8vo, ff. [viii], cccxlvi, [6, the last blank]; engraved device to title, woodcut initials; light browning and occasional spotting, otherwise a very good copy in contemporary limp vellum, remains of paper label to spine, title inked to bottom edge; split with some loss at tail of spine, slightly soiled; a few early marginal notes and underlinings, note in seventeeth-century hand and name ‘Vincentii Contaren’ to front flyleaf, bookplate of Alberti Giovanelli; an attractive copy.
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Adversus paganos historiarum libri septem. Vetustorum librorum auxilio à mendis vindicati, et annotationibus ex utriusq[ue] linguae historicis illustrati, opera et studio Franc. Fabricii Marcodurani.
First Fabricius edition of Orosius’s highly influential historical apology of Christianity, composed in the early 5th century at the request of St Augustine, at a time when the collapse of the Roman empire was popularly attributed to the anger of the gods that the Romans had defected to Christianity. The work was written Adversus paganos to show Christianity’s opponents that there had been calamities and disasters throughout the classical period too. It become the fundamental history textbook of the Middle Ages, used throughout Europe in every major monastery and school, and was translated into Anglo-Saxon by King Alfred. Fabricius (1527-73) studied under Ramus and Turnebus. This edition, including his substantial annotations, was one of his most important works, together with his editions of Cicero.
Adams O302; VD16 O 927. Only the Cambridge and Leighton Library copies on COPAC; Worldcat finds three copies in the US (Harvard, Columbia, and Yale).
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