Testamenti Veteris Biblia Sacra, … Noui Testamenti libros ex sermone Syro ab eodem Tremellio, & ex Græco à Theodoro Beza in Latinum versos.

[Geneva] Sancti Gervasii: Sumptibus Caldorianae Societatis. 1607.


Folio. 6 parts in one volume. pp. [xii], 177, [ix] p., 292, [i], 74 leaves, [iv], 448, [xvi]. [*⁶, A-P⁶ (P6 blank), 2A-4B⁶ 4C⁸ (4C8 blank), 5A-5L⁶ 5M⁸ chi², ²A-Z⁶, a-n⁶ o-r⁴.] Roman letter in two sizes, smaller for the commentary, some Italic, Greek and Hebrew.  Woodcut printer’s device on title depicting ‘Fame’, Pt. 6, the New Testament, has separate title page with the same woodcut device, Pt. 2-5 with divisional half titles, fine floriated woodcut head-pieces and initials, pastedowns using early printed sheets, gothic letter in double column, rubricated in red, from a commentary on the decretals of Gregorary IX by Niccolò de Tudeschi or Panormitanus, “I do warrante this book perfect by me Stephen Potts” in a contemporary hand at head of front pastedown, contemporary manuscript note on the text at head of t-p, another in a slightly later hand on fly. Light age yellowing, the very occasional mark or stain, small waterstain in lower blank margin of last few quires (from quire h to the end) some marginal worm trails. A very good copy in handsome contemporary English thick calf, covers triple blind ruled to a panel design, blind fleurons to corners of outer and middle panel, blind scrollwork arabesque at centres, spine with blind ruled raised bands, upper and lower bands hatched, all edges red, substantial remains of green silk ties. A little rubbed

Rare and most interesting edition of this monumental Bible in latin, the Tremellius – Junius’ version with Theodore de Beze’s translation of the New Testament from the Greek. This edition of the Tremellius and Junius’ version of the Bible, closely resembles that published at Hanau, 1603. It is printed in six parts, each with separate title, but with foliation and signatures continuous through parts 2-4. The canonical Old Testament is in 4 parts: part 1 contains Pentateuch, part 2 “libri historici”, part 3 “libri poetici”, part 4 “prophetici libri”. Part 5 contains the “Libri apocryphi, sive appendix Testamenti veteris” and part 6 the New Testament. The final leaves contain the indexes in Latin, Hebrew and Greek. The Bible text is divided into verses and includes prefaces to many books, chapter summaries, extensive notes mainly in the margins and at foot of page. In the N.T. the versions of Beza and of Tremellius are printed in parallel columns on each page. Each part includes a dedicatory preface.

“The Junius-Tremellius Bible first appeared from 1575-79, and subsequently in two different major forms. One of these in 1585 was printed as a tall folio with copious marginal notes, which were for the greater part written by Tremellius. The folio editions contained, in addition to Tremellius’ Latin Old Testament with this large amount of marginal notation, a complete Latin translation of the Apochrypha done by Junius, and two Latin translations of the New Testament, one being of the fragmentary Syriac version by Tremellius, and the other from the Greek by Beza. The other form in which this Bible appeared was printed, usually in quarto, without notes, with the Apochrypha, and after 1585 with only Beza’s translation of the New Testament.” Harris, ‘Milton’s Use of Biblical Quotations’ The Journal of English and Germanic Philology. 26 (2): 145–165

Curiously the great majority of copies we have located, are in the UK. Worldcat records two copies in the States, one at Yale and one at Indiana. The Swiss union catalogue records one copy in Switzerland, at Geneva. This suggests the edition was made for export to the UK. This copy is bound in a strictly contemporary English binding which indicates importation to the UK in sheets. This version was certainly particularly influential in England and was favoured by John Milton. Harris states that he undoubtedly used the folio version, with Tremellius’s marginal notes. It was used also by John Donne for his version of Lamentations and Archbishop James Ussher used the Junius-Tremellius translation when compiling his Annals of the World.

Not in BM STC, nor in Darlow and Moule.


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