[Basel: Martin Flach (printer of Basel),] not after, 1474.
Folio: 28.2 x 21 cm. 16 leaves. 34 lines. Flach's type 1:117G.
FIRST EDITION. “A copy at Uppsala known with manuscript date of 1474.”(ISTC)
Bound in modern calf. A fine, broad-margined copy. Initials in blue and red. One of only two 15th c. editions.
First edition of two works imposing and enforcing restrictions on European Jews. The first is Pope Nicholas V’s papal bull “Super gregem dominicum” (Rome 23 June, 1447), which lists a detailed series of measures to ensure the complete separation and marginalization of Jews. The bull is an amplified version of an earlier bull (1442) of Pope Eugene IV that revoked the privileges of the Castilian (Castile, Spain) Jews and imposed severe restrictions on them. The bull forbid Christians to eat, drink, live or bathe with Jews or Muslims and declared the legal testimony of Jews and Muslims against Christians to be invalid in court.
The second work, “Tractatus de Iudeorum et Christianorum communione et conversatione” is an anonymous treatise addressing these same issues. The tratise is attributed by some scholars to Giovanni da Capestrano, who was appointed by Pope Nicholas V as executor of ecclesiastical laws concerning the cohabitation of Jews and Christians. This attribution is based in part on the preamble to the bull, which announces Giovanni’s appointment:
“To ensure that the perfidious Jews and their accomplices, defenders and supporters, do not seek their own frivolous exception from the burdens of the statutes of the church or the abrogation of laws, it has been deemed expedient, by the approval and confirmation of recommendations, to extend the commission of the devout friar Giovanni of Capestrano, which he has with regard to the conduct of the Jews and the renewal and confirmation of the regulations of the church concerning the Jews issued by the lord Pope Nicholas IV (sic!), the tenor of which is the following…”
“These words, in an incunable edition containing a ‘Tractatus de Iudeorum et Christianorum communione et conversatione’, introduce the apostolic letter Super gregem Dominicum from 23 June 1447, with which Nicholas V appointed the Observant friar minor Giovanni of Capestrano as executor of ecclesiastical laws concerning the cohabitation of Jews and Christians.
“The tenor of the [papal bull] presents a kind of summa iuris Iudaici, in other words, a compendium of the canonical requirements on how to regulate matters of socializing and cohabitation between Jews and Christians. Control over these canonical and civil dispositions concerning the Jews is entrusted directly, and with full powers, to Giovanni of Capestrano, who has been asked to ‘inquire, admonish, exhort, and solicit princes and prelates and lords, both ecclesiastical and secular’ (‘inquirendi, admonendi, exortandi et sollicitandi principes et prelatos ac dominos tam ecclesiasticos quam seculares’). He is the executor general of such laws, and he is the gate-keeper of the societas Christiana, who watches over the adherence to the rules of a cohabitation between two worlds that, while different, are in fact not separated. The legislation highlights a strict separation between Jews and Christians.”(Sedda, “‘An liceat cum Iudeis participare’ A consilium of Giovanni of Capestrano” in Franciscan Studies , 2017, Vol. 75 (2017), pp. 145-174)
“Giovanni of Capestrano (1386-1456) was formally opposed to forced conversion, and referred to the Jewish background of Christ, Mary, and the Apostles. At the same time, he emphasized the Jewish responsibility for the death of Christ and their malevolent antagonism towards the Christian faith. He warned consistently that the Jews posed a tremendous danger to Christian society. Moreover, throughout his preaching career, Capestrano demanded a strict application of the canonical rules that delineated the limits under which a marginalized Jewish presence might be condoned. Possibly more than some of his fellow Observants, he advocated for tightening such regulations, as can be gauged from his actions in the Kingdom of Naples and the Duchy of Calabria in the later 1420s. He was involved with Nicholas V’s papal apostolic letter Super gregem dominicum (1447), which elaborates on a comparable document issued for Castile and Lean in 1442, and lists a detailed series of measures to ensure the complete separation and marginalization of the Jews. It explicitly appoints Giovanni as general executor of these measures who would lobby Italy's secular and religious authorities to impose them as strictly as possible. This shows that Giovanni was keen to obtain the means to push through a policy of total segregation. This can also be seen in the letters of alarmed Italian Jewish communities, which were very concerned about the implementation of these policies.”(Roest, Giovanni of Capestrano's Anu-Judaism Within a Franciscan Context, p. 130-1)
The Gesamtkatalog note reads: “‘Traktat eines unbekannten Verfassers über das Verhältnis von Juden und Christen nach den Dekretalen, mit einem Abdruck der Bulle des Papstes Nikolaus V. betr. einen Spezialauftrag für Johannes de Capistrano zur Bekämpfung der Juden.” (“Treatise by an unknown author on the relationship between Jews and Christians after the decretals, with a printing of Pope Nicholas V’s bull concerning a special order for Johannes de Capistrano to combat the Jews.”)
On the attribution of the treatise to Giovanni of Capestrano, see F. Sedda, “Giovanni da Capestrano esecutore generale contro gli ebrei: la lettera Super gregem Dominicum di Niccolò V (1447),” in I Francescani e gli ebrei. Giornata di Studio (Firenze 25 ottobre 2012) = Studi Francescani 110 (2013): 297-326 (esp. 313-318).
ISTC ij00493000; BMC III,740; BSB-Ink T-411; Goff J-493; GW 7258; HC 9464. 7 North American copies: Harvard, Hebrew Union, Jewish Theological Seminary, LC, Morgan Library, Huntington, Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies. 6 copies of the second edition in North America: Hebrew Union, Jewish Theological Seminary, Morgan Library, Huntington, Univ. of Pennsylvania, Yale.