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Caracciolo, Roberto (Robertus Caracciolus). Prediche de frate Roberto vulgare. [colophon: Mediolani:: per Iohanne[m] Angelu[m] Scinzenzeler, 1509 (die xxviiii nouemb.). 4to (20.5 cm, 8"). , 73 ff. $2,250.00
Roberto Caracciolo (1425–95, a.k.a. Fra Roberto Da Lezze) was a Franciscan friar and "is considered, along with Giovanni da Capistrano (c. 1425–1495) and Giacomo dalla Marca (1393–1476), one of the most popular preachers of the so-called 'second wave' of fifteenth-century Franciscan preachers" (McMichael, p. 328). His sermons were in Latin as well as Italian, were published beginning in the 1470s, and were immensely popular because of their (sometimes criticized) theatricality. Well into the 16th century, compilations of them such as this one provided preachers of less skill with ready-made sermons on topics, as here, such as the fear of God, envy, charity, the nature of Hell, abstinence, and the Grace of God.
This volume begins with a title-page inviting the reader in via => a wonderful large Italian Renaissance woodcut of a preacher in the pulpit addressing parishioners (men standing, women seated). The text is in a dense roman with many three-line woodcut initials. Regarding those initials, there is one curious anomaly: The printer apparently did not have a small woodcut "F" and so used a lower case "f," thus creating the appearance of a "guide-letter" setting of type.
Binding: A mid-15th-century bifolium from an Italian manuscript copy of Alexander de Villa-Dei's Doctrinale puerorum has been used as limp wrappers. Accented at each line with red, the text of approximately 140 lines is embellished with => two two-line red initials and another, five-line red initial accented in green and blue. A very popular versified treatise on grammar, the Doctrinale puerorum was written sometime around 1200–25(ish); it remained popular throughout the Middle Ages and well into the age of print. (We thank Eric Johnson of the Special Collections Department of the Ohio State University Library for help identifying the leaf.)
EDIT16 locates only one copy of this edition of Caracciolo's work and WorldCat, COPAC, and KVK find => none.
EDIT16 CNCE 74448. This edition not in Index Aurel. On Caracciolo, see: Steven J. McMichael, "Roberto Caracciolo da Lecce and His Sermons on Muhammad and the Muslims (C. 1480)," in Franciscans and Preaching (Leiden: Brill, 2012); and Contemporaries of Erasmus, I, pp. 295–96. Bound as above, with a 2.5" tear in vellum of front wrapper without loss and without touching ink; wrapper and text with a line of old pencilling each, old waterstaining (generally light), and signs of arrested mildew. Two small holes in lower margin of title-leaf touching one word on its verso; a few pin-hole type wormholes in inner margins and a few in text. => A survivor within another survivor. (40681) Please RESHELVE This.
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