The wisdom of Ibn Sina, Ibn Rushd, and Abu Ma'shar al-Balkhi, received in an early incunable

Magni, Jacobus [Jacques Legrand]. Sophologium.

[Strasbourg, R-printer (Adolf Rusch), 1474].

Folio (210 x 282 mm). 217 (of 218) ff. (lacking the final blank). Roman type, 35 lines; capital spaces with tiny guide letters. Rubricated throughout, 3/5-line blue or red Lombardic initials. Bound in 18th century gilt crimson morocco, covers with triple gilt ruled border frame, elaborately gilt spine with morocco label. All edges gilt, gilt border sides, gilt inside dentelles. Marbled endpapers, bluish flyleaves.


Early undated Latin edition (the first, by the same anonymous printer, was produced about 1470) of the "Sophologium" of the French Augustinian preacher Jacques Legrand (1360-1415). This is a collection of moral maxims and wise passages from poets, orators, philosophers, and theologians, well selected and arranged in three books, containing ten treatises. The collection reflects on human virtue and vice, excerpting passages on morality - as well as the natural sciences - from authors as wide-ranging as the Persian astrologer Abu Mashar (Albumasar) and the Arabic philosophers Ibn Sina (Avicenna) and Ibn Rushd (Averroes), but also Terence, St Paul, and Chaucer. Extremely popular, the "Sophologium" was reprinted and translated several times, including by William Caxton, who published an English translation (titled "The Book of Good Manner") in 1487.

The name "R-Printer" is derived from the peculiar majuscule R in type 103. This printer is now generally identified with Adolf Rusch of Ingeweiler, who married Johann Mentelin's daughter Salome and is said to have succeeded to Mentelin's printing business.


Some toning, occasional dampstaining, single wormholes in blank top margin of 1st ff. and black fore-edge margins of final quires; an interior tear in leaves [56] and [133]. Edges of binding rubbed, head and tail somewhat defective. 15th century manuscript note on the author on the original flyleaf (bound within) and a few occasional marginal annotations, corrections, manicules or reader's marks. Old bibliographical notes and catalogue cutting on front flyleaf. A very good rubricated copy with wide margins.


HC 10471*. GW M17665. Goff M-43. Polain 2459. BMC I:62. BSB-Ink M-23. ISTC im00040500.

Art.-Nr.: BN#62818 Schlagwörter: , , ,