page19image1896907G Johannes de Verdena  (d.1437)

Sermones Dormi secure vel dormi sine cura de t[em]p[or]e.

              [bound with]

Sermones Dormi secure de tempore et de sanctis.

Nuremberg : Anton Koberger, 12 Mar. 1498
Nuremberg : Anton Koberger, 5 Jan. 1494                                     


page18image11432Folio 11 X 8 inches A (-A1)-F8 G6 [bound with] ae8 f6 gk8 I10

The first works lacks title slug. The second work is complete. These two books are rubicated in red and blue throuout. It has a manuscript index on the verso of the final leaf. It is bound in blind stamped original calf over wooden boards,nicely rebacked. With heavy blind stamped ornaments on both boards and a faint title of the front board. The two parts of the famous preaching collection of the Franciscan monk Johannes de Verdana, who, besides Johann von Minden and Heinrich von W erl, belonged to the three best known German preachers of the thirties of the fifteenth century .

The “Sermones Dormi secure” is a command to calm the preacher who can keep his sermons on Sundays and holidays (de tempore et de sanctis) without his having so stay up all night composing your own texts. Compiled by a Franciscan friar, this collection of 71 sermons was intended to provide sample texts for those preachers who could not create their own. The nickname of the collection, “dormi secure” (“sleep soundly”), may have implied jokingly that its users were too ignorant or lazy to compose new sermons on short deadlines.

Although it was a highly successful book, appearing in dozens of editions, Martin Luther dismissed it as:

“Donkey dung, introduced by the devil.”

(oh Luther)

This practical preaching document was particularly popular and was printed between 1476 and 1500 in more than 30 editions in Germany , France, the Netherlands and Switzerland. Numerous other editions were printed until the 17th century .



ad1)  De tempore: Goff J468; HC 15977; Walsh 759; Pr 2120; BMC II

ad2)De sanctis: Goff J470; HC 15979 Walsh 736; Pr 2087; BMC

(Goff and ISTC showing only two copies in the US :Harvard  & St Bonaventure Univ)