2 June 2004
AVICENNA (980-1037). Metaphysica siue eius prima philosophia. Venice: Bernardinus Venetus, de Vitalibus, for Hieronymus de Durantibus, 26 March 1495.
2° (300 x 299mm). Collation: a-b6 c-h4 i5 (a1r title, a1v blank, a2r text, i5v text and colophon). 41 leaves (of 42, without the final blank). 2 columns. 65 lines and headline. Types: 155G and 75G. Woodcut device on last page. (Fore-margins and top margins repaired throughout affecting text slightly on d2v, e1r and h3r, repaired wormhole in lower margins throughout affects text, another in the fore-margins affects text from g3, more severely at the end, some soiling.) Mid 20th-century blindstamped calf, slipcase.
FIRST EDITION of Avicenna's Metaphysics, a treatise giving a synoptic view of Aristotelian doctrine, and probably written towards the end of his life at Isfahan. 'His philosophy was in the main Aristotelian, but it was also much influenced by Neoplatonism. He held that there was a hierarchy of emanations from the Godhead which mediate between God and man' (The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, p.138). Another edition appeared in 1546 and the Metaphysics were still being printed in the 20th century. RARE; only one copy is recorded at auction by ABPC since 1975. HC 2216=2217; BMC V, 547 (IB. 24316); GW 3130; Klebs 135.1; Goff A-1431.
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