NICHOLAS DE LYRA (1270-1349). Fragment of commentary on the writings of the prophet Isaiah ("Moraliter," chapter XXIII). 15th Century.

$ 525.00

Single leaf, (11 ½ x 8 ½ inches). 27 lines in center block surrounded by 2 columns of 76 lines, rubricated with initials in red and blue (one small wormhole, slight browning at edges).

Incunable leaf, likely from the "Biblia Latina cum Postillis Nicolai de Lyra," the Latin Vulgate Bible with Nicholas de Lyra's commentary. This particular leaf shows chapter 23 from the Book of Isaiah (in Latin Vulgate) in a center block of text, with Nicholas de Lyra's commentary surrounding it in two columns. The Bible verse begins, "The oracle concerning Tyre. Wail, O ships of Tarshish, For Tyre is destroyed, without house or harbor; It is reported to them from the land of Cyprus." The burden of Tyre focuses the prophet's message on the major coastal city of the Phoenicians to the north. The Greeks called them "purple folk" because of their famous purple dye. They were the shipping merchants of the Near East. Zidon (Sidon) was another prominent Phoenician coastal city. Isaiah foresees the coming destruction of this great commercial empire. Tarshish is the common designation for the westernmost part of the Mediterranean, as far as Spain. Chittim refers to western lands, especially the island of Cyprus. Isaiah announces that trade with these distant places will cease because of Tyre's destruction.