Item #307 Contra haereticos. Simeone Milanzio BILINA.
Contra haereticos.
Contra haereticos.
Contra haereticos.
Contra haereticos.
Contra haereticos.
Contra haereticos.
Contra haereticos.
Contra haereticos.
Contra haereticos.
Against Every Conceivable Heresy. Likely One of Girolama Cartolari's First Imprints.

Contra haereticos.

First edition of a peculiar jeremiad against heresies and heretics, in two parts, by the almost entirely forgotten theologian Simeone Milanzio Bilina. Bilina may have been a Croatian Uniate  (an adherent of the Eastern Greek Rite who still bowed to the Pope) who'd fled his homeland for Rome following Suleiman's campaigns into the Kingdom of Hungary. Bilina reserves particular venom for Lutherans, the Eastern Rite, and the Bohemian apostates, using original Greek sources—mostly the Gospel of Matthew and Revelation—in his arguments for papal supremacy, as well as his condemnation of heretical sects, though we also find references to Aristophanes, Homer, and later Greek writers. In the second part, Bilina identifies 61 sects deemed heretical by the Church, with brief, sharp expositions of each. In addition to the better-known demonic sects, Bilina calls out Marian sects, pre-Reformation protestant sects, Lutheran sects, ascetics, nudists, virgins, and gnostics, and even some whose apostasy was so short lived that Bilina seems to remain their sole witness. Bilina refers frequently to Central European locales, and recounts short scenes from Slavic legends; the author may have been from the Dalmatian city of Bìlina, and had fled to Rome following the Ottoman incursions.


The author dedicates his book to Bishop Bonifacio Ferrero; the epistle is dated 1 January 1543—the day before Ferrero died. The imprint clearly states that Baldassare Cartolari was the printer. But Baldassare died between March and June of 1543 (and may have been infirm before this; his last printed book was dated 28 February); his widow, Girolama, then took over operations of the press. According to Deborah Parker, Girolama's first book was Enea Falconi's Tractatus reser vationum papalium ac legatorum, printed in June of that year, but certainly she was printing before this. Our book, which Barberi stated was printed January 1 (based on the date of the dedication), of course had to have been later—it takes time even for the speediest of eulogists to compose an epitaph and supply it to a printer. (In fact, Bilina's only other known work was an epitaph to Ferrero, dated January 13th, and printed by the Cartolari firm). The cataloguers at the University of Barcelona Library have observed this, as they formally assign the printing of both of Bilina's books to Girolama Cartolari, vídua


Our book is also a bibliopegic curiosity: the thin vellum wrappers, perhaps recovered from an earlier binding, were attached to the previously sewn text block with secondary alum-tawed pigskin tackets laced through the spine and into the central fold of the sixth gathering. According to Nicholas Pickwoad, such binding attachments were not uncommon on Italian pamphlets of the same period, and are a testament to a kind of temporary retail binding. The edges of the text block are stained a uniform blue, suggesting that a stack of gathered and sewn pamphlets were ploughed, then stained, and finally separated to be bound in temporary vellum wraps with secondary tackets.


A most unusual work, in several ways: a vociferous defense of the papacy at the expense of sects, Lutheran Protestants, and the breakaway Eastern Rite Catholic Church; possibly one of the earliest books printed by a woman in Rome; withal an unsophisticated curiosity in the history of temporary binding structures. A second edition, with an identical setting, except that two I's were added to the date on title, was issued in 1545 (with Baldassare, two years dead, still in the imprint). No copies of any edition in American libraries; five located abroad.

Rome: Girolama or Baldassare Cartolari, 1543.

Quarto, 206 x 143 x 5 mm (binding), 207 x 141 x 4 mm (text block). A-G4; 28 ff. Contemporary or slightly later thin vellum wrappers attached to text block with secondary alum-tawed pigskin tackets,  blue edges (suggesting the hand of a German binder; unlettered. Head tacket broken at spine; soiling to covers along the arc-lines of the lunarium; remains to tawed ties; small hole and split to spine. Interior: a clean copy, with light finger-soiling to first and last leaves.

Provenance:

A few modern penciled cataloguers' remarks to covers; small early 20th-c. unidentified shelf label reading 901 to upper cover; a mid-19th-c. lot number 294, inked to inside cover; the number 1751-44 inked to lower cover; illegible early notation in ink to upper cover.

FRBNF30946488; CNCE 6073; Lauchert (Luthers) p. 687, no. 5 ("nicht auffindbar," referring to p. 62 in the Verdensen catalogue); Barberi, Francesco, "Annali della tipografia romana di Baldassarre jr e Girolama Cartolari (1540-1559)," La Bibliofilía, Vol. 53, 1951, no. 26 (citing Lauchert); Pickwoad, Nicholas, "Onward and Downward: How Binders Coped with the Printing Press before 1800," Millennium of the Book, London: St. Paul's, 1994, pp. 64-68. not in Göllner Turcica.

Item #307

Price: $4,400.00