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holiness proceeds thus: "Having been informed, that by means of the said art many books and treatises containing various errors and pernicious doctrines, even hostile to the holy Christian religion, have been printed, and are still printed in various parts of the world, particularly in the provinces of Cologne, Mentz, Triers, and Magdeburg; and being desirous, without further delay, to put a stop to this detestable evil we, by these presents, and by authority of the Apostolic chamber, strictly forbid all printers, their servants, and those exercising the art of printing under them, in any manner whatsoever, in the abovesaid provinces, under pain of excommunication, and a pecuniary fine, to be imposed and exacted by our venerable brethren the archbishops of Cologne, Mentz, Triers, and Magdeburg, and their vicars general or official in spirituals, according to the pleasure of each in his own province, to print hereafter any books, treatises, or writings, until they have consulted on this subject the archbishops, vicars, or officials above mentioned, and obtained their special and express licence, to be granted free of all expense, whose consciences, we charge, that before they grant any licence of this kind, they will carefully examine, or cause to be examined, by able and catholic persons, the works to be printed; and that they will take the utmost care that nothing may be printed wicked and scandalous, or contrary to the orthodox faith."--- The

rest of the bull contains regulations to prevent works already printed from doing mischief. All catalogues and books printed before that period were to be examined, and those which contained any thing prejudicial to the Catholic religion were to be burned.

In the beginning of the sixteenth century, it was ordered by the well-known council of the Lateran, held at Rome in the year 1515, that in future no books should be printed but such as had been inspected by ecclesiastical censors. The following are the words of the decree: Sacro approbante concilio statuimus et ordinamus, quod de caetero nullus librum aliquem, sive aliam quamcunque scripturam tam in urbe nostra quam in aliis civitatibus et diocesibus imprimere seu imprimi facere praesumat, nisi prius in urbe per vicarium nostrum et sacri palatii magistrum, in aliis vero diocesibus per episcopum vel alium ab episcopo ad id deputandum et inquisitorem haereticae pravitatis illius dioecesis in quibus librorum impressio eiusmodi fieret, diligenter examinetur, et per horum manu propria subscriptionem gratis et sine dilatione imponendam approbetur. Qui autem secus praesumpserit, ultra librorum amissionem, et illorum publicam combustionem, excommunicationis sententia innodatus existat.*

In France, the faculty of Theology usurped, as

* Summa conciliorum, a Bartholemeo Caranza collecta, et Francisci Sylvii additionibus aucta. Duaci 1659, 8vo. p. 670.

some say, the right of censuring books; but in the year 1650, when public censors, whom the faculty opposed, were appointed without their consent, they stated the antiquity of their right to be two hundred years. For they said, "It is above two. "hundred years since the doctors of Paris have had a right to approve books without being

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subjected but to their own faculty, to which

they assert they are alone responsible for their "decisions."*


I Do not mean in this article to give a complete catalogue of all the books printed under a privilege in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, for such a list would be attended with very little utility. All I wish is to contribute something towards answering the question, What are the oldest privileges granted to books?

The oldest known at present, is that granted in the year 1490, by Henry bishop of Bamberg, to the following book: Liber missalis secundum ordinem ecclesiæ Bambergensis-Anno incarnationis dominice Mccccxc. nono vero kal. April.-In civitate Babenbergn. per magistrum Johannem

* Baillet, Jugemens des sçavans, i. p. 19.

Sensenschmidt, prefate civitatis incolam, et Heinr. Petzensteiner. This privilege was first noticed by Mr. Panzer, in his History of the Nuremberg editions of the Bible,* and afterwards by Mr. Am Ende, in Meusel's Collection for enlarging historical knowledge. The latter says: "One may


readily believe that this bishop was not the inventor of such privileges, and that they are consequently of much greater antiquity than has hitherto been supposed." Mr. Am Ende mentions also a privilege of the year 1491, to a work called Hortus sanitatis, typis Iacobi Meydenbach. pressum autem est hoc ipsum in incl. civ. Moguntina sub Archipraesulatu rever. et benigniss. principis et D. D. Bertholdi, archiep. Moguntinensis ac princ. elector. cujus felicissimo auspicio graditur, recipitur et auctorisatur. This, says Mr. Am Ende, may allude to a privilege, and perhaps not. For my part, I conjecture that it refers only to a permission to print, granted in consequence of the institution of book-censors by the archbishop Berthold, in the year 1486.

The oldest Venetian privilege at present known, is of the year 1491, found by Mr. Putter to the following work: Foenix Magistri Petri memoriae Ravennatis. At the end stands, Bernardinus de

* Geschichte der Nürnbergischen ausgaben der Bibel. Nürnberg 1778, 4to. p. 31.

↑ Meusel, Beytragen zur erweiterung der geschichtkunde, part ii. p. 105.

Choris de Cremona impressor delectus impressit. Venetias die X Ianuarii MCCCCXCI. The book is in quarto, and has the privilege on both the last pages. There is a Venetian privilege also of the year 1492, to Tragedie Senece cum commento ---Cum privilegio ne quis audeat hoc opus cum hoc commento imprimere, sub pena in eo contenta, Venetiis per Lazarum Issarda de Saliviano 1492, die XII Decembris.

The oldest Papal privilege hitherto known, is of the year 1505, to Hervei Britonis in IV Petri Lombardi sententiarum volumina scripta subtilis


The following list of a few of the oldest privileges is collected from Putter* and Hoffmann.† 1494. A Venetian, to Vincentii Bellovacensis Speculum historiale.

1495. A Milanese, by duke Louis Sforza, to Michael Ferner and Eustachius Silber for I. A. Campani Opera.

1497. A Venetian, for an edition of Terence. 1501. Privilegium sodalitatis Celtica a senatu Romani imperii impetratum, to Con

rade Celtes' edition of the works of Hroswitha.

* Der büchernachdruck nach ächten grundsätzen des rechts geprüft, ut supra.

↑ Von denen ältesten kayserlichen und landesherrlichen bücherdruck-oder verlag-privilegien, 1777, 8vo.

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