Fasciculus temporum by the Cologne Carthusian Werner Rolewinck (c. 1425-1502) was reprinted many times in the fifteenth century, but in the Netherlands only one Latin edition (in Louvain), and one Dutch adaptation (in Utrecht) were printed. Both editions were published by Johan Veldener, who might also have been involved in the first edition by Arnold Therhoernen, which appeared in Cologne in 1474.
According to the colophon of the Dutch translation the book is a ‘Chronicle of old times, from the creation and the beginning of Adam and Eve... to the present day’. The present day should be read as 1474, the year of the first Cologne edition. The Dutch translation, which appeared in 1480, also stops in 1474. But after the main work of about 400 pages, there are another 250 pages which discuss, besides a chronicle of the kings of France and England, especially the history of the Northern and Southern Netherlands. The phrase ‘Finished by me jan veldenar’ in the colophon has led to the printer Veldener also being considered as the author of this addition. The Dutch translation was not reprinted in the fifteenth century. So there must clearly have been less of a market for this historical work in the Netherlands than for the often reprinted Leven van Jezus *and the *Legenden der Heiligen, no small publications either. Yet there was a lasting appreciation for this work throughout the ensuing five centuries, which has secured the survival of more than a hundred extant copies.
Medieval books were often illustrated with a small number of woodcuts that were printed in the same book more than once. The woodcut illustrating the destruction of Babylon, reproduced on the opposite page, is used again later on in the book, but with a different caption: ‘Here the city of Utrecht is being destroyed’. The dual use of the illustration explains why the Utrecht Dom tower does not feature in the illustration.
Fasciculus temporum.Werner Rolewinck. Utrecht, Johan Veldener, 14 Feb. 1480. 2º, 338 leaves. - Provenance: donated by P. Musschenbroek, 1806. - 168 E 29, fol. XXXVIIIv