New York, Park Avenue
18 March 1998
AGRIPPA, Heinrich Cornelius (1486-1535). Of the Vanitie and uncertaintie of Artes and Sciences. Translated by James Sanford. London: Henry Wykes, 1569.
4o (179 x 121 mm). Black letter, title within typographical border, woodcut arms of the Duke of Norfolk on title verso, errata leaf and table of contents leaf at end. (Title lightly browned, some minor dampstaining at end, lower corner chipped on Aaa4.) 18th-century speckled calf (rebacked in sheep).
Provenance: "This is John Templer's Booke of Bufford within the county of Oxfford woollen draper and servant with Richard Reynolds of same town and county afforesaid" (contemporary ownership inscription on errata leaf verso); some other marginalia in an early hand.
FIRST ENGLISH EDITION. "Although Agrippa was an admirer of Luther, he understood the verbum Dei as a Catholic; in one letter to Melancthon he called Luther the invincible heretic. Although this aspect of his thought is often neglected, it occupies the key position in his polemic on the arts and sciences, De incertitudine. This work gives emphasis to the tension between the verbum Dei and human knowledge, without providing any basis for the skepticism of which Agrippa has often been accused. Rather, at the beginning of the era of natural science, it is one of the first testimonials to knowledge of the limits of human understanding" (DSB). RARE. STC 204; Norman 22.
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