Clementis Undecimi Pontificis Maximi Orationes Consistoriales
Rome: Apud Jo: Mariam Salvioni, 1722. First edition of this lovely memorial volume, consisting of ninety-four orations by Clement XI (1649-1721) to his council. Copper-engraved title page printed in black and red. Engraved preliminary illustration; engraved portrait of Clement XI; large engraved historiated initials; engraved coat of arms; illustrated with 219 engraved head and tail pieces. Text printed within a double-ruled border. Light foxing and intermittent light browning. Small library stamp on verso of title page. Engraved bookplate on front pastedown. A fine copy. Contemporary vellum with red morocco spine label lettered in gilt. Tall folio. vii, , 307 pp. Item #16348
Clement XI (Giovanni Francesco Albani) was pope from 1700 up until his death. He was a patron of the arts and sciences and was also a benefactor of the Vatican Library. During his papacy, he made an important decision regarding the Chinese Rites Controversy. As a result of this decision, Jesuit missionaries were forbidden from taking part in any honors paid to Confucius or the ancestors of the Emperors of China, which Clement XI deemed to be both uncivilized and idolatrous. Orationes Consistoriales is a memorial work, published after the pope’s death in 1722. It consists of ninety-four orations given by Clement XI to his council on a wide variety of subjects, including four on missionary activity in China. This work was edited by the Pope’s nephew, Italian Cardinal Annibale Albani. Pope Clement XI appointed Albani (1682-1751) as the Cardinal Bishop of Sabina in 1711.