EXTREMELY RARE CROATIAN RITUAL

Rituale Romanum Urbani VIII. Pont. max. iussu editum illyrica lingua (Ritual Rimski, istomaccen slovinski po Bartolomeu Kassichiu)

Rome, Ex Typographia Sac. Congreg. De Propag. Fide, 1640.

£4,250

FIRST EDITION. 4to. pp. (xxxvi), 450, (ii). Text, calendar, and music in red and black Roman letter, in Croat, introductory leaves in Latin. Two titlepages, typographic initials and ornaments. Woodcut on first t-p (Christ, the Apostles, and a quotation from Mark 16:15-18), engraving on second t-p (John the Baptist and Christ). 11 ¼ page woodcuts with scenes of the rites of the sacraments and an exorcism, one repeated. First gathering a bit loose, wholly unpressed and uncut. A good, untouched copy in C20 limp paper wrapper, casemark ‘Illyric’ on spine, text block split, preserved in box.

Extraordinarily rare first edition of the most influential Roman ritual printed in Croat, detailing the liturgical rites to be used in the Latin Church in the Balkans, following Pope Urban VIII’s revisions of 1632. The ‘Ritual Rimski’ includes tables of Catholic feasts, the meaning, form, and rites of the sacraments, psalms for morning and evening services, blessings, and the procedure to follow for exorcisms. It devotes ample sections to liturgical music in the form of antiphonae and litanies accompanying psalms in Croat. The beautiful layout of the ritual, with black and red ink and music notation, is decorated with fine woodcuts. EXTREMELY RARE CROATIAN RITUAL KAŠIĆ, Bartolomeo Rituale Romanum Urbani VIII. Pont. max. iussu editum illyrica lingua (Ritual Rimski, istomaccen slovinski po Bartolomeu Kassichiu) Rome Ex Typographia Sac. Congreg. De Propag. Fide 1640 3950 FIRST EDITION. 4to. pp. (xxxvi), 450, (ii). Text, calendar, and music in red and black Roman letter, in Croat, introductory leaves in Latin. Two titlepages, typographic initials and ornaments. Woodcut on first t-p (Christ, the Apostles, and a quotation from Mark 16:15-18), engraving on second t-p (John the Baptist and Christ). 11 ¼ page woodcuts with scenes of the rites of the sacraments and an exorcism, one repeated. First gathering a bit loose, wholly unpressed and uncut. A good, untouched copy in C20 limp paper wrapper, casemark ‘Illyric’ on spine, text block split, preserved in box. Extraordinarily rare first edition of the most influential Roman ritual printed in Croat, detailing the liturgical rites to be used in the Latin Church in the Balkans, following Pope Urban VIII’s revisions of 1632. The ‘Ritual Rimski’ includes tables of Catholic feasts, the meaning, form, and rites of the sacraments, psalms for morning and evening services, blessings, and the procedure to follow for exorcisms. It devotes ample sections to liturgical music in the form of antiphonae and litanies accompanying psalms in Croat. The beautiful layout of the ritual, with black and red ink and music notation, is decorated with fine woodcuts.

The ‘Ritual Rimski’ is the work of Bartolomeo Kašić (1575-1650), a Jesuit scholar who wrote a grammar and dictionary of Croat for the use of Jesuit missionaries in the Ottoman areas of the Balkans. His ‘Ritual’, commissioned by the Society of Jesus, was intended for speakers of ‘Illyrian’, a broad term embracing Slavonic languages used in Croatia, Slovenia, Serbia, Bosnia, and Dalmatia. In these regions, liturgical rites were carried out in Old Church Slavonic, written in the Glagolitic, Cyrillic, or Roman alphabets, as well as Latin—two languages which had become increasingly obscure to less educated priests and laymen. Kašić’s ‘Ritual’ provided the first version of the revised Roman ritual in an accessible vernacular. Printed in Roman script, it eliminated the archaisms of Old Church Slavonic in favour of a linguistic variety of Croat (the Štokavian) which Kašić believed to be the most widely understood in Illyria. His preface to Urban VIII explains the difficulty of his translation, now considered a milestone in the development of modern-day Croat.

When Kašić’s translation was published by the Society of Jesus as an intentionally cheap book, no Roman rituals had been printed in Croat since Šimun Kožičić’s volume of 1531, written in Glagolitic and strongly influenced by Old Church Slavonic. Kašić’s version became the standard text in most areas of the Balkans, hence the extraordinary rarity of this unpressed, untouched copy.

Only Yale, Harvard, and Ohio State copies recorded in the US.

Graesse VI, 133: ‘Av. Fig. en bois et mus.’; Kukuljević I, 748; Backer-Sommervogel IV, 937; Šafařik II, 206. Not in BM STC C17 It.

L2614

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