 
gance 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 under- 
stand 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 dili- 
gence in its study (cuius utilitas erit omni creature in uni- 
verso orbe que apponet huic operi studium summa cum 
diligentia). 

Publishers who offered their readers a chance of buy- 
ing books like these naturally posed as public benefactors, 
and in the colophon to a collection of the works of vari- 
ous illustrious men (Diui Athanasii contra Arium, etc.) 
printed at Paris in 1 500 the reader is informed categori- 
cally that he owes four several debts of gratitude which 



98 AN ESSAY ON COLOPHONS 

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 signifkationem fe- 
ceritis. Atque adeo in primis prestantissimo viro domino Si- 
moni Radin, qui hec situ victa in lucem edenda curauit. Deinde 
F. Cypriano Beneti : qui castigatrices manus apposuit. Turn 
iohanni paruo bibliopolarum optimo qui suo ere imprimenda 
tradidit. Nee minus M. Andree Bocard calcographo solertis- 
simo qui tarn terse atque ad amussim castigata compressit : Ad 
quartum Calendaslulias. 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 correct- 
ness, 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 pub- 
lishers ; but the system of patronage and the desire of 
well-to-do persons in various ranks of society to get spe- 



PUBLISHERS' COLOPHONS 99 

cial books printed led to divers bargains and agreements. 
We find the Earl of Arundel encouraging Caxton to pro- 
ceed with his translation of the "Golden Legend," not 
only by the promise of a buck in summer and a doe in win- 
ter by way of yearly fee, but by agreeing to take " a rea- 
sonable 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 pub- 
lish the " Book of Good Manners," or William Dau- 
beney, 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 doubt- 
less 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 Commen- 
taries of Accoltus on Acquiring Possession, printed by 
Franciscus and Laurentius de Cennis, i486. 

Finiunt Commentaria singularia et admiranda super titulo de 
acquirenda possessione, quern 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 auc- 
toris exemplari sumpta Anno M.cccc Lxxxvi. die Iovis. I1II. 
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 omnipo- 
tentis Dei. 



ioo AN ESSAY ON COLOPHONS 

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, i486, 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 i486, 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 vig- 
orously 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. Quern ob earn 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 con- 
summatum iudicamus : ut non solum illius artis meditatione 
tyro optimus miles fiat, sed omnis etas solertior, omnis spiritus 
uigilantior omne denique humanum ingenium prestantius effi- 
ciatur. Piscie, iiii Nonas Aprilis. M. cccc.lxxxviii. Sigis- 
mondo 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 



PUBLISHERS' COLOPHONS 101 

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 coward- 
ice, 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 archi- 
tect 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 decre- 
talium in duobus voluminibus : quern 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 diui- 
tumque 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 re- 
nowned 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 super- 
vised, 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 



102 AN ESSAY ON COLOPHONS 

and published in the year of salvation 1473, on November 1 5th, 
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 archbish- 
ops down to the Spanish bell-ringer who paid for a Le- 
rida Breviary, as its colophon very explicitly sets forth. 

Breuiarii opus secundum Illerdensis ecclesie consuetudinem ex 
noua regula editum clareque emendatum per dominum Lauren- 
tium Fornes, virum doctum, eiusdem ecclesie presbiterum suc- 
centoremque, prehabita tamen ab egregio Decano ceterisque 
Canonicis eiusdem ecclesie licentia, Anthonius Palares campa- 
narum 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 quadringen- 
tesimo lxxix° 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 
Lourenco Fornes, a man of learning, priest and sub-cantor of the 
said church, with allowance previously obtained from the illustri- 
ous 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 1 6th, in the year of the Lord's incarnation 1479. 
Amen. 

We might have imagined that, a bell-ringer being some- 
times 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 expen- 
sis" (at his own cost), that no such explanation is tenable, 
and we must imagine either that the bell-ringer was ac- 



PUBLISHERS' COLOPHONS 103 

tuated 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 strange- 
ness with that of the poems of Gasparo Visconti, printed 
to the number of a thousand copies by Franciscus Cor- 
niger, a Milanese poet, to whom he presumably stood in 
the relation of a patron. 

DVLCINVS PRO CORNIGERO. 

NE ELEGANTISSIMI OPERIS LEPOS MELLIFLV 

VS TEMPORIS EDACIS INIVRIA TIBI LE 

CTOR OPTIME ALIQVANDO PERIRET: AVT 

1LLVSTRISS.AVCTORIS INCLYTA MEMO 

RI A AEVO OBLITER ARETVR xN E ETI AM 

POSTERITAS HAC DELECTATION E DE 

FRAVOATA CVPIDINEIS LVSIBVS 

CARERET. F. TANCIVS GORNIGER 

POETA MEDIOLANENSIS HOS RHI 

THMOS MAGNIFICl ACSPLENDI 

DISSIMI EQyiTISGASPARISVI 

CECOMITIS LINGVAVFRNA 

CVLA COMPOSITOS:qq IN 

VITO DOMINO:IN MILLE 
EXEMPLA IMPRIMI IVS 
SITMEDIOLANIsAN 
NOASALVTIFERO 
VIRGINIS:PARTV« 
M.CCCC.LXXXXIII. 
QVARTO CALEN 
DASMARTIAS. 
FINIS.%« 

Gasparo Visconti. Rithmi. Milan: Ant. Zarotus, 1493. 



104 AN ESSAY ON COLOPHONS 

Ne elegantissimi operis lepos mellifluus temporis edacis iniuria 
tibi, lector optime, aliquando periret, aut illustrissimi auctoris 
inclyta memoria aeuo obliteraretur, ne etiam posteritas, hac de- 
lectatione defraudata, cupidineis lusibus careret,FranciscusTan- 
tius Corniger, poeta Mediolanensis, hos rithmos Gasparis Vice- 
comitis lingua uernacula compositos, quanquam inuito domino, 
in mille exempla imprimi iussit, Mediolani anno a salutifero Vir- 
ginis 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 devour- 
ing time, or the noble memory of the most illustrious author be 
blotted out by age, lest also posterity, defrauded of their plea- 
sure, 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 admiringfriend 
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 recep- 
tion 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. Verard'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 ? 



PUBLISHERS' COLOPHONS 105 

ffy fittiflte Journal fpititwtJmpiittK a part' 
pour 0ormo;a6fe flomme ^rte^ottte SrrarS 

tfcwrgope marr65£(j (tSiauc 9emo;5t 

a parte 9eaan(fa Vuemufue 

ntf&ame a fpmage firict 

3c0at| fmangeffffe 

on an pafa i j Sena ft e fa r ga 

pette Off f3cg(lfr fam# Se me ft 

feigttemeteepzeffienfyjZan mit cinq 

cemctcinq kfoiefme torn QeSccemfae- 

Journal Spirituel. Paris: Verard, 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 Ion 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 Verard 
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. 



106 AN ESSAY ON COLOPHONS 

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 1457. 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 '11 find good store if in you '11 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 Mat- 
thaeus Silvaticus printed at Naples by Arnold of Brussels 
in 1474. 



PUBLISHERS' COLOPHONS 107 

Explicit liber Pandectarum quern 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: nee 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 Supi- 
nas of Benevento, a philosopher and physician, has procured to 
be printed, with great diligence and correctly, in the most illus- 
trious, 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 



108 AN ESSAY ON COLOPHONS 

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 fin- 
gers. Hence a commercial motive reinforced that nat- 
ural self-esteem which still causes every editor to assume 
that his method of crossing a / or dotting an i gives his 
edition a manifest superiority over every other. In the 
next chapter we shall see how editors persistently depre- 
ciated 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 read- 
ers buy his own text with a light heart and reckon its 
rivals at a straw's value. 

Finiunt decretales correctissime : impresse alma urbe Roma to- 
tius mundi regina per egregios uiros magistrum Udalricum 
Galium 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 erne. Talia siquidem in hoc uolu- 
mine reperies ut merito alias impressiones faciliter floccipendes. 
Anno domini M.cccc.Lxxiiii. die xx mensis Septembris, Ponti- 
ficatus 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 



PUBLISHERS' COLOPHONS 109 

than a straw. In the year of our Lord 1474, September 20, in 
the fourth year of the Pontificate of Sixtus IV, by divine provi- 
dence 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 Co- 
rallus, 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 envi- 
ous and malevolent, — that might betaken 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. 

S i quas opttme le&or hoc in opcre lituras file*" 
ncris nafum pomto: Nam Stephanus Corallus 
Lugdunefts inuidorun quoruda matiuoletiaja* 
cefTi t us; qui idem impnmere tentarunt : citiusx 
quam afparagi coquantur id aMbluittac f fimo 
ftudio emedatu Ifaru ftudi ofi s legedu tradidit 
•PARME. 
.M.CCCCLXXIILX.CAL.APRIL. 

Statius. Achilleis. Parma: Steph. Corallus, 1473. 

Si quas, optime lector, hoc in opere lituras inueneris nasum 
ponito ; nam Stephanus Corallus Lugdunensis inuidorum quo- 
rundam 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 



no AN ESSAY ON COLOPHONS 

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 Eu- 
rope. 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, how- 
ever 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 re- 
gards the regulation of the industry. Our concern here 



PUBLISHERS' COLOPHONS m 

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, i486, for his 
" Decades rerum Venetarum," printed by Andrea de 
Torresani in 1487 (Hain * 14053). By 1492 the sys- 
tem 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 medi- 
cine doctoris domini magistri Ioannis dominici de Nigro, qui 
obtinuit ex speciali gratia ab illustrissimo ducali dominio Vene- 
torum 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 irremissi- 
bilis 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 ex- 
cellent doctor of arts and medicine, Master Giovanni Dominico 
di Nigro, who obtained, by special grace, from the most illustri- 
ous 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 



ii2 AN ESSAY ON COLOPHONS 

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 in- 
stance 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 psal- 
terium. Impressa autem fuit Venetiis per Iohannem et Gre- 
gorium 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 Gio- 
vanni and Gregorio dei Gregorii, at the expense of the bro- 
thers 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 Gre- 
goriis fretus officio, ea nouiter impraessa commentaria : Vnde 
totius ueteris et noui testamenti ueritatem rectumque sensum 



PUBLISHERS' COLOPHONS 113 

quam facillime appraehendere possis : quae si tuae omnino bib- 
liotecae ascripseris magnam consequeris uoluptatem,maioresque 
in dies fructus suscipies. Venetiis per praefatos fratres Ioan- 
nem et Gregorium de Gregoriis, Anno domini 1498, die 25 
Augusti. Cum priuilegio quod nullus citra decern annos ea im- 
primere ualeat nee alibi impressa in terras excellentissimo uene- 
torum dominio subditas uenalia afferre possit sub poenis in ipso 
contends. 

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 privi- 
lege 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 au- 
thors, 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 uul- 
gare composta per el uenerabile FrateEuangelista Fossa da Cre- 
mona. 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 
hie per anni x. poi che la hara data fora, sotto pena da ducati x. 
per ogni uolume come apare nella gratia. Amen. 



ii 4 AN ESSAY ON COLOPHONS 

Here ends the ninth Tragedy of Seneca, called Agamemnon, 
composed in the vulgar tongue by the venerable Brother Evan- 
gelista 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 ven- 
erable 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 publica- 
tion of it, under penalty of ten ducats for every volume, as ap- 
pears in the grace. Amen. 

Privileges were obtainable not only by publishers in Ven- 
ice itself, but also by those in the towns under Venetian 
rule, and the two following examples are taken respec- 
tively from a Quadragesimale printed by Angelus Bri- 
tannicus at Brescia in 1497, an( * 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 ven- 
dat in ditione sua: preter ipsius angeli nutum : Senatuscon- 
sulto 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 Ve- 
netian 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. 



PUBLISHERS' COLOPHONS 115 

Martiani Capellae Liber finit: Impressus Vicentiae Anno Salutis 
M.cccc.xcix. xvii Kalendas Ianuarias per Henricum de Sancto 
Vrso. Cum gratia et priuilegio decern 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 ig- 
norant piracy. 

Famosissimi iureconsulti Francisci Curtii ex proprio exemplari 
exceptum Consiliorum volumen primum per Iohannem Vinza- 
lium 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 Sapien- 
tissimo 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 ad- 
monitum esse voluit Iohannes Vinzalius. 



n6 



AN ESSAY ON COLOPHONS 



tflc in jpcttam now partsatii tmp:tulcnter iiicurra^ o bf bit opol(«i audiffi 

jiicrcia0Ob£cnmmcifcab3lluftrilInio^SaptcniiiriiJioia>np:incipc 
rcrcnpmmnccurtwiiacontoaddcainuvriVjaninl^iuiinpitnnpof 
fincautaltbi tmpKfla imponari vcnalia mdue^iftrictujufub pena 
indisnatiom$ccfarcc**erte<n cocontcma^taqsiieigoarus arcs tc 
admom'mm cflc voluit 3f oanncs vin3flttH*,@dlr. 




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 pen- 
alty, 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 Opin- 
ions of Curtius may be printed, or if printed elsewhere may be 
imported for sale into his district, under the penalty of his royal 



PUBLISHERS' COLOPHONS 117 

indignation and a fine, as there expressed. Therefore, lest you 
should err in ignorance, Giovanni Vinzalio wished you to be in- 
formed. 

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 be- 
gin to make their appearance in Verard's colophons at 
Paris in 1 508, the earliest I can find set forth in Mr. Mac- 
farlane'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 
xvii 6 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 Verard 
the 17th day of January, 1507. And the king our master 
has given to the said Verard letters of privilege and a term of 
three years to sell and distribute the said book to recoup him- 
self 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 Verard's books, but it will be noted that its 
term is the very moderate one of three years. In Eng- 
land, in the earliest instance I have noted, — Pynson's edi- 



n8 AN ESSAY ON COLOPHONS 

tion of the Oration of Richard Pace in 151 8, — it is 
shorter still. The colophon here reads: 

Impressa Londini anno verbi incarnati M.D.xviii. idibus No- 
uembrisperRichardum Pynson regiumimpressorem,cum priui- 
legio 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 151 8, 
on November 13 th, 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 
Verard in France, and the benevolent Spanish govern- 
ment 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 Lorenco 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 & senorios 
desde el dia dela fecha destos capitulos fasta tres anos primeros 
siguientes sin licencia d'los dichos maestre Garcia de la Torre 
& Alonso Lorenco libreros: so pena que el que los emprimiere 



PUBLISHERS' COLOPHONS 119 

[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 Lorenzo, 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 Ordi- 
nances for the first three years following, without the license of 
the said Master Garcia de la Torre and Alonso Lorenco, book- 
sellers, 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 fa- 
vored 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 
Celtesand his partners or friends — for printing books in 
which he was interested. In the first of these privileges — 
thatforthe Comediesof 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 Li- 
bri Amorum"it is distinctly stated," ut nullus haec in de- 
cern annis in Imperii urbibus imprimat"; /.^.,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 

1 Finis operum Hrosvithae clarissi- Here end the works of Hroswitha, 

mae virginis et monialis Germaniae the most illustrious virgin and nun of 

gente Saxonica ortae. Impressum No- Germany, sprung from the Saxon race, 

runbergae sub priuilegio sodali[ta]tis under a privilege of Celtesand his com- 

Celticae a senatu Rhomani Imperii im- pany, obtained from the Senate of the 

petratae. AnnoQuingentesimo primo Roman Empire in the year 1501. 
supra millesimum. 



120 AN ESSAY ON COLOPHONS 

show how quickly the demand for this form of protec- 
tion 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 pleas- 
ant a feature in the editions of this period. In the colo- 
phon, 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 deplete, feliciter finiunt Anno salu- 
tis M.cccc.lxxii. die uero uigesima quarta mensis decembris 
sedente Sixto quarta [sic'] pontifice magno, etc. 

The most devout contemplations published by the most rev- 
erend 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 Salva- 
tion 1472, on December 24th, in the pontificate of Sixtus IV. 

So again the colophon 1 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 

1 Iohannes ex uerona oriundus : Ni- librum elegantissimum : litteris & figu- 
colai cyrugie medici Alius : Artis im- ratis signis sua in patria primus impres- 
pressorie magister : hunc de re militari sit. An. M.cccc.lxxii. 



PUBLISHERS' COLOPHONS 121 

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 " effi- 
gies et figuras" with which the book is so successfully 
adorned. But the only colophon which really does jus- 
tice to the illustrations of a fifteenth-century book is that 
to Hartmann Schedel's " Liber Chronicarum,"or "Nu- 
remberg Chronicle." 

[A] Dest nunc studiose lectorfinislibriCronicarumperviam epi- 
thomatis et breuiarii compilati, opus quidem preclarum et a doc- 
tissimo 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 im- 
pressit. Adhibitis tamen uiris mathematicis pingendique arte 
peritissimis, Michaele Wolgemut et Wilhelmo Pleydenwurff, 
quorum solerti acuratissimaque animaduersione turn ciuitatum 
turn illustrium uirorum figure inserte sunt. Consummatum au- 
tem duodecima mensis Iulii. Anno salutis nostre 1493. 

You have here, studious reader, the end of the book of Chron- 
icles, 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 be- 
ginning 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 Kamer- 
maister, this book has been printed by Master Anton Koberger 
at Nuremberg, with the assistance, nevertheless, of mathemati- 
cal 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 



122 AN ESSAY ON COLOPHONS 

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 illustra- 
tions. 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. 





VI 



COLOPHONS OF AUTHORS AND EDITORS 




OOKSELLERS 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 

123 



i2 4 AN ESSAY ON COLOPHONS 

find at the end of the text of the " Hypnerotomachia " 
the author's colophon: 

Taruisii cum decorissimis Poliae amore lorulis distineretur mi- 
sellus Poliphilus. M.cccc.lxvii. Kalendis Maii. 

At Treviso, while the wretched Polifilo was confined by love 
of Polia with glittering nets. May i, 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 to- 
gyders 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 re- 
quest for the reader's prayers for his " delyuerance" and 



COLOPHONS OF AUTHORS 125 

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. 

C,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. 
CCaxton 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 dever- 
borum significatione " (Hain 1 1679) Georgius Natta is 
evidently as proud of having triumphed over these hin- 
drances 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 excel- 
lentissimi 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 illustris- 
simum Io. Galeam Mariam Sfortiam uicecomitem Ducem 



126 AN ESSAY ON COLOPHONS 

sextum, Ludouico patruo mira integritate gubernante, quippe 
qui Mediolanensium res iam tunc adeo gnauiter ampliabat et 
oranti Italie pacem adeo largiter elargiebatur ut nee superior 
etas optabiliorem habuerit nee nostra uiderit prestantiorem. 
Profecto mira res quod diuinus ille preses Marti pariter et Mi- 
nerue satisfaceret. 

Impressum Papie per Christoforum de Canibus Anno a na- 
tiuitate domini. M.cccc.lxxxxii. die xv septembris. 

ik&c\iqmm eftoeofummogratias Agere quo an> 
ctoi buicoperi iam bfearmio c peftilentia pifis inter 
miflb 45eo2gi 9 natta iurisurriufqsoocto: ciuis after! 
ee iUuftriflimi i tpod kmXtbv A flfcarcbionis montif' 
fcrati pftliarius multis additis e pitcm ojdine in aliq ; 
bus murato crtrema manu tmpofutt anno fcriirc nati' 
uitatis.fl(billcl!mo.ccccl>:]a:ij.qHO tempoie $ memo' 
rabili j^Kilidmo montifferati flfcarcbione ac Mica 
licapitaeo generali mil C2aio:c agebat apnd Jfiluflrif 
(imu 3fo.ga!cas maria (ftmiam uicecomitc (gmcc ferv 
mm Judouico patruo mira inregritatc gubernante 
quippe qui medtolanenfiumreo tarn tune adeo gna> 
utter ampliabat * o^nti italie pace adr o largiter elar 
giebatur ut nee fugio: etas optabilioiej babuerit nee 
no flra uiderit pftaun'oie. #fecto mira reocp oiufaue 
ille pfeo marti pariter z mincrue fatiffecerer. 

|/^mpidrumT{b3nMf£8 CbaUofopteci 
nibus 2Jnno a natiuitate oomini. £Bbcccctawtj. We 
jcv.fcptembits-. 

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 inter- 
rupted 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 



COLOPHONS OF AUTHORS 127 

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 impart- 
ing 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 lec- 
tures "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 Institutioni- 
bus 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 human- 
issimi si quicquid erroris vel dignum correctionis inueneritis 
oro, rogo atque obtestor vestros immortales animos vt illud 
benigne non mordaciter, caritatis zelo non liuoris aculeo, corri- 
gendum ac emendandum curetis. Ad laudem summi dei qui 
viuit et regnat in secula benedictus. Amen. 



128 AN ESSAY ON COLOPHONS 

fpflotufiimf wmfm z franco orttctiltfmf 
remimfocfqucroactadteinanimfavcllrio 
cogitate quanrio laboribuo quatifc^capi/ 
no pe;:ariom'b 9 %obenricuo bninonf* 
aliao a pt ro a colonia inter lcgu3 cectozco 
tnimmuo hoc opufculu ej: fcripcio alicmi; 
pzo Prilrio fceniuolencfioatqjaugmcHta / 
none biiiuo nouelli ftudii louanien ej:ple/ 
uerim &uifinguliooiebti8poft(ectfone3 
ffromm mibi a publico oeputaram in con 
tCncnti bocopuo quafi in tollerabili onere 
afllimpft ^uarefatrobumamfimrifi 
quiquid ertoa'o peloigmim cotrettfomo 
uiuetten^o26*rogo*atcpobte(lo! peftroo 
irtimoztalcoanimooptillud bemgnenon 
mo*oaciter caritatio ^clo-non liuotf o acu / 
teo«coaigendum acemenDanoumairerio 
aolauocmfummtoci quiriufrtregnat 
ktifeaitabeneDictus* 2ltnm 

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 Heer- 
straten 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, Henri- 
cus, the son of Bruno, otherwise Henricus de Piro of Cologne, 
the least among the doctors and readers of the law, have com- 
pleted 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 



COLOPHONS OF AUTHORS 129 

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 1 580 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 vulgoMoteta vo- 
cant," 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 com- 
missum. Quare si quid, quod curiosum turbare posset occur- 
rerit, 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 in- 
form students and amateurs of music that this collection of Mo- 
tets 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 



130 AN ESSAY ON COLOPHONS 

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 equa- 
nimity. Farewell. In the year of the Lord 1 580, in the month 
of January. 

An earlier author, Bonetus de Latis, when he came to 
the end of his" Annulus astronomicus siue de utilitate as- 
trologiae" (Rome, Andreas Freitag,c. 1496; Hain9926), 
dedicated to the Pope, had no complaints to make of his 
printer or of working after office hours, but used the col- 
ophon to ask for lenient criticism of any flaws in his 
Jewish Latin. 

Hec sunt, Beatissime Pater, Anuli astronomici puncta pere- 
gregia una mecum ad S. tue pedes humillime oblata que posi- 
tis superciliis hilari uultu, ut spes fovet, recipias. Nee mirum 
si grammatice methas qui hebreus sum latinitatis expers non- 
nunquam 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 omni- 
umque rerum Opificis laudem utilia comperta sunt ob connex- 
iones 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 schol- 
arship in Latin, should sometimes have overstepped the bounds 
of grammar. In my unwillingness that the useful should be 



COLOPHONS OF AUTHORS 131 

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 " Supplemen- 
tum Chronicarum," can boast proudly of promises per- 
formed, and gives not only the dates of its completion 
and printing, but his own age. 

Hie 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. 3 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 23 
Augusti. 

Here, then, I will make an end of the Supplement of Histo- 
ries, 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 his- 
torians. For in the introduction of this work I pledged my- 
self to do this. The work has been finished by me in the year 



132 AN ESSAY ON COLOPHONS 

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 re- 
printed in 1485—86, Bergomensis duly altered his state- 
ment 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 natiui- 
tate 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 Bergo- 
mensis, 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," thelast 
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: 



COLOPHONS OF AUTHORS 133 

et hie zelus me fratrem Nicolaum de Ausmo, ordinis minorum 
indignum pro aliquali simpliciorum subsidio ad huius supple- 
ment! 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 conti- 
nentur 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 theologi- 
cal one, to the correction of the learned and the church 
was of course "common form" while the Roman do- 
minion was undisputed, and many colophons containing 
such phrases could be collected. We must pass on now, 
however, from authors to editors, taking William Cax- 
ton, 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 appre- 
ciation of his literary merits, but gives to his colophons, 



i 3 4 AN ESSAY ON 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 colo- 
phons 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 ten- 
terprise 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 em- 
pryse 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. 



COLOPHONS OF AUTHORS 135 

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 parfy tly 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 Sep- 
tembre in the yere of thyncarnacyon of our lord M.cccc.lxxxiiii 
And in the second yere of theRegne of KyngRychard the thyrd. 

Our third Caxton colophon belongs to 'another book 
which had no royal or princely patron, only Master 



136 AN ESSAY ON COLOPHONS 

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 cere- 
moniously to "his late master Edward IV," while chro- 
nology 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 mem- 
orye 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 trans- 
lacyon 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 eng- 
lysshe the xviii day of Iuyn the second yere of kyng Rychard 
the thyrd, And the yere of our lord M.cccc.lxxxv. And en- 
prynted 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 (un- 
less 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 1 8th and December 1st, 
and also because between these two dates Bosworth Field 
was lost and won, and the English throne had passed to 



COLOPHONS OF AUTHORS 137 

a new king, on whom Caxton was perhaps at first in- 
clined 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 under- 
taken 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, vyt- 
ayllers 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' Erie of Oxen- 
ford away ting 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 en- 
deuoyrd me to the vtterest of my power to fulfylle and accom- 
plisshe 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 



138 AN ESSAY ON COLOPHONS 

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 vn- 
derstanden 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 enter- 
prises 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 euerlast- 
yng 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 mag- 
nify 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 Ce- 
polla, who collected and edited the "consilia," or coun- 
sel's opinions, of Paulus de Castro, a celebrated jurist : 



COLOPHONS OF AUTHORS 139 

Si quis rerum omnium naturas inspexerit: vnamquamque non 
minus suo ordine quam partibus constare facile intelliget. Nee 
qui pro construendis edibus structori materiam parat sed qui 
pro consummati operis expeditione dispositam artificiose con- 
nectit domum edificare perhibetur: eique iure optimo archi- 
tect! dum taxat nomen indidimus. Nemo namque sane men- 
tis plineturgos aut cementarios edificatores merito nuncupabit, 
hi licet coctilia ac reliquia pro ceteris conglutinandis particulis 
administrent: hominem neque progenuisse naturam iudica- 
remus si hominis crura vertebris vero ac inguinibus caput et 
humeros addidisset, quando quidem et si nullius portiuncule 
integritate caruisset solius tamen situs incongruitate monstru- 
osa res non rationis particeps animal diceretur. Cum itaque 
clarissimi ac excellentissimi iureconsulti Pauli Castrensis di- 
lapsa undique neque in unum corpus redacta consilia cerneren- 
tur 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 sum- 
misque in eum benemeritis seipsum debere fatetur, insignis 
eques et comes ac iuris ciuilis et pontificii interpres famosis- 
simus Bartholomeus Cepolla Veronensis, aduocatus consistori- 
alis, 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 rein- 
tegratum volumen (quod merito Repertorium Pauli Castren- 
sis 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 ac- 
tum 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 com- 



140 AN ESSAY ON COLOPHONS 

bines 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 vertebrae 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 con- 
venience of students, to whom he acknowledges himself in- 
debted 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 advo- 
cate of the consistorial court, who lectures publicly of a morn- 
ing in the most flourishing University of Padua on the ordi- 
nary course of civil law, has taken the pains to gather from all 
sides all the individual opinions given by that most distin- 
guished man, and has arranged, in order that his teaching may 
more easily be understood, for the publication of a single reno- 
vated 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 pre- 
vious 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 su- 



fh^pus pcne oiuinum celeberrimi wriufqs cenfiire to 
p:etis.o,petri oe ancbarano i materia ftatuto^ fupena 
cano«fta«DC coftnqd pn'us iRome tuj Bononie 3fmpxf 
fom fuerac adeo cozruptum atq$ inemendatum raerat t>z 
do fcriptoaim z impzzfto? incur ia t?t injc tantt viri opus 
obteneba turn fojeunmc veto p Benedicwm bectoas li 
barium p:fus magna arte caftigatum Demu$ ozigmali p 
p?io rcpeno enuclearius cmedatum edttum .eft quo fi vc 
ra fateri licet z multa fr uftra addita oerrap't z ma 102a dc 
tracta adidit impzef fuqs fideli tcr in eadem ciut rate £0 
nonie-Sfono &omini.A&xcccAmniUenio nonas, 
ttpfik 

ClRegiHrum bufus operia. 

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Petrus de Ancharano. Repetitio. Bologna : Jo. Jac. de Benedictis for 
Benedictus Hectoris, 1493. 



1 42 AN ESSAY ON COLOPHONS 

periority — may be taken from another law-book, a lec- 
ture or commentary by Petrus de Ancharano, printed and, 
as he asserts, edited by Benedictus Hectoris at Bologna. 

Opus pene diuinum celeberrimi vtriusque censure interpretis 
d. Petri de Ancharano in materia statutorum super caput cano- 
num statuta de constitutionibus, quod prius Rome turn 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 libra- 
Hum prius magna arte castigatum,demum originali proprio re- 
perto 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 constitutioni- 
bus," 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 



COLOPHONS OF AUTHORS 143 

knowledge we turn, we shall still find the fifteenth-century 
editor exclaiming against the wickedness of his prede- 
cessors. 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 ser- 
mon on the Lord's Passion. 

Dominice passionis trium partium notabilium sermo preclarus 
domini Gabrielis Biel supranotati. Qui olim negligenter: ex 
mendoso exemplari: etsub falso titulo impressus, postea emen- 
datus ex originali et per prefatum Florentium diel diligenter 
revisus: in laudem altissimi innovatus clariusque interstinctus 
atque emendatus: non modo in sententiarum quarundam de- 
fectibus: 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 di- 
vided, 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 Amer- 
bach of Basel, instead of vilifying his predecessors, is con- 
tent to appeal to the judgment of experts in matters of 
editing and textual criticism. 

Post exactam diligentemque emendationem. Auctoredeo: per- 
fectum est insigne atque preclarum hoc opus explanationis 



i 4 4 AN ESSAY ON COLOPHONS 

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 accura- 
tione castigatum : emendatum : et ordinatum sit: hi iudicent 
qui illud aliis similibus sibi: siue manuscriptis: siue ere impres- 
sis 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 re- 
nowned and excellent work has been completed, the Explana- 
tion 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 rea- 
sonable self-confidence is the mild shadow of an oath, a 
simple "Hercule," with which Heinrich Quentell as- 
severates that his edition of the DeVeritate 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 or- 
dinis fratrum Predicatorum regentem profundissimum, denuo 
peruigili studio in luculentam erecta consonantiam, adeo her- 
cule vt vere vero veritatis titulo gaudeat. Impressa Agrippine 
opera atque impensis prouidi viri Henrici Quentell, ciuis eius- 



COLOPHONS OF AUTHORS 145 

dem. Anno salutis humane nonagesimonono supra millesi- 
mum 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 dis- 
tinguished 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 dan- 
gerous 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 notu- 
lam metropolitane ecclesie Salisburgensis ordinatum, verum 
etiam haud exigua opera adhibita, turn in quottis foliorum 
locandis, turn in remissionis discreto numero tarn circa quam- 



i 4 6 AN ESSAY ON COLOPHONS 

libet lectionem vel prophetalem vel apostolicam quam circa 
quodlibet euangelium alio in loco plenarie locatum, situando 
reuisum. Deinde autem per cola et comata distinctum. Sim- 
plici 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 dis- 
tinctionem que comatis appellatione venit presentante, gemino 
autem puncto subdistinctionem que colum nuncupatur signante. 
Demum uero in officina Georii [sic] Stochs 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 subdistinc- 
tion which is called a colon. Now at last printed in the work- 
shop 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 



COLOPHONS OF AUTHORS 147 

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. 

<£w\\ar m?fla!efecudumo2croira 
neccdefierfumrna cu otligenria *& 
deli ftudtopurgariiab bis crronV: 
obusuel igno2aria uel incunalftwa 
no2ii adducriscomunis abufueiii' 
iialim.i©uocircagcunq5lcgcnt:ob 
fecraru ueli ne adbibeat manu pctpt 
rc5adco22igcd§ ucl poriuacorupc 
da? libit rccrim dine magno parra la 
bo:e:fedmiiIriplicarofinceroejcami 
ne:poftmodu crequaf qcad recra ra 
rio:r fpm^uerirans ingeiierir : 2Jd 
laudeoiporeriTDeicfdfltme uirgis 
fnatrieei 9 :totiafq? curie celeftis- 
Snip2eflb5 ueneriiaarte * impefis 
jeg'eosgii Dcriuabents mantiiant:? 
^agammoepaganinie tomamfo 
a'02U5 tfubSfoclrto^uce^oaniie 
^ocenico*qirinro Iftf* ocrob2ie. 
i&ccccJLnniu. ZUncn. 

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 ignorantiauel incuria librariorum adductis communis abusus 
inualuit. Quocirca quicunque legerit obsecratum uelim ne 
adhibeat manum precipitem ad corrigendam uel potius corrum- 



148 AN ESSAY ON COLOPHONS 

pendam libri rectitudinem magno partam labore, sed multipli- 
cato 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 estab- 
lished. 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 Sep- 
tember, 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 pre- 
electe sponse christi sancte Birgitte de regno Suetie. A religi- 
osis patribus originalis monasterii sanctarum Marie et Brigitte 
in Watzstenis, prematuro studio et exquisita diligentia, in hos 
suprascriptos numerum et ordinem accuratius comportatum. 



COLOPHONS OF AUTHORS 149 

Et si forte alique alie reuelationes, sicut repertum est, beate 
Brigitte per errorem aut temerarie a quoque quomodolibet as- 
cribantur, 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 Nu- 
rembergensem 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 preelect spouse of Christ, Saint Bridget of the kingdom 
of Sweden. The religious fathers of the original monastery of 
Saints Mary and Bridget in Wadstena,bymost 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 care- 
lessness 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 al- 
ready 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. 

Epistolarum Familiarium M. Tull. Cic. multa uolumina in di- 
uersis Italiae locis hac noua impressorum arte transcripta sunt, 
que si ut plurima numero ita etiam studio satis correcta essent 



Epiftola^ Familiarium M.TulL Cic • multa uoluminafn 
diuerfis italiae locis bac noua Impreflby. arte tranfcnpca 
font que li tit plurima numero ita e tia ftudio fads correcfta 
eflenc nouo boc labore non f uifTet opus Sed tanco err oy, 
numero confunduntur ut non modo littere pro litteris & 
pro uerbis uerba pertarbatiflime inuoluta uey etia epif' 
tole in epiftolas hbn in hbros fie snueniatur ccnfufi ne t am 
do&oip dtligetia ad comurie utilitate cofec^ta^auarilTio^ 
bominu cupiditate lucri gratia fcftinandc couoluta cotorta 
cotaminataqj manifefte uidean^quecum audirem ex urns 
cum dodtiflimis turn etiam prudentiffimis egoPbilippus 
L auagna cxuis Mediolanenfis ucprouinli mea aliquaex 
parte meisciuibus;pdefle nacftns exeplar corredtidimum 
ftudio diligermflimo bommu docftrina prf ftatium trecenta 
uolumia excribendacura opera adbibita ut fingule pagine 
antea qm ipnmerent ab aliquo docfto^ perleche effent &C 
caftfgate quem ego labore nifi profudiffe uidebor pf cracj 
in futu if accuratiffime ut trafcribant laborabo no minors 
publkf qm me$ ucilitatis raticne fer uata. 

Barbara cum Marci uerbiis admixta legebas 
Hunc lege quod uerum eft boc Ciceronis opus 

Virgo decus coeli Cbrifti fane tiff ima mater 
Laus tibi cum nato fit fine Fine tuo 

M. CCCC LXXII VIII KL. AFRILES 

Cicero. Epistolae Familiares. Milan: Lavagna, 1472. 



COLOPHONS OF AUTHORS 151 

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 episto- 
las, libri in libros, sic inueniantur confusi, ne tarn doctorum dili- 
gentia ad communem utilitatem confecta quam auarissimorum 
hominum cupiditate lucri gratia festinando conuoluta contorta 
contaminataque manifeste uideantur. Que cum audirem ex 
uiris cum doctissimis turn 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 uolu- 
mina exscribenda curaui, opera adhibita ut singule pagine antea 
quam imprimerentur ab aliquo doctorum perlecte essent et cas- 
tigate: quern 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 



152 AN ESSAY ON COLOPHONS 

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 negli- 
gentia ilia 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 in- 
genii acumine tantoque lepore uerborum ut omnes qui ilium 
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 auc- 
tore. 



COLOPHONS OF AUTHORS 153 

The end of Titus Lucretius Carus. When a single copy of 
Lucretius came into my hands I hesitated as to printing it, be- 
cause 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 Lu- 
cretius 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 me- 
dieval 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 compara- 
tively 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 edi- 
tor 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 



i 5 4 AN ESSAY ON COLOPHONS 

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 de- 
fecto non da nostra inaduertentia, ma da una copia o uero ex- 
emplo tutto corropto e falsificato, impresso per lo adrieto in 
firenze per un altro non diligente impressore precedette. Onde 
noi cio conoscendo, inuestigando altra copia emendatissima, se- 
condo 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 ope- 
retta, 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 deb- 
bino biasimare, se di quella non pocha faticha che spesa ci hab- 
biamo 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 



COLOPHONS OF AUTHORS 155 

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. Per- 
fection 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 Doc- 
torum" may well command our sympathy. 

1^?ecl3ru@meIfaruopu0:plurfmo^rancto^aHo2umuera 
tnofilfimo£Doctoj5&:fU£> cuagelija oe tcpo:e 1 fanctio quibufdi 
comndcadiunct!0fermombue:£am verbop oznaru I'matu; 
rat? ten ten tiaru grauira tc vberratecp fparfttn plantatmin men 

curialiT^icoIatTRefncrolficinaBarilceimpfilimcSmpcrafet^ 
luftriflimo jQ&atfmiltatto rege ttomano? inuicttflimo ) I8011 
igif m facto:cliuo:i0 rracmoaculw.tbeomno fcente conectioi 
m's infant .10 ; S cd poriu b en eficij no in sra tu : ad ejebibira Do 
nariaDiTcreti'oniooculooadbibcascolubmos.Snnoincarna/ 
tionfecnicet/Q^ilIefimoquadringctefimoHonagcfiinoocU? 
tto&wimoHonaoSusufti.finitfcItcitcr. 




Homiliae. Basel: N. Kessler, 1498. 



156 AN ESSAY ON COLOPHONS 

Preclarum Omeliarum opus plurimorum sanctorum aliorumue 
famosissimorum doctorum super euangeliis de tempore et Sanc- 
tis, quibusdam eorundem adiunctis sermonibus, Tarn verborum 
ornatu limatum, tamque sententiarum grauitate vbertateque 
sparsim plantatum, in mercuriali Nicolai Kessler officina Basilee 
impressum (Imperante illustrissimo Maximiliano rege Roma- 
norum 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 quad- 
ringentesimo 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 orna- 
ment 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 "cor- 
rector," 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 Harder- 
wyck's "Commentaries on Logic" through the press as 
to make most handsome acknowledgment in his colo- 
phon and in verses added to it. 

Commentarii in quatuor libros noue logice processum burse 
Laurentiane famosissimi Agrippinensis Colonie gymnasii con- 



COLOPHONS OF AUTHORS 157 

tinentes 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 quad- 
ragintesimo super nonagesimum quarto in profesto Conuer- 
sionis 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 I acobus Amsfordensis, artium liberalium 
et sacrarum litterarum professor dum vitam in humanis ageret 
profundissimus, Ecclesie sancti Iohannis Baptiste pastor, mihi ut 
frater amicissimus, decreui in cake horum titulum sepulcralem, 
trito sermone epitaphium appellatum, quern 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 licen- 
tiate 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, 



158 AN ESSAY ON COLOPHONS 

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, com- 
monly 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. 





VII 



REPETITIONS, THEFTS, AND ADAPTATIONS 




N our opening chapter it was sug- 
gested that if all early books were 
provided with colophons the work 
of bibliographers would be much 
simplified. Some qualifying epi- 
thet ought, however, to have been 
inserted ; for there are some colo- 
phons 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 So- 
ciety'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 Au- 
gust! M.I.D. 

l S9 



160 AN ESSAY ON COLOPHONS 

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 de- 
ceived bibliographers for some four centuries. Even the 
increased study of types would by itself hardly have suf- 
ficed 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 ( 1 7th Octo- 
ber, 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 im- 
perfect attempts to give the producers of books a reason- 
able 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 pun- 
ished, 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 num- 
ber of early books which reprint the colophons of pre- 
vious 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, Eng- 
lish publishers and those they employ are likely to be 
much more careful; but in the years immediately pre- 
ceding it the carelessness with which one "editor" used 



THEFTS AND ADAPTATIONS 161 

the text of his predecessor to print from was often ex- 
traordinary, 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 review- 
ers and the law courts, we may easily imagine that the 
smaller printers and publishers of the fifteenth and six- 
teenth 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 " Con- 
fessionale,"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 edi- 
tion 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 edi- 
tion already quoted (Chapter III) : 



M. T. C. epistolae ad Atticum Brutum et Q. Fratrem cum 
ipsius Attici uita foeliciter expliciunt. M.cccc.lxx 



162 AN ESSAY ON COLOPHONS 

Attice, nunc totus Veneta diffunderis urbe, 
Cum quondam fuerit copia rari 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 colo- 
phons 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, col- 
ophon 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 cu- 
rious after-story to it, is that of Conrad of Westphalia's 
appropriation of Veldener's edition of Maneken's "Epis- 
tolarum Formulae," and of the colophon attached to it. 



THEFTS AND ADAPTATIONS 163 

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 congruagratiaque congeriemendis 
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 fades huius libelli 
demonstrat, quern multiplicatum magni numeri globo sub pla- 
cidis atramenti lituris spreto calamo inchoauit, anni septua- 
gesimi sexti aprilis primus perfecitque dies ultimus! Quern 
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, tarn felicibus astris, tantaque fortune 
dementia, ut non inducar credere quod eidem adhuc adesse 
possit abeundi, ne cogitandi quidem, animi impulsio : id etiam 
adiecerim quo tarn 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 com- 



1 64 AN ESSAY ON COLOPHONS 

rades, 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 join- 
ing the letters there is a great increase in the charm of beauti- 
ful 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 com- 
pleted. 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 print- 
ing, 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,onlysubstitutinghisownnameandaddress("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 



THEFTS AND ADAPTATIONS 165 

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, how- 
ever, the history of the colophon does not stop here. M. 
Claudin has shown, in the first volume of his "Histoire 
de 1'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 foot- 
prints in the wrong places. Thus Ulrich Han, in printing 
from one of SchoefFer's editions of the " Liber sextus de- 
cretalium," changed his well-known "Alma in urbe Ma- 
guntina inclyte nacionis germanice quam dei clemencia 
tarn alti ingenii luminedonoquegratuito ceteris terrarum 
nacionibus preferre illustrareque dignatusest" (see Chap- 
ter II), into "Alma in urbe Roma Totius mundi regina 
etdignissimalmperatrix [j-/V]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 



166 AN ESSAY ON COLOPHONS 

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 Du- 
randus printed at Venice in 148 8, we find reason for sus- 
picion : 

Explicit tertia et quarta pars Speculi Guilhelmi Duranti cum 
additionibus Ioannis Andree et Baldi suis in locis ubique posi- 
tis. 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 impri- 
mendo charactere. Anno domini M.cccc.lxxxviii. vi die Sep- 
tembris. 



Here ends the third and fourth part of the Speculum of Guli- 
elmus 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 repro- 
ducible in English, but the reader who notes how the two 
partners are treated as singular instead of plural will eas- 
ily 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 byHeinrichWirz- 



THEFTS AND ADAPTATIONS 167 

burg at the Cluniac monastery at Rougemont in 1481 
we have the following colophon : 

Chronica que dlcitur fasciculus temporum edita in alma Uni- 
versitate Colonie Agrippinae super Renum, a quodam deuoto 
Cartusiensi unit feliciter. Sepius quidem iam impressa sed 
negligentia Correctorum in diuersis locis a uero originali minus 
iuste emendata. Nunc uero non sine magno labore ad pristi- 
num 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 cer- 
tain 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 

148 1 . 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 1 48 1 , his doubts may easily have been awakened. 



168 AN ESSAY ON COLOPHONS 

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 Ian 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, m 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 sub- 
stituting 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 follow- 
ing the same leader we may note how Koberger in 1496, 
and Pierre Levet in 1497, Dotn adopt the colophon 1 of 
the 1485 Cologne edition of the " Destructorium Vitio- 
rum," with its curious phrase "ad laudem summe Mo- 
nadis"; how Han in his editions of the Clementine 
Constitutions in 1473 and 1476, and Wenssler in those 
of 1476 and 1 478, copy the colophon of Schoeffer's edi- 
tions, substituting the praises of Rome and Basel for those 
of Mainz; and how in editions of the Gregorian Decre- 

ilnsignis notabilisquecompilatiohaud M.cccc.xxix. collecta de nouo Colonie 

modicum cuique statui conferens omne exactissime correcta. ac summo studio 

genus vitiorum suis cum speciebus claris- impressa. ad laudem summe Monadis. 

sime euidenterque eradicans. ob id non xvii Kalendas Septembris. Annodomini 

immerito destructorium vitiorum nun- Millesimo quadringentesimo octuage- 

cupata. a cuiusdam fabri lignarii filio. simo-quinto finita. 
maximam ad ecclesie vtilitatem Anno 



THEFTS AND ADAPTATIONS 



169 



tals Paganinus de Paganinis in 1 489, 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 bor- 
rowed something else as well. In most cases this was the 
text, with which students of early printing seldom con- 
cern themselves as much as they should, but sometimes 
also typographical peculiarities which may be worth some 
attention. 





VIII 



DATES IN COLOPHONS 




ATES form such an important fea- 
ture in colophons that this essay 
cannot be brought to a close with- 
out some attempt to explain the 
difficulties which arise in connec- 
tion with them. As regards the 
method of expressing the year 
there is very little to say. Theo- 
doric Rood (see page 6 1 ) preferred to speak of 1 48 5 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 Do- 
minicae" (see page 79), but without any attempt to in- 
troduce the intervals between the Olympic Games into 
the Christian reckoning. 

As an additional method of dating we occasionally 

170 



DATES IN COLOPHONS 171 

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 num- 
ber of the year in the indiction. Thus I488 ~ 312 or ^t- 3 in 
each case leaves a remainder of six, and a.d. 1488 was 
thus the sixth indiction. 

According to different methods of reckoning, indic- 
tions 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 chronologi- 
cal 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 informa- 
tion can be brought to bear on the dating of early books. 

POPES 



Pius II. 


19 Aug. 


1458 - 


15 Aug. 


1464. 


Paul II. 


31 Aug. 


1464 - 


28 July 


1471. 


Sixtus IV. 


9 Au g- 


1471 - 


13 Aug. 


1484. 


Innocent VIII. 


29 Aug. 


1484 - 


25 July 


1492. 



172 



AN 



Alexander VI. 
Pius III. 
Julius II. 
Leo X. 
Adrian VI. 
Clement VII. 



ESSAY ON COLOPHONS 

POPES {Continued) 
1 1 Aug. 1492 



1 S°3 



11 Sept. 

1 Nov 
11 March 15 13 

1 Jan. 1522 
19 Nov. 1523 



18 Aug. 
18 Oct. 
21 Feb. 
1 Dec. 
24 Sept. 
26 Sept. 



*S°3 

l S°3 

*S l 3 
1521 

*S 2 3 
!534 



KINGS OF ENGLAND 



Edward IV. 


4 March 


1 46 1 - 


9 April 


1483- 


Edward V. 


9 April 


1483 - 


- 22 June 


1483. 


Richard III. 


16 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 


1 SS3- 


Mary, 


6 July 


*553 - 


- 24 July 


I 554- 


Philip and Mary, 1 


25 July 


r 554 ■ 


- 17 Nov. 


1558. 


Elizabeth, 


17 Nov. 


1558 - 


- 24 March 


1603. 



KINGS OF FRANCE 



Louis XI. 


22 July 


1461 - 


3° Au g- 


I483- 


Charles VIII. 


3° Au g- 


1483 - 


7 April 


1498. 


Louis XII. 


7 April 


1498 - 


1 Jan. 


1515. 


Francois I. 


1 Jan. 


1515 - 


31 March 


1547- 


Henri II. 


31 March 


1547 " 


10 July 


I 559- 


Francois II. 


10 July 


l 559 ~ 


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. 



1 The regnal years of Mary before 
her marriage are usually added to those 
of Philip and Mary as joint sovereigns. 
Thus dates from25 July, 1554—5 July> 
1555, inclusive, are quoted as 1 st and 2d 
Philip and Mary, i.e., the first year of 



their joint ruleand the second of Mary's 
reign. Dates from 6 July (the anni- 
versary 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. 



DATES IN COLOPHONS 



l 73 



DOGES OF VENICE 



Cristoforo Moro, 
Nicolo Tron, 
Nicolo Marcello, 
Pietro Mocenigo, 
Andrea Vendramino, 
Giovanni Mocenigo, 
Marco Barbarigo, 
Agostino Barbarigo, 
Leonardo Loredano, 
Antonio Grimani, 
Andrea Gritti, 



12 May 


1462 - 


9 Nov. 


1471. 


23 Nov. 


1471 - 


28 July 


H73- 


13 Aug. 


H73 - 


1 Dec. 


1474. 


14 Dec. 


1474 - 


23 Feb. 


1476. 


6 March 


1476 - 


6 May 


1478. 


18 May 


1478 - 


4 Nov. 


1485. 


19 Nov. 


1485 - 


14 Aug. 


i486. 


3° Au g- 


i486 - 


24 Sept. 


1501. 


2 Oct. 


1501 - 


26 June 


1521. 


6 July 


1521 - 


7 May 


*S 2 3- 


20 May 


l S 2 3 ~ 


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 reg- 
nal years. We shall find that even the mere names may 
help us to a close approximate date. Our instance shall 
beWendelin 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, Nicolo 
Tron was elected doge on November 23d of the same 
year, and died in July, 1473. We can tnus ^ ate tne DO °k 
as "about 1472" with absolute confidence. 

Writers of poetical colophons are naturally more in- 
clined 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 



174 AN ESSAY ON COLOPHONS 

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, 
1 477, 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 sov- 
ereigns 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 VIFs reign began 2 2d August, 1485, 



DATES IN COLOPHONS 175 

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 tnat ** was p rmte d 
before August 2 1 st of that year. 

A subsidiary date, of course, as a rule loses its useful- 
ness 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 
1 st, 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, hie tractatus impressus est. Anno domini Mcccc- 
lxxv. die xxvii Mensis Ianuarii, Pontificatu Syxti I III, 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 tne 2 7th 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 25 th or Eas- 
ter day — two similar examples will be found in Hain's 



176 AN ESSAY ON COLOPHONS 

" Repertorium Bibliographicum" under the numbers 
255* and 2050*. 

On the other hand, Caxton's colophon to the "Mir- 
rour of the World " ends : 

whiche book I began first to translate the second day of Ian- 
yuer 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 fyn- 
ysshed 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 &resonto makewarrewythin 
his Royamme. And also to preserue and mayntene hym in 
longe lyf and prosperous helthe. And after this short and tran- 
sytorye 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, 148 1, 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 " Cor- 
dyale" 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 Purifi- 
cation 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." 



DATES IN COLOPHONS 177 

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, be- 
gan 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 1 479 March 24th, as Caxton says, fell on a Wednes- 
day. In 1479, moreover, February 2d fell on a Tues- 
day, 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 ab- 
sence of regnal years, almost the only proof we can ob- 
tain 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 compi- 
latus et impressus Colonie per Arnoldum therhoernen, finitus 
Anno domini M°cccc°lxxi° 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 1 47 1 February 8th fell on a Friday, in 1472 on a 
Saturday. Therefore it is clear that in therhoernen's 



i 7 8 



AN ESSAY ON COLOPHONS 



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 

1 47 1 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 

1 48 1 April 22 

1482 April 7 

1483 March 30 

1484 April 18 

1485 April 3 
i486 March 26 



1487 Apri 

1488 Apri 

1489 Apri 

1490 Apri 

1 49 1 Apri 

1492 Apri 

1493 Apri 

1494 March 30 

1495 April 19 



1 15 

1 6 
I.9 
1 11 

13 

1 22 
17 



That Pierre Gerard and Jean Dup 
oned the year from Easter to Easter 
in the colophon to their magnificent edition of Augus- 



496 April 3 

497 March 26 

498 April 15 

499 March 31 

500 April 19 

501 April 1 1 

502 March 27 

503 April 16 

504 April 7 

505 March 23 

506 April 12 

507 April 4 

508 April 23 

509 April 8 

510 March 31 

511 April 20 

512 April 1 1 

513 March 27 

514 April 16 

515 April 8 

516 March 23 

517 April 12 

5 1 8 April 4 

519 April 24 

520 April 8 

521 March 31 

e at Abbeville reck- 
we get a broad hint 



DATES IN COLOPHONS 179 

tine's " De Ciuitate Dei " in French. This is in two vol- 
umes, the colophon to the first of which is dated" le xxiiii 
jour de Nouembre Tan 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 cite de dieu. Imprime en la 
ville dabbeuille, par Iehan du pre et pierre gerard marchans li- 
braires : Et icelluy acheue le xii iour dauril Ian 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 Dupre and Pierre Gerard, book- 
sellers : and it was finished the twelfth day of April, the year 
i486, 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 1 2, 1 486, later than November 24th of the 
same year. The words "auant pasques" put the matter 
beyond doubt, for Easter in i486 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 Dupre 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 nou- 
uellement 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. 



180 AN ESSAY ON COLOPHONS 

This edition consists of sixty leaves and does actually con- 
tain a long interpolation not found in the first edition of 
22dOctober, 1499, or the second, which is dated 31st De- 
cember, 1499, or m y et another edition dated 3 1st May, 
1 500, 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, 1 500, 
and omitted them again two months afterwards in May. 
Inasmuch, however, as the French year 1500 ran from 
Easter Sunday, 1 9th April, 1 500, to Easter Sunday, 1 ith 
April, 1 50 1 , it is obvious that the only 3 1 st March in it 
fell in 1 50 1 according to our reckoning, and that the 
edition of 31st March, 1500, was really produced in 
March, 1 501, and is ten months later than that of May, 
1500. We thus get an orderly sequence of three un- 
augmented editions of fifty leaves, followed by an aug- 
mented 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 Jan- 
uary 1 st 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 Mcccclxxyj. 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. 



DATES IN COLOPHONS 181 

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 
ist, was yet obliged to admit that the Lascaris, which 
is dated "M.cccc.lxxxxiiii ultimo Februarii," was prob- 
ably finished only a few days before the Supplement, 
which bears date March 8, 1495, anc ^ tnat tne Theo- 
dore Gaza of January, and the Theocritus of February, 
1495, both really belong to 1496. I would suggest 
that in adopting March ist 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 pres- 
ent reckoning to come into use, the sacerdotal year con- 
tinuing to begin on March ist. 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 
ist are a few early books of Aldus (March ist), all Eng- 
lish books of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, and 
books printed at Florence (March 25th) and in France 
(Easter). I strongly suspect, moreover, that in Floren- 
tine and French editions of learned works written in 
Latin there would be a tendency toward January ist, 
but I cannot offer any proof of this at present, though 
it is a question which I hope some day to work 
out. 



182 AN ESSAY ON COLOPHONS 

As the examples quoted in our text will have abun- 
dantly 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 Cal- 
ends were always the first day of the month, the Nones 
fell on the 5th, and the Ides on the 1 3th, 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 Cal- 
ends 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 Qued- 
linburg," 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. Mat- 
thias (post festum Matthie, February 24th), the "Pos- 
tilla" 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 : 



DATES IN COLOPHONS 183 

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 Augs- 
burg 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 1 49 2 falling on April 2 2d) , Saturday, March 
1 oth. It is generally only the introits of the first four 
Sundays in Lent (Invocavit, Reminiscere, Oculi, and Lae- 
tare) and that of the first Sunday after Easter (Quasi- 
modo) 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 



184 AN ESSAY ON COLOPHONS 

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, how- 
ever, 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 sep- 
tembris" he encouraged any ignorant or careless cata- 
loguer 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 maybe made just 
as easily when words are used instead of numerals, for 
"anno nostre salutis millesimo quadringentesimo octo- 
gesimo quinto kalendas Iunij " is very easily read as 1485. 
It is, of course, equally easy to make the opposite mis- 
take and transfer to the record of the month a number 
which relates to the year. As a rule, the printers, by inter- 
posing" 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 inde- 
pendent knowledge of the years during which a printer 
worked. 



INDEXES 



INDEX 

BOOKS FROM WHICH COLOPHONS ARE QUOTED 

Accoltus, F. Commentaria de acquirenda possessione. i486. Peseta 
L. y F. de Cennis ....... 

Adrianus Carthusiensis. De remediis utriusque fortunae. 1471* 
Cologne, A. tberhoernen ....... 

Albertus, Magister. Sermones. H74- Cologne, A. therboernen 
Albohazen Haly. Liber Regalis. 1492. Venice, B. Rictus 
Alexander Gallus. Doctrinale. H93- Acqui, s. n. t. 
Antonius de Alexandre Super secundo codicis Iustiniani. 1474* 
Naples, S. Riessinger ....... 

Athanasius contra Arium &c. 1 500. Paris, A. Bocard 

Atila persecutore de la Christiana fede. 1 49 1 . Venice, s. n. t. 

Augustine. De Ciuitate Dei. 1473. Mainz, P. Schoeffer 

1470. Venice, J. & W. of Speier 

1486/87. Abbeville, Dupre tsf Gerard 

Augustine. Explanatio Psalmorum. 1489. Basel, Jo. de 

Amerbach ......... 



Augustine. Manuale. 1 47 1 . Treviso, G. de Lisa 
Avicenna. De medicina. 1473. Milan, F. da Lavagna 
Balbus, Jo. Catholicon. 1460. Mainz,, s. n. t. 

1469. Augsburg, G. Zainer .... 

Bartolus de Saxoferrato. Lectura super prima parte Digesti Veteris. 

1478. Venice, John of Cologne & J. Man t ben 
Bartolus de Saxoferrato. Lectura super secunda parte Digesti Veteris. 

1473. Venice, W. of Speier ...... 

Biblia Latina. 1462. Mainz, Fust iff Schoeffer 

1476. Vicenza, L. Achates .... 

Biel, Gabriel. Sermo Dominicae Passionis. /. a. Hagenau, 

s. n. t 

Boccaccio, Giovanni. Genealogiae Deorum. 148 1. Reggio, 

L. & B. Bruschus 

Bonetus de Latis. Annulus Astronomicus. c. 1496. Rome, 

A. Freitag ......... 

187 



99 

177 
92 

1 1 1 
65 

75 
98 
70 

2 3 
36 

179 

H3 
59 
60 

13 
81 

55 

39 
10 

94 
H3 

7i 
130 



188 INDEX 

Boniface VIII. Liber Sextus Decretalium. 1465. Mainz, Fust y 
Scboeffer ......... 

1473. Mainz, P. Schoeffer .... 

1472. Rome, U. Han ..... 

1477. Basel, M. Wenssler .... 

Bononia Ulustrata. 1494. Bologna, P. de Benedicts 

Brant, Seb. La Nef des Fols. 1497 [misprinted in text 1457]. 

Paris, G. Marnef ....... 

Breviarium Illerdense. 1479. Lerida, H. Botel 

Bridget, S. Revelationes. 1 500. Nuremberg, A. Koberger 

Bruno, Hen. Super Institutionibus. c. 1488. Louvain, Aeg. van 

der Heerstraten ........ 

Butrio, Antonio de. Comment, super primo decretalium. 1 473 . 

Rome, U. Han ........ 

Capella, Martianus. Opera. 1499. Vicenza, H. de Sancto Urso 
Capitulos de governadores. 1 500. Seville, Pegnitzer £3" Herbst 
Castro, Paulus de. Consilia. 1485. Nuremberg, A. Koberger 
Cavalca, Domenico. Frutti della Lingua, s. a. Florence, s. n. t. 
Cavalca, Domenico. Specchio di Croce. s. a. Florence, s. n. t. 
Caxton, William. Cronycles of England. 1493. Antwerp, G. Leeu 
Charles the Great. 1485. Westminster, W. Caxton 
Christine de Pisan. Fayts of Arms. 1489. Westminster, 

W. Caxton ........ 

Christine de Pisan. Moral Proverbes. 1478. Westminster, 

W. Caxton ........ 

Cicero. De Officiis. 1478. Naples, s. n. t. 
Cicero. De Oratore. 1470. Venice, C. Valdarfer 
Cicero. Epistolae ad Atticum. 1470. Venice, N Jenson 
Cicero. Epistolae ad Familiares. 1469. Venice, John of Speier 
. Second edition ....... 

1 47 1 . Venice, N. Jenson .... 

1472. Milan, F. da Lavagna .... 

Cicero. Officia et Paradoxa. 1465. Mainz, Fust & Scboeffer 
Cicero. Orationes. 147 1 . Venice, C. Valdarfer . 

1472. Venice, Adam of Ammergau 

Cicero. Orationes Philippicae. c. 1470. Rome, U. Han 
Cicero. Rhetorica. 1470. Venice, N. Jenson 
Cleve, Johann von. Moteta. 1580. Augsburg, P. Ulhard & A. 
Reinbeckel ......••• 

Colonna, F. de. Hypnerotomachia Poliphili. H99- Venice, Aldus 
Cordyale. 1479. Westminster, W. Caxton .... 

Curtius, Franciscus. Consilia. 1496. Milan, U. Scinzenzeler 



17 

23 

165 

82 

74 

106 
102 

149 

128 



1 « 5 

118 

139 
154 

'54 

72 

136 

•37 

'74 
162 

49 
43 
32 

33 
48 
149 
18 
5o 
52 
88 
42 

129 
124 
176 
US 



INDEX 189 



Cyprian. Epistulae. 147 1 . Rome, Sweynheym iff Pannartz . 
Dante. Divina Commedia. 1476. Venice, W. of Speier 
Decor Puellarum. See Honore de le Donzelle. 
Destructorium Vitiorum. 148 5. Cologne, s. n. t. . 

1496. Nuremberg, A. Koberger .... 

1497. Paris, P. Levet ..... 

Durandus, Gul. Speculum. 1488. Venice, Paganinis iff Arrivabene 
Exercitium puerorum grammaticale. '494- Strassburg, s. n. t. 
Faber, Joannes. Breviarium super codice. c. 1475. Louvain, John 

of Westphalia ........ 

Fasciculus Temporum. 1476. Louvain, J. Veldener 

1 48 1 . Rougemont, H. fVirzburg 

1482. Basel, B. Ricbel 

1495. Geneva, s. n. t. 

Gambilionibus, Angelus de. Lectura super Institutionum libros quatuor 
1473. Pavia, Jo. de Sidriano ...... 

Gambilionibus, Angelus de. Tractatus Maleficiorum. 1472. Mantua 
Petrus Adam ........ 

Godefroy of Boloyne. 1481. Westminster, W. Caxton . 

Gregory IX. Decretales. 1474- Rome, U. Han . 

1489. Venice, P. de Paganinis .... 

1 49 1 . Venice, Jo. Hamann .... 



Gringore, P. Le Chasteau de Labour. 1500/01. Paris, Pigouchet 

for Vostre . . . . . . . . . . 179 

Guido de Baysio. Super Decretis. 1481. Venice, John of Cologne iff 

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. 



PAGE 
87 
4O 

168 
ib. 

ib. 

166 

95 

84 
84 

167 
ib. 

168 

58 

60 

!34 
108 

169 

ib. 



190 INDEX 



PAGE 



Journal Spirituel. 1505. Paris, A. V'erard ..... 105 
Justinian. Codex. 1475. Mainz,, P. Schoeffer . . . -24 
Justinian. Institutiones. 1476. Mainz, P. Schoeffer . . .26 
Laet, Joannes. Pronosticationes. 1476. Louvain, John of West- 
phalia 86 

Leonardo, Aretino. De Bello Italico. 147 1 . 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. G her line ...... 46 note 

Matthaeus Silvaticus. Liber cibalis. H74- 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 . . . . . . . . - Iz 5 

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. 147 1 . Venice, N. Jenson . 44 

Paul, S. Epistres S. Pol. 1507. Paris, A. V'erard . . .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 . . . . . . . . • • J 75 

Petrus de Ancharano. Repetitio. H93- Bologna, Ben. Hectoris . 141 



Phaiaris. Epistolae. 1485 
Pianto de Christiani. 1471 
Pius II, Pope. Epistolae. 
Pliny. Historia Naturalis. 
Plutarch. Apophthegmata. 
Politian. Opera. 1499* 
Psalterium. 1457 
Psalterium. 1459 



INDEX 

Oxford, Rood & Hunte 
Venice, N. Jenson 
' 1458.' Cologne, J. Koelhoff 
1469. Venice, John of Speier 
1 47 1. Venice, John of Speier 
•Florence.' [Brescia, B. Misinta.] 
Mainz, Fust y Scboeffer 
Mainz, Fust & Scboeffer 



1497. Brescia, Ang. 



191 

PAGE 
6l 

43 
47 
35 
38 
160 

12 

l 3 



Quadragesimale quod dicitur Lima Vitiorum 

Britannicus .... 

Quintilian. Instituta. 147 1. Venice, N. Jenson 
Regius, Raphael. Epistulae Plinii. 1490. Venice, Anima Mia 
Robertus de Licio. Quadragesimale. 1472. Venice, B. de Cremona 
Rolewinck, Werner. See Fasciculus Temporum. 
Royal Book. 1484. Westminster, W. Caxton 
Rufinus of Aquileia. Expositio in symbolum Apostolorum. « 1468.' 

Oxford. [T. Rood.] 46 note 



114 

48 

74 
52 

135 



Sallust. Opera. 1470. Venice, W. of Speier 

[Second edition.] 1471 . 

1470. Paris, Gering, &c. .... 

1 474. Venice, John of Cologne & J. Mantben 

Schedel, Hartmann. Liber Chronicarum. 1493. Nuremberg, A. 

Koberger ......... 

Seneca. Tragediae. H97* Venice, P. Bergamascbo 

Statius. Achilleis. 147 3. Parma, S. Corallus 

Suetonius. Vitae Caesarum. 14.71 . Venice, N. Jenson . 

Thomas Aquinas. De Veritate. 1499. Cologne, H. Quenteil . 

Thomas Aquinas. Quodlibet. H75* Ulm, J. Zainer . 

Tituli Decisionum. 1477. Mainz, P. Scboeffer 

Tritheim, Joh. Compendium de Origine regum et gentis Francorum. 

1 51 5. Mainz, J. Scboeffer ...... 

Triumpho de Virtude. 147 1 . Venice, N. Jenson . 
Turrecremata, Cardinal. Meditationes. 1472. Rome, U. Han 
Valla, Laur. De Elegantia Linguae Latinae. H75* Rome, A. 

Pannartz ........ 

Valturius. De Re Militari. 1472. Verona, J. de Verona 
Vegetius. De Militari Disciplina. 1488. Pescia, Sig. Rodt 
Virgil. Opera. 1472. Padua, L. Achates . 

1471/72. Florence, Cennini 

Visconti, Gasparo. Rithmi. 1493. Milan, A. Zarotus . 
Vitas Patrum. 1495. Westminster, W. de Worde . 
Vocabularius ex quo. 1467. Eltville, Becbtermunze & Spiess 



-z, 



37 

39 
69 

77 

121 

'•3 
109 

47 

H5 

58 

2 3 

26 

44 
120 

96 
120 

100 

54 

63 

103 

»74 

15 



II 



GENERAL INDEX 



Achates, Leonardus, colophon quoted, 

54- 

Acqui, colophon of unknown printer 
at, 65. 

Adam of Ammergau, colophon bor- 
rowed 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, 1 8 1 ; colophon 
of his edition of the « Hypneroto- 
machia,' 1 24. 

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 print- 
ing 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 predeces- 
sors, 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. 

Boastful ness in colophons, 58. 

Bottonus. See Bruschus. 

Brescia, privileges granted at Venice 
affected printing at, 1 14. 

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, 1 10. 

Bruno, Henricus, complaint of over- 
work, 127. 

Bruschus, Bartholomaeus, on his 
brother's death, 71. 

92 



INDEX 



193 



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 Gunther). 

Capitalia. See Capitales litterae. 

Caracterizare, meaning of the word, 
1 2 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 Direc- 
torium 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, 1 2. 

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. ; pos- 
sible 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 ot 
religious feeling in, 57 sq., 92 sq.; 
boastfulness in, 58 ; often used to 
claim credit for introducing printing 
into a particular town, 58-60 ; al- 
lusion in an Oxford colophon to 
Venice printers, 62; Florentine al- 
lusion 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 



194 



INDEX 



relations between masters and work- 
men, 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), 8 1 ; ref- 
erences 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, 1 04 ; 
their vaunts of cheapness, 106 ; or 
of a correctness beyond price, 108 ; 
allusions to quick printing, 109 ; 
their references to privileges for ex- 
clusive printing, 1 10-120 ; 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, I 24 sqq. ; 
colophons an outlet for the author's 
thankfulness, 125 ; or his com- 
plaints — 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 ; colo- 
phons used to advertise the author, 
139 sq.; or to allow editors to de- 
preciate 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 in- 
dulgence, 156; editorial gratitude to 
helpers, 157; repetitions, thefts, 

AND ADAPTATIONS OF COLOPHONS, 

159-169; grammatical errors intro- 
duced by thieves, 165 ; dates in 
colophons, 170—184; common er- 
rors in reading them, 183 sq. 

Conrad of Westphalia, steals a 
colophon of Veldener's, 162. 

Copyright, possibly more respected 
in German cities than elsewhere, 1 7 
sq. ; at first dependent on courtesy 
or rules of trade-guilds, 22 ; secured 
by ' privileges,' 1 10-120. 

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. 
Dupre and Gerard, colophon quoted, 

179. 

Easter day, 1 470-1 521, 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. 



INDEX 



195 



Editors' and authors' colophons, 

123-158. 
Eggestein, Heinrich, his books before 

1 47 1 not dated, 1 1. 
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 (146 1 — 

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 be- 
gan in, 177 ; method of indicating 
days of the month and week by 
saints' days, introits, etc., used in, 
1 8 z sq ; privileges for exclusive print- 
ing granted in, 1 1 9. 

Grammars vaunted as royal roads to 
learning, 95 sqq. 

Grammatical slips in borrowed 
colophons, 165 sq. 



Greek, allusion in a Florentine colo- 
phon 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, 1 1 ; his 
tradition of secrecy imitated, ib. ; 
sale of his types, 17. 

Hamann, Johann, adopts part of a 
colophon, 169. 

Han, Ulrich, colophons quoted, 88, 
IOI, 108, 120; financed by Simon 
Chardella, 10 1 ; 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, 70. 
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 Sup- 
plementum Chronicarum, 131 sq. 

Jakob of Amsfort, Ulrich Zell's 
acknowledgment of his help, 157. 

Januensis (of Genoa), 8 1 . 

Jenson, Nicolas, colophons quoted, 
41—49 ; partnership with John of 
Cologne, 78 ; one of his colophons 
reprinted at Naples, 162. 



196 



INDEX 



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 colo- 
phon, 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 dis- 
covery of his importance as a Floren- 
tine 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, 1 1. 
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. 
Muller, 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. 



INDEX 



197 



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. 

Pigouchetand 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 ob- 
served by Gutenberg and his fol- 
lowers as to, ii; evidence obtain- 
able from colophons as to, 25 sq.; 
Johann Schoeffer' s account of, 27 
sqq. 

Privileges for exclusive printing, early 
history of, 1 10—120. 

Proctor, Robert, his identifications of 
the printers of incunabula, 4 sqq.; 
his arrangement of the earliest Vene- 
tian 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 

Muller. 
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, 1 1 ; adopts a Rougemont 

colophon, 167. 
Ricius, Bernardus, colophon quoted, 

ill. 
Riessinger, Sixtus, complains of his 

enemies, 75 ; relations with F. 

Tuppo, 76. 
Roman letter, first book wholly printed 

in, in England, 1 1 8. 
Rood, Theodoric, his misreckoning by 

Olympiads, 61, 1 70 ; colophon of 

his 'Phalaris' quoted, 61. 
Rougemont, Cluniac monastery at, 

colophon of book printed there, 

167. 
Ruppel, Bertold, never dated any of 

his books, 1 1 . 

Sabellico, Marc Antonio, privilege for 
exclusive printing granted to, ill. 

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 glo- 
rification of the art of printing, 1 1 ; 
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. 



198 



INDEX 



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 mis- 
taken for it, 183. 

Valdarfer, Christopher, colophons 
quoted, 49, 51 ; his colophon to 
his 1474 ' Confessionale ' unintelli- 
gently 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, in, 112, 124, 131, 132, 147, 
173 ; Oxford colophon's allusion to 
Venice printers, 62 ; a reference to 
its foundation, 70 ; book privileges 
granted at, 1 1 1 — 1 13 ; list of doges 
of, 173 ; date when the year began 
at, 180. 

Verard, Antoine, careful address in 
his colophons, 105; colophons 
quoted, 105, 117. 



Verona, colophon quoted, 120. 
Verse, use of, in colophons, 3 1 ; the 

author's apology for his renderings, 

it. 

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 ar- 
morial 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, Giinther, 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. 



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