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Text from De Civitate Dei

Saint Augustine, Bishop of Hippo.
De Civitate Dei Libri XXII. Venice: Bonetus Locatellus, for Octavianus Scotus, 1486.
Call Number: (BKRT) BR 65 .A64 1486
Special Collections, Golda Meir Library

St. Augustine's City of God was a popular work in Venice during the late fifteenth century, appearing in no less than five editions by 1500. It held great appeal with both humanists and clergy as it was the foundational work on the relationship between the church and the state, a lively topic of discussion during the Renaissance and Reformation eras.

This edition is the first book printed by Locatellus, one of the most prolific Venetian printers of the period. It is also the first of a long series of books he produced for the publisher Octavianus Scotus.

Approximately two-thirds of the book contains hand-illuminated capitals in red, however, the illumination was never completed. There is also a good deal of marginalia in both red and black inks. Of note are the drawings of human hands pointing to the notable passages throughout the text.

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Prepared by Christopher Barth, Virginia Haas, and Sarah McDaniel