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Christian Incunabula from the Inostranka collection

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The starting point of the “Holy Places of Undivided Christianity” route was M. I. Rudomino All Russia State Library for Foreign Literature. If you visit Inostranka, one of the most famous libraries in Russia with widely developed infrastructure for research and intellectual leisure, located in the center of Moscow, you will get an opportunity to get acquainted with unique editions of the XV-XVII centuries. Among them you can find two incunabula, the books published in Europe since the beginning of book-printing and up to the 1st of January 1501 (their edition was usually not more than 100-300 copies). These unique editions were picked up for our cultural route and prepared by the staff of the Rare Book and Collections Center in Inostranka.


Nicolaus de Lyra (1270-1349)        

Postilla super totam Bibliam

Vol. 3: Postilla super totam Bibliam. – Nürnberg: Anton Koberger, 22.I.1481.

The first complete commentary on all the books of the Old and New Testament in the form of brief sermons ("postillas") is a work by Nicholas of Liri, a Franciscan monk, who was a noted theologian and professor at the University of Sorbonne. His work was considered exemplary until the end of the Middle Ages. M. I. Rudomino All Russia State Library for Foreign Literature holds the first edition, published with additions by Paul of Burgos (1350-1435), a famous 15th century theologian.

Translations of Nicholas of Liri writings appeared in Russia at the turn of the XV and XVI centuries.

Traditional elements of handwritten books such as multicolored handwritten initials with gold leaf inserts on the first pages are used in the decoration.

A copy with an ex-libris (a bookplate) of the library of the Church of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul in the town of Lignice (now Legnica, Poland) has the original, possibly publisher's binding of the 15th century, owner's notes and marginalia (drawings and notes in the margins of books, manuscripts or letters with comments and interpretations) of the church officials from the late XV century.


Bernardus Claravallensis (1090-1153)

Sermones de tempore et de sanctis una cum homiliis et epistolis. – Mediolanum [Milano]: Leonhard Pachel, 5.X.1495. Bernardus Claravallensis. Epistolae. Milano, 1495.


Exemplary works of Bernard of Clairvaux, the greatest representative of Western European culture of the XII century, a French theologian, mystic and social activist. These works contain illustrations relating to examples of early Italian woodcuts, one of which demonstartes the image of the author.

The work is presented in original leather binding with clasps.

It is a copy with hand-colored initials and numerous marginalia



See also

Minsk, Belarus

The Saints of the Undivided Church and their works on the pages of handwritten and early printed books

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