Maggs Bros Ltd

De Civitate Dei. Venice, Bonetus Locatellus for Octavianus Scotus, 9 February 1486/

AUGUSTINE, St (1487.)


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Rubricated in red throughout.

4to. [207] leaves (of 208, lacking the final blank). Gothic letter, double columns, 50 lines and headline. Late 19th/ early 20th century leather backed polished wooden boards, leather strap (restored at head of spine).

A fine edition of St. Augustine's great work intended as an apologetic treatise in vindication of Christianity and the Christian Church as the old order of the Roman empire was crumbling away and, perhaps, the earliest contribution to the philosophy of history. The basic ideas contained in the City of God largely determined the Church's politics in the Middle Ages.

This is the first known production of Bonetus Locatellus at Venice. The BMC tells us that Locatellus worked almost exclusively for Scotus until his death on Christmas Eve, 1498, and subsequently for the heirs of Scotus and other patrons, with his press being active throughout the first decade of the 16th century.

Provenance: on the blank recto of A1 is an early, perhaps contemporary, manuscript copy in 28 lines of Petrarch's letter to Joannes de Certale, De laudibus Sancti Augustini, some early marginalia. 16th/17th century ownership inscription at foot of A1 of the Capuchin Friary at Vienna. Bookplate of Walter Hirst pasted on fly-leaf.

Minor marginal holes in first two leaves repairs, a few leaves lightly browned, but generally a fresh, well-margined and rubricated copy.

BMC V, 436. Goff A1238. Hain 2055*. GW 2882.

Stock Code: 225212

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