GRATIANUS (d. 1158). Decretum. With commentary (ca. 1216) by Johannes Teutonicus (Semeca), reworked by Bartholomaeus Brixiensis (d. 1258). Edited by Sebastian Brant. Basel: Johann Froben, 13 June 1493.
Chancery 4o (209 x 154 mm). Collation: a-z8 8 A-SS8 (a1r title, a1v woodcut, editor's verses to the reader, a2r text with commentary, SS7v Brant's letter to the reader, quire register in verse, SS8 blank). 520 leaves. Double column, part of the tables in three columns, text with commentary surround or marginal commentary, up to 55-56 lines text, 67 lines commentary plus headline, printed marginalia. Types: 7:134G (title), 5:120G (headlines, a few headings), 8:88R (headings and verse register on SS7v), 4:62BG (text), 6:51G (commentary), 3:44G (marginalia). Headlines and headings printed in red. 6-line and smaller woodcut initials in red, printed paragraph marks in red. Large woodcut of magister with pupils by the Verard Master on title verso. (Repaired tear to e8, 2 or 3 short marginal tears, small modern shelfmark label in blank corner of a2r, light dampstaining at beginning and end, mark of erasure in initial space on a2r.) Sixteenth-century German blind-stamped pigskin over wooden boards, sides with pictorial panels within heads-in-medallion and foliate rolls, brass cornerpieces, two brass fore-edge clasps.
Provenance: a few early marginalia, occasional underlining -- Georgius Rambtor (16th-century inscription on front pastedown) -- ?M. Frochner? (19th-c. signature on front free endleaf).
The first of two Froben editions of Gratian's important compendium of canon law, both edited by Sebastian Brant. A collection of nearly 4,000 patristic texts, conciliar decrees and Papal pronouncements touching on all fields of church discipline, the Decretum quickly became the authoritative text of canon law, and came to form the first part of the Corpus juris Canonici.
Active from 1481, Johann Froben's press, devoted in the 1490s largely to editions of the Bible and of canon law, was distinguished by an unusually wide assortment of types. Six different founts appear in this edition, whose production was rendered yet more complex by the use of red printing.
HC 7912*; BMC III, 790 (IA. 37879); BSB-Ink. G-278; GW 11377; Harvard/Walsh 1225; Pr 7757; Schreiber 4117; Goff G-384.