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Adelphus, Johannes, Jakop Wimpheling (comm.). Seque[n]tiarum lucule[n]ta interpretatio: nedu[m] scholasticis, sed [et] ecclesiasticis cognitu necessaria. [Strassburg: Knoblouch], 1513. 4to (21 cm, 8.25"). CXXXVI, , LXXX ff. $2,750.00
Strassbourgh printer Knoblouch here produces => the first edition of the Humanist commentaries of Johannes Adelphus and Jakop Wimpheling on the Sequences of the Mass and the Hymns of the Breviary, respectively.
The Corpus Christi Watershed dot org website explains the Sequences: "First appearing in the ninth century, the sequences rose to a level of fair prominence in the medieval period. Their heyday lasted until the liturgical reforms enacted during the Counter-Reformation. At the height of their usage, there were proper sequences for nearly every Sunday and feast day (outside penitential seasons). Their usage varied widely, however, since the sequences were never obligatory." Simply put, they are the liturgical hymns of the Mass, and occur on festivals between the Gradual and the Gospel. By contrast, the Hymns belong to the Breviary and are fixed.
The text and commentary of the Sequences are here paired with those of the Hymns as the second part of the volume, with a separate title-page but signatures continuous, titled "Hymni de tempore [et] de sanctis: in ea[m] forma[m] qua a suis autoribus scripti sunt denuo redacti: [et] s[ecundu]m legem carminis dilige[n]ter emendati atq[ue] interpretati." The Hymns fill the final 80 leaves.
Adelphus's commentary on the Sequences is a reworking of the familiar medieval commentary with the vocabulary brought up to date to make it less scholastic. Adelphus also occasionally adds contemporary references, including at least one allusion to his own translation into German of Sebastian Brant's De laude Hierosolymae. The most thorough revision this edition makes is to the sequence-commentary notes on grammar and linguistic usage, and there are additional references to classical models of expression.
Wimpheling introduces his commentary to the Hymns with prefatory comments in which he supports the contribution that training in the arts of literary expression can make to a proper understanding of religious texts. He promotes the pedagogic virtues of the hymns themselves; in particular, he notes that the diversity of meter they employ makes them apt vehicles for teaching Latin prosody while the grammatical and rhetorical skills acquired from studying them will in turn lead to a sharper, more sophisticated and more accurate reading of hymns as texts of Christian spirituality, and therefore to a deeper piety.
Hans Baldung Grien provided the title-page woodcut boarders [Oldenbourg 236] and two large historiated initials, one at the beginning of each part, respectively: the Death of the Virgins [Oldenbourg 232] and the Adoration [Oldenbourg 221].
On this important edition, see Ann Moss, "Latin Liturgical Hymns and their Early Printing History" (Humanistica Louvaniensia, XXXVI , 125-28).
Provenance: Impressed into the front board are the initals L C V of the Franciscan convent of Villigen; upon suppression of the convent, to the Donaueschigen Library, its oval stamp on the verso of the title-page; that library sold in 1994; later in the library of American collector Albert A. Howard, small booklabel ("AHA") at rear.
Proctor 10081; Adams L1126; VD16 S5978 & H6503; Index Aurel. 100.597; Schmidt, Knobloch, VII, 82; Ritter 5; Oldenbourg, Hans Baldung Grien, L28. Original wooden boards, rebacked in 19th-century pigskin with old paper label and evidence of single missing clasp; provenance marks as above. Variable old water- and dampstaining, no tattering or tears, title-pages lovely. (40642) Please RESHELVE This.
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