Carmen ad gravem: sanctumque senatum Lipsensem: de orgijs corporis Christi publici assertoris. deque supplicationibus et (ut aiunt) processionibus: que oppido Lipsico talium sacrorum luce peraguntur.

TUBERINUS Johannes (1512)


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Magnificent title woodcut, repeatedly used by Stöckel as a printer's mark from 1507, depicting a 'Wild Man' holding the coat of arms of Leipzig in his left hand.

4to (215 x 155mm.) 8 leaves (8v blank). Modern boards, black morocco lettering-piece on upper cover.

A heavily annotated copy of the first (and only?) edition, filled with interlinear glosses of individual words and longer marginal notes. Extremely rare, we can trace no copies in US libraries and only one copy in the UK at Cambridge.

A most interesting social document addressed to the civil government of Leipzig but encompassing all aspects of civic and religious involvement in the celebration of Corpus Christi, one of the major feasts of the catholic church in an important German city on the eve of the Reformation.

The 140 lines of the poem discuss the Last Supper celebrated by Christ and his twelve disciples (‘Instruit ingentem cenam: iubet atque ministros/Convivas vocitent: cuncta parata ferant./ Bis sex cum sociis placidus cubat ecce magister./ Se cibat ipse cibus: se tenet ipse manu.) with versification of the words of consecration. Music is invoked with various instruments, and the presence of young men with torches and white robes, as well as painted banners and baskets of lilies, roses, and violets. The various grades of Leipzig clergy and school officers, magistrates, doctors and masters of the university, judges and others are mentioned and their position in the procession.  Also mentioned is the prince of Saxony (see below).The verses are very humanist in style, full of obscure references, e.g. ‘resonent Oeagria plectra’ [ reference to Orpheus, son of Oeagrus] ‘Inclyte Sarrana o princeps, lena [rectelana’] induat artus’[ ‘purple wool’, Sarranus meaning purple, as in Sidonius Apollinaris ii,6 ‘sarrana chlamys’‘], ‘Mamurium canitis’ [probably a reference to Ovid Fasti iii, 260 ‘Arma ferant Salii, Mamuriumque canant?’].

In addition to the text of the poem (written in elegiacs) there are a few printed marginal notes, some one or two words, others much longer: for example, on A2r ‘Rex Asuerus’, A2v ‘Verba Christi coenitantis ad discipulos’, ‘Artifices varij candelis suis onusti./  Lipsienses supplicationes & (ut aiunt) processiones diei corporis Christi. Scholastici de gymnasio diui Thomae [the Thomaskirche]./ on B1r ‘Consul: & prefectus ducalis flaminem venerabile Christi corpus gestantem ducunt Tegmen pictum: stellisque variegatum: sub quo Corpus dominicum gestatur. Princeps illustrissimus Georgius. Satellities Armigerique ducales Gymnasiarches et Rector academie Lipsiensis. Taken together all of these underline civic and religious involvement. Interesting is the qualification ‘ut aiunt’ ‘as they say’ or ‘as they call them’ used in respect of ‘processiones.’  Is it possible that there is some sub-text even although processions are well attested in the history of the church? They were thoroughly disapproved of by Reformers, and in England were abolished in 1547 in the reign of Edward VI. 

The Feast of Corpus Christi, which commemorates the Eucharist, is celebrated on the Thursday of the week after Trinity Sunday, and dates from the middle of the thirteenth century. It is largely due to the activities of St. Juliana (1193-1528), a nun of Liège. It was confirmed in 1264 by a papal bull of Urban IV, Transiturus de hoc mundo (referring to the institution of the Eucharist at the Last Supper). By the fourteenth century the feast was universally kept in the West, as it still is. It is commonly celebrated with a procession of the Blessed Sacrament, and the hymns ‘Pange Lingua’ and ‘Lauda Sion’, both by St Thomas Aquinas, who was commissioned by the Pope to write the liturgy of the feast, are sung.   

A number of such Christian school texts were printed in Leipzig, all small quartos, generally of a few leaves, the text set so that dictated glosses and commentary could be added easily. It is not exclusively found in Leipzig printing, but it is a remarkable feature of such from the end of the fifteenth century to about 1520. Examples may be cited such as Lactantius De resurrectione , 4 leaves, VD 16 VD16 ZV 16724 in Vienna ONB, Baptista Mantuanus Parthenice In Munich (VD16 S 7323), Arator (VD 16 A3185; [Melchior Lotter ca. 1512]) the Munich copy. There are also prose Christian texts, e.g. Lactantius De opificio Dei, 1515 (VD 16 L67) of which there is a very annotated copy at Munich. There are, of course, many similar examples from ancient literature in verse and prose, Sallust, Plautus, Virgil, Horace, and from other fields too, to be found in the hundreds of books printed at Leipzig between 1501 and 1520. A contemporary manuscript of this text with similar interlinear and marginal notes is to be found at Yale (Beinecke MS 903). 

Tuberinus, or rather Beuschel, is described as ‘Erythropolitanus’, i.e. from Rothenburg in Lower Saxony, through which flows the river Tubar. Beuschel matriculated at Leipzig in 1496/7, became baccalaureus in 1497/8 and Magister artium in 1502. He was dean of Leipzig university 1512-13, and seems to have died by early July 1522. He was the editor of a small number of humanist texts, including an edition of the Aeneid, and author of Latin verses, one set published in November 1518 celebrating the enthronement of Johann von Schleinitz (1470-1537) as Bishop of Meissen. In this text mention is made of Duke George of Saxony (Georg der Bärtige, 1471-1539), to whom Erasmus wrote in July 1520, praising his zeal for the university of Leipzig (Op. Epist.  4, 1125). He was also a zealous catholic. Beuschel’s Musithias de caelitibus et sacris historiis in Musas novem digesta of 1514 is a collection of over 43,000 verses, dedicated to the duke, and includes in book I (Clio Symphonia 18) a reprint of this text, but without the marginal printed material (ff. xxxixvxliiiv). 

He is not Johann Matthias Beuschel Tuberinus(?) who came from Rottweil and is described as imperial chaplain, who is the author of tracts against the Lutherans, published first in Tubingen in 1524 and then in German in Speyer. Nor must he be confused with Giovanni Mattia Tiberinus/Tiberino, a medical doctor from Chiari near Brescia, who wrote on the ritual murder case at Trent in 1475 in works published there (one in German), e.g. his Relatio de Simone uero Tridentino (see Bowd, S. “On Everyone’s Lips”: Humanists, Jews, and the tale of Simon of Trent, ACMRS & Brepols, 2012). 

VD16 B2375; the Munich copy has the date at end 1512 in manuscript. The only copies that we have been able to locate are at Munich, Berlin, Leipzig, Hannover, Zwickau, Jena, Strasbourg, and Cambridge.

See Deutscher Humanismus 1480-1520: Verfasserlexikon/ herausgegeben von Franz Josef Worstbrock I, pp.183-190. 

Stock Code: 247754

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