Opus arduum valde is a Latin commentary on the Book of Revelation, written in England by an unknown scholarly author in the years 1389–1390. The book originated from the early Wycliffite movement and reflects its experience of persecution in apocalyptic terms. In England it soon fell into oblivion, but was adopted by radical exponents of the fifteenth-century Bohemian Hussites. In the sixteenth century Luther obtained a copy of the
Opus arduum valde which he had printed in Wittenberg with his own preface in 1528. This remarkable document of religious dissent in late medieval Europe, highly regarded in Lollard and Hussite studies, is now for the first time made available in a critical edition.
Romolo Cegna (1925–2018) was Director of the Italian Cultural Institute and Cultural Attaché at the Embassy of Italy in Poland and held professorships in medieval religious history and Hussitism at the University of Warsaw and at the State University of Milan.
Christoph Galle, Dr. phil. (2012), Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen, is Postdoc in Medieval History. His publications deal with aspects of the political, social and cultural history of the Middle Ages as well as medieval Latin philology and palaeography.
Wolf-Friedrich Schäufele, Dr. theol. (1997), Philipps-Universität Marburg, is Professor of Church History and author of several monographs and articles on medieval, Reformation and early modern Christianity, including
Kirchengeschichte II: Vom Spätmittelalter bis zur Gegenwart (Ev. Verlagsanstalt, 2021).
Introduction: The Opus arduum valde: Origin—Character—Tradition—Edition Wolf-Friedrich Schäufele 1
Opus arduum valde: The Title 2
The Author 3
The Current Situation 4
Date and Place of Writing 5
The Prologues 7
Content and Main Aspects 8
The Theological Profile of the OAV 9
An Attempt to Identify the Author 10
The OAV in Bohemia 11
The Manuscripts 12
Reconstruction of the History of Transmission and Formation of a Stemma Codicum Excursus: The Transmission of OAV 7 13
The Edition by Martin Luther 14
Opus arduum valde
Scholars in late medieval apocalypticism and biblical interpretation, of Wycliffism and Lollardy, and of Hussitism. Keywords: Antichrist, Apocalypticism, Biblical Interpretation, Hussitism, Lollardy, Wycliffism.