Biblia sacra vulgatae editionis Sixti quinti. 

Rome, Stamperia Apostolica Vaticana, 1593.

£3,950

Large 4to. pp. (xx) 1088 (xx) (xxxiv). Roman letter, little Italic and Hebrew, t-p in red and black. Woodcut device with Pope and female personification of Ecclesia holding Scriptures surmounted by Holy Spirit as dove, decorated initials, head- and tailpieces. Some foxing and light mainly marginal waterstaining, heavier to t-p and verso of last, slight yellowing, very small worm trails to upper outer blank corner of a few ll. A good copy in contemporary limp vellum, C18 bibliographical note to verso of fep, early ex-libris ‘Di me Vincenzio Luigi Arcangeli Rossi de Gualdo’ to t-p, ‘Elisei Balduini’ on 6 pp.

Scarce third edition of the Sixto-Clementine Bible printed by the Stamperia Apostolica (or Typogaphia) Vaticana. Renouard describes it as much better and rarer than the editions of 1590 and 1592. It was the result of Pope Sixtus V’s own revisions, which caused discontent, of the Vulgate under the influence of the Louvain bible commissioned by Charles V and based on the Aramaic, Hebrew and Greek versions. The first edition of ‘Biblia sacra vulgatae editionis’ was published in 1590, the year of Sixtus V’s death; after this event, its printing was halted and copies withdrawn from sale. In 1592, Clement VIII approved the publication of a definitive version differing in a few thousand passages, which was reprinted with typographic corrections in 1593. In that year, the Stamperia Apostolica was given a 10-year privilege for its production. Unlike previous editions, this contained a ‘nominum interpretatio’, an ‘index biblicus’ and an ‘index testimoniorum’ for easy consultation. The so-called Sixtine-Clementine bible marked ‘the petrification of the biblical text in the Catholic world’, reducing the contribution of philological research which had characterised the C16 (Delville, ‘L’evolution des vulgates’, 80). Established by Sixtus V in 1587 for the production of bibles and liturgical texts, the Stamperia Apostolica was run by the Venetian printer Domenico Basa in collaboration with Aldus II Manutius from 1589. A copy of this bible was in the library of the C17 Catholic courtier, diplomat and scholar Sir Kenelm Digby.

BM STC It., p. 93; Renouard 250:1; Adams B1102. J.-P. Delville, ‘L’évolution des vulgates et la composition de nouvelles versions latines de la Bible en XVIe siècle’, in Biblia: Les Bibles en latin au temps des Réformes, ed. Marie-Christine Gomez-Géraud (Paris, 2008), 71-106; W. François and A. Gerace, ‘Trent and the Latin Vulgate: A Louvain Project?’, in The Council of Trent: Reform and Controversy in Europe and Beyond (1545-1700), ed. V. Soen et al. (Göttingen, 2018), I, 131-74.

L3030
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