Folio (315 x 205 mm), pp. [viii], 806, , woodcut royal arms on title, woodcut initials; some light foxing, but a very good copy in contemporary black shagreen over wooden boards, gilt border and corner fleurons on covers, spine gilt, blue edges; minor wear, upper joint cracked at head, foot of spine repaired.
US $11578 €9550
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Historia del Concilio Tridentino di Pietro Soave Polano. Nella quale si scoprono tutti gl’artificii della Corte di Roma, per impedire che né la verità di dogmi si palesasse, né la riforma del Papato, et della Chiesa si trattasse.
First edition, a large paper copy, of Sarpi’s history of the Council of Trent; published under the pseudonym of Pietro Soave Polano by the apostate Marcantonio de Dominis, with additions by the latter. Large paper copies of the first edition are very rare.
‘The Council of Trent, the turning point in the Counter-Reformation, created the modern Roman Catholic Church . . . . The full force of the acts of the Council was not lost either on those who desired a reconciliation between the Church and the new schismatics or on those who distrusted the centralisation of power in Rome. It was both these motives which prompted the Venetian patriot, scientist, scholar and reformer, Paolo Sarpi (1552–1623), to compile his memorable History of the Council of Trent, which was published pseudonymously in London. A member of the Servite order, hated yet never excommunicated by the Papal See, Sarpi was the devoted and honoured servant of the Venetian Republic. Like the author in his lifetime, so in later years his book formed a nucleus of opposition to the papacy of Pius IV. Translated and reprinted over and over again, the masterpiece of “Father Paul of Venice”, as he was known to generations, is still read’ (Printing and the Mind of Man).
Provenance: from the libraries of the Venetian merchant Amadeus Svajer (1727–1791) and Lord Amherst of Hackney (1835–1909), with bookplates.
Gamba 2080; PMM 118; STC 21760.
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