[BIBLIA LATINA]. 2 vols. Printed on vellum. Mainz: Johann Fust and Peter
Schoeffer, 14 August 1462.
One of Fust and Schoeffer’s greatest achievements, the Bible of 1462 is
the fourth printed edition of the Latin Bible, the first to bear the
names of its printers and the date of its completion, and the first to
be divided formally into two volumes. Another notable feature is the
introduction of the heraldic printer’s mark beneath the colophon at the
end of each volume. This was to become the most recognized trademark in
What made this Bible one of the most successful and influential of its
time, however, was its use of a text type designed for extended private
reading. Larger, rounder, and more Roman than the “Durandus” type, it
was the first comfortably legible typeface for books. Imitated as an
all-purpose text type by countless printers, it had been introduced in
the colophon of the Durandus in 1459.
The Bible of 1462 also represents the most ambitious attempt by any
fifteenth-century printers to produce a Bible that was ready to use,
that is, one published with red rubrics, colored initials and chapter
numerals, and printed paragraph marks, each ordinarily added by
rubricators. Although the printers could not replace the rubricator’s
work entirely, their complex multi-colored printing project remained a
unique achievement among Bibles of the period.
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