The Supreme Council, in its general instructions, told all its branches to pay particular attention to foreign Bibles printed since 1528, the year it first attempted to confiscate many of Erasmus’ works. Whether by accident or design, almost none of the Bibles confiscated at Seville and Saragossa had been published before 1530. The University of Valencia included four pre-1530 Bibles among its erroneous group. However, only three pre-1530 Bibles appear on the huge Seville list; two of these, including one in the vernacular, came from Venice. The oldest Bible in the Saragossa collection was a Greek-language version from 1526.

The scarcity of pre-1530 French Bibles in these 1552 collections contrasts both with the abundance of early French printings, and with the flood of more recent French Bibles sold in Spain. At Seville, the one early Lyonnaise Bible to be confiscated had been printed by Jacques Sacon in 1509. However, Sacon, financed by the great Nuremberg merchant Anton Koberger, published eleven Latin Bibles (excluding two French translations of the Bible) between 1506 and 1522; at least seventy copies still exist in western Europe.

William Monter, “French Bibles and the Spanish Inquisition, 1552” (1989)


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