septem_peccatis_mortalibus-1500-grayAs is usually the way, when I have more than enough work to already do a book makes it mo my desk and lures me away with a subject or concept new to me and captivates me into letting the undone to stay son (and pile up).  Today This book :


[Paris]: Denis Roce, 1500. [ca. 1499-1509]  Lead me into something simply interesting on the surface into a truly interesting  topic certainly worthy of more investigation!.. This book is a Rare (I could locate only two copies of this  book, one in an Library and another for sale) treatise on the seven deadly sins, attributed by some to Johannes Nider (ca. 1380-1438),

Ok so The “Seven Deadly Sins” I expected there would be the usual territory here, and this little book looks like a handy guide to them, to carry with you in your pocket, you know ..just incase..

as I recall from Chaucer:

“Now is it bihovely thyng to telle whiche been the sevene deedly synnes, this is to seyn, chiefaynes of synnes. Alle they renne in o lees, but in diverse manneres. Now been they cleped chieftaynes, for as muche as they been chief and spryng of alle othere synnes.
-Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales

Here is what I was expecting : Envy, Gluttony,Lust,Anger,Greed, lastly Sloth  [The avoidance of physical or spiritual work.]

In Nider’s recention we have “gula” (gluttony), “luxuria” (lust), “avaritia” (avarice), “superbia” (pride), “invidia” (envy), “ira” (wrath), and “accidia” (i.e. acedia). The order has changed since I had to memorize them, but “ACCIDIA”…is not sloth, not so simple is it?  This is what hooked me,but before I dig into what acedia is i wanted to know who came up with the seven anyway?

The Catholic Enclyopedia led me to Evagrius of Pontu, Εὐάγριος ὁ Ποντικός also called Evagrius the Solitary (345-399 AD), was a Christian monk and ascetic. One of most influential theologians in the late fourth-century church, he was well known as a thinker, polished speaker, and gifted writerHe has ‘first dibs on it , but they numbered eight.  gluttony, lust, avarice, sadness, anger, acedia, vainglory, and pride. Pope Gregory the Great combined vain glory and pride, winnowing it down,he also re ordered them in relation to their severity of offense to Love. Saint Thomas Aquinas reordered them from Gregory … the order seems to be in constant flux.

but here we have a modern List


wait that is something else.

Now back to Acedia,from the Greek  ἀκηδία “akedia,” or “not to care”

The Oxford Concise Dictionary of the Christian Church defines acedia (or accidie) as “a state of restlessness and inability either to work or to pray”. Some see it as the precursor to sloth—one of the seven deadly sins. In his sustained analysis of the vice Aquinas in Q. 35 of the Second Part220px-Hieronymus_Wierix_-_Acedia_-_WGA25736 (Secunda Secundae) of his Summa Theologica, Aquinas identifies acedia with “the sorrow of the world” (compare Weltschmerz) that “worketh death” and contrasts it with that sorrow “according to God” described by St. Paul in 2 Cor. 7:10. For Aquinas, acedia is “sorrow about spiritual good in as much as it is a Divine good.” It becomes a mortal sin when reason consents to man’s “flight” (fuga) from the Divine good, “on account of the flesh utterly prevailing over the spirit.” Acedia is essentially a flight from the world that leads to not caring even that one does not care. The ultimate expression of this is a despair that ends in suicide.

Aquinas’s teaching on acedia in Q. 35 contrasts with his prior teaching on charity’s gifted “spiritual joy,” to which acedia is directly opposed, and which he explores in Q. 28 of the Secunda Secundae. As Aquinas says, “One opposite is known through the other, as darkness through light. Hence also what evil is must be known from the nature of good.”

But before this

Evagrius’ contemporary, the Desert Father John Cassian, [Here is his book on Acedia ]depicted the apathetic restlessness of acedia, “the noonday demon”, in the coenobitic monk:

“He looks about anxiously this way and that, and sighs that none of the brethren come to see him, and often goes in and out of his cell, and frequently gazes up at the sun, as if it was too slow in setting, and so a kind of unreasonable confusion of mind takes possession of him like some foul darkness”

. (quoted in Stephen Greenblatt, The Swerve: how the world became modern, 2011:26.)

But Wait, Kathleen Noris worte for CNN , yes CNN a piece about “bad Thought”

Here it is

She writes

“On a recent trip across America, what surprised me most was the number of people — over 200 in one city, 80 to 150 elsewhere — who wanted to discuss this odd word, “acedia.”
It’s an ancient term signifying profound indifference and inability to care about things that matter, even to the extent that you no longer care that you can’t care.
I liken it to spiritual morphine: You know the pain is there but can’t rouse yourself to give a damn.”

DOC, what I find interesting here is that it is a sin.

from Noris, “I wrote my book because I suspected that although the word “acedia” is unfamiliar to most of us, its effects are widely known. When I compared the classic descriptions of acedia with the plagues of contemporary society — a toxic, nearly unbearable mix of boredom and restlessness, frantic escapism (including that of workaholism), commitment-phobia and enervating despair — I found the ancient demon of acedia in modern dress.”

her Book: Kathleen Norris, Acedia & Me: A Marriage, Monks, and a Writer’s Life]; is now on my reading list.

So this 20 page book has brought me to ponder what has changed to bring a state to be a sin, then modified into a social weakness sloth then finally to a medical problem, but much more..

Some Five hundred years ago, Nider’s treatise on Sveven Deadly Sins has allowd me to lear alittle more..



[Paris]: Denis Roce, 1500. [ca. 1499-1509]                                         $SOLD

Small octavo. [12] ff. ([a]8-b1) including illustrated title page. This copy is bound in antique-style full calf, stamped in blind, gilt spine title. Mild dampstain in lower gutter, faint dampstain in outer margins of first few leaves.

This is a are treatise on the seven deadly sins, attributed by some to Johannes Nider (ca. 1380-1438), Dominican priest and author of FORMICARIUS (1435- 37), one of the most influential and earliest printed books discussing witchcraft.

The brief, pocket-sized work, likely to be have been kept on one’s person as a “useful” guide, enumerates and contemplates the seven deadly sins – here, “gula” (gluttony), “luxuria” (lust), “avaritia” (avarice), “superbia” (pride), “invidia” (envy), “ira” (wrath), and “accidia” (i.e. acedia).

Acedia, a spiritual listlessness associated with distraction, apathy, and resentment, was the famous “noonday Demon” of St. John Cassian and a topic discussed by many fellow Desert Fathers; it concludes and occupies the largest portion of the work. The term acedia was used first used in Christianity by monks and other ascetics who lived solitary lives, and were tempted to become listless and inert, or begin longing to be elsewhere or to do something other than what they were doing. Evagrius numbers acedia as of the eight bad thoughts, and St. Thomas Aquinas (following Gregory the Great) numbers it as one of the seven capital vices (so-called because they are the source of many kinds of sin). Though related to depression, acedia is not considered entirely the same in the monastic and Christian tradition. It is usually seen as naming a fault, which is subject to one’s will, rather than simply a psychological state. Acedia is to spiritual health something like what depression is to mental health.

The title page bears the pictorial metalcut publisher’s device of French printer and bookseller Denis Roce with the motto, “ALAVENTURE TOUT VIENT APONIT [sic] QUI PEUT ATENDRE.” The mark (Polain 162, Renouard 1005, Silvestre 451) was in use during the 1490s and first decade of the 1500s; Polain notes that the plate remained intact until about 1509.

Not in Goff or Adams or BM STC Fr.