1562 · Romae
First Aldine edition: Chrysostom's meditations on the religious aspects of virginity, De Virginitate liber, along with a letter from Poggiani to Cardinal Bishop of Augsburg Otto Truchsess von Waldburg and a note to the reader. Essentially an extension of the papacy, the Roman Aldine press capitalized on its fame to disseminate — with great cachet — Vatican-approved texts in the publication war that was such an integral part of the Reformation and Counter-Reformation.
John Chrysostom (349–407) was one of the four doctors of the Greek Church and the foremost preacher among the Church Fathers, the name "Chrysostom" meaning "golden-mouthed." The subject of some controversy, he fell afoul of the Empress Eudoxia and was exiled. Italian humanist and Greek scholar Poggiani (1522–68), secretary to Carlo Borromeo, led a much calmer life editing texts related to the Council of Trent, and even translated into Latin a catechism organized by the council.
The text is neatly printed in roman in single-column format with capital spaces with guide letters (unaccomplished) and marginal notes; the title-page contains the iconic Aldine device.
Provenance: Early ink signature "Alexii Feni" on title-page; most recently in the library of American collector Albert A. Howard, small booklabel ("AHA") at rear of both the text and its clamshell housing.
Adams C1559; UCLA, Aldine Press: Catalogue of the Ahmanson-Murphy Collection (2001), 674; EDIT 16 CNCE 27775; Renouard, Alde, p. 186, 5; Goldsmid, Aldine Press at Venice, *546. On John Chrysostom, see: New Catholic Encyclopedia, VII, 1041–44. 16th-century limp vellum with title label on spine and evidence of ties; vellum wrinkled and stained, significant portions lacking on spine, edges of endpapers tattered with some paper loss and text block recently reattached. Housed in a maroon cloth clamshell with black leather labels. Light to moderate age-toning and staining with the occasional spot, several leaves with waterstaining to bottom corner or small marginal worm tracking; a handful of creased corners, a few examples of hurried paper manufacture, chipping to edges of first and last few leaves of text including title-page. Provenance marks as above, one early inked correction to a marginal note. (Inventory #: 38092)