SAINT-AUGUSTIN De Civitate Dei. Cum Commento – De Trinitate.


Precious reunion of two main treatises by Saint Augustine

Precious reunion of the first editions of The City of God and of On the Trinity given by J. Amerbach. First edition of The City of God with comments, and the first one to represent the woodcut of Saint Augustine writing The City of God. Basel, J. Amerbach, February 13th, 1489.

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SAINT-AUGUSTIN. De Civitate Dei. Cum CommentoDe Trinitate. Bâle, Johann Amerbach, 13 février 1489.

2 works in 1 folio volume [293 x 209 mm] of (268) ll. and (86) ll. Blind-stamped pig-skin over wooden boards, spine ribbed, clasps. Contemporary binding.

Precious reunion of two main treatises by Saint Augustine.

–          First and precious edition of The City of God by Saint Augustine given in Basel by Johann Amerbach, probably edited by Sebastian Brandt, with the comments of the Oxford Dominicans, Thomas Waleys (1314-1350) and Nicholas Trevet (1297-1334).

This edition is the first one commented, it is also the first to present this famous large woodcut (197 x 142 mm) depicting Saint Augustine writing his book, while at his feet are opposed The City of God and The City of Satan, first important wood-engraved work by “Haintz Narr”s master. Références: GW 2887 ; HC 2064; Goff A-1243; Pellechet 1559; BSB-Ink A-861; Polain (B) 365; IGI 978. IBE 98; IBP 633; Voullième (B) 447; Ohly-Sack 304; Hubay, (Eichstatt), 105; Madsen 401; Schreiber 3393; Schramm XXI, S. 26; BMC III, 751; Walsh 1171; Wilhelmi, Brant-Bibliographie, 39.

The storming of Rome by Alaric’s Visigoths on August 24th, 140 provoked an unimaginable chock in the Christian world. To this profound chock that could be attributed by the contemporaries to the rejection of the pagan gods for the worship of an only God, Saint Augustine brings an eloquent answer in 412 with the 22 books of the City of God, a timeless and major work, reedited in the Pléiade in November 2000.

With his very large interpretation of the history of mankind, Saint Augustine will exercise a profound influence on all those curious and worried about their own destiny.

Universal book, The City of God was the first book printed in Italy, in 1467, in Subiaco. Humanism felt its profound charm as well as the Reformers, Pascal and Kierkegaard. “His work of the City of God marks the transition of Christianity from adolescence to maturity. It influenced radically the theology and philosophy, the political doctrines and economic precepts of the Middle Ages”. Encyclopaedia of Social Sciences.

This incunabula edition is printed in gothic characters, on double columns, the text on 54 lines, framed with comments by Thomas Waleys and Nicolas Trivet on 65 lines, with some Greek characters.

–          First edition of the important De Trinitate by Saint Augustine given in Basel by Johann Amerbach and first dated edition. His treatise On the Trinity, in fifteen books, represents an extraordinary effort to “justify that the Trinity is an only and true God and that it is absolutely true to say, to believe and to understand that the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are from an only and same substance or essence”. We find at the end of the text a poem attributed to Sebastian Brandt, the author of the Ship of Fools.

The large initials on 6 to 9 lines are finely painted. The entire copy is entirely with red headings.

Magnificent wide-margined and very fresh volume, preserved in its superb blind-stamped pig-skin over wooden boards contemporary binding.

Provenance: handwritten ex-libris from the 16th century on the title.

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