Author: Ciolek Erazm , 1474 - 1522
Title: Oratio in praestita obedientia Solei Sanctissimo. Domino nostro Iulio. II. Pape. Nomine serenissimi principis Alexandri Regis Poloniae & magni Ducis Lithuaniae...(etc.) habita Romae in Consistorio publico per Reverendum patrem Herasmum Vitellium Episcopum Plocensem. die lunae mensis Marcii. Anno Salutis M.D.V.
Title in English: Oration in Expression of Obedience to our Pope, Holy Father Julius II, on Behalf of the Enlightened Ruler Alexander, King of Poland And Great Duke of Lithuania…(Etc.) Delivered in a Public Consistory in Rome by Erazm Vitellius, Bishop of Płock, on Monday in March, in the Year of our Lord 1505.
Published: [Rome], Eucharius Silber or Johann Besicken, 1505.
Binding: with an initial engraved in wood.  ll. 21st century, raw half calf binding, hard marble covers.
A very rare original oration by Erazm Ciolek (Erasmus Vitellius: 1474–1522), Bishop of Plock, Canon of Krakow, distinguished Polish humanist and diplomat.
Ciolek, who was also known as Vitellius, was the son of Stanislav and Agnieszka, burghers of Krakow, and owners of a wine shop. Ciolek was accepted to the University of Krakow in 1485, where he gained a bachelor’s degree in 1487 and a master’s degree in 1491. In 1491 - 1493 he taught at the university himself. In 1495, he began working at the Chancellery of the Grand Duke of Lithuania in Vilnius, where his ability and diligence helped him gain the Grand Duke Alexander’s trust.
In 1499, he was made the Canon of Vilnius, and later also the Dean and Prepositor. After officially gaining the status of landowner on 14th April 1502, Ciolek was made a member of the Cathedral Chapter of Krakow. When Alexander, the Grand Duke of Lithuania, became the King of Poland in 1501, he made Ciolek the Bishop of Plock.
In 1501, Ciolek was sent to Rome with an official embassy for the first time. In 1505, he travelled there for the second time. His travels revealed his diplomatic and rhetorical ability, which are also evident in this oration to Pope Julius II. It was given on behalf of Alexander, the King of Poland, who was asking the Pope for financial aid. Pope Julius II granted the request and gave Alexander the badly-needed aid, thus helping the king to at least partially restrain the arrogant Teutonic Order in the provinces of Prussia. (Encyclopaedia Britannica).
In 1518, Alexander’s successor King Sigismund I sent Ciolek on an important mission to a gathering in Augsburg, Germany, and afterwards sent him to Rome. On 20th August in Augsburg, he delivered a speech supporting a charge against the Turkic peoples. The speech was received favourably, and Jakob Spiegel published it with a dedication to Erazm. From Augsburg, Ciolek travelled to Rome, where he lived for almost two years as the representative of Sigismund I. He died in Rome and was buried in the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore.
Ciolek was not only a highly educated man himself, but also supported scientists, artists and writers. He had amassed an impressive library, which is especially valued for the collection of decorated manuscripts. It remains in his diocese in Plock and his house in Krakow. Part of Colek’s library, including the decorated manuscripts, is preserved in the library of the Chapter of Plock.
References: “Contemporaries of Erasmus I”, 304–305 p.; MS, STC, 185 p.; “Poland's case for independence, being a series of essays illustrating the continuance of her national life” (New York, 1916), 185 p.; ne Adams; Czapnik, “Rare Polonica in The New York Public Library” (2001).