Disputationes quaedam ecclesiasticae.

Rome, ex domo propria [i.e. Paolo Manuzio], 1565.


FIRST EDITION. 4to, pp. 214 [i.e. 216]. Roman letter, a few white-on-black floriated initials; small marginal oil stain on title and a few places, slight marginal foxing. A good, wide-margined copy in contemporary limp vellum; remains of leather ties, contemporary and slightly later titles inked on spine; contemporary ex dono on upper- and fore-edges from ‘Horatii Thomasii’ to ‘Fabritius …iono’, another contemporary hand loosely quoting Seneca on front cover.

Rare first edition of a collection of essays capturing the spirit of the early Counter-Reformation. Miguel Tomás Taxaquet (1529-1578) was a prominent Spanish Catholic thinker and canonist, who studied law and humanae literae in Cataluña and Bologna. Held in high esteem by Philip II, he took over from the humanist Antonio Agustín as bishop of Lérida upon the latter’s death. Settling in Rome, Taxaquet wrote extensively on juridical and ecclesiastical issues, edited the works of Lactantius and took part in the revision of Gratian’s Decretum under the auspices of Gregory XIII. This is one of his earlier books, published by the Aldine papal press, established in Rome by Paolo Manuzio in 1561, and dedicated to Cardinal Carlo Borromeo, Pius IV’s nephew and later saint archbishop of Milan. Closely following the recently promulgated decrees of the Council of Trent, Disputationes consist of a defence of the Catholic faith in comparison with Judaism and Islam, a treatise encouraging the convocation of provincial and diocesan synods and an essay illustrating the public benefits of founding lay and religious colleges and higher educational institutions. An extract about the preparation for an ecumenical council written by the Pseudo-Isidore is also included.

The note inscribed on edges suggests a gift from an unidentified ‘Horatius Thomasius’, who may have been a relative of the author. Taxaquet was usually called by contemporaries ‘Michael Thomasius’, as in the title of this book.

BM STC It., Supplement, 77; Adams T 285; Brunet, V, 833 (‘gran rareté’); Graesse, VII, 144; Renouard, 197:6 (‘très rare’).



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