[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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RULAND, Martin


Lexicon alchemiae sive Dictionarium alchemisticum.

Frankfurt, Cura ac sumtibus Zachariae Palhenii, 1612


FIRST EDITION. 4to. pp. (viii) 471 [i.e., 487] (i). Roman letter, occasional Italic or Gothic. Unusual woodcut device (triangle with alchemical symbols) to t-p, two small woodcuts of stones and gems, woodcut initials and ornaments. Paper of first gathering softened, occasional light browned (poor paper or poorly dried), t-p a bit dusty, a handful of lower or outer edges uncut. A very good copy in contemporary English polished calf, double blind ruled, raised bands, single blind ruled, joint just split at head and foot (lower repaired), spine a bit cracked, tiny worm hole at head. Modern ownership label inside front boards, occasional early underlinings.

A very good copy of the first edition of this important alchemical dictionary—‘very full, less mystical and more practical than some later [works]’ and ‘useful in explaining early terminology’ (Bolton I, 1041). Martin Ruland the Elder (1569-1611) was a German physician at the court of Rudolf II and an alchemist. Concluded c.1607, his ‘Lexicon alchemiae’ was only published posthumously, as a very detailed Latin-German dictionary of alchemical terms. Most important are the near synonymous definitions of ‘alchemia’, ‘chemia’, and, unusually differentiated, ‘chymia’; Ruland was indeed ‘one source of the linguistic error that facilitated their later [conceptual] separation’ (Newman & Prince, ‘Alchemy’, 47). The work provides a wide variety of words for chemical elements and stones, with all their subcategories, and other substances such as alcohol (of which Paracelsus gave his own interpretation as both a powder and a volatile substances). Other words identify alchemical procedures or phases, e.g., ‘mensis philosophicus’ (the philosophical month), or the time for the completion of putrefaction, coinciding with a lunar cycle. ‘Lexicon’ was known to C.G. Jung who mentioned it his ‘Psychology and Alchemy’ to discuss Ruland’s understanding of ‘meditatio’, an important part of alchemists’ work (Jung, ‘Psychology’, 274). He saw it as ‘an invisible dialogue with one’s inner voice’, which may involve the invocation of God or one’s guardian angel. A very influential alchemical work, of intriguing, though obscure, early English provenance.

Chicago, Mass, Brown (Hay), Yale, Columbia, NYMA, NYPL, SHI, Delaware, Penn, NLM, LC, Oberlin, Miami, Wisconsin, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Washington, Florida, Oklahoma and HRC copies recorded in the US.

Ferguson II, 302-3; BL STC Ger. C17 R1211; Duveen 520; Wellcome I, 5638. Not in Durling or Graesse. W.R. Newman, L.M. Principe, ‘Alchemy vs. Chemistry’, Early Science and Medicine, 3 (1998), 32-65; C.G. Jung, Psychology and Alchemy (rpt. 1968).


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A dictionarie of the French and English tongues

London, printed by Adam Islip, 1611.


FIRST EDITION. Folio. 484 unnumbered leaves, ff. 10, [ii]. [A]⁴ B-4N⁶. [first and last leaf blank] Roman and Italic letter, double column. Title within elaborate woodcut border, text within single rule, historiated and floriated woodcut initials grotesque head and tail-pieces, “Gilbt. Garard” with price in contemporary hand on second fly leaf, “To Mr. Benj’n Hyett at Nicholas Hyetts, Boswell Court Carey Street” on first fly, a few folded corner ‘temoins’. Very light age yellowing. A fine copy, crisp and clean, in handsome contemporary calf, covers bordered with a triple blind rule,  scrolled arabesque gilt stamped at centres, spine with raised bands,  blind ruled in compartments, small fleurons gilt at centres, head and tail restored, extremities a little rubbed. 

A fine, and unusually fresh copy, in a contemporary binding of the first edition of Cotgrave’s important French dictionary; a delightful and fascinating volume in which robust Shakespearean English and Rabelaisian French are given full expression. “Randle Cotgrave’s Dictionarie of the French and English Tongues (London, 1611) is the most important French-English dictionary of the Renaissance. It was a popular work and went through five editions, laying the foundation for the compilations of Guy Miège and Abel Boyer. In 1632, Robert Sherwood added an English-French section, turning Cotgrave’s work into a bidirectional dictionary.  … Very little is known about the life of Randle Cotgrave. It is certain that he was a student under the Lady Margaret Foundation at St. John’s College, Cambridge University,… What further information we have has been gleaned from what he tells us himself in the Dictionary and from the contents of two letters written to M. Beaulieu, secretary of the English Ambassador to Paris. From these letters, .. we learn that M. Beaulieu along with a Hr. Limery had assisted Cotgrave in his compilations, and that Cotgrave was in the employment of William Cecil, Lord Burghley during the time he was writing. … From the humorous character of some of his illustrative material we are left with the impression that Cotgrave was a man of great wit. Plays on words, popular during his time, rhymes and side comments abound. Wherever possible he illustrated an entry with a Proverb. This he preferred rather than citations taken from poetic works or the Classics. ..What seems to be a deliberate attempt on Cotgrave’s part to list legal and government terminology… is shown by eight pages of text appearing under the entry Droict alone. The glosses for Roi, Parlement, and Etat reflect equal attention to detail. Cotgrave’s dictionary is invaluable for those studying Renaissance and early seventeenth century French language as he included entries which are variant dialectical forms, gleaned particularly from Rabelais. ..Vera E. Smalley’s study .. explains the tremendous amount of research which went into the Cotgrave compilation … unlike his predecessors, and those lexicographers to follow, he was not content to use solely dictionary sources in his compilation. … However, the most interesting part of this dictionary from the standpoint of the philologist is the grammatical section at the back following the last page of glosses. The first page of this section numbered Fol.l bears the title “Brief Directions for such as desire to learne the French Tongue: and first of the Vowels, and Dipthongs”. It is the most complete discussion of sounds thus far.., and the most authoritative.” James David Anderson. ‘The Development of the English-French, French English Bilingual Dictionary: a Study in Comparative Lexicography.’

A fine copy in handsome contemporary calf.

ESTC S107262. STC 5830. Lowndes II 532. “Very useful in explaining the obsolete terms in old French writers.” Alden 611/17. 


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Repertorium iuris utriusque.

Nuremberg, Anton Koberger, 25 October 1483.


Folio. 3 parts in 2 volumes. 468 + 452 unnumbered ff. [collation on request]. Gothic letter, double column. Capital letters and intermittent initials largely supplied in red often with extensive decoration, vol. 1 with sketch for capital letter illumination on t-p. Light age yellowing, margins untrimmed, the odd insignificant ink or thumb mark, first and last leaf with scattered wormholes. Vol. 1 with faded inscriptions to ff. vviii and 2aviii. Vol. 2 with tiny wormholes to first few gatherings not affecting reading. Exceptional wide-margined copies on very good thick paper, crisp and clean, in highest quality C15 Bavarian blindstamped quarter pigskin over wooden boards, lacking clasps, two panels of diagonal double fillets with fleurons and basilisks, classification stamp or label ‘JU’ to spines, covers slightly wormed and rubbed, late C16 woodcut letter ‘A’ on upper cover of both vols, original ms title labels beneath. C16/C17 monogram ‘ES’, casemarks ‘12’ and ‘13’, and later ‘N. 736’, C18 ms. ex-libris ‘Monachij ad PP. Franciscanos’ and C19 inscription ‘Duplum’ to both vols, C15 ms. roundel in red ‘OSWS 1487’ at beginning of vol. 1 part II. Circular stamp of St Anthony’s convent (Munich) on vol. 2 upper edges.

A remarkably large, crisp copy on thick paper in two volumes of the second edition of this fundamental C15 work on jurisprudence. Of Bavarian provenance, its splendid C15 binding over wooden boards was made in the same workshop in Munich (Schwenke-Schunke II, S. 4 u. S. 275 f.) as Albertus Magnus’s ‘De abundantia exemplorum’ (Ulm, 1478) from the collection of the convent of St Anthony, now at the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek. Giovanni Bertachini (?1448-c.1500) graduated in Law at the University of Padua, and, an experienced jurist and esteemed author, he was appointed lawyer of the Consistory by Pope Sixtus VI. Composed after 1471 and first printed in Rome in 1481, his ‘Repertorium’ is a monumental dictionary designed for scholars and practitioners of canon and civil (cum criminal) law. It is organised alphabetically by subject, for easy consultation, with hundreds of sections on juridical institutions (e.g., marriage), the legal status of individuals (e.g., fathers, archbishops, notaries), crimes (e.g., murder), and situations in which contracts are signed (e.g., sales, inheritance). Every section lists dozens of legal situations pertaining to specific juridical areas. For instance, a father, who can be natural, adoptive, and so on, can repudiate his son for numerous reasons, which are all listed as separate entries. For each entry, Bertachini provides references to the most important legal compendia which elaborate on the given subject, from Justinian’s ‘Institutiones’ to Guillaume Durand’s ‘Speculum iudiciale’ (c. 1271-1291) and Baldus’s C14 commentary to the ‘Codex Iustinianus’. Bertachini discusses unusual questions like the problematic legal status of hermaphrodites, as the coexistence of different sexes involved the concurrence of conflicting legal rights. The ‘Repertorium’ explained, among other things, that the Christian names of hermaphrodites had to reflect their prevalent masculine or feminine blood ‘serum’ (believed to determine a person’s biological sex). This understanding of hermaphroditism was still current in C18 studies on biological heredity. Bertachini’s legal encyclopaedia was extremely successful and influential, with ten editions appearing in the fifteenth century. 

The complex provenance of these volumes is traceable to Bavaria, where they were printed, bound, and preserved at least until the mid-C19. The red ink letters OSWS are probably an unidentified rubricator’s monogram unusually styled in the form of a circle with initials rather than a signature. If so, the rubrication of at least the first part can be dated to 1487. After the second half of the C16, these volumes were possessed by ‘ES’, probably a lawyer and likely responsible for the woodcuts ‘A’ taken from a German book of initials modelled on letters published by Gabriele Giolito in Venice in 1557. Some of ES’s books were later acquired by the Franciscan convent of St Anthony in Munich. Two more books from the convent’s collection—Sulpitius’s ‘Corpus iuris civilis. Digestum vetus’ (Perugia, 1476) and Ubaldi’s ‘Lectura super Codice, Liber 6’ (Perugia, 1472), now at the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek—bear the ‘ES’ monogram and a ‘B’ on the cover after Giolito’s woodcut of 1564. The volumes likely remained in the convent until its abolition on the secularisation of Bavaria in 1802. The ex-libris ‘Monachij ad PP. Franciscanos’, which appears on many volumes from the convent, probably derives from an inventory made in the late C18 or early C19. After 1802, the volumes were acquired by the Royal Library in Munich and catalogued as duplicates, like thousands of other books from Bavarian monasteries. Librarians noted ‘Duplum’ in ink and ‘Duplum an[n]i 1483’ in pencil on the volumes. The same inscriptions appear on another 1483 copy of the ‘Repertorium’ (now at the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek) once belonging to the convent. This copy was sold by the Library after the mid-C19.

Only Library of Congress (parts I, II only) and Syracuse (part I only) recorded copies in the US.

H *2982; GW 4153; BSB-Ink B-386; Goff B-498.


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Antiquæ linguæ Britannicæ, nunc vulgò dictæ Cambro-Britannicæ, a suis Cymraecae vel Cambricae, ab aliis Wallicæ, et linguæ Latinæ, dictionarium duplex…

London : impress. in ædibus R. Young, impensis Joan. Davies SS. Th. D., An. Dom. 1632.


FIRST EDITON. Folio. pp. [398]. *⁴, 2*⁴, A-P⁴, 2A-3H⁴, 3I⁶. Issue without the unsigned leaf of commendatory verses. Roman and italic letter, some Hebrew, triple column. Title and text within box rule. Small woodcut device on title, Royal arms on verso, those of the Prince of Wales (Prince Charles) at head of dedication, historiated woodcut initials, elaborate woodcut head and tail-pieces, typographical ornaments, autograph of ‘Hon Howell Vaughan’ repeated in blank margins of several leaves, ‘Ed. LLoyd’ in several margins, engraved case mark of the Porkington Library on pastedown, early latin inscription on verso of last. Light age yellowing, some minor waterstaining in places, the odd mark or spot. A very good, crisp copy in early C19th polished calf, covers bordered with blind Greek key and floral scrolls, spine with raised bands blind fleurons in compartments, title and author gilt.

First edition of Davies’ great Welsh- Latin, Latin-Welsh dictionary; though the second part was the work of Thomas Williams of Trevriw, the whole work was edited by Davies. Davies was of humble origin but had the inestimable advantage of a village education in his native Denbighshire by William Morgan, the translator of the Bible into Welsh. He later in turn assisted Parry in the preparation of his great Welsh Bible (1620). He was held in high esteem as a clergyman and magistrate and the present work gained him a high reputation as a scholar also. The separate glossary of Welsh botanical names remains of particular interest.”The author was ‘esteemed by the academicians well vers’d in the history and antiquities of his own nation, and in the Greek and Hebrew languages, a most exact critic, an indefatigable researcher into ancient scripts, and well acquainted with curious and rare authors’ – Ant. à Wood” Lowndes cit. infr. “The greatest scholar until modern days was John Davies of Mallwyd, editor of the 1620 Bible, whose grammar (in Latin in 1621) and Welsh- Latin, Latin-Welsh dictionary (1632) are among the most influential works of Welsh scholarship.”. J. T Koch Celtic Culture, A Historical Encyclopaedia. “His analysis of the modern literary language is final; he has left to his successors only the correction and amplification of detail.” John Morris Jones. 

The Porkington or the Brogyntyn Library at Brogyntyn Hall in Shropshire contained a hugely important collection of Welsh books and manuscripts. It is known that Sir Robert Owen of Brogyntyn (d. 1698) was a bibliophile who continued the family’s traditional patronage of poets, and a collection of printed English literature was developed by his grandfather Lewis Anwyl of Park. Nevertheless, the early history of the library at Brogyntyn is obscure. Some of the family had collected early printed books during the nineteenth century but this does not account for the fine collection of manuscripts that the library held. There is some evidence contained within the manuscripts which suggests that the collection was formed circa 1700 from other manuscripts collections in the surrounding area. The thirty Welsh language manuscripts that the third Lord Harlech deposited in the National Library of Wales in 1934 was, at the time, the largest collection of manuscripts in Welsh that was still privately owned. The fourth Lord Harlech deposited a further fifty-nine manuscripts in the National Library in 1938 and subsequently donated most of the deposits in 1945. They include a medieval psalter and a version of Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Historia Regum Britanniæ, both from the thirteenth century, a fifteenth century miscellany in Middle English, a volume of the Welsh laws of Hywel Dda, and pedigrees, genealogy and heraldry of familes in Wales.

The autograph Howell Vaughan that appears n the margins of the work was probably that of Sir Robert Howell Vaughan (1723 – 1792) the possessor of of the estates of Nannau, Hengwrt, Ystumcolwyn, and Meillionydd in Wales. A most appropriate provenance for this work, a rare first edition.

ESTC S122150. STC 6347. Lowndes II 600. ‘A most elaborate and excellent work’ Nicholson.



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PEROTTO, Niccolò



Venice, Aldus Manutius, 1499


FIRST ALDINE EDITION. Folio, pp. (lx) 642. Roman letter, a little Greek. Large initial letter of text in red and blue, rubricated initials thereafter, some text underlining in red and black. Contemporary and early marginalia in several North European hands, occasionally in red, systematic to first 60 pages, one index passage extensive, intermittent throughout. Autograph of Father Labe S.J. 1698, and manuscript inscription of an anonymous Jesuit College 1728, both on recto of first. Three words in tiny hand (directions to binder?) on blank of verso last. Stubs from c. 15th rubricated manuscript on vellum, vellum paste-downs from c. 14th (?) hymnal, decorated initials in red and blue, three line musical notation. Recto of first couple of leaves a bit soiled, marginal finger marks and corner repairs to first gathering and last, water or oil splashes to edges in some places and two pages of text. A good, well-margined, thick paper copy, used but unsophisticated in elaborate blind stamped pigskin over wooden boards, double panelled within two four-line borders, elaborately patterned tooling of various flowers in overall design, strap leather replaced, original brass clasps and hasps, one corner restored.

First Aldine edition of Perottus’ monumental work on the language and literature of classical Rome, in the form of a commentary on Martial’s epigrams. It was the greatest storehouse of linguistic material of its day, and the source-book for generations of Latin writers, including Calepine for his great dictionary. In his long preface, Aldus tells the reader that he sees it as his duty to protect the treasures of literature from the ravages of time. The text is numbered by both page and line so that it can correspond exactly with the comprehensive alphabetical index, the first time this had been done and in fact the invention of a modern scholarly system of reference (see F. Geldner, Inkunabelkunde, p. 69).

The errors found in revision were all listed to help the student. This edition also contains the first use (possibly with the Discorides) of Aldus’ third and most influential Greek type inspired by Marcus Mursurus and engraved by Francesco Griffo. “A massive encyclopaedia of the classical world. Every verse, indeed every word, of Martial’s text was a hook on which Perotti hung a densely woven tissue of linguistic, historical and cultural knowledge.” B. Ogilvie ‘The Science of Describing: Natural History in Renaissance Europe.’

The best early edition of one of the most significant works on antiquity in an impressive contemporary binding.

BMC V 561. Goff P.296. IGI 7428. Renouard 19:2 “Première édition d’une grande rareté”. Brunet IV 505 “Livre fort rare”.


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RICCI, Bartolomeo


Apparatus latinae locutionis.

Venice, Niccolini Brothers, 1533.


FIRST EDITION. Folio, (4) f., 598 col., (12) f., wanting final blank. Neat Roman letter, double-columns; title within elegant architectural woodcut boarder with monsters, cupids and soldiers; few rust spots on cviii; tiny worm trail over internal upper margin of ff. rviii-ti; margins very occasionally marked. An extremely good copy in contemporary vellum from an early fifteenth-century manuscript missal, black-and-red; on both boards, decorative border in red and capitals in red and blue (some beautifully decorated); slightly rubbed; front lower corner a bit chipped; original binding, not recased. Contemporary ex libris on title, ‘Valvasor’ and ‘Valvassoris et amicorum’ (repeated on head of ai) as well as ‘Franciscus Hieronimus De medicis … anno curente 1551.’

First edition of this successful lexicon of Latin terminology drawn from the best ancient writers, especially Cicero. A respected scholar and writer, Bartolomeo Ricci (1490 – 1569) taught the Duke of Ferrara, Alfonso d’Este. He left several speeches and letters, together with a famous treatise on the stylistic imitation of the Latin classics. His Apparatus offered readers a tool to enlarge and refine their knowledge of Latin, exclusively on a classical basis. It was published following the favourable judgement of Pietro Bembo, the founding theorist of the Italian language. Both Bembo and Ricci thought the purest Latin prose should resemble the style of Cicero as close as possible. This view was broadly shared by sixteenth-century Italian humanists. In their excess of zeal, many of them were regarded as pedantic emulators, ultimately falling into the category mocked by Erasmus in his Ciceronianus.

This remarkable copy was almost certainly inscribed in a very elegant humanist handwriting by Clemente Valvassori. A Venetian men of letters, he glossed and commented on an Italian translation of Sallust and provided an allegoric Christian interpretation of Ariosto’s epic poem Orlando Furioso (nothing more distant from the author’s original purpose!). The printer Giovanni Andrea Valvassori was probably a relative of his. In 1551, the book was acquired by (presumably) Girolamo de Medici, most probably the jurist from Lucca who was active in Mantua in mid-sixteenth century.

Not in BM STC It. nor Adams. Graesse, VI, 109.


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An exposition of certaine difficult and obscure words, and termes of the lawes of this realme. Newly amended and augmented, both in French and English, for the helpe of such young students as are desirous to attaine to the knowledge of the same.

London, Printed [by Adam Islip] for the Company of Stationers, 1615


8vo. ff. [iv], 196, double column. English in Black letter, French in Roman letter. Small typographical ornament on t-p, engraved bookplate of Edward Jackson Baron, on pastedown. Light age yellowing, small closed tear at gutter of title, title and verso of last a bit dusty. A very good copy, crisp and clean, in contemporary limp vellum, remains of ties.

A finely printed and well preserved copy of John Rastell’s immensely popular and useful legal dictionary; both the first English dictionary and first English law dictionary. “John Rastell (1470?-1536), a printer and barrister of Lincoln’s Inn, wrote and then published the first edition of this book in 1527. Originally, it was in Law Latin and Law French. In the second edition of 1530, a parallel English translation was added – perhaps by Rastell’s son William (1508 – 1565), who had been studying law at Oxford and would soon become a barrister himself. This [present] edition reflects the joint efforts of father and son. A reviser named Paget (a barrister of the Middle Temple may also have contributed to the work … . The Rastells’ work is notable in several ways. First, it is a lexicographic landmark because it antedates by 11 years the first general English dictionary, written by Sir Thomas Elyot. Second, for the its time it was a sophisticated piece of lexicography that would provide definitions for legal terms in other dictionaries for generations to come. (..John Bullokar (1616), Thomas Blount (1656), Edward Phillips (1658) and Henry Cockeram (1670) borrowed heavily from Rastell – and through the 18th century still other writers borrowed from them). Third, the side by side translations marked a typographic innovation for dictionary-makers; apart from the typefaces, the columns look surprisingly modern more than 400 years later. Fourth, the dictionary had an extraordinary life through 29 editions that spanned a period of 292 years (the final American edition having appeared in 1819) – a longevity that few if any other lawbook can rival.” Bryan A. Garner. ‘Garner on Language and Writing.’ As Marvin observes, it remains a useful dictionary because it “reflects the common law at the close of the year-book period with much fidelity.” A very good copy.

STC, 20715. ESTC S115775


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SCHMIDT, Erasmus

Novi Testamenti Jesu Christi graeci, hoc est, originalis linguae tameion [aliis concordantiae] Hactenus usitato correctius, ordinatius, distinctius, plenius,.

Wittenberg, Impensis haeredum Clementis Bergeri bibliopl., ex officina typographica Jobi VVilhelmi Fincelii, 1638


FIRST EDITION. folio. ff. [341]. -1[eng. t-p.], [:]4, A-Z6, 2A-2Z6, 3A-3K6. Last blank. Greek letter in three columns. Printed title in red and black, fine full page engraved architectural title, Evangelists to the sides, putti above with olive branches, scenes from the New Testament in roundels at corners, portrait of the author below, woodcut initials, typographical headpieces, ‘Edw: Gul: Stillingfleet’ and shelf mark in ms. on fly. General paper browning and spotting as usual (poor quality paper), heavier in places. A good copy in contemporary vellum over boards, yapp edges, a.e.r., a little soiled and rubbed.

Rare first edition of this monumental concordance of all the words in the Greek New Testament by the German philologist, theologian and mathematician Erasmus Schmidt, with an appropriate provenance. It comprises an alphabetical arrangement of every word in the the Greek New Testament in which is listed immediately after the series of passages in which it occurs. The work was of great utility to theologians not only in finding particular texts which they wished to consult but especially for ascertaining which passages are really parallel, and thus deducing the accurate meaning and interpretation of each word. The only comparable work to have been published was Henry Estienne’s who completed the concordance started by his father Robert in 1594. That text was so riddled with errors that many have concluded that it cannot have been the work of Henry but to which Estienne added his name and published out of financial necessity. This work by Erasmus Schmidt far surpassed that of Estienne, entirely superseding it, and formed the basis of all subsequent concordances. Schmidt, who taught Greek at the University of Wittenberg felt that a proper understanding of the N.T. could only be gained, not from merely understanding the rules of the structure of words and language, but from the most intimate familiarity with the language and its context. He was the last among the German Hellenists who taught in the manner and spirit of Melanchthon.

Edward William Stillingfleet was the grandson of the great British theologian and scholar of the same name. He was a fellow of Lincoln College Oxford and became a Deacon in 1805 and a priest a year later.

Not in BM STC C17 Ger. or Darlow and Moule. Not in Brunet or Graesse.


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PEROTTO, Niccolò


Cornucopiae, siue linguae Latinae commentarij diligentissimé recogniti.

Venice, Aldi et Andrea Soceri, November 1513 [but May 1517].


Folio. ff. 79 (i), 1,436 columns, ff.(i). π-10π8, a-z8, A-Y8. Italic letter in double column. Aldine device on title, capital spaces with guide letters. Two leaves of quire slightly oxidized browned, couple of tiny single worm holes on first few leaves and at end, title a little thumbed in lower outer blank corner of table, the odd minor marginal mark. A very good copy, crisp and clean, in contemporary vellum over boards, title manuscript on spine.

An excellent copy of the second Aldine edition of this monumental collection of grammars, including one of the most important Renaissance Latin dictionaries by Niccolo Perroto, together with three influential classical grammars by Varro, Festus and Nonius Marcellus, dedicated to the condottiere Federico da Montefeltro of Urbino. Although the date 1513 is shown on the final colophon as if it was the second Aldine edition, this is in reality a reprint carried out in May 1517, as the colophon at the end of Perotti’s work indicates (col 1064 [i.e. 1054]). The largest section of the book is taken up by Perroti’s Cornucopia. Written as a commentary on book I of Martial and de-constructing its every sentence, Cornucopia became a standard reference work on the Latin language. “A massive encyclopedia of the classical world. Every verse, indeed every word of Martial’s text was a hook on which Perotti hung a densely woven tissue of linguistic, historical and cultural knowledge” Brian Ogilvie, ‘The Science of Describing: Natural History in Renaissance Europe.’

The work was revised and expanded by Perotto’s son Pyrrhus and the first edition was published in Venice in 1489 with the first Aldine appearing in 1499. The text was carefully numbered by page and by line helping to key the index precisely and thus introducing a modern scholarly system of reference. Niccolò Perotto (1429-1480) was an Italian cleric and humanist, who was born and died in Sassoferrato. From 1451 to 1453 he taught rhetoric and poetry at the University of Bologna. In 1452 he was acknowledged as Poet Laureate by the Emperor Frederick III during his welcome speech upon his arrival in the city. He was the papal secretary from 1455 and archbishop of Siponto in 1458. Although his later career was as a papal governor, he continued his scholarly pursuits, editing the works of the Roman writers Pliny and Martial. Apart from Cornucopia, he wrote a Latin school grammar, Rudimenta Grammatices (Pannartz and Sweynheim 1473), one of the earliest and most popular Renaissance Latin grammars, which attempted to modernize the language by excluding many words and constructions of medieval origin.

The Cornucopia is bound together with the three most important classical texts on the grammar and etymology of the Latin language. Firstly, “Varro’s treatise is the earliest extant work on Grammar. This great work which was finished before Cicero’s death in 43 BC, owes much to the Stoic teaching of Aelius Stilo. … The first three of the surviving books are on Etymology, book V being on names of places, VI on terms denoting time and VII on poetic expressions.” Sandys I, p. 179. Second is Sextus Pompeius Festus’ epitome in 21 books of the encyclopaedic treatise ‘De verborum significatione’ of Valerius Flaccus. Festus gives the etymology and the meaning of many words, throwing considerable light on the Latin language, mythology and antiquities of ancient Rome. The work ends with Nonius Marcellus’ Compendia. A lovely, fresh copy of these important texts.

BM STC. It. C16th p. 499. Adams P720. Renouard 63.6.


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