ATHANASIUS (pseudo-). De homouisio contra Arrium [and other works by various authors, under the collective title Illustrium virorum Opuscula]. Edited by Simon Radin and Cyprianus Beneti. Paris: André Bocard, for Jean Petit, 28 June 1500.
Chancery 2o (268 x 194 mm). Collation: a-d6 (a1r title, publisher's device, a1v letter from Cyprianus Beneti to Simon Radin, a3r pseudo-Athanasius [Vigilius Thapsensis], b6r Didymus Alexandrinus, De Spiritu sancto, translated by St. Hieronymus); e-i6 k4 (e1r Cassiodorus, De Anima - Dialogus de origine animarum [extract] - Definitiones plurimum praestantium virorum, g1v pseudo-Cyprianus [i.e., Ernaldus Bonavallensis], De cardinalibus operibus Christi, k4r colophon, k4v blank). 58 leaves. 53 lines, printed marginalia. Types: 3:180G (first line of title, 4:96G (remainder of title, headings), 10:78G (text), 2:64(63)G (marginalia), Gk (marginalia). Woodcut device of Jean Petit I (Renouard 881), woodcut capital initials. Title flourish supplied in blue and red. Ruled in red throughout. (Last leaf a bit frayed and soiled and with lower blank corner torn away, a few small stains.) Modern vellum-backed boards.
Provenance: contemporary English list of persons taking communion and their offerings on April 8 [year unidentified] (last blank page) -- (?)Ussher, James (1581-1656), Archbishop of Armagh, important Irish scholar of early church history (inscription on title: secundus Usserus episcop. with notes on the texts).
FIRST AND ONLY EDITION of this collection of patristic treatises. André Bocard, whose press remained active from 1491 until well into the 1520s, was one of the "libraires jurés" of the University of Paris, and bookselling seems to have been his chief occupation, with printing as a sideline. Nonetheless, over fifty incunable editions bear his name, and nearly fifty more are attributed to his press on typographic grounds.
James Ussher was one of the most brilliant scholars of his day. He studied at the newly founded Trinity College, Dublin, was appointed chancellor of St. Patrick's Cathedral in 1606 and first professor of divinity at Dublin in 1607, and became Bishop of Meath in 1621 and Archbishop of Armagh in 1625. His published contributions to the history of the Church in Ireland earned him universal recognition; at his death he was given a state funeral at Westminster Abbey. Ussher "worked with manuscripts hitherto neglected, and brought to light the materials he needed by personal research, and by correspondence with continental scholars and with agents in the east... he lets his sources tell their story in their own words, incorporating them into his text with clear but sparing comment... Few faults have been found with his accuracy" (DNB). Ussher's library was offered for sale after his death. The sale was stopped by Cromwell. Some of the books and manuscripts, the present volume included, were apparently dispersed during the peregrinations made by the library before it was finally deposited in Trinity College, Dublin, in 1661.
H 1906*; BMC VIII, 158 (IB. 40238); BSB-Ink. I-139; CIBN A-639; Pr 8166; Goff A-1173.