SCARCE ALMANAC

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

Venice, appresso Giovanni Antonio Rampazetto, 1587.

£2,250

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).

L2885

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