"A LANDMARK IN CHRISTIAN HISTORIOGRAPHY": 1585 SECOND EDITION IN ENGLISH OF EUSEBIUS' HISTORY OF THE CHURCH
EUSEBIUS OF CAESAREA (HANMER, Meredith, translator). The Auncient Ecclesiasticall Histories of the First Six Hundred Yeares After Christ. London: Thomas Vautroullier, 1585. Folio (8-1/2 by 12 inches), 18th-century Cambridge-style paneled calf neatly rebacked at an early date with original spine laid down, raised bands, later red morocco spine label. $7500.
Second edition in English of Eusebius' ecclesiastical history, Hanmer's "valuable translation" of this "landmark in Christian historiography" (DNB; Britannica).
Eusebius, "one of the most distinguished of the earlier Christian writers" (Peck, 644), was born in Palestine about A.D. 264 and chronicled the history of Christianity from its origin until A.D. 324. Originally written in Greek, it was translated into Latin by Rufinus in the fourth century and first into English in 1577, translated by Meredith Hanmer (1543-1604). Hanmer's "most lasting scholarly contribution was as a historian of the early church and, later, of Ireland. In 1577 he published The Ancient Ecclesiastical Histories, which sought to provide a detailed account of the first six centuries of Christian history by translating near contemporary sources, most notably Eusebius' Ecclesiastical History. Frequently republished, even down to the 18th century, Hanmer's work provided an essential source for those protestants who wanted to show how rapidly the church had declined from its early purity" (ODNB). "A valuable translation" (DNB). Printed in Roman and blackletter. Leaves Ff3 and Ff4 bound out of order (text complete). STC 10572. Lowndes, 762. Bookplate; early ink owner signatures and inscriptions on title page, title page verso, first leaf of text, third part title page, and errata. Old catalogue description tipped to front board.
Title page rehinged. Closed tear (paper defect) to leaf Bb6; paper repair to lower corner of Aaa3 and inner margin of Fff4 (final leaf of text). Occasional marginal dampstain, minor marginal wormtraces to first few leaves. Text generally clean. Minor rubbing to extremities. A handsome, very good copy.