BERNARDUS CLARAVALLENSIS (Saint, 1091-1153). Sermones super Cantica Canticorum. Rostock: Fratres Domus Horti Viridis Ad S. Michaelem, 28 July 1481.
BERNARDUS CLARAVALLENSIS (Saint, 1091-1153). Sermones super Cantica Canticorum. Rostock: Fratres Domus Horti Viridis Ad S. Michaelem, 28 July 1481.

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BERNARDUS CLARAVALLENSIS (Saint, 1091-1153). Sermones super Cantica Canticorum. Rostock: Fratres Domus Horti Viridis Ad S. Michaelem, 28 July 1481.

Chancery 2° (302 x 215mm). Collation: [14 2-258 26-276] (1/1-4 table, 2/1r text, 27/6r colophon). 204 leaves (of 208, lacking first four leaves containing table). 37 lines. Types: 2:119G (text), 5: 76G (table). 2-line incipit on 2/1r, colophon and printer's device on 27/6r printed in red, opening 8-line initial in interlocking red and blue with red and purple penwork decoration, 3- to 4-line initials and paragraph marks alternating in red and blue, red capital strokes. (Light marginal dampstaining, a few margins repaired, first and final quires strengthened at hinge, some light spotting.) Belgian binding by Ludwina Danhieux, 1976, early title written on fore-edges. Provenance: early inscription deleted from 2/1r (ex libris Henrj...S...), some contemporary marginal annotations -- Bibliotheca O...rsiana (stamp) -- André Himpe (De Gulden Passer 2003, no. 23).

RARE FIRST EDITION, PRINTED AT THE FIRST PRESS AT ROSTOCK. It is one of only 4 dated books printed at the press of the Brothers of the Common Life at Rostock, established in 1476 and active until 1532. The type, the second used by the press, makes its first appearance here and may have been cast for them by Lucas Brandis at Lübeck. St. Bernard's sermons on the Song of Songs is one of the most important theological treatises of medieval Latin literature and a significant contribution to the development of a mystical theology of love that casts the relationship between God and the soul as a spiritual marriage between the heavenly bridegroom and the earthly bride. HC 2856; GW 3934; BSB-Ink B-324; CIBN B-272; Goff B-427.

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