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Bringing Reformed Liturgy to Print at the New Monastery at Marienthal

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The reformed liturgical texts created at the Council of Basel (1431–1449) were not printed at Mainz, the birthplace of the new technology, but across the river Rhine at a new monastery of the Brothers of the Common Life at Marienthal. Documentation of the establishment of that monastery is sketchy but includes the involvement of Archbishop Adolph II of Nassau (1462–1475) and vicar general of the Mainz diocese, Gabriel Biel (1410–1495), who would become a Brother at Marienthal. The 21 editions (1474–1484) that were issued by the monastery were almost all newly written books by local clerics: the reformed liturgical texts for the new German Bursfeld Congregation of Benedictines and diocesan breviaries; spiritual reading in the vernacular so typical of the books of the Brothers, including the first German translation by Biel of Jean Gerson's Opus tripartitum, a confessional by Johannes Lupi, and a life of St. Martin of Tours by Sulpitius Severus. Who cast the six types, who did the printing, and who paid for the printing shop remain subjects of conjecture?

Affiliations: 1: Department of Music, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720-1200;, Email: mkduggan@ISchool.Berkeley.EDU


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