1499 Rationale Divinorum Officiorum by Guillaume Durand (13th century). Incunable. Lyon (Lugundi)


One of the most popular of medieval ecclesiastical works; this is a 1499 incunable printing of Guillame Durand's Rationale Divinorum Officiorum, which Durand wrote in Italy before 1286. The 15th century editor of this edition is Giovanni Alvise Toscani.

This copy delightful to review as there are many manicules and doodles added throughout the text in black, red, and a mix of both. And rather than the more common monastic doodling of pointing monk hands, these manicules (and doodles) are decidedly warrior-like, with unmistakable armor cladding and a few weapons.

“The Rationale… presents a picture of the liturgy of the 13th century in the West, studied in its various forms, its traditional sources, and its relation to the church buildings and furniture. It long served as a major authority on medieval Latin liturgy and ran through various editions from its first printing in 1459.” - Encyclopedia Britannica (1911, 11th ed.)

Incunable Short Title Catalogue - id00439500, noting eleven institutions holding a copy.

OCLC 558727827 and 405042872, noting again the British Library in Pancreas, and the BM Lyon holding copies, which are both in the ISTC.

About the Author -

He studied law at Bologna, with Bernardus of Parma, and by about 1264 was teaching canon law with success at Modena. Pope Clement IV called him to the pontifical court as a chaplain and auditor of the palace, and in 1274 he accompanied Clement's successor, Pope Gregory X, to the Second Council of Lyons, the constitutions of which he helped draw up. In the midst of the struggles between Guelfs and Ghibellines, Durand successfully defended the papal territories, both by diplomacy and by arms. Pope Honorius IV retained him in his offices, and although elected bishop of Mende in 1286, he remained in Italy until 1291. In 1295 he refused the archbishopric of Ravenna, offered him by Pope Boniface VIII, but accepted the task of pacifying his former provinces of Romagna and the March of Ancona. In 1296 he withdrew to Rome, where he died. His tomb is in the church of Santa Maria sopra Minerva.

About the Printer -

The printer did not claim his work. The Incunable Short Title Catalogue states - "CIBN assigns the printing to Jean Bachelier and possibly Pierre Bartelot, from the state of the types and letters. GW, Pellechet and IGI assign the printing to Jacques Maillet."

Physical Attributes -

Measures approx. 25 x 17.5 x 4.5 cm, 4to. Vellum binding, likely 18th century Spanish. "DURANT OPERA" in ink on spine. Faded remains of older titling along top-edge of text block. Two columns, gothic type. Some woodcut initials, and some guide letters (not filled in). Pagination - title leaf, tabula (2 leaves), ccxxiii (but last two leaves missing, here provided but printed by computer from a scan of another copy, on acid-free laid paper). 224 of 226 leaves. Gatherings signed z8, D8, E8 (but should be E10)

Condition -

See pictures. Binding later, likely 18th century Spanish, with wear and evidence of worming; has moisture marks. 2 cm. chip at top of spine. No endpapers. Rear pastedown removed exposing paper that makes up boards. Missing last two leaves (scanned copies, on acid-free paper provided from another copy). Some worming and water stains to text, worst at front and rear; mostly marginal in central text block. Ownership inscription on title page. Bookseller notes, in graphite, at rear of title page. Numerous doodles, manicules, underlines, etc., in an old hand, throughout text block. Occasional thumb mark. Mark in bottom margin of 49. 3 cm. mark in text of 52. Occasional foxing, mostly marginal. Graphite notes at top margin of 150. Some worming in text block, worst at rear gutter near top; the others mostly singular holes.

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