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    An Early Incunable Edition of St. Jerome's Letters

    [Incunables]. St. Hieronymus (Jerome), Lupus de Oliveto (Olmeto). Epistolae. [Bound with]: Regula monachorum ex Epistolis Hieronymi. Venice: Johannes Rubeus Vercellensis, January 7, 1496; July 12, 1496. Early edition. Two parts in one folio volume. 6, a-u8, x4, A-2C8, 2D6, 2E8, 2F6. 398 leaves. Eighteenth century half vellum over decorative boards, title in old ink on spine. Contemporary marginalia, scattered dampstains, quarter sized hole to Y6 (Y7-8 with stain), several leaves with chip to fore-edge at end, no affect. Last few pages with minor professional repairs. Old ownership signature ("Decii Gilusii et Amicor") to title. Collation group "Y" misplaced, between "R" and "S", still complete. A very good copy. From the Krown & Spellman Collection.
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    Hieronymus (Jerome), St., Lupus de Oliveto (Olmeto). Epistolae. (Bound with): Regula monachorum ex Epistolis Hieronymi. Venice: Johannes Rubeus Vercellensis, January 7, 1496. July 12, 1496. Folio. 2 parts in 1 vol. 6, a-u8, x4, A-2C8, 2D6, 2E8, 2F6. 398 leaves. 18th century half vellum over decorative boards, title in old ink on spine. Contemporary marginalia, scattered dampstains, quarter sized hole to Y6 (Y7-8 with stain), several leaves with chip to fore-edge at end, no affect. last few pages with minor professional repairs. ÒDecii Gilusii et AmicorÓ, old ownership sig to title. Collation group ÒYÓ misplaced, between ÒRÓ and ÒSÓ, still complete. ÒSt. Jerome's letters and tractates deal with a wide range of issues and controversies and have been read and studied over the millennia for their application to contemporary concerns as well as their historical significance.Ó
    -Bibliothque Pillone 29
    "St. Jerome: Born at Stridon, a town on the confines of Dalmatia and Pannonia, about the year 340-2; died at Bethlehem, 30 September, 420.....He went to Rome, probably about 360, where he was baptized, and became interested in ecclesiastical matters. From Rome he went to Trier, famous for its schools, and there began his theological studies. Later he went to Aquileia, and towards 373 he set out on a journey to the East. He settled first in Antioch, where he heard Apollinaris of Laodicea, one of the first exegetes of that time and not yet separated from the Church. From 374-9 Jerome led an ascetical life in the desert of Chalcis, south-west of Antioch. Ordained priest at Antioch, he went to Constantinople (380-81), where a friendship sprang up between him and St. Gregory of Nazianzus. From 382 to August 385 he made another sojourn in Rome, not far from Pope Damasus. When the latter died (11 December, 384) his position became a very difficult one. His harsh criticisms had made him bitter enemies, who tried to ruin him. After a few months he was compelled to leave Rome. By way of Antioch and Alexandria he reached Bethlehem, in 386. He settled there in a monastery near a convent founded by two Roman ladies, Paula and Eustochium, who followed him to Palestine. Henceforth he led a life of asceticism and study; but even then he was troubled by controversies which will be mentioned later, one with Rufinus and the other with the Pelagians.......The correspondence of St. Jerome is one of the best known parts of his literary output. It comprises about one hundred and twenty letters from him, and several from his correspondents. Many of these letters were written with a view to publication, and some of them the author even edited himself; hence they show evidence of great care and skill in their composition, and in them St. Jerome reveals himself a master of style. These letters, which had already met with great success with his contemporaries, have been, with the "Confessions" of St. Augustine, one of the works most appreciated by the humanists of the Renaissance. Aside from their literary interest they have great historical value. Relating to a period covering half a century they touch upon most varied subjects; hence their division into letters dealing with theology, polemics, criticism, conduct, and biography. In spite of their turgid diction they are full of the man's personality. It is in this correspondence that the temperament of St. Jerome is most clearly seen: his waywardness, his love of extremes, his exceeding sensitiveness; how he was in turn exquisitely dainty and bitterly satirical, unsparingly outspoken concerning others and equally frank about himself.Ó - [CE]

    Lope de Olmeto (1370-1433) OESA leader of the Spanish Hieronymites. BM STC (Ital) 347. HC 8563. Goff H: 175. GW 12435. BMC V419 (IA. 23180). ISTC: ih00175000. Pell Ms 5989. CIBN H-108. Torchet 457. Polain (B) 1950. IBE 3166. IGI 4745. Incunable. Incunabula. Religion. Theology. Church. Saints.



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    October, 2014
    8th Wednesday
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