Argentorati [Strasbourg]: Vuendelinus Rihelius [Wendelin Rihel], March, 1545.
Fourth edition of the Calvin; second Froben folio edition of the Erasmus. Collation [alpha]-[gamma]6 [delta]4 A-Z6 a-s6 t-v4 (v4 blank, present). Pp. ,, 505, [3, blank]. Errata at foot of index, p. . 1 vols. Folio (11-3/4 x 8 inches). Calvin’s ‘Instutitio’: Cornerstone of Liberty. Contemporary blindstamped pigskin over wooden boards, with metal clasps. With 8 pages of contemporary Latin notes loosely inserted; contemporary marginalia throughout second work. L2 in Calvin with old ink stains, not affecting legibility; some wear along one bottom edge of binding. Manuscript prayer in Latin on lower pastedown. Small later paper label on upper cover "Bibliothèque de Spietz". A handsome copy. Calvin: PMM 65; Adams C357; VD16 C 291; Peter & Gilmont Bib. Calviniana 45/5; En français dans le texte 59 (for 1560 ed.). Erasmus: Bezzel 823, Adams E632; VD16 E 2723. Item #314899
“Calvin's ‘Institution of the Christian Religion’ was the first systematic statement of a Reformed Church. It is the most important doctrinal work of the Reformation as a whole and provided a comprehensive theological system rivaling those of the Middle Ages … Calvinism’s most important role, despite Calvin’s authoritarian influences, was to support the movement for liberty and independence in many parts of the world” (Printing and the Mind of Man 65). First published in Basel in 1536, the “Institutio was much revised, taking its final form in 1559” (PMM). Calvin understood the importance of vernacular translations in the transmission of ideas made possible by the printing press and prepared a French edition in 1541. This fourth edition follows closely and corrects the third edition, printed in 1543. All early editions are uncommon.
Calvin (1509-64) drew upon St. Augustine and Luther, as well as upon classical sources including Plato and Seneca; his work addressed theological issues, and also, notably, the relations between ecclesiastical and civil government. The contemporary annotations, often callouts of classical authors and shoulder notes, with a few pointing hands, are most extensive in the first six chapters, again in chapter sixteen, on the Lord’s Prayer (where Melanchthon is cited), but appear throughout.
The first work in this well preserved contemporary binding is the second Froben folio edition of Erasmus, Ecclesiastes (Basel: Froben, 1539). OCLC 632887280 (BSB, Augsburg, Univ. Basel). Collation a-z6,A-M6N4O-Q6. Pp. 439, [1, blank], [18, index, imprint date 1540], [1, blank], [1 Froben’s device]. This was first published in Basel in 1535. The manuscript notes refer to in the early passages of this work. The Bibliotheque de Spietz was dispersed at auction in 1874. The von Erlach family had been established at Bern since the early sixteenth century.
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