Saint Augustine

Saint Augustine,  Bishop of Hippo. Io. Frobenivs lectori S. D. En habes optime lector ...  Aurelij Augustini, opus absolutissimum, De ciuitate Dei, magnis sudoribus eme[n]datum ... per uirum clarissimum & undequaq[ue] doctissimum Ioan. Lodouicu[m] Viuem ... & per eundem ... commentarijs ... illustratum ... Basel: Johann Froben, 1522. Purchased on the Curt F. Bühler Fund, 2011

This is the definitive edition of Augustine’s City of God, edited by Erasmus’s humanist colleague Luis Vives and printed at the renowned scholarly press of Johann Froben, who had it illustrated with woodcuts and metalcuts by Urs Graf, Ambrosius Holbein, and Hans Holbein the Younger. In addition to the work of these artists, this copy has a grandiloquent armorial bookplate designed by Hans Sebald Beham for the Nuremberg patrician Hector Pömer, provost of a church in that city. Pömer bought it at a Nuremberg bookshop in 1534 and read it carefully, writing copious marginal notes on the text and the commentary. Here one can see the influence of Augustine not just on Luther and Calvin but also on the rank and file members of the Protestant Reformation such as this learned provost, who had already mandated changes in the celebration of the mass and had been excommunicated by the Bishop of Bamberg.

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