Our collection is composed of renowned works that are recognized around the world.
Many of these works have had a profound effect on the world and how we think today.
They comprise works from several different genres including, but not limited to: Economics, Liberty & Dignity, Mathematics and Science, Philosophy, Politics, and Religion. These works include: ‘An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations’ by Adam Smith, ‘The Declaration of Independence’, ‘A Vindication of the Rights of Woman’ by Mary Wollstonecraft, King James Bible “HE” Version, and ‘The Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy’ by Isaac Newton as well as hundreds of others.
De Consolatio Philosophie by Boethius
Date of Manuscript: ca. 1400-1425
Boethius’s best known work is the Consolation of Philosophy (De consolatione philosophiae), which he wrote most likely while in exile under house arrest or in prison while awaiting his execution, but his lifelong project was a deliberate attempt to preserve ancient classical knowledge, particularly philosophy.
This work represented an imaginary dialogue between himself and philosophy, with philosophy being personified by a woman. The book argues that despite the apparent inequality of the world, there is, in Platonic fashion, a higher power and everything else is secondary to that divine Providence. #0681
Opuscula by John Chrysostom
Date of Manuscript: ca. 1450-65
Humanist manuscript compilation of three short treaties on the virtues of the ascetics life by St. John Chrysostom, transcribed into Latin in northern Italy and pre-dating the printed editions. The author of the translation is unknown. #0811
Nichomachean Ethics by Aristotle
Date of Manuscript: 1488
This rubricated manuscript in the Latin translation of Leonardo Bruni, the first Florentine scholar to use the word “studia humanitatis” as a term for literary studies was used in grammar schools.
This couples with the large number of interlinear and marginal notations are evidence that the text was not only transmitted among the intellectual elites. Originally written in Greek and based on lectures Aristotle gave in Athens in the fourth century B.C., concerns the end to which human behavior should be directed. For a person to be happy, he says, they must not simply pursue pleasure, but to do well those things which are distinctly human, namely the exercise of intellectual abilities. But, as he also explains, virtue is not solely intellectual, and mankind has a moral aspect as well. #0672
Verrine Orations Manuscript by Marcus Tullius Cicero
Date of Manuscript: 1476
Illuminated Manuscript on Parchment, in Latin. Written in the humanist style in Padua, Italy circa 1476, this volume contains Marcus Tullius Cicero’s “Verrine Orations,” a series of speeches Cicero made in 70 B.C. The speeches were made during the trial of Gaius Verres, the former governor of Sicily, who was on trial for corruption and extortion. Only Cicero spoke during the trial, despite other planned orators. Verres’ lawyer, Hortensius, advised him to plead no contest and go into voluntary exile after hearing Cicero’s speeches. By the end of 70 B.C., Verres was living in exile, while Cicero was thrust into public view and considered to be the greatest orator in Rome. The trial also placed Cicero’s political career on the fast track and was elected to the Aedile in 69 B.C., an office of the Roman Republic that regulated public festivals, maintenance of public buildings, and had powers to enforce public order. Considered to be the master of Latin prose, Cicero is credited with transforming Latin into a versatile literary medium and influencing several philosophers including Desiderius Erasmus, Martin Luther, and John Locke. #0755
Citie of God by Augustine of Hippo
Publication Date: 1610 First Edition English.
Augustine of Hippo remains one of the most renowned church fathers and philosophers. His work, City of God, “is an apology for Christianity against the accusations that the Church was responsible for the decline of the Roman Empire. It interprets human history as a conflict between the City of God, which includes the body of Christians belonging to the Church, and the Earthly City, composed of pagans and heretical Christians. Augustine foresees that, through the will of God, the people of the City of God will eventually win immortality, while those in the Earthly City will win destruction.” #0030
Date of Manuscript: ca. 18th Century
The Koran is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims consider the exact word of God and the Final Testament, following the Old and New Testaments.
Its literally meaning is “a recitation.” It is regarded widely as the finest piece of literature in the Arabic language. The Quran is divided into 114 suras of unequal length which are classified either as Meccan or Medinan depending upon their place and time of revelation.
Muslims believe that the Koran was verbally revealed through the angel Gabriel from God to Muhammad gradually over a period of approximately twenty-three years. It began in 610 CE, when Muhammad was forty, and concluded in 632 CE, the year of his death. Muslims believe that the Koran was precisely memorized, recited and exactly written down by Muhammad’s companions after each revelation was dictated by Muhammad.
Shortly after Muhammad’s death, the Koran was compiled into a single book by order of the first Caliph Abu Bakr and at the suggestion of his future successor Umar. Hafsa, who was Muhammad’s widow and Umar’s daughter, was entrusted and became guardian of the only copy of the Koran after the second Caliph Umar died. Uthman, the third Caliph, asked Hafsa to borrow the Koran so several copies could be made and sent to main centers of the expanding empire. The Koran copies written helped in establishing the standard dialect of Arabic language, the Quraish dialect now known as Fus’ha, Modern Standard Arabic, which began to have slight differences. The copies of the Koran made also helped to standardize the text, invalidated all other versions of the Koran. The present form of the Quran text is accepted by most scholars as the original version compiled by Abu Bakr. #0960
Date of Manuscript: ca. 13th Century
Handwritten in Latin and on parchment, this work is illuminated and rubricated.
It was made in Northern France in the 13th century. The earliest examples of these portable Bibles were copied in Paris at the end of the 1220’s or the early 1230’s, and the format was adopted quickly throughout Europe.
The Vulgate is a late 4th-century Latin translation of the Bible. It was largely the work of St. Jerome, who was commissioned by Pope Damasus I in 382 to make a revision of the old Latin translations. St. Jerome translated the Bible from Hebrew and Aramaic. By the 13th century this revision had come to be called the version Vulgate, that is, the “commonly used translation” and ultimately it became the definitive and officially promulgated Latin version of the Bible in the Roman Catholic Church. The collection and order of the books which make up this version of the Bible differs slightly from the ones in the King James Version, it includes several of the Apocrypha. #1188
The Institution of Christian Religion by John Calvin
Date of Publication: 1611″(Adapted from Jean Calvin, 1509-1564)
French Protestant reformer. Calvin’s theological doctrines had tremendous influence, particularly in the Puritan religion of England, Scotland, and America.
Calvin had an early background of humanism; as a student of Latin and Greek, he was familiar with the writings of Plato, Seneca, and St. Augustine. Because of the radical Protestant views expressed in a public speech he wrote in 1533, to be delivered at an inaugural ceremony at the University of Paris, Calvin was forced to flee the capital and soon France as well. He established himself in Geneva, strictly enforcing his theological doctrines and rules of conduct. His greatest work is Institutes of the Christian Religion.
Calvinism as a religious system is the theological foundation of the Reformed, or Presbyterian, Churches, which is to say, of non-Lutheran, non-Anglican Protestantism. It recognized only the Bible as a source of knowledge and of authority in questions of belief. Its chief principles were (1) the total depravity of man, as a result of Adam’s fall; (2) the absolute power of the will of God; (3) the superiority of faith to good works, since man has no will of his own; (4) salvation by grace from God rather that by any act of the will of man; and (5) the divine predestination of those to be saved, or the Elect, although, since no one can tell whether he is a member of the Elect, all must lead holy and pious lives, acknowledging God’s supreme power and obeying his commands.
Calvin’s pessimistic interpretation of Christian doctrine was coupled with a repressive attitude toward pleasure and frivolity. The zeal with which his followers taught and imposed his views assured his position as one of the most influential theologians in the West.
The most influential theological work of the reformation. As a kind of handbook or companion to Calvin’s commentaries on the individual books of the Bible, it dealt with the most salient issues of religion under six headings: the law, the faith, prayer, the sacraments of baptism and communion, the sacraments added by the church, and Christian liberty and church discipline. The book was originally published in Latin, but Calvin translated it into French in 1541 and produced an augmented version in 1560.” #0050
Von der Babylonischen der Kirchen (On the Babylonian Captivity of the Church) by Martin Luther
Date of Publication: 1520Third German
Edition printed in the same year as the first edition.
This is the second of Luther’s three crucial reformatory writings of 1520, which the Reformer radically critiques the sacramental system of the church. “It is in the “Babylonian Captivity” that Luther first levels his charge that the pope is the Antichrist and explicitly condemns the Church as a tyrannical oppressor of Christian liberty.” “Using the explicit text of the Scriptures as his litmus, Luther denies that there are seven sacraments and instead recognizes only three: baptism, confession, and the Lord’s Supper.”
“The “Babylonian Captivity” was Luther’s most severe attack on the Church to date and its impact reverberated throughout Europe. The University of Paris condemned the document; upon reading it, Erasmus realized that his efforts to restore peace were futile and announced, “The breach is irreparable.”” Furthermore, “it was the chief evidence of Luther’s heresy.” #1342
King James Bible “HE” Version
Date of Publication: 1611First Edition, First Printing King James Bible.
Two editions of the Bible are recognized as having been produced in 1611. They are known as the “He” and “She” Bibles. They are distinguished by their rendering of Ruth 3:15; the first edition reading “he went into the city”, where the second reads “she went into the city.” However, Bibles in all the early editions were made up using sheets originating from several printers, and consequently there is very considerable variation within any one edition. There are fewer than two hundred of the original printers of 1611 “He” Bible known to exist of today. #1063