Printing from the Other Europe: Central and East European Printing from 1484 to 1697 in the Lilly Library


. Summa de eucharistiae sacramento... [De corpore Domini]. Winterberg, Johann Alakraw,

2°, [220] p. Capital spaces, unfilled. First two leaves of the sixth gathering are supplied from another, shorter copy. Bound in 19th-century cloth-backed boards, marbled edges.

Writings on the Eucharist by the Dominican friar and German philosopher Albertus Magnus (1206-1280), also known as Saint Albert the Great. Albertus was one of the first medieval scholars to apply Aristotle’s philosophy to Christian thought. and was an advocate for the coexistence of science and religion. Albertus’ Summa was a standard orthodox treatise on Holy Communion, and was likely important to the Czech Romanists in their conflict with the Utraquists. The Utraquists, a moderate faction of the Hussites, maintained the Eucharist should be administered to the people in both bread and wine, but wine was then reserved only for the priests. Winterberg (Vimperk), a small town in the southwest near the Bavarian border, was the second Czech town with a printing press. The printer Johannes Alakraw produced only two books in Winterberg in 1484, one of which was the Summa. Alakraw worked previously in Passau with the printer Konrad Stahel and with Benedictus Mayr, from whom he borrowed the unusual practice of signing his books by the sheet, with consecutive letters of the alphabet, rather than by the quire. In 1485 he returned to Passau where he printed until 1492.

References: BM 15th cent., III, p. 814 (IB.51603); Pellechet, 294; Pet Stoleti

BX2215.A33 S95 1484   1) Vault

[BIBLE. CZECH.]. Prague, Jan Kamp and Jan Severyn,

2°, [1220] p. Double columns, 46-47 lines each, rubricated in yellow and red, initials in red and blue, floral scroll illuminations at beginning of testaments. Color illustrations in margins. 1619 binding, blind-stamped leather over boards, spine restored, bosses on four corners and middle of front and back covers, book clasps.

Printed in Prague by the partners Jan Severyn and Jan Kamp, this is the first printing of the complete Bible in the Czech language. The text is a translation from early texts into the Bohemian vernacular by unknown Czech scholars associated with the Hussite movement, and revised by Jan Hus, Martin Lupác, and others. The Prague Bible has often been called the first Protestant Bible because of the connection with the Hussites, although there was an earlier printing in 1475 of the New Testament in Czech.

References: BM 15th cent., III, 808 (IB.51405); The Bible in the Lilly Library; Pet Stoleti; Darlow & Moule

BS220 .C9 1488   1) Vault

. Selenographia, sive, Lunae descriptio; atque accurata, tam macularum ejus, quam mottum diversorum, aliarumque omnium vicissitudinum, phasiumque, telescopii ope deprehensarum, delineatio : in quâsimul caeterorum omnium planetarum nativa facies, variaeque observationes ... sub aspectum ponuntur ... : Addita est, lentes expoliendi nova ratio.... Gdansk, Hünefeldianis,

2°, [593] p., 95 leaves of plates, with 3 double-page plates, 19 leaves printed on both sides. Extra engraved title inserted after half-title. Bound in old vellum, handwritten title on spine. Bookplates of Ferdinand Faber and Samuel Verplanck Hoffman.

The first detailed lunar atlas, depicting more than 200 lunar formations. With the invention of the telescope in the early 17th century, astronomers could map the planets and constellations just as cartographers were mapping the geography of the earth. As the closest object to the earth, the moon quickly became a favorite object of study for many astronomers. One of the greatest of these astronomers was Jan Hevelius (1611-1687), born in Gdansk. In Selenographia, Hevelius created an authoritative atlas and study of the moon derived from his own observations. Hevelius had one of the most well-equipped observatories in Europe, covering the rooftops of several buildings, complete with a revolving observation hut, telescopes and astronomical instruments which he made himself, and even a printing press to produce his copperplate engravings. The majority of plates were engraved by Hevelius in his observatory where he could produce the most detailed and accurate illustrations. The volume contains 133 engraved plates depicting the moon and its phases, as well as illustrations of the instruments he created. This is perhaps Hevelius’ greatest work.

References: NUC pre-1956, 244:266; BM, 103:256; Sotheran, Bibl. chem.-math., 1913

QB595 .H596 1647   1) Vault

[BIBLE. CZECH.]. Kuttenberg, Martin of Tischniowa,

2°, [1224] p. Double columns, 50 lines each. 50 hand-colored woodcuts with silver. Book initials in two and three colors and chapter initials and paragraph marks in red or blue; initials in yellow. Missing initial blank and 83 printed leaves; several leaves have loss of text, others with repairs and minor restoration. Eight leaves with 18th-century or later marginalia in Latin; three leaves with modern marginalia in Czech. Bound in modern full brown morocco, blind-stamped to resemble 15th-century Viennese bindings; rebacked; front hinge cracked, front cover cracked down the middle; one brass clasp surviving.

The text of the 1489 Biblia Bohemica follows that of the 1488 Prague Bible translated and revised by Jan Hus and his followers, with corrections and amended orthography, and the addition of the Epistle to the Laodiceans. The additional woodcut illustrations are hand-colored and were strongly influenced by the illustrations of the Cologne Bible of 1478, or possibly they were taken from bibles produced in Cologne during the late 1470's. This is the first Czech illustrated bible. This work represents one of only two works printed in Kuttenberg in the 15th century and the only printer known to have worked there, Martin of Tischniova. The book concludes with a large printer's device of a crowned W, for King Wladislaw of Bohemia, above the arms of Kuttenberg supported by two miners. The device was possibly a token of debt to the Town Council, from whom the printer borrowed a large sum in order to complete the work.

References: BM 15th cent., III, p. 816 (IB.51804); Darlow & Moule, 2178; The Bible at the Lilly; Pet Stoleti

BS220 .C9 1489   1) Vault

. [Conservatio sanitatis] Editio venerabilis D. Mathie de Miechow artivm et medicinae doctoris eximij. Canonici Cracouien. & c. Pro conseruanda hominum sanitate familiarissimo collecta stilbo. Krakow, Mathias Scharffenberg,

Contents: Tractatus I. De aere -- Tractatus II. De pane et panificis et quibusdam commestibilibus -- Tractatus III. De vino et potibus -- Tractatus de aqua. 12°, [136] p. Fore edge close trimmed, affecting some side notes and early handwritten annotations. Bound in modern vellum, black leather labels on gilt spine, edges gilt. Bookplate of John Talbot Gernon. John Talbot Gernon, a well-known collector of books on gastronomy and the culinary arts, began collecting in 1940 and by 1970s assembled one of the most important collections of cookbooks from the 16th through the 18th centuries. The Lilly acquired the Gernon collection in 1979.

First edition of a rare book on health and nutrition by the Polish Renaissance scholar Maciej Z Miechowa (1457-1523) in which he discusses food and wine and their effects on health. Maciej also addresses medicinal uses for food and wine, in particular the benefits of a wine derived from absinthe that miraculously relieves pain, restores appetite, and works as a cure for epilepsy. Maciej was the physician to the kings of Poland and Hungary, as well as the founder of several colleges and libraries, and is most known for his Chronica Polonorum, a valuable history of Poland, and his Tractatus de duabus Sarmatiis, considered the first accurate geographical and ethnographical description of Eastern Europe.

References: Oberlé, G. Fastes de Bacchus et de Comus, 323(2); Cagle, W.R. Matter of taste (2nd ed.), 1202; Harrison, Une Affaire de Gout

R128.6 .M15 1535   1) John Talbot Gernon

[BIBLE. POLISH.] Biblia, to iest, Kxieęgi Stharego y Nowego Zakonu: ná Polski ięzyk: z pilnośćią według jáćińskiego powssechnego przyięthey, nowo wyłożona..... Krakovie, M. Szarffenberg,

2°, [1228] p. Title page printed in red and black with woodcut border, large coat of arms on verso. Verso of Old Testament contents page has large woodcut depicting creation. New Testament has separate title page printed in red and black with woodcut border. Historiated initials, numerous woodcuts. Bound in full brown calf over boards.

A reprint of the Biblia Leopolity originally printed in 1561 by Marek Szarffenberg and son Stanisława, sometimes called the Biblia Szarffenbergowska. Although its origins are obscure, this version of the Bible is thought to have been translated from the Vulgate by an unknown translator, but speculation has focused on the Dominican friar Leonard. Leonard was the confessor of Zygmunt II August I (1520-1572), King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania, to whom the translation is dedicated. Prepared and corrected by Jan Nicz of Lwow (or Leopolita), this was the first Catholic version as well as the first complete printing of a Polish language Bible.

References: Darlow & Moule, 7383; Silver, The Bible in the Lilly Library

[call number not listed]

[BIBLE. CZECH.] Biblj české. V nowé wydané. Kralice, Z. Solín,

6 volumes, 4°, [2214] leaves. Title pages have decorative woodcut border of fruit, lamb in crown of thorn at top and face of puti at bottom. Title pages of volumes 2, 6 in facsimile. Half bound in black calf, black cloth, spine lettered in gilt, red edges.

The first edition of the Unitas Fratrum (later, the Moravian Church) version of the Bible, known as the Kralitz Bible. Translated into Czech from the original languages, the translators worked from the Antwerp Polyglot bible, as well as existing Latin commentaries. The Bible was printed at the Kralice Castle by the printer Zacharius Solin, and funded by John von Zerotin, an influential baron and owner of the castle. This version marks the first time the apocrypha and canonical books are separated in a Bohemian bible. With prefaces, summaries, marginal annotations, references, tables, and commentaries. This celebrated translation became the model for classical Czech and at the same time a highlight of Czech typography.

References: Darlow & Moule, 2186; Silver, The Bible in the Lilly Library

BS220 .C9

[BIBLE. CHURCH SLAVONIC.] Biblia sirech knigy vetkhago i novago zaveta poiazyku slovensku. Ostrog, Ivan Federov,

2°, [628] leaves. Double columns, t.p. with architectural border. Woodcuts: Coat of arms of Konstantine Ostrozhskii, printer's mark (in colophon), head- and tailpieces. A brief note in the form of a prayer by Ivan Fedorov precedes the colophon. Part of the preface, Fedorov's note and the colophon are printed in Greek and Church Slavic. Printed in red and black, without signatures, imprint date and foliation expressed in Church Slavic characters. Bound in sheep leather with metal fore-edge clasps. In a green cloth box.

First edition of the Ostrih Bible printed in 1581 at Ostrog, Poland by Ivan Federov (d. 1583). Also called the ‘Slavonic Gutenberg,’ it is the first complete printed Bible in Church Slavonic. In 1575, Federov, one of the fathers of Russian and Ukrainian printing, was placed in charge of the Derman Monastery by Prince Konstantine Ostrozhskii, where he established the Ostrih Press. Here, Federov published his Ostrih Bible among other books.

References: Darlow & Moule, 8370

BS110 1581   1) Vault

. Margaritare, a deka kuvinte de multe fieliuri a chelui atru sfintsi parintelui nostru Ioan Arkhiepiskopul charigradului a lui Zlatoust.. Bucharest, [s.n.],

2°, [184] leaves. Signed in 45 Cyrillic characters of Church Slavic. Bound in contemporary calf leather, tooled and blind stamped, one clasp surviving.

Margaritare, or Pearls, is an anthology of the religious homilies of St. John Chrysostom, the 4th century Archbishop of Constantinople, compiled by, and possibly printed under the direction of the Romanian Anthimus of Iberia. Anthimus, a linguist, typographer, and writer, compiled the Margaritare as a guide to living a Christian life. This version of the anthology was translated into Romanian by the brothers Serban and Radul Grecénu, publishers of first Romanian edition of the complete Bible (1688), which is considered a monument of 17th century Romanian literature for its elegant style and diction.

References: Bianu, I., and Hodos, N. Bibliografia românésca veche 1508-1830, 91

BR63 .M327 1691