7 June 2006
CONSTANTINE, Emperor -- Donatio Constantini. [Rome: Marcello Silber, between 1510 and 1527].
4° (205 x 133mm). Collation: A8 (A1r preface by Bartholomeo Picerno de Monte Arduo to Pope Julius II, A1v imperial edict, A8v blank). 8 leaves. Woodcut initial opening text. 34 lines. Disbound, paper wrapper.
Originating in the 8th century, probably to legitimize the rule of the Frankish kings, the Donation of Constantine also served to increase papal power. It was shown by Lorenzo Valla in the mid 15th century to be a forgery, but Italian jurists and canonists continued to cite its authority into the 16th century. The present edition, apparently only the second in print, is a translation from a Greek version found by Picerno in the Vatican library; he refers in his preface to Valla's work and to subsequent refutation, notably by the jurist Cardinal Alexandrinus. H *5650; GW VII, col. 27 (type of Stephan Plannck); Stillwell C-779; EDIT CNCE 17634; Tinto, Silber, no.79 (dated on typographical grounds).
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