Legenda aurea santorum sive Lombardica historia (The "Golden Legend"). [bound with] Historiae plurimorum sanctorum.

Legenda aurea santorum sive Lombardica historia (The "Golden Legend"). [bound with] Historiae plurimorum sanctorum.
Legenda aurea santorum sive Lombardica historia (The "Golden Legend"). [bound with] Historiae plurimorum sanctorum.
Legenda aurea santorum sive Lombardica historia (The "Golden Legend"). [bound with] Historiae plurimorum sanctorum.
Legenda aurea santorum sive Lombardica historia (The "Golden Legend"). [bound with] Historiae plurimorum sanctorum.
Legenda aurea santorum sive Lombardica historia (The "Golden Legend"). [bound with] Historiae plurimorum sanctorum.
Legenda aurea santorum sive Lombardica historia (The "Golden Legend"). [bound with] Historiae plurimorum sanctorum.
Legenda aurea santorum sive Lombardica historia (The "Golden Legend"). [bound with] Historiae plurimorum sanctorum.
Legenda aurea santorum sive Lombardica historia (The "Golden Legend"). [bound with] Historiae plurimorum sanctorum.
A cornerstone for Medievalists, the most popular book of its day after the Bible
Legenda aurea santorum sive Lombardica historia (The "Golden Legend"). [bound with] Historiae plurimorum sanctorum.

Strassburg: Printer of the 1483 Jordanus de Quedlinburg (perhaps associated with Georg Husner), December 19, 1486. Folio (296 x 205 mm), with 263 of 264 leaves, lacking just the final blank. Manuscript index at the end. Gothic type in double columns, forty-seven lines plus headline. Initials supplied in red throughout. Bound in a contemporary Cambridge binding of blindstamped calf over wooden boards, by the binder W.G. Three of the present tools are reproduced in J. B. Oldham, English Blind-Stamped Bindings (Cambridge 1932), Plate X, pgs 23-25. Intersecting triple fillets dividing the covers, the center panel diapered, border of repeated foliate tool, the compartments containing flower, fleuron, rosette and fleur-de-lis tools, gilt lettering piece on the spine from a later date. Lacking clasps. Joints and spine ends repaired, later end papers. Paper flaw in the lower margin of F5, not affecting text. A few additional minor paper flaws, a handful of early ink marginalia. An excellent copy overall. From the library of Abel E. Berland, with his bookplate. Housed in a custom quarter-leather clamshell case.

The "Golden Legend" was extremely popular in the late Middle Ages, not only on the Continent but also in Britain. Caxton printed an illustrated edition of his own translation in 1483, later reprinted by Wynkyn de Worde. But, the English had to turn to copies printed abroad for the original Latin texts; as a result a number of Continental editions with early English provenances are recorded. "Depicting the lives of the saints in an array of factual and fictional stories, The Golden Legend was perhaps the most widely read book of its time, after the Bible, during the late Middle Ages. It was compiled around 1260 by Jacobus de Voragine, a scholarly friar and later archbiship of Genoa, whose purpose was to captivate, encourage, and edify the faithful while preserving a vast store of information pertaining to the legends and traditions of the chuch" (Princeton). Even today, scholars of the period recognize it as a key Medieval text across fields in the humanities. "Art historians depend on it. Medievalists should know it inside out...For the rest of us, it remains a treasure house of European culture, crammed full of the things which everyone, once upon a time, used to know" (Malcolm).

BMC I, p 135. Copinger 6444. Goff J-117. Polain 2199. Proctor 608.
(Item #2616)

Price: $17,500

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