([Augsburg: Günther Zainer, about 1477]). 285 x 210 mm. (11 1/4 x 8 1/4"). 5 p.l., 136 leaves (lacking only the initial blank). FIRST EDITION.
19th century Continental painted boards, paper spine label. With 18 printed maiblumen initials (eight or nine lines high), all hand-painted in red, many additional three-line initials also painted in red (over guide letters). With a late 16th century ownership inscription at head of text from the Carthusian monastery of Schnals in the south Tyrol near the Austrian border; brief marginal annotations in a neat early hand on about 20 leaves. Goff H-536; BMC II, 325; ISTC ih00536000. Corners bruised, edges of boards slightly worn, a few nicks or gouges in paper covering, but the binding perfectly sound and more than satisfactory; one lower margin defective (because of paper flaw?) with no text affected, scattered minor foxing, a few trivial spots, but A VERY FINE COPY INTERNALLY, with THE TEXT REMARKABLY FRESH AND BRIGHT, and printed on leaves with spacious margins.
This is the first printing of any part of Hugh of St. Victor's influential treatise on dogmatic theology, "De Sacramentis Christianae Fidei," the most important work among the more than 50 treatises, commentaries, and sermon collections attributed to him, and the first important Medieval theological summa to be written. It is also a fine example of early printing, done on good paper with grand margins by the first printer in Augsburg. The work in its entirety is divided historically into two parts, and it is apparent that this second part was chosen to be printed by itself because it is the section dealing with the Christian era. It is also apparent that the two parts of Hugo's treatise circulated separately in the Middle Ages, as evidenced by the presence of manuscript copies of one part or the other by itself (e.g., Bibliothèque Nationale MS. lat. 2920, a late 12th or early 13th century copy of the second part, and MS. lat. 3009, a 13th century copy of the first part). Thought to be a Saxon by birth, Hugo (ca. 1078-1141) entered the Augustinian monastery of St. Victor in Paris in 1115 and spent the rest of his life teaching and writing there. His mystical philosophy, as promulgated through his writings, earned for him renown and influence beyond that of St. Bernard, and the mysticism of the school of St. Victor, for which he was responsible, clearly prevailed over the school of Abelard in the 12th century. The Catholic Encyclopedia says that "his systematizing of the dogmatic works of the patristic age into a coherent body of doctrine was one of the great accomplishments of Medieval thought." (ST16379-097)
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PJP Catalog: LeonardQuoteSept21.004