Title: Decreta provincialis Synodi Florentinae, 1574
Author: Antonio Altoviti; Catholic Church
Publisher: Florentiae, Apud Bartholomaeum Sermartellium
An extremely scarce first edition of Archbishop Antonio Altoviti’s Decrees of the diocesan synod of Florence. Son of the influential banker Bindo Altoviti, Antonio received a jumpstart to his ecclesiastical career at a young age, under the tutelage and protection of Cardinal Niccolo Ridolfi. Although the Altovitis were stalwart allies to the Medici family, they raised the ire of the Duke of Florence, Cosimo I de' Medici, shortly after the death of Clement VII, by siding with the graces of Catherine de’ Medici and Pope Paul III. As further insult to injury, Paul III later appointed Antonio as Archbishop of Florence in 1548. Insulted by this series of events, Cosimo responded by banning the newly appointed Archbishop from ever setting foot in Florence.
For 20 years, the archbishop-in-exile spent much of his time in Rome, participating in the Council of Trent, and building a chapel in Loretto. Due to his age and ambition, there was hesitation to appoint him as cardinal.
When Paul III passed, Cosimo took this as an opportunity to demand the archbishop in chains, but was denied. It was in 1564, that Pope Pius IV, also of the Medici family, asked Cosimo to implement the decree of the Council of Trent, and with this, Cosimo had no choice but to rescind his banning, and urged the Archbishop Altoviti to return and take charge of the district.
Finally, in 1567, Altoviti had returned to take charge of the archdiocese, and it was in that same year that he also ordained Cosimo’s nephew Alessandro. As both mentor and friend to the man who would later become Pope Leo XI, this bond served to reconcile the two formerly quarreling houses, and as a reward for instating the decree, Pius finally reworded Cosimo with the title of Grand Duke of Tuscany
Described as a man of virtue with legendary supervisory skills, his death was sudden in 1573, at the age of 52.
The title has been inscribed onto the spine in ink.
Worldcat records 9 existing copies of this edition in libraries.
One vellum bound volume in quarto, (16)+139 pages
On note of condition, this volume is in good shape, with very little rubbing or wear to the binding. There is foxing and staining throughout, namely to the margins and bottom of the pages. From page 91 to the end of the volume, there is a wormhole that develops, obscuring the occasional letter from page 119 onwards. There is a developing tear and hole on the last page, affecting the printer device, and soft to the touch.