PAULUS DE SANCTA MARIA (ca. 1350-1435). Scrutinium scripturarum. Mainz: Peter Schoeffer, 7 January 1478.
Chancery 2o (275 x 210 mm). Collation: [1-210 312 4-1010 118 12-1710 1812 19-2110 226] (1/1r preface, 1/2v pars i distinctio i, 3/12v blank, 4/1r distinctio v, 7/10 blank, 8/1r distinctio viii, 13/1r distinctio x, 16/1r pars ii distinctio iii, 19/1r distinctio v, 22/5r colophon and printer's mark, 22/5v-22/6 blank). 218 leaves. Type: 6:92G. Six-line title on 1/1r, colophon and printer's mark on 22/5r printed in red. Two- to eight-line initial spaces. Finely rubricated with one eight-line red and blue divided Lombard initial flourished in red and green, six- and seven-line Lombards in red or blue with reserved ornament, two- to five-line simple Lombards in red or blue, paragraph marks in alternating red and blue, red capital strokes and underlines. Single pinhole visible in the outer margin of each leaf. Contemporary foliation in arabic numerals in upper right corners of rectos, omitting 155 and 205 and continuing with two of the end flyleaves. Traces of two systems of contemporary manuscript quiring, letters and numbers in lower left corners of rectos, arabic numerals in center of lower margin on rectos. (Closed tear to the blank margin of 10/2, two or three small wormholes to blank margins of first ca. 25 leaves, five small wormholes to last ca. 30 leaves touching one or two letters on most pages, small wormtrack to extreme inner margin of last ca. 12 leaves, occasional unobtrusive smudging.)
Binding: Contemporary German (middle or lower Rhine) leather over wooden boards, blind-tooled with intersecting fillets and stamps including an eagle in a lozenge, the Virgin in a rectangle and a small rosette, plaited head- and tail-bands of pink-dyed alum-tawed leather thongs, remains of two clasps, title stamped on front cover, three sewing guards cut from a 12th-century German liturgical manuscript with oratorical neumes (worn, a few small wormholes, two circular stains to back cover); new cloth folding case.
Provenance: early ownership inscription in red ink erased from flyleaf facing 1/1r -- Elbé, bookseller in Lyon (early 20th-century signed notes on flyleaf) -- Nicolas Yemeniz (bookplate, partially removed) -- Charles van der Elst (bookplate), sold APT Monaco, 13 May 1985, lot 156.
Fifth edition, set from the first edition printed in Strassburg by Johann Mentelin (Goff P-201, not after 1470), itself derived from a manuscript from Plankstetten Abbey. Paulus de Sancta Maria, born Solomon ha-Levi, was a member of a distinguished Jewish family of Burgos, Spain. In addition to a knowledge of Jewish and Arabic philosophy, he read Christian theological works, and in 1390 or 1391 he converted to Christianity. After studying theology in Paris, he was ordained and joined the papal court at Avignon. He was made bishop of Cartagena in 1402 and from 1415 until his death he was bishop of Burgos. The Dyalogus qui vocatur Scrutinium scripturarum, or, as it was sometimes called, Dialogus contra perfidiam Judaeorum, completed in 1432, was a polemical work. The first part of the text is a dialogue between the Jew Saul and the Christian Paul, and in the second part an apostate asks his teacher to elucidate points of Christian dogma. The work served as a source for Alfonso de Spina, Geromino de Sante Fé, and other Spanish writers hostile to the Jews.
HC 10766; BMC I, 34 (IB. 220); BSB-Ink. P-48; CIBN P-74; Harvard/Walsh 19; Lehmann-Haupt Peter Schoeffer 62; Pr 114; Goff P-205.