The First Great Discussion of the First Gospel
Pictaviensis Hilarius (Saint Hilary of Poiters). Aurelius
Augstinus (Saint Augustine of Hippo). De Trinitate contra
Arianos. Aurelius Augustinus: De trinitate. Milan:
Leonardus Pachel, May 26, July 9, . First edition, edition
princeps. Folio. Approximately 11.5 x 8 inches. (*2), A-G8, H-I6,
2A-2B8, a-k8. 165 (of 166) leaves. Lacks final blank. Later half
calf over marbled boards, title label in gilt at head of spine.
Binding worn, with some chipping and worm damage, hinges cracking,
library pocket on rear pastedown, some light spotting to outer
margin of first few leaves, no affect. Few minor wormholes to first
few leaves, touching a few letters, otherwise no affect. Light damp
stain at top outer margin. Small old red ink note with date "1489"
under last leaf colophon. Small book plate to inside front board
corner "Ex Biblio Cong: SS. Redemtoris, New York". Blind stamp to
first blank corner, "P.M. Haverty, Bookseller NY". Else, a nice
Goff H-269. Hain 2038. BMC IV: 777. Hain 8666. ISTC ih00269000. Sheppard 5020. GW 12472. CIBN H:140. USTC 994318. BSB H-273. From the Krown & Spellman Collection.
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Hilarius, Pictaviensis (Saint Hilary of Poiters). Aurelius Augstinus (Saint Augustine of Hippo). De trinitate contra Arianos. Aurelius Augustinus: De trinitate. Milan: Leonardus Pachel, May 26, July 9, . Folio. (*2), A-G8, H-I6, 2A-2B8, a-k8. 165 (of 166) leaves. Lacks final blank. 3/4 calf over marbled boards, worn, title label in gilt at head of spine. Some light spotting to outer margin of first few leaves, no affect. Few minor worm holes to first few leaves, touching a few letters, otherwise no affect. Light damp stain at top outer margin. Small old red ink note with date Ò1489Ó under last leaf colophon. Small book plate to inside front board corner ÒEx Biblio Cong: SS. Redemtoris, New YorkÓ. Blind stamp to first blank corner ÒP.M. Haverty, Bookseller NYÓ. Else, a nice crisp copy. First edition. Editio Princeps. ÒHilarius Pictaviensis, St., a celebrated bishop and theologian of the 4th century. Died in A.D. 368... For the words ÒDe TrinitateÓ in this title some copies give ÒContra ArianosÓ, others ÒDe FideÓ, and others some slight varities of a like kind. But the title ÒDe TrinitateÓ appears on the whole to be the most suitable; and it is remarkable that, as HilaryÕs commentary on St. Matthew is the most ancient extant exposition of the first gospel by a Latin father, so is the ÒDe TrinitateÓ the first great contribution, in the Latin tongue, to the discussion of this great dogma of the Christian faith. The idea of twelve books is said by Jerome to have arisen, rather strangely, from the fact that Quintilian (to whose writings Hilary, as has been observed, was very partial) had divided into the same number his ÒInstitutionis Oratione LibriÓ. The following is a brief epitome of HilaryÕs great contribution to the dogmatic theology. Book i. treats of natural religion, and the way in which it leads men up to revelation. Book ii. especially discusses the baptismal formula. Book iii. treats of the union of the two natures in Christ. Book iV. shows that this co-existence of two natures does not derogate fomr the unity of his Divine Person. Book v. urges, as against heretics... Book vi. is mainly occupied with resutations of the erroneous doctrines taugh by Sabellians and Manichaens. Book vii. shows the errors of Ebionites, Arians, and Sabellians mutually overthrow each other... Book viii. contains a demonstration of the unity of God, and shows that it is nowise affected by the Sonship of Christ... Book ix. replies to the Arians in respect of certain texts to which they were in the habit of appealing... Book x. and xi. continue this line of argument, and discuss such passages as St. Matthew, St. Luke, St. John, and 1 Cor... Book xii. is also expressly written against Arianism. It contains a passage of much beauty, which bears a slight resemblance to the devout and eloquent pleading contained in the 9th chapter of the Book of Wisdom.... It can hardly be doubted but that such a work, coming from the pen of one, whose life was so consistant with his writings, and who was at once bold and yet charitable, must have produced a very considerable effect. The number of Christians in the West who could read treatises in Greek, such as those of the Athansius, was comparitively small. Hence the importance of a magnum opus of this nature... Its indirect influence must also be taken into account. Many a teacherm who lacked the learning and the intellectual power to produce such a treatise, would be perfectly capable of availing himself of its stores in the composition of small tractates and homilies. Its very existence may be said to mark an epoch in the history of dogmatic theology in the Western church... The ÒDe TrinitateÓ, combined with the treatise of Augustine on the same subject, wasp printed at Milan in 1489, and reprinted a few years later at Venice.Ó - [Smith, A Dictionary of Christian Biography, Literature, Sects and..Vol.3]
ÒSt. Augustine of Hippo (354-430) was one of the most prolific geniuses that humanity has ever known, and is admired not only for the number of his works, but also for the variety of subjects, which traverse the whole realm of thought. The form in which he casts his work exercises a very powerful attraction on the reader..The fifteen books De Trinitate, on which he worked for fifteen years, from 400 to 416, are the most elaborate and profound work of St. Augustine. The last books on the analogies which the mystery of the Trinity have with our soul are much discussed. The saintly author himself declares that they are only analogous and are far-fetched and very obscure.Ó - [Catholic Encyclopedia]
Goff H-269. Hain 2038. BMC IV:777. Hain 8666. ISTC ih00269000. Sheppard 5020. GW 12472. CIBN H:140. USTC 994318. BSB H-273.
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