London: Excudebat Henricus Middletonus, 1580. Four parts in one. 4to. [xvi], 219, ; 299, ; 251, ; 390 pp. FIRST EDITION. Woodcut title vignette, woodcut initials, head- and tailpieces. Later tree calf in a contemporary style, spine with raised bands and “Biblia Sacra” in gilt; very narrow strip cut away from top of title page affecting manuscript ownership signature. Lacking the final two parts as well as the separate title pages for the second through fourth individual parts. Contemporary annotations. Item #14001
First edition of the first complete Latin Bible printed in England, one of five imprints of the 1580 edition. The Latin translation from the Hebrew and Syriac was the work of Immanuel Tremellius (1510-1580), an Italian Jewish convert, first to Catholicism, then to Protenstantism. In 1547 he was invited to England by Thomas Cranmer (1489-1556), the Archbishop of Canterbury. In 1549 he succeeded Paul Fagius as Regius professor of Hebrew at Cambridge. He was assisted by Franciscus Junius (the Elder) (1545-1602), his son-in-law. Tremellius’ translation first appeared in 1569 in Geneva, and portions relating to the Old Testament were published at Franfurt between 1575 and 1579. He here improved on the work of Thomas Berthelet’s 1535 partial printing of the Vulgate to such an extent that he ultimately exerted considerable influence in England and on the Continent (“Although his version was far from faultless, it evinced very thorough scholarship, and for long, both in England and on the continent, was adopted by the reformers as the most accurate Latin rendering. With some alterations it even received the sanction of the universities of Douai and Louvain”; see ODNB). STC 2056.8.