Sommertheil der Postill. Evangelischer warheit un rechter Catholischer Lehr, uber die Evangelia. Mainz, Franz Behem, 1558. (Bound with:) Sommertheil der Postill. De Sanctis. Mainz, Franz Behem, 1559

WILD Johann (1559)


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Two title pages printed in red and black, both with woodcut printer's devices. Woodcut of the crucifixion in the first part, and woodcut arms of Archbishop of Mainz Daniel von Bottes in second part. Blackletter with some italic Roman type. 

2 parts in one volume. Folio (320 x 210mm). [6], 501 (ie. 500)ff; [4], 161 (ie. 162), [1]ff. Contemporary German pigskin over wooden boards, covers panelled in blind with outer border of floral ornament, inner border with historiated roll depicting Christ, David, Paul, and John the Baptist (variant of r001326), dated 1549 with initials 'K.D.', central panel with floral stamp and roll, spine with four raised bands and MS shelfmark at foot, catches intact (lacking clasps, repairs to head and foot of spine and at corners, minor worming of covers and spine, general wear to extremities). 


Two works by Franciscan preacher at Mainz, Johann Wild (1495-1554). As with many of Wild's works these are reprints of sermons which first appeared in print before his death (from the press of the same Mainz printer, Franz Behem), prepared for publication with the help of Wild's successor at Mainz, Philip Acker (Agricola). It is estimated that editions of Wild's writings ran to almost 200 after his death (OER, 273), testament to his popularity as a preacher of a moderate middle way amidst the polemical invective of the Reformation. 'The rapidity with which Wild's works were printed and translated in Germany and elsewhere after 1550 was so intense as to beg the question: what Catholic intellectual was not assiduously reading his works?' (Frymire, 333). The translation from pulpit sermon to printed page drew the attention of censors and in 1596 his works were condemned outright by the Vatican and placed on the Index, where they remained until 1900. 

Provenance: Little is known of the author of the elaborate, hand-drawn and painted ex-libris on the front paste-down. A bearded male figure stands astride three mounds within a crest, dressed entirely in red and holding three stalks of wheat in his right hand (perhaps roggenähren, ears of rye, possibly indicating Roggenburg in Bavaria). The inscription 'Joannes Salicetus alias Wideman Possessor' above it gives few clues, but may well point to Johann Wiedemann (also known as Salicetus), a professor at the University of Ingolstadt who taught dialectics there from 1536 (Kobolt, 258) and was Rector from 1541. He wrote several eulogies, including one on Johann Eck, 'Threnis in Obitum Jo. Eckii Theologi et Erasmi Wolfii Epicedio' (1543); and 'Elegia contra Petri Lempergii Gorlic. calumniam' (1544). 

Beneath the hand-drawn ex libris on the front paste-down are two further marks of ownership: the first a small figure both branded and inked, with devil-like horns, imitating the pose of the red-clothed man drawn above; and a purple inkstamp with the monogram 'H.E.'. Sporadic marginal and interlinear annotations throughout in pencil and brown & red ink, and remnant of page marker on f.CCCCI to mark end of part I.

Portion of final leaf torn away with some loss of text, repaired tear on f.160 of Part II, slightly touching text, a little minor worming to blank margins at beginning and end, general light foxing and browning throughout. Binding ref: Haebler I, 91-2 (variant of roll A1, dated 1549 rather than 1547). EBDB workshop w002792.

VD16 W2993, W2995. Not in Adams or BMSTC.
K.B. Brown, 'Johann Wild', H.J. Hillerbrand (ed.), The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Reformation Vol. IV (Oxford, 1996), 273. J.M. Frymire, The Primacy of the Postils (Brill, 2010), 333-4. A.M. Kobolt, Baierischen Gelerten-Lexikon (Landshut, 1824), 257-8. 

Stock Code: 228035

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