Arnobius: Adversus Gentes Libri VII. Cum Recensione Viri Celeberrimi, & integris omnium commentariis. Editio novissima atque omnium accuratissima. Lugduni Batavorum [Leiden] Ex Officina Ioannis Maire 1651. 4to. pp. [xii], 255, [i] blank, 156, 191, [v], 283, [cv] indices. Title page printed in red and black with engraved vignette. Old ink stamp to title. Late eighteenth-century continental green morocco, fully gilt spine and red morocco label, minor wear but a handsome copy.
Arnobius was a distinguished rhetorician at Sicca Veneria in North Africa in the late third century, according to St Jerome, before he converted to Christianity after a dream. He wrote the seven books of the Adversus Gentes to convince the local bishop of the sincerity of his new beliefs. The wealth of detail about Graeco-Roman paganism has proved of great interest to historians, but theologically some of Arnobius’ ideas remain highly suspect. For example, he considered that the old gods were real enough but subordinate to the supreme Christian God.