The Gennadius Library recently acquired the 17th-century first Greek editions of two liturgical texts: the Euchologion of Maximos Margounios, Bishop of Kythera (1602) and the Syntagmation of Gabriel Severus, Metropolitan of Philadelphia (1600). Both editions hold a special position in the history of Greek printing as they were published in Venice in the famous printing press of Antonio Pinelli.
Founded in the early 17th century, the Pinelli family printing press, was active for two centuries as the official printers (“Stampatori ducali”) of the Venetian Republic until its dissolution by Napoleon. During the period 1600 to 1676, the Pinelli publishing house printed a considerable number of Greek liturgical and vernacular literature books.
A total of 244 editions are recorded in the Greek bibliography of Thomas Papadopoulos (Ελληνική βιβλιογραφία, 1466 – c. 1800): 152 editions were printed by Antonio (or Giovanni Antonio) Pinelli, 85 editions by Giovanni Pietro Pinelli, 3 editions by Marco Pinelli, and 4 by the Typographia Pinelliana. The Gennadius Library owns 48 copies of Greek editions by Pinelli (20% of the total Greek production).
The two editions are bound together in a wonderful early seventeenth century bookbinding with French calf and gilt edges. The ownership inscription on the title page, “Ex Biblioth. Episc. Belvac [ensis],” points to the Library of the Cathedral of Beauvais.
The newly acquired book joins another Gennadius specimen with the same provenance (Beauvais), binding and ownership inscription; the three liturgical texts Sylleitourgika (1603), Theiai leitourgiai (1601) and Syntagma … akolouthion (1595) are bound together.
The three bound copies were purchased from Jammes Librairie in Paris, and were donated to the Library in 1975 by Mrs. Oscar Curtis Holder.