Instituta cum summariis.

Venice, per Paganinum de Paganinis Brixiensem, 1501 die 25. Maii.


8vo. ff. 152 with 10 inserted blanks for annotation, (ii) 38 (i) 39-40 (i) 41-49 (i) 50-81 (i) 82-93 (i) 94-96 (i) 97-99 (i) 100-125 (i) 126-152. Gothic letter, in red and black, double column. Recto of first leaf blank except for mss, dusty, minimal marginal spotting or toning, couple of tiny worm holes to first few gatherings sometimes touching letters, some edges a bit frayed. A very good copy, disbound, in folding box. Very extensive C16 annotations, ex-libris of the Clarissan nuns of Trier to first.

Two initials blanks contain three pages of verse penned by the same contemporary hand. After an anonymous poem on a monstrous being comes one epigram, dated 1502, composed by the German humanist Theodoricus Gresemundus (Dietrich Gresemund, 1477-1512), notary and cleric in Mainz. There follow two poems: the first (also dated 1502) concerns sexual desire; the second (dated 1500) is a poem of medieval origin advising ‘staying away from women’, be they virgins, widows or spouses. In 1502 the same hand also wrote a tristich addressed to Jakob Wympfeling on adultery. It is impossible to say with certainty if they were penned by Gresemund as we have not been able to trace samples of his handwriting. However, he certainly addressed epigrams and dedications to Wympfeling in print and he was also known for his caustic verse.

Jakob Wympheling (or Wimpheling, 1450-1528) studied at Freiburg, Erfurt and Heidelberg and specialised in canon law and theology. He was preacher at Speyer and professor of grammar at Heidelberg; he eventually settled in Strasbourg. One of the earliest German humanists, he was in touch with intellectuals like Trithemius and tutor to numerous others including Jakob Merstetter. In addition to works on pedagogy, grammar and German history, he wrote moralising treatises on the education of clerics, under the influence of early Protestantism. He also composed ‘De fide concubinarum in sacerdotes’ (1501)—a satire on priests and their mistresses, a topic which caused ‘humour and jest’ at Heidelberg. Wympheling was professor there in 1498-1502 and Gresemund one of his students. The true target of the verse remains unidentified. 

Justinian’s ‘Institutiones’ was fundamental in legal education in the early modern period. The thorough annotator of this copy was probably a student. On the margins and blanks he supplied quotations from ‘Super Institutionibus’, a commentary to Justinian by the C15 jurist Nicasius de Voerda, first printed in 1541, in order to integrate the ‘glossa ordinaria’ of Franciscus Accursius (c.1183-1263)—the standard medieval exegesis of the Justinian code—and the ‘summaria’ by Hieronimus Clarius.

Only LC copy recorded in the US.

USTC 801631; Graesse III, 505. Not in BM STC It. or Brunet. J. Knepper, Jakob Wimpfeling (1450-1528): Sein Leben und seine Werke (Freiburg, 1902); V. Scholderer, ‘Jacob Wimpfeling, an Early Strassbourg Humanist’, The Library 13/1.1 (1913), 69-96.


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DODOENS, Rembert


Florum et coronariarum odoratarumque nonnullarum herbarum historia.

Antwerp, ex officina Christophe Plantin, 1569.


8vo. pp. 309 (v). Italic letter, little Roman and Greek. Woodcut vignette to t-p, 109 mostly full-page woodcuts of plants, decorated initials and ornaments. A little dust-soiling to outer margin of t-p, faint water stain to upper outer corner of four gatherings. A very good copy in slightly later reversed calf, double gilt (oxidized black) ruled to a panel design, large fleurons to outer corners of centre panel, centrepiece with heart pierced by crossed arrows surmounted by coronet (J.C. de Cordes?), raised bands, loss to foot of spine, upper joint and upper cover. C17 ex-libris of J.C. de Cordes to t-p, library stamp of Lawes Agricultural Trust to front pastedown, title inked to outer fore-edge. In folding box.

This copy probably belonged to Jean Charles de Renialme, called de Cordes, (fl. second half of the C17), lord of ter-Meeren, appointed ‘chevalier’ by Philip IV in 1663 (De Vegiano, ‘Nobiliaire des Pays-Bas’, 38). His father (1575-1641), lord of Wichelen, appears in a portrait made in the 1610s attributed to the workshop of Rubens or even to the young Anthony van Dyck.

 Very good copy of the second Latin edition of this pioneering herbal—one of the many superbly illustrated works produced by the Plantin press in Antwerp. Rembert Dodoens (or Dodonaeus, 1517-85) was a Flemish botanist, court physician to the Emperors Maximilian II and Rudolph II, and professor of medicine at Leiden. He is most renowned for his works on herbs and their medicinal properties published in Dutch, French, English and Latin, inspired by the contemporary writings of Leonhart Fuchs and, ultimately, by Dioscorides’s ‘De materia medica’. This edition was decorated with 109 woodblocks (one more than the first of 1568) designed by Pierre van der Borcht and cut by Arnaud Nicolai and Gerard van Kampen; they were later used in other botanical works produced by the Plantin press. The description of each plant—everyday odorous or ornamental plants like the violet, digitalis, lily, asphodel and the ‘spatula foetida’ (stinking iris)—includes an illustration and examination of its names in different languages, its physical characteristics, any relevant information provided by major sources (e.g., Dioscorides, Pliny, Fuchs or Gesner), its medicinal properties and administration. Together with Dodoens’s other writings on herbs, ‘Historia’ appeared as part of the collection ‘Stirpium historiae pemptadem sex’, published by Plantin in 1583. A little gem in the history of botany.  

BM STC Dutch, p. 63; Brunet II, 786; Thesaurum Literaturae Botanicae, 2656; Voet II, 1098; Wellcome 1819; Ruelens & de Backer, 31. Not in Bibl. Osleriana or Durling.


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Instrucion de mercaderes.

Medina del Campo, Pedro de Castro a costa de Antonio de Vrueña, 1547.


4to. ff. lxv (i). Gothic letter. Woodcut arms within typographic frame to t-p, woodcut printer’s device to last, decorated initial. Outer and lower margin of t-p mostly cut away, slight spotting or browning, couple of ink spots touching text to 4 ll., light early marginalia. Handsome copy in slightly later vellum, ties, recased.

Handsome copy of the second edition of this important treatise in the history of economic theory. Luis Saravia de la Calle (fl. C16) was a doctor in theology and the author of several works on economics. His ‘Instrucion de mercaderes’ was first published in Medina del Campo in 1544. As with other Spanish economic manuals of the time, its composition was sparked by the recent market alterations brought about by the swift and unregulated arrival of great quantities of gold and silver from the New World, the formation of permanent international markets and the normalisation of bills of exchange as payment methods. Like those of other contemporary economists, Saravia’s arguments drew on market theories of the Late-Scholastic tradition concerning the value of money, kinds of investments, profit derived from money-lending (including usury) and their relationship to business ethics. The careful annotator of this copy—probably a merchant—was especially interested in the concept of just price, the quality of goods, usury and ‘damnum emergens’. Unlike Thomas Aquinas, for whom just price and the value of a commodity were based on its usefulness and ability to satisfy ‘human needs’, Saravia shared the theories of the contemporary economic School of Salamanca. According to these, the value of money was dependent on its purchasing power and just price was the result of market fluctuation—’particular circumstances of buying and selling, the abundance of goods and money, the monetary availability of buyers and sellers…the demand and supply of goods’, all linked to specific places and times. He also discussed variable pricing of identical goods of differing quality (e.g., selling two for one if the second is partially damaged). His analysis of usury, a key economic and ethical concern in late medieval and early modern Europe, involved the question of profit from loan: is it fair that financial loans should generate profit; is it ethical to charge interest on loans? The annotator was interested in ‘dannum emergens’, the loss derived from a loan, and ‘lucrum cessans’, the ceasing of gain through non-business loans as compared to loans to other merchants from which a profit could be made. Saravia defined usury in its many nuances as money-lending in expectation of profit, e.g., the borrower in return will make greater use of the lender’s business. The subtype in which the annotator was interested is money-lending for credit, i.e., when a buyer receives goods before having paid in full, and their price is increased to make up for the dilation of payment and the loss which may derive to the seller from interim market fluctuations during which his money is not generating profit. Like other such C16 treatises, ‘Instrucion’ required a complex adaptation of Latin economic terminology into the vernacular—a linguistic effort which led to disquisitions on the meaning of words like ‘cambium’ and theoretical debates with long-standing consequences in the history of economic thought.

Only St John and Princeton copies recorded in the US.

Goldsmiths, 40; Palau 301958; BL STC Sp., p. 178. Not in Kress. B. Gordon, Economic Analysis before Adam Smith: Hesiod to Lessius (London, 1975).


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GALVANI, Domenico


Delle fontanele.

Padua, Gaspare Crivellani, 1620.


FIRST and ONLY EDITION. 4to. ff. (viii) 80 (iv). Roman letter, with Italic. Engraved architectural t-p with arms, putti and allegorical figures, 5 full-page engraved plates of surgical techniques and instruments, decorated initials, head- and tailpieces. First gathering partly loose, a few ink splashes to t-p and another, edges untrimmed, minimal marginal spotting, last two gatherings browned. A very good copy in contemporary carta rustica, minor loss to spine.

A very good copy of the FIRST and ONLY EDITION of this most interesting surgical treatise. Domenico Galvani (d. 1649) studied medicine in Padua and practised very successfully in Venice. In addition to ‘Profilatica’ (1641), a manual on how to live longer by leading a healthy life, he wrote this innovative work, dedicated to the Doge, on the surgical procedure of the ‘fontanela’ (not to be confused with the namesake portion of the skull according to current anatomical conventions). It was a small, suppurating sore made ‘artfully’ through fire, medicaments or surgical perforation, and maintained to eliminate current illnesses and preserve from future ones. The work is addressed to practitioners, so that they may avoid treating injuries using the deadly techniques used in antiquity which would make patients ‘die or pine for death rather than undergo such tortures by iron and fire’. The first part describes several kinds of edema or the accumulation of ‘corrupt humours’ in body parts which caused extreme pain and sometimes death unless purged through a ‘fontanela’, a name drawing a similarity between water-springing fountains and humours-springing sores. Galvani also referred to his own professional experience by mentioning a surge of vascular edema in Venice, caused by the excess of blood serum due to the summer heat. The second part is devoted to practice and how to administer ‘fontanele’—what kind of techniques and instruments should be used in specific cases, how to preserve and bandage the sore—illustrated with engravings. In particular, it devotes a large section to ‘fontanele’ made on the skull as they were the most difficult and potentially dangerous to perform. An interesting work on a lesser known surgical technique in the history of medicine.

5 copies recorded in the US.

USTC 4000534; BL STC It.6, p. 375. Not in Brunet, Graesse, Bib. Osl. or Wellcome.


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PEVERONE, Giovan Francesco


Arithmetica e geometria.

Lyon, Jean II de Tournes, 1581.


4to. Two parts in one, pp. 132 (ii). Roman letter, with Italic. Woodcut medallion with Peverone’s portrait to t-p, surrounded by typographical border with interlacing ribbons, leafy tendrils and grotesques; half title with identical medallion to part 2; woodcut illustrations of geometrical schemas and instruments; decorated initials, head- and tailpieces. Light age browning, a few scattered ink spots, small ink burn with minor loss to fol. 71 and to fore-edge of first gathering, very small oil stain to blank outer lower corner of four ll. A good copy in early vellum, traces of ties, partially recovered in vellum at a slightly later date. c1700 ms. Latin prayer to fep.

Scarce treatises on practical arithmetic and geometry, with important discussions of mathematical probability and geodetic triangulation. Born in Cuneo from a noble family, Giovan Francesco Peverone (1509-59) held numerous public offices including expert counsellor for the construction of hydraulic structures and fortifications. For his services to the city he was awarded the medal decorating the t-p of all editions of this work. ‘Arithmetica e geometria’ is a reprint of ‘Due breui e facili trattati, il primo d’arithmetica: l’altro di geometria’, first published by de Tournes in 1558. Whilst it reprised the structure and content of other such manuals produced on the Continent, it was the most influential which issued from the Piedmontese scholarly world—an unusual and original background surfacing in many mathematical demonstrations referring to operations with ‘fiorini di Piemonte’ or mathematical calculations of the area and physical shape of the Cuneo territory. The first part deals with practical arithmetic, i.e., basic operations, fractions (‘broken numbers’) and roots applied to everyday situations, such as games. Peverone was among the first to examine the question of mathematical probability concerning the subdivision of money during a game of cards. Had he reached the correct conclusion—one of the ‘great near misses of probability mathematics’—he would have anticipated the results of Fermat and Pascal by over a century (Kendall, ‘Studies in the History of Probability’, 1956). The second part is devoted to geometry and accompanied by handsome illustrations explaining how to measure towers, ditches and aqueducts. It is important for the description of contemporary instruments employed for measuring the land (e.g., the ‘planispherio geometrico’ of Peverone’s own invention) and the discussion of geodetic triangulation using Cuneo and other surrounding cities as reference points (Riccardi I/1, 266). A scarce, unusual and original fruit of Renaissance mathematical culture in the North-Italian provinces.

 Six copies recorded in the US.

Brunet IV, 583; Riccardi I/1, 265-66, and I/2, 70; Smith/de Morgan 290. Not in BM STC Fr.


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De SS. Martyrum Cruciatibus.

Rome, Ex Typographia Congregationis Oratorij apud S. Mariam in Vallicella, 1594.


FIRST EDITION thus. 4to. pp. (xvi) 264 (xxxii). Roman letter, with Italic. Woodcut ornaments to t-p, last of preliminaries and last leaf; 25 full-page woodcut scenes of martyrdom after Antonio Tempesta; decorated initials and tailpieces. T-p a little dusty, intermittent slight browning or light dampstaining, tiny ink burn to fore-edge of a few gatherings. A very good copy in early vellum, lacking ties, ancient reback, new eps, minor loss to spine. Early ex-libris ‘del luogo dei Capuccini di C[astel] S[an] Gio[vanni] di Piac[enz]a’.

A very good copy of the FIRST EDITION of the Latin translation of this extremely influential, blood-curling history of martyrdom. Born and raised in Rome, Antonio Gallonio (1566-1605) was a member of the Congregation of the Oratory of St Philip Neri, which inspired his interest in the early history of the Church. This is the first edition of the Latin translation of his ‘Trattato de gli instrumenti di martirio’ (Rome, 1591), dedicated to Clement VIII—an illustrated, historically accurate encyclopaedia of ancient instruments of martyrdom based on a thorough study of the Acts of the Martyrs and authors like Cicero and Valerius Maximus. Gallonio painstakingly examined the instruments and techniques of torture used against the ‘glorious soldiers of Christ’. Each torment is dissected in all its nuances—e.g., crucifixion by nails or poles, with ropes used to keep martyrs hanging from a cross by one limb or over a burning fire, or after being smeared with apple juice to let their flesh be devoured by bees and flies. Conceived as visual aids for readers, with captions identifying specific torments, the vivid and chilling illustrations were cut after the originals by Antonio Tempesta. Surrounded by placid Renaissance landscapes with architecture, tempietti and classical columns, the tormented martyrs allowed the artists to display their mastery in the depiction of human bodies contorted with pain. The violent scenes, expunged of all gore like contemporary medical illustrations, are also reminiscent of ethnographic representations of tortures inflicted by ‘savages’ of the New World onto colonisers and missionaries. A masterpiece of Counter-Reformation ecclesiastical iconography.

USTC 831606; BM STC It., p. 288; Brunet II, 1468. Not in Mortimer, Harvard C16 It. or Sander.


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DOGLIONI, Giovanni Nicolò


L’anno dove si ha perfetto, et pieno raguaglio.

Venice, appresso Giovanni Antonio Rampazetto, 1587.


FIRST EDITION. 4to. ff. (iv) 49 (iii). Roman letter, little Italic. Woodcut vignette to t-p, full-page woodcut of astronomer perusing sky, 3 full-page and 4 smaller woodcut illustrations of astronomical schemas and representing the activities of each month, decorated initials, head- and tailpieces. Intermittent slight foxing, marginal tears, one touching page number, blank upper outer corner of two ll. repaired, small marginal water stain to last gathering, small ink splashes in places, two small holes to outer margin of last two ll. A good copy in contemporary vellum, spine recovered in mottled sheep, early ms. label. Bookplate of Giovan Battista Lambruschini and bookseller’s label to front pastedown, ex-libris of the Jesuit Collegium at Bastia and C19 library stamp to t-p and to blank margin of three ll. touching the odd letter. Some contemporary annotation.

Scarce copy of this important didactic almanac including the prediction of weather conditions, planetary influence and a perpetual calendar—‘one of the earliest—if not the earliest—almanack according to the Gregorian Calendar…unknown to Poggendorff’ (‘Bibliotheca Chemico-Mathematica’ 1076). Giovanni Nicolò Doglioni (1548-1629) was a Venetian notary appointed to several public offices in the city, and the author of works on chronology, cosmography and the calculation of time. ‘L’anno’ contextualised for a broader audience the reform of the Julian calendar introduced by Gregory XIII in 1582—a revision which led to major scholarly debates on ‘gnomonica’ or the computation of the portions of the solar day. The first section of the work discusses the four elements that constitute the world, the subdivisions of the earth into continents, countries and provinces, the meteorological phenomena resulting from the mixture of the elements as well as a table tracing the movements of the planets. In the second section Doglioni explains the subdivisions of time according to conventional units. The fundamental unit—the day—can be natural (following the planetary course of the sun in relation to the earth as a whole) or artificial (according to the specific place in which the onlooker is situated). This distinction is used as the basis to explain the correct construction of sundials on buildings. There follows an examination of the subdivision of historical time—the discipline of chronology so dear to the medieval and Renaissance periods—and the meaning of ‘century’, ‘age’, ‘age of man’ and ‘age of the world’, with a perpetual calendar and a long table recording universal dates and events from the creation to the year 5545 [1586AD]. Later owners annotated the perpetual calendar counting the days for the years 1646, 1668 and 1709. The last section provides perpetual calendars to identify Feasts of the Saints and moveable liturgical feasts. It was reprinted as ‘L’anno riformato’ in 1599 and its tables accordingly updated.

Giovanni Battista Lambruschini S.J. (1755-1827) was professor at the Jesuit seminary in Genoa, a great opponent of the French Revolution and the centre of a Jesuit circle including the renowned philologist Cardinal Angelo Mai.

3 copies recorded in the US.

BM STC It., p. 219; Riccardi I/1, 414: ‘Rarissimo’; Houzeau & Lancaster I/2, 13042; Bibliotheca Chemico-Mathematica 1076; Cantamessa I, 2230 (recorded as part of the description of the second edition entitled L’anno riformato, 1599).


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CRESCENZI, Pietro de’


De agricultura vulgare.

Venice, [Alessandro Bindoni,] 1519.


Small 4to. ff. 235 [234] (vi). Double column, Roman letter, large Gothic to t-p. Woodcut of Justice to recto and large woodcut from Alexander Grammaticus’s Doctrinale (1513) to verso of t-p; c.30 small woodcuts in text of rural scenes (some repeated); decorated initials. T-p a bit dusty, small repair to upper outer corner, a few lower outer corners repaired, minor small marginal water mark to few gatherings. A very good, well-margined copy in modern green half morocco over cloth, raised bands, gilt lettered spine. Gilt stamp of the Lawes Agricultural Trust (Rothamsted) to spine, some early annotation.

A very good, handsomely illustrated, copy of the Italian translation of Pietro de’ Crescenzi’s famous writings on agriculture, printed in over 50 editions in several languages between 1471 and 1600. Crescenzi (c.1230/30-1320) studied law, medicine and natural science at Bologna. After retiring from a long legal career, he spent much time at his estate in the Bolognese countryside. There he was inspired to write ‘De agricultura vulgare’ (c.1304)— first printed as ‘Ruralia commoda’ in Nuremberg in 1471—a treatise on agriculture based on classical and medieval sources and his direct experience. Like its most important models—Columella’s ‘De re rustica’ and Palladius’s ‘Opus agriculturae’—‘De agricultura’ was fundamental for the humanist re-elaboration of the rustic values of landownership so dear to the elites. The work presents an ideal ‘holistic’ landowner who is knowledgeable about all aspects of estate management, from the architecture of buildings to the caretaking of gardens and meadows, wine-making, bee-keeping, hunting, farming, and the use of trees and plants for medicinal and nutritional purposes. The annotator of this copy was especially interested in horticulture, the gender of plants and the mutations caused by changing environments. The superb woodcuts, many of which were drawn from the Venetian edition of 1495, depict a variety of subjects, from techniques for distilling river water and planning gardens to ways of ensuring that oxen ‘cooperate’ whilst pulling the plough—a tongue-in-cheek vignette, this, in which the artist inserted, behind the customary peasant figure, that of Hercules carrying out his tenth labour of bringing back from the end of the world the uncooperative cattle of Geryon.

Graesse II, 299: USTC 824568; BM STC It., p. 203; Essling, 845; Sander, 2238; Simon 162. Not in Bitting, Vicaire or Oberlé.


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LUCEÑA, João de


Historia de la vida del P. Francesco Xavier.

Seville, Francesco de Lyra, 1619.


FIRST EDITION thus. 4to. pp. (xvi) 857 (xi). Roman letter, little Italic. Woodcut printer’s device to t-p, full-page woodcut of cross within arch, decorated initials and ornaments. Outer margin of first and last few ll. frayed and repaired with a little loss, varying degrees of browning throughout, tiny worm trail to blank lower margin of one gathering. A perfectly acceptable copy in contemporary limp vellum, yapp edges, title inked to spine, a.e.r., ex-libris of Jesuit Collegium of Sts Peter and Paul in Mexico City, marca de fuego of Seminario Conciliar de Mexico to upper fore-edge.

Scarce copy of the first Castilian translation by Alonso de Sandoval S.J. of this most important life of St Francis Xavier. João de Luceña (1549-1600) was a Portuguese Jesuit who spent his life in Lisbon. In addition to numerous volumes of sermons considered among the great outputs of Portuguese literature, in 1600 he published in Portuguese the extremely successful ‘Historia’—the hagiography of one of the founders of the Jesuit Order, translated into several languages including Italian, Latin and Catalan. ‘Historia’ follows Xavier’s life from birth to his education and early preaching activity, devoting most of the 800 pages to his missionary activity in India, Japan and China, including the foundation of colleges, his conversion of princes and monarchs and resilience to local opposition. Anecdotal narratives are frequent, highlighting his preaching power, divine providential assistance and his keenness to devote, like a martyr, his life to evangelisation. Xavier is presented as ‘Apóstolo de las Índias’ to stress the appropriation of the Oriental Indies as a land of evangelisation by Jesuit missionaries. In addition to affirming a strictly Portuguese nationalist message, Luceña sought to counteract ‘the efforts of the mendicant orders to penetrate into China and Japan, by affirming, on the one hand, the priority and originality of the Jesuit project of evangelisation and, on the other, the superiority of its knowledge and dominion over Asian cultures in qualitative and theological terms’ (Guimarães, ‘Entre a Hagiografia e a Crónica’, 112).

Born in Spain and raised in Peru, Alonso de Sandoval S.J. (1576-1652) was a missionary in Colombia who worked towards the evangelisation of African slaves. His most important work, ‘De instauranda Æthiopum salute’ (Seville, 1627), was an ethnographic treatise for the instruction of Jesuit missionaries on African culture, methods of evangelisation, reflections on the suffering and conditions of slaves in Spanish America, and even reprimands against brutal slave owners.

Only UPenn, Newberry and Indiana copies recorded in the US.

Palau 143366;             Medina, Bib. hispano-americana, 693; Graesse IV, 277 (mentioned only); Cordier, Bib. Japonica, 138. Not in Brunet, Cordier, Bib. Sinica or Alden. J. Gonçalves Guimarães, ‘Entre a Hagiografia e a Crónica. A História da Vida do Padre Francisco de Xavier de João de Lucena’, Review of Culture International Edition 19 (2007), 100-12.


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Libro de agricultura.

Pamplona, por Matías Mares a costa de Fernando de Espinal, 1605.


Large 4to. ff. (iv + 1 added leaf of errata) 242, lacking final 12 ll. (additional work printed separately and mentioned on the t-p). Roman letter, little Italic. Woodcut vignette to t-p, decorated initials and headpieces. Light waterstaining to first three gatherings, occasionally to margins throughout, outer margin of t-p dust-soiled and a bit frayed, intermittent mainly marginal foxing, slight browning in places, clean tear with no loss to blank lower margin of fol. 21, small worm trail to blank outer margin of few gatherings, another to text touching a few letters, scattered ink spots, little thumbing, part of one column of text repaired and partially supplied in a contemporary hand to p. 127, slight offsetting to p. 228, clean cuts with no loss along gutter to last leaf. A good copy in contemporary vellum, traces of ties, ‘Períbañez’ inked to upper cover. Stamp of Rothamsted Research Centre to fep, inquisitorial inscription ‘no ay que expurgar conforme al expurgatorio del anno 1640. Pamp[lona] a 22 de Julio 1642(?). Don Joseph de Aguerre’, some early annotation.

 Very scarce edition of this extremely successful and ground-breaking manual of agriculture in Castilian. Gabriel Alonso de Herrera (1470-1539) was a Franciscan agronomist and brother to the humanist Hernando and the musician Diego Alonso de Herrera. He is most renowned for this ‘Libro de agricultura’, first printed in Spain in 1513, which underwent over 20 editions in just a few decades and was translated into Latin, Italian and French. It was a compilation based on a variety of agricultural and medical sources, including Greek (Galen and Hippocrates), Arabic (Avenzoar and Avicenna), and Latin ‘De re rustica’ authors (Columella, Cato, Varro and Palladius). Following the classical tradition, Herrera presented a holistic view of the agronomist as knowledgeable in the cultivation of crops and trees, techniques for making soil and water suitable for agriculture and horticulture, the forecast of adverse weather conditions, farming and herbal medical remedies. He also injected into this solid tradition new ideas—based on contemporary agricultural theories and his own experience—concerning the identification of high-quality seed which should be grown separately from the rest to improve the quality of crops, as well as plant reproductive morphology, i.e., he believed that plants could be masculine or feminine. Juan de Valverde’s ‘Despertador’ and Gutiérrez Salinas’s ‘Discursos’ similarly deal with agricultural and horticultural techniques; the first also discusses farming and the use of beasts of burden as well as the remedies to preserve one’s estate in times of famine and inclement weather.

 The printer, Matías Mares, intended this text to be bound together with Juan de Valverde’s ‘Despertador’, Diego Gutiérrez Salinas’s ‘Discursos del pan y del vino del Niño Jesús’—originally printed in Alcalá de Henares in 1600 and here summarised—and Gregorio de los Rios’s ‘Agricultura de jardines’ printed in Zaragoza in 1604. This copy contains the 4 ll. of preliminaries (plus an additional leaf of errata) and 242 ll. of text which encompass the (complete) works by Herrera, Valverde and Salinas. The 12 ll. containing de los Rios’s work were not bound in this copy, as Palau, see below. Unlike the other works the Los Rios has its own t-p and pagination, for issue separately.

José de Aguirre SJ was an Inquisitor whose ‘expurgatorio’ dating from the 1640s is recorded in other Spanish books. He authored the pamphlet ‘Profecía de Santa Hildegardis’.

Only Columbia, WSU and LC copies recorded in the US.

Brunet III, 131; Graesse III, 260; Wilkinson, Iberian Books 20625; Palau 114100; Pritzel, Thesaurus Literaturae Botanicae, 4411. Not in Oberlé or Bitting.


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