(Nuremberg: Friedrich Creussner, 1479). 288 x 212 mm. (11 1/4 x 8 3/8").  (of 126) leaves (lacking initial blank, final blank bound at front of text). Single column, 36 lines in gothic type.
Modern period-style stiff vellum, raised bands, title hand-inked on spine, two strap closures (hinges expertly reinforced with old paper). Rubricated in red, hand-painted initials in red. With frequent annotations in a neat contemporary hand, sometimes with manicules or a decorative design. Goff C 186; BMC II, 451; ISTC ic00186000. Minor soiling to vellum, infrequent trivial stains or thumbing to the text, but A FINE COPY--very clean, bright, and fresh, with comfortable margins.
This is an extensively rubricated copy of a collected edition from the 1470s of sermons significant because they comprise the words of a living 15th century author. Robertus Caracciolus (1425-95) was the most celebrated preacher in Italy during the last four decades of his life. Called a "second Paul," the "new Paul," and the "prince of preachers," he was able to arouse his listeners to sometimes unseemly levels of emotion, and partly for that reason, he was a controversial figure among the Franciscans of his time, according to the Catholic Encyclopedia. First printed in 1473, the sermons here deal largely with the fear of divine justice as the consequence mankind must expect for disobeying God's laws. Caracciolus' effectiveness and popularity as a preacher can be explained partly by the clarity of his approach: he makes use of lists, naming, for example, three or four topics--sins, penalties, God's gifts--and then expanding on each one. He also employs the effective rhetorical device of repetition, using such phrases as "Fear God" numerous times in one section. It is easy to imagine other clerics studying his work as much for technique as for content--and the contemporary annotations here indicate extensive examination. Spending his entire career in Nuremberg, printer Friedrich Creussner appears to have issued books from 1472-99, but was most active between 1477-79. Our copy has pleasing hand-painted initials and rubrication, and the early scholar who made notes in the margins also occasionally indulged his artistic side with a decorative flourish. (ST16379-086)
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PJP Catalog: 78.046