Fasciculus temporum. Dat boeck dat men hiet fasciculus temporum. Mit einem Anhang verschiedener Länder-Chroniken und einer Liste der Bischöfe von Köln und Lüttich.

Utrecht: Johann Veldener, 1480


FIRST EDITION thus. Folio. ff 334 of 338 .[a–z8, A–F8, G 6, H8, I4 K–V8] [lacking a1 (blank except for printer’s device), k7, and blanks T8 and U10], Gothic letter. 38 lines, 3 columns in table, a2 with woodcut border and large decorative initial in contemporary hand colouring, b1 with woodcut border, 35 woodcuts from 20 blocks and innumerable coats-of-arms, many with early hand-colouring, large woodcut printer’s device to recto of final leaf (laid down), mostly rubricated in red and blue, red initial strokes, y-B1 misbound between t7&8. 18th century Bishop’s engraved bookplate with motto ‘virtutis amore cano’, and modern bookplate of U. Proost on pastedown. Light age yellowing, mostly marginal thumb marks in places, some minor soiling, short tear to head of a2 with minor loss to border, lower blank margin of a8 repaired, repaired tear to S8, within text, but with no loss, cut a little close, trimming woodcut borders, and a letter of side notes in places, a few small marginal repairs. A good copy in handsome 18th century Dutch speckled calf, covers bordered with a double and single dentelle gilt rule, spine with gilt ruled raised bands, gilt ruled in compartments richly gilt, tan and black morocco labels gilt, skilfull old reback, original spine laid down, inner dentells gilt, all edges sprinkled red, extremities a little rubbed.

The rare first edition in Dutch, and the first in any Vernacular, of Rolewinck’s chronicle of the history of the world, with many of the woodblocks charmingly coloured in a contemporary hand; together with the first edition of the supplementary chronicles added by Veldener on the dukes of Brabant, bishops of Holland, Zeeland and Hainault, and histories of the Kings of France and England. The work is very charmingly printed and illustrated; the typeface is reminiscent of Caxton’s early types.

“In 1474, a new type of chronicle, written by the Carthusian monk Werner Rolevinck, was first printed at Cologne. It was called the Fasiculus temporum, ‘a bundle of times’: and its layout, partly based on roll chronicles, suggested that history was something which was gathered together, a collection of disparate pieces of information, taken from different sources and concerning different times and different areas, which could be brought together into a varied whole. Traversing the middle of each page was a horizontal time line, with circles containing the names of important rulers; the test was organised around this line, often with their own times lines.” Sjoerd Levelt “Jan van Naaldwijk’s Chronicles of Holland”.

“The Latin ‘Fasciculus’ appeared in two competing editions with the printers/publishers Arnold Ther Hoernen and Nikolaus Goetz von Schlettstadt. Ther Hoernen was in close contact with Rolevinck, of whom he published several other works. It was on Ther Hoernen’s edition that the Louvain printer Johan Veldener based the next Latin edition in 1475. Five years later Veldener, then working in Utrecht , produced the earliest edition of the text in the Dutch vernacular. Later, translations into French and German would be published. Before 1500 over thirty editions were published all over Europe. When opening Veldener’s Fasciculus Temporum, the remarkable design is striking. The main text contains the continuing story of the history of the world. The text is surrounded by two separate timetables (one from the Creation onwards – anno mundi – and one related to the birth of Christ). Above and beneath these timetables there are blocks with separate information. Names of popes, emperors and kings are meandering throughout the text in larger and smaller circles, some linked together, some not. What makes this way of presenting special, is that it offers the reader the possibility to read the history either synchronically or diachronically. In the Dutch version of the Fasciculus Temporum Veldener used his woodcuts of the Latin edition of 1475, but he also ordered eight new illustrations. Equally striking is what happens on the textual level. For the new edition of the Fasciculus, he had a large series of short chronicles made and lists of names of the kings of France and England, the dukes of Brabant, de bishops of Utrecht, Cologne and Liege, the counts of Holland, Gueldres, Cleves, Mark and Berg. In the presentation we recognize the hand of Veldener: it follows in close harmony the special lay-out of the Fasciculus. In many cases the added chronicles are illustrated with series of heraldic coats of arms..” Wim van Anrooij Leiden University.

“The work was an immense success and went through a least seven reprints in Latin before the first vernacular translation was published in 1480: a dutch version printed in Utrecht by Jan Veldener, .. . Veldener added to his Dutch version of Rolevink’s history a set of short Chronicles of the different principalities of the lower Rhine delta – Flanders, Brabant, Utrecht, Holland, Guelders and Cleves – as well as France ans England. These chronicles confirm that by the late C15th the history of Holland no longer had a closer connection to Utrecht than it did to the other territories in the region, whose histories were increasingly perceived as interrelated, sometimes converging sometimes diverging over time. The layout of the Latin .. was maintained in the Dutch Translation and in the short chronicles, which were traversed throughout by a horizontal time line. In the regional chronicles, however, the text ran from the top of the page to the bottom, often filling the band which in the Fasciculus Temporum was kept blank except for the circles containing the names of rulers. Consequently, the time line, which was an essential structural device in the Fasciculus temporum, became almost redundant and was apparently maintained solely for the sake of appearance. Nevertheless, Veldener’s short chronicles still reflected an awareness that history was open-ended and had to be collected from different sources: occasionally there were gaps where information was not (yet) available. So, for instance, the chronicle of Holland ends with a description of Maximilian of Hapsburg and Mary of Burgundy, their son Philip, who was borne in 1478, ‘and also a daughter who is called’ followed by a blank space. Margaret was born on 10 January 1480. By the time of printing (the colophon is dated 14 February) Veldener had learnt that the imperial couple had produced a daughter, but her name would have to be filled in by later readers.” Sjoerd Levelt “Jan van Naaldwijk’s Chronicles of Holland”.

GW M38760. ISTC ir00278000. HC 6946. BMC IX,12. Goff R 278. BSB-Ink R-256.


Print This Item Print This Item