A discussion of interesting books from my current stock A site


December 2015

It’s not impossible, just very difficult, to glean ‘heresy’ from conduct

A very nice blog on heresy indeed!

In the Light of the Law

My observation that Archbishop Blase Cupich of Chicago is not a “heretic” exposed considerable misunderstanding about the notion of “heresy”. Confusion on this matter should surprise no one, for antinomian times, such as those obtaining now, discourage wider familiarity with certain basic terms of ecclesiastical discourse. Among the comments I have received, some run along these lines: “Just look at everything Abp. Cupich does! If he’s not heretic, no one is!”

Oh dear. Shall we examine this claim in light of what the law actually says?

Three points: (1) “Heretic” is not a term used to describe, say, a prelate who one thinks is doing a bad job, but rather, denotes someone given to “the obstinate denial or obstinate doubt after the reception of baptism of some truth which is to be believed by divine and Catholic faith” (Canon 751). (2) “Heresy” is not a ‘bad attitude’ but a crime

View original post 580 more words

Raymond of Sabunde

723G   Raymond, of Sabunde, .        d 1436

Theologia naturalis sive Liber creatura[rum] specialiter de homine [et] de natura eius in qua[n]tum homo. :[et] de his qu[a] sunt ei necessaria ad cognoscendu[m] seip[su]m [et] Deu[m] [et] om[n]e debitu[m] ad q[uo]d ho[mo] tenet[ur] et obligatur tam Deo q[uam] p[ro]ximo.  


Impressus Nurembergae : Per Anthoniu[m] koberger [sic] inibi co[n]cluem,1502      $7,800

Folio, 11X 8 inches . This is about the fifth printed edition. A-Q8 R6   In this copy there are contemporary manuscript initials added in red and blue,DSC_0006 There is a gilt initial at the beginning of the prologue tooled in the gold leaf into a gesso ground. It is bound in full contemporary Nuremberg blind-tooled brown sheepskin over wooden boards,lacking clasps, titled is blind stamped on front board with contemporary paper label; There are several inscriptions on title, including reference to the Prologue’s inclusion on the Index Prohibitorum;(1589)there are the usual stains, browning and internal wear, some marginal rodent damage, the binding has been rebacked,it is a good solid copy .DSC_0004


Sabunde was Born at Barcelona, Spain, towards the end of the fourteenth century; died 1432. From 1430 to his death he taught theology, philosophy, and medicine at the University of Toulouse. Apparently, he wrote several works on theology and philosophy, only one of which remains, “Theologia Naturalis”. It was first written in Spanish then translated into Latin.

This text marks the dawn of a knowledge based on Scripture and reason.
The Catholic Encyclopedia sees this as “It represents a phase of decadent Scholasticism, and is a defense of a point of view which is subversive of the fundamental principle of the Scholastic method. The Schoolmen of the thirteenth century, while holding that there can be no contradiction between theology and philosophy, maintain that the two sciences are distinct. Raymond breaks down the distinction by teaching a kind of theosophy, the doctrine, namely that, as man is a connecting link between the natural and the supernatural, it is possible by a study of human nature to arrive at a knowledge even of the most profound mysteries of Faith. The tendency of his thought is similar to that of the rationalistic theosophy of Raymond Lully….Moreover, in Spain scholastics, in combating Islam, borrowed the weapons of their erudite antagonists. Close internal resemblance indicates that Raimund de Sabunde was preceded in method and object by Raymund Lully.” CE

What is new and epoch-making is not the material but the method; not of circumscribing religion within the limits of reason, but, by logical collation, of elevating the same upon the basis of natural truth to a science accessible and convincing to all. He recognizes two sources of knowledge, the book of nature and the Bible. The first is universal and direct, the other serves partly to instruct man the better to understand nature, and partly to reveal new truths, not accessible to the natural understanding, but once revealed by God made apprehensible by natural reason.   The book of nature, the contents of which are manifested through sense experience and self-consciousness, can no more be falsified than the Bible and may serve as an exhaustive source of knowledge; but through the fall of man it was rendered obscure, so that it became incapable of guiding to the real wisdom of salvation. However, the Bible as well as illumination from above, not in conflict with nature, enables one to reach the correct explanation and application of natural things and self. Hence, his book of nature as a human supplement to the divine Word is to be the basic knowledge of man, because it subtends the doctrines of Scripture with the immovable foundations of self-knowledge, and therefore plants the revealed truths upon the rational ground of universal human perception, internal and external.
The first part presents analytically the facts of nature in ascending scale to man,the climax; the second, the harmonization of these with Christian doctrine and their fulfillment in the same. Nature in its. four stages of mere being, mere life, sensible consciousness, and self-consciousness, is crowned by man, who is not only the microcosm but the image of God. Nature points toward a supernatural creator possessing in himself in perfection all properties of the things created out of nothing (the cornerstone of natural theology ever after). Foremost is the ontological argument of Ansehn, followed by the physico-theological, psychological, and moral. He demonstrates the Trinity by analogy from rational grounds, and finally ascribes to man in view of his conscious elevation over things a spontaneous gratitude to God. Love is transformed into the object of its affection; and love to God brings man, and with him the universe estranged by sin, into harmony and unity with him. In this he betrays his mystical antecedents. Proceeding in the second part from this general postulation to its results for positive Christianity, he finds justified by reason all the historic facts of revealed religion, such as the person and works of Christ, as well as the infallibility of the Church and the Scriptures; and the necessity by rational proof of all the sacraments and practices of the Church and of the pope. It should be added that Raimund’s analysis of nature and self-knowledge is not thoroughgoing and his application is far from consistent. He does not transplant himself to the standpoint of the unbeliever, but rather executes an apology on the part of a consciousness already Christian, thus assuming conclusions in advance that should grow only out of his premises.   Yet his is a long step from the barren speculation of scholasticism, and marks the dawn of a knowledge based on Scripture and reason.

Bibliothecae historicae libri VI, Diodorus Siculus a beautiful (post maybe) Incunablum.



756G Diodorus Siculus fl. 44 B.C.               Bibliothecae historicae libri VI   [a Poggio Florentino in latinum traductus]

[Paris] : [Denis Roce] Venundantur in vico sancti Iacobi sub signo Ensis. (1505-08)                                               $1.900

Approximate date of publication from Moreau, B. Inventaire chronologique des éditions parisiennes v. 1, p. 274 Printer’s mark of Jehan Barbier on title page.


Octavo inches alternate 8’s and 4’s   inches , a-v8·4 x6 y4            This copy is bound in full 18th century calf rebacked gilt spine.DSC_0107

Diodorus Siculus is the author of the ‘Bibliotheke’ or ‘Library,’ a universal history from mythological times to 60 B.C. Only fifteen of the original forty books survive fully (books one through five; eleven through twenty); the others are preserved in fragments.

ON December 6th, 2008 by Roger Pearse
Yesterday I mentioned N. G. Wilson’s statement that a complete copy of Diodorus Siculus existed in 1453. This led me to look again at his two books on how ancient Greek literature came to the west. These excellent volumes are Scholars of Byzantium, which discusses the fate of that literature in the Eastern Roman Empire from 400-1453; and From Byzantium to Italy, which talks about how it then got to Italy.
The statement about Diodorus is on the last page of text of the latter, p. 162, and note 4 on it, which tells us that Constantine Lascaris saw that volume in the imperial palace, PG 161:198. This is the last volume of the PG, in fact; containing material by Bessarion, George Trapezuntinus, Constantine Lascaris, Theodore of Gaza, and Andronicus Callistus.
The work by Constantine Lascaris is De scriptoribus Graecis Patria Siculis – Greek writers from Sicily – is in Latin, addressed to a renaissance ruler of Sicily, and commences on col. 195. Various writers are listed. I transcribe the whole entry on Diodorus from an unfortunately indistinct image:
9. Diodorus Siculus Argyrensis, historicus praestantissimus, qui sub Tiberio militavit. Historiam composuit libris quadraginta, quam Bibliothecam vocavit: de antiquitate Aegyptiorum, de Sicilia et aliis insulis, de bello Trojano, de gestis Alexandri et Romanorum usque ad suam artatem (?), quorum sex a Poggio Florentino traducti circumferuntur. Reliqui vix inventiuntur. Ego autem omnes ejus libros vidi in bibliotheca imperatoris C[onstantino]politani.
That’s plain enough:
9. Diodorus Siculus, of Argyra, a preeminent historian, who lived in the time of Tiberius. He composed a History in 40 books, which he called The Library: on the antiquities of the Egyptians, on Sicily and the other islands, on the Trojan war, the deeds of Alexander and the Romans, down to his own times, of which six translated by Poggio the Florentine are going around. The rest are hard to find. But I myself have seen all of his books in the imperial library in Constantinople.
We can take Lascaris at his word, I think. Constantine Lascaris was a nobleman of the empire who fled the city with others in 1454 and went to Italy. After staying in Milan and Rome he received an invitation from Ferdinand I to go to Naples, and eventually fixed himself in Messina in Sicily, where he taught Greek language and literature. His library ended up in the Escorial in Spain.

What we do have of Diodorus concentrates on Greece and his homeland of Sicily, until the First Punic War, when his sources for Rome become fuller. The ‘Bibliotheke’ is the most extensively preserved history by a Greek author from antiquity. For the period from the accession of Philip II of Macedon to the battle of Ipsus, when the text becomes fragmentary, it is fundamental; and it is the essential source for classical Sicilian history and the Sicilian slave rebellion of the second century B.C. For many individual events throughout Graeco-Roman history, the ‘Bibliotheke’ also sheds important light. Diodorus probably visited Egypt circa 60-56 B.C., where he began researching his history. By 56, he may have settled in Rome, completing the ‘Bibliotheke’ there around 30. He read Latin and had access to written materials in Rome. Books one through six include the geography and ethnography of the inhabited world, and its mythology and paradoxology prior to the Trojan war. Of special significance are the description of Egypt in book one; the discussion of India in book two; passages from the works of Agatharchides in book three; and the highly fragmentary Euhemeran material in book six.” (OCD)



Realistically speaking, he was not the greatest of historians. His work often combined fact and fancy in a confusing manner. Even so, Diodorus Siculus (or Diodoros Siculos to his Greek contemporaries), left a wealth of writings which have added to our knowledge of Sicily and the eastern Mediterranean during the “Roman” age. His work has been characterised as uncritical but we are reasonably certain of some details. He was born during the first century BC at Agyrium, in central-eastern Sicily, of a Greek family, and spent some time in Rome, Greece and Egypt, visiting the last around 60 BC. The most recent historical event mentioned in his works occurs in 21 BC. His Bibliotheca Historica (“Historical Library”) includes numerous surviving texts, some fairly reliable –particularly those “borrowed” from authors such as Apollodorus and Timaeus. The problem, as we have implied, is that Diodorus does not always differentiate historical events from historical legend, even though some historians of his era managed to do so. It’s one thing to repeat that the mythical hero Heracles (Hercules) visited Agyrium (Agyrium was east of Enna toward Mount Etna), but quite another to attribute actual events to people who could not possibly have been present to participate in them.DSC_0108

In considering his monumental work, the first portion deals with history until the destruction of Troy, the second segment with the death of Alexander, and the third, turning an eye westward, with the period leading up to Julius Caesar’s conquest of Gaul. Of the forty books, volumes 1 through 5 exist, and volumes 11 through 20 (inclusive) have also been preserved. Only those texts recounting events during the author’s own lifetime may be said to be truly original. It is thought that Hieronymus of Cardia and, for earlier periods, Ephorus, were the sources of his knowledge of Greek history.

Certain passages of Diodorus’ “missing” books are cited by other authors, such as Photius. That Diodorus’ work itself has preserved the earlier writings of several historians is important. His “mythic” treatment of Egyptian, Ethiopian, Assyrian and Persian history is relevant to studies of these civilizations. However, he did not necessarily travel to every place he wrote about. His description of Mesopotamia’s legendary Babylonian rulers is probably based on those of Ctesias.


It seems that many book sellers were marketing this very printing book in paris about the same time, with different devices, J. Barbier seems to have taken Roce’s device about 1508.


Goff D215? ; Moreau I 274: 63; Renouard, Imprimeurs III 128 and I, 1508, 63; Renouard, 1005 (mark of D. Roce) Pell 4264; BMC(Fr) p.135


Diodorus Siculus: History is more than the recording of wars

Today I will be posting a blog on my current copy of Didorus 756G Diodorus Siculus fl. 44 B.C. Bibliothecae historicae libri VI [a Poggio Florentino in latinum traductus] [Paris] : [Denis Roce] Venundantur in vico sancti Iacobi sub signo Ensis. (1505-08) stay tuned!

Antiwar literary and philosophical selections


Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

Greek and Roman writers on war and peace

Diodorus Siculus: Alexander’s first encounter with military glory


Diodorus Siculus
From The Library of History
Translated by C. H. Oldfather

It is fitting that all men should ever accord great gratitude to those writers who have composed universal histories, since they have aspired to help by their individual labours human society as a whole; for by offering a schooling, which entails no danger, in what is advantageous they provide their readers, through such a presentation of events, with a most excellent kind of experience. For although the learning which is acquired by experience in each separate case, with all the attendant toils and dangers, does indeed enable a man to discern in each instance where utility lies…yet the understanding of the failures and successes of other men, which is acquired by the…

View original post 690 more words

Saint Bonaventure, Opuscula: Strassburg; ( George Husner)] 18 Dec. 1495


671G Bonaventure
671G Bonaventure

671G Bonaventure, Saint.  1221-1274    Opuscula 


Strassburg;[Printer of the 1483 Jordanus de Quedlinburg (ie George Husner)] 18 Dec. 1495            $ Sold


671G Bonaventure BINDINGS
671G Bonaventure

Two Folio volumes , 111/2 x 8 1/2 Inches     .  Fourth edition  Vol I 1/8, 2-4/6, a8, b-g8/6, h6, i-Z6/8, A-Z6/8, AA-EE6/8;  Vol II, (Lacking A1, title exactly the same as the first title excepting for the word ‘secunda’ see image above ) A8, B, C6, aa8, bb-rr8/6, ss, tt6, vv-zz, Aa-QQ8/6, RR, SS6, TT-ZZ, Aaa8/6, Bbb-Eee6.

671G Bonaventure
671G Bonaventure

There are three full paged woodcuts two of the tree of sangunity and one of the order of Angels, Seraphim, etc.  This is a very nice copy full of deckle edges and in original condition. Each volume of these copies is bound in full, contemporary blind-tooled calf over wooden boards. They retain all 16 corner pieces as will as both sets of clasps. In this wonderful copy the first woodcut _(a1verso ) of Christ crucified on the tree of sanguinity has been coloured, the two other woodcuts have non. Both volumes have been nicely rubricated throughout with red Lombard capitals supplied as well.


“Bonaventura presents a marked contrast to his great contemporaries, Thomas Aquinas and Roger Bacon. While these may be taken as representing respectively physical science in its infancy, and Aristotelian scholasticism in its most perfect form, he brings before us the mystical and Platonizing mode of speculation. […] To him the purely intellectual element, DSC_0101though never absent, is of inferior interest when compared with the living power of the affections or the heart.” (EB, 1910, v. 4, p. 198)  __“But more important than any group of positions is his effort to orient philosophy towards theology, and theology toward mystical union.  Without such an effort, philosophy is merely an outgrowth of worldly curiosity, placing man on ‘the infinite precipice.’ In following the controversies of the thirteenth century it is important to remember that for men such as Bonaventure, the price of philosophical error is not merely confusion; it is also the ultimate disaster of damnation.” (Hyman & Walsh) _


Goff B-928 (listing only five institutions holding complete copies); BMC I 144; Pr 639; Hain B468; Polain 777; Pell 2616; GW 4648; Walsh 258; Chrisman, “Bibliography of Strausbourg Imprints,” C1.2.10.




Glasgow Incunabula Project update (15/7/14)

This is a great blog!

University of Glasgow Library Blog

Three books from the celebrated press of Nicolaus Jenson feature in this batch of incunabula.

Colophon Colophon from Antoninus Florentinus: Summa theologica. Pars III (1477)

Gratian Gratian (1474)

Originally from France, Nicolaus Jenson worked as a cutter of coinage for the royal mint, and is said then to have studied printing in Mainz. He was subsequently one of the most successful immigrant printers to settle in Venice.  His was the second printing shop to be established in the city (after that of the de Spiras), and his first books appeared in 1470.

Like other early printers, he began by concentrating on producing editions of Latin classical texts and grammars. By 1473, however, an over production of the classics had resulted in a glut and collapse in the Venetian book market. Jenson managed to survive the crisis and stayed in business by forming syndicates with other businesses and by diversifying – moving into…

View original post 515 more words

A very rare Incunable: Antoninus Florentinus , Confessionale: Omnis mortalium cura…

775GAntoninus Florentinus
775G Antoninus Florentinus
775G  Antoninus Florentinus 1389-1459
Confessionale: Omnis mortalium cura [Italian] Specchio di coscienza. Add: Trattado dell’ excommunicazione; Li dieci comandamenti; Credo volgare in prosa; Thomas Aquinas: Orazione la quale diceva quando andava a celebrare; Orazione che si fa dopo la comunione

[Milan: Leonardus Pachel and Uldericus Scinzenzeler, about 1477-80]

Also recorded as      [Christophorus Valdarfer, about 1470-71]                                           $SOLD

Quarto 8 1/2 x 6 1/4  inches,  a-m8, n6

This copy is bound in early sixteenth  century dark calf Venetian binding, richly blindstamped boards.

775GAntoninus Florentinus
775G Antoninus Florentinus

In this copy the initial and heading letters fully rubricated in red, upper margin a bit short, but a fine and crisp copy on strong paper.

775GAntoninus Florentinus
775G Antoninus Florentinus

One of the earlier XVth century editions of the Confessionale in ancient italian . This is one of the first books printed in Milan.   Antoninus Florentinus entered the Dominican order at the age of sixteen. Uninterested in achieving an important administrative position, he was nevertheless forced by Eugene IV to accept the Archbishopric of Florence in 1446 .“The literary productions of Saint Antoninus, while giving evidence of the eminently practical turn of his mind, show that he was a profound student of history and theology.” (CE) These two works on Dominican and ecclesiastical discipline and canon law deal with the circumstances under which excommunication might be imposed and all legal and theological aspects of marriage.

Of considerable importance are the manuals for confessors and penitents containing abridgments, reproductions, and translations from the “Summa” and frequently published in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries under the name of St. Antoninus. An unsuccessful attempt has been made to show that he was not the author of the Italian editions. At the most is should be granted that he committed to others the task of editing one or two. The various editions and titles of the manuals have caused confusion, and made it appear that there were more than four distinct works. A careful distinction and classification is given by Mandonnet in the “Dictionnaire de théologie catholique”DSC_0092

Antoninus was born in Florence in 1389, and is reported to have been inclined to prayer and piety from early childhood, taking pleasure only in reading the lives of saints or conversing with pious persons. In his teenage years he felt inspired to join the Dominican order, but was forbidden from doing so by his father who insisted on the study of canon law instead, adding that he could take the habit when he had learnt the entirety of Gratian’s Decretum by heart. Antoninus set himself to the task, and at the age of sixteen he answered his examination on the whole of Gratian and promptly presented himself to the prior of Fiesoli. He subsequently held office over the great convent of the Minerva in Rome, and was prior at Naples, Cajeta, Cortona, Siena, Fiesoli, and Florence, as well as actively preaching throughout Italy and acting as an advisor to Pope Eugenius IV at the Council of Florence in 1439. DSC_0090On the death of the archbishop of Florence the election of a successor was referred to Eugenius IV, who is reported to have asked Antoninus’ associate Fra Angelico (at the time working on a painting project in the Vatican), who suggested Antoninus. He was appointed while engaged in a visitation of his monasteries, but was extremely reluctant to accept an office that would keep him from his chosen life as a Dominican preacher, initially attempting to flee into hiding in Sardinia, and then petitioning the pope to be released of this burden. With his pleas to the pope falling on deaf ears, he turned to his influential Florentine friends for aid, including Cosmo de’ Medici who wrote two letters to the pope: an official one endorsing Antoninus’ plea to drop the nomination, and another secretly congratulating the pope on his choice. After being threatened with excommunication Antoninus took possession of his archbishopric in March 1446, but continued to act in accordance with his earlier life, shunning riches and fine robes, dividing his income between himself, the Church and the poor of the city, having the archiepiscopal flower gardens replanted with wheat for the poor, and refusing to own a horse or carriage, travelling everywhere instead on a rented donkey. He died on the 2 May 1459 at the age of seventy, and was buried in the church of San Marco. Plans for his canonisation were immediately put into effect, and he was finally pronounced a saint in 1523.DSC_0092

Goff A 848; (U.S.A: San Marino CA, The Huntington Library) GW 2171;( Corresponds page for page with the edition of about the same date from an anonymous press, GW 2170. GW assigned to Valdarfer ) BMC VI, 794; IGI 658; Pell. 857

A New COPY :Physiologia Kircheriana Experimentalis

647G Physiologia Kircheriana Experimentalis
647G Physiologia Kircheriana Experimentalis

Physiologia Kircheriana Experimentalis, Qua Summa Argumentorum Multitudine & Varietate Naturalium rerum scientia per experimenta Physica, Mathematica, Medica, Chymica, Musica, Magnetica, Mechanica comprobatur atque stabilitur. Quam Ex Vastis Operibus Adm. Revdi. P. Athanasii Kircheri extraxit, & in hunc ordinem per classes redegit Romæ, Anno M. DC. LXXV. Joannes Stephanus Kestlerus Alsata, Authoris discipulus, & in re litterariâ assecla, & coadjutor.

Amsterdam: Ex Officinâ Janssonio-Waesbergiana, 1680

“This work, edited by one of Kircher’s pupils…is a codification of Kircher’s observations and experiments across the entire spectrum of his researches in physics. Naturally, there are large sections on light and shadow, magnetism, acoustics, and music; but there are also experiments and observations in hydrolics, alchemy, and a myriad of other topics. THis compendium was perhaps a response to entreaties from Kircher’s fellow scientists, who appreciated his keen observations and experiments but did not care to wade through some forty volumes to glean them. The book is an example of what Kircher’s writings could have been like at the hands of a good editor. Kircher died the year the book was published, and it is uncertain to what extent he was involved in its publication. The Physiologia is not only a measure of Kircher’s scientific curiosity and the cast range of his scientific researches, but also a barometer of his age, a catalogue of the scientific concerns of his time” (Merrill).

647G Physiologia Kircheriana Experimentalis
647G Physiologia Kircheriana Experimentalis



647G Athanasius( Kestler) Kircher 1602-1680

Physiologia Kircheriana Experimentalis, Qua Summa Argumentorum Multitudine & Varietate Naturalium rerum scientia per experimenta Physica, Mathematica, Medica, Chymica, Musica, Magnetica, Mechanica comprobatur atque stabilitur. Quam Ex Vastis Operibus Adm. Revdi. P. Athanasii Kircheri extraxit, & in hunc ordinem per classes redegit Romæ, Anno M. DC. LXXV. Joannes Stephanus Kestlerus Alsata, Authoris discipulus, & in re litterariâ assecla, & coadjutor.

Amsterdam: Ex Officinâ Janssonio-Waesbergiana, 1680                         $12,500

Folio 9.1/2  x 14 1/4 inches  *4, A-Z4, Aa-Ii4. First and only edition. This copy is only lightly browned and bound in its original full vellum binding, a nice copy of a book often found very darkly browned.


DSC_0086Kircher produced some forty treatises “on virtually every imaginable aspect of ancient and modern knowledge”, each one “demonstrat[ing] his dizzying array of linguistic, paleographic, historical, and scientific skills, and … advertis[ing] his myriad inventions, possession of strange and exotic artifacts, and mysterious manuscripts” (Findlen) Graesse Vol. 4, p. 22; Merrill #29; Sommervogel IV 1076, 24; Caillet II, 365.5796; Brunet III, 669; Clendening 13.26; Garrison/Morton 80.580.Findlen, ed., Athanasius Kircher: The Last Man Who Knew Everything [2004], p. 2.




Bees ,Spelling, Gender, Music & all in one book!

Source: Bees ,Spelling, Gender, Music & all in one book!

Create a website or blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: