Opera. Ed. Petrus Danhauser

Autore ANSELMUS, Sanctus (1033/4-1109).
Tipografo Caspar Hochfeder
Dati tipografici Nrnberg, 
Prezzo Venduto/Sold
Opera

Folio (266x192 mm). [182] leaves. Collation: [π]4 a-d8e6f-s8t-z6 ⁊6. The last leaf is a blank. Text printed in two columns. 45 lines. Large illuminated initial (66x73 mm) at l. a1r with penwork decorations and extension in the margin in red, blue, green and purple. Another initial (37x30 mm) at l. a1v in red with penwork decorations in purple. Rubricated throughout with red and blue initials of variable sizes. With a few contemporary annotations and ‘maniculae' in the margins. Provenance: at l. a1r is the ownership inscription “Est monaterij sanctae Iustinae de padua Congregatio[n]is eiusdem ordinis sanctiss. Monachorum Benedecti signatus i[n]ve[n]tario 3418”; at l. a1v another ownership inscription “Iste liber est monst.ij Sa[n]cte Iustine patavij signatus in[venta]rio 1329”; on the front pastedown the bookplate of Giacomo Massimiliano, Count of Collalto and San Salvatore (1729-1810), engraved by Teodoro Viero, on which it is stated that the library was founded in 1771 (cf. Gelli, fig. 297; Bragaglia, no. 876). Early 18th-century vellum over boards, morocco lettering piece on spine, red edges, green silk bookmark (very well preserved). First leaves a bit soiled, round wormholes in the blank margin at the beginning of the volume not affecting the text, leaves z3 and z4 browned, some marginal stains. A very good, genuine copy with wide margins.

FIRST EDITION of St. Anselm's collected works and the first book printed by Hochfeder. The volume, edited by Pieter Danhauser, opens with preliminary texts by Danhauser and Johannes Löffelholz. Danhauser subsequently edited Nuremberg editions of the writings of Dionysius Cartusianus, Guillelmus Alvernus, and Thomas à Kempis.

This edition includes the Cur Deus homo, the Prosologion, and the Monologion, the three works upon which Saint Anselm's fame primarily rests. These texts contain his famous ontological proof, in which he seeks to prove God's existence merely from the idea of God: God is that than which no greater can be thought; that than which no greater can be thought must exist; therefore, God exists. Since its proposal, few philosophical ideas have generated as much interest and discussion as this ontological argument. During the Middle Ages the proof was attacked by Gaunilo of Marmoutiers, rehabilitated by St. Bonaventura and rejected again by Aquinas; in the modern era, it was also used as an incidental aid by Leibnitz and dismissed by Kant, who first called it the ontological proof. In the 20th century the argument received renewed attention as a result of advances in modal logic by such authors as Kurt Gödel, Norman Malcolm, and Alvin Plantinga.

This edition, which also includes spurious texts, contains: Vita S. Anselmi quae communiter legitur; Cur deus homo contra GentilesDe incarnatione verbi contra HebreosDe conceptu virginali et peccato originaliProslogionMonologionDe processione Spiritus Sancti contra GraecosDe casu dyaboliPro insipienteContra insipientemDe diversitate sacramentorumDe fermento et azimo; [Pseudo-Anselmus] Expositiones membrorum et actuum Dei et vestimentorum; [Pseudo-Anselmus] De voluntateDe concordia praescientiae at praedestinationis et gratiae Dei cum libero arbitrioDe libero arbitrioDe veritate; [Pseudo-Anselmus, i.e. Eadmerus Cantuariensis] De similitudinibus; [Pseudo-Anselmus] De mensuratione crucis; [Pseudo-Anselmus] Meditationes magnae AnselmiMeditatio de redemptione generis humani; [Pseudo-Anselmus] De passione DominiSpeculum evangelici sermonis; [Pseudo-Anselmus, i.e. Radulphus Cantuariensis] Omelia Intravit Iesus in quoddam castellumEpistolae Sancti Anselmi [101, 112, 416, 121, 168, 258, 231, 37, 65, 160, 161, 188, 281, 285]; [Pseudo-Anselmus, i.e., Honorius Augustodunensis] De imagine mundi.

The present copy is listed in the additions to the earliest inventory of St. Giustina Library, begun in 1453 and preserved in the Biblioteca of the Museo Civico, Padua (ms B.P. 229, Inventarium bibliotehcae monachorum nigrorum ordinis S. benedicti, habitanium in coenobio S. iustinae Paduanae, virginis, martyris ac reginae. Coeptum XV kalendas decembris): “nr. 1329. Opera et tractatus b. Anselmi archiepiscopi Cantuariensis ordinis S. Benedicti”. This inventory has been recently published by G. Cantoni Alzati (La Biblioteca di S. Giustina di Padova. Libri e cultura presso i benedettini padovani in età umanistica, Padua, 1982,p. 181). A second inventory of the library dating to 1600 (Index librorum qui sunt in bibliotheca S. Justine de Padua Anno D[omi]ni 1600., BAV, Reg. Lat. 2099, fol. 105v) also mentions the Anselmus: “Anselmi Archipi opera Nuremberge Garspar: Hochfeder 1491”. The St. Giustina Library, according to Apostolo Zeno (Lettere, VI, pp. 377-379) one of the richest and most prestigious in Italy, was already partially dispersed around the middle of the 17th-century, then completely suppressed in 1797.

The immense library of Giacomo Collalto, probably comprising between 80,000 and 150,000 books, was sold in 1810 to the bookseller Adolfo Cesare, who divided it by formats and sold it book by book, literally flooding the Venetian market (cf. Marino Zorzi, La Libreria di San Marco. Libri, lettori, società della Venezia dei Dogi, Milan, 1987, p. 335).

Goff, A-759; HC, 1134*; BMC, II, 473; GW, 2032; C. Giraud, La réception des ‘Meditationes sive orationes' d'Anselme de Canterbury à l'âge de l'imprimé, in: “Revue de l'histoire des religions”, 230, 2013, pp. 545-581.

  • Opera
  • Opera
  • Opera
  • Opera
  • Opera
  • Opera
  • Opera
  • Opera