dsc_0079In chronological order


1) 723G  SaintBonaventura.  (i.e.”Conrad”of”Saxony)””

Speculum Beatae Mariae Virginis.

[Augsburg]: Anton Sorg, 29 Feb 1476                        $11,000

DSC_0002Folio,11 1/4 X 8 inches. First edition

50 leaves a-e10. Like in both BMC copies and in the Augsburg copy first blank leaf is wanting but text complete. Hain mentions also 50 leaves. GKW indicates 51 leaves (a-d10 e11). But there are no signatures nor catchwords.

This copy is bound in full modern vellum. This is a very nice copy with with wide margins and thick paper. This is one of Sorg’s early works, printed in his first type most probably handed down to him by the monastery of S. Ulrich & S. Afra, and used until 1477.

In the period of transition from manuscripts to books, authorship wasn’t as significant as it is in modern day, this particular book is an example of some of these complications. No longer attributed to Bonaventura, now attributed to Conrad of Saxony, his date and place of birth are uncertain. Holyinger is perhaps his family name. This error has been made by some of confounding Conrad of Saxony with another person of the same name who suffered for the Faith in 1284, whereas it is certain that they were two distinct individuals, though belonging to the same province of the order in Germany. Our Conrad became provincial minister of the province of Saxony in 1245, and for sixteen years ruled the province with much zeal and prudence. While on his way to the general chapter of 1279; he was attacked with a grievous illness and died at Bologna in 1279. The writings of Conrad of Saxony include several sermons and now the Speculum Beatæ Mariæ Virginis; the latter, at times erroneously attributed to St. Bonaventure, was edited by the Friars Minor at Quaracchi in 1904. The preface to this excellent edition of the Speculum contains a brief sketch of the ife of Conrad of Saxony and a critical estimate of his other writings.

The Franciscan C(K)onrad Holzinger von Sachsen was born in the early 13th century at Braunschweig as Konrad Holzinger (Holtnicker). He died in 1279 at Bologna while on his way to the General Franciscan Assembly at Assisi. He was known as lecturer at Hildesheim, orator and ascetic-mystic author. In 1247 he became the Saxon provincial and managed his Order for 16 years till 1263 when he resigned. But in 1272 he was again elected as provincial, to remain so till his death.

His most famous work is his Speculum Beatae M. Virginis. For centuries this work was attributed to Bonaventura (see e.g. Hain who listed the work under Bonaventura). This is quite understandable from the wording of the Incipit on the first leaf and that of the colophon on the last leaf. In this work, Konrad deploys his Mariology as an explanation to the Ave Maria. It is also known as Expositio de Salutatione Angelica and is one of the most important works of the 13th century ascetic literature; from the 13th till the 15th century it was dispersed in 173 manuscripts. His other works are a.o. a Bible-commentary and the Sermons De Tempore, De Sanctis, De Communi Sanctorum, Ad Sacerdotes et Rectores, Ad Religioses and a Quadragesimale.

Holzinger’s exegetic works are said to have influenced Dante’s “Purgatorio”.

On Konrad see: BBKL, Band IV (1992), 429-430; NDB 12 (1979), 549; N. Glassberger, Chronica (= Analecta Franciscana), Quaracchi 1887; A. Franz, Drei dt. Minoritenprediger, Freiburg 1907, 9-46; L. Lemmens, in: Jahrb. der Sächs. Provinz, Düsseldorf 1907, 142 and in: Beiträge zur Gesch. der Sächs. Franziskaner-Provinz 2 (1909), 3.

This is one of Anton Sorg’s early works and the second edition of this work at his press; the first one being from 29 II 1476 (Hain 3566; GKW 04817).

There is not much known about him. He was an apprentice in the printing shop of the monastery of Saint Ulrich and Afra in 1472 and later its director. In 1475 he left the monastery and started his own press in Augsburg. That city was then particularly famed for the craftsmen who produced woodcuts for block-books. In that city book illustration as an art first flourished and Sorg played an important part in that development. Sorg was active in Augsburg between 1475 and 1493. And very active, he was one of the most prolific of the early printers: the GW mentions altogether 242 works. He had close professional ties to other printers, especially the Bämmler and Schönsperger offices, who often used the same illustrations. His most famous edition was the 1477-German Bible.

A peculiarity of Sorg’s press was the use of outlined woodcut initials (after the examples of the medieval manuscript). Often a large outlined initial was inserted at the start of a chapter and within each chapter smaller woodcut initials headed each division. Sorg’s use of printed outlines of the letters to be illuminated was not a common practice. In this work there is on the first leaf a splendid 10-line decorative Maiblumen illuminated initial Q and furthermore there are 16 3- or 4-line illuminated initials (8x A; 4x D; 4x B).

On Sorg see: Albert Schramm – Der Bilderschmuck der Frühdrucke. Vol. 4: Die Drucke von Anton Sorg in Augsburg (Hiersemann, 1921).

Goff B959;  BMC II 343

Boston Public Library;
Univ. of North Carolina
The Newberry Librar
Univ. of South Carolina;
St Vincent College & Archabbey Library;
Yale Univ;,
Columbia Univ; New York Public ; Pierpont Morgan Library;
Brown Univ;
Hollins Univ. Library;
The Huntington Library; Library of Congress.

2)   Sacrobosco, Johannes de (ca. 1195 – ca. 1256 A.D.); Regiomontanus, Johannes (1436-1476); Peurbach, Georg von (1423-1461)

Sphaera mundi [with] Johannes Regiomontanus: Disputationes contra Cremonensia deliramenta [and] Georg von Peurbach: Theoricae novae planetarum.

Venice: Erhard Ratdolt, 6 July 1482


 Quarto: 19.5 x 14.3 cm. 60 lvs. Collation: a-g8, h4. 30-31 lines, Gothic type

FIRST COLLECTED EDITION. Bound in fine 20th c. dark green crushed morocco with the gilt monogram and armorial device of the noted collector George Abrams. Leaf a2 is printed in red and black and has two very fine decorative initials on black ground. There is a full-page woodcut of an armillary sphere on leaf a1 verso and about 40 diagrams (many half-page) in the text, 8 of which are hand-colored in a green, yellow or red wash). This is handsome copy with a little bit of marginal foxing and a few marginal notes in an early hand.



A fine copy of Erhard Ratdolt’s beautiful printing of Sacrobosco’s “Sphere”, the core astronomical textbook from the Middle Ages to the early 16th century. This edition is the first to include key texts by two of the most influential 15th c. astronomers: Johannes Regiomontanus and Georg Peurbach.

Working in the vein of the Renaissance humanists, Peurbach and his student Regiomontanus sought out the extant scientific writings of antiquity, the classical foundations of medieval European and Arabic science. Both men gleaned what they could from ancient authorities but more importantly, moved the science forward, adjusting, correcting, and often discrediting their ancient and medieval predecessors, while performing new scientific investigations of astronomical phenomena. These investigations led to important innovations, placing Renaissance astronomy on a new path.

The first of the two supplemental texts in this volume, Peurbach’s “Theoricae Novae Planetarum” (New Theories of the Planets), eventually came to replace Sacrobosco’s “Sphere” and another 13th c. text, the “Theorica planetarum communis” (Universal Theory of the Planets), attributed to Gerard of Cremona. Composed about 1454, Peurbach based his “Theoricae” on the familiar teachings of Ptolemy, Al-Battani, Al-Farghani and caliph Al-Mammun’s astronomer, whose name is unknown. The word “novae” in the title is not meant to refer to a completely new theory but only to emphasize that this work is a compilation of the latest contemporary scientific knowledge. “Following Arab astronomers, Peurbach added trepidation to Ptolemy’s six motions of the celestial spheres and substituted solid crystal spheres for the hypothetical circles employed in Ptolemy’s ‘Almagest’.” (Stillwell, Awakenings).

In the final text in this volume, “Disputationes contra Cremonensia deliramenta” (Arguments against the Errors of [Gerard of] Cremona), Peurbach’s student Regiomontanus offers a critique of Gerard’s aforementioned “Theorica”, and demonstrates the superiority of Peurbach’s “Theoricae novae.” Adopting the form of a dialogue between ‘Viennensis’ (the “man from Vienna”, representing Regiomontanus) and ‘Cracoviensis’ (“The one from Krakow”, representing Martin Bylica of Ilkusch), Regiomontanus used geometrical proofs, often supplemented by diagrams, to refute specific claims in the earlier “Theorica.” In the course of his critique, Regiomontanus -renowned for the accuracy of his own predictive tables and calendars- also makes corrections to Gerard’s planetary tables.

Sacrobosco’s “Sphere”:


“Sacrobosco’s fame rests firmly on his ‘De Sphaera’, a work based on Ptolemy and his Arabic commentators, published about 1220 and antedating the ‘Sphaera’ of Grosseteste. It was quite generally adopted as the fundamental astronomy text, for often it was so clear that it needed little or no explanation. It was first used at the University of Paris. There are four chapters to the work. Chapter one defines a sphere, explains its divisions, including the four elements, and also comments on the heavens and their movements. The revolutions of the heavens are from east to west and their shape is spherical. The earth is a sphere, acting as the middle (or center) of the firmament; it is a mere point in relation to the total firmament and is immobile. Its measurements are also included. Chapter two treats the various circles and their names- the celestial circle, the equinoctial, the movement of the ‘primum mobile’ with its two parts, the north and south poles, the zodiac, the ecliptic, the colures, the meridian and the horizon, and the Arctic and Antarctic circles. It closes with an explanation of the five zones. Chapter three explains the cosmic, chronic, and heliacal risings and settings of the signs and also their right and oblique ascensions. Explanations are furnished for the variations in the length of days in different global zones namely the equator, and in zones extending from the equator to the two poles. A discussion of the seven climes ends the chapter. The movement of the sun and other planets and the causes of lunar and solar eclipses form the brief fourth chapter.” (Dictionary of Scientific Biography)


ISTC ij00405000; BMC V 286; Goff J405; Hain-Copinger 14110




3) 835G   Bernard of Clairvaux, Saint (1090 or 1091-1153).

Florum S. Bernardi nobiliorum libri X (auctore Guillelmo, S. Martini Tornacensis monacho). De quibusdam sermonibus venerabilis patris Bernardi.

Cologne : Johann Koelhoff, the Elder, 1482 (In this copy and in many copies, the arabic figures 82 have been added to the printed date ‘M.cccc.’, probably in the printing-shop )                               $13,000

Folio 11 1/4 x 8 inches {j.6} a2-q8, r-s6, t-v8 v8 blank(.j.1, a1,blank ).This copy lacks 5 leaves of index and 2 blanks. Second edition, the first  was printed in 1470.

 This is a very nicely rubricated copy with many large lombard initials in red and the capital stroked in red and each chapter has a leather tab, This copy is bound in original quarter calf over Oak boards, the clasp has been lost but the remains of the leather flap and the brass catch remains .It has a vellum two scraps of early music as paste downs

dsc_0074Compiled from the works of Saint Bernard by Guilelmus Tornacensis, Benedictine monk. It’s hard to know how to characterize Bernard of Clairvaux. On the one hand, he is called the “honey-tongued doctor” for his eloquent writings on the love of God. On the other hand, he rallied soldiers to kill Muslims. He wrote eloquently on humility; then again, he loved being close to the seat of power and was an adviser to five popes. What Bernard is remembered for today, more than his reforming zeal and crusade preaching, is his mystical writings. His best known work is On Loving God, in which he states his purpose at the beginning: “You wish me to tell you why and how God should be loved. My answer is that God himself is the reason he is to be loved.”

His other great literary legacy is Sermons on the Song of Songs, 86 sermons on the spiritual life that, in fact, only tangentially touch on the biblical text. One passage in

particular speaks aptly to Bernard’s lifelong passion to know God (and, likely, the temptations that troubled him).dsc_0070

After the death of his mother, fearing the snares and temptations of the world, he resolved to embrace the newly established and very austere institute of the Cistercian Order, of which he was destined to become the greatest ornament. He also persuaded his brothers and several of his friends to follow his example. In 1113, St. Bernard, with thirty young noblemen, presented himself to the holy Abbot, St. Stephen, at Citeaux. After a novitiate spent in great fervor, he made his profession in the following year. His superior soon after, seeing the great progress he had made in the spiritual life, sent him with twelve monks to found a new monastery, which afterward became known as the celebrated Abbey of Clairvaux. St. Bernard was at once appointed Abbot and began that active life which has rendered him the most conspicuous figure in the history of the 12th century. He founded numerous other monasteries, composed a number of works and undertook many journeys for the honor of God. Several Bishoprics were offered him, but he refused them all. The reputation of St. Bernard spread far and wide; even the Popes were governed by his advice. He was commissioned by Pope Eugene III to preach the second Crusade. In obedience to the Sovereign Pontiff he traveled through France and Germany, and aroused the greatest enthusiasm for the holy war among the masses of the population. The failure of the expedition raised a great storm against the saint, but he attributed it to the sins of the Crusaders. St. Bernard was eminently endowed with the gift of miracles. He died on August 20, 1153. His feast day is August 20.

Goff B389 ; Bod-inc,; B-178; GW; 3929; Hain-Copinger; 2926*; ISTC,; ib00389000; O


The Newberry Library ; Kalamazoo MI, Western Michigan Univ., (no longer there now at Our Lady of Gethsemani Abby); Library of Congress.

All copies of this text are quite rare in the US , the first edition Goff B-388 (before 1470) there are 5 copies :Our Lady of Gethsemani Abby; Brown University ;Huntington; Newbury; Princeton. Then this edition, the nGoff B-390 Paris 1499 Our Lady of Gethsemani Abby; Yale; Iowa; Fordham; San Diego.

        Making for only 13 copies of this important text listed in the US by the ISTC.


4)   836G

   Blanchellus, Menghus(Bianchelli, Mengo ) 1440-1520    

         Super logicam Pauli Veneti expositio et quaestiones (Menghi Fauentini viri clarissimi in Pauli Veneti logicam commentum cu[m] questionibus quibusdam.)  

 Impressu[m] Venetiis :[Per] Antoniu[m] [et] strata de Cremona.1483        18,000    

 Quarto a-t8 u6.   This copy is bound in Quarter reverse calf over quarter sawn wooden boards. A very nice copy in original condition. With many pages with fifteenth century notes.

 Title from incipit on a2 recto./ Colophon reads: Me[n]ghi faue[n]tini viri clarissimii Pauli veneti logica[m] Co[m]e[n]tu[m] cu[m] q[uesti]onib[us] no[n]nullis feliciter finit. Impressu[m] Venetiis Su[m]ma cu[m] dilige[n]tia [per] Antoniu[m] & strata de Cremona. Anno ab i[n]carnat[i]o[n]e d[omin]ni. Mcccclxxxiii. vi calendas Septe[m]bris. Joha[n]ne mocenico iclito veneto[rum] duce./ Text printed in 2 columns; 46 lines.

With initial spaces; without foliation and catchwords.


This is a very Rare philosophical treatise by the philosopher and physician M. Blanchellus (about 1440-1520), giving an explanation of the work of Paul of Venice, the important logician and realist of the Middle Ages. Took part in a “disputation” with Pico della Mirandola in Florence.             

Goff B693; HR 3228; IBE 1072; IGI 1751; BSB-Ink B-545; GW 4406 (only one  copy in the U.S.A: San Marino CA, The Huntington Library)

5)   776G . Hilarius, Episcopus Pictaviensis (315-367/68) [ed. Cribellus, Georgius,; fl. 1489]

Libri Sancti Hilarii de Trinitate contra Arianos, contra Constantium hereticum, contra Auxentium et de synodis fidei catholicae contra Arianos. – Liber Aurelii Augustini de Trinitate. [Georgio Crivellio edente.]

Mediolani : per magi strum Leonardum Pachel1489                                     $9,800

Folio π 2 A-I8, AA, BB8, a-k8, (except H, I, in sixes) complete. The last blank leaf is missing . This copy is bound in eighteenth century quarter calf. There is light damp stain at top margin, few minor wormholes in the beginning, touching a few letters, some thumbing to lower outer corners of first few leaves, small old red ink note to last leaf. There is small bookplate of the former Redemptorist seminary St. Alphonsus in Esopus, NY.


This is the Editio princeps of Hilary of Poitiers’ major theological work, issued with St. Augustine’s work on the same subject. “Hilary was said to be a defender of the divinity of Christ was a gentle and courteous man, devoted to writing some of the greatest theology on the Trinity, and was like his Master in being labeled a “disturber of the peace.”

In a very troubled period in the Church, his holiness was lived out in both scholarship and controversy. He was bishop of Poitiers in France. Raised a pagan, he was converted to Christianity when he met his God of nature in the Scriptures. His wife was still living when he was chosen, against his will, to be the bishop of Poitiers in France. He was soon taken up with battling what became the scourge of the fourth century, Arianism, which denied the divinity of Christ. The heresy spread rapidly. St. Jerome said “The world groaned and marveled to find that it was Arian.” When Emperor Constantius ordered all the bishops of the West to sign a condemnation of Athanasius, the great defender of the faith in the East, Hilary refused and was banished from France to far off Phrygia (in modern-day Turkey). Eventually he was called the “Athanasius of the West.” While writing in exile, he was invited by some semi-Arians (hoping for reconciliation) to a council the emperor called to counteract the Council of Nicea. But Hilary predictably defended the Church, and when he sought public debate with the heretical bishop who had exiled him, the Arians, dreading the meeting and its outcome, pleaded with the emperor to send this troublemaker back home. Hilary was welcomed by his people. His work on the Trinity is a scriptural confirmation of the philosophic doctrine of the divinity of Christ, and is of permanent value. It was not a mere restatement of traditional orthodoxy, but a fresh and living utterance of his own experience and study. In the discussion of the co-essentiality of the Son, Hilary lays emphasis on the Scripture titles and affirmations, and especially on his birth from the Father, which he insists involves identity of essence. In the elaboration of the divine-human personality of Christ, he is more original and profound. The incarnation was a move of the Logos towards humanity in order to lift humanity up to participation in the divine nature. It consisted in a self-emptying of himself, and the assumption of human nature. In this process he lost none of his divine nature; and, even during the humiliation, he continued to reign everywhere in heaven and on earth. Christ assumed body, soul, and spirit, and passed through all stages of human growth, his body being subject to pain and death. Redemption is the result of Christ’s voluntary substitution of himself, out of love, in our stead. Between the God-man and the believer there is a vital communion. As the Logos is in the Father, by reason of his divine birth, so we are in him, and become partakers of his nature, by regeneration and the sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s Supper.The christology of Hilary is full of fresh and inspiring thoughts, which deserve to be better known than they are.


 Goff H269; BMC VI 777 USA only two copies Yale, Villanova.


6) 794G Anon [Gesta Romanorum]

Gesta rhomanorum cu applicatõnib moralisatis ac misticis.

Strassburg: (Georg Husner), 25 January 1493             $35,000

Folio: [*]8, a8, b-o6, p7 (lacking 8 blank ) 101 (of 102) leaves; lacking the final leaf, blank. Imprint date supplied from colophon,anno … M.cccc.xciii. In die co[n]uersionis sancti pauli.

This copy is bound in original calf tooled in blind over wooden boards rebacked. Initials, capital strokes, paragraph marks, and underlining in red. Newer endpapers, over partially exposed original endpapers. Some minor worming throughout, mainly marginal. The final few leaves have a few more wormholes within the text, but text remains fully legible. A marginal closed tear to leaf n5, not affecting text. Leaves a bit wrinkled and some minor dampstaining to upper margin at the end. Overall a very good, clean copy.


The Gesta Romanorum is “One of the best known collections of stories in Latin, the Gesta Romanorum is a medieval collection of anecdotes, to which moral reflections are attached. It was compiled in Latin, probably by a priest, late in the thirteenth or early in the fourteenth century. The ascription of authorship to Berchorius or Helinandus can no longer be maintained. The original objective of the work seems to have been to provide preachers with a store of anecdotes with suitable moral applications. Each story has a heading referring to some virtue or vice (e.g. de dilectione); then comes the anecdote followed by the moralisatio. The collection became so popular throughout Western Europe that copies were multiplied, often with local additions, so that it is not now possible to determine whether it was originally written in England, Germany, or France. Oesterley, its latest critical editor (Berlin, 1872), is of the opinion that it was originally composed in England, whence it passed to the Continent, and that by the middle of the fourteenth century there existed three distinct families of manuscripts: the English group, written in Latin; the Latin and German group; and a third group represented by the first printed editions. The manuscripts differ considerably as to number and arrangement of articles, but no one manuscript representing the printed editions exists. Probably the editors of the first printed edition selected stories from various manuscripts.

811G 1Shortly after this collection had been published, an enlarged edition, now known as the Vulgate, was issued, containing 181 stories. This was compiled from the third group of manuscripts, and was printed by Ulrich Zell at Cologne. Though the title of the work suggests Roman history as the chief source of the stories, many of them are taken from later Latin and German chronicles, while several are Oriental in character. In estimating the wide influence of the ‘Gesta’ it must be remembered that the collection proved a mine of anecdotes, not only for preachers, but for poets, from Chaucer, Lydgate, and Boccaccio down through Shakespeare to Schiller and Rossetti, so that many of these old stories are now enshrined in masterpieces of European literature.” (CE vol. VI, page 539-540)

“The Stories of the Gesta seem to have been a mine for later writers, like Chaucer, Shakespeare, and Schiller.” (Mediaeval Latin, 1925. p 432).

Goff G-293. BMC I, p. 142. ;Hain-Copinger *7747, 8267. Oates 236. Polain 1652, 1826. Proctor 625.

7) 834G Moses Maimonides [also .; John, of Damascus Saint.; `Abd al-Malik ibn Abi al-`Ala Ibn Zuhr ]


Hoc in volumine hec Continent’. Aphorismi Rabi moysi.  Aphorismi Io Damasceni. Liber secreto⁄¿ Hipocratis. Liber Pnosticationum bm lunazin signis et aspectu planetarum Hipoc. Liber Q dicit’ capsula eburnea Hipo. Liber de elements siue de humana natura Hipocratis. Liber de aere r aqua r regioin9 Hip. Liber de pharmacijs Hipocratis. Liber de insomnijs Hipocratis. Liber zoar de cura lapidis. 

[Venice] : Bonetus Locatellus for Octavianus Scotus’ (i.e. Johannes Hamman),1497               $25,000

Folio 12 x 8 1/4 inches A6,B6 C4 D6 E4 F-G6 H4 I6. (48 leaves complete) Second edition ( this is a close reprint of Locatellus’s Rhasis (Goff R-176) This copy is bound in later vellum boards. (very rare only two copies in the US)

Originally written  in Arabic between 1187 and 1190 the Aphorisms of Maimonides, a digest of the teachings of Galen organized in 25 “particulae”, are in an anonymous thirteenth-century translation from the Arabic. They provides tantalizing insights into the work of Galen, as it draws on treatises of Galen that no longer exist and shines a light into the world of medieval and ancient medicine .

This “Book is based almost entirely on rational medicine, independant observation and the scientific method” (The Medical Legacy of Moses Maimonides. Fred Rosner 1998)

Maimonides, like his Arab precursors and contemporaries, considered himself one of the inheritors of classical Greek learning. Like some of them, eg, al Farabi and Razi among the Arabs, and Rabbi Schem Tov among the Jews, Maimonides did not accept this inheritance uncritically, and much space is given to showing the inconsistencies in Galen’s writings and in making a plea for rational observation. (These preceded the similar plea by Roger Bacon by half a century. Both were ignored.)

Part II consists of Johannes Damascenus, Aphorismi; Mohammed Rhasis, De secretis in medicinis; and pseudo-Hippocrates, Capsula eburnea. This last is a brief treatise on the external signs of impending death. According to its introduction, Hippocrates asked his servants to bury with him an ivory chest in which he had placed certain medical secrets. Learning of this, Caesar ordered the tomb to be opened and the chest removed, revealing this treatise. It is printed in the Latin translation made from an Arabic version by Gerard of Cremona in the twelfth century. It had already been printed in Milan, 1481,(Goff R175) in the supplement of miscellaneous medical tractates added to the first edition Rhasis, Liber ad Almansorem ..

This edition includes the aphorisms of Johannes Damascenus or Mesue, a ninth-century Baghdad physician responsible for the translation of Greek medical works into Arabic. Ibn Zuhr (Avenzohar)’s short treatise De curatione lapidis appears here in print for the first time.

Maimonides was born in Cordova but when driven out of Spain for refusing to convert to Islam he settled permanently in Cairo. His erudition and medical skill earned him the appointment of physician to the court of Saladin, the sultan of Egypt. His medical writings deeply influenced not only Muslim and Jewish but also Christian doctors, for example Henry of Mondeville and Guy de Chauliac. From 1177, Maimonides was head of the Jewish community of Egypt. This work, created towards the end of his life, was originally written in Arabic, then translated into Hebrew in the thirteenth century, and into Latin to be published in print.  It is the most important and influential work of the most revered early Jewish physician.

Goff; M79; BMC 15th cent.; V 429 ISTC; im00079000; Reichling (Suppl.); 1257; Klebs; 644.2 var. & 836.3 (note); IGI; 6745;  IBP; 4758;Proctor; 5200;

ISTC U.S.A: 2 copies: New York Academy of Medicine; Stanford Univ. Medical Center (no change from Goff)

(For Goff R-176:U.S.A: Univ. of Michigan, Univ.  National Library of Medicine; Boston MA, Harvard Univ.,; Harvard College ; Hebrew Union College Library;  Case Western Reserve Univ.,  Detroit Public Library (-a1); , Duke Univ.,  Univ. of Iowa, The Univ. Libraries; Los Angeles, Biomedical Library;  Yale Univ.,  Jewish Theological Seminary of America;  College of Physicians of Philadelphia;  Univ. of Pennsylvania, ; The Huntington Library; , Stanford Univ. , Stanford Univ. Medical Center,)




Horace. Horatius Flaccus, Quintus (65-8 B.C.)

Opera cu[m] quibusdam Annotat[i]o[n]ib[us]. Imaginibusq[ue] pulcherrimis aptisq[ue] ad Odarum conce[n]tus & sente[n]tias.

Strasbourg: Johann Reinhard, called Grüninger, 12 March, 1498



Folio: 11 ¾ X 8 ¾ inches. [*]6, A-V6, X-Z6, AA-II6, KK-LL8; [**]6 (complete)

FIRST ILLUSTRATED EDITION OF HORACE and the first edition of the poet’s works to be printed in Germany. The text was edited by the poet laureate Jacob Locher, called Philomusus. The woodcuts were executed by the artist of the Grüninger Terence (November 1, 1496).

Bound in 19th c. half calf and marbled boards. Illustrated with more than 160 detailed woodcuts. This is an excellent copy with large margins. A contemporary 15th or 16th c. artist has painted five of the large woodcuts with subtlety and a sophisticated use of color and shadow: 1. title page portrait of the author crowned with a laurel wreath; 2. Horace and his patron, Maecenas; 3. Julius Caesar being slain by Brutus and Cassius; 4. Virgil sailing in a ship; and 5. two pairs of lovers discoursing in a landscape.

F (Franz Burkhard) Kloss (1787-1854), with his bookplate; Arthur Atherley, with his bookplate; and Etienne Reymond, with his bookplate . The German physician, philologist and Freemason George Kloss (1787-1854) was an early student of bibliographer and a collector of early books and manuscripts. This book was Lot 2046 in Kloss’ sale at Sotheby’s, May 1835.)

This copy is partially rubricated and is annotated, in Latin, throughout in at least two

contemporary hands. The early annotations are intact, having been spared by the binder’s knife, and consist of metrical notations, citations from other authors, and comments. There are also two glosses in Greek (leaves S6v and FF1r) as well as an apparent note in German (leaf FF6). An added manuscript index for the “Epistolae” is bound after the final text leaf. The readers have also made corrections and a few notable additions (e.g. “Cunnus CXXIX 3”) to the main index of words.

The annotators cite more than twenty authors, both ancient and contemporary, as well as the Bible. Among the ancient authors cited are Aesop, St. Ambrose, St. Augustine, Aulus Gellius, Cicero, Ovid, Diodorus Siculus, Juvenal, Lactantius, Pliny, Plutarch, St. Jerome, Seneca, and Virgil. The contemporary and near-contemporary authors cited include: Michael Marullus, Aeneas Sylvius Piccolomini, Mantuan, Antonio Mancinelli (commentary on Juvenal), Badius Ascensius (“Sylvae”), Publio Fausto Andrelini, and Erasmus (“Adagia”).

The most frequently cited authors are Juvenal (13 citations) and Badius Ascensius (12 citations from the “Sylvae”). One reader also shows a fashionable interest in the “Adagia” of Erasmus. He identifies 23 separate adages in the course of the text and mentions Erasmus’ work by name at least three times. He also makes a reference to an epistle of Publio Fausto Andrelini of Forli (1460-1518) that might be the letter that Erasmus asked Andrelini to write as a preface to the “Adagia”.

For Grüninger, his illustrated books, and Locher’s edition of Horace, see Mark Morford, Johann Grüninger of Strasbourg in “Syntagmatia: Essays on Neo-Latin Literature in Honour of Monique Mund-Dopchie and Gilbert Tournoy (Humanistica Lovaniensia, XXVI) 2009

 Goff H 461; BMC I, 112; Polain 1989; Proctor 485; Walsh 182; Fairfax Murray (German) 205; Rosenwald Collection 188; Dibdin, Bibl. Spenceriana II, 87-95.

U.S.A: Univ. of Texas at Austin,; Walters Art Gallery; Univ. of C, Bancroft ; Boston Public, Harvard College; Newberry; Ohio State; Southern Methodist Univ; Loras College; Northwestern Univ.; Trinity College; Cornell Univ. UCLA; Columbia Univ; Hispanic Society of America; Morgan; Newark Public Library; Smith College; Library of Philadelphia; Vassar College ;Brown Univ; San Francisco Public; The Huntington; St Louis Public; Univ. of South Florida; Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Vallejo CA, , Brandeis Univ; Library of Congress,; William and Mary College.
9) Barbo, Paolo, da Soncino [Paulus Soncinas]


Quaestiones in libros metaphysicae Aristotelis

Venice: Simon Bevilaqua, 28 September 1498


Folio 19 X11 ½ inches. (204) ff.

FIRST EDITION and the only 15th c. edition of Barbo’s important commentary on Aritotle’s “Metaphysics”.

Bound in a very attractive, 16th c. blind-stamped calfskin binding, probably Spanish. A little worming, not affecting the text, to the first 4 leaves, some damp-staining to the upper margin of the text and some fraying to the edges of the first and last leaves, not affecting the text. Complete with the final blank leaf.

Paolo Barbò da Soncino [in Latin, Paulus Socinas] was an Italian Thomist philosopher and Doctor of Theology. He taught philosophy at Milan, and then at Ferrara, Siena, and Bologna. His life and work fall within the ambit of Italian Renaissance Thomism of the fifteenth century (He edited Aquinas’ “Opuscula” in 1488.) Among his masters were probably Peter Maldura of Bergamo (d. 1482) and Dominic of Flanders (d. 1479).

Barbo’s principal work, the exposition of Aristotle’s Metaphysics, proceeds from a particular synthesis of the Arabic commentator Averroes, Thomas Aquinas, Hervaeus Natalis (d. 1323), and John Capreolus (d. 1444). He held several challenging views, for instance stating the matter and quantity were distinct but that matter could not exist without quantity.

Goff P-208. GW M30270. ISTC ip00208000. Not in BMC

Only 4 U.S. copies: Yale, Columbia, Huntington, LC.

10)   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,


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 .

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.

Adams; R-3




11)       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_0111

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:

  • 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:

  • 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 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 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 booksellers 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? (listing 3 copies) ; Moreau I 274: 63; Renouard, Imprimeurs III 128 and I, 1508, 63; Renouard, 1005 (mark of D. Roce) Pell 4264; BMC(Fr) p.135

 ISTC   U.S.A : National Library of Medicine; Harvard; Yale ; Williams College.



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