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The Book of Saint Kyrill] - Saint KYRILL] - 1644. 
Printing House Moskva 1644 - Folio (29.7 x 19.1 cm), ff. (15), (8), (561), ff.355/6 combined by compositor, without 5 blanks. Cyrillic letter, some in red, signatures and pagination in Slavonic alphabet numerals. Ornate white on black woodcut headpieces in various sizes, some ornamental red initials; light damp stain to upper inner corners, one gathering with central oil stain, intermittent marginal ink spots, grubby fingermarks and assorted splodges, light age yellowing. Contemporary crimson morocco over wooden boards, upper cover with multiple gilt panel border incorporating Greek key pattern, 4 large gilt cornerpieces within, ornate gilt arabesque lozenge at centre. Lower cover with same border, solid brass heart at each corner, 4 gilt flowers within, solid brass symbolic centrepiece. Spine in six compartments with gilt flowers and cornerpieces, all edges gilt, richly gauffered, board edges indented at centre, lower pair with metal shoes either side, remains of crimson leather straps; hinges repaired with red morocco. A fine example, in a lovely binding, of one of the most important Russian publications of the mid seventeenth century, printed by order of the first Tsar of the Romanov dynasty - Mikhail Fedorovich. First edition. Rare in such condition. A comprehensive statement of orthodox doctrine and praxis, it aimed particularly against the teachings of the catholic and protestant churches, even comparing the anti-Christ with the Pope of Rome. The editors, well known figures in Muscovite literary circles, Mikhael Rogov, archpriest of Chernigovskiy cathedral, and loann Nasedka, priest in charge of Moscow Uspenskiy Cathedral, the main cathedral of Russia at that time, were most active in the publishing world during the time of patriarch losif, who played a major role in the fight against the non-orthodox Christian churches. Between 1642 and 1652 the Moscow Printing House printed no less than 36 religious texts, 14 of which had not been previously printed, of which the present became most influential. The immediate reasons for the Kirillova Kniga compilation and swift publication was to provide material supporting the patriarch Iosif in his dispute with the Danish Prince Waldemar. In a view to a Russian-Danish coalition against Sweden, the Prince had been invited to Russia as a potential husband for Mikhail Fedorovich's daughter, Irina Mikhailovna. However, being a Lutheran his conversion to orthodoxy was a prerequisite of the marriage. Patriarch Iosif relied extensively on the Kirillova Kniga in his doctrinal controversies with the Danish Prince in which Mikhael Rogov was also involved. Ultimately however, they failed to convince the Prince to convert, and some said that the consequent failure of his daughter's engagement resulted in death of the Tsar in 1645, after which the Danes left the country. The book consists of 46 chapters and unites a variety of works devoted to the preservation of the doctrine of the Orthodox Church. Its name derives from the first work, opening the collection, the Discourse of Saint Kyrill Archbishop of Jerusalem that was translated and adapted from the Greek by Stephana Zizaniya - a tireless preacher against the Roman Church. Apart from original contributions by Rogov and Nasedka it includes works of, especially, South Russian scholars such as Vasiliy Surojskyi-Malushenskiy, Patriarch Meletiy and Prince Ostrozhskiy. The seminary at Riga (stamps) was founded in 1851, its buildings nationalised in the early 1920s, and finally closed in 1936. Pozdneeva, Cyrillic printed books 15-17th. c., 325; Sopikov 569; Zenova, Moscow printed books, 16-17th c., 169. [Attributes: First Edition; Hard Cover]
[Bookseller: Shapero Rare Books]
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