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Book Description
pp. 173, [23], 4 final leaves torn, not affecting text. Manuscript, chancery cursive, in Latin, brown ink, c.32 lines per full page, 23pp. of index at end. Occasional toning, two small worm holes to lower outer blank corner of few gatherings, intermittent light water stain to upper margin of first and last few leaves. A very good copy in modern half calf over marbled boards, modern endpapers, spine gilt, gilt-lettered morocco label. Inscription 'Samuelis Domjan ad1780 19 9bris [Novembris] Satthmarini [Satu Mare] in Hung'.
Dealer Notes
A fascinating, unusual manuscript - a manual on how to gather together a theological library. The author, Samuel Domjan, was a Hungarian theologian, probably the same, from Komarom, recorded as a student at Heidelberg. The manuscript, addressed to a Hungarian readership, begins with the sentence ’to love, read and acquire books is appropriate for a wise man’. It proceeds to discuss the principles which can help to amass a theological library, with references to the libraries of the “greats” - e.g., Calvin, Junius and Melanchthon - and their beliefs on what a good ‘biblotheca’ should include. It lists subjects that correspond to the educational phases of the theologian, from Latin rhetoric, to logic, Greek, Hebrew, French and German, as texts should be read in the original rather than in Hungarian translations. The rest of the manuscript is a thorough assessment of the authors any excellent theological library should contain, divided by field: ‘theologia dogmatica’, ‘libri symbolici Ecclesiae Reformatae’ (but also ‘Pontificorum’, ‘Graecorum’ and ’Socinianorum’), ‘libri polemici’ (e.g., against atheists, Jews, Naturalists, Catholics and Luterans), ’theologia moralis’, exegesis, the ancient church, etc. The catalogue, not alphabetical, itemises the works by author and title, specifying the format of available editions (e.g., ‘in folio et in 8vo’), followed by a brief summary of the content. Domjan also added short comments on the quality of most works, taken from 17th- or 18th-century reference books on theology, e.g., Polensdorf’s ‘Syntagma theologiae’. The manuscript ends with a thorough index of chapters and names.
The great care Domjan devoted to this manuscript suggests it was probably intended for publication, as a more bibliographical and practical version of the encyclopaedic ‘Bibliothecae’ published from the 17th century as reference collections of theological writers.
The verso of the last leaf features the transcription of the formula ‘testimonii de natalibus’ which priests should use to record the birth of an infant.
Author DOMJAN, Samuel.
Date 1780
Binding Modern half calf over marbled boards
Condition Very good

Price: £1500.00

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