A Selection of Antiquarian Manuscripts and Printed Editions of Augustine, held in the Department of Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries 

Augustine's collected works first appeared in a 1506 Basel edition printed by Johann Amerbach; other important early editions include Erasmus' edition (Basel, 1528-1529) and the great edition prepared by the theological scholars of the Université de Louvain (Antwerp, 1576-1577; reprinted Paris, 1637), but it was the edition of the Benedictines of St.-Maur, France that became the most respected scholarly edition (Paris, 1679-1700).

Sancti Aurelii Augustini Hipponensis Episcopi Operum post Lovaniensium theologorum recensionem castigatus denuo ad manuscriptos codices Gallicanos, Vaticanos, Anglicanos, Belgicos &c...
Editio nova a multis mendis purgata.
Antwerpiae: Sumptibus Societatis, 1700-1703.

A reprint of the eleven-volume Paris edition of 1679-1700, edited by the Maurists. Volume 12, Appendix Augustiniana, was added to this edition. 

The City of God
"Glorious things are spoken of you, O City of God." (Psalm 86:3). The City of God is a monumental and timeless work, written by Augustine over the years 413 to 427. It is one of the most important of all texts of the Church Fathers. It remains one of the best-known and most influential texts in the western world, and one of the most often reproduced, in both manuscript and print. It seeks to describe Christianity's relationship to the secular order, and is a defense of Christianity against the charge that it was responsible for the fall of Rome to Alaric and the Goths in 410. 

De Civitate Dei. Book VIII: fragment.
[Italy, ca. 1100] 
1 bifolium, 28 cm.

Originally from the center of a quire, or gathering, of pages, this bifolium was at some time used in a binding of a book. Caroline minuscule script.

Aurelij Augustini De Ciuitate Dei.
Confectum Venetijs: Ab ... Nicolao Ienson, Petro Momenicho principe, anno a natiuitate Domini milesimo quadringe[n]tesimo septuagesimo quinto sexto nonas Octobres [2 Oct. 1475].

This beautiful edition was printed by Nicholas Jenson (1420-1480) of Venice, who was one of the finest printers of the Renaissance. He cut several beautiful fonts of type for his presses, fonts that would later inspire many modern printers, especially in the 19th-century revival of fine printing in England. Establishing himself in Venice in 1470, Jenson issued more than seventy titles in the following decade.

De Civitate Dei Libri XXII: ad priscae uenerandaeq[ue] uetustatis exemplaria denuo collati, eruditissimisaq[ue] insuper commentarijs per Ioan. Lodouicum Viuem illus. & recogniti. Accessit index faecundissimus.
Basileae: [H. Frobenius], 1542.

This edition was printed by Hieronymous Froben (1501-1565), the son of Johann Froben (1460-1527), one of the greatest printers of his age. The younger Froben inherited and continued his father's business.

St. Augustine, Of The Citie of God: with the learned comments of Io. Lod. Vives. Englished by J. H. [i.e. John Healey].
London: Printed by G. Eld, 1610.

"I know well what strong arguments are required to make the proud know the vertue of humilitie, by which (not being enhanced by humane glory, but endowed with divine grace) it surmounts all earthly loftinesse.... For the King, the builder of this Citty, whereof we are now to discourse, hath opened his mind to his people, in the divine law, thus: God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble."-Chapter 1.

Translated by John Healey, this is the first English version of The City of God. It includes the editorial apparatus of Juan Luis Vives (1492-1540), a Spanish scholar who studied at Paris from 1509 to 1512 and who in 1519 was appointed professor at Louvain. At the insistence of his friend Erasmus, Vives prepared an elaborate commentary on Augustine's De Civitate Dei, the first to employ extensive collations of different manuscripts. The commentary was published in 1522, with a dedication to Henry VIII. Soon afterwards he was invited to England, where he acted as tutor to the princess Mary while residing at Corpus Christi College. He opposed Henry VIII's divorce from Catherine of Aragon, and so lost royal favor; retiring to Bruges, he died in 1540.

Saint Augustine, Of the Citie of God: with the Learned Comments of Io. Lodouicus Viues. Englished first by J. H. and Now in This Second Edition Compared with the Latine Originall, and in Very Many Places Corrected and Amended.
London: Printed by G. Eld and M. Flesher, 1620.

The second Healey edition.

S. Aurelii Augustini Hipponensis Episcopi De civitate Dei Libri XXII: in duos tomos divisi, ex vetustissimis mms. exemplaribus emendati ....
Francof. ac Hamburgi: Sumtibus Zachariae Hertelii, 1661.

Based on the edition of Juan Luis Vives (1492-1540), and including Vives' introductions and dedication to Henry VIII, which dates from 1522. Much of the commentary, which is supplied in endnotes to each chapter, is by the scholar Leonard Coqueau (d. 1615). 

Saint Augustine's Confessions translated and with some marginal notes illustrated, wherein divers antiquities are explained and the marginall notes of a former popish translation answered by William Wats.Confessions
London: Printed by T.R. & E.M. for Abel Roper, 1650. 

The Confessions, along with The City of God and On the Trinity (De Trinitate), are Augustine's three major works. On all levels, theological, literary, psychological, the Confessions stands as a masterpiece; through it, we learn a great deal about Augustine's youth, his encounters with Manicheism, Skepticism, his meeting Ambrose of Milan, and his conversion to Christianity. This translation is by William Watts (ca. 1590-1649), a scholarly Anglican and chaplain to King Charles I. The "popish translation" referred to on the title page is that of Sir Tobie Mathew (1577-1655).

Explanations of the Psalms
Enarrationes in Psalmos: fragment of Psalm XXXV.
[Eastern France/Germany, ca. 825-850]
1 leaf.
Carolingian minuscule script.

Enarrationes in Psalmos is Augustine's longest work, composed between 392 and about 418, during which time Augustine preached or wrote on all the 150 psalms. This work displays Augustine's tremendous knowledge of Scripture, his profound sense of theology, his abilities as an interpreter, and his skills as an apologist for his Christian faith. 

Enchiridion for Laurentius
Divi Aurelii Augustini Hipponensis Episcopi Enchiridion ad Laurentium II.
Venetiis: Ad signum putei, 1539.

Laurentius, a layman, asked Augustine in about 421 for a handbook that would include and explain some of the tenets of the Catholic faith. Augustine responded with Enchiridion, which stands as a handbook of the basics of the Christian faith but also much more: a description of the Christian life, or way of being, far beyond merely a discussion of tenets. Augustine's treatment of hope and love and his very lengthy description of faith are models of describing the Christian life.

Tractates on the Gospel of John
In Johannis Evangelium Tractatus: fragment.
[Italy; 1st half of 12th century]
1 leaf.

Written in a well-formed large Carolingian script, with Romanesque white-vine decoration. Augustine composed 124 Tractates on the Gospel of John between 408 and 420. Augustine's focus in these tractates, or sermons, is on Incarnation, or the Word made flesh. This is not only a distinctive and important theme in the Gospel of John; it was a significant part of Augustine's own conversion, as mentioned in the Confessions (e.g. Book 7, chapter 9, lines 13-14).

Selection and annotations by John Mustain,
Rare Books Librarian and Bibliographer for Classics,
Stanford University Libraries, (c)2002
Department of Special Collections Antiquarian Books page


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