DUNS SCOTUS, Johannes (1265?-1308?). Quaestiones in quattuor libros Sententiarum. Edited by Thomas Penketh and Bartholomaeus Bellatus. Nuremberg: Anton Koberger, 81.
Royal 2o (398 x 275 mm), four parts in one volume. Collation: (part I) [1-38 46 5-88 96 10-118 12-136 14-158 16-186] blank, 1/2r text, 18/6r colophon dated 81, 18/6v blank); (part II) [1-28 3-46 58 66 7-118] blank, 1/2r text, 11/4r colophon dated 23 April 81, 11/4v Additiones, 11/8r table, 11/8v blank); (part III) [18 2-36 4-58 66 7-88] blank, 1/2r text, 8/7v colophon dated 81, 8/7v blank); (part IV) [18 2-236] blank, 1/2r text, 23/4v colophon dated 19 May 81, table, 23/6 blank]. 130, 82, 58, and 140 leaves. 71 lines and headline, double column. Types: 4:160G (headings and headlines), 5:82G (text). 19-line spaces for initials at openings of books, 5- and 6-line spaces elsewhere. Four large illuminated initials, one opening each part, in burnished gold on colored grounds (the first on a blue and the others on a mauve ground), the initials with incised flowers, circles, and punch-dotted decoration, the grounds with swirling floral tracery in white, square frames in red and green or blue and green, by a contemporary Nuremberg artist. Smaller initials alternately red and blue, paragraph marks and capital strokes in red.
HC 6417*; BMC II, 419 (IC.7214-17); BSB-Ink. D-304; GW 9074; Goff D-380.
DUNS SCOTUS, Johannes. Quodlibeta. Edited by Thomas Penketh. Nuremberg: Anton Koberger, 1481.
Collation: [18 2-76 88] blank, 1/2r text, 8/7v colophon, contents list). 52 leaves. 71 lines and headline, double column. Types: 4:160G (headings and headlines), 5:82G (text). Illuminated opening initial in gold on blue ground and rubrication as in the Quaestiones. (Sewing of first quire loose at bottom, dampstaining in lower gutter margins, somewhat more extensive in center of the volume, and causing some softening and tears in lower gutter margins in the Quodlibeta, a few small wormholes at end.)
H 6435*; BMC II, 420 ( IC.7217); BSB-Ink D-319; GW 9069; Goff D-394.
Binding: contemporary Nuremberg blind-tooled calf over wooden boards, from the shop of the "Weltchronik" binder (Kyriss 117), central panel of upper cover filled with Rautengerank (Schwenke-Sammlung 152) and artichoke stamps (Kyriss 7), outer border tooled with rosettes (Schwenke-Sammlung 657 =Kyriss 6) and Laubstab tools (Kyriss 2), lower cover with rosettes, Laubstab and an indistinguishable smaller tool, title stamped at top of upper cover; two brass fore-edge catchplates (lacking clasps), pink-stained parchment index tabs (rebacked, covers worn and restored).
Provenance: Trier, Benedictines of St. Mathias: 15th-century inscription on front pastedown (Codex monasterij sancti Mathie apostoli extra muros Treverensis in quo continetur Scotus cum Quodlibetu).
Second edition of the Quaestiones, third edition of the Quodlibeta. Scotus' commentary on the Sentences of Peter Lombard, the standard textbook of Catholic theology during the Middle Ages, was his most important work. By the 14th century the scholastic technique had reached the height of its development, becoming at the same time more narrowly focused, a tendency that was evident in the commentaries of Scotus, in which problems raised by contemporary theological debate superseded concentration on the ancient books. As the first theologian to limit the universal validity of logic by stating that the structure of this world represents only one aspect of God's power, which is bound by nothing but the divine will and the law of contradiction, Scotus brought scholasticism to a point only surpassed by William of Ockham. The Quodlibeta record Scotus' responses in the twice-yearly disputations held at the University of Paris and other medieval universities. Koberger issued the two works together and they are often bound together; BMC treats them with some justification as a single edition.
Both the illumination and binding of this copy were executed at Nuremberg by shops whose principal source of livelihood was the Koberger press.