I cantici... con la gionta di alcuni discorsi sopra di essi. E con la vita sua nuovamente posta in luce (by G.B. Modio).

JACOPONE da Todi  (1558)


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Roman letter, printer’s device on title-page and verso of last leaf.

4to (202 x 130mm.) [12], 142, [6]ff. 20th-century brown morocco, g.e.


Rome: Ippolito Salviano, 1558

The fourth edition, following those of 1490, 1514 and 1556. Jacopone da Todi (Jacopo Benedettti, 1230-1306) was originally a notary but suffered a nervous and spiritual crisis on the death of his wife in 1268. A Franciscan friar, he was a powerful voice of the religious movement of the late 13th century. He is chiefly famous for the Latin poem of the Passion attributed to him, set to music by many great composers, 'Stabat Mater dolorosa/ iuxta crucem lacrimosa... '(not included here). Jacopone's Italian poems were printed first in Florence in 1490 (ISTC ij00214000).

Giovanni Battista Modio (fl.  second half 16th cent.), a Calabrian follower of St. Philip Neri, writes of Jacopone's poetry that whilst the exterior may seem hard it is 'full of spiritual food which is both joyous and nourishes him who eats of it-  'il quale e molto gioueuole a chi mangiando sene nutrisce'. There are 102 canti of various lengths, some prefixed by a prose discorso.  The text is followed by an index, a table of contents (as in the 1490 edition), and an additional index of obscure or dialect words (e.g. miccio=asino; Omnom =ogni huomo; zampagliato= intricato) and a short note on difficult passages.

Modio's life is addressed to Caterina de Ricci (1522-1590), at the time a nun in the monastery of S. Vincent at Prato, where she died, and where her personal sanctity and close observance of the decrees of the Council of Trent were famous. She was canonised in 1746 by Pope Benedict XIV. Her life and influence are discussed in Women and religion in medieval and Renaissance Italy, edited by Daniel Bornstein and Roberto Rusconi ; translated by Margery J. Schneider, Chicago & London, 1996, and her letters on spiritual topics were published in 1861. Modio also wrote On the Tiber (1556), a short novella  based on the proverb 'Anzi corna che croci' published as part of the 1558 Milan edition of his Il Convito. This last text had three editions from 1554 to 1558.

Provenance: bookplate of Charles K. Meek (1885-1965 ODNB), anthropologist and colonial administrator; cf. Oates 2356 for a Savonarola, 1495 in Cambridge UL once belonging to him). He was the author of The will to function, 1929, published for him by the Golden Cockerel Press in an edition of 300 copies, and it was he who steered Robert Gibbings away from printing Aretino's Ragionamenti.

Staining to leaves, closely trimmed in places. Repair to upper blank margin f.92, 141. Washed.

CNCE 30714. Adams J53, Brunet III, 485. Gamba, 579.

Stock Code: 227367

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