BIBLE, Complutensian Polyglot. Vetus testamentum multiplici lingua nunc primo impressum. Et imprimis Pentateuchus Hebraico Greco atque Chaldaico idiomate. Adiuncta unicuique sua latina interpretatione; Novum testamentum grece latine in academia complutensi noviter impressum; Vocabularium hebraicum atque chaldaicum veteris testamenti cum aliistra tractatibus prout infra in prefatione continentus. Edited by Diego Lopez de Zuñiga, Aelio Antonio de Lebrija (Nebrissensis), Demetrius Ducas, Alonso de Zamora, and others. Alcalá de Henares: Arnald Guillén de Brocar, for Cardinal Francisco Ximenes de Cisneros, 10 January 1514-10 July 1517 [published not before March 1520 (date of papal privilege)].
Six volumes, royal 2° (374 x 255mm). Collation: Volume I: +8 (+1 blank, +2r title with arms of Ximenes in red and woodcut border, +2v blank, +3r dedication to Pope Leo X, +3v to the reader on the Old Testament, +4r De arte inueniendi radicem, +5r prologues on the New Testament including letter of Jerome to Paulinus and Jerome's preface to the Pentateuch, +8v papal privilege dated 22 March 1520); a-z6 aa-zz6 &&6 8 2a2 (Pentateuch, 8v blank, 2a1-2 errata); Volume II: s2 a-z6 aa-tt6 vv4 2a2 (r title with arms printed in red, v dedication to Leo X, r to the reader, a1r Joshua - 2 Paralipomenon (Chronicles), Oratio Manasses, 2a1r errata); Volume III: aaa-ddd6 eee4 Aaa-Bbb6 Ccc4 Ddd-Hhh6 Iii4 a-i6 k4 l-o6 p8 A-E6 F4 2a2 (aaa1r title with arms printed in red, aaa1v dedication to Leo X, aaa2r to the reader, aaa3r Esdras-Ecclesiasticus, k4 blank, F4v blank, 2a1r errata, 2a2 blank); Volume IV: a-z6 aa-oo6 pp4 A-F6 G4 2a2 (a1r title with arms printed in red, a1v dedication to Leo X, a2r to the reader, a2v prologue to Isaiah, a3r Isaiah-3 Maccabees, G4r colophon dated 10 July 1517, device, G4v blank, 2a1r errata); Volume V: a4 A-Q6 s6 R-Z6 Aa-LL6 MM8 2a10 3a6 b-f6 g4 (a1r title with arms printed in black within double woodcut border, a1v blank, a2r preface to the reader in Greek and Latin, a3r Eusebius to Carpianus, a3v Jerome to Pope Damasus, prologues, A1r New Testament, MM7v colophon dated 10 January 1514, device, MM8 commendatory verses in Greek and Latin, 2a1r Interpretationes hebreorum chaldeorum grecorumque nominum noui testamenti (arranged by biblical book), 3a1r introduction to Greek, 3a2r Greek-Latin vocabulary, g3v blank, g4 blank); Volume VI: s2 A-Z6 AA-EE6 Ff4 a8 2A-2D6 2E2 3A-3B6 3C4 (r title with arms printed in red, v to the reader, blank, A1r Vocabularium hebraicum, FF4r colophon dated 17 March 1515, device, FF4v blank, a1r Latin index to the Vocabularium, 2A1r Interpretationes hebraicorum, chaldeorum, grecorumque nominum veteris ac noui testamenti (in alphabetical order), 2E1r index of name variants, 3A1r Introductiones artis grammatice hebraice, 3C4 blank). I: 299 (of 300, without blank +1); II: 260; III: 204; IV: 268; V: 273 (of 274, without blank g4); VI: 223 (of 224, without blank ) leaves. Text in Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek and Latin, printed in 2, 3 and 4 columns in Hebrew, Greek, Roman, and Gothic types. Woodcut arms of Cardinal Ximenes on title-pages of all volumes, within woodcut borders, woodcut initials, printer's device in vols. IV-VI, initial spaces with guide-letters. (Small wormholes in first 3 gatherings of vol.I and last 8 gatherings of vol.V, some leaves slightly browned and with marginal waterstains, four leaves in vol.I with margins lengthened ?from a smaller copy, tear in outer margin of rr1 in vol.II touches a few letters and marginal notes, surface damage to title of vol.III with slight loss to border, a few other marginal tears, most repaired.) Early 19th-century English dark blue straight-grained morocco, two gilt fillets around covers, spine with gilt fillets in compartments, g.e. Provenance: Luton Library (armorial bookplate).
THE FIRST OF THE GREAT POLYGLOT BIBLES. FIRST PRINTING OF THE SEPTUAGINT AND THE FIRST PRINTING OF THE NEW TESTAMENT IN GREEK. Cardinal Ximenes, founder of the university at Alcalá, initiated this Complutensian Polyglot Bible in 1502 in honour of the birth of the future Charles V. To reconcile the many variations in the Latin Vulgate, the team of editors turned to the originals, and Greek and Hebrew manuscripts were purchased by Ximenes specifically for this project. Other manuscripts were lent by Leo X, on one of which Guillén de Brocar modelled his Greek type, cited by Proctor as "the finest Greek fount ever cut." The New Testament, volume 5, was the first volume printed, in 1514, and thus predates Erasmus's Greek New Testament of 1516. The printing of the Septuagint, volumes I-IV, was finished in 1517 and thus predates the Aldine Greek Bible of 1518 as well. However, although completed in 1517, the Polyglot Bible was not published until 1520, the year in which Erasmus's papal privilege for his Greek New Testament expired; a vellum copy was presented to the Pope in December 1521. The papal privilege granted for the Complutensian Polyglot Bible in March 1520 specifies that as many as 600 copies were printed. Adams B-968.1; Brunet I, 849-50; D & M 1412 and 4593; PMM 52; Martin Abad Imprenta en Alcalá de Henares 28a. (6)