[CHORALES and HYMNS]. Kirchengesanng Teutsch und Lateinisch. In allen Christlichen versamlungen gebreuchlich. Nuremberg, [Johann vom Berg, and Ulrich Neuber], 1560.
The second known copy of this finely produced printing of German chorales and Latin hymns, with the printed lyrics significantly revised from the edition of 1557, the only earlier printing.
‘With the beginning of the sixteenth century, European music saw a number of momentous changes … Prior to 1500, all music had to be copied by hand or learned by ear; music books were owned exclusively be religious establishments or extremely wealthy courts and households ...
‘From about 1520 through the end of the sixteenth century, composers throughout Europe employed the polyphonic language of [the Franco-Flemish composer] Josquin’s generation in exploring musica expression through the French chanson, the Italian madrigal, the German Tenorlieder, the Spanish Villancico, and the English song, as well as in sacred music. The Reformation and Counter-Reformation directly affected the sacred polyphony of these countries. The Protestant revolution (mainly in Norther Europe) varied in the attitudes toward sacred music, bringing such musical changes as the introduction of relatively simple German-language hymns (or chorales) sung by the congregation in Lutheran services’ (Rebecca Arkenberg, Music in the Renaissance, the MET, online).
EPIPHANIUS. Tou hagiou Epiphaniou episkopou Kōnstanteias tēs Kyprou, kata haireseōn ogdoēkonta to epiklēthen Panarion [in Greek] … D. Epiphanii Episcopi Constantiae Cypri contra octoginta haereses opus eximium, Panarium sive capsula medica appellatum, et in libros quidem tres, tomos vero septem divisum … Omnia graece conscripta, nuncq[ue] primum in lucem edita. Basel, [Johann Herwagen, 1544].
Editio princeps of the Greek text of Epiphanius’s great compendium of heresies, in a particularly attractive and well-preserved contemporary pigskin binding.
GEILER VON KAYSERSBERG, Johannes. Das irrig Schaf. Sagt von kleinmütigkeit und verzweiflung. Gebredigt und gedeütscht durch den würdigen und hochgeboren doctoren Johannem Geiler von Keiserssberg mit sampt den nachvolgenden tractaten. Strasburg, Matthias Schürer, .
First edition of these seven tracts by the famous writer and preacher, here in a contemporary binding and with a near contemporary inscription from the Capuchin monastery at Heidelberg, a collection of tracts that includes Der Eschen Grüdel, the earliest printed version of Cinderella, and containing one of the earliest illustrations of that character.
GUTENBERG BIBLE. Large fragment on vellum of leaf 195 (‘Paralipomena Primus’) of volume I. [Mainz, Johannes Gutenberg, 1455].
A sublime example in very fine condition of a large vellum fragment from the iconic 42-line Gutenberg Bible, the first major printed book using movable metal type, and an extremely rare instance of such a leaf being used posteriorly to serve as a binding and still intact in this form.
HOMER. Qvae extant omnia. Ilias, Odyssea, Batrachomyomachia, Hymni, Poematia aliquot cum latina uersione omnium quae circumferuntur emendatiss, aliquot locis iam caftigatiore. Perpetuis item iustisqúe in Iliada simul et Odysseam Io.. Spondani Mauleonensis commentariis … Basle, Eusebius Episcopus, 1583.
First edition, rather scarce, of this monumental edition of Homer’s Iliad, the Odyssey, and the Batrachomyomachiaby the erudite scholar and poet Jean de Sponde, with parallel Greek and Latin text, and Sponde’s extensive commentary.
Also included are Pindar’s resumé of the Iliad, and Cornelius Nepos’ translation of Dares Phrygius on the Trojan war.
Sponde is best known today for his striking collection of lyric verse, the Sonnets d’amour and Sonnets de la mort published posthumously c. 1598. Sponde’s poetry was ‘discovered’ in 1930 by the critic Alan Boase, who judged it comparable with contemporary English metaphysical poetry of Donne and Sidney.
THEOPHRASTUS. Περι πυρος [with:] De igne. Paris, Adrien Turnèbe, 1552[-1553].
First edition of Turnèbe’s annotated Latin translation of Theophrastus’ interesting work on Fire, a work sometimes interpreted as a serious departure from Aristotle’s physics, and here bound with Turnèbe’s printing of the original Greek text.
‘Concerning Theophrastus’ account of the four elements, it has been debated to what extent this conforms to the Aristotelian doctrine. In particular, it is not clear whether Theophrastus followed Aristotle in holding that the heavens are made of a fifth element, the ether, distinct from the four sublunary elements, or whether he claimed that the heavens are simply made of fire …
It has been argued, for instance, that Theophrastus abandoned the fifth element, but used it only in arguments against Plato without endorsing it himself (see Steinmetz 1964). There is no doubt, on the other hand, that he gave prominence to the element of fire.