Venice, Bernardino Fasani for the Canons Regular of the Lateran 1561.
4to (207 x 139 mm.). 80 leaves. PRINTED ON VELLUM. Two sizes of roman and of italic type (see below), shoulder notes, one amateurishly illuminated initial, title woodcut of the Trinity.
Crushed blind-ruled blue morocco (Bauzonnet-Trautz), gilt-lettered spine title and date, board edges and turn-ins gilt, all edges gilt.
SAINT AUGUSTINE’S RULE RANKS AMONG THE MOST INFLUENTIAL TEXTS OF WESTERN CHRISTIANITY. Its articles concern food and drink, clothing, hygiene, health care, books and reading, prayer, authority, contrition and forgiveness, community and love of humanity and of God. They were widely observed from the 5th century and became the official monastic rule of the Canons Regular in the 11th century, which propelled the spread of the extensive commentary of Hugh of St. Victor (c. 1096-1141), known as “the Second Augustine”. These texts only had vernacular printings in English and in Italian prior to the mid-17th century. The earlier printings in Italian of 1508 (the Rule) and c. 1540 (the Rule and the commentary), survive in single copies. Here, the Rule and its commentary are given in Latin and in an anonymous Italian translation. Each article begins with the Augustinian dictum and its exegesis in Latin (both set in roman type), then the vernacular version of each (both in italic). Augustine’s words appear in the larger roman and italic, his follower’s in the smaller. This copy belongs to a clutch of luxury examples elegantly produced by Fasani on commission and destined for patrons of the Canons Regular of the Lateran or high-ranking congregation members. I have located two other copies on vellum: Bibliothèque Nationale (MacCarthy-Reagh) and Lucca (Biblioteca Statale). I have located one (paper) example in the U.S. In fine condition (two worm holes in the final quire touching a dozen letters), the title verso has GV added in gold ink. ¶Praet, Catalogue des livres imprimés sur vélin II: 43; Bibliografia delle edizioni giuridiche antiche in lingua italiana I(1): 72; Brunet I: 566 (Pinelli & MacCarthy-Reagh copies on vellum); I.A. 110.368; USTC 811471; EDIT16 CNCE 3420.Item #10723