(In chronological order)


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_0006There 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 .



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 DSC_0037 (1)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.

DSC_0008The 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.

Adams; R-36


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

DSC_0107This copy is bound in full 18th century calf rebacked gilt spine.

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:

  1. 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:
  1. 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.

art112What 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.

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



848G Nicolaus de Byard (13th century)

Dictionarius pauperum omnibus pr[a]edicatoribus verbi diuini pernecessarius : in quo multu[m] succinte contine[n]tur materi[a]e singulis festiuitatibus totius anni tam de tempore q[uam] de sanctis accommodand[a]e, vt in tabula huius operis facile & lucide cognoscetur.



Parisiis : ex officinaAmbrosijGirault: 1511                                               $3,900


Octavo a-q8,r6 Bound in mover full antique style vellum.


Nicholas Bayard was, according to Bale, a Dominican theologian at Oxford, where he obtained his doctor’s degree. Pits’s account tends in the same direction, and both biographers praise their author for his knowledge of pontifical law. Bale adds that he was very skilled for his age in Aristotelian studies, but accuses him of distorting the Scriptures by ‘allegorical inventions and leisurely quibbles.’ His principal work appears to have been entitled ‘Distinctiones Theologiæ,’ and, according to the last-mentioned authority, this book was largely calculated to corrupt the simplicity of the true faith, as it consisted, like Abelard’s ‘Sic et Non,’ of an assortment of theological opinions opposed to one another. A manuscript of this work is still preserved in Merton College library (cclii.), and Tanner gives a list of other writings of this author that are to be found in English libraries. The date assigned to Nicholas Bayard by his English biographers is about 1410; but this can hardly be correct if Mr. Coxe is right in assigning the handwriting of DSC_0037 (2)the Merton manuscript to the previous century. The whole question of the era in which this writer lived, and his nationality, is minutely discussed by Quétif in his ‘Scriptores Ordinis Prædicatorum,’ who inclines to believe that Bayard was a Frenchman of the thirteenth century. This, according to Quétif, is the opinion of an ancient French writer, Bernard Guido. Quétif also shows how, in the collections of that age, preserved up to his days in the Sorbonne, Bayard’s sermons constantly occurred in company with those of William of Auvergne, bishop of Paris (1228–48), and other great characters of Louis IX’s reign. More conclusive as to the date is Quétif’s assertion that in the ‘Liber Rectoris Universitatis Parisiensis’ Bayard’s great work is mentioned as being for sale in Paris before the year 1303; that several other discourses of Bayard were for sale in Paris at the same time; and that his ‘Sermones Dominicales’ formed part of a parchment folio in the Sorbonne library, containing Robert de Sorbonne’s ‘Liber de Conscientiâ’ (d. 1274). Quétif does not, however, adduce any indubitable evidence that Bayard was a Frenchman. But if he was the writer of the ‘Summa de Abstinentia,’ which Quétif unhesitatingly assigns to him, and does really, as Quétif asserts, mingle French words with the Latin text, the fact of his French residence, if not of his French birth, may perhaps be considered as proved. Lastly, as regards the order to which Bayard belonged, Quétif observes that there is no certain evidence whether he was a Franciscan or a Dominican. In all the manuscripts excepting one he appears to be called simply Frater Nicholas de Bayard, and in the only one which is more precise he is called a Minorite. Only one of Bayard’s works seems to have been printed, and that one of somewhat doubtful authenticity, the ‘Summa de Abstinentia,’ which was published under the title of ‘Dictionarius Pauperum’ by John Knoblouch at Cologne in 1518, and again at Paris in 1530.   Dictionarius pauperum is an encyclopedia of Christian philosophy,for the use of preachers, arranged alphabetically from “De abstinentia” to “De vita eterna.” The attribution to de Byart is tentative. In the thirteenth century Dictionarius pauperum compiled by Nicolas de Byard, we find the admonition that just as robbers easily have the treasure after they have broken the chest, so the devil has the soul after he has confused a man and stolen his patience, because “the heart of a fool is like a broken vessel, no wisdom at all shall it hold.  (ODNB)

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815G John Fisher 1469-1535

Sacri sacerdotij defensio cõtra Lutherum, per Reuerendissimu Dominum, dominum Johannem Roffeñ. Episcopum, virum singulari eruditione omnifariam doctissimum, iam primum ab Archetypo euulgata. Cum tabula et repertorio tractatorum.


Colonie : Petri Quentel, 1525.                                                       $3,000

A8B4,a-G8. This copy is bound in modern full calf.

DSC_0036Octavo A8B4,a-G8. One of three eds. printed by Quentel in 1525. One of the others is in 4to (Kuczynski 821)–and the other, in 8vo, has title 1st line: “Sacri sacerdotij defensio” (Kuczynski 823)./ Ed. by “frater Johãnes Romberch” (leaf [2]). Marginal notes printed throughout./ Includes index, leaves A3–B1.

“Sacri sacerdotii defensio contra Lutherum” is a defense of the priesthood by arguments in favor of tradition against innovation and a divine sanction of the priesthood.

Kuczynski, A. Thesaurus libellorum histoDSC_0034riam Reformationis,; 822;

BM STC German, 1465-1600,; p. 458; Pegg, M
Pamphlets in Swiss libraries,; 2493; VD-16,; F-1238; Adams; F-547