1522] · [colophon: Halberstadie
More than a few scholars of Spanish culture trace the beginnings of Spanish literature to the writings of St. Isidore of Seville, the native of Carthage whose brothers also became saints. Known also by the title Sententiarum libri tres, this is "the first collection of medieval sentences or systematic body of doctrine and pastoral practice and was inspired by the works of [St.] Augustine and Gregory I" (New Catholic Encyclopedia); here in a later printing. The contents are dogma (book I), moral problems (book II), and pastoral practice and law (book III). Added to this edition are the saint's musings on the misery of the human condition, i.e., his Libellus soliloquiorum de angustia & miseria hominis.
An interesting aspect of the work is that in Book I, Chapter X (De Mundo) is => the earliest systematic formulation of the concept of the macrocosm/microcosm.
Surrounding the black-letter type of the title-page is an elaborate single-element woodcut frame incorporating columns, urns, vines, and mythical figures. The text is printed in an interesting roman type with a number of modified gothic capitals. Some initial spaces with guide letters are found in the section of soliloquies.
Provenance: From the Mercantile Library of Philadelphia (properly deaccessioned).
Searches of NUC and WorldCat fail to find any Canadian or U.S. library reporting ownership of this edition.
Adams I200; VD16 I381. Recent full calf in old, plain style of the era; round spine, raised bands, blind tooling on cover and spine with red morocco spine label lettered in gilt. Faint stamps of a 19th-century library on the blank versos of the title-page and the final leaf. => Remnants of tabs at outer margins, and one margin with an old repair where a tab was pulled away with some paper. Some dust-soiling and spotting. => An attractive copy. (Inventory #: 36741)