Genevae: Spud Eustathium Vignon, 1573. Second edn. small 8vo, pp. 293, (15) Index. Woodcut printer's device on title-page. Bound in a modern half calf over marbled boards, red morocco spine label. Very nice, clean. See Gardy, Bibliographie de Theodore de Beze, 248; Adams B951; Brunet Vol. 1, col. 841 (lists the 1590 edition); British Museum STC of French Books, Supplement p. 11; Hillerbrand, vol. 1, p. 148ff. Item #27556
Beze (1519-1605) was a French Protestant theologian and scholar He was born in Vezelai and trained as a lawyer before establishing himself, in 1559 "in Geneva, where he became closely connected with Calvin, not only entering into his ideas, but also, in a short time, sharing his duties, both clerical and educational." When the Republic of Geneva established a college, Calvin refused the office of rector, recommending Beze for the job. "On Calvin's death, May 27, 1564, Beze took the place that had been occupied by that illustrious reformer, and hence became really the head of Presbyterianism ... his influence extended over the whole party in France ... He was, unquesionably, among the greatest men of his age and has been surpassed by few of any age[Rose, A New Biographical Dictionary, vol. iv, p 211ff]. Hillerbrand concurs and notes: "Beze became not only the leader of the Genevan Church but chief counselor to the French Reformed Churches." He maintained contact with the reform churches throughout Europe and Great Britain, dedicating his prayerbook to Elizabeth I. Beze was the author of several volumes of poetry as well as a number of theological and political works. This item is a discussion of the institution of marriage, polygamy and divorce.