Item #5010 Loci Praecipui Theologici. Nunc denuo cura et diligentia summa recogniti, multisque in locis copiose illustrate, Cum appendice disputationis de Coniugio. His additae sunt recens definitiones multarum appellationum, quarum in Ecclesia usus est, traditae ab eodem autore Torgae & Witebergae: Anno 1552. & 1553. Ad calcem huius operis accessit, locorum scripturae in hoc explicatorum, itemque capitum totius libri, nec non rerum atque verborum memorabilium trigeminus Index quam diligentissime conscriptus. Philip Melanchthon.
Loci Praecipui Theologici. Nunc denuo cura et diligentia summa recogniti, multisque in locis copiose illustrate, Cum appendice disputationis de Coniugio. His additae sunt recens definitiones multarum appellationum, quarum in Ecclesia usus est, traditae ab eodem autore Torgae & Witebergae: Anno 1552. & 1553. Ad calcem huius operis accessit, locorum scripturae in hoc explicatorum, itemque capitum totius libri, nec non rerum atque verborum memorabilium trigeminus Index quam diligentissime conscriptus.
Loci Praecipui Theologici. Nunc denuo cura et diligentia summa recogniti, multisque in locis copiose illustrate, Cum appendice disputationis de Coniugio. His additae sunt recens definitiones multarum appellationum, quarum in Ecclesia usus est, traditae ab eodem autore Torgae & Witebergae: Anno 1552. & 1553. Ad calcem huius operis accessit, locorum scripturae in hoc explicatorum, itemque capitum totius libri, nec non rerum atque verborum memorabilium trigeminus Index quam diligentissime conscriptus.
Loci Praecipui Theologici. Nunc denuo cura et diligentia summa recogniti, multisque in locis copiose illustrate, Cum appendice disputationis de Coniugio. His additae sunt recens definitiones multarum appellationum, quarum in Ecclesia usus est, traditae ab eodem autore Torgae & Witebergae: Anno 1552. & 1553. Ad calcem huius operis accessit, locorum scripturae in hoc explicatorum, itemque capitum totius libri, nec non rerum atque verborum memorabilium trigeminus Index quam diligentissime conscriptus.
Loci Praecipui Theologici. Nunc denuo cura et diligentia summa recogniti, multisque in locis copiose illustrate, Cum appendice disputationis de Coniugio. His additae sunt recens definitiones multarum appellationum, quarum in Ecclesia usus est, traditae ab eodem autore Torgae & Witebergae: Anno 1552. & 1553. Ad calcem huius operis accessit, locorum scripturae in hoc explicatorum, itemque capitum totius libri, nec non rerum atque verborum memorabilium trigeminus Index quam diligentissime conscriptus.
Loci Praecipui Theologici. Nunc denuo cura et diligentia summa recogniti, multisque in locis copiose illustrate, Cum appendice disputationis de Coniugio. His additae sunt recens definitiones multarum appellationum, quarum in Ecclesia usus est, traditae ab eodem autore Torgae & Witebergae: Anno 1552. & 1553. Ad calcem huius operis accessit, locorum scripturae in hoc explicatorum, itemque capitum totius libri, nec non rerum atque verborum memorabilium trigeminus Index quam diligentissime conscriptus.
Loci Praecipui Theologici. Nunc denuo cura et diligentia summa recogniti, multisque in locis copiose illustrate, Cum appendice disputationis de Coniugio. His additae sunt recens definitiones multarum appellationum, quarum in Ecclesia usus est, traditae ab eodem autore Torgae & Witebergae: Anno 1552. & 1553. Ad calcem huius operis accessit, locorum scripturae in hoc explicatorum, itemque capitum totius libri, nec non rerum atque verborum memorabilium trigeminus Index quam diligentissime conscriptus.
Loci Praecipui Theologici. Nunc denuo cura et diligentia summa recogniti, multisque in locis copiose illustrate, Cum appendice disputationis de Coniugio. His additae sunt recens definitiones multarum appellationum, quarum in Ecclesia usus est, traditae ab eodem autore Torgae & Witebergae: Anno 1552. & 1553. Ad calcem huius operis accessit, locorum scripturae in hoc explicatorum, itemque capitum totius libri, nec non rerum atque verborum memorabilium trigeminus Index quam diligentissime conscriptus.
Loci Praecipui Theologici. Nunc denuo cura et diligentia summa recogniti, multisque in locis copiose illustrate, Cum appendice disputationis de Coniugio. His additae sunt recens definitiones multarum appellationum, quarum in Ecclesia usus est, traditae ab eodem autore Torgae & Witebergae: Anno 1552. & 1553. Ad calcem huius operis accessit, locorum scripturae in hoc explicatorum, itemque capitum totius libri, nec non rerum atque verborum memorabilium trigeminus Index quam diligentissime conscriptus.
Loci Praecipui Theologici. Nunc denuo cura et diligentia summa recogniti, multisque in locis copiose illustrate, Cum appendice disputationis de Coniugio. His additae sunt recens definitiones multarum appellationum, quarum in Ecclesia usus est, traditae ab eodem autore Torgae & Witebergae: Anno 1552. & 1553. Ad calcem huius operis accessit, locorum scripturae in hoc explicatorum, itemque capitum totius libri, nec non rerum atque verborum memorabilium trigeminus Index quam diligentissime conscriptus.
Loci Praecipui Theologici. Nunc denuo cura et diligentia summa recogniti, multisque in locis copiose illustrate, Cum appendice disputationis de Coniugio. His additae sunt recens definitiones multarum appellationum, quarum in Ecclesia usus est, traditae ab eodem autore Torgae & Witebergae: Anno 1552. & 1553. Ad calcem huius operis accessit, locorum scripturae in hoc explicatorum, itemque capitum totius libri, nec non rerum atque verborum memorabilium trigeminus Index quam diligentissime conscriptus.

Loci Praecipui Theologici. Nunc denuo cura et diligentia summa recogniti, multisque in locis copiose illustrate, Cum appendice disputationis de Coniugio. His additae sunt recens definitiones multarum appellationum, quarum in Ecclesia usus est, traditae ab eodem autore Torgae & Witebergae: Anno 1552. & 1553. Ad calcem huius operis accessit, locorum scripturae in hoc explicatorum, itemque capitum totius libri, nec non rerum atque verborum memorabilium trigeminus Index quam diligentissime conscriptus.

Leipzig: [Heirs of Valentin Bapst] in Officina Haeredum Valentini Papae elaborata atque edita, 1559.

Price: $20,000.00

Large octavo: 18.8 x 12 cm. [8] lvs., 858 p., [42] lvs. Collation: A-Z8, a-z8, Aa-Oo8 (l. Oo8 blank and present)

MELANCHTHON’S FINAL REVISION, published in the last year of his life, of the founding doctrinal text of the Lutheran faith.

Bound in contemporary blind-stamped pigskin over wooden boards (one clasp preserved, light wear and soiling). The text is in excellent condition, with just 2 lvs. (d7-8) lightly spotted, and a small natural paper flaw to the blank upper margin of leaf p6 (just touching the page number). There are a few contemporary annotations in gathering f. Provenance: André Hachette (cat. 1953, no. 85).- Charles von der Elst.- Pierre Berès (catalogue Livres rares. Six siècles de reliures, 2004, no. 46).

A superb contemporary blind-stamped pigskin binding, dated 1564 and signed M.O.C., by Thomas Krüger of Wittenberg, with full-length portrait panel stamps of Martin Luther (157 x 89 mm.) and Philip Melanchthon (156 x 90 mm.) based on portraits by Lucas Cranach the Younger (1515-1586). A binding bearing only the portrait of Melanchthon on the upper board is reproduced by Mirjam Foot in her article: “A Binding by Thomas Krüger 1573” (The Book Collector, 1981).

The Melanchthon panel stamp:

Based on Cranach’s 1561 woodcut of Melanchthon (Hollstein VI.151.48c iii/vi; Bartsch XI.442.153; Dodgson II.347.31), the panel stamp (EBDB p002950; Haebler I 250, VIII) by Thomas Krüger bears the date 1563 and Krüger’s initials. A simplified form of Cranach’s device can be seen at the foot of the plate, beneath the scroll with Melanchthon’s name. The Cranach emblem, depicting a serpent with upright bat wings holding a ring in its mouth, was granted by Duke Friedrich the Wise to Cranach's father in 1508.

While the background in Cranach’s woodcut is blank, Krüger has added an elaborate architectural frame with a landscape in the far background, in which the Wittenberg Pfarrkirch can be discerned. The church view was almost certainly inspired by the background on the stamp with the portrait of Luther (see below). Two putti bear shields. One has the arms of Saxony; the other shows Melanchthon’s crest, featuring a serpent entwined on a cross, representing the bronze serpent made by Moses to cure the Israelites of poisonous snakebites during their forty years in the wilderness. The engraver has modified Cranach’s portrait by replacing the closed book in Melanchthon’s hand with an open one, in which is written one of Melanchthon’s epigrams (“Nullius est felix conatus et utilis unquam,. Consilium si non detque iuvetque Deus”).

The Luther panel stamp:

The undated panel stamp (EBDB p002949; Haebler I 250, VII), signed with Krüger’s initials, is based on a ca. 1546 woodcut by Cranach. The Luther and Melanchthon stamps were clearly conceived of as a pair. As with the Melanchthon stamp, Cranach’s serpent device can be seen at the foot of the plate, beneath the scroll with Luther’s name; once again, Krüger has set Luther within an elaborate architectural frame in which putti bear shields, this time with the arms of Wittenberg and Luther’s crest (the “Luther rose”). The landscape in the far background, with a view of Wittenberg, corresponds to the one in Cranach’s woodcut. The engraver has modified the book held by Luther, opening it to reveal the text of 2 Corinthians 12:9 (“virtus mea in infirmitate perficitur”) and Isa 30:15 (“In silentio et spe erit fortitudo vestra”).

The text:

“You cannot find anywhere a book which treats the whole of theology so adequately as the ‘Loci Communes’ do... Next to Holy Scripture, there is no better book.” –Martin Luther

Philip Melanchthon’s epochal “Loci Communes Rerum Theologicarum Seu Hypotyposes Theologicae” (“Fundamental Topics of Theology, or a Theological Framework”) was the first Protestant work of systematic theology.

While teaching at Wittenberg, Melanchthon "came under the influence of Martin Luther and began to study theology. The proclamation of God’s grace freely given became the enduring mainstay of his life. As this experience penetrated his intellectual world, it led him to develop the reformation’s message systematically… Melanchthon’s most important work, the ‘Loci Communes Theologici’, through which he created not only the first dogmatic of the Lutheran reformation but also a new genre in theological literature, arose out of the application of scriptural authority to his work on the Bible itself.

"At Wittenberg, part of the curriculum for theologians still included lecturing on the Sentences of Peter Lombard. Melanchthon wanted to circumvent this normative structure for dogmatics and to offer instead a scripturally based exposition of doctrine. For this purpose he employed an ancient method, recommended by Desiderius Erasmus, of noting the basic concepts- ‘topoi’, or ‘loci communes’- of a text in order to appropriate more fully its content. Whereas Erasmus continued to impose upon the text his own list of ‘loci communes’, Melanchthon required that the ‘loci’ and their organization arise out of the text itself.”(Encyclopedia of the Reformation)

What is remarkable –and new- about the system employed by Melanchthon in the “Loci” is that it is the first system of doctrinal positions drawn solely from the Word of God. In his preface to the first edition, Melanchthon gives a list of the topics –“the principal heads of theological science”- which he considered fundamental to the doctrines of faith and piety, and upon which his entire scheme hung: God, Unity, Trinity, Creation, Man, the strength of Man, Sin, the fruit of Sin, Vice, Punishment, Law, Promises, Renewal Through Christ, Grace, The fruit of Grace, Faith, Hope, Charity, Predestination, Sacramental signs, the estates of Man, Civil Offices, Bishops, Condemnation, and Blessedness.

“The book marks an epoch in the history of theology. It is an exposition of the leading doctrines of sin and grace, repentance and salvation. It is clean, fresh, thoroughly Biblical, and practical. Its main object is to show that man cannot be saved by works of the law or by his own merits but only by the free grace of God in Christ as revealed in the Gospel. It presents the living soul of divinity in contrast to the dry bones of degenerate scholasticism.”(Schaff)

As might be expected, throughout the “Loci” Melanchthon refers frequently to the works of Luther and praises them highly. The works of Luther to which he refers are “Against Latomus”, “Freedom of a Christian Man”, “The Babylonian Captivity of the Church”, “On Vows”, and “The Spirit and the Letter.”

"It is remarkable how highly Luther throughout his life praised the book of his collaborator and friend. In his treatise against Erasmus, he hailed it as a work of immortal significance that deserved to be included in the canon of the Church. In his ‘Table Talk’, he said once at the end of his life: ‘You cannot find anywhere a book which treats the whole of theology so adequately as the ‘Loci Communes’ do... Next to Holy Scripture, there is no better book.’”(Wilhelm Pauck, editor, "Loci Communes Theologici").

VD16 M 3662 (Loci) + VD16 M 2834 (de Coniugio) + VD16 M 2943 (Definitiones)