Basel: Johann Amerbach, 1491. First edition. Contemporary wooden boards with later sheepskin spine, original brass catches and clasps, and later leather thongs. Fifteenth century ink titling to fore-edge. Some minor wormholes to boards, and overall an exceptionally square, tight copy. Measuring 298 x 210mm and complete in 340 unnumbered leaves printed in double column Gothic type. Book tightly bound with glosses to inner margins sometimes affected. Internally with some darkening to final gathering and small wormhole through the first 40 leaves of text; several closed marginal tears not affecting text. In all, a very nearly Fine copy of what appears to be the only incunabular printing of this title.
A beautifully preserved copy of the only surviving patristic commentary on the complete Psalter. As a commentator, Magnus Aurelius Cassiodorus "is visibly interested not only in the spiritual benefits to be derived from an enlightened reading of the Psalms, but also in the didactic benefits. He made of the Psalter a textbook in the liberal arts" (O'Donnell). Turning to the homilies of St. Augustine, Expositio cuts to the heart of the Psalms and presents readers with a clearer guide for study and comprehension.
As a physical object, the text is also a thing of beauty and a landmark in printing. The printer Amerbach (1430-1513) primarily produced works of theology or Bibles; and he was the first printer in his city to use Roman type. (Item #4528)