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L. Coelii Lactantii Firmiani opera, quae quidem extant omnia.

Lactantius (ca. 240 ? ca. 320).

Published by per Henricum Petri [colophon: 1563], Basileae, 1563
From SessaBks (ABAA, ILAB) (Philadelphia, PA, U.S.A.)

AbeBooks Seller Since April 10, 2001

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North African apologist Lactantius (ca. 240?320) converted to Christianity prior to 303, before settling in Trier to tutor Constantine's son Crispus. Deemed the "Christian Cicero" by Renaissance scholars, Lactantius is better known for his elegant writing style than for his knowledge of Scripture, yet of his works only those concerning Christianity survive ? including, in the present copy, his earliest treatise, De opificio dei (303/304); the Institutiones in seven books, which was => the first systematic description of Christianity in Latin (completed 313); the Epitome divinarum institutionum, which synthesizes the Institutions; the supplement De ira dei; the Phoenix poem; and the Carmen de dominica resurrectione. Basel printer Henricus Petrus (Sebastian Henric Petri, 1546?1627) was responsible for the publication of very important works, including an early edition of Copernicus and M?nster's Cosmographia, the first German description of the world. He printed this Latin and Greek, later edition of Lactantius's opera with the main text in roman, single column; the extensive commentary by Birk in italic, double column; the indices triple-column; and the whole text punctuated by handsome historiated and floriated woodcut initials of various sizes, some quite large. A woodcut diagram shows the opposition of Light (God) and Dark levels of the universe and there are multiple letterpress charts; the title-page features the printer's device, a variant of which also appears on the final verso. This is the first appearance of this commentary by => Xystus Betuleius (Sixt Birk, 1501?54), a corrector for the Basel printers and a teacher at various schools who composed German and Latin didactic dramas; commentaries on Lactantius (this) and Cicero; and a concordance of the Greek New Testament. An associate of Erasmus, he witnessed Erasmus's first will, in 1527. 4to (29.2 cm, 11.5"). [12] ff., 559, [21] pp. Adams L27; VD16 L42; Graesse, IV, 66. Not in Schweiger or Brunet. On Lactantius, see: New Catholic Encyclopedia, VIII, 308?09. On Birk, see: Contemporaries of Erasmus, pp. 150?51. Recent full brown morocco blind-ruled, old style; raised bands on spine accented with gilt ruling, author and title gilt in second compartment and date collector style at spine base, edges lightly speckled brown. Mild foxing on some leaves; limited, very light old waterstaining in latter half, this rising on a few leaves to "moderate" and being virtually all marginal; a few small stains from chemical reactions in paper. One marginal oxidized inkstain, slim but dark, offset onto next neighboring pages (only); two very small tears in last leaf. There is one short paragraph of => contemporary inked marginalia on one leaf, and one instance of underlining on another. Bookseller Inventory # 31312

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Title: L. Coelii Lactantii Firmiani opera, quae ...

Publisher: per Henricum Petri [colophon: 1563], Basileae

Publication Date: 1563

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