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Original price £750.00 - Original price £750.00
Original price
£750.00 - £750.00
Current price £750.00

[Earthquakes] [Emygdius, Saint, patron against earthquakes]: Orazione a S. Emidio avvocato per li terremoti [with:] [item of same title] [with:] A flagello terraemotus per intercessionem S. Emygdii episc. et martiris tui protectoris nostri libera nos domine. Rome, Loreto, Naples, c.1785-90.

Saint Emygdius (Emydius), a third/fourth-century Christian martyr and bishop of Ascoli Piceno, was adopted in Italy in the course of the eighteenth century as a patron saint against earthquakes. His cult can now be found in San Francisco and Los Angeles. The present three items are examples of what the faithful hung on their walls in Italy to invoke his protection.

Two items contain an identical prayer that, as the official preamble notes, was approved by Pope Clement XIII (ruled 1758-1769) following earthquakes in Lisbon (probably the great 1755 Lisbon earthquake).

- The first (Rome and Loreto, Sartori press, n.d.) is illustrated. It is folded into a bifolium, with image and text on the facing inside pages. On the left-hand page is a print, signed Loreto, Federico Sartori, showing the saint standing in foreground, in profile, conveying a blessing, with a scene of urban destruction behind. Below the image but in the print is the text “S. Emidius M. Primus Asculi Epus. Pat. Per intercessionem S. Emidii a flagello terremotus libera nos Dne” (Saint Emygdius, martyr, first bishop of Asculi, father. Through the intercession of St. Emygdius, free us, Lord, from the scourge of the earthquake).

- The same prayer is printed also in a simple broadside prayer sheet (Rome and Camerino, Vincenzo Gori, 1785).

- The third item is an engraved invocational print, showing the saint interceding with Christ with an earthquake scene below. A port-town is depicted; this is probably Naples. The print, dated 1790, is by the Neapolitan print-maker Domenico dell’Acerra. Emygdius was an official protector of Naples; a text, within a cartouche below the image but within the plate, states a flagello terraemotus per intercessionem S. Emygdii Episcop. et Martiris tui protectoris nostri libera nos Domine(free us Lord from the scourge of the earthquake, through the intercession of Saint Emygdius, your bishop and martyr and our protector).


Three items, comprising: one sheet folded into bifolium, 25.6 cms., x 19.2 cms., with print, 165 mm. x 116 mm. to second page and letter press (facing) to third; one letter press broadside, 23.9 cms. x 15.8 cms.; and one print, 41.5 cms. x 26.2 cms. (27.6 cms. x 19.2 cms. within platemarks). The letter press pages with woodcut borders, woodcut initial (in second case), and further woodcut decoration (in first case). Light or medium browning and foxing.

No items in OCLC or SBN (01/21). On the cult of Emydius in Los Angeles see (accessed 15 January 2021). On the cult in San Francisco see (15 January 2021). See also Wikipedia page ‘Emygdius’ ( (15 January 2021).