Apologeticus Adversus Gentes
Editio princeps and first edition
of Tertullian’s masterpiece. $12,500.
Venice: Bernardinus Benalius, [not
after 1494]. Folio, early vellum. Light dampstaining to bottom corner of
leaves (not affecting text); browning to a few leaves. Very rare. Goff T
Tertullian, who is known as the “father
of the Latin Church,” wrote the Apologeticum to shame the Roman
authorities for the widespread persecution of Christians in Carthage.
“[The Apologeticum’s] effect on Christians was deep and immediate. If
Tertullian appeared to invoke Roman magistrates and to address the pagan
world, most of his statements were also designed to encourage
Christians. They felt confidence in a spokesman who could prove their
respectability, both social and intellectual, by his very existence. He
damned by ridicule the aspersions which daily assailed them, he filled
them with a strong sense of moral superiority. If they heeded Tertullian,
they need no longer believe themselves outcasts from normal society” (Tertullian,
by T.D. Barnes).