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Bibliotheca sancta a Fratre Sixto Senensi, Ordinis Praedicatorum, ex praecipuis Catholicae Auctoribus collecta, et in octo libros digesta . . . nunc vero a Ioanne Hayo Scoto, Societatis Iesu, plurimis in locis a mendis expurgata, atque scholiis illustrata (Lyon: Sibille de la Porte, 1593) .

Sisto of Siena was born of Jewish parents in 1520 and as a boy worshipped in the Synagogue. He converted to Christian faith as a young man and entered the Friars Minor. In 1551, with the permission of Pope Pius V (O.P.), he transferred to the Order of Preachers.

The Bibliotheca sancta, first published in Venice in 1566, is an encyclopedia of monumental erudition, comprehending an entire literary pedagogy to assist reading the sacred Scriptures. The eight parts of the work comprise material on the structure and order of the Bible; a dictionary of all the authors and writings mentioned in the Scriptures; a treatise on the principles and techniques of interpreting the Scriptures, comparing the different methods of the Fathers; a bio-bibliography of the Catholic commentators on the Scriptures, treating hundreds of commentators; annotations and summaries on difficult and controverted verses of the Scriptures, from Genesis to the Apocalypse; the correction of false or heretical interpretations of verses in the New and Old Testaments, followed by various indices, including an index of heretics.

The fourth Book is especially interesting for medievalists. It contains, as stated, bio-bibliographies of hundreds of Christian commentators, from antiquity to Sisto's own time (pp. 190-309); bio-bibliographies of Jewish commentators (pp. 310-11); a register listing the commentators for each book of the Scriptures (pp. 312-17); another register classifying commentators according to their methods (e.g., Scholastic, homiletic, meditational, paraphrase, disputational, pp. 317-20). Sisto of Siena was the Stegmüller of his day, and doubtless anticipated his successor on many points.

On the title page, the book identifies itself as belonging to the convent of the Preaching brothers in Augsburg: "Sum Conventus Augustani FF. Praedicatorum." Unusually, the blind stamp cover is branded with its date: 1595. Astrik L. Gabriel acquired this book for the library from the bookseller Rosenthal in February 1952—for $12.50.

References: Baudrier 7: 357-58; Quétif-Échard 2/1: 206b-8b.

Catalogue No. 57
Call Number: Rare Books Oversize BS 445 .Si84
     Catalog Record

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