An incunable, or sometimes incunabulum (plural incunables or incunabula, respectively), is a book, pamphlet, or broadside printed in Europe before the year 1501. (Importantly, incunabula are not manuscripts.) As of 2014, there are about 30,000 distinct known incunable editions extant, but the probable number of surviving copies in Germany alone is estimated at around 125,000.[1][2]

Page from Valerius Maximus, Facta et dicta memorabilia, printed in red and black by Peter Schöffer (Mainz, 1471). The page exhibits a rubricated initial letter "U" and decorations, marginalia, and ownership stamps of the "Bibliotheca Gymnasii Altonani" (Hamburg).
Illumination with doodles and drawings (marginalia), including an open-mouthed human profile, with multiple tongues sticking out. Copulata, "De Anima", f. 2a. HMD Collection, WZ 230 M772c 1485
Phisicorum ca. 1485 .
Image of two facing pages from "Phisicorum", fols. 57b and 58a, with doodles and drawings. HMD Collection, WZ 230 M772c 1485


"Incunable" is the anglicised singular form of incunabula, Latin for "swaddling clothes" or "cradle",[3] which can refer to "the earliest stages or first traces in the development of anything".[4] A former term for "incunable" is "fifteener", referring to the 15th century.[5][6]

The term incunabula as a printing term was first used by the Dutch physician and humanist Hadrianus Iunius (Adriaan de Jonghe, 1511–1575) and appears in a passage from his posthumous work (written in 1569): Hadrianus Iunius, Batavia, [...], [Lugduni Batavorum], ex officina Plantiniana, apud Franciscum Raphelengium, 1588, p. 256 l. 3: «inter prima artis [typographicae] incunabula», a term ("the first infancy of printing") to which he arbitrarily set an end of 1500 which still stands as a convention.[7]

Only by a misunderstanding was Bernhard von Mallinckrodt (1591–1664) considered to be the inventor of this meaning of incunabula; the identical passage is found in his Latin pamphlet De ortu ac progressu artis typographicae ("On the rise and progress of the typographic art", Cologne, 1640): Bernardus a Mallinkrot, De ortu ac progressu artis typographicae dissertatio historica, [...], Coloniae Agrippinae, apud Ioannem Kinchium, 1640 (in frontispiece: 1639), p. 29 l. 16: «inter prima artis [typographicae] incunabula», within a long passage of several pages, which he (correctly) quotes entirely in italic characters (that is between quotation marks), referring to the name of author and work cited: «Primus istorum [...] Hadrianus Iunius est, cuius integrum locum, ex Batavia eius, operae pretium est adscribere; [...]. Ita igitur Iunius» (ibid., p. 27 ll. 27-32, followed by the long passage, «Redeo → sordes», ibid., p. 27, l. 32 – p. 33 l. 32 [= Batavia, p. 253 l. 28 – p. 258 l. 21]). So the source is only one, the other is a quotation.[8]

The term incunabula came to denote the printed books themselves in the late 17th century. John Evelyn, in moving the Arundel Manuscripts to the Royal Society in August 1678, remarked of the printed books among the manuscripts: "The printed books, being of the oldest impressions, are not the less valuable; I esteem them almost equal to MSS."[9] The convenient but arbitrarily chosen end date for identifying a printed book as an incunable does not reflect any notable developments in the printing process, and many books printed for a number of years after 1500 continued to be visually indistinguishable from incunables.

"Post-incunable" typically refers to books printed after 1500 up to another arbitrary end date such as 1520 or 1540. From around this period the dating of any edition becomes easier, as the practice of printers including information such as the place and year of printing became more widespread.


There are two types of incunabula in printing: the block book, printed from a single carved or sculpted wooden block for each page, employing the same process as the woodcut in art (these may be called xylographic); and the typographic book, made with individual pieces of cast-metal movable type on a printing press. Many authors reserve the term incunabula for the latter kind only.[10]

The spread of printing to cities both in the north and in Italy ensured that there was great variety in the texts chosen for printing and the styles in which they appeared. Many early typefaces were modelled on local forms of writing or derived from the various European forms of Gothic script, but there were also some derived from documentary scripts (such as most of Caxton's types), and, particularly in Italy, types modelled on handwritten scripts and calligraphy employed by humanists.

Printers congregated in urban centres where there were scholars, ecclesiastics, lawyers, and nobles and professionals who formed their major customer base. Standard works in Latin inherited from the medieval tradition formed the bulk of the earliest printed works, but as books became cheaper, vernacular works (or translations into vernaculars of standard works) began to appear.

Famous examples

First incunable with illustrations, Ulrich Boner's Der Edelstein, printed by Albrecht Pfister, Bamberg, 1461

The most famous incunabula include two from Mainz, the Gutenberg Bible of 1455 and the Peregrinatio in terram sanctam of 1486, printed and illustrated by Erhard Reuwich; the Nuremberg Chronicle written by Hartmann Schedel and printed by Anton Koberger in 1493; and the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili printed by Aldus Manutius with important illustrations by an unknown artist.

Other printers of incunabula were Günther Zainer of Augsburg, Johannes Mentelin and Heinrich Eggestein of Strasbourg, Heinrich Gran of Haguenau and William Caxton of Bruges and London. The first incunable to have woodcut illustrations was Ulrich Boner's Der Edelstein, printed by Albrecht Pfister in Bamberg in 1461.[11]


Many incunabula are undated, needing complex bibliographical analysis to place them correctly. The post-incunabula period marks a time of development during which the printed book evolved fully as a mature artefact with a standard format.[12] After c. 1540 books tended to conform to a template that included the author, title-page, date, seller, and place of printing. This makes it much easier to identify any particular edition.[13]

As noted above, the end date for identifying a printed book as an incunable is convenient but was chosen arbitrarily; it does not reflect any notable developments in the printing process around the year 1500. Books printed for a number of years after 1500 continued to look much like incunables, with the notable exception of the small format books printed in italic type introduced by Aldus Manutius in 1501. The term post-incunable is sometimes used to refer to books printed "after 1500—how long after, the experts have not yet agreed."[14] For books printed in the UK, the term generally covers 1501–1520, and for books printed in mainland Europe, 1501–1540.[15]

Statistical data

Printing towns incunabula
Printing towns
Incunabula distribution by region
Distribution by region
Incunabula distribution by language
Distribution by language

The data in this section were derived from the Incunabula Short-Title Catalogue (ISTC).[16]

The number of printing towns and cities stands at 282. These are situated in some 18 countries in terms of present-day boundaries. In descending order of the number of editions printed in each, these are: Italy, Germany, France, Netherlands, Switzerland, Spain, Belgium, England, Austria, the Czech Republic, Portugal, Poland, Sweden, Denmark, Turkey, Croatia, Montenegro, and Hungary (see diagram).

The following table shows the 20 main 15th century printing locations; as with all data in this section, exact figures are given, but should be treated as close estimates (the total editions recorded in ISTC at May 2013 is 28,395):

Town or city No. of editions % of ISTC recorded editions
Venice [17] 3,549 12.5
Paris [18] 2,764 9.7
Rome [19] 1,922 6.8
Cologne [20] 1,530 5.4
Lyons [21] 1,364 4.8
Leipzig [22] 1,337 4.7
Augsburg [23] 1,219 4.3
Strassburg [24] 1,158 4.1
Milan [25] 1,101 3.9
Nuremberg [26] 1,051 3.7
Florence 801 2.8
Basel 786 2.8
Deventer 613 2.2
Bologna 559 2.0
Antwerp 440 1.5
Mainz 418 1.5
Ulm 398 1.4
Speyer 354 1.2
Pavia 337 1.2
Naples 323 1.1
TOTAL 22,024 77.6

The 18 languages that incunabula are printed in, in descending order, are: Latin, German, Italian, French, Dutch, Spanish, English, Hebrew, Catalan, Czech, Greek, Church Slavonic, Portuguese, Swedish, Breton, Danish, Frisian and Sardinian (see diagram).

Only about one edition in ten (i.e. just over 3,000) has any illustrations, woodcuts or metalcuts.

The "commonest" incunable is Schedel's Nuremberg Chronicle ("Liber Chronicarum") of 1493, with c 1,250 surviving copies (which is also the most heavily illustrated). Many incunabula are unique, but on average about 18 copies survive of each. This makes the Gutenberg Bible, at 48 or 49 known copies, a relatively common (though extremely valuable) edition. Counting extant incunabula is complicated by the fact that most libraries consider a single volume of a multi-volume work as a separate item, as well as fragments or copies lacking more than half the total leaves. A complete incunable may consist of a slip, or up to ten volumes.

In terms of format, the 29,000-odd editions comprise: 2,000 broadsides, 9,000 folios, 15,000 quartos, 3,000 octavos, 18 12mos, 230 16mos, 20 32mos, and 3 64mos.

ISTC at present cites 528 extant copies of books printed by Caxton, which together with 128 fragments makes 656 in total, though many are broadsides or very imperfect (incomplete).

Apart from migration to mainly North American and Japanese universities, there has been little movement of incunabula in the last five centuries. None were printed in the Southern Hemisphere, and the latter appears to possess less than 2,000 copies, about 97.75% remain north of the equator. However many incunabula are sold at auction or through the rare book trade every year.

Major collections

The British Library's Incunabula Short Title Catalogue now records over 29,000 titles, of which around 27,400 are incunabula editions (not all unique works). Studies of incunabula began in the 17th century. Michel Maittaire (1667–1747) and Georg Wolfgang Panzer (1729–1805) arranged printed material chronologically in annals format, and in the first half of the 19th century, Ludwig Hain published, Repertorium bibliographicum— a checklist of incunabula arranged alphabetically by author: "Hain numbers" are still a reference point. Hain was expanded in subsequent editions, by Walter A. Copinger and Dietrich Reichling, but it is being superseded by the authoritative modern listing, a German catalogue, the Gesamtkatalog der Wiegendrucke, which has been under way since 1925 and is still being compiled at the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin. North American holdings were listed by Frederick R. Goff and a worldwide union catalogue is provided by the Incunabula Short Title Catalogue.[27]

Notable collections, with the approximate numbers of incunabula held, include:

Library Location Country Number of copies Number of editions Ref.
Bavarian State Library Munich Germany 20,000 9,756 [28]
British Library London UK 12,500 10,390 [29]
Bibliothèque nationale de France Paris France 12,000 8,000 [30]
Vatican Library Vatican City Vatican City 8,600 5,400 (more than) [31]
Austrian National Library Vienna Austria 8,000 [32]
Württembergische Landesbibliothek Stuttgart Germany 7,076
National Library of Russia Saint Petersburg Russia 7,000
Bodleian Library Oxford UK 6,755 5,623 [33]
Library of Congress Washington, DC US 5,600
Huntington Library San Marino, California US 5,537 5,228
Russian State Library Moscow Russia 5,300
Cambridge University Library Cambridge UK 4,650 [34]
Biblioteca Nazionale Vittorio Emanuele III Naples Italy 4,563 [35]
John Rylands Library Manchester UK 4,500
Danish Royal Library Copenhagen Denmark 4,425 [36]
Berlin State Library Berlin Germany 4,442 [37]
Harvard University Cambridge, Massachusetts US 4,389 3,627 [38]
National Library of the Czech Republic Prague Czech Republic 4,200 [39]
National Central Library Florence Italy 4,000 [40]
Jagiellonian Library Kraków Poland 3,671 [41]
Yale University (Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library) New Haven, Connecticut US 3,525 (all collections)
Herzog August Library Wolfenbüttel Germany 3,477 2,835 [42]
Biblioteca Nacional de España Madrid Spain 3,159 2,298 [43]
Biblioteca Marciana Venice Italy 2,883
Uppsala University Library Uppsala Sweden 2,500 [44]
Biblioteca comunale dell'Archiginnasio Bologna Italy 2,500 [45]
Bibliothèque Mazarine Paris France 2,370 [46]
Bibliothèque municipale de Colmar Colmar France 2,300 [47]
Library of the University of Innsbruck (Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek) Innsbruck Austria 2122 1889 [48]
National and University Library Strasbourg France 2,098 (circa) [49]
Morgan Library New York US 2,000 (more than)
Newberry Library Chicago US 2,000 (more than) [50]
Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Roma Rome Italy 2,000 [51]
National Library of the Netherlands The Hague Netherlands 2,000
National Széchényi Library Budapest Hungary 1,814
Heidelberg University Library Heidelberg Germany 1,800
Abbey library of Saint Gall St. Gallen Switzerland 1,650
Turin National University Library Turin Italy 1,600 [52]
Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal Lisbon Portugal 1,597 [53]
Library of the University of Padua Padua Italy 1,583 [54]
Strahov Monastery Library Prague Czech Republic 1,500 (more than) [55]
Bibliothèque Sainte-Geneviève Paris France 1,450 [56]
Walters Art Museum Baltimore, Maryland US 1,250 [57]
Bryn Mawr College Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania US 1,214
Bibliothèque municipale de Lyon Lyon France 1,200 [58]
Biblioteca Colombina Seville Spain 1,194 [59]
University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign Urbana, Illinois US 1,100 (more than) [60]
Bridwell Library Dallas, Texas US 1,000 (more than) [61]
University of Glasgow Glasgow UK 1,000 (more than) [62]
National and University Library in Zagreb Zagreb Croatia 1,000(circa)
Bibliothèque municipale de Besançon Besançon France 1,000 (circa)
Huntington Library San Marino, California US 827 [63]
Free Library of Philadelphia Philadelphia US 800 (more than)
Princeton University Library Princeton, New Jersey US 750 (including the Scheide Library)
Leiden University Library Leiden Netherlands 700
Bibliothèque municipale de Grenoble Grenoble France 654
Bibliothèque municipale(fr) Avignon France 624 [64]
Bibliothèque cantonale et universitaire Fribourg Switzerland 617 537 [65]
Bibliothèque de la Sorbonne Paris France 614 (including the Victor Cousin collection) [66]
Bibliothèque municipale Cambrai France 600
National Library of Medicine Bethesda, Maryland US 580 [67]
Humanist Library of Sélestat Sélestat France 550 [68]
Médiathèque de la Vieille Île Haguenau France 541 [69]
Bibliothèque municipale(fr) Rouen France 535
Boston Public Library Boston US 525
Vernadsky National Library of Ukraine Kiev Ukraine 524
Biblioteca del Seminario Vescovile Padua Italy 483 [70]
Univerzitná knižnica v Bratislave Bratislava Slovakia 465
Bibliothèque de Genève Geneva Switzerland 464
Bibliothèque municipale Metz France 463
L. Tom Perry Special Collections Provo, Utah US 450 (circa) [71]
Folger Shakespeare Library Washington, D.C. US 450 (circa) [72]
University of Michigan Library Ann Arbor, Michigan US 450 (circa) [73]
Fondazione Ugo Da Como Lonato del Garda Italy 450
Brown University Library Providence, Rhode Island US 450 [74]
Bancroft Library Berkeley, California US 430
University of Zaragoza Zaragoza Spain 406
The College of Physicians of Philadelphia Philadelphia US 400 (more than)
Médiathèque de la ville et de la communauté urbaine(fr) Strasbourg France 394 (5,000 destroyed by fire in the 1870 Siege of Strasbourg) [75][76]
Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin Austin, Texas US 380 [77]
National Library of Finland Helsinki Finland 375 [78]
State Library of Victoria Melbourne Australia 357 [79]
University of Chicago Library Chicago US 350 (more than) [80]
Bibliothèque municipale Bordeaux France 333 [81]
Smithsonian Institution Libraries Washington, DC US 320
Vilnius University Library Vilnius Lithuania 327 [82]
Bibliothèque universitaire de Médecine Montpellier France 300 [83]
Bibliothèque municipale Douai France 300
Bibliothèque municipale Amiens France 300
University of Seville Seville Spain 298 [84]
Bibliothèque municipale Poitiers France 289
National Library of Wales Aberystwyth UK 250 [85]
Bibliothèque du Grand Séminaire Strasbourg France 238 [86]
State Library of New South Wales Sydney Australia 236 [87]
Library of the Kynžvart Castle(cs) Lázně Kynžvart Czech Republic 230 [88]
Library of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America New York US 216 [89]
Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library at the University of Toronto Toronto Canada 200 (more than) [90]
Latimer Family Library at Saint Vincent College Latrobe, Pennsylvania US 200 (circa) [91]
Stanford University Libraries Palo Alto, California US 178 [92]
Cardiff University Library Cardiff UK 173 [93]
Dartmouth College (Rauner Special Collections Library) Hanover, New Hampshire US 170 [94]
National Library of Greece Athens Greece 149

See also


  1. ^ British Library: Incunabula Short Title Catalogue gives 30,375 editions as of March 2014, which also includes some prints from the 16th century though (retrieved 23 July 2015).
  2. ^ According to Bettina Wagner: "Das Second-Life der Wiegendrucke. Die Inkunabelsammlung der Bayerischen Staatsbibliothek", in: Griebel, Rolf; Ceynowa, Klaus (eds.): "Information, Innovation, Inspiration. 450 Jahre Bayerische Staatsbibliothek", K G Saur, München 2008, ISBN 978-3-598-11772-5, pp. 207–224 (207f.) the Incunabula Short Title Catalogue lists 30,375 titles published before 1501.
  3. ^ C.T. Lewis and C. Short, A Latin Dictionary, Oxford 1879, p. 930. The word incunabula is a neuter plural only; the singular incunabulum is never found in Latin and not used in English by most specialists.
  4. ^ Oxford English Dictionary, 1933, I:188.
  5. ^ "An Introduction to Incunabula". Barber, Phil. Retrieved 6 July 2017. "Incunabula" is a generic term coined by English book collectors in the seventeenth century to describe the first printed books of the fifteenth century. It is a more elegant replacement for what had previously been called 'fifteeners', and is formed of two Latin words meaning literally 'in the cradle' or 'in swaddling clothes'. The word is plural; in referring to a single fifteenth century book, "incunabulum" is correct.
  6. ^ "Fifteener" is a coinage of the bibliographer Thomas Frognall Dibdin, a term endorsed by William Morris and Robert Proctor. (Carter & Barker 2004, p. 130).
  7. ^ Glomski, J (2001). "Incunabula Typographiae: seventeenth-century views on early printing". The Library. 2: 336. doi:10.1093/library/2.4.336.
  8. ^ Sordet, Yann (2009). "Le baptême inconscient de l'incunable: non pas 1640 mais 1569 au plus tard". Gutenberg Jahrbuch (in French). 84: 102–105.
  9. ^ Evelyn, The Diary of John Evelyn From 1641 to 1705/6.
  10. ^ Oxford Companion to the Book, ed. M. F. Suarez and H. R. Woudhuysen, OUP, 2010, s.v. 'Incunabulum', p. 815.
  11. ^ Daniel De Simone (ed), A Heavenly Craft: the Woodcut in Early Printed Books, New York, 2004, p. 48.
  12. ^ Walsby, Malcolm; Kemp, Graeme, eds. (2011). The Book Triumphant: Print in Transition in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries. Brill. p. viii. ISBN 9789004207233.
  13. ^ Walsby & Kemp 2011, p. viii.
  14. ^ Carter, John; Barker, Nicolas (2004). ABC for Book Collectors (PDF) (8th ed.). New Castle, Del.: Oak Knoll Press and the British Library. p. 172. ISBN 1-58456-112-2. Retrieved 28 May 2010. Free to read
  15. ^ Carter & Barker 2004, p. 172.
  16. ^, consulted in 2007. The figures are subject to slight change as new copies are reported. Exact figures are given but should be treated as close estimates; they refer to extant editions.
  17. ^ "Index: Place of Publication: Venice", Incunabula Short Title Catalogue, retrieved 3 December 2017
  18. ^ "Index: Place of Publication: Paris", Incunabula Short Title Catalogue, retrieved 3 December 2017
  19. ^ "Index: Place of Publication: Rome", Incunabula Short Title Catalogue, retrieved 3 December 2017
  20. ^ "Index: Place of Publication: Cologne", Incunabula Short Title Catalogue, retrieved 3 December 2017
  21. ^ "Index: Place of Publication: Lyons", Incunabula Short Title Catalogue, retrieved 3 December 2017
  22. ^ "Index: Place of Publication: Leipzig", Incunabula Short Title Catalogue, retrieved 3 December 2017
  23. ^ "Index: Place of Publication: Augsburg", Incunabula Short Title Catalogue, retrieved 3 December 2017
  24. ^ "Index: Place of Publication: Strassburg", Incunabula Short Title Catalogue, retrieved 3 December 2017
  25. ^ "Index: Place of Publication: Milan", Incunabula Short Title Catalogue, retrieved 3 December 2017
  26. ^ "Index: Place of Publication: Nuremberg", Incunabula Short Title Catalogue, retrieved 3 December 2017
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  84. ^ [2]
  85. ^ [Hand-list of Incunabula in the National Library of Wales compiled by Victor Scholderer (N.L.W. Journal Supplement Series 1, No. 1, 1940)]
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External links

A Catalogue of Books Printed in the Fifteenth Century now in the Bodleian Library

A Catalogue of Books Printed in the Fifteenth Century now in the Bodleian Library (cited as Bod-inc.) is a short-title catalogue of more than 5,600 incunabula held in the Bodleian Library at the University of Oxford. Bod-inc. stands out among incunabula catalogues for its detailed listing of the contents of each edition being described. It was published on 7 July 2005 by Oxford University Press in six volumes.

Allan H. Stevenson

Allan Henry Stevenson (June 20, 1903 – March 31, 1970) was an American bibliographer specializing in the study of handmade paper and watermarks who "single-handedly created a new field: the bibliographical analysis of paper." Through his pioneering studies of watermarks, Stevenson solved "the most fascinating, and perhaps the most notorious, bibliographical problem of our time," the dating of the Missale Speciale or Constance Missal, an undated incunable (book printed before 1501) believed by many to pre-date the Gutenberg Bible (c. 1455), and possibly to have been the first printed European book. Stevenson proved that the book in fact had been printed nearly twenty years later, in 1473. Through similar analysis of watermarks, he also established that most block books, small religious books in which the text and images were printed from a single woodcut block and which many believed dated from the early 15th century, had in fact been printed after 1460.

Almanach cracoviense ad annum 1474

Almanach cracoviense ad annum 1474 (Cracovian Almanac for the Year 1474) is a broadside astronomical wall calendar for the year 1474, and Poland's oldest known print. This single-sheet incunable, known also as the Calendarium cracoviense (Cracovian Calendar), was published at Kraków in 1473 by Kasper Straube, an itinerant Bavarian printer who worked in Kraków between 1473 and 1476.

Like other almanacs and calendars of its day, the Almanach lists Church holidays and astronomical data, including planetary oppositions and conjunctions. It also provides medical advice, listing the best days for bloodletting, depending on the age and illness of the patient. The Almanach's text is in Latin.

At the time of its publication, the technology of printing with movable type was just 20 years old and remained almost entirely confined to Germans, who in the 1470s spread it widely through Europe. Printing appeared early in that decade in France and the Netherlands, and after 1473 in England and Spain.

The only surviving copy of Almanach cracoviense measures 37 cm by 26.2 cm, and is in the collections of the Jagiellonian University.

Arba'ah Turim

Arba'ah Turim (Hebrew: אַרְבָּעָה טוּרִים), often called simply the Tur, is an important Halakhic code composed by Jacob ben Asher (Cologne, 1270 – Toledo, Spain c. 1340, also referred to as Ba'al Ha-Turim). The four-part structure of the Tur and its division into chapters (simanim) were adopted by the later code Shulchan Aruch. This was the first book to be printed in Southeast Europe and the Near East.

August von Finck Jr.

August von Finck Jr. (born 1930) is a Swiss-based German billionaire businessman.

Božidar Goraždanin

Božidar Ljubavić, better known as Božidar Goraždanin (Božidar of Goražde), was founder of the Goražde printing house, the second Serbian language printing house and one of the earliest printing houses on the Balkans. Since 25 October 1519 he printed books on Cyrillic alphabet, first in Venice and then in the Church of Saint George in Sopotnica, Sanjak of Herzegovina, Ottoman Empire (today village in Novo Goražde, Republic of Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina) in period 1519–23. Only four printing presses were operational during the entire Ottoman period in Bosnia. The first press was press of Božidar Goraždanin while other three presses existed only in the 19th century. In 1523 his printing house became nonoperational.

Camilla (mythology)

In Virgil's Aeneid, Camilla of the Volsci is the daughter of King Metabus and Casmilla. Driven from his throne, Metabus is chased into the wilderness by armed Volsci, his infant daughter in his hands. The river Amasenus blocked his path, and, fearing for the child's welfare, Metabus bound her to a spear. He promised Diana that Camilla would be her servant, a warrior virgin. He then safely threw her to the other side, and swam across to retrieve her. The baby Camilla was suckled by a mare, and once her "first firm steps had [been] taken, the small palms were armed with a keen javelin; her sire a bow and quiver from her shoulder slung." She was raised in her childhood to be a huntress and kept the companionship of her father and the shepherds in the hills and woods.

Modern scholars are unsure if Camilla was entirely an original invention of Virgil, or represents some actual Roman myth. In his book Virgil's Aeneid: Semantic Relations and Proper Names, Michael Paschalis speculates that Virgil chose the river Amasenus (today the Amaseno, near Priverno, ancient Privernum) as a poetic allusion to the Amazons with whom Camilla is associated.In the Aeneid, she helped her ally, King Turnus of the Rutuli, fight Aeneas and the Trojans in the war sparked by the courting of Princess Lavinia. Arruns, a Trojan ally, stalked Camilla on the battlefield, and, when she was opportunely distracted by her pursuit of Chloreus, killed her. Diana's attendant, Opis, at her mistress' behest, avenged Camilla's death by slaying Arruns. Virgil says that Camilla was so fast on her feet that she could run over a field of wheat without breaking the tops of the plants, or over the ocean without wetting her feet.Giovanni Boccaccio's De mulieribus claris includes a segment on Camilla. She is not often a subject in art, but the female figure in Pallas and the Centaur by Sandro Botticelli (c. 1482, Uffizi) was called "Camilla" in the earliest record of the painting, an inventory of 1499, but then in an inventory of 1516 she is called Minerva, which remains her usual identification in recent times.Camilla is similar to Penthesilea of Greek mythology.


Cassandra or Kassandra (Ancient Greek: Κασσάνδρα, pronounced [kassándra], also Κασάνδρα), also known as Alexandra, was a daughter of King Priam and of Queen Hecuba of Troy in Greek mythology.

Cassandra was cursed to utter prophecies that were true but that no one believed. The older and most common versions state that she was admired by the god Apollo, and he offered her the gift to see the future in order to win her heart. Cassandra agreed to be his lover in return for his gift, but after receiving the gift, she went back on her word and refused him. Apollo was angered that she lied and deceived him, but since he couldn't take back a gift already given, he cursed her that though she would see the future accurately, nobody would ever believe her prophecies.

Some of the later versions have her falling asleep in a temple, where snakes licked (or whispered in) her ears so that she could hear the future.Cassandra became a figure of epic tradition and of tragedy.

In modern usage her name is employed as a rhetorical device to indicate someone whose accurate prophecies are not believed by those around them.

Francesco Robortello

Francesco Robortello (Latin: Franciscus Robortellus; 1516–1567) was a Renaissance humanist, nicknamed Canis grammaticus ("the grammatical dog") for his confrontational and demanding manner.

Georgius Lauer

Georgius Lauer was a German printer who worked in Rome in the late fifteenth century, responsible for important publications by classical authors and renaissance humanists, including editiones principes by Festus, Nonius, Varro, Poggio Bracciolini, and others, as well as patristic writers such as John Chrysostom.

Hobby Club

The Hobby Club was established in New York City in 1908 as an exclusive gentleman's club for people with an amateur's hobby or special interest. The original number of members could not be more than 50 men. In effect, this was an opportunity to showcase their special "Cabinet of curiosities" and special collections of armour, coins, precious stones and Incunable to the other members at their annual dinners.

According to its constitution, "This Club shall be called THE HOBBY CLUB. The object of the Club shall be to encourage the collection of literary, artistic and scientific works; to aid in the development of literary, artistic and scientific matters; to promote social and literary intercourse among its members, and the discussion and consideration of various literary and economic subjects.""The Hobby Club, incorporated by a number of well-known New Yorkers, will hold its first dinner at the Metropolitan Club on the evening of Dec. 28. The club's membership is limited to fifty, and to become eligible one must mount some well defined hobby. So enthusiastic have the members become that it is now planned to give dinners, at which the hobbies will be discussed, at least once a month until April. There is even talk about building a clubhouse. That the organization will be a success seems assured, as scores have sought to become members."

Hypnerotomachia Poliphili

Hypnerotomachia Poliphili (; from Greek ὕπνος hýpnos 'sleep', ἔρως érōs 'love', and μάχη máchē 'fight'), called in English Poliphilo's Strife of Love in a Dream or The Dream of Poliphilus, is a romance said to be by Francesco Colonna. It is a famous example of an Incunable (a work of early printing). The work was first published in 1499 in Venice. This first edition has an elegant page layout, with refined woodcut illustrations in an Early Renaissance style. Hypnerotomachia Poliphili presents a mysterious arcane allegory in which the main protagonist, Poliphilo pursues his love, Polia, through a dreamlike landscape. In the end, he is reconciled with her by the "Fountain of Venus".

Incunabula Short Title Catalogue

The Incunabula Short Title Catalogue (ISTC) is an electronic bibliographic database maintained by the British Library which seeks to catalogue all known incunabula. The database lists books by individual editions, recording standard bibliographic details for each edition as well as giving a brief census of known copies, organised by location. It currently holds records of over 30,000 editions.

Kasper Straube

Kasper Straube (also Kaspar or Caspar, also known as The Printer of the Turrecrematas) was a German 15th-century printer from Bavaria.

He was active in Cracow between 1473 and 1477, decades before Johann Haller. His Latin almanac Calendarium cracoviense (Cracovian Calendar) of 1473 is regarded as the first work printed in Poland.Other surviving printed works by Straube include:

Juan de Torquemada: Explanatio in Psalterium

Franciscus de Platea: Opus restitutionum usurarum et excommunicationum

Augustine of Hippo: Opuscula (de doctrina christiana, de praedestinatione sanctorum)

Lyme Caxton Missal

The Lyme Caxton Missal is an incunable or early printed book containing the liturgy of the Mass according to the Sarum Rite, published in 1487 by William Caxton. The copy at Lyme Park, Cheshire, England, is the only nearly complete surviving copy of its earliest known edition. It is held in the library of the house and is on display to visitors.

Maurus Servius Honoratus

Maurus Servius Honoratus was a late fourth-century and early fifth-century grammarian, with the contemporary reputation of being the most learned man of his generation in Italy; he was the author of a set of commentaries on the works of Virgil. These works, In tria Virgilii Opera Expositio, constituted the first incunable to be printed at Florence, by Bernardo Cennini, 1471.

In the Saturnalia of Macrobius, Servius appears as one of the interlocutors; allusions in that work and a letter from Symmachus to Servius indicate that he was not a convert to Christianity.

Richard Sharpe (historian)

Richard Sharpe (born 1954) is Professor of Diplomatic at the University of Oxford, based at Wadham College. His interests are broadly the history of medieval England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. He has a special concern with first-hand work on the primary sources of medieval history, including the practices of palaeography, diplomatic and the editorial process, as well as the historical and legal contexts of medieval documents. He is the general editor of the Corpus of British Medieval Library Catalogues, and editor of a forthcoming edition of the charters of King Henry I of England.


Rubrication was one of several steps in the medieval process of manuscript making. Practitioners of rubrication, so-called rubricators, were specialized scribes who received text from the manuscript's original scribe and supplemented it with additional text in red ink for emphasis. The term rubrication comes from the Latin rubrico, "to color red".


The German word Schwabacher (pronounced [ˈʃvaːˌbaxɐ]) refers to a specific blackletter typeface which evolved from Gothic Textualis (Textura) under the influence of Humanist type design in Italy during the 15th century. Schwabacher typesetting was the most common typeface in Germany, until it was replaced by Fraktur from the mid 16th century onwards.


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