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Crocus, Cornelius. Comoedia sacra cui titulus Joseph. Parisiis: Apud Christianum Wechelum, 1541. 8vo (14.8 cm, 5.82’’). 62 pp. $975.00
This successful Christian play on the life of Joseph the Patriarch followed in the wake of Gnaphaeus’s ground-breaking comoedia sacra, Acolastus. Relying on scant traces of early Christian drama, these novel plays brought biblical stories onto the secular stage through the dramatic and linguistic tradition of Terentian comedy, inventing => a Christian theater of a humanist nature blending moralism and linguistic refinement — one that proved a powerful didactic instrument for Christians and also for Latin-learning schoolchildren in post-Reformation Europe. (Cornelius Crocus (ca.1500–50), a Jesuit theologian and the dramatist here, was also a teacher at the Latin school in Amsterdam.)
First published in 1536 and here in its sixth edition, Joseph is printed in compact Italic with Wechel's woodcut printer’s device on both the title-page and the verso of the last leaf, and with two historiated woodcut initials in the text.
Provenance: On the title-page, 16th-century ownership inscription of François Couetoux and 17th-century pen trials (dated 1617) with Latin motto; indistinct 17th-century inscription on verso of last leaf.
WorldCat locates => one U.S. library (Harvard) reporting ownership of this edition.
Pettegree & Walsby, French Books, 63672. Not in Index Aurel.; not in DeBacker-Sommervogel. Disbound, outer edge close trimmed occasionally just touching shouldernotes, short closed tear or cut to lower edge to title-page not approaching print; text with limited light (often faint) waterstains to edges and light general soiling. => A good, representative survivor of an important hybrid tradition. (40845) Please RESHELVE This.
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