Format: 33 x 45 cm. Number of Pages: 272 Paper: weighing 220 grams., which has been created by the Cartiere Miliani di Fabriano with a particular composition enriched with vegetable fibers. This special composition reproduces the characteristics of antique paper and is guaranteed to last for centuries. Binding: entirely sewn by hand and bound in leather with embossments and gold leaf insignias. Case: wooden sleeve with walnut finishing, leather trimmings, and embossments. Iconography: 101 illustrated tablets, 61 in color
The volume contains all the writings by San Giovanni, "he who Jesus loved" and to whom, dying, he left the so-called “Mother”, that is to say the Gospel, the Apocalypse and the Epistles, in the Latin version approved by the Episcopal Conference. The Gospel of Giovanni is considered the most mystical of the four gospels: the symbol of the Evangelists, the eagle that sees far, represents the depth and the incisiveness of the "vision". The other fundamental text by Giovanni is the Apocalypse; according to tradition, the apostle wrote it in the island of Patmos, after having brought Maria to Efeso. Its great imaginative power evokes through the centuries great suggestion: at the end of the first millennium of the Christian era it was considered the prophecy of the end of the world. Today the words of Giovanni maintain all their evocative power. The volume is illustrated with unpublished miniatures taken from two extraordinary manuscripts: an Armenian manuscript of the XIV century and a Latin manuscript of the same period. The miniatures of the two, reproduced in a large format in the volume, are an extraordinary example of artistic expression of orient and occident spirituality. The history of the Gospel and the visions of the Apocalypse are told not only through the text, but also through the images. The Armenian manuscript from which a part of the magnificent illustrations is taken (the tablets that accompany the Gospel and the Epistles) is the so-called "Gospel of Khizan" . The manuscript is a part of a rich donation of an American maecenas, of Armenian origin, to the Biblioteca dell’Isola di San Lazzaro di Venezia, the most important library of manuscripts in the world. In 1976, shortly before his death, the maecenas gave his entire collection in inheritance to San Lazzaro. Because of its extraordinary value, the donor himself gave the "Gospel of Khizan" to the monks. The miniatures of the Latin manuscript are very precious as well: the illustrated figures on the pages of the Apocalypse flow inside the text, on the borders of the manuscript and in the columns and accompany the reader through this fantastic vision. In one of the miniature of the Latin manuscript, the troops of the Knights of the Apocalypse run after the Antichrist. A writing above says: "Verbum Dei", the word of God. The title of the book that collects all the writings by San Giovanni refers to this Divine word that overcomes harm. This volume presents the complete texts written by San Giovanni, in the Latin version, side by side with the translations, chosen for their extraordinary literary quality, by Massimo Bontempelli who, as perhaps no other, succeeds in restoring their mystical intensity and style of Evangelism. Bontempelli’s translations form what constitutes a work of high literary value: published only partially and in different periods, now unobtainable, and gathered together for the first time in this volume. The introductory essay work is by Giancarlo Gaeta, while the apparatus are treated by Fabrizio Lollini.
Massimo Bontempelli (1875-1960), writer and journalist, is one of the most respected translators of sacred Latin texts. Giancarlo Gaeta is professor of history of ancient Christianity at the University of Florence, an expert in the study of texts of New Testament and a sharp exegete of patristic theology . Fabrizio Lollini is one of the most capable Italian scholars of History of Miniatures and of Iconology at the University of Bologna.
The volume is published under the patronage of the Biblioteca Armena di San Lazzaro. Part of the revenue from the sales of the volume are donated for the restoration of the manuscripts from which the miniatures are taken. The volume’s importance is emphasized by two important signatures in the preface: the two high prelates that introduce the work: Cardinale Achille Silvestrini, Prefect for the Oriental Church, and Cardinale Karekin I Katholikos, spiritual leader of the Armenian community.