In presenti opusculo infrascripta continentur.  Sermones luculentissimi …  Omelie & admonitiones beati Cesarij arelatensis episcopi … Sermo de laudibus beatissime virginis Marie ex autenticis sanctorum doctorum dictis compilatus.  Omelia Origenis super euangelio Maria stabat ad monumentum foris plorans. 

Venice, Giacomo Penzio for Benedetto Fontana, 24 January 1508. 

8vo, ff. [160]; historiated woodcut initial, numerous four-line woodcut initials; printed in Gothic type in two columns; first two quires loose, but a very good copy in Italian eighteenth-century half calf, sides covered with patterned paper, edges stained blue; occasional contemporary marginalia.

£1500

Approximately:
US $1937€1778

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In presenti opusculo infrascripta continentur.  Sermones luculentissimi …  Omelie & admonitiones beati Cesarij arelatensis episcopi … Sermo de laudibus beatissime virginis Marie ex autenticis sanctorum doctorum dictis compilatus.  Omelia Origenis super euangelio Maria stabat ad monumentum foris plorans. 

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Rare first edition of the sermons of Zeno of Verona, edited by Guarino and published here along with the sermons of Caesarius of Arles and Origen, and other homiletic material, especially Marian. 

Tradition holds that Zeno was of African, Mauretanian origin.  One of the most important early bishops of Verona, he died, according to his contemporary St Ambrose, ‘a happy death’ around 371 – either as a martyr or as a witness of the Christian faith in adversity.  His sermons, in two books, are preserved in a number of manuscripts, the oldest dating from the eighth century.  Of the ninety-three homilies recorded in the collections, only about thirty appear complete. 

The references made in these texts to Hilary of Poitiers’s Commentary on the Psalms (written in and disseminated from 360), date the composition to the Saint’s late years: this and the deep and extensive doctrine contained in his writings makes Zeno one of the very earliest great Catholic Fathers.  The themes tackle biblical exegesis, the doctrine of the Trinity, Marian theology, sacramental initiation, Easter liturgy, and the Christian virtues of poverty, humility, and charity towards the poor and the suffering.  The mention of African writers and certain elements of style have traditionally corroborated the hypothesis of Zeno’s Mauretanian origin. 

CNCE 33655; USTC 864308.  Two copies in the UK (BL and UCL) and three in the US (UCLA, Yale, Catholic University). 

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