SAINT JEROME'S LIVES OF THE CHURCH FATHERS, RARE 1512 LATIN EDITION—THE FIRST EDITED BY DESCOUSU—PRINTED IN LYON
JEROME, Saint. Divi Hieronymi in Vitas Patrum. Lyon: Jacobo Hugetan, (1512). Quarto, contemporary half blind-tooled pigskin over oak boards, brass catches at fore-edges of covers (without clasps). Housed in a custom chemise and clamshell box.
Rare 16th-century Latin edition—the first edition of the text as edited by Celse-Hugues Descousu—printed in Lyon by Jacques Sacon for Jacques Hugetan, of Jerome's Lives of the Church Fathers, with vignette woodcut depicting Saint Jerome in his study on the title page, large woodcut printer's device on final leaf, and woodcut initials throughout. A desirable copy in an early binding of pigskin over beveled oak boards, with remnants of brass catches and clasps.
Saint Jerome (347-420) is best known for his translation of the Bible into Latin, a translation that became known as the Vulgate. He also wrote important commentaries on the Gospels, as well as this history of the lives of the church fathers, which focuses on the desert fathers, St. Paul, St. Malchus, and St. Hilarion. Jerome's Live of the Church Fathers went through many 15th- and 16th-century editions, including several by Jacobo Hugetan. This is the first edition with the text edited by Celse-Hugues Descousu (1480-1540), French jurist and professor of canon law in Montpellier, originally from Chalon-sur-Saôn, who lived (and studied) in Italy, Lyon, Bruges and Spain. He was also known as Hugues Descousu and Hugo de Celso. This edition is rare, not noted in Adams, and presently located by OCLC in ten institutions, none in North America. Numerous decorative woodcut initials throughout; text in double columns of black-letter type. Text in Latin. Baudrier, Bibliographie Lyonnaise, XI, 287-88. See Mortimer, French 16th-Century Books 275 (citing the 1520 third edition of this text). One-inch diameter old red wax seal to lower margin of title page. Owner signature inked out on title page; contemporary ink marginalia, mostly in the first half of the text.
Last leaf, blank on the recto while featuring a large printer's device on the verso, with lower corner torn away; text mildly toned. Without clasps. Foot of spine lightly chipped, remnants of off-white paint or varnish and manuscript titling along spine, binding sound. An appealing copy in contemporary blind-tooled pigskin and oak boards.