LONGINUS, Caesar. Trinum magicum siue secretorum magicorum opus: continens 1. De magia naturali, ... 2. Theatrum naturae, ... 3. Oracula Zoroastris, ...

Frankfurt, ex officina typographica Antonij Hummij, 1616.


12mo. [xx], 603, [i]: ):(, 2):(², A-2B¹², 2C². Roman letter, some Italic. Typographical ornaments, early bibliographical notes on fly, one noting the preference of Debure for the 1616 edition and another noting the books placement on the Index, armorial library stamp of J Richard D.M. on title and verso of final leaf. Light age yellowing, small worm hole becoming a trail affecting a few letters in upper margin of a few quires. A good copy in slightly later sheep, covers bordered with a single blind rule, spine with raised bands richly gilt in compartments gilt sun fleurons at centres, edges gilt ruled, a.e.r., headband worn, cracks to joints.  

Rare third edition of this compilation of three esoteric works on natural secrets, originally published in this enlarged form in 1611. It deals with various forms of magic, demonology, witchcraft, the marvellous properties of plants, stones, and animals; magnetic and other cures, and the Oracles of Zoroaster and ancient Middle Eastern, Greek, and Roman mysteries. “In 1611 the enigmatic Caesar Longinus published the second edition of the collection ‘Trinium Magicum’ (Threefold Magic, or a Collection of Natural Secrets) in Frankfurt. Nothing is known about Caesar Longinus – possibly a nickname – who on the title prides himself as a ‘Philosophus’. This new edition, significantly enlarged and introduced by a slightly modified title .. encompasses the ancient tradition of magical knowledge, and includes amongst others, the Oracula Zoroastris, whose text faithfully reproduces that of Patrizi’s edition or more precisely its Hamburg reprint, or adaption of 1593. Longinus’s work enjoyed wide popularity, and was frequently reprinted … up until 1673. In December 1700 the Congregation of the Index prohibited it”. Margherita Palumbo. ‘Fruits of Migration: Heterodox Italian Migrants and Central European Culture.’

The work was influential throughout the C17th century – Isaac Newton owned a copy of the 1673 edition. The translation and organisation of the Chaldean Oracles that makes up the third part of the text was by Franciscus Patritius. “The translation, completed by August, 1591 at Ferrara, was dedicated to pope Gregory 14th with a secondary dedication to Cardinal Enico Gaetani. By drawing oracles from the writings of many ancient authors Patritius increased the number of oracles to 324 and placed them under eleven general heads.. The knowledge we have of the Chaldean (Zoroastrian) Oracles, scant as it is, goes back to Mcihael Psellus of the eleventh century whose literary remnants include a commentary on the oracles and short expositions of the Chaldaic doctrines.. The oracles, really date from the second century A.D. and are attributed to Julian the Chaldaean and his son. Made up of Platonic, Neo-Pythagorean, Stoic, Gnostic and Persian elements, the oracles were readily accepted by members of the Florentine Platonic Academy as an important part of a philosophical-religious tradition of great antiquity. ..” K. H Dannenfeldt.

USTC 2017293. Thorndike VI, 601-02. Caillet 6783 (editions of 1629, 1663).
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