INVENTION and DISCOVERY:
Printed Books from Fifteenth-Century Europe
An Exhibition at Bridwell Library, February 1 – May 3, 2010
|PRINTING SPREADS IN GERMANY||
17. EPISTOLAE ET EVANGELIA. [German]. Augsburg: Erhard Ratdolt, 30 March 1495.
Immensely popular in Germany on the eve
of the Reformation, the Epistolae et Evangelia provided a vernacular
translation of the readings from the Epistles and Gospels that were
designated for specific Sundays and holidays throughout the liturgical year.
However, these books fell from favor during the Reformation, in which
Catholic authorities enforced the use of Latin for liturgical readings,
while Protestants had no use for them at all. This helps explain the rarity
of this richly illustrated edition, which survives in only three recorded
copies. Bridwell Library’s copy, still in its original binding, bears the
ownership inscription of the largest Carthusian library in Europe, the
Charterhouse in Gaming, Austria. Exhibited are the first readings of the
liturgical year, for the first Sunday in Advent, taken from Romans 13 and
may not be published without the permission of Bridwell Library.