Commentaries on the Gospel of Matthew and the Apocalypse by the "Last of the Fathers of the Lutheran Church," with Twenty-Five Woodcuts Illustrating the Apocalypse

    David Chytraeus. Commentarius in Matthæum Evangelistam, ex prælectionibus Davidus Chytræi collectus. Wittenberg: Excudebat Johannes Crato, 1560. [Bound together with:] David Chytraeus. Explicatio Apocalypsis Johannis perspicua et brevis. Tradita a Davide Chytræo. Wittenberg: Excudebat Johannes Crato, 1563.

    Two works in one small octavo volume (6.1875 x 3.8125 inches). 558, [1, printer's device], [1, blank]; [48], 445, [1, printer's device], [2, blank] pages. Woodcut vignette of John on Patmos on each title, twenty-five woodcut illustrations in the text of the Explicatio Apocalypsis Johannis, woodcut printer's device at the end of each volume, historiated woodcut initials.

    Contemporary blindstamped pigskin over beveled wooden boards. With clasps. Spine in four compartments with three raised bands on double cords. Title in manuscript on spine. Binding a little rubbed, spine and board edges slightly darkened, turn-in on upper edge of front board detached from board. Paper slightly browned, a few leaves with tiny tears or creases at the outer edge where the clasps have bumped them. Early ink inscription on front free endpaper. A remarkably well-preserved copy.

    Commentaries on the Gospel of Matthew and the Apocalypse by German Lutheran theologian and historian David Chytraeus (1531-1600). "Chytraeus is chiefly known as a historian and not as a biblical commentator. He began to teach history at Rostock in 1559 and lectured on Herodotus, Thycydides, and Melanchthon's edition of the Chronicon Carionis. He won fame notably for his Historia der Ausgsburgischen Confession published in Rostock in 1576 and for his Chronicon Saxoniae, first published anonymously in Wittenberg in 1586. His interest in history was obviously very largely responsible for his decision to lecture on the Apocalypse and to present his lectures in published form" (Irene Backus, Reformation Readings of the Apocalypse: Geneva, Zurich, and Wittenberg, p. 114). His Explicatio Apocalypsis was one of the rare commentaries on the Apocalypse to emerge from Lutheran circles in the latter half of the sixteenth century. The woodcut illustrations are apparently copies after those of Hans Sebald Beham in his Typi in Apocalypsi Johannis (Frankfurt: Christian Egenolff, 1539).

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