#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]. $22,000
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
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