POETAE CHRISTIANI VETERES -- PRUDENTIUS (348-after 405). Opera. Edited by Aldus Manutius. - PROSPER of Aquitaine (c.390-c.463). Epigrammata super Augustini sententias. - JOHN OF DAMASCUS (c.675-c.749, Saint) and COSMAS MELODUS (b. c.700). Hymni et Cantica, in Greek and Latin. - SEDULIUS Scotus (fl. 9th century). Mirabilium divinorum libri quatuor carmine heroico. - JUVENCUS (fl. early 4th century). De Evangelica historia. - ARATOR (c. 490-c.560). Historiae Apostolicae. - PROBA FALCONIA (4th century). Cento ex Virgilio de novo et verteri testamento. - SULPICIUS SEVERUS (c.363-c.420). De vita et miraculis S. Martini. - Homerocentra, hoc est centones ex Homero, in Greek and Latin. - And other short works in Greek and Latin. Edited by Pietro Candido (d.1513). - GREGORY of Nazianzus (329-389, Saint). Carmina, in Greek and Latin. - Historia evangelii secundum Ioannem, in Greek and Latin. Venice: Aldus Manutius, January 1501-[not before June 1502]-June 1504.
NONNUS Panopolitanus (fl. 4th century). Paraphrasis Evangelii secundum Ioannem, in Greek. (?)Edited by Pietro Candido. [Venice: Aldus Manutius, 1501].
4 volumes, super-chancery 4° (204 x 141mm). Collation of vols. I and IV as Laurenziana, of vols. II and III as Ahmanson-Murphy (but vol. II complete). Types: 10:82R, 3:84Gk. 36-37 lines. Printer's device in two sizes (Fletcher 1 on II:\Kp\k8v and Fletcher f1 on III:OO8v). Initial spaces, filled in red in final 3 quires of vol. I (washed). (Repaired tear in I:a1.) Blue straight-grained morocco tooled in gilt and blind, marbled endpapers, vellum flyleaves, gilt edges, blue silk ribbon marker, by René Simier, binder to the King, signed on spine of vol. I. Provenance: De La Pa[--] and Du vieux (title inscriptons, washed).
FIRST EDITION of the poetry of John Damascenus, Gregorius Nazianzus and several others, and COMPLETE WITH THE EXTREMELY RARE EDITIO PRINCEPS of the hexameter paraphrase of the Gospel of St. John by the Byzantine poet Nonnus. Aldus intended that it accompany his compilation of Christian poets as a bilingual text, but only the Greek was ever printed, without title, preface or colophon (all presumably to be supplied with the Latin translation). Aldus explains in prefatory remarks to vol. III, containing works by Gregory of Nazianzus, that he has not yet had time to translate Nonnus's paraphrase into Latin, and therefore apologises for issuing the Poetae Christiani Veteres incomplete. The manuscript source for both the Nonnus and Gregory texts, known to have been in the possession of Pietro Candido at Rome, survives (cf. Wilson, Byzantium to Italy, p.142). Renouard surmised that most copies of the Greek Nonnus were destroyed by booksellers as an imperfect work without the Latin translation. It has eluded most of the great modern Aldine collectors, with the rare exception of Giorgio Uzielli.
FIRST APPEARANCE OF THE ALDINE DOLPHIN-AND-ANCHOR DEVICE (at the end of vol. II). The 'most celebrated of all printers' marks' (cf. Fletcher p.43), it derives from gold and silver coins from the reigns of Roman emperors Vespasian and Domitian of the last quarter of the 1st century A.D.; it was (and continues to be) widely imitated. Ahmanson-Murphy 31, 46, 67; Adams P-1685, G-1142; Bigliazzi, Laurenziana, 42, 53, 61, 86; Renouard 24:1, 46:4, 261:12. (4)