(Venice: Andreas de Bonetis, 23 July 1484). 215 x 150 mm. (8 1/2 x 6"). [287] leaves (of 288; lacking blank a1; final leaf L4 mounted on tab). Text complete. Double column, 42 lines of text in gothic type.

Modern dark brown calf, raised bands, new endpapers. In a brown linen clamshell box. Tail margin of a2 with initials "D i B" beneath a cross, large ink library stamp with crossed keys and sword and "I H S" monogram of the Jesuit order; tail margin of d8v with ink signature of Christophorus de Boxiis; occasional ink marginalia; note by Christophorus on final leaf dated 1578 (see below). Goff A-1217; BMC V, 361; ISTC ia01217000. A touch of shelfwear to edges of boards, intermittent minor marginal foxing, occasional small stains, but an excellent copy, the text clean and fresh, the sympathetic binding pleasing.

This is an attractive copy of an early printing of what is here designated as Augustine's "shorter" texts, but including such significant works as the "Confessions," in which the author gives an account of his conversion to Christianity by St. Ambrose in 385. The collection contains seven other authentic writings by Augustine, including the "Enchiridion," or handbook on faith, hope, and love written for Laurentius, which is the earliest theological textbook for laymen. Also included is "De Vera Religione," an early apologetic tract written shortly after Augustine left Milan and returned to Tagaste, his birthplace in north Africa. There are, in addition, 16 pseudo-Augustinian works in the present volume, and a life of the saint by Possidius Calamensis. Andreas de Bonetis of Pavia began printing in Venice ca. 1480; this is the ninth of 18 titles attributed to his press by ISTC, all issued between 1480 and 1486. On the final leaf, former owner Christophorus de Boxiis has noted that he wrote "Dominus Christus Proximus" for Francesco Martelli, bishop of Reggio Emilia, who died on 9 March 1578, adding that Martelli had been installed as bishop in 1575, and had ordained Christophorus as a deacon.

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PJP Catalog: LeonardQuoteSept21.010


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