Quattuor hic compressa opuscula. Discordantie sanctorum doctorum Hieronymi, Augustini. Sibyllarum de Christo vaticinia: cu[m] appropriatis singularum figuris. Varia Judeorum & gentilium de Christo testimonia. Centones Probe Falconie de vtriusq[ue] testamenti hystoriis ex carninibus uirgilii selecti: cum annotatione locorum ex quibus desumpti sunt: a diuo Hieronymo Comprobate. [Bound together with:] Probe Centone Vatis Clarissime a Diuo Hieronymo comprobate. Centonam De fidei nostre Mysterijs e Maronis Carminibus excerptum opusculum. Filippo Barbieri, Barberiis, Philippus de, Falconia Proba.
Quattuor hic compressa opuscula. Discordantie sanctorum doctorum Hieronymi, Augustini. Sibyllarum de Christo vaticinia: cu[m] appropriatis singularum figuris. Varia Judeorum & gentilium de Christo testimonia. Centones Probe Falconie de vtriusq[ue] testamenti hystoriis ex carninibus uirgilii selecti: cum annotatione locorum ex quibus desumpti sunt: a diuo Hieronymo Comprobate. [Bound together with:] Probe Centone Vatis Clarissime a Diuo Hieronymo comprobate. Centonam De fidei nostre Mysterijs e Maronis Carminibus excerptum opusculum.
Quattuor hic compressa opuscula. Discordantie sanctorum doctorum Hieronymi, Augustini. Sibyllarum de Christo vaticinia: cu[m] appropriatis singularum figuris. Varia Judeorum & gentilium de Christo testimonia. Centones Probe Falconie de vtriusq[ue] testamenti hystoriis ex carninibus uirgilii selecti: cum annotatione locorum ex quibus desumpti sunt: a diuo Hieronymo Comprobate. [Bound together with:] Probe Centone Vatis Clarissime a Diuo Hieronymo comprobate. Centonam De fidei nostre Mysterijs e Maronis Carminibus excerptum opusculum.
Quattuor hic compressa opuscula. Discordantie sanctorum doctorum Hieronymi, Augustini. Sibyllarum de Christo vaticinia: cu[m] appropriatis singularum figuris. Varia Judeorum & gentilium de Christo testimonia. Centones Probe Falconie de vtriusq[ue] testamenti hystoriis ex carninibus uirgilii selecti: cum annotatione locorum ex quibus desumpti sunt: a diuo Hieronymo Comprobate. [Bound together with:] Probe Centone Vatis Clarissime a Diuo Hieronymo comprobate. Centonam De fidei nostre Mysterijs e Maronis Carminibus excerptum opusculum.
Book of the Women-Prophets 

Quattuor hic compressa opuscula. Discordantie sanctorum doctorum Hieronymi, Augustini. Sibyllarum de Christo vaticinia: cu[m] appropriatis singularum figuris. Varia Judeorum & gentilium de Christo testimonia. Centones Probe Falconie de vtriusq[ue] testamenti hystoriis ex carninibus uirgilii selecti: cum annotatione locorum ex quibus desumpti sunt: a diuo Hieronymo Comprobate. [Bound together with:] Probe Centone Vatis Clarissime a Diuo Hieronymo comprobate. Centonam De fidei nostre Mysterijs e Maronis Carminibus excerptum opusculum.

[Venetiis (Venezia):]: per Bernandinum Benalium (Bernardino Benali), (around 1510).]. First edition in this format. The first book is illustrated with twelve large woodcuts of the sibyls and ornamented with several historiated and white-on-black knotwork woodcut initials. Roman and rotunda types, 42 lines. In later vellum. Title in brown ink.on spine. Wide-margined, very well preserved copy. (28) leaves. Coll.: [A2], B–D4, E2; a-c4. . In fine condition.

Beautifully illustrated Italian post-incunable edition, illustrated with twelve large woodcuts of the Sibyls and elaborate initials.

Previously thought to be incunabula, this edition was printed after 1500. The strong woodcuts depicting the twelve Sybils are Venetian copies of those in earlier Roman editions, each with 4-part border, embellished with historiated and ornamental woodcut initials. The text, which is extracted from the larger collection of Filippo Barbieri's opuscula published twice in Rome at the beginning of the 1480s, most likely a compilation of contemporary Italian manuscripts detailing the names, origins, and predictions of the Sibyls. The "Testimonies of the Jews and gentiles concerning Christ," mentioned on the title-page, do not appear in the book, nor in the earlier Roman collections. The second title, “Cento Vergiliana” is an arrangement of Virgilian verses by the Roman authoress Proba Falconia, considered as one of the earliest testimonies to the extraordinary power of Virgil's words within the Christian tradition. This part was included in the earlier Roman editions and was printed also as a separate work. Benali apparently issued his Proba Falconia both together with Barberiis' treatise on Sibyls (including it on the major title-page), like this copy,  and separately as well, which explains the separate title-page, quiring, and colophon.

At the end of the Middle Ages and at the beginning of the Renaissance the Christian theology attempted to embrace various parts of different pagan traditions. The concept of the Greek Sibyls was one of those. In the Christian teachings these pagan female oracles turned into prophets delivering the messianic message, however, their number, age, even their respective prophecies were inconsistent and argued. In many cases – like in the present book – their number was twelve, matching with the number of the Old Testament prophets. Benali published this work together with an addition of a thirteenth female companion, Falconia Proba, poetess of the fourth century, whose composition, a Sacred History in Virgilian quotations, was much appreciated in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. 

Bibl.: Cazes, H.: Verbum inuisibile palpabitur: The Sibyls in the Second Half of the Fifteenth Century: Repetition as Oracular Poetics. In: Mason Sutherland, Ch.; Sutcliffe, R. (editors): The Changing Tradition: Women in the History of Rhetoric. Calgary: University of Calgary Press, 1999. pp. 85–96.

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Price: €15,000.00