Bibliographic details

First edition in English Woodcut device on title. Contemporary calf rebacked with original backstrip laid down, both covers stamped with central gilt decoration; first two leaves repaired on edges, minor browning to fore-edges, otherwise a very nice copy with the ownership signature on title of Dan Baker dated 1822 as well as inscription that the book was "purchased from Dan Baker by J.M. Moore" dated 1824. First edition in English, translated by John Healey from the Latin version edited by Juan Luis Vives (1492-1540), the famed Spanish scholar who was encouraged by his friend Erasmus to work on Augustine's (354-430) great treatise. Vives's De causis has been compared to Bacon's Organon. Healey (d. ca. 1609) was unable to correct the printing of his translation before his death as the dedication to the Earl of Pembroke by Thomas Thorpe (printer of Shakespeare's Sonnets) implies. Thus Healey's translation remained the sole English version until Dr. Dods's translation of 1871, and is one of the most enduring examples of Elizabethan prose. De civitate Dei influenced world history from the middle ages to the end of the eighteenth century, and its power is still present, for example, in international law. It was described by Voltaire as the first contribution to a philosophy of history. The first edition (in Latin) was printed by Sweynheym and Pannartz at Subiaco in 1467. Printing & the Mind of Man, 3.

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