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Gregorius IX, Pope - Decretales Cum Summariis - 1496

(Law; Incunabula; bindings) GREGORIUS IX (Ugolino di’ Segni). Decretales. Venetiis, Baptista de Tortis, Octubri, X, 1496.
§ Folio (415 x 300), 304 leaves, (last blank) of 308, as issued, lacking, ab origine, as in other several copies, the final quire with the index (tabula), not mentioned in the final register, since printed after the work publication and added only in a reduced number of items ; sign A-Z8, et, cum, rum8, a-e8, Ee8, F-K8, A4, B8, 1leaf, g8, h6, i-o8, A-G8, H6). Text on two columns, entirely printed in red and black, rubricated and surrounded by the extensive commentaries of Bernardus de Parma and Hieronymus Clarius, which includes notes by Ludovico Bolognini. Magnificent contemporary brown calf binding (spine partially restored), with the the title " DECRETALES" clearly impressed on front- board binding, scattered ancient manuscripted notes in sepia ink by ancient hands, boards densely blindstamped with title, hunting scenes and fleural motifs, remnant of metal clasps. A truly fine incunable, textually complete and in a gorgeous contemporary "speaking" binding,extremely hard to find in so fine conditions.

Gregorius IX Decretales are a source of medieval Catholic canon law, the first printed edition of which was published at Strasburg from the press of Heinrich Eggesteyn. “Gregory IX, in 1230, ordered his chaplain and confessor, St. Raymond of Peñaforte (Pennafort), a Dominican, to form a new canonical collection destined to replace all former collections. It has been said that the pope by this measure wished especially to emphasize his power over the Universal Church. The papacy had, indeed, arrived at the zenith of its power. Moreover, a pope less favourably circumstanced would, perhaps, not have thought of so important a measure. Nevertheless, the utility of a new collection was so evident that it is needless to seek other motives than those which the pope himself gives in the Bull “Rex pacificus” of 5 September, 1234, viz., the inconvenience of recurring to several collections containing decisions most diverse and sometimes contradictory, exhibiting in some cases gaps and in others tedious length; moreover, on several matters the legislation was uncertain. St. Raymond executed the work in about four years, and followed in it the method of the aforesaid “Quinque compilationes antiquæ”. He borrowed from them the order of the subject-matter, the division into five books, of the books into titles and of the titles into chapters. Of the 1971 chapters which the Decretals of Gregory IX contain, 1771 are taken from the “Quinque compilationes antiquæ”, 191 are due to Gregory IX himself, 7 are taken from decretals of Innocent III not inserted in the former collections, and 2 are of unknown origin. ... However, he did more than simply compile the documents of former collections. He left out 383 decisions, modified several others, omitted parts when he considered it prudent to do So, filled up the gaps, and, to render his collection complete and concordant, cleared up doubtful points of the ancient ecclesiastical law by adding some new decretals. He indicated by the words et infra the passages excised by him in the former collections. They are called partes decis.” (Van Hove).
 GOFF G-474, HC(Add) *8035; POLAIN(B) 1736 & 1736A (var); GW 11493; BMC V 329; PROCTOR 4656; ALPHONSE VAN HOVE Papal Decretals In: The Catholic Encyclopedia.


Object Book
Number of Books 1
Subject Fine Bindings, Incunabula & early printing, Law
Author/ Illustrator Gregorius IX, Pope
Book Title Decretales Cum Summariis
Condition Very good
Publication year oldest item 1496
Edition Different editions
Language Latin
Original language Yes
Publisher Baptista De Tortis
Binding/ Material Leather
Extras Other - see description
Number of pages 608
Dimensions 415×300 mm
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