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Hier beghinne(n) ter ere(n) goods ende totter menschen leringhe ende salicheyt seer notabile historien ghetoghen uuten gesten ofter croniken der romeynen (...)
Gerard Leeu
1481, 30 April
€8.000 - €14.000

"In-folio (287 x 210 mm), [240 (of 242)] ff. Gothic type in 2 cols of 34-36 ll. Illustrated with 4 splendid full-page and 1 half-page woodcut illustrations in text : [34]r, [54]r, [97]r, [122]r, [132]v. The 1st text page is printed within a large woodcut border. Rubricated throughout, and with a 7-line red penwork initial on [2]r. On f. q1 we found a blind stamped printer's mark of Gerard Leeu (a branch with two coats of arms: arms of Gouda and his own housemark). Lacking 1st f. [a1] with a woodcut, and final f. [ee10] with colophon and printer's mark; erroneous mod. pencil foliation; edges spotted, some margins unobtrusively strengthened, inkstain on f. [200]r. Mod. overl. vellum, flat spine titled in ink. Nice wide-margined copy"

"Extremely rare first ed. of the Dutch translation of the ""Gesta Romanorum"", one of the most popular literary works of the Middle Ages. ""Under the somewhat misleading title ""Deeds of the Romans"", it contains a wealth of exemplary tales of all genres of didactic and moral literature : fables, legends anecdotes, fairy-tales, etc. These tales came from a wide variety of sources, both European and Eastern, and included classical authors as well as stories from the Scriptures, and incorporated for instance the whole ""Historia Septem Sapientium"". So the structure of the book is loose, and the narrative talent of the compiler seems to vary with his source. This also allowed transcribers to insert any additional tale they judged suitable, and both manuscripts and printed editions much vary in contents. But the unifying element of the ""Gesta"" was its moral purpose, and the compiler managed to bring together the best tales of all genres of moralistic literature extant in the Middle Ages. The origin of the ""Gesta Romanorum"" is still under dispute, but the collection is believed to have originated either in Germany or England, the oldest known manuscript going back to 1342"" (Forum) Ref. ISTC ig0029800 [12: 4 inc.]. GW 10889. ILC 1101. Goff G-298. IDL 2012. BSB Munchen G-216. Kok ""Houtsneden"" 204, 215-216. Not in BMC"