Instituta cum summariis.

Venice, per Paganinum de Paganinis Brixiensem, 1501 die 25. Maii.


8vo. ff. 152 with 10 inserted blanks for annotation, (ii) 38 (i) 39-40 (i) 41-49 (i) 50-81 (i) 82-93 (i) 94-96 (i) 97-99 (i) 100-125 (i) 126-152. Gothic letter, in red and black, double column. Recto of first leaf blank except for mss, dusty, minimal marginal spotting or toning, couple of tiny worm holes to first few gatherings sometimes touching letters, some edges a bit frayed. A very good copy, disbound, in folding box. Very extensive C16 annotations, ex-libris of the Clarissan nuns of Trier to first.

Two initials blanks contain three pages of verse penned by the same contemporary hand. After an anonymous poem on a monstrous being comes one epigram, dated 1502, composed by the German humanist Theodoricus Gresemundus (Dietrich Gresemund, 1477-1512), notary and cleric in Mainz. There follow two poems: the first (also dated 1502) concerns sexual desire; the second (dated 1500) is a poem of medieval origin advising ‘staying away from women’, be they virgins, widows or spouses. In 1502 the same hand also wrote a tristich addressed to Jakob Wympfeling on adultery. It is impossible to say with certainty if they were penned by Gresemund as we have not been able to trace samples of his handwriting. However, he certainly addressed epigrams and dedications to Wympfeling in print and he was also known for his caustic verse.

Jakob Wympheling (or Wimpheling, 1450-1528) studied at Freiburg, Erfurt and Heidelberg and specialised in canon law and theology. He was preacher at Speyer and professor of grammar at Heidelberg; he eventually settled in Strasbourg. One of the earliest German humanists, he was in touch with intellectuals like Trithemius and tutor to numerous others including Jakob Merstetter. In addition to works on pedagogy, grammar and German history, he wrote moralising treatises on the education of clerics, under the influence of early Protestantism. He also composed ‘De fide concubinarum in sacerdotes’ (1501)—a satire on priests and their mistresses, a topic which caused ‘humour and jest’ at Heidelberg. Wympheling was professor there in 1498-1502 and Gresemund one of his students. The true target of the verse remains unidentified. 

Justinian’s ‘Institutiones’ was fundamental in legal education in the early modern period. The thorough annotator of this copy was probably a student. On the margins and blanks he supplied quotations from ‘Super Institutionibus’, a commentary to Justinian by the C15 jurist Nicasius de Voerda, first printed in 1541, in order to integrate the ‘glossa ordinaria’ of Franciscus Accursius (c.1183-1263)—the standard medieval exegesis of the Justinian code—and the ‘summaria’ by Hieronimus Clarius.

Only LC copy recorded in the US.

USTC 801631; Graesse III, 505. Not in BM STC It. or Brunet. J. Knepper, Jakob Wimpfeling (1450-1528): Sein Leben und seine Werke (Freiburg, 1902); V. Scholderer, ‘Jacob Wimpfeling, an Early Strassbourg Humanist’, The Library 13/1.1 (1913), 69-96.


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