Imitatio Christi in Spanish
[Thomas à Kempis (ca. 1380–1471)].
Contemptus mundi. Hecho por Juan Gerson Chanciller de Paris.
Toledo: Juan de Villaquiran, 1523. (BRB1418)
This Spanish translation of the Imitatio Christi bears the title Contemptus mundi (“contempt for the world).” Despite the existence of the autograph manuscript of the Imitatio Christi by Thomas à Kempis at Brussels (dated 1441) and the testimony of several contemporary sources, many early editions, such as this Spanish translation, were attributed to Jean Gerson (1363–1429), the influential theologian and Chancellor of the University of Paris. First published in Spanish translation at Zaragoza circa 1490, the Imitatio Christi was especially popular in Spain and exerted a profound influence on St. Ignatius of Loyola. The woodcut on the title page depicts the author writing at a desk within a monastic paradise: a walled garden containing flowers, trees, birds, rabbits, and a monkey.