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Original price £5,100.00 - Original price £5,100.00
Original price
£5,100.00 - £5,100.00
Current price £5,100.00

Joachim, Abbot, of Fiore (pseudo-) [Meuccio, Silvestro]: Hec subieta in hoc continentur libello. Expositio magni prophete Ioachim: in librum beati Cirilli de magnis tribulationibus & statu Sancte matris Ecclesie […] una cum compilatione ex diversis Prophetis novi ac veteris testamenti Theolosphori de Cusentia […] Item explanatio figurata & pulchra in Apochalypsim de residuo statu Ecclesiae […] Item tractatus de antichristo magistri Ioannis Parisiensis […] Item tractatus de septem statibus Ecclesie devoti Doctoris fratris Ubertini de Casali […] Item tabula alphabetica principali materiarum […] Item vita magni propheta Abbassi Ioachim. [Venetiis per Bernardinum Benalium] [after 4 April 1516]. [Bound with:] [Id:] Interpretatio preclara Abbatis Joachim in Hieremiam Prophetam. [Impressum Venetiis, per Bernardinum Benalium, 1525, die 20 Novembris].

Second editions of these prophetic books including works falsely attributed to Joachim of Fiore (1135-1202), both publications have fascinating illustrations not found in the first editions (Venice, Lazzaro de’ Soardis, 1516) - and point to the rich textual and visual history of the Italian prophetic books genre. In the first, a collection of works in fact ascribed to different authors besides Joachim, a programme of 75 woodcut textual illustrations of varying sizes (Sander; similar, to and using woodcuts from, a programme of 73 illustrations found in the first edition) is supplemented by a splendid full-page woodcut with textual labels, of a seven-headed dragon (Leviathan from the Book of Job). It had appeared in an another spurious work by "Joachim" on Isaiah (Venice, Lazzaro de' Soardis, 1517). Common to both editions, besides the textual illustrations, are woodcut initials, and a woodcut figure to the title-page of a scholar sitting at his desk.

Our second work is a prophetic commentary on the book of the prophet Jeremiah. In our edition, the representation of Leviathan, that we see in the previous book, reappears (now with side-notes also identifying it with the seven-headed beast of Revelation). It was not printed in the prior edition. It is supplemented on five more pages by further schematic woodcut illustrations - comprising text and diagram (in one case incorporating the serpent from Genesis). None of these, again, were printed in the first edition - although they had also appeared at the beginning of the 1517 pseudo-Joachim on Isaiah that we have mentioned. Appearing twice in our edition is a pictorial woodcut border showing the Passion, with, in the first case (title-page), the arms and initials of the dedicatee, Paolo Angelo, and in the second, the arms and initials of the editor, Silvestro Meuccio. The first edition of this second work had in fact only been illustrated on its title-page, with the woodcut of the scholar at study which we have on the title-page of our first book.

Our printer, Bernardino Benali, may actually have printed the first edition of the first book (Rhodes) - although it doesn’t carry his name. In any case, there is a continuous development between the two editions, which is seen also in the text. Our edition of the first book now has (sig. A4rb) a new letter, from the dedicatee, Anselmus Bochturnius of Vicenza, to the editor, Meuccio. It also has, besides the new diagram, a new three-page table, and life and bibliography of Joachim taken from Johannes Trithemius. The second book has, besides the illustrations, a new twenty-six page table, as well as errata, and, replacing a letter to the reader from the deceased old publisher, the new dedicatory letter (13 June 1525) from the editor.


Two publications in one volume, 21.5 cms. x 16.2 cms., quarto, fols. I-IV [2] V-LXXVIII (i.e. 80 fols.); [20] 62. Collation of first work: A6 B-S4 T6 (A2 missigned A3). Collation of second: A8 a12b-c4 d8 e-f4 g8 h4 i8 k-l4 m6 n4. Roman letter, two columns, printed side notes, woodcut illustrations as discussed above. Light or medium browning, some spotting, foxing and staining, small hole to first title-page (legibility unaffected), slight damage to outer margin of final prelim. in second work, including a hole touching a printed sidenote (no actual loss of text), headlines shaved. Bound in 18th-cent. calf, spine and sides decorated in gilt, label of red gilt-stamped goatskin, pink patterned pastedowns and endpapers. All edges blue. (Binding rubbed, slight wear to corners, wormholes to spine). Old stamp possibly incorporating a chalice to first title-page. 20th-cent. pencil inscription to front free endpaper, E.A. Berger Levrault, pencilled shelf mark (60B) probably of the same. Early reader’s marks and underlinings, the odd early annotation.


1. Adams J 208. CNCE 32569. Essling 1896. Dennis E. Rhodes, Annali tipografici di Lazzaro de’ Soardi (Florence, 1978), 111. Sander 3607. USTC 802138. Copies located in US or UK at: Cambridge, BL, National Library of Wales; Cornell, Harvard, NYPL, Penn State, SMU, Columbia, Illinois, Boston Public Library, UCLA.

2. Adams J 211. CNCE 32570. Essling 1899. Sander 3612. USTC 800579. Copies located in US or UK at: BL, Cambridge; Fuller Library, Yale, Newberry, Chicago, Wisconsin-Madison, Princeton, Harvard.

On Joachimite prophetic literature, see Marjorie Reeves, The influence of prophecy in the later middle ages: a study in Joachimism (Oxford, 1969); Sharon Ann Leftley, Millenarian thought in Renaissance Rome with special reference to Pietro Galatino (c.1464-c.1540) and Egidio da Viterbo (c.1469-1532). PhD, Bristol University, 1995.