Suplicatio quorundam apud Helvetios evangelistarum ad r. D. Hugonem episcopum Constantiensem.

[Augsburg, Silvan Otmar, 1522.]


FIRST EDITION thus. 4to. 8 unnumbered ll., A-B4. Roman letter. Woodcut frame with leafy tendrils to t-p. T-p a little dust-soiled, old repair to gutter of first couple of ll., faint waterstaining to upper outer corner, the odd thumb or ink mark. A very good copy, with wide margins, in modern boards, early inked numeral to t-p, manicula and marginal annotation.

Very good copy of the first edition (?) of this important contribution to the debate on clerical and monastic celibacy by Ulrich Zwingli and signed by other ten reformed religious. Zwingli (1484-1531) was a leader of the Swiss Reformation influenced by Erasmus’s humanist theories and Luther’s theology. His works include petitions and pamphlets concerning issues of canon law on which he disagreed with the Roman Catholics. Addressed to the Bishop of Constance, ‘Suplicatio’ argued against the celibacy of the clergy and monks—a vow Zwingli himself had recently broken by getting married. The Latin text, also printed by Froschauer in Zurich, was issued after the German version of the same year, addressed to the Swiss authorities and the wider public. Following Luther’s work, published in 1522, Zwingli considered celibacy a human not divine ordinance, hence he saw no obligation for clerics and monks to follow it. The annotator of this copy was interested in Zwingli’s view that ‘chastity is an angelic gift’ which comes from God and may not be given to everyone; it is better, Zwingli upheld, for those who cannot be continent to be allowed to marry, rather than they should break the vow of chastity and commit a sin.

Only Folger copy recorded in the US.

USTC 695031; VD16 Z898; Finler, Zwingli-bibliographie, 3c. Not in BM STC Ger. or Graesse.