[Strassburg: Johann Pruss, not before 1490.], 1490. 17 different wood cuts. Bound in a half vellum over raised bands. Rubricated throughout. Goff R276 ; Hain-C. 6916; GW M38725; Schreiber, Manuel, 5119; Polain (B) 3362. Item #717
Beautiful and rare illustrated incunablum. Complete copy with the two final blank leaves that are often missing. The Fasciculus temporum is the most famous chronicle in the history of the world: the invention of printing is also mentioned. This title has the distinction of being one of only a few books printed in this period while the author still lived. At least thirty editions were printed between the editio princeps (1474) and the death of Rolewinck. Five of these editions were printed Johan Pruss, four in Latin, as is the present edition, and one in German. This edition is expanded from the first to include events which occurred since the first edition, such as the death of Mathias Corvinus, King of Hungary in 1490. The printing of this text was tricky. The page layout has a double-ruled strip in the middle of the page, separating the text above (Biblical history with commentary by the Church Fathers) from the text below (secular history). Within the strip are one, two or three circles containing the names of people, beginning with Adam. Dates above are calculated from the creation of the world (5199 B.C.) Dates below, printed upside down, indicate the number of years before the birth of Christ.The illustrations including a frontispiece on the verso of the half-title of a pilgrim, twelve town views, an Ark and rainbow, and a full-length portrait of Jesus Christ. A city in flames illustrates the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, Troy, and others. Three woodcuts illustrate omens, such as comets, eclipses and monstrous births. The page with the woodcut of Jesus Christ (fol. 37) is an example of sophisticated typesetting: the figure of Christ is surrounded on four corners by the names of the Evangelists with quotations from the Bible.
¶Regarding the art of printing Rolewinck wrote:“This is the art of arts, the science of sciences, through the swift practice of which the valuable treasures of wisdom and of knowledge, instinctively desired by all men, leap as it were from the deep shadows of their hiding places, and enrich and illuminate this world in its evil state. The unlimited virtue of books which formerly in Athens or Paris and the other schools or sacred libraries was made known to a very few students is now spread by this discovery to every tribe, people, nation, and language everywhere, a true fulfillment of Proverbs, ch. 1”. http://www.lib.rochester.edu/index.cfm?PAGE=3422Offsite Link, accessed 06-15-2012).Hain-C. 6916; GW M38725; Goff R-276; Schreiber, Manuel, 5119; Polain (B) 3362.