Epistolae et evangelia, 1495

Augsburg: Erhard Ratdolt, 30 March 1495. (06285)

Immensely popular in Germany on the eve of the Reformation, the Epistolae et Evangelia provided a vernacular translation of the readings from the Epistles and Gospels that were designated for specific Sundays and holidays throughout the liturgical year. However, these books fell from favor during the Reformation, in which Catholic authorities enforced the use of Latin for liturgical readings, while Protestants had no use for them at all. This helps explain the rarity of this richly illustrated edition, which survives in only three recorded copies. Bridwell Library’s copy, still in its original binding, bears the ownership inscription of the largest Carthusian library in Europe, the Charterhouse in Gaming, Austria. Exhibited are the first readings of the liturgical year, for the first Sunday in Advent, taken from Romans 13 and Matthew 21.

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Printing in Germany
Epistolae et evangelia, 1495