526J. Paulus Orosius (385-420).
Pauli Orosii Viri Doctissimi Historiarum initium ad Aurelium Augustinum; Historiarum initium ad Aurelium Augustinum; Historiarum adversus paganos libri VII.
Venedig: Bernardinus de Vitalibus, 12.oct.1500 price $8,000
Folio 30 x 20 cm. Signatures: a-m⁶ n⁸ (a1 blank and present). Capital spaces with guide letters with capitals supplied in Red and Blue . Printer’s device and register at colophon. This is a very largre copy bound in later vellum from an antiphonal leaf.
“Orosius’s universal history, written to counter the prevailing belief among non-Christians that disasters which had befallen civilization were the result of the pagan gods, angry with worshippers turning to Christianity. Orosius argued that the 410 CE sack of Rome by Alaric I, King of the Goths (r. 394-410 CE) had nothing to do with the Roman adoption of Christianity, a claim popularly supported among the pagans of the day.
This history is a continuation of the thrust of Augustine’s “City of God. Augustine urged Orosius to write this history to refute Symmachus who in an address to Emperor Valentinianus in 384 C.E. alleged that the Roman Empire was crumbling due to Christianity. “Most scholars agree that Orosius’ history shows signs of being written in haste and perhaps Augustine wanted it finished quickly so that he could use it as a resource in completing City of God. Other theories suggest that Orosius assisted in writing City of God and his history is written quickly because he was working on two pieces at once. All of this is speculation, however, because all that is really known is that Orosius left Hippo and returned with St. Stephen’s relics to Portugal. He then wrote his history and, shortly afterwards, disappeared. “
In Book I, Orosius gives the history of the world from creation to the Great Flood and the early founding of Rome. The second book discusses Roman history up until its sack in 390 BCE by the Gauls and Rome’s interactions with other nations afterwards. In the third and fourth books, Orosius deals with Alexander the Great, the rise and fall of nations, and Rome’s role in the Punic Wars and the destruction of Carthage. The fifth, sixth, and seventh books focus on Rome from the end of the Third Punic War (146 BCE) to Orosius’ time c. 418 CE.”
Mark, J. J. (2019, April 03). Orosius. World History Encyclopedia. Retrieved from https://www.worldhistory.org/Orosius/
ISTC io00101000., Goff O-101; Hain, L. Repertorium bibliographicum,; 12104*; Copinger, W.A. Supplement to Hain’s Repertorium bibliographicum,; 12104; Gesamtkatalog der Wiegendrucke,; M28413; BMC vol. V, p. 549 (IB. 24354)
#277J Orosius, Paulus Orosius (385-420).
Historiae adversus paganos, edited by Aeneas Vulpes. Scias velim humanissime lector: Aeneam Vulpem Vicentinum priorem sanctae crucis adiutore Laurentio Brixiensi Historias Pauli Orosii quae continentur hoc codice:
[Vicenza]: Hermannus Liechtenstein, [c.1475]. $19,000
Folio. 285 x 200 mm No signatures: [1-7]8 6 [9-12]8 6. 100 leaves unnumbered.
In this copy there is a large opening initial in green, red, blue, and yellow, with floral extensions in the margin, other initials in red, some in blue, initial spaces, most with guide letters, rubricated. It is bound in full modern vellum of appropriate style.
“As this book is the only one of Liechtenstein’s editions which has no printed signatures it is presumably his earliest work”--British Museum.
This is the Second edition of Orosius’s universal history, written to counter the prevailing belief among non-Christians that disasters which had befallen civilization were the result of the pagan gods, angry with worshippers turning to Christianity. This history is a continuation of the thrust of Augustine’s “City of God. Augustine urged Orosius to write this history to refute Symmachus who in an address to Emperor Valentinianus in 384 C.E. alledged that the Roman Empire was crumbling due to Christianity. Orosius was a Gallaecian Chalcedonian priest, historian and theologian, a student of Augustine of Hippo as well as Saint Jerome. This history begins with the creation and continues to his own day, was an immensely popular and standard work of reference on antiquity throughout the Middle Ages and beyond. Its importance lay in the fact that Orosius was the first Christian author to write not a church history, but rather a history of the secular world interpreted from a Christian perspective. The work treats world history as a concrete proof of the apocalyptic visions of the Bible. This became a kind of textbook of universal history for the Middle Ages; and therefore many manuscripts exist all over Europe. Orosius’s work is crucial for an understanding of early Christian approaches to history, the development of universal history, and the intellectual life of the Middle Ages, for which it was both an important reference work and also a defining model for the writing of history.
ISTC io00097000; Goff O-97; BMC VII 1035; H *12099; GW M28420; Bod-inc O-027; BSB-Ink O-82; Sajó-Soltész 2477; Item #277J