12mo, ff. 169, , [1 (blank)], followed by 13 pp. of manuscript in a sixteenth-century hand; woodcut device to title, large woodcut initials throughout; a little foxing to title, small marginal wormhole to first two leaves, margins occasionally cut close (touching marginal notes); overall very good in contemporary calf, spine gilt in compartments and lettered directly in gilt; some worming at head and tail of spine with loss of endcaps, some wear to corners; remains of red wax seal to upper pastedown, inscription ‘Troufflaut 1819’ to title and a note by him to the front free endpaper verso.
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Exercitia D. Ioannis Thauleri piissima, super vita et passione salvatoris nostri Iesu Christi, in gratiam ac sitientium salutem, ex idiomate Germanico in Latinum nuper versa. His, eiusdem fere argumenti alia prorsus divina accesseru[n]t, auctore D.
Scarce edition (first 1548) of this devotional work on the life and passion of Christ, this copy with a near contemporary manuscript appendix by a Carthusian and with interesting provenance.
Spuriously attributed to the German Dominican Johannes Tauler (c. 1300–1361), one of the greatest mystics and preachers of the Middle Ages, the Exercitia super vita et passione Jesu Christi are here presented in the Latin translation of Laurentius Surius (1523–1578), the German Carthusian hagiographer. Arranged in fifty-five chapters, the text comprises reflections on various episodes from Christ’s life (in particular the Passion), interspersed with prayers and confessions. The final quarter of the volume is devoted to further spiritual exercises by the Dutch theologian Nicolas van Essche (1507–1578) covering knowledge of God and oneself, penitence, mortification, sins and virtues, love for others, and union with God.
The thirteen pages of elegantly written manuscript notes in Latin and French which follow the printed text relate to indulgences granted to members of the Carthusian order. They explain the requirements for obtaining indulgences – reciting the Seven Penitential Psalms if literate, repeating the Lord’s Prayer and Hail Mary twenty-five times if illiterate, or listening to them if too sick to speak – and provide a calendar listing the feast days on which these devotions are to be performed, and quantifying the indulgences in terms of years relief from penance, e.g. 158,000 years if performed on Epiphany (6 January).
Provenance: with the ownership inscriptions of Gilbert Trouflaut (1736–1820), canon and organist at Nevers cathedral, friend of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and a noted botanist and naturalist who established the botanical garden at Nevers. His note to the front endpaper reads ‘Ce livre inspire la plus tendre et la plus touchante piété sur la vie de Jesus Christ notre divin rédempteur’.
Adams T272. OCLC records three copies in the US (California State, Marquette, and Stanford); Library Hub shows two in the UK (London Library and Westminster College Cambridge).
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