14 December 2001
CASSIODORUS, Magnus Aurelius (ca.487-583). Historia ecclesiastica tripartita. [Paris:] George Wolf [about 1492].
4o (240 x 173mm). Collation: a8 A6 B4 b-l8 m6 n4 (table misbound between signatures a and b). 54 lines and head-line, double column. Gothic type 9:130. Capital spaces with guide letters. Woodcut printer's device on a2r. Unrubricated. (B3 and 4 of table with 1-inch repair affecting several words in one column, small repair to upper margins a2-3 and b1-4 and to lower margin of b1, 12 leaves with small clean tear to fore-margin, stain to the top edges of a few pages.) A relatively large copy (13mm taller than the BL copy), with many lower edges untrimmed. Later vellum boards, spine lettered in red and black. Provenance: "Monsieur Pierre F...(indistinct) 1650" (ink inscription in lower margin of title, partly inked over) -- Estelle Doheny (morocco bookplate, purchased from Maggs Bros.) -- donated to SMS December 1947).
First French printing of Cassiodorus Historia, containing Latin extracts from the greek ecclesiastical historians Theodoret, Sozomen and Socrates. The compilation, widely used throughout the Middle Ages as a manual of history, was rendered obselete when the original Greek texts were edited and published in the 16th century by Estienne. BMC VIII, 147 (IA.40187); BSB-Ink C-171; GKW 6166; HC 4570*; IGI 2554; Oates 2993; Pellechet 4639; Polain 1019; Goff C-239.
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