Joachim di Fiore
Liber concordie novi ac veteris Testamenti — Venice 15198.500 €
Liber concordie novi ac veteris Testamenti: nunc primo impressus: et in luce editus … — Venice, de Luere, 1519. [Colophon:] Venetijs completum hoc opus per Simonem de Luere. 13. Aprilis. 1519.
4to (203 x 155 mm). a-y, ç, aa-mm4: (4), 135, (1) leaves, including final blank.
Contemporary limp vellum with spine title in ink, endpapers renewed; faint dampstaining in lower outer corners in first half of volume and in outer margins toward end.
Provenance: 16th-century inscriptions on title, one Dono alla Chiesa Parrochiale di Giovi – Ludovico Della Croce nel 1583, the other scored. – Adams J 209.
¶ Within a short time, 1516-1527, six book were published in Venice under the name of Joachim di Fiore. Though Joachim is the author of only two of these (Liber concordie and Expositio in Apocalipsim printed together with Liber decem chordarum, 1527), this an astonishing publishing activity. Apart from the Vaticinia none of these books were published again in the 16th century and later, except a ps.-In Hieremiam in 1577. Who had initiated this eleven-year publishing?
In an age of religious excitement and the longing for a reformatio, renovatio, or revolutio ecclesiae et mundi, Silvestro Meuccio, a friar of San Cristophoro della Pace in Venice, red a compilation of Joachim’s books made by Fr Rusticianus, a Venetian Dominican. Meuccio „became fired with the project of publishing what he took to be the works of Joachim as containing the vital message for his age […] We know little about Silvestro outside these publications, but he reveals himself in the prefaces he writes and here we also meet three of his circle of friends. Anselmo Vitturnio of Vicenza possibly helped Silvestro in his labours, Filippo of Mantua wrote lucubrationes on the Apocalypse. The third was a hermit mystic, Bernardion Parentiono of Padua, who was the interpreter of God’s mysteries to the group […] A fourth inquirer into Joachimist mysteries was Paolo Angelo, a ‚Byzantine stranger‘. […] In his preface to the Expositio in Apocalypsim Silvestro stated the high claim of the Augustinian Hermits [to which he belonged] to be Joachim’s new spiritual men quite clearly […] Silvestro’s prefaces reveal a man who viewed the future with deep foreboding […] The circle of Silvestro looked out upon the world with the eyes of Joachim ‚noster divinus magnus modernusque propheta‚ – expecting at once the bitterest tribulation of all time and the angelic state of reform and peace to follow. […] they expected the Church to be raised from her ruined state into that contemplative and celibate life which was to be the third status, enduring until the consummation of the ages.“ So far about the people beyond our book. (Quotes are from M. Reeves, Joachim of Fiore & the Prophetic Future. 1999, 54f.; see also Id., The Influence of prophecy in the Later Middle Ages. A study in Joachimism, London 1993, p. 262ff.)
The Liber Concordie of Joachim is called „the groundwork of all his thoughts“ by Marjorie Reeves. To complete its title you may take the Incipit of book I. It reads: „… liber primus Concordiarum veteris. s. ac novi testamenti: et de futuris usque in finem temporum“. Of course the latter is the gist: replacing the myth of the past by the myth of the future.
Books and articles on Joachim stress the changing of history into the history of salvation, describing the paths leading from the end of the 12th century to Thomas Müntzer, Lessing, Hegel, Schelling, Karl Marx, Saint-Simonians, and Auguste Comte. It is often said that the influence of the Liber Concordie on the following centuries is barely assessable.
Recently Gianni Vattimo has dedicated a chapter of his book After Christianity to Joachim: „Is it possible that Joachim’s presence within the modern European tradition … might be close to the events characterstic of modernity that I have have treated under the general title of secularization? I am trying to clarify and verify the hypothesis that the secularization of modern thought and society embraces the meaning of the end of metaphysics and the ‚discovery‘ of Being as event and destiny of weakening. Today, these are the signs of the age of spirit that could be compared to the central role played by the Benedictine monasticism in Joachim’s scheme.“ (p. 34f.)
In the history of painting Sandro Boticelli’s Nativity „has been called [by Fritz Saxl] one of the greatest documents of Joachimist thought.“ (Reeves, J.d.F., 93)
The second photo shows in three intertwined circles the illustration of Joachim’s „revolutionary“ (M. Reeves) and most influential theory of trinity as, roughly spoken, theory of three ages: the age of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; of the Exodus to Egypt and the conquest of Palestine, of the teaching of Christ and the Evangelization, of the preaching of the spiritual men and of those believing their sayings reaching the promised freedom of contemplative life; of the ages of the circumcision, of the cross, and of harmony and peace.
The third shows the relations between the Old Testament, the New, and the Apocalypse.