Friday, October 25, 2013

Christian Egenolff as author

I've had an interest for quite some time in Christian Egenolff, one of the Frankfurt printers specializing in popular works and vernacular literature in the mid-16th century. He makes an appearance in Printing and Prophecy as the compiler of a popular and influential collection of prophetic works published in 1548-50, and he shows up again briefly in a new project I'm working on. This week, the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek released a digital edition of a chronicle with Egenolff as the author, so I was curious what the list of published work written by Egenolff looks like. A quick look at VD16 finds four titles, including a proverb collection, two defenses written in Latin against accusations made by others, and three editions of his chronicle. Here is the entire list:
  1. Sibenthalb hundert Sprichwörter / Wie und wo sie in Teutscher Spraach / von zier und bkürtzung wegen der rede / gebraucht werdenn (VD16 E 577). 1532.
  2. Chronic von an und abgang aller Welt wesenn. Auß den glawbwirdigsten Historien / On alle Gloß unnd Zůsatz / Nach Historischer warheyt beschriben. Künig / Keyser / unnd fürneme Personen / nach warer fürbildung Controfeit (VD16 E 573). 1533. BSB facsimile.
  3. Chronica / Von an und abgang aller Weltwesen. Auß den glaubwirdigsten Historien / beschriben (VD16 E 574). 1534.
  4. Chronica / Beschreibung und gemeyne anzeyge / Vonn aller Wellt herkommen/ Fürnämen Lannden / Stande / Eygenschafften / Historien / wesen / manier / sitten / an und abgang. Ausz den glaubwirdigsten Historien / On all Glose und Zůsatz / Nach Historischer Warheit beschriben (VD16 E 575). 1535. BSB facsimile.
  5. Adversum illiberales Leonharti Fuchsii, Medici Tubingensis, calumnias, Responsio Christiani Egenolphi, Typographi Francofortani (VD16 E 572). 1544. BSB facsmile 1, facsimile 2.
  6. Defensio Christiani Egenolphi, ad Dn. Conradi Lagi, Iurecos. Protestationem, qua in eum, ob uulgatos de doctrina Iuris Commentarios, publicè edito Scripto invectus est (VD16 E 576). 1544.
Of course, calling Egenolff the author of his chronicle may be overstating his role somewhat. A quick look finds that the text is borrowed in large sections from the chronicles of Hartmann Schedel (who borrowed his text from many others), Sebastian Franck (who borrows heavily from Schedel and others), and especially from Johannes Carion (who borrows as well).

Friday, October 18, 2013

Are VD16 and VD17 continuous?

Do seventeenth-century editions get cataloged in VD17 with the same thoroughness as sixteenth-century editions get cataloged in VD16? The VD17 database is a younger project than VD16, so one might wonder if the cataloging has not have advanced as far. If that were the case, we might expect to see a plunge in the number of editions recorded in VD16/17 between 1600 and 1601. This sudden decline would be an artifact of bibliography, however, rather than a reflection of actual conditions in the German book trade at the turn of the seventeenth century. It would be useful to know about this accident of bibliography to prevent ourselves from misinterpreting data, for example by thinking that we observe a decline in some segment of the publishing industry between 1590 and 1610 that had no actual historical basis.

So, is the transition from VD16 to VD17 smooth or continuous? The answer is: smooth.
Figure 1: Editions recorded in VD16 and VD17, 1590-1610 (total and by format)

VD17 seems to have caught up with VD16 enough that no discernible gap exists between the two. Here is the graph of total editions (orange) and a breakdown by format (folios, quartos, and octavos are blue, grey, and orange, respectively). Between 1600 and 1601, nothing interesting happens. (The jump in total editions in 1602 that isn't reflected in the individual formats is based primarily on a rise in duodecimo editions and editions without format data, by the way.)

An earlier look at the transition of incunable editions printed in Germany (as recorded in ISTC and GW) to early sixteenth-century editions in VD16 also found no gap.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Reading pseudo-Vincent Ferrer in 1529

Of the fifteen editions of pseudo-Vincent Ferrer's De fine mundi published between 1475 and 1582 (ten in Latin, five in German translation), the edition published by Peter Quentel in Cologne in 1529 (VD16 ZV 20103; Vienna facsimile here) is unusual in that it describes the circumstances of its discovery and why one contemporary reader found it worth publishing. The first two pages reprint a letter from Georg Steyn, pastor in Kirchheim by Heidelberg, to Ortwin Gratius (1475-1542). Here is a first attempt at a partial translation of Steyn's Latin:

Georg Steyn, master of arts and governor of the Christian flock in Kirchheim by Heidelberg, offers greetings to the stalwart doctor of the liberal arts and learned director of the Quentel print shop, Ortwin Gratius.

Most learned Ortwin, a few days ago I came upon a very old little book in the library of the Dominicans in Heidelberg, covered in dust and mold. On opening it, I found the renowned teacher St. Vincent’s prognostication on the end of the world, which brought me great delight. When I asked to borrow it from the prior of the Dominicans, Johannes Cronaberg, a man of the most genial character (lest I say anything that sounds too lofty about an exceedingly modest man), he generously acceded to my wishes….

We see unheard of evils growing daily and taking root so that it is no surprise that the Most High God chastens mortals with plagues also unknown before our time. Who does not see that the world lies in evil, Christian charity has grown cold (lest I say that it is entirely uprooted), and people are engulfed in the chasm of all sin?...

See how the heretics seek to besiege the walls of the faithful soul with the battering-rams of error and plunder them, and how they attempt to pollute the sacraments of the Church by their pestilential and foreign doctrines….

Therefore such filth is a portent of great confusion and uproar. From that little book, we can carefully determine that the fire and smoke are near, and the day of conflagration can hardly be far off. For the sinner (as St. Augustine said), who took no thought of God his creator while he lived, is struck by this punishment that he forgets himself. Your role therefore, O dearest Gratius, who are the most faithful cultivator of the vineyard of the Lord of Hosts, will be to consider this little book, enwreathed by various little flowers of scripture, for the common benefit of mankind. You will return with no small profit for God and man. I have left the style of this tract as I found it, considering how that holy man made manifest great and hidden mysteries in simple style. Farewell, with fond regards from your Georg. From Heidelberg, August 22 [X. Calendas Septemb.], 1529.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Wolfgang Lazius, Catalogus aliquot antiquorum Vaticiniorum (1554)

For late medieval and early modern prophecies, Wolfgang Lazius's 1547 Fragmentum vaticinii (VD16 ZV 9507) is an essential sixteenth-century source that seems to collect some passage or other from just about everything that might relate to Austria and the house of Habsburg in some way. (For the Fragmentum, the basic reading is Gerard Jaspers, “Die deutschen Textfragmente in den lateinischen Werken des Wolfgang Lazius,” in In diutscher diute: Festschrift für Anthonÿ van der Lee zum sechzigsten Geburtstag, ed. M. A. van den Broek and Gerard Jaspers, 56–73, Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1983.) It doesn't seem to be the only such work that Lazius compiled, however. In Johannes Rasch's 1584 Vaticiniorum liber primus (VD16 R 323), Rasch lists both the Fragmentum in the list of works to which he is responding, and another work:
Catalogus aliquot antiquorum Vaticiniorum quibus inclytae Austriae Domus contra mille Satanae ac eius comlicum insidias Victoria fuit praedicta. Wolfg. Lazii. 4. Viennae. 1554. (fol. a3r)
In other words, Rasch claimed to have a 1554 quarto edition printed in Vienna of a work similar but not identical to the Fragmentum vaticinii, which Rasch lists separately. No copy is listed in VD16, but Raimund Duellius included the work in his list of Lazius's works in 1730, so the work seems to have existed at some point.

So I would very much like to see a facsimile of this work, which seems to exist in one copy in Prague:
CATALOGVS ALIQVOT ANTIQVORVM VATICINIORVM, QVIBVS INCLYTAE AVSTRIAE domus contra mille Sathanae, ac eius complicum insidias victoria fuit praedicta = Ain auffmerckung ettlicher gar alter Propheteyen, so vor ettlich vnd hundert Jaren außgangen, vnnd erfunden worden sein Darin des Edln Haus Osterreych bleyblicher, vnnd wider Jedermans maynung löblicher Stand vnd Victoria geweyssagt wird. [s.l.: s.n., po r. 1550]. [31] listů ; 4° (20 cm)