Leonardus De Utino - Sermones de Legibus etiam Dominicales - 1479

Leonardus De Utino - Sermones de Legibus etiam Dominicales - 1479
Incunabula & early printing, Religion - Quantity: 1 - Hand coloured illustrations

Colophon: Anno lncarnatione 1479, nono Kal. lulii. Imperial folio, 41x30x11.9 cm.

Rare edition: listed in only two libraries on Worldcat.
A true "typographic monument" of this famous printer, Peter Drach (* 1455 Spira; † 1504). He was the first to use Johannes Gutenberg's technique at SPIRA, in 1477, two years before the printing of this great tome. Hain; no. 16120 (347 cc.!).

Numerous pages, in various parts of the volume, rubricated in red. Drop caps illuminated in bright red ink. Typographic brand of Drach (Dragon in German) at the end. Two shields with a black background: the Dragon and the Tree, white silhouettes.

The print of the first book ever, the "42-line Bible", with the same Gothic letters used here, was completed on February 23, 1455 in Mainz, that is, just over twenty years earlier, less than 100 kilometres from Spira!

Imperial folio 41x30x11.9 cm; coeval half leather firm binding. Original plates with wooden planks. Traces of old clasps on the plates.
Maps 349 cc.nn. and unmarked (including the first blank one, preserved). Typographic brand of Drach: Two shields with a black background: the Dragon and the Tree, white silhouettes. Pen inscription and a some signs of use. Numerous pages, in various parts of the volume, rubricated in red. Drop caps illuminated in bright red ink.
Gothic letters; text on two columns.

An exceptionally well-preserved copy, crisp and perfect, with very large intact margins. Thick fibre paper.

Leonardo Mattei da Udine was one of the most celebrated intellectuals of his time (circa: 1400 - 1469). He taught in Bologna and wrote many speeches which he personally recited, in 1435, before Pope Eugene IV. He was appointed head of the Lombard Dominican League.

Full title:
Excelle[n]tissimi viri sacraru[m] l[itte]raru[m] interpretis subtilissimi magistri Leonardi de Vtino diuini ordinis fratru[m] predicatoru[m] quadragesimales sermo[n]es de legibus etia[m] dominicales ... incipiunt feliciter
Anno lncarnatione. 1479, nono Kal. lulii .... Venetoru[m] nec no[n] Vlmensium post impressione[m] compluribus in locis diligentia possibili emendati per Petrum Drach cives Spiren. Impressi finiunt feliciter.

He was born in Udine, between the 14th and 15th century, presumably in the last decade of the 14th century. Leandro Alberti (XVI century) is the only one to place the birth of M. not in Udine, but in Belluno, without however providing any other indications, although his chronological proximity to M., only a generation between them, may lead one to believe in the reliability of his information. In 1424, he held the position of master of the students at the convent of St. Dominic of Bologna, according to the explicit of the Recollectiones super libris de Anima (Bononiae 1424): «Explicit recollectiones super libros de Anima. Amen. Quas collegit sub fr. Leonardo de Utino, magistro studentium Bononiae 1424 ordinis Praedicatorum fr. Antonius de Sicilia […]» (Recolletiones super libris de Anima, Padova, Bibl. Univ., 1499, f. 148v). Normally this position was accessed when the friar was still "studens", that is, during the training process, between twenty and twenty-five years of age. Moreover, the teachings of the bachelor could not be carried out by those under thirty years of age, so it can be assumed that M. may have worn the robe of preachers around the age of fourteen, between 1413 and 1414. His father's name was Matteo and he was auctioneer of the municipality of Udine, according to a note from the Quaderni de' camerari, reported by the Dominican Agostino Bruni in his notes about the convent of S. Pietro Martire of Udine, which he collected around 1760 (BAU, ms 485, Notizie spettanti al venerabile convento di S. Pietro Martire di Udine, p. 77), drawing them from the Annales cittadini and the Quaderni de’ camerari di Commun di Udine. We know nothing about his mother, other than that she died giving birth to him, due to the considerable size of his head, according to Antonio Belloni in the Vitae patriarcharum Aquileiensium, about the election to the chair of Aquileia of the Bishop of Florence, the Paduan Ludovico Scarampi, called "Mezzarota", which took place in 1439. In order to meet the considerable costs of obtaining the magisterium, in 1425 the community of Udine granted him «in subsidio sui studi» the sum of 4 ducats (BAU, ms 485, f. 77r). In 1426, the general chapter of Bologna appointed M. "lector Sententiarum", together with Giacomo da Acquamela, in the convent of S. Domenico di Bologna, for the two-year period 1426-28 (Acta Capit. Gen. VIII, 188). This is the period in which M’s teaching as "lector sententiarum" took place at the Monastery of the Celestines of Bologna, as evidenced by his mention in a convent chapter as "bachalarius celestinorum". On March 23, 1427, M. was received by the city council to apply for another financial subsidy on merits of study. The council granted him 5 ducats and would have granted him more if the municipal coffers had not been in deficit at the time of his request (BCU, Annales, XXIV, f. 245r). After the achievement of the "licentia ubique docendi" (M. is mentioned in the «matricola degli addottorati, 1364-1500», at no. 201, see EHRLE, I più antichi statuti, 112), was appointed regent of the province of San Domenico in the general chapter of Cologne in 1428, a position that was reconfirmed to him in 1431 by the general chapter of Lyon (Acta Capit. Gen. VIII, 207, 213). On March 30, 1433, M. completed Rabbi Samuel Iudeo's Epistle to Rabbi Isaac, of the Messiah who came, vulgarizing of the Epistula rabbi Samuel de Fez de adventu Messiae of the Spanish Dominican between Alfonso Buenhombre of the convent of Saint Jacques in Paris, Latin translation of the letter that in 1339 Rabbi Samuele, Jew of Fez, had sent to the arch-sinagogus of Subiulmesta (Morocco) with a dedication to the then master of the order, Hugh of Vaucemain. The work came to us from two witnesses: the manuscript Acquisti e doni 275 (a. 1500) of the Biblioteca Medicea-laurenziana in Florence and manuscript 21 (a. 1497), missing the initial part, of the Biblioteca Angelica in Rome. For Lent in 1434, M. preached in S. Maria Novella. From 1435 to 1445, M. was particularly active as a preacher, an activity that seems to have brought him to Germany as well, as he himself states in the panegyric of St. Martin of Tours: «Obtinuit autem a Domino ut quicumque eius suffragia exposceret maxime morbo pestifero laborans, si in eius vigilia pane et aqua ieiunaret, perfectam sanitatem pro illo anno impetraret. Et ego magister Leonardus de Utino ordinis predicatorum, in Alemania experientia hoc didici fore verum, et in multis Italie civitatibus idem predicavi, unde, indicto ieiunio statim cessavit tempestas illa gravissima pestilentie» (Leonardi de Utino Sermones de sanctis. In festo sancti Martini episcopi et confessoris). In 1436, he was called to Venice to preach for Lent by his confreres of the Convent of the SS. John and Paul, where he returned again for the same reason in 1442, collecting for his ministry a great compensation, 14 ducats (information transcribed by Bruni from the Diarii del convento veneziano, non pervenutici, see BCU, ms 193, 7). In Ferrara, before the transfer of the council to Florence in the last months of 1439, M., at the request of the council fathers, drafted a rebuttal of twelve propositions approved by the Council of Basel. After the transfer of the council from Ferrara to Florence, M. had the opportunity to demonstrate his oratory prowess, preaching on various occasions before the Pope and the Roman Curia. The result of this preaching are the forty-eight Sermones floridi de dominicis et quibusdam festis, printed in Lyon in 1496 and 1498. According to the Udine scholar Antonio Bellone, in this period M. would preach in Rome, bringing back to the faith some heretics. The presence of M. is attested on June 1, 1440 in the convent of S. Domenico of Cividale del Friuli, as vicar of Friuli and Istria and professor of sacred theology, by the inventory of books he himself drafted, testimony of the renewed pastoral address taken by the Dominicans of Friuli after the Venetian conquest. A note of expenditure of the Quaderni de' camerari attests to the purchase of book material and wine as a tribute by the community of Udine to the now illustrious fellow citizen (BAU, ms 485, f. 78r). In 1442 he was elected prior of the Convent of Treviso (BCU, ms 193, p. 7). On January 28, 1445, the city council, at the request of the nobleman Agostino of Aquileia, awarded M. a salary of 28 ducats per year, to allow him to reside permanently in his hometown, entrusting him with the task of official preacher (BCU, Annales, XXVIII, f. 108r-109r). Actually, the M. only received the salary in 1445 and 1446. Also in 1445, he loaned to the dean of the city (the famous jurist and distinguished preacher Domenico Domenichi, who shortly thereafter (1448) would be elected bishop of Torcello) some books of the convent library of Udine, at the request of the Cividale canons who for this purpose solicited the interest of the municipality. The composition of the Sermones aurei de sanctis dates back to 1446, when M. was in Udine, a collection of panegyrics for the various holidays of the year, which was first printed in Cologne in 1473 and, also in the same year, in Venice. In 1447, he was reconfirmed as vicar of Friuli and in this capacity his presence in the Venetian convent of the SS Giovanni e Paolo is attested for that year. Also in that year, M. preached the Lent cycle in Cividale. On May 10, he asked the city council for permission to exhume the body of Benvenuta Boiani, a Dominican tertiary, who died in the concept of holiness on October 30, 1292; On May 27, Boiani's body was exhumed, which was not uncorrupted. However, M. promoted the beatification of the Friulian penitent, convinced as he was of her fame of holiness. On June 18, 1451, M. was appointed by the Master of the Order, Guido Flamochetti, vicar of the convents of St. Peter Martyr of Udine and Koper, as well as of the monastery of S. Maria di Cella, with full authority "tam in capitibus quam in membris" (Florence, Bibl. Medicealaurenziana, San Marco 866, Reg. Mag. Ord. Guidonis Flamochetti, 1451, f. 36r). On June 20, he was sent as a visitor «cum auctoritate plenaria absolvendi, visitandi, incarcerandi, exortandi et alia similia faciendi que ipse generalis facere possit si presens adesset» to the convent of Padua and in the monastery of St. Anne, together with the magister Antonio di Camerino, to resolve «ardua negocia» (Ibid., f. 36v). According to the testimony of Agostino of Aquileia, representative of the eminent people of the Friulian city to the Papal Curia, M. would have been summoned on October 26, 1452 by the cardinal of S. Sisto, the Dominican John of Torquemada, vice-chancellor of the Roman Curia, to inform him of pope Nicholas V's intention to appoint him Maestro del Sacro palazzo, but he refused, despite repeated insistence (BCU , Annales, XXX, f. 190r; Arch. Gen. Ord. Praed, XIV, l. M, f. 226). In June 1453, M. was asked to carry out a report on some Greek books that the Franciscan Ludovico da Strassoldo had sold to Bishop Antonio di Fabriano, in charge of the purchase by the papal librarian Giovanni Tortelli. In the summer of 1453,the Tractatus de cambiis was drafted, from two manuscripts of the 15th century XV, Vat. Chigi B. V. 86 (f. 30-33) and VII. E. 21 (f. 220-223v) of the Biblioteca nazionale in Naples. In November of that year, M. completed the Tractatus de inchoatione formarum, which came to us from manuscript J. 10.48 (sec. XV) of the Biblioteca nazionale of Florence. In December of that year, he concluded the Tractatus de mixtione elementorum. On January 22, 1455, M. apologized to the municipality of Cividale for allowing the exchange of some books between the convent of Cividale and that of Udine. The Dominican, after having recalled that the exchange of books between the two convents was customary, declares himself available to review the decision, should it be so decided by the council, which probably considered the convent library of Udine to be of public utility. In the provincial chapter, celebrated in Ancona in 1455, M. was elected provincial prior of lower Lombardy (BCU, 193, p. 7), according to Bruni, who was able to draw on the summaries of the documents of the Archive of the Dominican province of Lower Lombardy or San Domenico, while Liruti places the election of M. as provincial prior in 1456. On November 15, as soon as he became provincial prior, the presence of M. is attested in the convent of the SS. John and Paul of Venice, where he made his first canonical visit. In 1456 he participated in the general chapter of Montpellier, where measures were taken to make it more difficult to obtain academic degrees, a source of economic privilege, and to prevent the use of civil power, as a means of introducing observance into convents. On the occasion of this trip, the municipality of Udine, at his request, granted him the sum of 15 ducats for the purchase of a horse (BCU, Annales, XXXI, f. 41v). In Ferrara, in 1457, as provincial prior, he held the funeral oration for the funeral of his illustrious brother, humanist and bishop of Imola, Gaspare Sighicelli da San Giovanni in Persiceto, already commissioned in 1449 by Nicholas V to reform the Florentine convent of S. Maria Novella (BERTELLI, Cronica, f. 204r; R. CREYTENS, S. Antonin, p. 326n). At the provincial chapter held in Forlì on May 31 of that year, M. had to face the problem of the insolvency of some convents of the province of Lower Lombardy in the payment to the provincial prior of the contributions due. From the register of revenues due to the province, kept diligently updated by M., it can be seen, for example, that still in 1460 the convent of Camerino, whose annual contribution had been fixed at 4 ducats, owed 26 ducats to the province. In 1460, the Master of the Martial Order Auribelli was forced, probably at the request of M., to direct to all the convents of the province of lower Lombardy a letter (BAU, ms 485, placed in the codex), with which he peremptorily imposed on the insolvent convents the payment of the contributions due to them. In 1457 M. was at the bedside of the Udine noble Elena Valentinis, who died in the concept of holiness, who asked him for spiritual advice on the verge of death. In 1458, M. accompanied Auribelli on the canonical visit of the convent of St. Augustine of Padua, together with the provincial prior of upper Lombardy, Antonio da Alessandria. On June 4 of that year, the feast of St. Peter Martyr, the provincial chapter was celebrated in Udine, with the economic support of the municipality (BCU, Annales, XXXI, f. 151), which was to be celebrated in 1457 and which entrusted M. with the second term of provincial prior. Thanks to the information reported by Liruti, who however has a wrong dating, we know that in the refectory of the Udine convent there was a plaque commemorating this election. For Pentecost in 1459, he participated in the general chapter of Nijmegen, where the bull of canonization of Vincenzo Ferrer was read (Acta capit. Gen., VIII, p. 268). On November 15 of that year, M. obtained from the municipality of Udine a contribution of 25 ducats for the construction of the new library that, as provincial prior, he would commit to erect «in loco refectorii», with the economic support of the municipality itself. In 1463 M., at the request of the municipality of Udine, composed the treatise De sanguine Christi, intervening in the dispute between Franciscans and Dominicans, which broke out following the homily held by san Giacomo della Marca in the Cathedral of Brescia on April 18, 1462, Easter Sunday. The Franciscan had argued that the blood shed until the last drop by Jesus Christ on the cross would cease to be united to the deity in the hypostatic union, once separated from his body. Already in 1351, under the pontificate of Clement VI, the Franciscan Francesco Baiuli, guardian of the friars minor and the Dominican Nicola Rosell, inquisitor of Aragon and Catalonia, had clashed in Barcelona for the same reason. Shortly thereafter, the Franciscan saint was accused of heresy by the Dominican Giacomo da Brescia, inquisitor general of Lombardy, who summoned him before the court for the following day, under penalty of excommunication. After various events, on May 31, 1462 Pope Pius II advoked the question to himself, due to the roughness of the tones that the controversy was taking on both sides. The dispute took place before the Pontiff and the Roman Curia from January 3 to January 4, 1463, followed by a consistory. It also involved the Bishop of Torcello, Domenico Domenichi, author of the treatise De sanguine Christi, written in 1463. Also intervening on the complex issue was the Florentine Dominican Bartolomeo Lapacci de' Rimbertini, former bishop of Cortona, and of Argo and Corona, in Greece, with the treatise De sanguinis pretiosissimi crucifixi divinitate, completed just before his death (1466). On August 1, 1464, Pius II, with the bull Ineffabilis summa providentia Patris, barred any discussion about the blood of Christ spilled on the cross, until the magisterium had pronounced definitively. The treatise, which came to us in manuscript 96 (16th century) XV) of the Biblioteca Guarneriana of San Daniele del Friuli, the only witness attesting to a link between M. and the Friulian humanist Guarnerio d'Artegna, canon of Aquileia and apostolic abbreviator, who commissioned it to Niccolino da Zuglio between 1463 and 1466, and from manuscript 8 (incomplete) of the Municipal Library of Serra San Quirico , was printed in Venice in 1617. At the end of his term as provincial, M. was entrusted with the care of the convent of S. Pietro Martire of Udine, as prior, by the chapter of the province of San Domenico held in 1465 in Novara. The affection of the city of Udine for its illustrious fellow citizen "vir scientia approbatissimus", now in old age and close to death, is demonstrated by the assignment of 10 ducats to allow him to heal his eyes (BAU, 485, f. 80r). According to the obituary of the Udine convent, M. died on May 26, 1469, almost seventy years old, leaving to the convent "permaxime libros" (Bologna, Convento S. Domenico, Arch. Prov. Utr. Lomb., F. III, 11500, Liber vestitionum et ordinationum necnon defunctorum, c. 72r), a date also attested by the Notary Giovanni Vari of Udine, but in contrast to that of May 14, reported on the inventory of books found in M.'s cell upon his death, testimony of his marked vocation as a bibliophile. In addition to the works mentioned above, M. was the author of some works of logic, such as a Logica, divided into six parts, a Tractatus de modis dicendi, a Regula de maximo et minimo, a De natura materiae et dimensionibus interminatis, and a synthesis of Tomist philosophy, Tabula super s. Thomam de philosophia.

Lot details
Number of Books
Incunabula & early printing, Religion
Author/ Illustrator
Leonardus De Utino
Book Title
Sermones de Legibus etiam Dominicales
Very good
Publication year oldest item
Original language
Petrum Drach, cives Spiren 1479
Binding/ Material
Half leather
Hand coloured illustrations
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