EUSEBIUS CAESARIENSIS, Bishop of Caesarea (ca. 260-ca. 340). Historia ecclesiastica. Translated from Greek into Latin by Tyrannius Rufinus, (ca. 345-410). Mantua: Johannes Schallus, [not before 15] July 1479.
Chancery 2o (289 x 190 mm). Collation: [18 (1/1r blank, 1/1v printer's dedication, 1/3r table); 2-188 19-226.8 (2/1r text, 22/7v verse colophon, 22/8 blank). 171 leaves (of 172, without the blank). 34 lines. Catchwords on every page. Type: 3:111R. 2- to 6-line initial spaces, most with printed guide letters. Flourished Lombard initials, some with reserved ornament, headings, paragraph marks and capital strokes supplied in red. (Traces of staining in gutter margins, a few small tears and repairs in gutters of first leaf and last 35 leaves touching a few initial flourishes, last page a bit soiled.) 19th-century vellum over pasteboard (covers bowed).
Provenance: a few 16th-century marginalia (cropped) and headlines (book numbers) -- John Wickham Legg (1886 inscription) -- Eric Sexton (bookplate, sale Christie's, 8 April 1981, lot 98).
Fourth edition, the second printed in Italy, of the principal source for the early history of Christianity. This is the last of six books printed at the fifth Mantuan press. Schallus, a native of Hersfeld in Hessia, who called himself a doctor, and in one edition a "doctor artis Appollinee," printed five editions in Mantua in 1475, using gothic rotunda types related to Mentelin's. He then ceased printing, resurfacing briefly four years later with the present edition, whose roman typeface is identical to that of Johann Schreiber, active in Bologna in 1478 and 1479.
The dedication to Federico Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua, is dated July 15, 1479, and the printing must have been completed soon after. Many copies of this edition survive, a large number with contemporary German provenances, indicating that Schall may have used a German trading company for the book's distribution.
HC 6711*; BMC VII, 933 (IB. 30664-65); BSB-Ink. E-112; GW 9436; Harvard/Walsh 3341-42; IGI 3762; Pr 6908; Goff E-127.