Antiquitatis Academi Oxoniensis apologia: In tres libros divisa

Oxford, Excudebat Iosephus Barnesius, Anno Dom, 1608


FIRST EDITION. pp. [viii], 384, [lxxii]. Roman letter, some Italic. Small woodcut device on title, floriated woodcut initials, woodcut head-pieces, typographical tailpieces and ornaments, bookplate of John Hannah on pastedown, C17th engraved armorial bookplate of Johann Conrad Feuerlein on fly, modern library stamp on verso, ms. shelf mark on pastedown.Light age yellowing, some quires a little browned, light spotting, the odd marginal ink splash or mark. A very good copy, on thick, crisp paper, in contemporary polished English limp vellum, gilt arms at center of upper cover within circular wreath, yapp edges, remains of ties.

An excellent copy of the first edition of the first work to deal in detail with the history of the University of Oxford, with interesting provenance. “Brian Twyne, one of the greatest of Oxford antiquaries, has never, perhaps with good reason, attracted any considerable notice. His only printed work, written when he was but a young man, was of a controversial character, and not of a kind to establish his reputation as a sound historian. His services to the University in preparing the Laudian code and drafting the great charter of 1636 necessarily had to wear the veil of anonymity, and the value of his manuscript collections relating to the University and the City has only in recent years been fully recognized. …….The work consists of 456 pages and contains, in addition to the Apology, a list of colleges and halls with their principals and also a list of the Chancellors and Proctors of the University. It was the first published history of the University of Oxford and a remarkable achievement for a young scholar of twenty-eight. The compilation demanded wide reading and the use of many original documents. Among the authorities cited are the archives of the City, the University, Bal1iol, Oriel, Magdalen and University Colleges; many college registers and statutes; and the cartularies of Osney, Abingdon, and St. Frideswide. These were supplemented. by · manuscripts in the possession of Thomas Allen and fortified by the authority of Homer, Euripides, Aristotle, Plautus, Ovid, Pliny, Virgil and Cicero. The most modern book at that time on Twyne’s subject, Petri Rebuffi De privilegiis Universitatum, is also cited. The first two books are concerned chiefly with what Sir Simonds D’Ewes called ‘senum deliria,’ but book 3 contains a good general account of University history from 1214.” Strickland Gibson. ‘Brian Twyne’

The book belonged to the German author, theologian and jurist Johann Conrad Feuerlein, whose father was the distinguished theologian Konrad Feuerlein. Johann Feuerlein studied at Nuremberg, Altorf and Jena and in 1681 travelled, for the purposes of scientific research, through Germany Holland and England (when he perhaps acquired this book). He was the author of numerous theological works and, perhaps inspired by reading this, a history of the Nuremberg School published in 1699. We have not as yet managed to identify the finely worked gilt arms on the title though the initials suggest a member of the Feuerlein family. A very good copy.

STC 24405. ESTC S118780. Madan, I, p. 72. Lowndes 2730.


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