Antiquariat Jürgen Dinter

Vives, Joannes Ludovicus

Opera … — Basel 1555

10.000 €

Vives, Joannes Ludovicus

Opera, in duos distincta tomos … — Basilea, Anno MDLV [in fine I:] Basilea, per Episcopium Iuniorem Anno M.D.LV. [in fine II:] Basilea, apud Iacobum Parcum impensis Episcopi Iunioris, Anno Salutis humanae MDLV mense Augusto.
[Basel, Nic. Episcopius & [II:] Jacobus Parcus (i. e. J. Estange/J. Kündig) für N. Episcopius, 1555]

First edition

Folio (333 x 222 mm).

I: α-δ6 ε8 a-Z6 aa-ii6 kk8: (64), 687 (i.e. 675) pp., (1) p. (blank except printer’s mark). 

II: AA-ZZ6 Aa-Zz6 aAa-zZz66 AaA-LlL6 MmM4 NnN6: 978 (i.e. 977) pp., (1) leaf (blank except printer’s mark on verso).

Contemporary or near contemporary blindstamped pigskin over wooden boards, clasps gone; scratches on upper cover of volume 1. Veselá p. 69 (see below) suggests a Vienna bookbinder.


1.) Hieronymus Beck a Leopoldstorf  on title-page. His purchase note at the end of each volume.

Hieronymus Beck of Leopoldsdord, 1525-1596, son of the later Lower Austrian chancellor knight Markus Beck, continued the rise of the family started by his father. Educated in close proximity to the court along with the royal children, he studied at the University of Padua and became Lower Austrian Chamber Councillor in 1555, Court Chamber Councillor in 1563, and Chief Provisional Master in Hungary in 1568. In 1554 he acquired the lordship of Niederwaltersdorf, and in 1572 the lordship and castle of Ebreichsdorf, where he also died.

Hieronymus Beck was probably one of the most educated personalities of the Lower Austrian nobility. He mastered several languages and came as far as Egypt on his extensive educational travels. The ancient Turkish chronicles he brought back from his travels were highly regarded by scholars and are among the most important sources of Ottoman history. He was a respected collector of archaeological finds and owned an important humanist library, which was being installed in the new premises at Ebreichsdorf Castel near Vienna in the 1570s and 1580s … After his father’s elevation to knighthood, Hieronymus Beck was the member of the family who grew into the nobility and paved the way for his sons, who were elevated to barons.

On the extaordinary library of Hieronymus Beck see: Lenka Veselá, Ritter und Intellektueller – Hieronymus Beck von Leopoldsdorf (1525–1596) und seine Bibliothek. Frankfurt am Main 2017.

Purchase note in both volumes: „Omnia opera“ bought „per 3 Fl[orins] 30 Kr[euzer]“

2.) Ex Bibliotheca Cardinalis & Principis a Dietrichstein. Beck’s library of some 2500 volumes was sold by his son Marcus Eberhard Beck to the Moravian Cardinal Franz von Dietrichstein around 1620. The 9000 volumes of the Dietrichstein library were confiscated in Nikolsburg (Mikulov in Czechia) by Swedish soldiers in 1545 and were brought to Stockholm in 1546 and 1548 together with other Bohemian libraries as war booty.

3.) Exlibris  Fr. H. Van Bergen Parisijs 1655 on fly-leaves. It seems that not all books of the Dietrichstein library were brought to Sweden (Vaselá 199). Since the Dietrichstein catalogue  – see: – does not show Vives‘ Opera, the two volumes may have been sold before 1546 and 1548 resp. hence the entry „Paris 1655“ which would be a very early date if the copy found its way from Stockholm to the Continent. Van Bergen may be the link to the next provenance, the Mennonite Parish „Bij het Lam“ in Amsterdam.

4.) uit de Bibliotheek van de Doopsgesinde Gemeente. bij het Lam en den Toren de Amsterdam on paste-down; notes on Vives on recto of fly-leaf; oval stamp Bibliotheek der Vereen. Doopsg. Gemeente te Amsterdam. 

All entries repeated in volume 2.

Vol. I: 2 wormholes up to d2 (leaf 20) of prelims, one up to f2 (pp. 63/64); vol. II: 4 wormholes uo to XX2 ( pp. 243/244), 3 up to Aa2 (leaf 279/280), 2 up to leaf Ff4 (pp. 343/344), 1 up to leaf FfF4 (pp. 895/896), otherwise very good with ample margins.

Edited by the Basel professor of theology Ulricus Coccius (Ulrich Koch). 

Title-pages and last pages with Episcopius‘ device: Showing a crane standing on a Bishop’s crook – referring to the printer’s name – held by a hand appearing from clouds. The crane shows the alertness and diligence of the printer. The Greek motto, which appears in Episcopius‘ books on the title-pages only, Τῆς ἐπιμελείας δοῦλα πάντα γίνεται means everything is subject to diligence. The crane holds a stone in one of his feets; the stone is supposed to prevent him from falling asleep: should he fall asleep, the stone falls on his other foot and wakes him up.

Estelrich, Vives. Exposition a la Bibl. Nationale, Paris 1941, no. 81; Vives te Leuven, Leuven 1993 (Exhibition cat.) no 90; VD16 V 1773-1774, Adams V-935; ustc 667058.