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c h a p t e r t w o • Gottfried Zedler and the TwentiethCentury History of DK Type Zedler claims that he can arrange the existing Donatus fragments in chronological order on the basis of the occurrence or absence of secondary letter forms which he painstakingly investigated and noted in his monographs. But his views in this respect can no longer be considered as authoritative, since Dr. Wehmer’s discoveries have knocked the keystone out of his whole chronological system.1 DK type is the second of three types associated with early Mainz printing and Gutenberg. It is a large textura measuring 164mm/20 lines, slightly larger than B42 type. It is designed and set according to the same conventions as B42 type, with fence-post construction and multiple abutting forms, and its history is parallel to or linked to the history of B42 type. The conventional name DK refers to the early texts found printed in this type: Donatus grammars and so-called ‘‘Kalender’’ and ephemera, often known as ‘‘kleine Drucke’’; these include the Astronomical Calendar (⳱ AK),2 Türkenkalender, and the mnemonic calendar Cisianus. It also appears in a single line in one of the two indulgences from 1454/1455 (the other uses B42 type for the same passage). All these texts are roughly contemporary with the Gutenberg Bible. The last appearances of this type are in the 36-line Bible (once thought to be earlier than B42), and in later books from the 1460s printed in Bamberg by Pfister. Altogether, there are some 150 examples of this type, most of them fragments.3 Zedler and the History of DK Type 33 Constructing a basic history of this type is difficult. Most fragments are printed on vellum, which precludes the possibility of using paper evidence either for determination of an edition or for external dating of a fragment (two of the Kalender are on paper, but neither has been securely dated on that basis). Only a few have evidence of dating: Pope Calixtus’s Bulla Turcorum is issued in 1456, which permits dating both the German Türkenbulle (TB) and the Latin version; the 31-line Indulgence has a printed date of 1455; and a printed date of 1454 appears in the text of the Türkenkalender. These fragments are not easily accessible, particularly in the United States. And much of the standard scholarship is based on early twentieth-century reproductions, many of which are, by modern standards, mediocre (for an example, see Figure 3).4 Even what constitutes an edition is not clear. The Gesamtkatalog der Wiegendrucke (GW) classifies Donatus fragments formally, according to the inferred number of lines printed per page, but there is no certainty that such formal differences represent historical editions or printing projects.5 The more recent Incunabula Short-Title Catalogue (ISTC) accepts the distinctions of GW. The history of DK type in the twentieth century would finally turn on one document—the so-called Astronomical Calendar, a broadsheet discovered in 1902 by Gottfried Zedler. The astronomical references in this broadsheet were for planetary positions of the year 1448, and on this basis Zedler dated the printing to 1447. Zedler’s date provided, at least for a few decades, what seemed to be secure external evidence of date (the earliest recorded date for examples of this type) and thus a place to stand for dating the other examples of DK type. Most histories of DK type and of Gutenberg written in the first half of the twentieth century were based on this date. In 1948, the dating of this document was disputed by Carl Wehmer, and, as we shall see later, the presumed secure foundation for dating the earliest examples of DK type disappeared.6 The Astronomical Calendar became the ‘‘Planetary Table,’’ and was redated to the mid 1450s. Yet what should have led to a discrediting of one type of evidence (the dating of texts by external means) led to a discrediting of an opposed type of evidence (the analysis of the internal evidence provided by the type impressions). Among the results are the despairing and disparaging comments on material bibliographical evidence already cited in Chapter 1 (the dismissal of the examination of physical books by Febvre and Martin) and a growing skepticism of both kinds of evidence as seen in the quotation by Otto Fuhrmann at the head of this chapter. 34 chapter two Analytical Bibliography: Methods and Assumptions But we must not forget that the question...


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