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Hus's first printed work

[Hus, Jan (ed.)]. Christi ab incarnationis usq[ue] ascensionis gesta succinctim posita omni sacerdoti habenda bene revisa atq[ue] correcta.

(Nuremberg, Johann Weißenburger, 8 December [150]7).

4to. (10) ff. With title woodcut and 3 woodcut Lombardic initials. Modern half vellum over marbled boards.

Extremely rare: the first gospel harmony printed in the 16th century, according to Hain the first work ever printed by the Czech national hero Jan Hus, who was burned at the stake as a heretic. Two incunabular editions had appeared as early as ca. 1472 and 1495. In 1514 Weißenburger, by then based in Landshut, would publish a second edition, which is vastly more common. "The concentration of the text into such a small number of pages is achieved by not quoting the gospel pericopes in full, but rather by condensing them into a few words or short sentences, referencing the chapters of the gospels where the respective episode is to be found [...] Strictly speaking, this is the epitome of a gospel harmony" (cf. Wünsch, Evangelienharmonien im Reformationszeitalter [Berlin 1983], p. 22, with a discussion of the long tradition that attributes this redaction to Hus).

The title woodcut shows the infant Jesus sitting on a pillow, holding the Holy Cross, Holy Lance, and Holy Sponge, surrounded by medallions of the evangelists.

Occasional light brownstaining (more noticeable on the title page); a single sanguine mark to the colophon, otherwise quite clean. Very rare; no copy in auction records; only ten holding institutions worldwide, of which no more than three are outside Germany (Austrian National Library, Budapest University Library, Sutro San Francisco).


VD 16, B 4628. Panzer VII, 445, 44. OCLC 258326067. Not in Knaake or Kuczinsky. Not in Adams or BM-STC German.