Original incunabula leaf from a scarce early printed edition of Decretales Pape Gregorii…Mit der Glosse des Bernardus Parmensis (Decretals of Pope Gregory IX) – the standard medieval compilation of canon law. (420 x 290 mm – 16 ½ x 11 ½’’)
Printed in Speyer, Germany by Peter Drach, 16 August 1486.
Reference: Goff #G-46; Gesamtkatalog der Wiegendrucke #11473.
Latin text printed in a rounded gothic type set in red, black, and blue ink. This particular leaf is from Book One of the Decretals, and concerns the regulation of canonical institutions. General encyclicals are printed in the center two columns surrounded by specifics of papal decretals. A splendid example of early printing from a lavish and remarkably large folio edition of this important work. The leaf size is equal to the Gutenberg Bible.
Pope Gregory IX (1143-1241) ordered the first complete and authoritative collection of papal decretals for scholastic study and judicial reference. The decretals are canonical epistles, written by the pope alone, or by the pope and cardinals for ordering and determining some matter in controversy, and have the authority of a law in themselves.