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Divi Dionysii Carthusiani Opuscula alquot [sic], quae spirituali vitae et perfectioni tam vehementer conducunt . . . Triginta religionis excellentiae Alani de Rupe sacrae theologiae doctoris (Cologne: Melchior Neuss [Novesianus], 1534) .

Denys the Carthusian (1402-1471) was perhaps the most prolific writer of the Middle Ages. The edition of his works made by Dirk Loër and the Carthusian monks in Cologne is one of the great feats of printing in the sixteenth century. Loër, who claims to have used Denys's autograph manuscripts for the edition, almost single-handedly published 57 volumes, printed in different formats by several presses, between the years 1521 and 1538. The printer of this edition, Melchior Neuss (active in Cologne 1525-1551), also printed several other volumes of Denys's writings. Dirk Loër frequently consulted Dominican theologians in Cologne on points of "theological correctness."

This volume, containing a series of treatises for beginners in the religious life, was one of the most widely read in the Cologne edition. The book also contains an enormously popular mystical treatise by Hugh of Balma, O.Cart. (fl. late 13th c.), another by Eusebius, and a little protreptic writing by Alain de la Roche, O.P. (1428-75), which proclaims the advantages of the religious life. Alain studied in the convent of St.-Jacques at Paris and then lived in various Dominican convents in the Low Countries. By his writings (Psalterium gloriosissimae virginis Mariae, qui fuit revelatus Beato Dominico) and his zealous preaching, more than anyone else Alain established the modern devotion of the rosary and popularized the legend that the Virgin Mary revealed the devotion to St. Dominic (see catalogue n° 56). He was the founder of the Confraternities of the Rosary, which spread throughout Europe.

References: Chaix 2: 493 no 35.1/1; IA 3/3: 414; Kaeppeli no 88.

Catalogue No. 44
Call Number: Rare Books Small BX 890 .D46 1534
     Catalog Record

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