Title: Historia Ecclesiastica
Publisher: Johannes Schallus, Mantua
Publication Date: 1479
Book Condition: Good+
[Mantua: Johannes Schallus, [not before 15] July 1479]. Folio (286 x 202mm). 34 lines, Roman letter with catchwords, initials printed with guide letters and supplied in red and brown ink by a contemporary hand. Most engaging is the extensive Latin marginalia in brown and red ink written in a humanistic script. In this copy, an early annotator made ample references to biblical figures from the Old and New Testaments and extracted names of Roman emperors, philosophers, and early church fathers. The system seems to highlight the major figures of the Eusebius’ passages by name and enters them in the margin for easy reference. This is also done for scenes and major historical events, written in abbreviated Latin for space. The majority of the inscriptions are written in an attractive red ink and date to probably the beginning of the sixteenth century. 166 (of 172) leaves, 133 are bound and 33 leaves loose and starting on page three of the table of contents (lacking some preliminary material: initial blank, Gonzaga’s address, start of contents which are pp. 1-5, also 14-15 (last page of contents), and pp. 16-19 (prologue and incipit pages), loose leaves starting again on p. 20 in Book I and lacking p. 37 (beginning of Book III) and the final blank). Bound section beginning on p. 42 in Book III; leaves 48-49 and 164-66 bound between leaves 41 and 42. Modern alum-tawed leather; (loose leaves slightly thumbsoiled and dampstained, contents of bound volume washed with residual soiling on first and last pages, last leaf rehinged with edges silked, margins trimmed close on some pages; linen folding case). Late nineteenth-century ownership stamp of Chaplain Luke V. McCabe, bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church and of Pennsylvania. McCabe likely rebound the book and probably misplaced the front loose leaves as they did not make it into the volume; a significant portion of the text is present though. Fifteenth-century Mantuan edition of this most famous work on church history from apostolic times to the mid-fourth century by Eusebius, also known as the "Father of Church History," the work is derived from the Latin translation by Rufinus of Aquileia (345-410). The eager student of this book devoured the contents and filled every margin of every page with reminders of Eusebius’ content; the annotations are a veritable "who’s who" in the text from the point of view of an early modern reader. This is a fine Mantuan early printing by Joannes Schallus, who also took the title "doctor artis Apollinee." Works from the Schallus press were known for their great beauty and elegant production. The printed types are a mixture of those used in the early Milan and Parma presses, but were notably taller. Mittarelli observed in his Annals that Schallus was unaware of the previous impressions of 1474 and 1476 as his preface wrongly states he was the first the rescue the author from the "dust and obscurity of antiquity." Though, it is not known if Schallus had consulted any unknown or now lost manuscripts by Rufinus, which would make this edition the more celebrated. This edition contains eleven books, not nine, as the previous version. A Greek version of the original text would not appear until 1544, nearly sixty-five years later. This was an important reference work for late medieval theologians as the sources Eusebius used to write the history were not readily available or lost to time. This copy retains a near complete portion of the text and is most interesting for its studious inscriptions. ISTC ie00127000. Fifteenth-century Mantuan edition of this most famous work on church history from apostolic times to the mid-fourth century by Eusebius, also known as the "Father of Church History," the work is derived from the Latin translation by Rufinus of Aquileia (345-410). The eager student of this book devoured the contents and filled every margin of every page with reminders of Eusebius’ content; the annotations are a veritable "who’s who" in the text from. Bookseller Inventory # SAV134
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