The Venice Edition
Best Handbook on Censorship and Heresy
Inquisitors May Inquire Within
All Others Self-Flagellate
ALBERGHINI, Joannes. Manuale qualificatorum sanctæ inquisitionis: in quo, omnia quæ ad illud tribunal ac hæresum censuram pertinent, brevi methodo adducuntur ; episcopis, inquisitoribus, eorum ministris, theologis, consultoribus, confessariis, & jurisconsultis perutile & necessarium. Editio Prima Veneta, Quam emendatissime. Venice: Apud Dominicum Derengni, 1754.
First Venice edition. Octavo (7 1/8 x 4 3/8 in; 181 x 112 mm). , 240 pp. Title page device, initial and head piece on p. 1. Publisher's catalogue on p. 239-40.
Contemporary limp vellum with remains of original leather ties. Manuscript title to spine. A remarkable copy in its original eighteenth century Venetian binding.
This handbook listing all the offenses which the Inquisition was qualified to judge is an extremely rare book in the marketplace, with no copies of any edition at auction within the last thirty-six years. Only eleven copies are found in institutional collections worldwide.
"Conducting an inquisition was a complicated business. First inquisitors had to have some sense of their underlying theological justification and legal authority, both of which might well be challenged by hostile local forces. Then they had to be able to identify the various and often subtle types of heretical or otherwise sinful behavior which fell under their jurisdiction. Finally they had to know how to proceed in the practical exercise of their functions, from initial denunciation and arrest to questioning (including torture), judgment and punishment—all ideally subject to formal documentation...
"At no time did any one inquisitorial manual emerge as the 'official' guidebook for any tribunal, whether in Spain or elsewhere. Rather individual inquisitors made greater or lesser use of whatever they had to hand in their particular collections, and according to their particular tastes. Sometimes tastes changed, and even inquisitors’ manuals could be subject to later inquisitorial censorship...
"Such eclectic mixing, matching and pruning of earlier compilations continued well into the later seventeenth century, perhaps reaching a high point of convenience, sophistication and inter-textual complexity with the publication of Giovanni Alberghini’s relatively slim Manuale Qualificatorum S. Inquisitionis at Zaragoza, 1671. This text was reprinted in 1740 (Cologne) and 1754 (Venice), evidence of its ongoing interest even to non-inquisitorial pastors..." (Introduction to Inquisitorial Manuals, Latin Treatises on Heresy and Inquisition, Hesburgh Library of Notre Dame Special Collections).
"Giovanni Alberghini was a Franciscan, a doctor of theology, and censor of the Sicilian Inquisition (under the aegis of the General Spanish Inquisition) and his book strove to summarize in pithy fashion all the various crimes for which the advice of censors was sought…it offered the standard views of the various problems under review along with the author's own interpretations. Simultaneously, the Manuale Qualificatorum offered exegetical discussions of the most important questions of the various treatises on heresy, doubt, pertinacity, ignorance, and the inclusion or exclusion of heretics from the Church. Alberghini's glosses on the typology of offenses proposed the first comprehensive attempt by a censor of the Inquisition to define their hierarchy" (Nesvig, Martin. Ideology and Inquisition, p. 81). Item #01784
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