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[BIBLIOGRAPHY] GRETSER, Jakob. Catalogus Librorum quos Jacobus Gretserus Societatis Iesu evulgavit usque ad Octobrem Anni 1610. . Ingolstadt, Adam Sartorius, 1610.

Small 4to., [19 x 15 cm], (1) f., 16 pp. Disbound, but housed in a custom made cloth folder. Even toning but otherwise very good.


Very rare first edition of one of the earliest “auto-bibliographies” by a Jesuit, the highly learned controversialist Jakob Gretser, one of the most prolific of Jesuit authors.

Gretser explains in the preface that he compiled this bibliography of his own works following requests for such a catalogue from people in remote or provincial areas, although as De Backer Sommervogel points out, Gretser appears to have been planning an edition of his complete works, and the present bibliography may therefore have been an early blueprint.

The bibliography is organized thematically rather than strictly chronologically, beginning with his works on the history and representation of the holy cross, and concentrating on his works of the previous 10-12 years. Included in the catalogue are his defense of the Society of Jesus, various anti-Lutheran polemics, editions and translations of Greek ecclesiastical writers, and his defense of Bellarmine’s writings.

Jakob Gretser (1562-1625) was born at Markdorf in the Diocese of Constance, entering the Society of Jesus in 1578. At Ingolstadt, where he spent most of his life, he taught philosophy and theology for over 20 years. Recognized as one of the best controversialists of the time, he was highly esteemed by Clement VIII, Emperor Ferdinand II, and Maximilian I Elector of Bavaria, and counted Robert Bellarmine and Marcus Welser among his correspondents.

De Backer Sommervogel lists subsequent editions in 1612 and 1674. OCLC lists no American copy of any of the editions. A bibliography of Gretser’s complete works can be found in the posthumously published Opera Omnia (1734-).

* De Backer Sommervogel III.1805.234.

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