Venice, Johann von Köln und Johann Manthen, 1475.


Folio. ff. [lxvi]. a–b10, c10–1, d8, e10. Quire C ll. misplaced [c9, c1-4, c8, c5-7] without first and last blanks. Roman letter, double column. Capital space on a2 supplied in blue, paragraphs rubricated in red and blue on first leaf and then in red throughout, contemporary manuscript annotations (untrimmed). a2 very slightly dusty at margins, minor, very pale, water stain to very upper and outer blank margin of last few leaves, very minor light spotting on last few leaves. An internally fine copy, very fresh and clean ,with original large margins, (contemporary annotations un-cropped) in grey-blue card wraps circa 1800.

Beautifully printed early edition of this tremendously popular and influential legal Singularia by the celebrated jurist Lodovico Pontano, the first edition of which was printed at Venice, by de Spira, 1471. The “Singularia” are a collection of brief expositions of specific legal issues, immensely useful to the practitioner; they give opinions on various points of law which occur in daily practice in the courts, both ecclesiastical and civil, with the questions or cases, and sometimes the decisions of the courts on those cases. Pontano was not the first collector of Singularia, but continued a tradition that was particularly lively in Perugia, where he taught. Pontano’s Singularia iuris was the most popular of his works. It had appeared in seventeen editions by 1500 and was included in fourteen compilations in the 16th century, the last in 1578. Pontano’s short career led from the universities of Bologna, Florence, Rome and Siena, the Roman curia and the court of Alfonso V of Aragón to the Council of Basel where he became rapidly one of the major conciliarist leaders and died at the age of only 30 years of the plague.

“Ludovico Pontano … was born in Spoleto or its vicinity in 1409. He was taken to and brought up in Rome, which later gave him one of his names, Ludovico Romanus. As for his education, it is known that he first entered the University of Perugia and that he studied at the University of Bologna. In his legal studies at Bologna, Lodovico was very much influenced by John de Imola (d. 1436) … By 1433 he was professor of Law as the University of Sienna. It is regrettable that not much is known about his activities as law professor. But his output  as a legal scholar was very impressive. It included the often-reissued Deliberations and pleadings (Consilia.) Notable remarks on Criminal cases (Singularia) … After serving briefly as advocate in Florence, Lodovico was then made apostolic protonotary by Pope Eugenius IV. After the council of Basel was convened in 1431, King Alfonso V of Aragon decided to Press his claims to the Council. Two of the most renowned lawyers of the time, Panormitanus (Nicholas de Tudeschis) and Ludovico Pontano, were among his legal delegation to the council. Lodovico seems to have arrived himself in 1438. Very quickly he became one of the most important voices at the council”. Morimichi Watanabe. ‘Nicholas of Cusa – A Companion to his Life and his Times.’

A beautiful copy of a finely printed book, the quality of the typography, paper and printing of this edition is wonderful; it is a very well preserved copy with very good large margins, and interesting contemporary annotation.

BMC V, 231. GW M34988. ISTC ip00928000. Goff P 928. Hain13270.


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