Franckfurt am Mayn, Thomas Fritsch, 1700. Folio. Bound in one contemp. full calf. Spine worn. lacks leather at upper compartment and wear to lower compartment. Corners bumped and worn. (20),411:695,(36) pp. Woodcut on titlepage. A few scattered brownspots. A faint dampstain to lower margins on a few leaves. Oth3rwise internally fine.
Scarce second edition of Arnold's influential "Impartial History of the Church and of Heresy".
"In this major revision of church history, Arnold directed his sharpest criticism against those who wrote deeply biased apologetic "orthodox" histories instead of trying to understand where substantial religious differences actually came from. In his view,"heresy making" was usually the defensive reaction of those in authority, rather than a true indictment of unconventional thinkers. He thought that the worst calamity in Church history was its establishment as the accepted and orthodox faith by the Roman Emperor Constantine in the fourth century. Arnold evinced a remarkable sympathy for a huge variety of "heretics." This "impartial history" exercised a wide influence on the German Enlightenment and won approval from such thinkers as Johann Wolfgang Goethe in addition to Leo Tolstoy."