LEONI, Leone. [with] BURGH, Cornelius.


LEONI, Leone. Sacri Flores binis, ternis et quaternis vocibus…Cantus

Antwerp, apud Petrum Phalesium, 1619. [with]

BURGH, Cornelius. Hortus Marianus…Cantus

Antwerp, apud Haeredes Petri Phalesii, 1630.


FIRST EDITION of second. 2 vols, small 4to. pp. (ii) 26; (iv) 28 (iv). Roman letter, musical notation. T-ps within typographical borders, with woodcut printer’s device, printed oval centrepiece with interlacing ribbons and tendrils to last of second work, decorated white-on-black initials and ornaments. Mostly light browning, I: light water stain to upper outer corner of first few ll., light marginal see-through from adhesive of original binding at end, II: light marginal spotting to a few ll. Good copies, in C18 marbled wrappers, rubbed.

Two very scarce Italian music scores, printed in Flanders. Petrus Phalesius the Younger (1545-1629) was the second of a family of Flemish music printers and booksellers. They contributed to the diffusion of Italian music in the Netherlands, publishing scores by major authors like Monteverdi and Frescobaldi. Very near the status of ephemeral publications, they are here in remarkable condition. Leone Leoni (1560-1627) was ‘maestro di cappella’ at Vicenza Cathedral, and the author of madrigals, motets for antiphonal choirs, and sundry liturgical music. The collection ‘Sacri Flores’ was first published as ‘Sacri Fiori’ in Venice in 1606. It features 8 motets for two voices, 7 for three, and 6 for four (bassi, alti, canti, tenores, and trombones), with a score devised to be easy for organists. ‘The technique of writing for small groups of voices quickly became a major compositional tool which spread throughout Europe […] Their earliest examples [which Leoni reprises] effectively reduced the number of lines in music still conceived contrapuntally, and used the organ to complete the harmony’ (‘Cambridge History’, 308). The second work was inspired by this tradition. Cornelius Burgh (1590-1639) was a German jurist. In 1616-18, organist at the Benedictine monastery of Mönchengladbach, and later at the parish church of St Lambertus in Erkelenz. Inspired by the style of Monteverdi, he composed mostly liturgical music. ‘Hortus Marianus’ is a collection of 25 sacred concerts, each in four parts, only using Marian texts. In four voices, the pieces were adapted ‘for all kinds of singers and instruments’, and all include bass, single or double. The early owner in this case was most probably a woman as ‘cantus’ corresponds, more or less, to the modern soprano. 

I: No copies recorded in the US; only three copies recorded in the UK (BL, Manchester and Oxford).

Cat. of Printed Music Pre-1801 at Christ Church, Oxford, p.38.

II: No copies recorded in the US; only three recorded in the UK (BL, Manchester and Oxford).

Cat. of Printed Music Pre-1801 at Christ Church, Oxford, p.9. The Cambridge History of Seventeenth-Century Music (2014).


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HOLKOT, Robert.


Quaestiones super quatuor libros Sententiarum Petri Lombardi.

Lyon, Johannes Trechsel, 5-20 Apr. 1497.


FIRST EDITION. Small folio. 178 unnumbered ff., 8 8 a-n 8 o 10 A 8 B 6 C-H 8 I 10 . Gothic letter, double column. Woodcut printer’s device to last. A little marginal soiling to t-p and last, small clean tear from upper edge of t-p repaired, occasional slight toning, small light water stain to lower or upper blank margin of a handful of ll., smudge to lower blank margin of l 3-4 . A very good copy, on thick paper, in contemporary Flemish calf over wooden boards, rebacked with original spine onlaid, traces of C14 rubricated vellum ms. used as front pastedown, another (with genealogical diagram visible to verso) preserved at rear, quadruple blind ruled to a panel design, outer border with blind-stamped half-lozenges with grapes and bearded faces to corners, second border with blind-stamped tendrils and fleurons to corners, centre panel cross-hatched in blind with quadruple ruling, fleurons within lozenges and half-lozenges in blind, raised bands, spine blind ruled, corners repaired, couple of minor scratches to upper board. Early symbols to upper and lower margin, C19 bibliographical note, contemporary ex-libris Ghysbertus Konrardi(?) and C16 purchase note ‘Frater Joannes de la Vega emit hunc liber frater (?) cumdi(?), die’ (partly erased) to t-p, the odd C15 marginalia, C15 inscriptions (one with recipe of white wine from berries to treat constipation) and traces of ms. genealogical diagram (arbor consanguinitatis?) to rear pastedown.

In a charming contemporary Flemish binding, with an uncommon tool of blind-stamped bearded faces—probably green men. It bears the same design as Petrus de Palude’s ‘In quattuor sententiarum’ (Venice, 1495), now BMawrCL f.P-502 (Scott Husby Database). The latter comes from the Franciscan monastery of Louvain, though the binding was probably made in the town. ‘The binderies of the university town of Louvain produced some interesting bindings as early as the last quarter of the C15, but owing to the large scale destruction of the Louvain archives in WWI, there will be, unfortunately, no further possibility of identifying bindings from this source’ (Diehl, ‘Bookbinding’, 132). Ghysbertus Konrardi was probably the same recorded as a student from Leiden at Louvain in 1475 (see ‘Matricules – Ancienne Université de Louvain’). The copy was later purchased by the Spanish friar Juan de la Vega, who enrolled as a student in 1549 (Cole, ‘Studentenmobiliteit’, 151). This major work of Scholastic philosophy was the standard theology textbook of the middle ages. The English Dominican Robert Holkot (or Holcot, c.1290-1349) was a renowned philosopher and biblical exegete, professor of theology at Oxford and follower of William of Ockham’s scholasticism. His commentary on Peter Lombard’s (1096-1160) ‘Libri Quattuor Sententiarum’ has survived in a greater number of mss than the commentary by William of Ockham. A collection of statements on the Scriptures by acknowledged authorities, the ‘Sentences’ discussed the Trinity, the Creation, the incarnation of the word, and the doctrine of signs, touching on the sacraments, demons, sin and human will. This first edition was produced, from numerous, often imperfect manuscripts, by the famous scholar and printer Jodocus Badius Ascensius (1462-1535), editor and proofreader for Jean Trechsel in Lyon, in 1492-98.

Goff H287; HC 8763*; BMC VIII 300; GW 12890. E. Diehl, Bookbinding: Its Background and Technique (New York, 1980); T. Cole, Studentenmobiliteit tussen de Nederlanden en het Iberisch Schiereiland (Ghent University, 1996).


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[MÜNSTER, Sebastian.]


Chaldaica Grammatica. [with] Dictionarium Chaldaicum.

Basel, J. Frobenius, 1527.


FIRST EDITIONS. Small 4to, 2 works in 1, pp. (viii) 212 (iv); (viii) 434 (ii). Roman and Hebrew letter, little Ge’ez. Woodcut architectural t-p with putti and grotesques to second, woodcut printer’s device to verso of last of both, decorated initials (a handful hand-coloured). Slight browning, light water stain to upper and outer blank margin of first and last few gatherings, I: fore-edge a bit chewed, small worm hole to upper outer blank corner of first few gatherings. Good copies in contemporary Swiss or German pigskin over bevelled wooden boards, rebacked, remains of spine replaced, brass clasps, double blind ruled to a panel design, outer border with blind roll with Jacob’s ladder, Abraham and Isaac, and Christ trampling the Devil, second border blind-stamped rosettes and ivy leaves, centre panel with blind rolls with female figures of Lucretia, Prudencia. Rubbed, minor loss to lower outer corners. C16 faded Italian autograph and Hebrew inscriptions to front pastedown, small armorial stamp and inscription mostly erased from t-p, occasional C16 Latin or Aramaic annotations.

An Augsburg binding from the workshop of Caspar Horneffer (Haebler, I, 168-168), who signed the figure of Lucretia with C.H. (EBDB r003142). The outer border shows handsomely portrayed scenes of Christ trampling the Devil, Abraham and Isaac, and the unusual subject of Jacob’s ladder.

First editions of the first Aramaic grammar and dictionary by a Christian scholar (with references to Ethiopic). By Sebastian Münster—‘the founder of the field of study of Aramaic in Germany’ (McLean, ‘Cosmographia’, 18)—they were superbly produced by one of the most intellectual early printers, the Swiss Johann Froben (1460-1527). The initials and the handsome woodcut t-p of ‘Dictionarium’ were designed by Hans Holbein the Younger, employed by Froben. Most renowned for his ‘Cosmographia’ (1544), Sebastian Münster (1488-1552) was a cartographer and Hebraist at Basle, being the first Christian scholar to produce an edition of the Hebrew Bible. He conceived his ‘Grammatica’ after learning Aramaic as a language that could shed greater light on Hebrew as well as on the interpretation of biblical texts, like the books of Daniel and Ezra, which had largely survived in Aramaic. He proceeded by making the reader familiar with Aramaic by degrees, highlighting the number of words of Greek origin, Aramaic words in the Scriptures, and comparisons between the ‘lingua Saracenica’, ‘lingua Indiana’ (Ethiopic, in Ge’ez type), Hebrew, Aramaic and Latin. After discussing Aramaic letters, numbers, nouns, adjectives, verbs, etc., it provides a few Targum texts, ‘Jewish translations of the Hebrew Bible into Aramaic […] used […] primarily as a means to teach Aramaic in the Jewish education system’ (van Staalduine-Sulman, ‘Introduction’, 1). The ‘Dictionarium’ was dedicated to St John Fisher, Bishop of Rochester, a great promoter of Hebrew studies at Cambridge, later executed by Henry VIII and canonised. It includes words encountered by Münster in the course of his studies, and considered important for the study of this sacred language, from verbs to the word for ‘dates that are still unripe’, with additional explanations. The learned annotator of this ‘Grammatica’ was acquainted with Ethiopic, as he mentioned Johannes Potken’s misidentification of Ethiopian as Chaldean in his ‘Alphabetus’; he also provided the Aramaic transcription of a few Latin words.

I: Panzer, VI, 258, n.654; Steinschneider, Bibl. Hand., 1377; BM STC Ger., p.632; Burmeister, Sebastian Münster, 3.
II: Burmeister, Sebastian Münster, pp. 92-93, n.4.4; Burmeister, Sebastian Münster Bibl., n. 23 Fürst, Bibliotheca Judaica, II:408; BM STC Ger., p.633; BM Hebrew, p.598; Panzer, VI, 258, n.653; Steinschneider, Bibl. Hand., 1385. M. McLean, The Cosmographia of Sebastian Münster (Aldershot, 2007); E. van Staalduine-Sulman, Justifying Christian Aramaism (Leiden, 2017).


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ENNENKEL, Georgius Acacius.


De privilegiis parentum et liberorum.

Tübingen, Typis Johan. Alexandri Celii, 1618.


FIRST EDITION. Small 4to. pp. (viii) 1018 (l), lacking F 4 (blank) as often. Roman letter, some Italic. Woodcut initials and ornaments. Browned in a few places, small paper flaws to text of 4Q 4 with no loss. A good, clean copy in contemporary (probably Austrian) deerskin, wanting ties, blind-tooling decorated in silver (mostly oxidised), double blind ruled, blind-stamped fleurons to corners, centrepiece with arms of Matthias, Holy Roman Emperor, as Archduke of Austria to upper cover and those of Lower Austria (appropriated by the Habsburgs in the C14) impaled with those of the Duchy of Austria to lower cover, raised bands, blind-tooled rosettes to three compartments, old shelfmark label at foot of spine, a.e.g., extremities a bit rubbed, with tiny loss at foot, spine and upper joint cracked but firm.

A good, clean copy, of excellent provenance, of the first edition of this interesting legal work on Roman and civil law regulating the relationship between parents and children—perhaps the earliest separate treatment of this subject. This copy appears to have been in the library of the Austrian archdukes—quite possibly a presentation; the work is dedicated to Ferdinand I, Archduke of Austria. Georgius Acacius Ennenkel (1573-1620), Baron von Hoheneck, an Austrian Protestant aristocrat, studied classics and philosophy at Strasbourg and Tübingen. He married the daughter of Christoph Freiherr von Althann, president of the Exchequer of the Austrian empire.

Ennenkel calls the parents-children relationship ‘the closest and strongest of all human ties and contracts’. He begins with an introduction to the meaning of ‘parent’ and ‘child’ according to Roman and civil right, with the help of authorities like Baldus de Ubaldis. He comments on dozens of particular circumstances, e.g., that a ‘contemptuous and impious’ father should legally be considered a father nevertheless; the cases in which the mother is Jewish or another relative has acted ‘in loco parentis’; that a baby ‘who died during delivery’ should not be considered legally a son or daughter, as well as any child struck by supernatural monstrosities or portents. The second section is an historical overview of laws among the Romans, Greek and Jews, touching on the murder of children and the extent of parental authority. The following discuss dozens of legal topics, such as ‘pietas’ between parents and children; the rights and duties of fathers (e.g., their authority, their right to take revenge (e.g., killing an adulterous daughter); in case of ‘frightful events’ children are not compelled to obey their fathers, what happens after a father’s death); the necessity of parental consent for marriages; their obligations in terms of sustenance to their children; and inheritance. A scarce and fascinating reference work for the history of children and the family.

Only Berkeley, LC and Princeton copies recorded in the US.
BL STC Ger. C17 E339.


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BALMES, Abraham de.


Miqnē Avram: Peculium Abrae. Grammatica Hebraea.

Venice, Daniel Bomberg, 1523.


FIRST EDITION. Small 4to. pp. [315], lacking final blank. Hebrew letter, with Roman, little Assyrian. Decorated initials. Upper outer blank corner of t-p repaired affecting few ll. of the dedicatee’s name on verso, next three ll. a bit oil or ink stained in places, lower outer edge of a 3 a bit chewed, small scattered worm holes and oil staining to final gatherings, former marginal, latter mostly, couple of ll. browned. A good copy in mid-C19 sprinkled sheep, spine gilt, gilt-lettered morocco label, a.e.r., a little loss in places, tiny scattered worm holes at head and foot of spine. Small modern Hebrew stamp to lower blank margin of t-p verso, s 2 and last, late C16 inscription ‘Fr. Alex[ander] Longus Inquisitor Montisregalis concessit isti Die 24 octobris’.

A good copy of the first edition of this important Hebrew grammar for Christian scholars, printed by the most important printer of Hebrew books in Italy. Abraham de Balmes (d.1523) studied at Naples, whence he fled to Venice probably in 1510, when the Jews were expelled from the Spanish territories. In Padua, he was the personal physician of Cardinal Grimani; in Venice, he acquired a solid reputation as a linguist and translator of Hebrew philosophical texts. The Flemish turned-Venetian Daniel Bomberg (1483-1549)—the first printer in Venice and first Christian printer of Hebrew books—employed de Balmes in 1523 as one of his talented editors (Amram, ‘Makers’, 169-70). He asked him to write a Hebrew grammar, published posthumously, in order to facilitate the learning of Hebrew for Christian scholars, encouraging them to undertake the quest for the Hebrew original (not the translation for the Greek) of the New Testament, the discovery of which would ‘make your name immortal’. Balmes’s original approach to Hebrew grammar was imbued with philosophical discussion, including Aristotelian logic, Plato and the Kabbalah, outlined in Chapter 1. Organised into Hebrew sections followed by their literal Latin translation, it discusses the definition of Hebrew grammar, the alphabet and phonetics, and its various elements. The seventh chapter is an early attempt to analyse Hebrew syntax on the basis of logic and use, and the eighth—partly composed and translated by Calos Calonimos—discusses biblical prosody and accents. The partial lack of success was due to its ambivalent character as ‘a preparatory work to the reading of a “ghost” text, a Hebrew New Testament not yet available’ and ‘the experimental revision of the logical premises of the Hebrew grammatical tradition’ (Campanini, ‘Grammatica’, 19).

Friar Alexander Longus is recorded as censor of Hebrew books in 1590, in Monreale, a small bishopric near Asti, in Southern Piedmont (Popper, ‘Censorship’, 135). In 1591 the Holy Office decided that ‘no Christian should in the future be allowed to undertake censorship; Jews should expurgate their own books, and then, if at any time one should be found not properly corrected, its owner should be severely punished’ (Popper, ‘Censorship’, 72-3). In Piedmont, Inquisitors continued to check recent publications and personal libraries until at least 1593. Being a work on grammar, this copy was ‘allowed’ (‘concessit’).

Steinschneider, Cat. librorum hebraeorum, 1576, 6067/1; Steinschneider, Bibliographisches Handbuch, 164.2; Habermann, Bomberg, 76; BM STC It., p.2; Heller, 16-Century Hebrew Book, pp.164-5. D.W. Amram, The Makers of Hebrew Books in Italy (1909); S. Campanini, ‘Peculium Abrae. La grammatica ebraico-latina di Avraham De Balmes’, Annali di Ca’Foscari, 26 (1997), 5-49; W. Popper, The Censorship of Hebrew Books (1899).


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Ποιησεις Ομηρου […] Opus utrumque Homeri Iliados et Odysseae.

Basel, per Ioan. Hervagium, 1551.


Small folio. 2 parts in 1, separate t-ps, pp. (xx) 394 [i.e., 410] (ii), 314 (ii). Greek letter, occasional Roman, mostly double column. Woodcut printer’s device to t-ps and versos of last, additional engraved portrait of J. Camerarius by P. Galle (late C16) mounted on ffep decorated initials. A handful of gatherings lightly browned, slight marginal foxing, light water stain to upper outer blank corner, another to lower outer blank corner of second half, small ink splash to outer blank margin of e 6 , edges slightly trimmed touching a few marginalia. A good copy in C18 sheep, modern reback, boards worn with some loss. C19 booklabel of John McAllister, C18 bookplate of Bell’s Circulating Library and modern auction record to front pastedown, intermittent C16 Greek and Latin marginalia in red or black ink, ex-libris of Jacob Feilitscher, Jenensis, 1554, and C16 inscription on Greek language to second t-p.

Annotated copy, extra-illustrated with a handsome author’s portrait by P. Galle, of the Greek text of Homer’s ‘Iliad’ and ‘Odyssey’. It sought to improve on the Hervagius edition of 1535, which had a critical apparatus based on the ‘scholia’ of Didymus of Alexandria (now believed to date much later). The German humanists Joachim Camerarius (1500-74) and Jakob Micyllus (1503-58), also the authors of Homeric commentaries, revised the 1541 edition and added further material to the Greek-only ‘scholia’ surrounding the text.

This copy sheds light on the teaching of Greek at Jena in the mid-C16. The annotator was Jacob Feilitzscher, registered as a student at the Protestant Academy of Jena (from 1558, a university) in 1548, the year of its foundation (‘Matrikel’, 99). In 1554, he was studying Greek under the Lutheran humanist and former student of Melanchthon, Michael Neander (1529-81), who, after moving from Wittenberg, taught Greek and mathematics at Jena in 1551-72. Neander compiled a ‘Gnomologia Graecolatina’, a collection of ‘sententiae’ in Latin and Greek by major classical authors. Feilitzscher noted a quotation by Neander on the ‘Odyssey’ t-p, on Homer’s use of the Ionic dialect. In the notes, philology is preeminent, with attention to variants, some not listed in the surrounding commentary, as well as Greek synonyms or Latin translations. Feilitzscher noted rhetorical figures (e.g., ‘hysteron proteron’), classical quotations by Ovid, Virgil and Quintilian. In Book 2 of the ‘Iliad’, he glossed ‘the same with the civil wars in Germany’. He also highlighted and annotated scenes with ‘THERSITES’, as well as references to Aristotle’s discussion of Homer in his ‘Poetics’, and to Virgil. In Book 3, he highlighted Hector’s berating of Paris as ‘mad after women’, a ‘beguiler’ who ‘should never have been born’, and added numerous glosses to the subsequent section on the preparation for the battle, Priam’s dialogue with Helen and her dialogue with Paris after his return from the battle. On the passage describing Helen’s appearance on the walls of Troy, he glossed ‘fair among women’ with ‘Maria’, a reference to the Virgin Mary. In Book 4, he highlighted, with an observation on the Homeric relation between human faults and the gods’ will, Athena’s trick on the Trojan Pandarus, as she convinces him to shoot an arrow against Menelaus and thus undo the truce. Feilitzscher added one gloss to the ‘Odyssey’, underlining what Homer presented as the best treatment of guests and strangers, in Book 15.

In the C18, this copy was among the books available at Bell’s Circulating Library, near St Paul’s Church, one of several which rented out books to readers who could not afford to purchase them or to subscribe to a normal library. Whilst most circulating libraries were devoted to fiction and sensationalist novels, some also sold more scientific and scholarly books. Bell advertised that he ‘gives ready money for new and old books’.

In the early C19, this copy was in Philadelphia, in the library of John McAllister Jr. (1786-1877), owner of a renowned firm of optical equipment, and married to Eliza Young, the daughter of the noted printer and bookseller William Young. After his retirement in 1835, McAllister turned into a keen collector of books and mss., assembling a library ‘rich in works of all kinds’ (Watson’s ‘Annals’, 1905 ed.). The library was divided among his children; his son, John Allister, left his portion, increased with further purchases, to the Library Company. ‘The John A. McAllister Collection held by the Library Company has many thousands of items encompassing some of the same classifications as his father’s collection, but few with a provenance to connect them to John McAllister Jr. and his famous library’ (‘The John A. McAllister Collection’, The Library Company). This copy bears John Jr’s bookplate.

Hoffman II, 316; Brunet III, 271; Dibdin II, 50 (footnote). Die Matrikel der Universität Jena. Band I (1944); ‘Michael Neander’, Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie 23 (1886), S.340.


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[MORELLI, João Baptista; LEITAO, Fulgençio].


Reduccion y restituycion del reyno de Portugal a la serenissima casa de Bragança en la real persona de Ivan IV.

Turin [i.e., Paris?], por Iuannetin Pennoto, 1648.


FIRST EDITION. Small 4to. pp. (viii) 415 (i), lacking initial blank. Decorated initial. T-p a little dusty, lower blank margin replaced partially obscuring one letter of imprint, ffep slightly adhering at gutter, very light browning, the odd mark or spot, small worm trail to outer blank margin of O-2B 4 (repaired from X 4 ), very light water stain to lower blank margin of last few ll. A good copy in modern sheep, raised bands, spine gilt, gilt morocco label, a.e.r. C17 bibliographical inscriptions ‘alias Fr. Fulgencio Leitao, da ordem des to Ag Calc o ’ and ‘alias Fr Fulgencio Leitão da Ordem des.to Agostino Calçado’.

A good copy of the scarce first edition of this important apology of the Portuguese monarchs, dedicated to João IV. Fulgençio Leitão (or Leitam, fl. early C17) was an Augustinian Hermit in Lisbon, professor of theology and ‘in utroque iure’; he later moved to Rome, under the name of Fr. João Antonio Ruvarolla. All his works were published under fictitious imprints and authorship; ironically, he incurred the wrath of Cardinal J.B. Pallota, protector of the Augustinian Hermits, for a work he did not write. The Italian imprint ‘Turin’ is fictitious; ‘Reduccion’ was published probably in Paris, during his subsequent exile. It celebrated the ‘return’ to Portugal of the House of Braganza, after 60 years of Iberian Union, begun in 1580 when Philip II of Spain acceded as Philip I of Portugal following the Portuguese Succession War. The rebellion against his descendant Philip III of Portugal (IV of Spain) was led by Duke João II, later crowned King João IV, in 1640. In the preface, Leitão clarifies that the work was intended not so much for a Portuguese, but for a foreign audience. Although some had advised him to write in Italian, as this might interest an Italian rather than a Spanish audience, he chose Spanish so that his Spanish critics would not have the pretext of linguistic misunderstanding. Imbued with Leitão’s theological and legal knowledge, the first of the four parts discusses the historical ties between the Dukes of Braganza and Portugal, and their greater legal right to the throne, against the criticism of Castilian authors, who called João I’s reign a ‘tyranny’ and his descendant’s ancient right a ‘fiction’. The second part describes this ‘restitution’ as divinely planned, the third suggests this occasion should be solemnised and regularly celebrated, and the fourth—a short ‘mirror for princes’—outlines the new monarch’s duties towards God, his vassals and people, with numerous references to the history of the House of Braganza.

The New World is listed among the places to which the Portuguese brought the Catholic faith: ‘In America, the broad Country of Brazil, on the opposite coast as compared to the Western Indies of Peru, and the Marañon […] lifting in all those provinces the flag of our Redemption, reducing little by little part of those barbarous People to the knowledge, and worship, of the true God, and the obedience to the Holy Mother Roman Catholic Church’ (p.297). Further references to trade and fighting against the Dutch in the New World.

Four copies recorded in the US.
Palau 181585; Díaz, Impresos del siglo XVII, 2689; Bib. Lusitana Historica, p.307; Moetjens, Bib. anonymiana 2335; Bib. Hist. de Portugal 372. Not in Emil, Die falschen und fingirten Druckorte. Not in Alden.


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CICERO, Marcus Tullius


M. T. Ciceronis epistolarum familiarium libri XVI,

London, Apud Thomam Marsh, 1574.


8vo. ff. 267 [i.e. 280]. Roman letter, some Italic. Woodcut printers device on title, floriated and white on black criblé woodcut initials. Light age yellowing, title and verso of last soiled, minor mostly marginal waterstaining in places, the odd thumb mark or spot, margins of first quire a little creased. A good, crisp copy, in C18th English calf, spine with gilt ruled raised bands, tan morocco label, corners worn, a little rubbed, small tear on lower cover. 

Exceptionally rare edition, extraordinarily only the second edition of Ciceros letters in the original latin published in Britain. The first English printing (in the version of Manutius) was made in 1571 by Henry Bynneman and is recorded by ESTC in two copies only; this different edition by Thomas Marsh is equally rare, recorded at the Bodleian and York Minster libraries only. Cicero was published in Britain at an early date, Caxton published the first edition in 1481, the first classical work published in Britain, but in translation only. It was only by the later half of the C16th that English printers were skilled enough to compete with European imports of the Latin editions. “In 1569-70 Henry Bynneman, had established his right to print a variety of schoolbooks, basing his appeal partly on a claim to be able to do better than the editions of classical authors then being imported; in 1572 Thomas Marsh acquired a licence to print and sell another wide-ranging selection of schoolbooks ; and in June 1574 .. Thomas Vautrollier acquired a monopoly to print, among others, the works of Cicero and Ovid in Latin.” David McKitterick ‘A History of Cambridge University Press’. Christoph Hegendorff (1500 – 1540), of Leipzig, the editor of this edition, was a Protestant theological scholar, educator, a Protestant reformer and a great, public admirer of Erasmus. His sermons were published in an English translation. 

Written over the course of many years from 65 B.C. onwards and compiled by Cicero’s personal secretary Tiro, the letters are often written in a subtle code to disguise particular political contents. The work is made up of Cicero’s letters to his friends, acquaintances and also their replies, there is one to a conspirator in Caesar’s murder, “I congratulate you.  I rejoice for myself.  I love you.  I watch your interests; I wish for your  love and to be informed of what you are doing and what is being done,” ( Fam. vi. 15).  We know from others that Cicero thought about publishing some of his letters during his lifetime, but it is generally agreed that the Ad Familiares were published by Cicero’s friend Tiro, who suppressed his own letters and included those written to him at the end. Cicero’s letters are among the most valuable sources of information on the period, we learn from him a great deal about daily life in Rome and the provinces, especially the province of Cilicia of which Cicero was sometime governor. There is no other period of antiquity for which we still possess such an immediate and intimate record and in such domestic detail.

ESTC S109965 Bodleian and York Minster only. STC 5296


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MANDERSTON, William. [with] ALMAIN, Jacques.

MANDERSTON, William. Bipartitum in morali philosophia opusculum.

Paris, [Guillaume Le Bret], 1526. [with]

ALMAIN, Jacques. Moralia […] & libellus De auctoritate Ecclesie.

Paris, [Jehan Petit], 1526.


8vo. 2 works in 1, ff. (iv) clxxxiii; (iv) clix, lacking final blank. Roman letter; Gothic letter. Large woodcut printer’s devices to t-ps, first with 2 folding plates showing philosophical diagrams as genealogical trees, decorated initials. Outer edge of first and last gatherings a bit frayed, I: t-p a little dusty, faint water stain to lower outer blank corner of Y-Z 8 , couple of tiny tears along plate folds, II: lower outer blank corner of Ii 2 torn, a few lower or outer edges untrimmed. Good, clean copies in contemporary French calf, spine repaired at head and foot, upper portion restored, double blind ruled to a panel design, outer border with blind roll of tendrils, centre panel with grille de St Laurent rolls of tendrils surrounded by border with rosettes in blind, raised bands, couple of scratches to boards, small repair to corners. I: C16 inscriptions ‘Su[m] (?)llet hunc librum’ (partly erased) and ‘Joannes Chytrius Bonauallensis’ to t-p, occasional contemporary annotations, couple to second plate, II: contemporary inscription, smudged, to t-p, slight later inscriptions and ‘Joannes Chytrius Bonauallensis’ to verso of last.

Good copies of these scarce Parisian editions of important works of moral philosophy, produced in small format for the use of university students. This copy belonged to Joannes Chytrius (Kochhafe?), monk at the abbey of Bonneval, near Chartres. Both authors were educated in the Parisian circle of the Scottish nominalist philosopher John Mair (1467-1550). A major figure in Scottish philosophy, William Manderston (c.1485-1552) was a student at Glasgow and Paris. This edition of ‘Bipartitum’, originally published in 1518, was printed the year after he was appointed rector at Paris. A compendium on moral philosophy based on classical and medieval authorities, it focuses on the role of virtue in general and the cardinal virtues in particular. The folding diagrams summarise the structure of the work, heavily influenced by Aristotelianism tempered by Christian doctrines. The first represents the tree of disciplines rooted in positive moral philosophy on one side (‘leges’ and ‘iura’) and non-positive philosophy on the other (‘ethica’, ‘economica’, ‘politica’, ‘poetica’ and ‘rhetorica’). The second shows the ramifications of the Aristotelian soul into its vegetative, sensitive and rational qualities, the third kind including virtues. The work discusses a variety of topics including the passions of the soul, innocence and the state of fallen nature, natural appetites, causality, the moral basis of human actions, and whether God can be wrong. The second work, ‘Moralia’, became a standard textbook of moral theology. Jacques Almain (d.1515) was a prominent theologian and rector at Paris 1507-8. Imbued with Aristotelianism, ‘Moralia’ was first published by Estienne in 1510, and revised posthumously by John Mair in 1516, after the premature death of his star student. It focuses on the acquisition of human virtues, assigning theological virtues solely to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, touching on issues like human will, whether ignorance is sin, faith, moral actions and corruption. Despite its popularity, it was criticised by Juan Luis Vives who said that ‘reading a single page of Seneca or Plutarch would instil a stronger desire to be virtuous than would digesting the whole of Almain’s “Moralia”’ (‘Encyclopaedia’, 580).

I: No copies recorded in the US or UK. Not BM STC Fr. or Pettigree & Walsby, French Books.
II: Only Bowdoin and Chicago copies recorded in the US.
BM STC Fr., p.11; Pettigree & Walsby, French Books, 52721. A. Broadie, History of Scottish Philosophy (Edinburgh, 2009); Encyclopaedia of Medieval Philosophy, ed. H. Lagerlund (London, 2011).


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PIGNORIA, Lorenzo.


Vetustissimae tabulae Aeneae Sacris Aegyptiorum Simulachris coelatae accurata Explicatio.

Venice, G.A. Rampazetto & G. Franco, 1605.


FIRST EDITION. Large 8vo. pp. (xii) 43 (x) + 12 large folding engraved plates. Italic letter, little Roman. Superb engraved vignette with view of St Mark’s Square to t-p, 12 large folding engraved plates with ancient inscriptions and hieroglyphs of the Mensa Isiaca, recto of five ll. filled with woodcuts of ancient seals, other small woodcut text illustrations, decorated initials. Slight yellowing, small light water stain to upper blank margin, and lower outer blank corner of few ll., one blank verso splashed with minimal see-through. A very good, fresh copy in mottled half calf over sprinkled paper boards c1700, raised bands, spine gilt, gilt label, a.e.r., a little rubbed. Modern bookplate to front pastedown, small pencilled casemark to t-p margin.

A very good, fresh copy of the first edition of this important, lavishly illustrated antiquarian work—with 12 superb folding tables by Enea Vico—by the antiquary and collector Lorenzo Pignoria (1571-1631). It is a study of the ‘Mensa Isiaca’, an elaborately decorated tablet of bronze, enamel and silver acquired by Cardinal Bembo after the sack of Rome of 1527 and later by the Gonzaga in Mantua. Though now believed to be of 1 st-century Roman, not Egyptian, origin, it soon began to inspire the study of hieroglyphs and ancient Egyptian cults; Valeriano too mentioned it in his ‘Hieroglyphica’ and Athanasius Kircher wrote on it in 1652. Pignoria’s work, the first scholarly study, ‘has been considered by subsequent scholars as the most valuable, both for the author’s purpose [not to interpret the tablet allegorically but using ancient sources] and for its historical information’ (Leospo, ‘Mensa Isiaca’, 2). Pignoria was ‘willing to hazard an interpretation of the table’s symbols, but his identifications of individual figures were explicitly tentative, and he did not attempt to explain how they related to one another semantically’ (Stolzenberg, ‘Oegyptian’, 46). The sources include Greek epigraphic inscriptions, ancient amulets and seals, many beautifully illustrated; the tablet is also superbly portrayed in the 12 large folding tables. These were originally produced by Vico in 1559, by commission of Torquato Bembo; Vico was granted a ten-year privilege to print them with the title ‘Vetustissimae Tabulae Aeneae’. In 1600, Giovanni Franco had the plates copied and recut, and sold them as a collection of 12 prints, including the t-p. Copies of Pignoria’s edition are recorded (and were probably bound) with  a variable number of plates, from none to 12. With 12, this copy collates like Princeton, Bib. Apost. Vaticana (Cicognara) and Bib. Naz. Centrale (Rome). These lavishly illustrated copies were probably deluxe versions, produced by Franco with the addition of Vico’s plates.

Cicognara 2544; Brunet IV, 651. E. Leospo, La Mensa Isiaca di Torino (Leiden, 1978); D. Stolzenberg, Egyptian Oedipus (Chicago, 2013).


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