London: John Day, 1577. Two parts in one. 8vo.  pp., though lacking Mi and Uii. THIRD EDITION. First title and following leaf from a later edition (Oiv and Ov from the 1586 edition); second part has original title. Decorated woodcut borders around each page with kneeling figures of Scripture characters. Early calf, rebacked, gilt lettering on spine, though worn; despite some small tears to a number of leaves, a very nice copy. Item #15715
Early edition (likely the third, with printings of 1574 and 1575) of a very rare book of devotion comprising prayers attributed to the great Christian theologian and philosopher Augustine of Hippo. Gathered out from St. Augustine’s meditations in a compilatory style, these works were very popular during the Middle Ages. They were collected by anonymous thirteenth-century monks and very few copies survived because of their constant use by the faithful.
These Pseudo-Augustinian books were so popular that they delayed the translated publication of Augustine of Hippo’s original works during the seventeenth century and later. Long before the first English translation of Augustine’s City of God (1610) and Confessions (1620), these works had not only been published in English, Italian and other European languages, but had achieved enormous popularity and even caused a “publishing war” between protestant and Roman Catholic translators and publishers.