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A very old fly in Exercitium super Pater Noster II in the Bibliothèque nationale de France

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image of Quaerendo

On the basis of both codicological and text-historical evidence this article dates the Exercitium super Pater Noster blockbook editions and determines their genesis. It proves that the first edition was made at the instigation of Henricus Pomerius between 1447 and 1450, and that it was intended to give visual form to the Figuralis expositio, one of Pomerius's commentaries on the Lord's Prayer. The woodcut material for the second blockbook edition, used in two very different codices, must have been manufactured about 1460. Pomerius's involvement in the production of this second edition is quite uncertain. The Mons copy was printed as late as ca. 1475. The Paris codex, with the manuscript gloss Quia orans explaining the woodcuts that were pasted in, was put together about 1460. Some time after the composition of this codex the woodcuts were shifted down slightly, as can be deduced from stains caused by the crushing of a little fly. Thus it is ascertained that the codex never contained any other woodcuts.


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