Hadriani cardinalis de vera philosophia libri IIII ex quatuor ecclesiae doctoribus conscripti, varia eruditione et multa pietate referti, suae integritati, qua fieri potuit solertia, nunc primu[m] restituti.

Cologne, Melchior von Neuss, 1540. 

[bound with:]

CURIONE, Celio Secondo.  Coelii Secundi Curionis Araneus, seu de providentia Dei, libellus vere aureus, cum aliis nonnullis eiusdem opusculis, lectu dignissimis, nuncq[ue] primum in lucem editis …  Basel, Johannes Oporinus, July 1544. 

[and:]

WITZEL, Georg.  Sylvula torum ecclesiasticorum e S. Patribus promiscue collectorum …  Mainz, Franz Behem, 1544. 

Three works in one vol., 8vo; I: ff. [143] (of 144, wanting blank a8), woodcut device to title, woodcut initial, old repair at foot of C7v, paper flaw to lower margin of K4; II: pp. [40], 184 (recte 284), [2], [2 (blank)], woodcut initials; III: ff. 96, woodcut device to last page, woodcut initials, marks to last page; occasional creasing to corners, some toning; overall very good in slightly later half vellum, boards covered with fragments from a fourteenth/fifteenth-century MS dyed green, four raised bands to spine; some wear to spine and corners, and rubbing to covers; inscription to front flyleaf by Heinrich Rixner dated 7 May 1678, inscription at foot of title ‘Sum M. Rodolphi Hillebrandi Bremensis’ (see below), armorial bookplate of the ‘Society of Writers to Her Majesty’s Signet’ (with withdrawn stamp) to front pastedown; occasional early marginalia in various hands (cropped).

£1750

Approximately:
US $2272€2080

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Hadriani cardinalis de vera philosophia libri IIII ex quatuor ecclesiae doctoribus conscripti, varia eruditione et multa pietate referti, suae integritati, qua fieri potuit solertia, nunc primu[m] restituti.

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A fine sammelband of theological works, with interesting provenance.  The De vera philosophia (first published Bologna, 1507) is the most important work of the Italian cardinal and English agent in Rome, Adriano Castellesi (c.1461–1521).  ‘The dedication to Henry VII suggests that Castellesi developed an interest in scripture while in England.  Castellesi’s opinions emerge only in the section titles, but they reveal a strong scepticism about the powers of human reason and an equally marked preference for scripture’ (ODNB). 

The second item is the first edition of a collection of writings by the Italian humanist and heterodox reformer Celio Secondo Curione (1503–1569), published at Basel where he was a religious exile.  The content covers divine providence, the immortality of the soul, the education of children, Christian paradoxes, and St John’s gospel, and includes an oration in praise of scribes. 

The final work is the first edition of an anthology of quotations from the Church Fathers compiled by the German theologian Georg Witzel (1501–1573).  Witzel studied with Luther at Wittenberg and served for some years as a Lutheran pastor.  ‘However, intensive study of the writings of the Church Fathers caused him to turn away from Lutheranism, and by 1533 he was a Catholic preacher in Eisleben’ (Grove Music Online). 

Provenance: 1. Rudolph Hildebrand (1546–1609), theologian from Bremen, who served as a pastor in Braunschweig.  2. The German theologian Heinrich Rixner (1634–1692).  His inscription to the front flyleaf records the death and funeral of his mother Gertrud Ernsts in 1678.  Rixner studied theology and philosophy at the university of Jena, taught metaphysics and theology at Helmstedt, and was latterly a preacher at Halberstadt. 

I. Adams C906; VD16 C 1483; USTC 661467; OCLC records only 1 copy in the US (University of Notre Dame) and 2 in the UK (BL, Cambridge University Library).  II. Adams C3082; VD16 C 6416; USTC 622863.  III. Adams W134; VD16 W 4021; USTC 695302; OCLC finds only 2 copies in the US (Harvard, University of Pennsylvania) and 2 in the UK (Cambridge University Library, University of Durham). 

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