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Lot 0270

[Henrich Petri]. Mikropresbutikon vetervm qvorvndam breuium theologorum, sive Episcoporum sive Presbyterorum aut sacri ordinis aliorum, qui aut tempore apostolorum aut non multo post vixerunt elenchus. Basel, Henrich Petri, 1550.

Folio (315x202 mm), unbound, preserved in an elegant cloth, pp. [xviii], 662.
Woodcut printers device at tile-page and last leaf.

Scarce first and only edition of this collection of apocryphal texts of the Church of the origins.

Heinrich Petri, the brave typographer that printed Copernicus scandalous book in 1543, is the author of this collection that «contains 32 works, most of them hitherto unpublished, by early pre-Christian and Christian authors including the letters of Ignatius and Dionysius the Aeropagite whose authenticity is not questioned, the letters of Martial, Philo's Antiquitates biblicae, Athenagoras'De mortuorum resurrectione, Ratramnus'De corpore et sanguine Domini and The Testaments of the twelve Patriarchs in the traslation of Robert Grosseteste. In 1555 Petri published the first edition of Ortodoxographa which included all the writings published in the Mikropresbutikon with new 44 texts added [...] Although none of these collections were intended as manuals of any sort, they were obviously published with the aim of helping theologians see a different, less confessionally oriented aspect of the Early Church, and of showing its links with pagan culture and civilisation» (Backus).

The book was obviously put in the Index of Forbidden Books.

Van Liere: «The literature of Church history exploded in the Renaissance and Reformation. Ancient, medieval, and modern Church histories, martyrologies, collective biographies, and liturgies went through the press, some of theme numerous times. New forms of Church historical literature also took shape. Beginning with Flacius Illyricus, Lutherans, Calvinists, and Catholics drew up guides to the literature of the Church, some of which included extensive bibliographies of published and unpublished sources as well as hermeneutical suggestions about to read them. A vaste range of apocryphal and pseudepigraphical texts”such as those included in the Basel collections Mikropresbutikon (1550) and Monumenta S. patrum ortodoxographa (1569)” expanded ideas about what the early Church had really been like».

Provenance: A small inscription in hebrew type at title-page.

References: Not appeared on the market in the last century. IT\ICCU\BVEE\008860. OCLC, 64305725. Katherine Van Liere,Simon Ditchfield,Howard Louthan (editors), Sacred History: Uses of the Christian Past in the Renaissance World, Oxford University Press, 2012, p. 7. Irena Dorota Backus, Historical Method and Confessional Identity in the Era of the Reformation (1378-1615), Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2003, p. 254.


A very fine copy.

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[Church, Forbidden Books] Mikropresbutikon, 1550

Estimate €1,000 - €1,500
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