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Bod-Inc: B-010

Balbus, Johannes



Analysis of Content

[a1r] [Balbus], Johannes: Catholicon. Incipit: ‘[P]rosodia quedam pars grammatice nuncupatur, partes siquidem grammatice sunt quatuor . . .’

[Q3r] [Colophon.] Incipit: ‘Altissimi presidio, cuius nutu infantium lingue fiunt diserte . . .’

[Q3r] [Verse.] Incipit: ‘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'.

[Q3v] ‘Tabula rubricarum'.


Imprint: [Mainz: Printer of the Catholicon or Johann Gutenberg(?)], ‘1460' or [not before 1469] or [between 1460 and c.1472]. Folio.

Remarks: Three issues can be distinguished despite identical typesetting: (a) printed on parchment or bull's head paper; (b) on Galliziani paper; (c) on tower and crown paper; see Gottfried Zedler, Das Mainzer Catholicon, Veröffentlichungen der Gutenberg-Gesellschaft, 4 (Mainz, 1905). This has given rise to the theory that issue (a) was printed in 1460, issue (b) in 1469, and issue (c) c.1472; see Paul Needham, ‘Johann Gutenberg and the Catholicon Press', Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America, 76 (1982), 395-456 and the following articles in ‘Zur Catholicon-Forschung', Wolfenbütteler Notizen zur Buchgeschichte, 13 (1988), 105-232: James C. Thomas, ‘Die Umdatierung eines Wolfenbütteler Frühdruckes des Ackermann aus Böhmen (GW 193) aufgrund beta- und elektronenradiographischer Untersuchungen seiner Papierwasserzeichen', 106-24; Gerhardt Powitz, ‘Das Catholicon in buch- und textgeschichtlicher Sicht', 125-37; Martin Boghardt, ‘Die bibliographische Erforschung der ersten Catholicon-Ausgabe(n)', 138-76; Claus W. Gerhardt, ‘Der Doppelzeilendruck des Catholicon-Druckers von 1460', 177-86; Rolf Stümpel, ‘Überlegungen zum zweizeiligen Satz des Catholicon’, 187-98; Paul Needham, ‘The Catholicon Press of Johann Gutenberg: A Hidden Chapter in the Invention of Printing', 199-230; Lotte Hellinga, ‘The Catholicon: Hypotheses or Solutions', 231-2. For an alternative theory that all three states were printed c.1469, but in three different print shops, the lines composed of movable type having been tied together two and two, see Lotte Hellinga, ‘Analytical Bibliography and the Study of Early Printed Books with a case-study of the Mainz Catholicon', Gb Jb 64 (1989), 47-96; Lotte Hellinga, ‘Slipped Lines and Fallen Type in the Mainz Catholicon', Gb Jb 67 (1992), 35-40; and the response by Paul Needham, ‘Slipped Lines in the Mainz Catholicon: A Second Opinion', Gb Jb 68 (1993), 25-9. See also Anke Böhm, ‘Das Psalterium Moguntinum. Kann man aufgrund von Satzvarianten verschiedene Auflagen erschließen?', Gb Jb 64 (1989), 30-8; Lotte Hellinga, ‘Comments on Paul Needham's Notes', Gb Jb 65 (1990), 65-9; Paul Needham, ‘Corrective Notes on the Date of the Catholicon Press', Gb Jb 65 (1990), 46-64; Paul Needham, ‘Further Corrective Notes on the Date of the Catholicon Press', Gb Jb 66 (1991), 101-26; Lotte Hellinga, ‘Das Mainzer »Catholicon« und Gutenbergs Nachlaß. Neudatierung und Auswirkungen', AGB, 40 (1993), 395-416; see also the summary of the debate in CIBN B‑13.


Collation: [a–f10 g4 h–t10 v4+1 x–z A–P10 Q4].

Watermarks: Watermarks: Bull's head; gathering [h] Galliziani paper with pinholes matching the Galliziani pattern; see Hellinga (1989), 54.


ISTC: ib00020000

GW: GW 3182;

Hain: HC *2254;

Goff: Goff B‑20;

BMC: BMC I 39;

Proctor: Pr 146;

Others: BSB‑Ink B‑8; CIBN B‑13; Oates 47; Rhodes 245; Sheppard 90; M. B. Stillwell, Gutenberg and the Catholicon of 1460 (New York, 1936) [to accompany the distribution of leaves from an incomplete paper copy]. Facsimile: Farnborough, 1971.


Copy number: B-010(1)

Binding: Mid-nineteenth-century blind-tooled russia over bevelled wooden boards, in imitation of fifteenth-century style, for the Bodleian Library; index-tabs of knotted leather ties; the gold stamp of the Library on both covers.

Size: 427 × 308 × 95 mm.

Size of leaf: 402 × 290 mm.

On front endleaf a German verse about a debt: ‘Item ist mir schuldig der Zender zu kesten da hab ich mich(?) zum besten'.

Principal initials are supplied in interlocked red and blue, interlocked blue and yellow, or blue with white highlighting and pen-work infill and pen-flourishing in red, light green, and yellow extending into the inner margin. Other initials and paragraph marks are supplied in red or blue; red chapter headings, in the hand called ‘S1' by Gerhardt Powitz, ‘Die Tabula Rubricarum des mainzer Catholicon' Gb Jb 69 (1994), 32-49; capital strokes and underlining.

Provenance: Eberhardsklausen, Rhineland-Pfalz, Canons Regular; on the front endleaf ‘Liber domus beatissime virginis Marie in clusa Eberhardi Ordinis Canonicorum regularium Treu[ir]ensis Diocesis.' Johann Springel; on the front endleaf ‘Joannes Springel vatter vnser.’ Purchased for £63; see Books Purchased (1806), 1 and Macray 283.

Former Bodleian shelfmark: Auct. Y 1.8

SHELFMARK: Auct. 2Q inf. 1.31(a).

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