(1262 – 1330)

[Lumen animae] – Liber moralitatum elegantissimus magnarum rerum naturalium lumen anime dictus: cum septem apparitoribus necnon sanctorum doctorum orthodoxe fidei professorum. Poetarum etiam ac oratorum auctoritatibus per modum pharatre secundum ordinem alphabeti collectis. Feliciter incipit.

Folio (284×200 mm). 268 ff. (first blank); [aa10 bb6 cc-dd8 a10 b8 c6 d-z8 A-C8 D-E6 F-G8]. Gothic type, headline and 45 lines, initials supplied in red. Contemporary blindtamped calf. Binding restored preserving the original covers (the rear fragmentarily). First blank leaf somewhat soiled, first and last two gatherings strengthened at fold, last 35 leaves dampstained at head and with some worming. [Reutlingen, Michael Greyff], 7 July 1479.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: ISTC ib00341600; Goff L395; HC 10331*; Klebs 631.3; Pell 4748; Polain(B) 1467; Ohly-Sack 1778; BMC II 576 & 466 (note); BSB-Ink L-288; GW M16915; Thorndyke III, 546ff; Mary A. and Richard H. Rouse, The Texts called Lumen Anime, Archivum Fratrum Praedicatorum, 41 (Rome, 1971), 5-113..
PROVENANCE: Frater Johann Fasnacht, with purchase entry dated 1481 on first leaf recto. – Augustinian Hermits of Memmingen, ownership inscription on aa2 recto.
An important medieval encyclopaedia and exempla collection.The original version of Lumen Animae is generally attributed to Berengar of Landora, Archbishop of Santiago de Compostela, followed by two other versions, ‚Lumen B‘ and ‚Lumen C‘ (cf. M. & R. Rouse). ‚Lumen B‘ was compiled by an otherwise unknown canon Godfrey of Vorau, with numerous new natural history exampla and two appendices; this is the source of the text that was edited by the Viennese Carmelite, Matthias Farinator who compiled the index, added a prologue and edited the text. All incunabular editions follow the version B.The edition at hand is the third preceded by two Augsburg editions of 1477, printed by Sorg on the 3 September respectively by Zainer on the 31 December, and followed by the Strasbourg edition of 22 March 1482. The present edition by Greyff is by far the rarest of all.The work belongs to the 14th century collections of natural history exempla that were intended to illustrate religious truths in sermons. It was appreciated for its many natural history excerpts and quotations from a multitude of sources, including some familiar names, such as Avicenna, Galen, Hippocrates, Pliny the elder, Theophrastus of Eresus etc. as well as rare and unknown works that give the Lumen animae an exotic aura. The natural historical content of the Lumen Animae „centers as much on astronomy and meteorology as on flora and fauna; it includes a huge number of largely inauthentic citations of frequently exotic-sounding authors and the vast majority of its exempla have a tripartite structure – a scientific proprietas is followed by a moralizing interpretation, whose lesson is then reinforced by a quotation from a theological authority“ (Nigel Harris, The Light of the Soul, 2007). [369008].