Counterfeited papal privilege, N.N. [allegedly Rome] (1560)

Source: Württembergische Landesbibliothek Stuttgart Theol.qt.1537

Counterfeited papal privilege, N.N. [allegedly Rome] (1560), Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900), eds L. Bently & M. Kretschmer,

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Full title:
Counterfeited papal privilege excluding the German lands, as printed in the satyrical Obscure Disputations on Theology

Full title original language:
Colloquia obscurorum theologorum, ac concionatorum, grassantium nunc per Brabantiam, ex quibus lector praeter Atticum leporem, etiam illorum mores ac studia cognoscet

This document is associated with the core document: d_1513. The title of the 'Colloquia obscurorum theologorum' alludes to the famous 'Epistolae Obscurorum Virorum' (i.e. 'Letters of Obscure Men'), a collection of satirical letters published anonymously by Johann Crotus and Ulrich von Hutten around 1515. The limits of the protection afforded by the papal privilege and the censorship regime in the Catholic lands are illustrated ironically in the 'tenor of the privilege' printed at the end of the Colloquia obscurorum theologorum. This book was a contribution to the sixteenth-century theological disputes between Roman Catholics and Protestants. It has been suggested that the writer came from the Archdiocese of Cambrai, probably from Brussels (Frederik Pijper, 184). The obviously Protestant author sneers at the theologians from Leuwen University. Typically Lutheran positions are put forward: it is claimed that the theological faculties of Leuwen and Rome have issued a ban on reading the Bible, and that the Leuwen theologians have even published corrupt editions of it. The fictive dialogues are conducted between prominent members of the Catholic party: the Leuwen inquisitor and dean of the Theological Faculty Ruard Tapper (1485-1559); the Bishop of 's-Hertogenbosch and Antwerpen, Franciscus Sonnius (1506-1576); and Jodokus Tiletanus (also Josse Ravensteyn) (1506-1570), who in 1567 had expelled the Protestants from Leuwen. The fictive imprint on the title-page (d_1560_im_1_1.tif) refers to both a papal censorship license and a privilege (Romae stampato con priuilegio del Papa), whereas on the last page the terms of the 'privilege' are satirically specified.

Commentary: No commentaries for this record.

  • Troxler, Walter. Article 'Ravesteyn', in Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon, vol. 7, ed. by Traugott Bautz (Nordhausen: Bautz, 1994), 1422-1424. Online at:

  • Pijper, Frederik. 'Colloquia obscurorum theologorum', in Nederlands archief voor kerkgeschiedenis, 4 (1907), 181-233

Related documents in this database:
1513: Imperial privilege for Eucharius Rösslin
1516: Imperial Privilege for Johannes Eck
1517: Privilege of the Duke of Bavaria
1526: Papal and Venetian Privileges for Sigismondo Fanti's 'Triompho di Fortuna'

Author: N.N.

Publisher: N.N. [fictively Eleuthero Aglicero]

Year: 1560

Location: N.N. [allegedly Rome]

Language: Latin

Source: Württembergische Landesbibliothek Stuttgart Theol.qt.1537

Persons referred to:
Pius IV

Places referred to:

Cases referred to:

Institutions referred to:


privileges, Papal
privileges, fictitious

Responsible editor: Friedemann Kawohl

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