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Petition from and Privilege granted to Cosimo Gaci to translate, print and distribute works by St. Teresa of Avila from Spanish to Italian, Rome (1604)

Source: Vatican Secret Archives, Sec. Brev. Reg. 349 F. 509

Petition from and Privilege granted to Cosimo Gaci to translate, print and distribute works by St. Teresa of Avila from Spanish to Italian, Rome (1604), Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900), eds L. Bently & M. Kretschmer, www.copyrighthistory.org

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8 translated pages

Chapter 1 Page 1

Superscript = inserted by original or different author between lines

[ ] = inserted by original or different author in margin

{ } = supplied by transcribers

Bold script = written in a different hand

Strike through = crossed out, but legible

[XXX] = illegible


[1-15] It was requested some weeks ago of Your Holiness that notwithstanding your grant made to Soto on August 23 of last year, that no one might without his permission print nor sell in Rome and in the Papal State the Way of Perfection and the Interior Castle of the Blessed Mother Teresa of Jesus, not only as translated by him, but also by any other person, that he [Your Holiness] be willing to permit Cosimo Gaci to print his own translation of the same works which he had made at the same time as that of Soto. Your Holiness replied to the Illustrious [Cardinal] Montalto, that you would be content for Monsignor Vestri [Cardinal Secretary of Papal letters], having had a good account of this negotiation from Father Brother Pietro, the Commissioner of the Holy Carmelites, to provide the Breve [according the privilege]. Vestri had from the said Father not only a good report of the work of Gaci, but of the desire of many serious and religious persons, who awaited his work. Nonetheless, the expedition of the said privilege was impeded and delayed. And for that reason recourse is again taken to the goodness of Your Holiness, begging you to order that the said privilege in favor of Gaci be sent out, according to the grace requested in the prior memo. All the more so because Soto has sold almost all the copies he had printed, May Our Lord God preserve Your Blessedness in happiness for a long time.

Chapter 1 Page 2


[1-13] For the future memory of the matter: since we have learned that our dear son Cosimo Gaci, a Cardinal of the Church of the Holy San Lorenzo in Damaso [The Minor Basilica of St. Lawrence in Damaso in Rome, Italy], intends desires to put into type for the public the work, The Way of Perfection and The Interior Castle by Mother Teresa of Ávila, translated by Cosimo himself from Spanish into the Italian language, but also because—through our other letters in simili forma brevis as of the 23rd day of August of the most recent past year2[we prohibited that a similar work, likewise translated from Spanish into the Latin language,] lest a likewise work is able to be printed for a certain then-expressed time, [without] the special permission of the [said] Francesco Soto whose own work we allowed to be printed, [Cosimo] is not able to carry out his desire in this regard absent our permission and that of the apostolic seat.

[13-20] He therefore humbly begged us that we would see fit to suitably provide the petitions out of apostolic dignity. We therefore—wishing to bestow this same Cosimo special favors and graces, and [wishing him protected] by whatever excommunications, and disposed favorably by these supplications of that same Cosimo, [so that notwithstanding the prohibition on printing he should be able to print the work composed by him,]—grant and indulge with apostolic authority in the tenor of the present decrees: for the next decade, to be counted from the first printing of the said work,

2 See Sec. Brev. Reg. 336 F. 250

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[1-11] provided that they have been pre-approved by the Master of the Sacred Palace, notwithstanding the aforementioned letters procuring favor [XXX] in the city, so too in the whole of the world directly or indirectly subject to our Ecclesiastic state, that no one may print, sell, hold for sale, or display the translated written work as long as the Master of the Sacred Palace should approve it in advance, that no one either in the city or in the whole ecclesiastical state, subject directly or indirectly to us, may print, sell, hold for sale, or display the written work translated as previously mentioned by Cosimo without special permission of Cosimo, or his heirs, or successors, or those having a license from him or from them or another, or without a license of this sort.

[11-17] We prohibit therefore one and all of the Christian faith, of either sex, especially the printers of books and booksellers, under [penalty] of five hundred ducats of gold (the type which is used by the Apostolic treasury), and the loss of all the books and the presses, one part for our apostolic treasury, and another to the same Cosimo, or his heirs and successors,

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[1-8] or those having cause from him or them; and the remaining third part to the accuser and the executing judge applied unremittingly; and with the same penalty to be incurred by each violation without a separate declaration; so that while the said decade endures, no one should dare or presume to print, sell, hold it for sale, or display any part of the aforementioned work, either in large or small folio, even under pretext of subtraction, or addition, as in Rome, so in the rest of the ecclesiastic state.

[9-18] We order our dear sons, the legates from the Lateran apostolic seat, and their vice-legates and the presidents, governors, praetors, and other ministers of justice of the provinces, states, lands, and places of our aforementioned ecclesiastical state, to the extent needed by the same Cosimo, his heirs and successors,

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[1-5] or those having cause from them, to assist with an effective legal defense, whenever there might be a need either by the same Cosimo or the aforementioned others, and to carry out unremittingly the aforementioned penalties against whomsoever disobeys.

[5-18] Notwithstanding our aforementioned letters, constitutions, apostolic ordinances, and whatever statutes or customs—strengthened by oath, apostolic confirmation, or other reinforcement—or privileges, indulgences and apostolic letters contrary to the aforementioned, however conceded, confirmed, and approved: we expressly and specifically in this matter derogate from each and every one of these things to the extent that they have legal force inconsistent with what has been presently expressed, as well as from all other things contrary whatsoever. Moreover, we wish that the same credit that would attach to the present decrees themselves—if they were exhibited or displayed— should fully attach to copies of the present decrees, even printed in the work itself, with the signed hand of a notary

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[1-7] notary public, and protected by the seal of a person situated in ecclesiastical dignity. Given in Rome at St. Mark’s, 3rd day of September 1604 in the thirteenth year [of his Papacy]. If it pleases the holiest father, it may be expedited. Cardinal Pietro Aldobrandini.

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For Cosimo Gaci
Date: 3 September 1604

His Most Holiness was contented
with the supplications of the most illustrious Cardinal
de Al[XXX] : &
To [XXX] Marc Antonio
Let the memo be made

Chapter 1 Page 8


For Cosimo Gaci a Priest of Saint
Lorenzo in Damaso
privilege against printing for ten years
the work titled in the vernacular The Way of Perfection and The Interior Castle of the
b[lessed] Mother Teresa of Jesus

His Holiness was content
With the supplications of the Most Illustrious
Cardinal Montalto

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