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Discovering the Riches of the Word

Religious Reading in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe


Edited by Sabrina Corbellini, Margriet Hoogvliet and Bart Ramakers

The contributions to Discovering the Riches of the Word. Religious Reading in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe offer an innovative approach to the study of religious reading from a long term and geographically broad perspective, covering the period from the thirteenth to the seventeenth century and with a specific focus on the fifteenth and the sixteenth centuries.
Challenging traditional research paradigms, the contributions argue that religious reading in this “long fifteenth century” should be described in terms of continuity. They make clear that in spite of confessional divides, numerous reading practices continued to exist among medieval and early modern readers, as well as among Catholics and Protestants, and that the two groups in certain cases even shared the same religious texts.

Contributors include: Elise Boillet, Sabrina Corbellini, Suzan Folkerts, Éléonore Fournié, Wim François, Margriet Hoogvliet, Ian Johnson, Hubert Meeus, Matti Peikola, Bart Ramakers, Elisabeth Salter, Lucy Wooding, and Federico Zuliani.

Jan Moretus and the Continuation of the Plantin Press (2 Vols.)

A Bibliography of the Works published and printed by Jan Moretus I in Antwerp (1589-1610)


Dirk Imhof

Honourable Mention at 17th ILAB Breslauer Prize for Bibliography (2018)

The Plantin Press was one of the best known printing-publishing enterprises in the sixteenth century. In many ways, this bibliography builds and expands upon Leon Voet’s well-known publication The Plantin Press.
This bibliography of Jan Moretus I, Christopher Plantin's successor, documents the activities of the Plantin Press during the years 1589 till 1610. It contains descriptions of his own editions and other works printed by him. The extensive bibliography contains 704 descriptions of the Jan Moretus editions and lists over 500 announcements that he printed for the city of Antwerp.


Agnieszka Helman-Ważny

In Archaeology of Tibetan Books, Agnieszka Helman-Ważny explores the varieties of artistic expression, materials, and tools that have shaped Tibetan books over the millennia. Digging into the history of the bookmaking craft, the author approaches these ancient texts primarily through the lens of their artistry, while simultaneously showing them as physical objects embedded in pragmatic, economic, and social frameworks. She provides analyses of several significant Tibetan books—which usually carry Buddhist teachings—including a selection of manuscripts from Dunhuang from the 1st millennium C.E., examples of illuminated manuscripts from Western and Central Tibet dating from the 15th century, and fragments of printed Tibetan Kanjurs from as early as 1410. This detailed study of bookmaking sheds new light on the books' philosophical meanings.


Edited by Nick Thompson

Martin Bucer's De vera et falsa caenae dominicae administratione marks the collapse of his hopes for a negotiated settlement of the Reformation in Germany. He completed the work in March 1546 as fresh negotiations between Catholic and Protestant theologians reached an impasse in Regensburg, as the second session of the Council of Trent was meeting, and as Charles V prepared to make war on the Protestant League of Schmalkalden. At one level the work deals with the church's authority to regulate the celebration of the Lord's Supper, but at a more fundamental level it challenges moderate Catholics such as the humanist scholar Bartholomaeus Latomus to decide whether their ultimate loyalties lie with pope and council or with Christ and his Gospel.

Great Books on Horsemanship

Bibliotheca Hippologica Johan Dejager

Edited by Koert van der Horst

This lavishly illustrated encyclopedic reference work brings together and organizes virtually all the great works on horses published in the first two and a half centuries following the invention of printing. It covers over 350 rare books, acquired by the Belgian collector Johan Dejager, ranging from the late fifteenth to the early nineteenth century. A particular emphasis is placed on horsemanship, riding masters, veterinary science, and the cavalry. Biographical accounts of the 175 authors behind the books are included, as well as bibliographical descriptions of the original items. The book also offers a number of insightful essays. Thus, this unique volume invites readers to travel through the assorted historical documents as they collectively shed light onto the unparalleled importance, value, and beauty of the horse.

Memory, Family, and Self

Tuscan Family Books and Other European Egodocuments (14th-18th Century)


Giovanni Ciappelli

The family book, a kind of diary written by and about the family for its various members, was established by scholars as a genre in Italy in the 1980s. Although initially regarded as an Italian genre, the family book can also be found in other parts of Europe. Nevertheless, the genre can be traced back to Florence, where it first emerged and consequently flourished with the lavish production of such documents. This abundance springs from the social structure of the city, where such texts were essential for establishing and cultivating the basis for the social promotion of Florentine families. This book presents a reconstruction of the evolution and persistency of Tuscan family books, as well as a study of several aspects of social history, including: reading and private libraries, domestic devotion, and the memory of historical events. Starting with the Renaissance, the investigation then broadens to the 17th-18th centuries and considers other forms of memory, such as private diaries and autobiographies. A final section is dedicated to the issue of memory in the egodocuments of early modern Europe.

This book was translated by Susan Amanda George.

The Ritual Practice of Time

Philosophy and Sociopolitics of Mesoamerican Calendars


Lars Kirkhusmo Pharo

Calendars of Mesoamerican civilisations are subjected to what is categorised as “ritual practices of time”. This book is a comparative explication of rituals of time of four calendars: the Long Count calendar, the 260-day calendar, the 365-day calendar and the 52-years calendar. Building upon a comparative analytical model, the book contributes new theoretical insights about ritual practices and temporal philosophies. This comprehensive investigation analyses how ritual practices are represented and conceptualised in intellectual systems and societies. The temporal ritual practices are systematically analysed in relation to calendar organisation and structure, arithmetic, cosmogony and chronometry, spatial-temporality (cosmology), natural world, eschatology, sociology, politics, and ontology. It is argued that the 260-day calendar has a particular symbolic importance in Mesoamerican temporal philosophies and practices.


Edited by Karl A. E.. Enenkel

Commentaries played an important role in the transmission of the classical heritage. Early modern intellectuals rarely read classical authors in a simple and “direct” form, but generally via intermediary paratexts, especially all kinds of commentaries. Commentaries presented the classical texts in certain ways that determined and guided the readers’ perception and usages of the texts being commented upon. Early modern commentaries shaped not only school and university education and professional scholarship, but also intellectual and cultural life in the broadest sense, including politics, religion, art, entertainment, health care, geographical discoveries etc., and even various professional activities and segments of life that were seemingly far removed from scholarship and learning, such as warfare and engineering.

Contributors include: Susanna de Beer, Valéry Berlincourt, Marijke Crab, Jeanine De Landtsheer, Karl Enenkel, Gergő Gellérfi, Trine Arlund Hass, Ekaterina Ilyushechkina, Ronny Kaiser, Marc Laureys, Christoph Pieper, Katharina Suter-Meyer, and Floris Verhaart.


Domenic Leo

The "Vows of the Peacock" - written in 1312 and dedicated to Thibaut de Bar, bishop of Liège - recounts how Alexander the Great comes to the aid of a family of aristocrats threatened by Indians. The poem remained popular throughout the fourteenth century and was soon followed by two sequels. Twenty-six illuminated manuscripts constitute part of a catalogue and concordance of all Peacock manuscripts. One of the most provocative, (PML, MS G24), has twenty-two miniatures which illustrate chivalry and courtly love, as epitomized in the text. An unusually high number of scurrilous marginalia, however, surround them. An interdisciplinary exploration of iconography, reception, image-text-marginalia dynamics, and context reveals their ultimate polysemy as scatological comedians and serious harbingers of sin.

Social Imagery in Middle Low German

Didactical Literature and Metaphorical Representation (1470-1517)


Cordelia Hess and Cordelia Heß

Social imagery during the Late Middle Ages was typically considered to be dominated by the three orders oratores, bellatores, laboratores as the most common way of describing social order, along with body metaphors and comprehensive lists of professions as known from the Danse macabre tradition. None of these actually dominates within the vast genre of lay didactical literature.
This book comprises the first systematic investigation of social imagery from a specific late medieval linguistic context. It methodically catalogues images of the social that were used in a particular cultural/literary sphere, and it separates late medieval efforts at catechization in print from the social and religious ruptures that are conventionally thought to have occurred after 1517. The investigation thus compliments recent scholarship on late medieval vernacular literature in Germany, most of which has concentrated on southern urban centres of production. The author fills a major lacuna in this field by concentrating for the first time on the entire extant corpus of vernacular print production in the northern region dominated by the Hanseatic cities and the Middle Low German dialect.