[NEOTECHNUS, Henricus].

[NEOTECHNUS, Henricus]. VI Prognostica Von Verenderung und zufälligem Glück und Unglück der höchsten Potentaten im Römischen Reich

[n.pl.], [n.pr.], 1620


4to, 76 unnumbered ll. German text in gothic letter and Latin in Roman, woodcut floriated initials, woodcut dragon device to t-p. Light age browning, small ink spots to t-p blank, a few margins a bit short in places (a few printed side notes slightly cropped), some deckle edges. Rare contemporary marginalia in Latin and underlining. A good copy in old marbled paper. Contemporary ms. “Sum ex libris Davidis Tricenarii” to t-p.

A good copy of this rare collection of six prognostic texts from different authors, edited and commented by the otherwise unknown Henricus Neotechnus, ‘medicus physicus’ (doctor and physician) from Naumburg, Saxony. This is the second edition, the first 1613.

In this work, Neotechnus gathered a series of texts containing prophecies that were written in Latin and German during the XVI century. In particular, as specified in the title, the prognostications are concerned with “the luck and misfortunes of the high potentates of the (Holy) Roman Empire, the Turks and the Pope”. Throughout the volume, Neotechnus frequently includes his own comments and additions to the works of the authors that he quotes, entitling his paragraphs with “Additio H.N.”

The first section contains the predictions of Johann Carion (1499-1537), court astrologer of Joachim I of Brandeburg and author of various prognostications based on the observation of the planets. His works were popular among the Lutheran circle of Melanchthon and he is famous for having predicted the Protestant Reformation, as well as various apocalyptic events. The second section includes an extract from the prophecies of Jacob Hartmann von Durlach, dated 1538. The third is concerned with a curious text entitled “Prophecy and warning concerning Germany and the House of Saxony, written 300 years ago, found in the library of Nuremberg and sent by Veit Dietrich [German theologian, 1506-1549] to Philip Melanchthon”. The fourth section is the largest and most important, as it comprises the famous ‘Prognosticon Theophrasti Paracelsi’. Theophrastus von Hohenheim (1493-1541), commonly known as Paracelsus, was a renowned Swiss physician, alchemist and theologian. This is a collection of 32 cryptic and allegorical prophecies extracted from his works on astrology and divination. Notably, in the pages of the ’Prognosticon’, Paracelsus predicted a series of events which have been later associated with the Thirty Years’ War (1618-1648), contemporary to the time in which Neotechnus was writing. The fifth and sixth sections contain selected predictions by the Italian Antonio Torquato (or Arcoato, end of the XV century) concerning the Turks, and by an anonymous “Mahometic priest” concerning the Turkish Sultan Amurath I.

The ex libris reads “I come from the library of David Tricenarius”. ‘Tricenarius’, rather than a surname, can be interpreted as an indication of age, meaning ‘thirty years old’ or ‘in his thirties”.

USTC 2044623; VD17 3: 316409H; Bibliographia Paracelsica (Berlin 1894) 316. Not in BM STC Ger. 17th century or Cantamessa. Worldcat records this edition in the US Harward, Univ. of Winsconsin and Washington Univ. in St. Louis and a sole copy of the 1st ed. at Harward.
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