The extremely Rare First Edition of Barbo on Aristotle’s Metaphysics. In a Spanish(?) Binding

Barbo, Paolo, da Soncino [Paulus Soncinas]

Quaestiones in libros metaphysicae Aristotelis

Venice: Simon Bevilaqua, 28 September 1498


Folio: 30.3 x 20.5 cm. (204) ff.

FIRST EDITION and the only 15th c. edition of Barbo’s important commentary on Aritotle’s “Metaphysics”.

Extremely rare. Only 4 U.S. copies: Yale, Columbia, Huntington, LC. Bound in a very attractive, 16th c. blind-stamped calfskin binding, probably Spanish. A little worming, not affecting the text, to the first 4 leaves, some damp-staining to the upper margin of the text and some fraying to the edges of the first and last leaves, not affecting the text. Complete with the final blank leaf.

Paolo Barbò da Soncino [in Latin, Paulus Socinas] was an Italian Thomist philosopher and Doctor of Theology. He taught philosophy at Milan, and then at Ferrara, Siena, and Bologna. His life and work fall within the ambit of Italian Renaissance Thomism of the fifteenth century (He edited Aquinas’ “Opuscula” in 1488.) Among his masters were probably Peter Maldura of Bergamo (d. 1482) and Dominic of Flanders (d. 1479).

Barbo’s principal work, the exposition of Aristotle’s Metaphysics, proceeds from a particular synthesis of the Arabic commentator Averroes, Thomas Aquinas, Hervaeus Natalis (d. 1323), and John Capreolus (d. 1444). He held several challenging views, for instance stating the matter and quantity were distinct but that matter could not exist without quantity.

GW M30270. ISTC ip00208000. Goff P-208. Not in BMC