PONTANO, Giovanni

Opera. Vrania, siue de stellis libri quinque. Meteororum liber unus. De hortis Hesperidum libri duo. Lepidina siue postorales pompae septem.

n.p., n.pr., n.d [Venice, G. De Gregori, 1515-20?]


8vo, ff. 254, (i), lacking last blank. Italic letter, some Roman. Light age yellowing, the occasional ink spot or mark, a couple of leaves slightly wax stained; t-p a little dusty. A fine, clean copy in elegant C18 green French crushed morocco, panels bordered with triple gilt rule, gilt title and tooled bands to spine with central gilt fleurons, a. e. g.; marbled endpapers. Marginal annotation in early hand to verso of f. 130.

A rare contrafaction, probably by Giovanni or Gregorio De Gregori, of the 1513 Aldine edition of Pontano’s most extensive and original collection of poems on astrology, meteorology, horticulture and pastoral literature. The counterfeit is distinguishable from the Aldine by the absence of the device on title page, of the extensive errata and corrigenda, and of the colophon, at end.

Giovanni Gioviano Pontano (1429-1503) was a poet, humanist, and statesman. He was the presiding spirit of the Academia Pontaniana, and had a long and prosperous career at the court of Naples, as a tutor, political adviser, military secretary and ultimately as chancellor. He was the most innovative and versatile Latin poet of Quattrocento Italy who composed brilliant Latin poetry in many genres and transcribed and annotated the works of several ancient authors. Among his most important works, much appreciated by his contemporaries, are astrological treatises, the elegiac work “De amore coniugali” and the five dialogues that he composed over the thirty-year period from around 1471 until his death. His successor as head of the Academia in Naples, Pietro Summonte, looked after the correct transmission of Pontano’s texts which were published by Filippo de Giunta and Aldo Manuzio.

The present volume opens with Aldo Manuzio’s dedication to Giovanni Kollauer, secretary of the German emperor, and includes: the “Urania, sive de stellis”, a didactic composition in Latin hexameters embodying the astronomical science of the age and adorned with mythological episodes; the “Meteororum Liber”, a scientific work on the sublunary world and the origin of atmospheric phenomena; “De hortis Hesperidum”, dedicated to Francesco Gonzaga, Marquis of Mantua, on the cultivation of various types of citrus trees; the eclogues “Lepidina”, “Meliseus”, “Maeon” and “Acon”, part influenced by Sannazzaro, with the shepherd Meliseus as Pontano’s alter ego; two books of Catullan hendecasyllables; the ”Iambici” and “De tumulis”, on the topic of death, both inspired by tragic events (the loss of his children and wife, and of friends and personalities at the Neapolitan court) and modelled on the “Anthology of Planudes”; poems celebrating Pontano’s love for his family and the exploits of Saints and historical figures.

Fascinated with the natural world, Pontano was among the defenders of astrology in the debate started by Giovanni Pico della Mirandola. The “Urania” in 5 books deals with three main topics: planets (book 1); fixed stars (books 2-4); the influence of the stars on the various regions and peoples of Earth (book 5). The “De hortis”, whose title recalls the tale of the Garden of the Hesperides, is based on Virgil’s “Georgics” and aims at explaining the presence of the citrus trees in the Neapolitan area; two, other books, addressed to Marino Tomacelli, Pontano’s friend and a member of the Academy, concerns a private episode of the poet’s life, the holidays at the bay of Baia, near Naples, spent with friends, including charming aristocratic women (Ermione, Fannia, etc.).

USTC, 850323; EDIT16, 48450. BM STC It., 533 and BM STC Fr., 361; Baudrier, VII, 19; Brunet, IV, 807; Renouard, 318:4. Houzeau-Lancaster, I, 2334.


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THOMÁS, de Jesús

Stimulus missionum: siue de propaganda a religiosis per vniuersum orbem fide…

Rome, apud Iacobum Mascardum, 1610.


FIRST EDITION. 8vo. pp. (viii), 234, (vi). ✝⁴, A-P⁸. Roman and Italic letter.  Woodcut device to title of Ss. Peter and Paul with Papal arms in between, historiated, floriated and grotesque woodcut initials, typographical ornaments. Light age yellowing, the very rare marginal spot. A very good copy, crisp and clean, in eighteenth century French calf, spine with gilt ruled raised bands, gilt ruled in compartments, richly gilt with large fleurons to centres, red morocco label gilt lettered, a.e.r. covers scratched.

Important first edition of this major work on missionary theory by the great Discalced Carmelite Monk Tomas de Jesus, (Diego Sanchez Davila) one of the most important figures of the Discalced Carmelite movement, a work of great influence in the establishment of missions throughout the New World. Thomas was named Provincial of Casilla in 1597 and founded another desert Monastery at Las Batuecas shortly after. During this time he was invited by the Carmelite fathers of the Italian congregation to join a missionary expedition to the Congo, however he preferred to remain in solitude in his retreat. Shortly after however, on rereading the first chapter of the foundation work of the order by St. Theresa D’Avilla, he had a profound change of heart. He made a vow to work on the conversion to Christianity of all those who were outside the Church, and wrote to his Italian  confreres to inform them of his availability to travel anywhere in the world. With this goal he returned to Rome. The African mission had not materialised so whilst in Rome he wrote this treatise in which he formed the view Carmelites should give themselves to the missions as it was entirely within the spirit of contemplation that founded the order. He developed the idea that Monks and Solitaries, due to their rigorous training were most qualified for this apostolic mission. He developed these thoughts in a second work ‘De procuranda salute omnium gentium’ which, together with this, would serve as one the chief works used in the formation of missionaries for centuries especially after the creation of the congregation for the propagation of the faith.

“An attempt in this direction (creating new missionaries) had been made soon after the Council of Trent, but was not followed up. The pope, struck with the missionary zeal of the Carmelites, consulted Thomas of Jesus as to the best means of bringing about the conversion of infidels. This religious, in his works “Stimulus missionum” (Rome, 1610) and especially “De procurandâ salute omnium gentium” (Antwerp, 1613), laid down the disciples upon which the Holy See actually instituted and organized the Sacred Congregation of Propaganda.” Catholic Encyclopaedia. “His purpose was not only to prepare missionaries to Evangelize the indigenous peoples of the Americas, but also to provide them with arguments to refute the convictions of any kind of unbeliever. His focus on missionary activity anticipated the creation of the church’s missionary office, the congregation for the propagation of the faith.” Jo Eldridge Carney ‘Renaissance and Reformation, 1500-1620: A Biographical Dictionary.’

An excellent copy of this important first edition.

Not in BM STC It. C17th or Alden.


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FERRARA, Gabriele

Sylva chirurgiae, in tres libros divisa

Frankfurt, sumptibus Jacobi de Zetter : typ. H. Palthenii, 1625.


FIRST EDITION thus. pp. [xvi], 405, [xxxv]. Two suites of engraved plates, 38 in books II, 34 in book III. ):(⁸ A-2D⁸ 2E⁴. Roman letter with some Italic. Title within fine engraved border with surgical instruments, saws, clysters, alembics etc, seventy-two full-page engraved plates on thirty-six leaves, small woodcut initials, woodcut headpieces, bibliographical notes in pencil on fly. Age yellowing with some browning, the odd marginal mark or spot. A very good copy in late C17th red morocco, covers bordered with triple gilt rules, spine with gilt ruled raised bands, gilt ruled in compartments, richly gilt with scrolled tools and central fleurons, edges gilt ruled, inner dentelles gilt, combed marbled endpapers, all edges gilt.

Rare first Latin translation of this most interesting and important surgical work, finely illustrated with numerous plates of surgical instruments, translated from Italian by Peter Uffenbach. The sylva, containing many fine illustrations of surgical instruments and medicinal distillation apparatus and procedures, was originally published in two parts in Italian in 1596. Here it is divided into three, the first with many practical observations on surgery, the second part on medical instruments, and the third on distillations and the instruments used. Gabrielle Ferrara is particularly remembered now for his remarkably effective and modern technique in treating peripheral nerves. “Surgery of the peripheral nerves has only recently achieved brilliant results thanks to technological advances in the development of neurosurgical instrumentation. In past centuries, few surgeons made relevant contributions to this topic and improvement was slow and difficult. Avicenna, Guglielmo da Saliceto, and Guido Lanfranchi reported some attempts to suture nerves directly, but Gabriele Ferrara was the first to give a lucid and succinct description of suturing of the stumps of a transected nerve.” Marco Artico.

“The first detailed description on the repair of transected nerve trunks was recorded by Gabriele Ferrara in the 16th century (Ferrara, 1596). He described applying gentle traction to the retracted nerve stumps, suturing using an alcohol disinfected needle, and finally, insulating the sutured segment with a mixture of oils. The injured limb was later immobilised to prevent damaging the suture. The whole procedure closely resembles modern surgical protocol, which includes disinfection, appropriate identification of injured nerve trunk, correct suturing technique, and wound immobilization.” Di Wu. “The Significance of the Mirna Pathway in Peripheral Nerve Regeneration.”

The work is also significant for its description of surgical instruments and the illustrations give tremendous insight into late sixteenth century surgery. It includes many illustrations of dental instruments. A very good copy of this important and rare medical work.

BM STC Ger. C17th F389. Durling 1492 [1st edition only] Duveen 213-4 [Italian edns only]. Krivatsy 4030. Not in Wellcome.


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MACER, Floridus. [ODO, Magdunensis]

Herbarum vires Macer tibi carmine dicet

np. [Paris] np. [Pierre Baquelier]. nd. [c, 1515]


8vo. 160 unnumbered leaves. a-v8. [last blank]. Gothic letter. Large woodcut on title of scholar in his study, 65 large woodcuts of plants within double ruled border, small white on black criblé initials, bibliographical notes in a C19th hand on fly, extensive marginal annotations throughout in a contemporary French hand, last blank filled , recto and verso, with notes in the same hand, C19th Label of “J Baart de la Faille, Med. Prof. Groningen”, on pastedown another of ‘K. F. Koehlers Anitiquarium, Leipzig’ above. Title page a little dusty, light age yellowing, the odd marginal thumb mark or spot, very minor occasional marginal water-stain. A good copy, crisp and generally clean, in C19th three-quarter calf over paper boards, spine with raised bands ruled in gilt, brown morocco label gilt lettered, all edges sprinkled red corners and joints a little worn.

Very rare and interesting edition of this early French herbal, one of the earliest illustrated editions, with 65 cuts of plants. This copy most interestingly has many marginal annotations with further notes at the end in a contemporary French hand. The work takes the form of a Latin poem in hexameters, a poetic verse form that was most likely employed as a mnemonic device for physicians and midwives, describing the medical virtues of herbs. It was written under the pseudonym of Macer (with reference to the Roman poet Aemilius Macer, d. 15 BC). The author is generally identified with the French physician Odo de Meung-sur-Loire whose name is mentioned in a 12th-century copy of the text. This is“Perhaps the second edition with the prose commentary of Guill. Gueroaldus, which probably first appeared at Caen in 1509: see Brunet , III. 1270. The woodcut on the title is adapted from the earlier editions. The 65 woodcuts of plants are closely copied also, but now have double line borders. .. It was translated into English by John Lelarmouse, master of Hereford School in 1373. ‘Macer’s Herbal practysyd by Doctor Lynacro’ was published by R Wyer about 1530.” Fairfax Murray.

The text titled has been traditionally attributed to Odo de Meung, who is believed to have lived during the first half of the 11th century. Recent research has shown, however, that the De Viribus Herbarum was probably written in an earlier version, perhaps during the tenth century in Germany. The text was further expanded, including new data from the translation of Arabic texts into Latin in Salerno from the end of the 11th century onward. If this is the case, this text is good evidence of the continuity of scientific activity in the Middle Ages: its most ancient parts come from a period when there was a revival of interest in botany and a recovery of the classical tradition, while the most recent additions integrate the contribution of the Arabic world.

“What was undoubtedly one of the more widely read works in this field (Botany) during the entire medieval period appeared contemporaneously with both Constantinus and the rise of Salerno. This work, an herbal entitled Macer Floridus De Virtutibus Herbarum, consists of a catalogue of 77 herbs and their supposed medicinal properties; all expressed in 2269 lines of vulgar Latin verse. Even more curious is the fact that the poem not only refers to earlier medieval and botanical authors such as Walafrid Strabo; it was itself copied in part into the most significant remaining document of the medical school of Salerno, the Regimen Sanitatis Salernitanum. Macer Floridus is important not only for medical and botanical knowledge but also for a wider range of medieval intellectual history. Its significance lies in the fact that it is the first document of such length to indicate a renewed interest in these subjects in the 11th century, and appears to reflect no direct influence from any Arabic sources.” Bruce Flood. ‘The Medieval Herbal tradition of Macer Floridus.’

It was a very popular work going through several editions at the beginning of the the C16th  and this rare edition contains a very charming suite of cuts . “Rare. One of the earliest editions with the esteemed commentary by Guilelmus Gueroaldus (Gueroust or Gueroult), who was professor of medicine at Caen at the end of the 15th century. There exist different editions of the Macer Floridus consisting of the same number of 159 leaves, with the signatures a-v. Although they resemble each other very much, they are not identical.” Becher.

BM STC Fr. C16th p. 295. Fairfax Murray I 347. Renouard, Imprimeurs et libraires parisiens du XVI siecle, t.3 n.35. Becher, A Catalogue of Early Herbals, 65. Arber p. 40.


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VITRUVIUS Pollio. [MARTIN J. Trans.]

Architecture ou art de bien bastir.

Paris, Hiersome de Marnef & G. Cavellat, 1572.


Folio pp. (viii) 351 (iii). Roman letter. “De Marnet’s pelican device (Renouard 37) on the title-page. Architectural title-border with scrollwork, grotesque heads, and animal heads … two full-page cuts of buildings which were not in the 1547 edition.  The façade bearing the crowned initials of François I, Henri II and Catherine de Médicis appears earlier in the Amadis de Gaul … two headpieces with satyrs and de Marnef arms … grotesque initials in three sizes.  A most elaborate de Marnef pelican device (Renouard 729) on the verso of leaf HH4” Mortimer, FR. 551. Some 150 architectural woodcuts (from one-third to double page) illustrating text. Slightly later autograph ‘Biaggio’ on pastedown. Light age yellowing, minor foxing, title restored at gutter. A very good copy, crisp and clean, in contemporary limp vellum, yapp edges, vellum with minor restoration to fore-edge of upper cover.

Second edition of the French translation of the De Architectura, by Jean Martin; it had first appeared in a now very rare edition of 1547. The illustrations are largely common to both editions, though this second does contain both different and additional cuts. Most of the illustrations are the work of Jean Goujon and were new to the 1547 edition; the rest are largely copies of Giovanni Giocondo’s cuts for a 1511 Latin edition (Tacuino, Venice) whilst a few are based on the remarkable Como Vitruvius of 1521. Martin’s translation was not superseded until the publication of Claude Perrault’s more than a hundred years later.   “This handbook on classical architecture is the only Roman work inspired by Greek architecture that has come down to us.  It is therefore important as our prime source of many lost Greek writings on the subject and as a guide to archaeological research in Italy and Greece.  By exemplifying the principles of classical architecture it became the fundamental architectural text book for centuries … Alberti, Brumante, Ghiberti, Michelangelo, Vignola, Palladio and many others were directly inspired by Vitruvius” (Printing and the Mind of Man 26, on the first Latin edition).

Jean Martin, translator and editor of this volume, sought to produce a book of use to practitioners as well as of interest to his fellow humanists. As such the work is beautifully and profusely illustrated. Besides schematic architectural illustrations, the woodcuts include complex Renaissance ornaments, graceful scenes and theatrical stage settings in Italian perspective, most of them the work of Jean Goujon (died ca 1567), while the larger initials are attributable to Jean Cousin (ca 1490-ca 1560), two artists who together decorated the Château d’Anet. Vitruvius’ treatise is followed by Goujon’s discourse on his own illustrations. A beautifully illustrated and most influential work.

Brunet V 1329 “on… recherche toujours l’édition … à cause des gravures sur bois … exécutées par notre célèbre Jean Goujon et parce qu’ill s’y trouve … une Dissertation sur l’architecture, par le même artiste”.  Brun. p.313. Fowler 411 “The larger woodcut initials, and the smaller ones, were used by the printing firm of Estienne in Paris”. Berlin cat. 1808. Cicognara 719. Mortimer 551.


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RUEL, Jean


Veterinariae medicinae libri II.

Paris, L. Blaublom for S. de Colines 1530.


FIRST EDITION. Folio ff. (xvi) 120. *10, A6, a-p8. Roman letter, ruled in red throughout. Large and fine woodcut on title of a horseman probably Francis I, the dedicatee, against a castle background, probably Pierrefonds, (reproduced in Mortimer and Renouard), beautiful floriated white on black criblé initials in four sizes. Title page a little dusty, very light age yellowing. A fine, well margined copy, crisp and clean in a sumptuous C19th ‘fake’ Pope Paul III (Farnese) binding in the C16th French ‘à la cire’ style, probably by Hague, in dark brown morocco over bevelled wooden boards, covers richly worked in gilt to a panel design, outer panel with a dentelle border infilled with blue yellow and red paint, central panel with strap-work oval around central arms of six fleur de lys, on gold ground, with papal crossed keys gilt above, surrounded with gilt scroll-work with blue painted leaves, red painted corner pieces (inverted on lower cover with red central oval and white corner pieces), elaborate silver metal clasps, catches, and grotesque lion’s head bosses, spine with raised bands gilt ruled in compartments, central fleurons gilt, gilt ruled edges, all edges richly gilt, gauffered, and painted. Joints and headband rubbed.

First edition of Jean Ruel’s translation from the Greek of this important compilation of veterinary texts, the first edition in any language of the oldest known veterinary works. The success of this volume resulted in the Hippiatrica, as they are generally known, being published in the original seven years later. Scholars have generally placed the Hippiatrica in the tenth century, specifically the reign of the emperor Constantine VII (913-959). However, some argue for a late antique date of compilation and a tenth-century revision of the text. This type of excerpt collection, comparable to the Geoponica, offered the advantage of ease of use and made a range of material more accessible: professionals needed easily usable reference works. The text offers precious information on a range of veterinary subjects, especially the materia medica that veterinary writers presumed available to the horse doctor, among them saffron, myrrh, and cassia. Such exotic substances were in common use to treat wounds or to fumigate stalls.

Ruel’s (1424-1537) sometime Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at Paris and physician to Francis I, real love was study and in particular the translation of medical works for which he acquired a very considerable reputation. Budeus called him ‘the mastermind of translators’. Ruel’s translation of the present work made available for the first time to the general reading public a collection of the surviving writings of all the Greek veterinary authors of antiquity. The text is preceded by a detailed sixteen page index and a six page glossary of technical terms and definitions. A beautifully printed and important book, in a sumptuous, and remarkably well executed period style binding, redolent of C19th high medievalism.

BM STC Fr. p. 387. Adams V 617. Mortimer, Harvard C16 Fr. Bks. 470. Brun p. 286. Renouard p. 165 “Ce livre est un des plus beaux de ceux qui ont été imprimés par Louis Blaublom”. Osler 3851. Durling 2310. Wellcome 5618.


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Resolutions politiques et maximes d’estat

Rouen,  chez Iean Pain, pres le College des Iesuistes ioignant la Rouge-mare, 1620


8vo. pp. [xii], 467, [i]. Roman letter, some Italic, extensive printed sidenotes. Woodcut arms of Louis XIII on title, wood and metalcut floriated initials, woodcut head pieces, typographical ornaments. Light age yellowing, the odd marginal mark or spot, one page slightly soiled. A very good copy, crisp and clean in contemporary vellum over thin paste boards, later green morocco label gilt lettered on spine, all edges yellow, vellum a little soiled.

A very good early edition of Jean De Marnix’s political aphorisms, an important and influential work of political science from the very beginning of the C17th; the work was most popular and went through many editions. It is divided into eight sections, discussing political science in general, authority and obedience, the qualities of those in authority, the governing of countries, alliances, confederations, dissimulation, and military affairs. The work starts from the basis that political science is necessarily the most difficult and complex of all the sciences to master. For Marnix it is not simply about the old methods of leading a country or a people but it is about how to direct political events. “Les ‘Resolutions politiques’ de J. de Marnix expriment bien les idées du temps touchant ‘l’Art des Arts’ : il part de l’evidence ‘qu’il y a une science politique’ et que cette science est la plus necessaire et la plus difficile. Pour Marnix, ce n’est pas seulement le vieil art de manier le peuple, c’est aussi celui de conduire les evenements… L’ultime fondement de la science politique est le libre arbitre de l’homme: l’existence de Dieu ne supprime pas la responsabilite humaine” E. Thuau, ‘Raison d’Etat et pensée politique’. Much of Marnix’s work is ultimately derived from the writings of Guiccardini “The political maxims originating from ‘Ricordi’ and ‘Storia d’Italia’ by Francesco Guicciardini circulated in sixteenth-century Europe in various guises, coming to represent a significant powerhouse of ideas. In France, a typical example of this diffusion, which had a lasting success in court circles, is the collection of Résolutions Politiques et Maximes d’Estat by Jean de Marnix (1612)”.Severini, Maria Elena. A very good copy of this rare edition.

Not in BM STC Fr. C17th, (612 edn only), Cioranescu (1612 and 1631 editions only) or Brunet.


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GALEN, Claudius

De naturalibus facultatibus libri tres. De pulsuum usu liber unus. De diebus criticis

Paris, apud Simon de Colines, 1528


8vo. ff. [viii] 91 [i]. a-m8, n4. Roman letter, some Greek. Simon de Colines’ fine ‘Tempus’ woodcut device on title, fine, large woodcut floriated, white on black criblé initials at beginning of each part. Light age yellowing, the very occasional minor mark or spot, one initial coloured in red pencil with some rubbing off on opposite leaf, blank upper outer corner of fol. 76 torn. A very good copy, well margined, in early eighteenth century French red morocco, covers gilt ruled to panel design, fleurons gilt to outer corners, spine with gilt ruled raised bands, double gilt ruled in compartments, gilt fleurons to centres, all edges sprinkled red. Joints and upper corners a little worn.

Beautifully printed edition of three translations of important medical works by the great English humanist Thomas Linacre; they include two most important works by Galen and, the third, his translation of Paulus Aeginata’s ‘De Diebus Criticis.’ The first work is the translation by Thomas Linacre of one of the most influential of Galen’s work De Naturalibus Facultatibus. Linacre, physician to Henry VII and VIII, was the founder of the Royal College of Physicians, learned both his medicine and his Greek in Padua, and instituted a major translation program of Galen. Linacre was one of the first Englishmen to study Greek in Italy, and brought back to England, and more particularly Oxford, the lessons of the Italian Renaissance. His teachers were some of the greatest scholars of the day. Among his pupils were Erasmus and Sir Thomas More, Prince Arthur and Queen Mary I of England.

“Linacre was especially concerned in translating Galen’s writings into Latin, beginning with the treatise of hygiene, De sanitate tuenda. Since there was then no printer in England sufficiently able or willing to assume the financial risk of producing this work for the English market, the tract, dedicated to Henry VIII, was published in Paris in 1517. .. Linacre saw two Galenic translations by his former teacher, Nicolò Leoniceno, through the press of Richard Pynson in London; Pynson also published Linacre’s own subsequent translations, De usu pulsuum (1522), De facultatibus naturalibus (1523), and De symptomatum differentiis et causis (1524). Linacre was a medical humanist as well as one of the finest Greek scholars of his day; his major effort, therefore, was directed toward bringing to English physicians a series of classical medical texts that he considered essential and that were, in fact, superior to   other medical writings published in England at that time. In addition to the works that he brought to publication, he is known to have translated yet others, but with the one exception, a brief extract from Paul of Aegina, these were either lost or destroyed after his death. His very considerable Continental reputation, especially in Greek medical scholarship, was clearly recognized by Erasmus: “Medicine has begun to make herself heard in Italy; … while among the English, owing to the studies of Thomas Linacre, Galen has begun to be so eloquent and informative that even in his own tongue he may seem to be less so.” “Linacre, Thomas. Complete Dictionary of Scientific Biography”. encyclopedia.com.

“Galen was the most noted physician of antiquity. Born in Pergamon he received his formal medical education in Smyrna, after which he traveled widely in Asia Minor and to Alexandria to extend his medical knowledge. He settled in Rome where he carried on a large practice attracting patients from all over the Empire.  His influence was enormous,  and for centuries his writings were accepted as authoritative of Greek, Roman and Arabic physicians reaching a zenith in the Middle Ages.” Heirs of Hippocrates.

The treatise by Paulus Aegineta is a translation of part of book 2 of his Epitomes iatrikes biblia hepta. A beautifully printed collection of Linacre’ translations.

BM STC Fr. C16th p. 192. USTC 145916. Moreau III 1474. Renouard, 122. Not in Schreiber, Wellcome, Osler.


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Buc. Geor. Aeneis P. Virgilii Maronis Mantuani doctiss. virorum notationibus illustrata opera et industria Io. A. Meyen Bergizomii Belgae

Venice, apud Aldum, 1580


8vo. pp. [xlviii], 947 [i.e. 927], [i]. Italic letter, some Roman. Title within architectural woodcut border, medallion portrait of Aldus the elder below, floriated woodcut initials in several sizes, “D. Claulii Albertini Archip” in slightly later hand on lower blank margin of t-p., C19th engraved armorial bookplate of Henri Bordes of Bordeaux on pastedown. Light age yellowing, t-p fractionally dusty, rare marginal mark or spot. A very good copy in early C19th straight grained green morocco, covers bordered with a triple blind rule, spine with raised bands triple gilt ruled in compartments, titles lettered in gilt, edges and inner dentelles gilt, a.e.g.

An excellent edition of the three major works of Virgil, the Eclogues, the Georgics, and the  Aeneid, with the extensive notes and prefatory material by Paulus Manutius, of great influence in the dissemination of the works of Virgil throughout renaissance Europe. The work is prefaced with a letter from J. Meyen to Vincenzo Gonzaga, dated Dec.1575, a preface by Paulus Manutius to Torquato Bembo, 1558, a letter from Aldus the Elder to Pietro Bembo, and a letter from Aldus the younger to the reader. Paulo Manutius’s edition of Virgil with his notes was a bestseller in Europe, and was often reprinted by other publishers; three editions appeared in England. “The Metamorphoses showed Marlowe how nature had framed the cosmos in four elements. Virgil’s pastorals introduced him to Silenus, the bard who ‘sang how, through the great void, were brought together the seeds of earth, and air, and sea, and streaming fire withal; how from these elements came all beginnings’. (6.31-6). When Marlowe encountered this seminal passage in Paulus Manutius’s standard edition of Virgil, the headnote told him that Silenus’s song contained Epicurus’s opinion about the nature of things and showed the way from the lesser genre of pastoral to the greater space of poetic fables” J.R. Mulryne. ‘Shakespeare, Marlowe, Jonson: New Directions in Biography.’

BM STC It. C16th p. 731. Renouard 227:4. Adams V510.


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MINUCCI, Minuccio [with] [SARPI, Paolo]

MINUCCI, Minuccio. Historia degli Uscochi …… Co i progressi di quella gente fino all’Anno 1602.

n.pl., n.pr., n.d. [Venice, 1606?]

[SARPI, Paolo]. Aggionta all’Historia degli Uscochi …… Continuata sin’ all’anno 1613.

n.pl., n.pr., n.d. [Venice, 1617?]

[SARPI, Paolo]. Supplimento dell’historia degli Uscochi.

n.pl., n. pr., n.d. [Venice, 1617?]


4to. Three works in one. 1): FIRST EDITION, third issue, pp. 63 (1); 2): FIRST EDITION, pp. 58 (2); 3) FIRST EDITION, pp. 58 (2). Italic letter, engraved vase of flowers on title pages, autograph in C17 hand on first, two floriated initials. Occasional spots or marginal mark, very tiny worm hole to first couple on gatherings, a few leaves untrimmed at end, small tear to blank corner of p. 9 in first work and outer margin of p. 21 in last. A very good, crisp and clean copy in contemporary limp vellum, lightly wormed, edges sprinkled red, old label to spine, remains of ties. Case marks in early hand to front pastedown.

A rare miscellany including the early account on the history of the Uskoks, pirates of the Adriatic sea, by Minuccio Minucci (1551-1604), with Aggionta and Supplemento by Paolo Sarpi (1552-1623).

Minucci was an Italian priest from an aristocratic family. He read canon law in Padua where he met Antonio Possevino. In 1585 he was appointed prothonotary apostolic by Pope Sixtus V and in 1595 became archbishop of Zadar in Croatia. His numerous theologian and historical-political works show his wide knowledge. The addition by Paolo Sarpi, describing historical events until 1617, was first published anonymously. Important Venetian author, scholar and theologian, Sarpi was a learned monk of the Servite order living during Venice’s conflict with Pope Paul V. After becoming the Provincial of Venice (1579) he spent time in Rome studying the decrees of the Council of Trent. Then, back to Venice, he became procurator General of the Venetian province of this order and served as a Vicar General.

In the sixteenth century the Uskoks of Senj became the heroes of one of the cycles of the South Slav folk epic (M. Zoric, Gli scrittori italiani del ‘600 e gli slavi del Sud, 1983). Through their story it is possible to examine the power struggle between Venice, the Hapsburgs and the Ottoman Empire. They were a community who crossed the Balkan frontier during the Ottoman invasions to take refuge in the territories of neighbouring states. Some of them formed units of defence against the Turks in Klis fortress, near Split – before it fell in 1537 – and then in the impregnable Senj, on the Mountains of Carnia (Friuli). However, after the Battle of Lepanto on 7 October 1571 and the peace treaty between Venice and the Turks, under Hapsburg control the Uskoks started scouring the Adriatic and the Dalmatian hinterland with their fast boats, pillaging Venetian possessions, and causing the Venetian-Habsburg war (1615-17). The war ended with the Treaty of Madrid, according to which the Austrians agreed to destroy the Uskoks’ fleet and to move them to Otočac or Žumberak.

A witness of the events up to 1602, Minucci was especially interested in the peace of Christian states and in the fight against heresy, focusing on the origins and main aspects of the Uskok issue. The addition by Sarpi was instead an officially authorised defence of Venetian policy, aimed at investigating the reasons for the war. Both express negative opinions toward the Uskoks’ exploits (piracy, profanation of churches, violence against Christians, etc.).

The book is divided into three parts. The first by Minucci starts with the geographical provenance of the Uskoks and the explanation of the etymology of their name. There follows the description of their defence of Klis and Senj and of their alliance with the Emperor Ferdinand I until the murder of Giuseppe Rabatta, Governor of Carniola in 1601. Although Minucci’s account is mostly based on primary sources, the language is rhetorical and some legendary episodes might have been included to amaze the audience, in particular the fight between the Turkish soldier Bagora and the young Christian Milosh – who served the governor Crusich as a page – resembling the biblical contest of David against Goliath.

The second and third part by Sarpi contain a detailed historical account on the Uskok War. They recall speeches given by the religious Ippolito Chizzola from Brescia and emphasise Uskok atrocities, such as the beheading of the Venetian admiral Cristoforo Venier in Pago island on 12 May 1613.

1) USTC 4029524, 4036747, 4036775 . Not in Brunet or Graesse. BL It., II, p. 581. Not in Blackmer or Göllner. 2) Not in Brunet or Graesse. BL. It., II, p. 581. Not in Blackmer or Göllner. 3) Not Brunet or Graesse. BL. It., II, p. 581. Not in Blackmer or Göllner.


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