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Authorship in Early Modern Jurisprudence.

Paul Voet (1619-1667) on auctor and editor

Laura Beck Varela


Paul Voet (1619-1669), law professor at the University of Utrecht, opened his most famous work, published in 1657, with an unusual discussion of the five different types of auctores of juridical books (juris libri)—a precious source for the history of authorship in the jurisprudence and in the early modern respublica litteraria in general. This essay discusses the key concepts for his understanding of auctor and auctoritas in the field of jurisprudence, as well as the motivations for this uncommon inquiry into the notion of authorship. Besides his personal reasons (the rumors about the illegitimate authorship of some of his works), the detailed taxonomy of legal auctores also helped him to build a cogent argument against the validity of canon law in the United Provinces. His aim was to redesign the history of legal tradition and to dispute the authority of certain canon law sources, such as Gratian’s Decretum.

The Counter-Reforming of Polish Prayer Books.

The Example of Marcin Laterna’s Harfa duchowna (1585)

Magdalena Komorowska


Harfa duchowna (1585), a prayer book compiled by Marcin Laterna, a Jesuit, was probably the most successful post-Tridentine Polish bestseller. However, it has never been explored thoroughly, and not at all as a post-Tridentine printed book. The paper shows Harfa at the backdrop of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Catholic prayer books in Poland and defines its key role as a model for later publications of this kind. The form of the book is analysed in connection with its content and broader cultural context, implying that successful counter-reforming of devotional publications had to be done on the level of content as well as form. The connections between Kraków and Antwerp printing, clearly visible in the woodcuts used in Harfa by its printers, are mentioned and the information about the number of editions and existing copies is also included.

Peter J.A. Franssen


This article reflects upon the role the Antwerp printer/publisher Jan van Doesborch played in the transmission of texts from Germany to England in the first part of the sixteenth century. Based on the way texts like Friar Rush and Virgilius. Of his lyfe and death changed compared to their German and Dutch sources, evidence is provided for the supposition that Van Doesborch, influenced by the German Eulenspiegel, restyled these texts into jest books. As a result of this activity Van Doesborch must be considered as the most probable candidate for having published a Dutch / English double edition of Ulenspiegel / Howleglas. In the Appendix is provided an up to date list of editions published by Van Doesborch.

The Library of Hélion Jouffroy

A Survey and Some Additional Identifications

Gregory Hays


One of the notable libraries of early sixteenth-century France was that of the Rodez lawyer and canon Hélion Jouffroy (†1529), nephew of the better known cardinal Jean Jouffroy. The younger Jouffroy’s books, which included both printed volumes and manuscripts, were dispersed after his death. Our knowledge of his holdings depends on a 1530 inventory, first published in 2012 by Matthieu Desachy. This article briefly surveys Jouffroy’s intellectual interests as they emerge from his collection, and offers some new identifications of texts and editions listed in the inventory.