COMMENTUM SUPER QUARTO LIBRO SENTENTIARUM PETRI LOMBARDI.
([Venice]: Bonetus Locatellus, for the heirs of Octavianus Scotus, 17 December 1499). 210 x 150 mm. (8 1/4 x 6"). Complete. 26 p.l., 331,  leaves. Double column, 54 lines plus headline in gothic type.Edited by Franciscus Gregorius.
Contemporary Venetian calf, covers panelled in blind, center panel with four lozenges stacked vertically, (clumsily) rebacked in calf (ca. 18th century), remnants of paper label with ink lettering. Woodcut criblé and strapwork initials, woodcut printer's device on final leaf. Title page with near-contemporary ink inscription at foot, "Iste liber est francisci [text struck through, but indicating early Franciscan ownership]; front pastedown with letterpress book label of William Reynolds and modern ink owner inscription of D. L. Cumming; occasional neat ink marginalia in a contemporary hand. Goff M-426; BMC V, 452; ISTC im00426000. ◆Edges of boards somewhat wormed/gnawed, one-inch crack to head of rear joint, front joint a little rubbed, spine creased, first quire a little loose, ten quires slightly proud, occasional minor ink stains or faint marginal dampstains, first and last couple of leaves with worming near edges, but still a pleasing--because contemporary--copy, and clean, fresh, and mostly rather bright internally.
First printed in 1474, this commentary on the "Sentences" of Peter Lombard is the major work of Franciscan monk, theologian, and scholastic philosopher Richard of Middleton (ca. 1249 - ca. 1308), written between 1285 and 1295. It is not known if Richard was of French or English origin--Middleton Stoney in Oxfordshire, Middleton Cheyney in Northamptonshire, and the French towns of Menneville, or Moyenville, have all been suggested as his birthplace--but it is known that he received his Masters of Theology from the University of Paris in 1284. According to the Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church , his commentary on the "Sentences" is "notable for its clarity and precision." The Encyclopedia of Medieval Philosophy tells us, "Richard's metaphysics and theory of cognition are largely Aristotelian, whereas his natural philosophy tends to follow the more eclectic trends of his Franciscan confrères. . . . His most distinctive doctrines are that degrees of a quality can be construed in quantitative terms, and that substantial forms admit of degrees, a view that he uses to explain how material substances are composed of the four elements." Bonetus Locatellus printed this work for the heirs of Octavianus Scotus, for whom he worked almost exclusively until the publisher's death on Christmas Eve, 1498. Locatellus began printing for Scotus in the 1480s; his name first appeared in the colophon of an edition of "De Civitate Dei" published in 1486-87, but Haebler believes Scotus may have been employing him as early as 1482. Locatellus continued to print for Scotus' heirs and other patrons through the first decade of the 16th century, and he continued to use the types seen here until the end of the 15th century. He issued a large number of incunables, probably numbering closer to 200 than 100, consisting largely of texts for university use. (ST17630)