Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    Biography of a Miracle Worker

    Flavius Philostratus. De Vita Apollonii Tyanei. Bologna: Benedictus Hector [Benedetto Faeli], [1501]. First Latin edition. Edited and scripted by Philippo Beroaldo, translated by Alamano Rinuccini. Folio. 285 x 197mm. A2, B-Q6, R3. [4], 93ff = 186, [1] pages. Nineteenth century vellum-backed boards, sixteenth century signature of "Fr. Jo. Baptista Melonarius" on title page; stamps and label of Jesuits of Rome, large printer's mark at end [Kristeller 12 earliest use 1500]. Covers slightly worn. Minor stains, early marginalia. Very good. From the Krown & Spellman Collection.
    Please visit for an extended description of this lot.

    More Information:

    Flavius Philostratus (ca.170-ca.245), a member of the philosophical circle patronized by Septimus Severus and his wife Julia Domna, wrote his Life of Apollonius of Tyana at the urging of Julia herself.  Apollonius was a first century Neo-pythagorean philosopher known for his ascetic lifestyle, his miracles, and his teachings rendered while traveling far, even into India.  Later anti-Christian writers, especially Hierocles of Nicomedia,  compared him as a rival to Jesus of Nazareth.

    Beroaldus (1453-1505) one of the most eminent scholars of the fifteenth century, was born in Bologna. He was  brilliant scholar, a popular lecturer, and was rewarded with civic and academic honors. "He was fond of the pleasures of the table, and passionately addicted to play, to which he sacrificed all he was worth. He was an ardent votary of the fair sex; and thought no pains nor experience too great for accomplishing his wishes." At length he married and changed his ways.

    "In the late fifteenth century Filippo Beroaldo of Bologna was one of the most popular and influential teachers in Italy.As many as 300 students regularly attended his daily morning lectures at the University of Bologna.Many of these students were foreign, for Beroaldo's reputation extended far beyond Italy. They came from Spain and France, but above all from Germany and eastern Europe - indeed, a contemporary chronicler tells us both that he had 200 students "from the other side of the Alps" and that they all left Bologna after his death. Beroaldo's students were undoubtedly attracted by his kindly, genial manner, for he seems to have been a happy, hospitable man, deeply religious, but also good company and a bit of a bon vivant." [Teaching Classics in the Renaissance: Two Case Histories. Julia Gaisser]

    The first Latin edition is quite rare with only a few recorded copies. Aldus published the first Greek edition in his collection of 1501-4 with the translation of Alamanno Rinuccini (1426-1499) stating it was the fourth Latin translation but with no listing of previous translations. [ Rinuccini's translation was presented to the Medici in 1475 (ms. Laur. 67.21, Vigilii #91].Beroaldus' edition was based on this but improved.Aldus' slightly later printing didn't take advantage of Beroaldus' edition. In a letter of September 19,1490 Pico della Miandola asks Giovanni Baptista Spagnolo of Mantua to write in Praise of Beroaldus and asks a loan of his manuscript copy of Philostratus. Spagnolo replied in October  and tells Pico della Mirandola that he has lent his copy of Philostratus to Beroaldus. Apparently, that manuscript was of one of the sources of Beroaldus' translation and since, presumably, Pico had access to the Medici copy, it must have had a different source.

    EDIT cnce 36020. GW M33200. Ebert 16746.Schweiger II,231. Hoffmann 80. Graesse V. 274 (note giving 1500 as the date of publication.) Not in Adams, BM STC (Fr.), Marshall. Occult. Classics. Neo-Platonism. Philosophy. Post-Incunable.Theosophy.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2015
    5th Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,238

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    25% on the first $100,000 (minimum $14), plus 20% of any amount between $100,000 and $1,000,000, plus 12% of any amount over $1,000,000 per lot.

    Sold on Aug 5, 2015 for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
    Track Item

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Only 15 days left to consign to the 2021 October 9 Americana & Political Signature Auction Featuring the Michael Ward Collection!

    Learn about consigning with us

    You reach a customer base that is in many ways completely unknown to the major auction houses, and your marketing to this base is as professional as one could hope for. As I continue to wind down my holdings.
    Michael Z.,
    Hawthorne, NY
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search