A Controversial Aldine Cyprian Text . . . from Paulus Manutius (1563)
Full Title: Divi Caecilii Cypriani episcopi Carthaginensis et Gloriosissimi Martyris, Opera … (1563)
by Thascius Caecilius Cyprianus
12 ¼ x 8 ¾. In Latin. Published by Paulus Manutius, Rome, 1563. Early edition. Beautiful, full leather design with ornate gold floral binding, speckled page edges, and a nice title page with ALDINE's woodcut device. Some wear to edges and corners. Some glue and staining to hinges, which are loose, but holding well. A mostly erased signature to bottom of title page. A little spotting here and there, and a small insect hole to bottom margin of last few pages. In very good overall condition for this large folio.
Saint Cyprian (Thascius Caecilius Cyprianus) was an important early Christian writer. He was probably born at the beginning of the 3rd century in North Africa, perhaps at Carthage, where he learned about Paganism. After becoming a Christian, he became a bishop. Cyprianus was not a speculative theologian: His writings always related to his pastoral ministry. His first major work was a monologue spoken to a friend called "Ad Donatum," which detailed his own conversion, the corruption of Roman government, gladiatorial spectacles, and pointing to prayer as "the only refuge of the Christian."
Although edited by Latino Latini, one of the most capable editors of his day, intrigue and great controversy soon surrounded the 1563 Aldine Cyprian text. In one of his private letters, Latini complained that after all his laborious and careful editing somehow portions of the text had been altered: "some passages were retained contrary to the evidence of the manuscripts, and even some additions made." The text had in fact been extensively interpolated in favor of those supporting the position of absolute papal power. Under these circumstances, Latini would not allow his name to be connected with the edition, "deeming it no light crime to conceal the truth or to alter the smallest letter." Powerless to prevent Vatican officials from tampering with his text for polemical advantage, one of the most competent editors of the period felt compelled to resign from his work.
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Inventory Number: 49680
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