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The First Book Printed in Oxford

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Chapter Summary

The short-title description of the first book printed in Oxford is: Tyrannius Rufinus, Expositio symboli apostolorum. Its printer did not reveal his name in the three books he printed, nor can he be identified in archival documents. What we know of him is exclusively through the work he produced in Oxford late in 1478 and in 1479. The Expositio symboli apostolorum is a patristic text, often found in the collections of letters of St Jerome (who was his contemporary adversary), to whom it is sometimes erroneously ascribed. By 1478 the text had been printed at least seven times, from c. 1468 in six editions of St Jerome's letters. In1978, precisely 500 years after the little book was printed, Professor Albinia de la Mare identified the manuscript that had served as printer's copy for the Oxford book, and with that the first patron of the Oxford printer.

Keywords: Expositio symboli apostolorum; Oxford printer; Professor Albinia de la Mare; St Jerome's letters



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