GREGORIUS I (Saint, c.540-604). Dialogorum libri quattuor, in German: Das buch der zwaÿer red mit ainander. Edited by Johannes von Speyer, with 5 other texts in German: TUNDALUS. De eius visio, sive de raptu animae: Die Gesicht Tundali. - BEDA. Visio Fursei: Das Wunderzeichen des Bishof Forsee. - Speculum mundi: Spiegel der Welt. - Ars moriendi: Kunst des Sterbens. - Cordiale quattuor novissimorum: Die vier letzte Dinge. [Augsburg: Johann Bämler at the Monastery of SS. Ulrich and Afra], 1473.
Chancery 2° (310 x 212mm). Collation: [1-610 78(7+1) 8-1810 198 206] (1/1r blank, 1/1v full-page woodcut, 1/2r preface, tabula, 1/3r text, 15/1r Tundalus, 17/3r Bede, 17/5r Spiegel der Welt, 17/9r Kunst des sterbens, 19/6r Die vier letzten Dinge, 20/6v blank). 193 leaves. 29 lines. Type: 2:138G. One full-page woodcut of Pope Gregory and Peter the Deacon WITH CONTEMPORARY HAND-COLOURING in pale yellow, purple and green. 2- to 4-line initials and paragraph marks in red, opening initial space blank, two section initials in later ink, occasional contemporary ms. quiring visible. Pinholes at outer corners. (A few wormholes, a little heavier at end, leaves in first quire lightly reinforced at hinge, occasional light stains.) BOUND AT THE MONASTERY OF SS ULRICH AND AFRA [Kyriss shop 2]: contemporary blindstamped calf over wooden boards, single fore-edge clasp (a little worn, lightly restored, clasp renewed); modern brown cloth-backed folding box. Provenance: occasional 16-17th-century annotation, including amateur crucifixion drawing on final verso.
FIRST GERMAN EDITION OF ALL TEXTS. In the Dialogues Gregory elucidates doctrines of the Church by answering questions posed by Peter the Deacon and relating stories of the early saints. His description of the lives of saints and their miracles became a model for later hagiographers. The mystical nature of the Dialogues is emphasised by the addition of the other devotional texts to this edition. It was printed at the short-lived press at the Benedictine monastery of SS. Ulrich and Afra, established by its abbot, Melchior von Stamheim in 1472, which ceased printing after his death in January 1474. The monastery also practiced allied book arts, such as binding, of which the present copy is an example. The rubrication of this copy was almost certainly also carried out at the monastery. H *7970; GW 11405, 7517 (last tract); BMC II, 332 (IB. 5653); BSB-Ink. G-302; Schreiber 4119; Goff G-408.