4to, pp. , 423, ; woodcut arms of Innocent XI to title, woodcut initials and tailpieces; paper flaw to lower outer corner of L4 and slight marginal paper flaw to Cc5, some foxing and spotting; overall very good in contemporary stiff vellum, spine in compartments, title inked at head; a few small marks; book label to front pastedown of Henri Sauvé (1817-1896, writer on religious matters).
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Il Cardinale della S.R. Chiesa pratico di Gio. Battista de Luca nell’ozio Tusculano della Primavera dell’anno 1675. Con alcuni squarci della relazione della corte circa le congregazioni, e le cariche cardinalizie.
Scarce first edition of this thorough work on the cardinalate by the Italian jurist and cardinal De Luca (1614–1683). De Luca studied and practiced law at Naples before moving to Rome in 1645, where he established his reputation as one of Italy’s pre-eminent jurists and worked closely with Innocent XI to reform the Roman Curia.
A prolific writer, De Luca here shines the light of his knowledge and experience on all matters to do with cardinals. Beginning with the College of Cardinals, he discusses, for example, their number, the manner of their election and removal from office, their dress, their powers, jurisdiction and emoluments, the qualities and knowledge required of them (here he names several cardinals distinguished for their erudition in theology, literature, and law), and their role during sede vacante and in the election of Popes. De Luca then examines the various Congregations of the Roman Curia, such as those for the Holy Inquisition, for Sacred Rites, for the Index of Forbidden Books, and for the Propagation of the Faith, and ends by detailing the roles of special types of cardinals, such as the Camerlengo and the Cardinal Librarian (referring to the Vatican Library).
Only one copy traced in the US, at Berkeley Law Library. Library Hub shows three copies in the UK (British Library, John Rylands Library, Worcester College Oxford).
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