521 J. Philip Melanchthon  (1497 – 19 April 1560)

Dialectices Philippi Melanchthonis, libri quatuor 

VVitembergae (Impressum: Per Iosephum Clugum,) 1528/1529(colophon) price: $12,000

Octavo 15 x 10 cm. Signatures: A-O8. First printed in 1520 and revised in 1528. This is the very rare first edition of the revised edition. A beautiful copy of an extremely rare book, it is bound in a contemporary ‘wallet’ binding, made from a page from a 14th century manuscript, furthermore it has a hand colored title. This copy is also densely annotated by a contemporary student or professor. The annotations consist of full-page margin notes, interlinear notes as well as interlinear translations of the Greek texts. 

Philip Melanchthon, “sought to establish the relationship between faith and reason in the cradle of the Lutheran tradition, Wittenberg University. Melanchthon is widely recognized to have played a crucial role in the Reformation of the Church in the sixteenth century as well as in the Renaissance in Northern Europe.  An understanding of the way Melanchthon related faith and reason by way of Dialectics is represented in Melanchthon’s statement below.

“Every theologian and faithful interpreter of the heavenly doctrine must necessarily be first a grammarian, then a dialectician, and finally a witness.”

Melanchthon’s philosophy is both humanistic (i.e., rhetorically based and practically rather than speculatively oriented) and fideistic (i.e, skeptical about the product of human reason alone, but finding certainty in philosophy founded upon, and somewhat limited by, Christian faith).

           Quoted from The Humanistic, Fideistic Philosophy of Philip    Melanchthon (1497-1560) Charles William Peterson Marquette University 2012.

GBV online,; 567420191; VD16 online,; M 2997