- Liturgies (6)
- Prayers (5)
- Benedict, Saint, Abbot of Monte Cassino (4)
- Benedictines (3)
- Miniatures (Illuminations) (3)
- Monastic and religious life (3)
- Bible (2)
- Bible. New Testament (2)
- Biography (2)
- Books of hours (2)
- Incunabula (2)
- Missals (2)
- Saints (2)
- Bible. Old Testament (1)
- Canon law (1)
- Catholic Church (1)
- Codex (1)
- Description and travel (1)
- Desert Fathers (1)
- Grand Sovereign Dynastic Hospitaller Order of Saint John (1)
- Illuminations (1)
- Knights of Malta (1)
- Koran (1)
- Musical scores (1)
- Psalms (1)
- Psalters (1)
- Reformation (1)
- Statutes (1)
- Syriac language (1)
- Woodcuts (1)
Type of Item
- Latin (13)
- Arabic (2)
- Ancient Greek (to 1453) (2)
- German (1)
- Modern Greek (1453-) (1)
- French (1)
- Italian (1)
- Syriac (1)
Description of Malta
Della descrittione di Malta (Description of Malta) was published during the first era of printing on the island of Malta. At the time, Malta was ruled by a religious order, the Order of the Hospital (also known as the Knights of Malta), which held the island as a fief from the Holy Roman Emperor. Because the order was exempt from the authority of the local bishop, there were often conflicts about ecclesiastical jurisdiction. To adjudicate between the order and the bishop, in 1561 the pope ordered a resident inquisitor to ...
Statutes of the Hospital of Jerusalem Knights of Malta
This book is perhaps the most beautifully produced collection of statutes in Western culture. Its original illustrations integrate woodcuts and engravings, and its type is beautifully designed. The purpose of the book was to aggrandize the power and authority of Grand Master of the Order of the Hospital (also known as the Knights of Malta or Knights Hospitaller) Hugues Loubens de Verdalle (1581–95). Verdalle became grand master at a time when the office was increasing in prestige and authority, both over its own knights and the people of Malta ...
Book of Hours of the Blessed Virgin Mary
This book of hours was written in Paris in the mid-15th century. Books of hours are devotional books for lay persons wishing to have a prayer schedule parallel to that of monastic communities, with prayers appointed for different times of the day. Such books were intended to facilitate direct communion with God and the saints, rather than exclusively through the church and the ordained clergy. Along with selections from the Psalms, they normally include a calendar of major feasts and saints’ days, selections from the Gospels, and prayers for the ...
Monastic Breviary and Missal (Bethune Breviary)
This early 14th-century parchment manuscript, known as the Bethune Breviary, is a prayer book used for daily monastic prayer. Normally, breviaries (so-called from their nature as condensations of texts from many separate books) contain the calendar, prayers, hymns, and liturgical readings for the Divine Office, but the Bethune Breviary also includes the canon for the mass (as in a missal or mass book). The codex contains the services for the first half of the ecclesiastical year, extending from the beginning of Advent to Easter Sunday, and from the feast of ...
Kacmarcik Book of Hours
This manuscript, known as the Kacmarcik Book of Hours, was produced in the early 16th century by an atelier (workshop) in Rouen, France. The miniatures manifest influences from workshops in Paris and Tours and feature rich colors and gold illumination. It is thought that these ateliers employed assembly-line production methods, meaning that several different illuminators may have worked under the supervision of a master miniaturist in order to keep the presentation consistent. The text of the Kacmarcik Book of Hours reflects the influence of the liturgical customs of Sarum (Salisbury ...
Liturgical Texts (Kacmarcik Codex)
This 14th-century manuscript was written in the Monastery of Saint Antony near the Red Sea in Egypt. It contains a unique set of prayers for the Eucharistic liturgy, displayed in parallel texts in both Greek and Arabic. These are the Order of the Liturgy, with the Anaphoras of Saint Basil, Saint Gregory the Theologian, and Saint Mark, along with prayers for the sick, the dead, and other needs. The Anaphora is part of the Divine Liturgy or mass, in which the bread and wine are consecrated as the body and ...
Book of the Holy Gospel of Our Lord and God Jesus Christ
The first printing of the Syriac New Testament appeared thanks to the patronage of Ferdinand I, to whom a long preface is dedicated to begin the book. Johann Albrecht Widmanstetter (1506-1557) and Moses of Mardin, on whose handwriting the Syriac type for the book was based, were the forces behind the work. This Syriac type was produced by Kaspar Kraft under the direction of the French Orientalist Guillaume Postel (1510-1581). This edition of the New Testament has James, 1 Peter, and 1 John, but not the other General Epistles or ...
The Holy Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ
The Typographia Medicea (Medici Oriental Press) was founded in 1584 by Cardinal Ferdinando de’ Medici for the purpose of printing Christian texts in Middle Eastern languages, including Arabic, Turkish, and Syriac. This Arabic gospel was produced by the press in 1590–91. The beautiful cursive Arabic type, designed by Robert Granjon (1513–90), represented an advance on all previous European attempts at creating an Arabic typeface. The fine engravings by Leonardo (Norsino) Parasole (circa 1570–1630) are after designs by Antonio Tempesta (1555–1630), who was in turn inspired by ...
Order for the Lord's Supper
This German text of the Ordnu[n]g des Herren Nachtmal (Order for the Lord's Supper) provides an inside view of the developing Christian Reformation in the 16th century. Martin Bucer (1491–1551) led the reforms in Strassburg (present-day Strasbourg, France), and this pamphlet of 24 pages documents the changes underway in the mass—the central liturgical service of the church—and in the rite of baptism and the blessing of marriage. The Ordnung includes printed music for the sung parts of the liturgy as well as woodcuts of ...
On Monastic Vows
De votis monasticis (On monastic vows) is Martin Luther’s attack on the monastic life. Coming just four years after he posted his 95 theses in Wittenberg, the work was an important component of his broader plans for reforming the Christian church in the West. In this booklet, which was written during his stay at Wartburg Castle in 1521—a time when Luther was moving beyond his attacks on indulgences to other issues—the great reformer argued that monks and nuns can violate their vows without committing a sin, since ...
Leaf from a Benedictine Psalter
The 1459 Psalterium Benedictinum cum canticis et hymnis (Benedictine Psalter with canticles and hymns) was the third major project from the cradle of printing in Mainz, and the earliest example of a Benedictine printed book. After Johann Gutenberg printed his famous Bible of circa 1455, his principal creditor, Johannes Fust (1400−66), sued to recover his investment and was awarded Gutenberg's press and its accoutrements. Fust and Peter Schöffer of Mainz then went into business together, printing a Psalter arranged for the Roman Divine Office in 1457, and a ...
The Qur’an in the Earliest Printed Version, with the Life and Teachings of Muhammad and Other Works
This volume contains the first-ever printing of the Qur’an, presented in the 12th-century Latin translation by the English scholar Robert of Ketton. This translation was commissioned by Abbot Peter the Venerable of the monastery of Cluny in France, who was also responsible for monasteries in Spain. Islam was still a strong presence in Spain in the 1300s, although Muslim control of the Iberian Peninsula was waning. When this edition was printed 400 years later, Islam was again a pressing concern for Christian authorities: in 1529 the Ottoman Turkish sultan ...
Mirror and Example for the Worshippers of Christ: the Life of the Blessed Father Benedict, Most Holy Patriarch of Monks
Speculum & exemplar Christicolarum: vita beatissimi patris Benedicti monachorum patriarchae sanctissimi (Mirror and example for the worshippers of Christ: the life of the blessed Father Benedict, most holy patriarch of monks) is an illustrated life of Saint Benedict of Nursia (circa 480–547), with a poetic text by Dom Angelus Fagius Sangrinus (1500–93), abbot of Monte Cassino. The abbey was established by Benedict in about 529. This version of the life of Benedict, the patriarch of Western monasticism, is based on Book II of the Dialogues traditionally ascribed to Saint ...
Portraits of the Saints of the Order of Saint Benedict, Printed with Copper Plates, with Praises from Their Lives
This book is an illustrated calendar of Benedictine saints, marking the annual feast of each with an illustration and a brief introduction. Its German provenance is clear from the fact that it includes, in addition to Saint Benedict and his Italian disciples (Benedict himself on March 21, his sister Scholastica on February 10, Maur on January 15, and Placid on October 5), numerous monastic saints revered for their life and work in the German lands. The latter include Adalbert, Aemilianus, Amalarius, Alcuin, Bede, Boniface, Columbanus, Elisabeth, Emmeram, Gertrude, Gregory, Kilian ...
Four Books of Dialogues
This book is a copy of the first printed edition of the Dialogues traditionally ascribed to Saint Gregory the Great (540–604, pope 590–604). The first three books of the Dialogues recount the deeds of Italian saints, with the second book devoted entirely to Saint Benedict (circa 480–547), author of the famous Rule of Benedict for monks and founder of the abbey and monastery of Monte Cassino near Rome. Gregory's literary portrait of Benedict has provided the iconography for the ornamentation of Benedictine monasteries and manuscripts through ...
Rule of Our Holy Father Benedict
This copy of the Rule of Benedict is accompanied by the essential documents important for monks of the Congregation of Santa Giustina in Padua, Italy, one of the major 15th-century reform movements among Benedictines in Europe. Included are the constitutions of the congregation, which explain their interpretation and the application of Benedict's sixth-century rule to the congregation’s own time and place, special privileges accorded to the congregation by the pope, and policies related to the Benedictine nuns who were affiliated with the congregation. Saint Benedict (circa 480–547 ...
Conferences of the Fathers
Collationes partum (Conferences of the fathers) is the first printed edition of this work by John Cassian (circa 360–circa 435), an important early Latin monastic author who greatly influenced Saint Benedict of Nursia (circa 480–547) and Saint Gregory the Great (pope 590–604). Known as one of the “Desert Fathers,” Cassian in this work presents the teaching of monks he encountered in Egypt in his youth, adapted to the conditions of monastic life in southern Gaul (present-day France) decades later. The Conferences offer an early model of the ...