Rubbish Published Under Ignatius’s Name

Saint Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch. Gloriosi Christi Martyris Ignatii Antiocheni antistitis, Epistolæ undecim. Item una beati Polycarpi martyris epistola, cum argumento Iacobi Fabri Stapulen[sis] in easdem.

Basileae: Apud Adam Petri, mense Augusto, anno m.d.xx. [1520]. 215 x 160 mm (8 ¼ x 6 ⅛ in). Quarto. 95, [1] pp. Title within an ornamental woodcut border, illustrated with cherubs, ornate pedestals, and garlands; the title itself is printed within another border designed to look like an unfurled scroll. In Latin.

Bound in full vellum over boards; manuscript spine title. Canceled inscription at head of title page; brief inscription (illegible) beneath title. Underscoring, marginal annotations, and other reader marks. 

Overall very good. Boards lightly buckling. Title page more heavily soiled than the remaining pages which exhibit light soiling. Small old water stain to margin in latter half of pages. 

Eleven letters of St. Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch, four of which are now credited to Pseudo-Ignatius, a 4th century author claiming to be St. Ignatius. The text also includes a letter on martyrdom by Polycarp, the Bishop of Smyrna. 

One of the Apostolic fathers. St. Ignatius (died c. 108140 ad) was an early Christian writer and Patriarch of Antioch. While en route to Rome, where he met his martyrdom, Ignatius wrote a series of letters. This correspondence now forms a central part of works authored by the Apostolic Fathers. He is considered to be one of the three most important of these. In the letters St. Ignatius stresses the value of the Eucharist (Holy Communion), calling it a medicine of immortality”. An examination of his theology of soteriology (the doctrine of salvation) shows that he regarded salvation as one being free from the powerful fear of death and thus to face martyrdom bravely.

Pseudo-Ignatius. Ever since the Protestant Reformation, the authenticity of the Ignatian letters has come under intense scrutiny. John Calvin called them rubbish published under Ignatius’ name.” There is an ongoing and extensive academic discussion on the authenticity of the letters, with wide-ranging theories set forth in the 1970’s and again the 1990’s. Professor Jonathan Lookadoo said in 2020 that the debate has received renewed energy since the late 1990s and shows few signs of slowing.”

Marginal annotations. Numerous annotations and marginal comments in old hand including a nice manicule and the IHS insignia in a heart. The insignia (pg. 85) is next to section which states: [“May I enjoy the beasts that have been prepared for me, and I hope that they will be quick to cause my destruction.”]

No copies at auction on Rare Book Hub . One other copy currently available for $2,585. Only four copies in u.s. libraries (Harvard, Stanford, Oberlin, and Luther Seminary) per oclc WorldCat (10597209, 79421652, and 863762445) at the time of cataloguing.

USTC 659918
VD16 i 60


In stock

Stock Code: 1138B16 Collection: Catalogue:


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