- 307J Eusebius of Caesarea 260-c. 340
Eusebii Caesariensis episcopi chronicon id est temporum breuiarium incipit foeliciter: quem Hieronymus praesbiter diuino eius ingenio Latinum facere curauit: et vsque in Valente[m] Cesarem Romano adiecit eloquio. Que[m] et Prosper deinde Matheus Palmerius … subsequuntur.
Impressit Venetijs : Erhardus Ratdolt augustensis solerti vir ingenio maxima …,1483.
Quarto 9 3/16 x 6 5/8 inches; 233 x 167 mm. π10 a-v8 x10 (π1,a1 and x10 are blank and missing). This copy is bound in very nice old vellum.
The Chronicles of Eusebius was composed in 310, the original Greek text was lost and survived due to its translation into Latin and Armenian. Eusebius was one of the most learned men of his time and wrote in the service of Christianity this chronology “in order to establish on solid foundations the confidence that the historical books of the Old Testament deserve” (Friedrich Schoell, History of secular Greek literature, 2nd edition, T6, Paris, 1824). The editing work of this chronology of Eusebius is very interesting because it is based on the Latin translation of Saint-Jerome, which continued the chronological work of Eusebius, then continued by Tiro Prosper until 455 then Matteo Palmieri of Florence. The first edition of the Latin translation was published in Milan in 1475 by Lavania (Goff E116). Our edition completes the latter with the continuation of Mattia Palmieri of Pisa until the end of 1481.
On leaf v3 verso under the year 1457, there is a reference to the invention of printing, ascribed to Johann Gutenberg in 1440.
“IT IS BEYOND THE POWER OF WORDS to express how much students of letters owe to the Germans. For by Johann Gutenberg zum Jungen, knight of Mainz am Rhein, a man possessed of great genius, a method was discovered on 1440 for the printing of books. At the present time it is being diffused in nearly all parts of the earth…”
Margaret Stillwell in The Beginning of the world of books 1450-1470, New York 1972, states that:
“There must have been many persons alive, as presumably Santritter and Ratdolt, to whom the 1440s were within easy memory. The statement was not refuted and no counterclaims were made. It was on the strength of this statement and of its repetition by Ulrich Zel, as quoted in the Cologne Chronicle of 1499 (Goff C467) together with such activities as are indicated in the early documentary sources, that the international celebration of the five-hundredth anniversary of the invention of printing was held in 1940.”
The Chronicon is “the ancient world’s first systematic universal history” (Bedrosian). This book is edited by J.L. Santritter, and is believed to have been printed using funds provided by Santritter, as was Paulus Pergulensis’s Compendium logicae printed by E. Ratdolt in 1481. It includes the two-color printing and table-style printing at which Ratdolt excelled. Santritter himself was a printer, and there are five known titles of incunabula that he printed.
Goff; E-117; BMC V, p. 287-288 (IA. 20527).; GW; 9433; Hain-Copinger; 6717*; Pellechet 4634; ISTC ie00117000; Thacher; 287. Redgrave, Ratdolt 36. IBE 2338
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