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Free Will ~ William of Auxerre, on Peter Lombard.

The first medieval theologian to develop a systematic treatise on free will, the virtues, and the natural law.

245J Guillermus Altissodorensis , or  William of Auxerre, c.1150-1231 (sometimes also called William of Beauvai)

Summa aurea in quattuor libros sententiarum : a subtilissimo doctore Magistro Guillermo altissiodore[n]si edita. quam nuper amendis q[uam]plurimis doctissimus sacre theologie professor magister Guillermus de quercu diligenti admodum castigatione emendauit ac tabulam huic pernecessariam edidit.

Impressa est Parisiis : Maxima Philippi Pigoucheti cura impensis vero Nicolai vaultier et Durandi gerlier alme vniuersitatis Parisiensis librariorum iuratorum,  3 Apr. 1500/01.                                $28,000

H19386-L153309897 4

Folio, 306, [20] ; A-z8, §8ç8A-M8, N10,A-B6,C8.    First edition. Large woodcut device (Davies 82) on title, Durand Gerlier’s woodcut device (Davies 119) within 4-part border at end. Gothic types, double column. Small marginal tear, old ms. marginalia.H19386-L153309911This is a wonderful copy which is well preserved. Bound in contemporary Flemish blind stamped calf over wooden boards, rebacked with old spine, endpapers renewed, manuscript author’s name on fore-edge.  Fine blind-stamped panelled calf over beveled wooden boards with pineapple stamps in lattice pattern, within a border of double eagle and round rose stamps. Clasps and catches missing the boards have metal strips .

Provenance:old ms. inscription ‘Societatis Jesu Brugensis’ on title page ; Bibliotheca Broxbourniana (1949) ; heraldic ex libris with the letters A and E of Albert Ehrman (motto: pro viribus summis contendo)  John Ehrman (1920 – 2011) received the library that his father Albert had started; he used a bookplate with the script “Bibliotheca Broxbourniana”  In addition to his historical scholarship, he worked to enhance his father’s library, and disposed of it by gift and auction sale in the late 1970s, ending with a final sale in 1978.

H19386-L153309886-1 2

FIRST EDITION of the major work by William of Auxerre. In his commentary on Peter Lombard, William treats creation, natural law, the nature of man, a tripartite God, usury, end the Last Judgment, among other topics. He applies the critical reasoning of classical philosophy to his writing, He was an Archdeacon of Beauvais before becoming a professor of theology at the university in Paris. In 1231, he was made a member of the commission (the others were Simon of Authie and Stephen of Provins, both canons of Rheims)  appointed by Gregory IX to examine Aristotle’s writings on the natural sciences and to offer amendments where religiously necessary.   And “correct” the corpus of Aristotle and his Arab commentators (which had been banned at the university of Paris since 1210) and extirpate dangerous passages.  Contrary to the papal legate Robert of Courçon and other conservatives, who in 1210 condemned Aristotle’s Physics and Metaphysics as corruptive of Christian faith, William saw no intrinsic reason to avoid the rational analysis of Christian revelation. Confident of William’s orthodoxy, Gregory urged the King to restore him to the university faculty so that he and Godfrey of Poitiers might reorganize the plan of studies. William fell ill and died before any of these projects were begun.The work of the committee was never completed.

The Summa Aurea, written between 1215 and 1220, the Summa Aurea, is divided into  four books as a  commentary on the Sentences of Peter Lombard, that was an important precursor to Aquinas.  It contains an ample disquisition on usury and the natural law basis of economic matters.  William was one of the H19386-L153309903first theologians to be influenced by Aristotle. Preceding as he did the Aristotelian revival, William was largely influenced by St. Augustine, St. Anselm of Canterbury, Richard and Hugh of Saint–Victor, and Avicenna.  He is considered the first medieval theologian to develop a systematic treatise on free will, the virtues, and the natural law. His Summa Aurea shows an intellectual awareness and insistence on the physical which had not been seen in earlier philosophers.  Both in method and in content it shows a considerable amount of originality, although, like all the Summæ of the early thirteenth century, it is influenced by the manner and method of the Lombard.  William was probably a student of the Parisian canon and humanist Richard of St. Victor  but the teacher  whom William was most profoundly influenced was Praepositinus, or Prevostin, of Cremona, Chancellor of the University of Paris from 1206 to 1209.  William was, in turn, the teacher of the Dominican, John of Treviso, one of the first theologians of the Order of Preachers. The importance of the “Summa Aurea” is enhanced by the fact that it was one of the first Summæ composed after the introduction of the metaphysical and physical treatises of Aristotle.

H19386-L153309892 2

The Summa aurea, in four books, selectively treated such theological matters as God as one nature in three persons, creation, man, Christ and the virtues, sacramental worship, and the Last Judgment.

William’s emphasis on philosophy as a tool for Christian theology is evidenced by his critique of Plato’s doctrine of a demiurge, or cosmic intelligence, and by his treatment of the theory of knowledge as a means for distinguishing between God and creation. He also analyzed certain moral questions, including the problem of human choice and the nature of virtue.

William also wrote a Summa de officiis ecclesiasticis (“Compendium of Church Services”), which treated liturgical, or common, prayer, sacramental worship, and the annual cycle of scripture readings and chants. This systematic study served as the model for the late-13th-century noted work on divine worship, Guillaume Durand’s Rationale divinorum officiorum (“An Explanation of the Divine Offices”).

É. H. Gilson, History of Christian Philosophy in the Middle Ages (New York 1955) 656–657. J. Ribaillier, ed., Magistri Guillelmi Altissiodorensis Summa aurea, 7 vols. (Paris 1980–1987).                                                                                                                                                       P. Glorieux, Répertoire des maîtres en théologie de Paris au XIIIe siècle (Paris 1933–34);     v. 17–18 of Bibliothèque Thomiste (Le Saulchoir 1921–) 1:293–294. c. ottaviano, Guglielmo d’Auxerre                                                                                                                                               . J. VanWijnsberghe, “De biechtleer van Willem van Auxerre in het licht der vroegscholastiek,” Studia catholica 27 (1952) 289–308.                                                                  G. Bonafede, Enciclopedia filosofica, 4 v. (Venice–Rome 1957) 2:934–935.

Goff G718; BMC VIII, 122 ; Hain 8324 ; Proctor 8206 ; Polain 1787 ; IGI 4600; IBP 2614; IDL 2170; IBE 2788; IBPort 821; SI 1815

United States of America:

 Astrik L. Gabriel, Notre Dame IN
Boston Public Library
Bryn Mawr College, Goodhart Medieval Library
New York, Columbia University, Butler Library
San Marino CA, Huntington Library
Univ. of Chicago Libraries
Univ. of Wisconsin

Open this link for a very good introduction to Guillermus

William of Auxerre, on Peter Lombard.

The first medieval theologian to develop a systematic treatise on free will, the virtues, and the natural law.

245J Guillermus Altissodorensis , or  William of Auxerre, c.1150-1231 (sometimes also called William of Beauvai)

Summa aurea in quattuor libros sententiarum : a subtilissimo doctore Magistro Guillermo altissiodore[n]si edita. quam nuper amendis q[uam]plurimis doctissimus sacre theologie professor magister Guillermus de quercu diligenti admodum castigatione emendauit ac tabulam huic pernecessariam edidit.

Impressa est Parisiis : Maxima Philippi Pigoucheti cura impensis vero Nicolai vaultier et Durandi gerlier alme vniuersitatis Parisiensis librariorum iuratorum,  3 Apr. 1500/01.                                $28,000

H19386-L153309897 4

Folio, 306, [20] ; A-z8, §8ç8A-M8, N10,A-B6,C8.    First edition. Large woodcut device (Davies 82) on title, Durand Gerlier’s woodcut device (Davies 119) within 4-part border at end. Gothic types, double column. Small marginal tear, old ms. marginalia.H19386-L153309911This is a wonderful copy which is well preserved. Bound in contemporary Flemish blind stamped calf over wooden boards, rebacked with old spine, endpapers renewed, manuscript author’s name on fore-edge.  Fine blind-stamped panelled calf over beveled wooden boards with pineapple stamps in lattice pattern, within a border of double eagle and round rose stamps. Clasps and catches missing the boards have metal strips .

Provenance:old ms. inscription ‘Societatis Jesu Brugensis’ on title page ; Bibliotheca Broxbourniana (1949) ; heraldic ex libris with the letters A and E of Albert Ehrman (motto: pro viribus summis contendo)  John Ehrman (1920 – 2011) received the library that his father Albert had started; he used a bookplate with the script “Bibliotheca Broxbourniana”  In addition to his historical scholarship, he worked to enhance his father’s library, and disposed of it by gift and auction sale in the late 1970s, ending with a final sale in 1978.

H19386-L153309886-1 2

FIRST EDITION of the major work by William of Auxerre. In his commentary on Peter Lombard, William treats creation, natural law, the nature of man, a tripartite God, usury, end the Last Judgment, among other topics. He applies the critical reasoning of classical philosophy to his writing, He was an Archdeacon of Beauvais before becoming a professor of theology at the university in Paris. In 1231, he was made a member of the commission (the others were Simon of Authie and Stephen of Provins, both canons of Rheims)  appointed by Gregory IX to examine Aristotle’s writings on the natural sciences and to offer amendments where religiously necessary.   And “correct” the corpus of Aristotle and his Arab commentators (which had been banned at the university of Paris since 1210) and extirpate dangerous passages.  Contrary to the papal legate Robert of Courçon and other conservatives, who in 1210 condemned Aristotle’s Physics and Metaphysics as corruptive of Christian faith, William saw no intrinsic reason to avoid the rational analysis of Christian revelation. Confident of William’s orthodoxy, Gregory urged the King to restore him to the university faculty so that he and Godfrey of Poitiers might reorganize the plan of studies. William fell ill and died before any of these projects were begun.The work of the committee was never completed.

The Summa Aurea, written between 1215 and 1220, the Summa Aurea, is divided into  four books as a  commentary on the Sentences of Peter Lombard, that was an important precursor to Aquinas.  It contains an ample disquisition on usury and the natural law basis of economic matters.  William was one of the H19386-L153309903first theologians to be influenced by Aristotle. Preceding as he did the Aristotelian revival, William was largely influenced by St. Augustine, St. Anselm of Canterbury, Richard and Hugh of Saint–Victor, and Avicenna.  He is considered the first medieval theologian to develop a systematic treatise on free will, the virtues, and the natural law. His Summa Aurea shows an intellectual awareness and insistence on the physical which had not been seen in earlier philosophers.  Both in method and in content it shows a considerable amount of originality, although, like all the Summæ of the early thirteenth century, it is influenced by the manner and method of the Lombard.  William was probably a student of the Parisian canon and humanist Richard of St. Victor  but the teacher  whom William was most profoundly influenced was Praepositinus, or Prevostin, of Cremona, Chancellor of the University of Paris from 1206 to 1209.  William was, in turn, the teacher of the Dominican, John of Treviso, one of the first theologians of the Order of Preachers. The importance of the “Summa Aurea” is enhanced by the fact that it was one of the first Summæ composed after the introduction of the metaphysical and physical treatises of Aristotle.

H19386-L153309892 2

The Summa aurea, in four books, selectively treated such theological matters as God as one nature in three persons, creation, man, Christ and the virtues, sacramental worship, and the Last Judgment.

William’s emphasis on philosophy as a tool for Christian theology is evidenced by his critique of Plato’s doctrine of a demiurge, or cosmic intelligence, and by his treatment of the theory of knowledge as a means for distinguishing between God and creation. He also analyzed certain moral questions, including the problem of human choice and the nature of virtue.

William also wrote a Summa de officiis ecclesiasticis (“Compendium of Church Services”), which treated liturgical, or common, prayer, sacramental worship, and the annual cycle of scripture readings and chants. This systematic study served as the model for the late-13th-century noted work on divine worship, Guillaume Durand’s Rationale divinorum officiorum (“An Explanation of the Divine Offices”).

É. H. Gilson, History of Christian Philosophy in the Middle Ages (New York 1955) 656–657. J. Ribaillier, ed., Magistri Guillelmi Altissiodorensis Summa aurea, 7 vols. (Paris 1980–1987).                                                                                                                                                       P. Glorieux, Répertoire des maîtres en théologie de Paris au XIIIe siècle (Paris 1933–34);     v. 17–18 of Bibliothèque Thomiste (Le Saulchoir 1921–) 1:293–294. c. ottaviano, Guglielmo d’Auxerre                                                                                                                                               . J. VanWijnsberghe, “De biechtleer van Willem van Auxerre in het licht der vroegscholastiek,” Studia catholica 27 (1952) 289–308.                                                                  G. Bonafede, Enciclopedia filosofica, 4 v. (Venice–Rome 1957) 2:934–935.

Goff G718; BMC VIII, 122 ; Hain 8324 ; Proctor 8206 ; Polain 1787 ; IGI 4600; IBP 2614; IDL 2170; IBE 2788; IBPort 821; SI 1815

United States of America Astrik L. Gabriel, Notre Dame IN
Boston Public Library
Bryn Mawr College, Goodhart Medieval Library
New York, Columbia University, Butler Library
San Marino CA, Huntington Library
Univ. of Chicago Libraries
Univ. of Wisconsin

Open this link for a very good introduction to Guillermus

Featured post

Two more Rare incunabula ! Medical and Spiritual

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.

dsc_0015

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

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.)dsc_0017Part 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;BM 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)

dsc_0016(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,)

______________) )( (______________

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 ) SOLD

dsc_0069-2

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.

ISTC 4 copies listed in the US The Newberry Library; Western Michigan Univ., Free Library of Philadelphia (-8 leaves); Library of Congress.

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 dsc_0064calf over Oak Boards, the clasp has been lost but the remains of the leather flap and the brass catch remains. Compiled 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.”

dsc_0068His 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_0066dsc_0067

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


			

Bernard of Clairvaux, Rare incunabula ! To know God

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 ) $11,000

dsc_0069-2

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.

ISTC 4 copies listed in the US The Newberry Library; Western Michigan Univ., Free Library of Philadelphia (-8 leaves); Library of Congress.

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 dsc_0064calf 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_0065

Compiled 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 dsc_0072the “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.”

dsc_0068His 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 dsc_0070particular speaks aptly to Bernard’s lifelong passion to know God (and, likely, the temptations that troubled him).

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.

dsc_0066dsc_0067

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

U.S.A: Chicago IL, The Newberry Library; U.S.A: Chicago IL, The Newberry Library; Kalamazoo MI, Western Michigan Univ., Inst. of Cistercian Studies (no longer there); Philadelphia PA, Free Library of Philadelphia (-8 leaves); Washington DC, Library of Congress, Rare Book Division Philadelphia PA, Free Library of Philadelphia (-8 leaves); Washington DC, Library of Congress, Rare Book Division.

dsc_0076

dsc_0068

Other  works of St. Bernard are as follows:

dsc_0073“De Gradibus Superbiae”, his first treatise;
“Homilies on the Gospel ‘Missus est'” (1120);
“Apology to William of St. Thierry” against the claims of the monks of Cluny;
“On the Conversion of Clerics”, a book addressed to the young ecclesiastics of Paris (1122);
“De Laudibus Novae Militiae”, addressed to Hughes de Payns, first Grand Master and Prior of Jerusalem (1129). This is a eulogy of the military order instituted in 1118, and an exhortation to the knights to conduct themselves with courage in their several stations.
“De amore Dei” wherein St. Bernard shows that the manner of loving God is to love Him without measure and gives the different degree of this love;
“Book of Precepts and Dispensations” (1131), which contains answers to questions upon certain points of the Rule of St. Benedict from which the abbot can, or cannot, dispense;
“De Gratiâ et Libero Arbitrio” in which the Catholic dogma of grace and free will is proved according to the principles of St. Augustine;
“Book of Considerations”, addressed to Pope Eugenius III;
“De Officiis Episcoporum”, addressed to Henry, Archbishop of Sens.
His sermons are also numerous:

“On Psalm 90, ‘Qui habitat'” (about 1125);
“On the Canticle of Canticles”. St. Bernard explained in eighty-six sermons only the first two chapters of the Canticle of Canticles and the first verse of the third chapter.
There are also eighty-six “Sermons for the Whole Year”; his “Letters” number 530.
Many other letters, treatises, etc., falsely attributed to him are found among his works, such as the “l’Echelle du Cloître”, which is the work of Guigues, Prior of La Grande Chartreuse, les Méditations, l’Edification de la Maison intérieure, etc

dsc_0069

 
The Cistercians

Saint Bernard of Clairvaux
1090-1153

by M. Basil Pennington OCSO

 

The Young Abbot

Bernard, the founding abbot of Clairvaux Abbey in Burgundy, was one of the most commanding Church leaders in the first half of the twelfth century as well as one of the greatest spiritual masters of all times and the most powerful propagator of the Cistercian reform. He was born in Fontaines-les-Dijon in 1090 and entered the Abbey of Citeaux in 1112, bringing thirty of his relatives with him, including five of his brothers-- his youngest brother and his widowed father followed later. After receiving a monastic formation from St. Stephen Harding, he was sent in 1115 to begin a new monastery near Aube: Clairvaux, the Valley of Light. As a young abbot he published a series of sermons on the Annunciation. These marked him not only as a most gifted spiritual writer but also as the "cithara of Mary," especially noted for his development of Mary's mediatorial role.

The Peacemaker

Bernard's spiritual writing as well as his extraordinary personal magnetism began to attract many to Clairvaux and the other Cistercian monasteries, leading to many new foundations. He was drawn into the controversy developing between the new monastic movement which he preeminently represented and the established Cluniac order, a branch of the Benedictines. This led to one of his most controversial and most popular works, his Apologia. Bernard's dynamism soon reached far beyond monastic circles. He was sought as an advisor and mediator by the ruling powers of his age. More than any other he helped to bring about the healing of the papal schism which arose in 1130 with the election of the antipope Anacletus II. It cost Bernard eight years of laborious travel and skillful mediation. At the same time he labored for peace and reconciliation between England and France and among many lesser nobles. His influence mounted when his spiritual son was elected pope in 1145. At Eugene III's command he preached the Second Crusade and sent vast armies on the road toward Jerusalem. In his last years he rose from his sickbed and went into the Rhineland to defend the Jews against a savage persecution.

The Writer

Although he suffered from constant physical debility and had to govern a monastery that soon housed several hundred monks and was sending forth groups regularly to begin new monasteries (he personally saw to the establishment of sixty-five of the three hundred Cistercian monasteries founded during his thirty-eight years as abbot), he yet found time to compose many and varied spiritual works that still speak to us today. He laid out a solid foundation for the spiritual life in his works on grace and free will, humility and love. His gifts as a theologian were called upon to respond to the dangerous teachings of the scintillating Peter Abelard, of Gilbert de la Porree and of Arnold of Brescia. His masterpiece, his Sermons on the Song of Songs, was begun in 1136 and was still in composition at the time of his death. With great simplicity and poetic grace Bernard writes of the deepest experiences of the mystical life in ways that became normative for all succeeding writers. For Pope Eugene he wrote Five Books on Consideration, the bedside reading of Pope John XXIII and many other pontiffs through the centuries.

Doctor of the Church

Bernard died at Clairvaux on 20 August 1153. He was canonized by Pope Alexander III on 18 January 1174. Pope Pius VII declared him a Doctor of the Church in 1830.

--from The Modern Catholic Encyclopedia 
(A Michael Glazier Book), Liturgical Press (1995) 82.
Ms. illustration of St. Bernard from the O. Cist. website in Rome.

 

Web Text:

Bernard, of Clairvaux, St. (1090-1153). On Loving God (Christian Classics Ethereal Library).


 

OSB Index | The Cistercians

Todays Rare incunabula ! To know God

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 ) $11,000

dsc_0069-2

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.

ISTC 4 copies listed in the US The Newberry Library; Western Michigan Univ., Free Library of Philadelphia (-8 leaves); Library of Congress.

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 dsc_0064calf over Oak Boards, the clasp has been lost but the remains of the leather flap and the brass catch remains. Compiled 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.”

dsc_0068His 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_0066dsc_0067

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


			

Two more Rare incunabula ! Medical and Spiritual

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.

dsc_0015

[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.)dsc_0017Part 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;BM 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)

dsc_0016(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,)

______________) )( (______________

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 ) $11,000

dsc_0069-2

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.

ISTC 4 copies listed in the US The Newberry Library; Western Michigan Univ., Free Library of Philadelphia (-8 leaves); Library of Congress.

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 dsc_0064calf over Oak Boards, the clasp has been lost but the remains of the leather flap and the brass catch remains. Compiled 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.”

dsc_0068His 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_0066dsc_0067

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


			

Two more Rare incunabula !

834G Moses [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.

dsc_0015

[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.

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. dsc_0017Part 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;BM 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:  New York Academy of Medicine; Stanford Univ. Medical Center (no change from Goff0

dsc_0016(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,)

______________) )( (______________

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 ) $11,000

dsc_0069-2

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.

4 copies listed in the US The Newberry Library; Western Michigan Univ., Free Library of Philadelphia (-8 leaves); Library of Congress.

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 dsc_0064calf over Oak Boards, the clasp has been lost but the remains of the leather flap and the brass catch remains. Compiled 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.”

dsc_0068His 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_0066dsc_0067

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

ISTC: U.S.A: (three copies) The Newberry Library; Western Michigan Univ.;Free Library of Philadelphia(-8 leaves);Library of Congress.

Four Books from the Sixteenth century

(In chronological order)

DSC_0005

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,

DSC_0006There 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 .

 

DSC_0004

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 DSC_0037 (1)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.

DSC_0008The 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-36

 

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

DSC_0107This copy is bound in full 18th century calf rebacked gilt spine.

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:

  1. 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:
  1. 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.

art112What 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)

DSC_0108
Realistically speaking, he was not the greatest of historians. His work often combined fact and fancy in a confusing manner. Even so, Diodorus Siculus (or Diodoros Siculos to his Greek contemporaries), 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 (“Historical Library”) 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.

DSC_0110
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.

756G

It seems that many book sellers 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? ; Moreau I 274: 63; Renouard, Imprimeurs III 128 and I, 1508, 63; Renouard, 1005 (mark of D. Roce) Pell 4264; BMC(Fr) p.135

 

 

848G Nicolaus de Byard (13th century)

Dictionarius pauperum omnibus pr[a]edicatoribus verbi diuini pernecessarius : in quo multu[m] succinte contine[n]tur materi[a]e singulis festiuitatibus totius anni tam de tempore q[uam] de sanctis accommodand[a]e, vt in tabula huius operis facile & lucide cognoscetur.

DSC_0129

 

Parisiis : ex officinaAmbrosijGirault: 1511                                               $3,900

 

Octavo a-q8,r6 Bound in mover full antique style vellum.

 

Nicholas Bayard was, according to Bale, a Dominican theologian at Oxford, where he obtained his doctor’s degree. Pits’s account tends in the same direction, and both biographers praise their author for his knowledge of pontifical law. Bale adds that he was very skilled for his age in Aristotelian studies, but accuses him of distorting the Scriptures by ‘allegorical inventions and leisurely quibbles.’ His principal work appears to have been entitled ‘Distinctiones Theologiæ,’ and, according to the last-mentioned authority, this book was largely calculated to corrupt the simplicity of the true faith, as it consisted, like Abelard’s ‘Sic et Non,’ of an assortment of theological opinions opposed to one another. A manuscript of this work is still preserved in Merton College library (cclii.), and Tanner gives a list of other writings of this author that are to be found in English libraries. The date assigned to Nicholas Bayard by his English biographers is about 1410; but this can hardly be correct if Mr. Coxe is right in assigning the handwriting of DSC_0037 (2)the Merton manuscript to the previous century. The whole question of the era in which this writer lived, and his nationality, is minutely discussed by Quétif in his ‘Scriptores Ordinis Prædicatorum,’ who inclines to believe that Bayard was a Frenchman of the thirteenth century. This, according to Quétif, is the opinion of an ancient French writer, Bernard Guido. Quétif also shows how, in the collections of that age, preserved up to his days in the Sorbonne, Bayard’s sermons constantly occurred in company with those of William of Auvergne, bishop of Paris (1228–48), and other great characters of Louis IX’s reign. More conclusive as to the date is Quétif’s assertion that in the ‘Liber Rectoris Universitatis Parisiensis’ Bayard’s great work is mentioned as being for sale in Paris before the year 1303; that several other discourses of Bayard were for sale in Paris at the same time; and that his ‘Sermones Dominicales’ formed part of a parchment folio in the Sorbonne library, containing Robert de Sorbonne’s ‘Liber de Conscientiâ’ (d. 1274). Quétif does not, however, adduce any indubitable evidence that Bayard was a Frenchman. But if he was the writer of the ‘Summa de Abstinentia,’ which Quétif unhesitatingly assigns to him, and does really, as Quétif asserts, mingle French words with the Latin text, the fact of his French residence, if not of his French birth, may perhaps be considered as proved. Lastly, as regards the order to which Bayard belonged, Quétif observes that there is no certain evidence whether he was a Franciscan or a Dominican. In all the manuscripts excepting one he appears to be called simply Frater Nicholas de Bayard, and in the only one which is more precise he is called a Minorite. Only one of Bayard’s works seems to have been printed, and that one of somewhat doubtful authenticity, the ‘Summa de Abstinentia,’ which was published under the title of ‘Dictionarius Pauperum’ by John Knoblouch at Cologne in 1518, and again at Paris in 1530.   Dictionarius pauperum is an encyclopedia of Christian philosophy,for the use of preachers, arranged alphabetically from “De abstinentia” to “De vita eterna.” The attribution to de Byart is tentative. In the thirteenth century Dictionarius pauperum compiled by Nicolas de Byard, we find the admonition that just as robbers easily have the treasure after they have broken the chest, so the devil has the soul after he has confused a man and stolen his patience, because “the heart of a fool is like a broken vessel, no wisdom at all shall it hold.  (ODNB)

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815G John Fisher 1469-1535

Sacri sacerdotij defensio cõtra Lutherum, per Reuerendissimu Dominum, dominum Johannem Roffeñ. Episcopum, virum singulari eruditione omnifariam doctissimum, iam primum ab Archetypo euulgata. Cum tabula et repertorio tractatorum.

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Colonie : Petri Quentel, 1525.                                                       $3,000

A8B4,a-G8. This copy is bound in modern full calf.

DSC_0036Octavo A8B4,a-G8. One of three eds. printed by Quentel in 1525. One of the others is in 4to (Kuczynski 821)–and the other, in 8vo, has title 1st line: “Sacri sacerdotij defensio” (Kuczynski 823)./ Ed. by “frater Johãnes Romberch” (leaf [2]). Marginal notes printed throughout./ Includes index, leaves A3–B1.

“Sacri sacerdotii defensio contra Lutherum” is a defense of the priesthood by arguments in favor of tradition against innovation and a divine sanction of the priesthood.

Kuczynski, A. Thesaurus libellorum histoDSC_0034riam Reformationis,; 822;

BM STC German, 1465-1600,; p. 458; Pegg, M
Pamphlets in Swiss libraries,; 2493; VD-16,; F-1238; Adams; F-547

 

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A very rare Incunable: Antoninus Florentinus , Confessionale: Omnis mortalium cura…

775GAntoninus Florentinus
775G Antoninus Florentinus
775G  Antoninus Florentinus 1389-1459
Confessionale: Omnis mortalium cura [Italian] Specchio di coscienza. Add: Trattado dell’ excommunicazione; Li dieci comandamenti; Credo volgare in prosa; Thomas Aquinas: Orazione la quale diceva quando andava a celebrare; Orazione che si fa dopo la comunione

[Milan: Leonardus Pachel and Uldericus Scinzenzeler, about 1477-80]

Also recorded as      [Christophorus Valdarfer, about 1470-71]                                           $SOLD

Quarto 8 1/2 x 6 1/4  inches,  a-m8, n6

This copy is bound in early sixteenth  century dark calf Venetian binding, richly blindstamped boards.

775GAntoninus Florentinus
775G Antoninus Florentinus

In this copy the initial and heading letters fully rubricated in red, upper margin a bit short, but a fine and crisp copy on strong paper.

775GAntoninus Florentinus
775G Antoninus Florentinus

One of the earlier XVth century editions of the Confessionale in ancient italian . This is one of the first books printed in Milan.   Antoninus Florentinus entered the Dominican order at the age of sixteen. Uninterested in achieving an important administrative position, he was nevertheless forced by Eugene IV to accept the Archbishopric of Florence in 1446 .“The literary productions of Saint Antoninus, while giving evidence of the eminently practical turn of his mind, show that he was a profound student of history and theology.” (CE) These two works on Dominican and ecclesiastical discipline and canon law deal with the circumstances under which excommunication might be imposed and all legal and theological aspects of marriage.

Of considerable importance are the manuals for confessors and penitents containing abridgments, reproductions, and translations from the “Summa” and frequently published in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries under the name of St. Antoninus. An unsuccessful attempt has been made to show that he was not the author of the Italian editions. At the most is should be granted that he committed to others the task of editing one or two. The various editions and titles of the manuals have caused confusion, and made it appear that there were more than four distinct works. A careful distinction and classification is given by Mandonnet in the “Dictionnaire de théologie catholique”DSC_0092

Antoninus was born in Florence in 1389, and is reported to have been inclined to prayer and piety from early childhood, taking pleasure only in reading the lives of saints or conversing with pious persons. In his teenage years he felt inspired to join the Dominican order, but was forbidden from doing so by his father who insisted on the study of canon law instead, adding that he could take the habit when he had learnt the entirety of Gratian’s Decretum by heart. Antoninus set himself to the task, and at the age of sixteen he answered his examination on the whole of Gratian and promptly presented himself to the prior of Fiesoli. He subsequently held office over the great convent of the Minerva in Rome, and was prior at Naples, Cajeta, Cortona, Siena, Fiesoli, and Florence, as well as actively preaching throughout Italy and acting as an advisor to Pope Eugenius IV at the Council of Florence in 1439. DSC_0090On the death of the archbishop of Florence the election of a successor was referred to Eugenius IV, who is reported to have asked Antoninus’ associate Fra Angelico (at the time working on a painting project in the Vatican), who suggested Antoninus. He was appointed while engaged in a visitation of his monasteries, but was extremely reluctant to accept an office that would keep him from his chosen life as a Dominican preacher, initially attempting to flee into hiding in Sardinia, and then petitioning the pope to be released of this burden. With his pleas to the pope falling on deaf ears, he turned to his influential Florentine friends for aid, including Cosmo de’ Medici who wrote two letters to the pope: an official one endorsing Antoninus’ plea to drop the nomination, and another secretly congratulating the pope on his choice. After being threatened with excommunication Antoninus took possession of his archbishopric in March 1446, but continued to act in accordance with his earlier life, shunning riches and fine robes, dividing his income between himself, the Church and the poor of the city, having the archiepiscopal flower gardens replanted with wheat for the poor, and refusing to own a horse or carriage, travelling everywhere instead on a rented donkey. He died on the 2 May 1459 at the age of seventy, and was buried in the church of San Marco. Plans for his canonisation were immediately put into effect, and he was finally pronounced a saint in 1523.DSC_0092

Goff A 848; (U.S.A: San Marino CA, The Huntington Library) GW 2171;( Corresponds page for page with the edition of about the same date from an anonymous press, GW 2170. GW assigned to Valdarfer ) BMC VI, 794; IGI 658; Pell. 857

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