Description

    The First Published Edition of an Important Medieval Work

    [Gilbert Crispin, Abbot of Westminster, falsely attributed to]. Altercatio Synagogue Et Ecclesiae, In Qua Bona Omnium fere utriusque Instrumenti librorum pars explicatur: opus pervetustum ac insigne, antehac nusquam typis excusum. Interlocutores Gamliel & Paulus. Cologne: Mechior von Neuss, 1537. First edition. Folio. Approximately 12.25 x 7.75 inches. 6, 2,A4,B-V6. [12], [4], 118 folios, 236 pages. Large woodcut of Gamaliel & Paulus with Christ and Moses on title-page (repeated on A1) half-page woodcut of Sapientia pouring wisdom into the cups of two figures, both are attributed to Anton Woensam von Worms (c. 1500 - c.1541); large fine historiated initials, and some smaller ones. Modern German paste-paper covered boards, marginal pin-wormhole (no loss), minor marginal stain, small marginal hole in first four leaves (no text affected), old owner's inscription on title-page. A few leaves with tabs on fore-margins. Large margins, Overall, a very good copy.
    "Altercatio" literature has a long history in the Christian church in which the representative of the Christian Church asserts its positions to the detriment of the defending Jew. This is the first published edition of this important medieval text and is rare. From the Krown & Spellman Collection.
    Please visit HA.com/6127 for an extended description of this lot.


    More Information:

    Sometimes attributed to Gilbert Crispin, [d. 1117?], abbot of Westminster. "Crispin is said to have become a perfect scholar in all the liberal arts while at Bec, whence he was called by Lanfranc to the abbey of Westminster, over which church he ruled for thirty-two years (De nob. Crisp. gen. p. 738)... ...Crispin's second great work is entitled 'Disputatio Judaei cum Christiano,' and is an account of a dialogue on the christian faith held between the Mayence Jew mentioned above and the author. This Jew, who was well versed both in 'his own law and in our letters,' used to visit the abbot on business. The conversation would frequently turn to more serious matters, and at last it was agreed that the two disputants should hold a sort of dialectical tournament, each appearing as the champion of his own faith..." [DNB]

    However, the author of the entry on Crispin in the "Histoire Litteraire de France" (Benedictins of St. Maur), x, states that Crispin is not the author but some anonymous writer who lived in the time of Charlemagne (which is what our editor tells us in his introductory letter).

    "Altercatio" literature has a long history in the Christian church in which the representative of the Christian Church asserts its positions to the detriment of the defending Jew. This is the first published edition of this important medieval text and is rare.

    VD 16 A1996. Adams A 814. Shaaber C466. Kapsner 22. Graesse VII,27-8. BM STC (German) 22. Index Aurel. 147.128.



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    Auction Dates
    August, 2015
    5th Wednesday
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