MEDIAVILLA, Richardus de (fl. 1249-1308): Commentum super quarto libro Sententiarum Petri Lombardi, (not after 1477)


Chancery folio (300 x 200mm). 320 leaves. Red Lombard initials (occasional spots). Contemporary Heilbronn blindstamped pigskin over wooden boards, formerly chained, brass clasps and corner-pieces, remains of paper label on upper board (missing bosses, some cracks and losses to leather but very sturdy)

First edition of a Franciscan commentary addressing economic theory, in a contemporary binding. Mediavilla was involved in the fractious debates over the Franciscan order’s vow of poverty which would eventually give rise to the heretical Fraticelli sect. His commentary on the fourth book of Peter Lombard’s Sentences contains some interesting comments on the ethics of contracts and annuities—contra those who viewed them as usurious, Mediavilla draws out more elaborate arguments about the wider economic system, many of which were only becoming more relevant in the increasingly globalized monetary economies of the Renaissance.


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Provenance: occasional marginal markings – Heilbronn, Stadtsbibliothek (engraved bookplate on first leaf). The collection of Elaine and Alexandre Rosenberg, New york