IORNANDES [JORDANES]. De Getarum, sive Gothorum origine et rebus gestis. [with]

VULCANIUS, Bonaventura. De Literis et lingua Getarum.

Leiden, ex Officina Plantiniana, 1597.


FIRST EDITIONS. 8vo. 2 works in 1, pp. (xvi) 264, 191 (i); (xvi) 109 (i). Italic letter, occasional Greek, Roman and various Gothic fonts, including Runes. Woodcut printer’s device to t-ps, decorated initials. First t-p a little dusty, occasional light yellowing, a few ll. slightly browned, couple of lower outer blank corners torn, affecting one word on A7. Good copies in contemporary Dutch vellum, yapp edges, ms. ‘128’ and scattered ink spots to upper cover, small leather flaw to lower, spine dust-soiled. Ms. ‘Bibl.[iotheca] Lovan.[iensis] [crossed out] 1781 n.3729’ to ffep verso.

Good copies of the first editions of these influential works on the ancient history and languages of northern Europe. A ground-breaking text, ‘De literis’ is a dissertation on the Gothic language by the Flemish Bonaventura Vulcanius (1538-1614), professor of Greek and Latin at Leiden; it features the first Gothic text ever printed, from a 6th-century ms. translation of the Bible named ‘Codex Argenteus’. The work comprises two anonymous essays on Gothic letters and their pronunciation, samples of four Gothic alphabets and typefaces (erroneously including Runes and Tironian notation), Gothic translations of Latin prayers, Gothic epigraphy, a list of Gothic words spoken in Crimea (drawn from Busbecq), and unrelated samples (in Roman letter) of obscure languages like Anglo-Saxon, Persian (noting affinities with German), Basque, Frisian, Welsh, Icelandic, Romani and Rotwelsch (a secret language spoken by marginalised communities in Southern Germany). ‘“De literis” [is] a remarkable collage of documentary language materials. […] Today it is hard to imagine how difficult it was to acquire text specimens or dictionaries of “exotic” languages. […] The publication of Persian, Basque and Rotwelsch language samples and text specimens of the Gothic “Codex Argenteus” (the name of which appears here for the first time) was previously unheard of in the Netherlands’ (van Hal, 397-8). ‘De literis’ was intended as a supplement to the edition of major texts on the ancient history of the Goths, which he produced in the same year. The most important work in the collection is ‘De Getarum sive Gothorum origine’, written in 550AD by Jordanes, a Byzantine state officer of Gothic descent. It is a dense summary of a now lost history of the Goths by the Roman historian Cassiodorus (5th cent.), spanning over 2000 years. It comprises detailed accounts of northern European geography and ethnography, semi-historical and historical Gothic migrations to Greece, Asia Minor and Egypt, and their defeat by the Byzantine Belisarius. Another work by Jordanes, on the succession of Gothic kingdoms, is also present, as well as important chronicles of the Goths, Vandals, Suedes and Visigoths by the historians Procopius, Isidore of Seville, Marineus Siculus and Ricobaldi.

This copy was in the Library of the University of Louvain, suppressed in 1796. The ms. casemark is in the hand of the last librarian, Vandevelde (‘Bulletins’, 285).

I: Netherlandish Books 17124; Blouw, Typ. Batava, 2694; Brunet II, 731.

II: Netherlandish Books 26245; Brouw, Typ. Batava, 5400; Graesse VI, 404.

Bulletins de l’Académie royale des sciences, des lettres, 17 (1850); T. van Hal, ‘Vulcanius and His Network of Language Lovers’, in Bonaventura Vulcanius, ed. H. Cazes (Leiden, 2010), 387-401.


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GIOVIO, Paolo.


Turcicarum rerum commentarius. [followed by] Commentarius captae urbis ductore Carolo Borbonio.

Paris, Robert Estienne, 1539.


8vo. 2 works in 1, separate t-ps, continuous signatures, pp. 87 (i), 32. Roman letter, little Italic. Woodcut printer’s device to t-ps. First t-p a little dusty with slight yellowing, minimal marginal foxing to last three ll. A very good, clean copy in late C19 crushed crimson morocco, marbled eps, gilt oval centrepiece to covers, spine and inner edges gilt, a.e.g. One early ms. marginal note.

Finely bound, good, clean copy of the second Estienne Latin edition of this important Turcicum, with the second part (not always present), including G.B. Egnazio’s famous account on the origins of the Turks. Paolo Giovio (1483-1552), a major historian and ethnographer, first published ‘Commentario’ in Italian in 1531, to contribute to the debate on the Ottoman wars, in view of the planned crusade of 1532. Like other such treatises, it was dedicated to Emperor Charles V, who led Europe against the Turks; it was also ‘the most realistic, less moralistic and clearest’ (Zimmermann, 159-60). It comprises sections on the origins of the Turks, their sultans from Orhan to Suleyman, their troops and war strategies. It was first translated and published in Latin in Strasbourg, in 1537, by the Italian Reformer Francesco Negri (1500-63). Robert Estienne printed it in 1538. Estienne added, with continuous signatures but separate foliation, the anonymous ‘Commentarius captae urbis’, also published separately. It recounts the sack of Rome of 1527, led by Charles III de Bourbon, on the French troops’ rebellion against the Holy Roman Emperor. It also includes the famous ‘De origine Turcorum’ by Giovan Battista Egnazio, first published by Aldus in

1516 as an appendix to Egnazio’s biographies of Roman emperors. Based on diplomatic documents produced for the Serenissima in the late C15, it did not depict a complimentary image of the Ottomans, presented as skilful invaders of the Byzantine empire, and, especially Suleyman, ambitious conquerors. This did not suit state policy as Francis I sought instead to promote the ongoing Franco-Ottoman alliance, established in 1536. A fine sammelband of scarce Turcica.

Only Illinois copy (both parts) recorded in the US.

Göllner 644 (without second?) and 651 (separate publication of second); Renouard 48:12; French Books 72130; BM STC Fr., p.203; Brunet III, 585 (1538 ed.). T.C. Price Zimmermann, Paolo Giovio. Uno storico e la crisi italiana del XVI secolo (2012); E. Armstrong, Robert Estienne, Royal Printer (1954).


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Historia della guerra sacra di Gierusalemme.

Venice, appresso Antonio Pinelli, 1610.


4to. pp. 8, 615, (i), (xvi), index (b 8 ) bound at rear. Roman letter, little Italic. Woodcut printer’s device, decorated initials. T-p a little dusty, a handful of ll. lightly toned or foxed at margins, minimal worming to lower blank margin of few gatherings, ink smudge to lower outer corner of 2pp. of final index, verso of last a little soiled, repaired at gutter. A very good copy in early C17 French polished calf, double gilt ruled, large gilt centrepiece with arms of Paul Petau to covers, raised bands, compartments double gilt ruled with Petau’s gilt chiffre, gilt-lettered title, lower outer corners repaired. Armorial blind stamp ‘Bibliotheca Augusta Rhodocanakiana’ to t-p.

An excellent copy of this famous medieval history of the kingdom of Jerusalem—elegantly bound for the major bibliophile Paul Petau (1568-1614). He owned one of the best libraries in early modern France, which included books and mss from the collections of Jean Grolier and Jean Nicot, and major monastic institutions like the abbey of Saint-Benoît-sur-Loire. His son Alexandre continued to enlarge the collection until his death, in 1672. In the C19, this copy was in the library of the bibliophile Prince Demetrius Rhodocanakis of Chios (1840-1902).

One of the most praised medieval historians, William (1130-86), Archbishop of Tyre, grew up in the kingdom of Jerusalem, founded after the First Crusade in 1099. He was ambassador to the Byzantine Empire and tutor to the son of the king of Jerusalem. His only extant work is ‘Belli sacri historia’, a chronicle in 23 books, probably unfinished, of the history of the kingdom of Jerusalem from the seventh century to 1184. It remains a most important historical source to date. After a substantial ms. circulation in the medieval period, it was first published in Latin in 1549, and translated into French, Italian and German. This is the fourth edition of the Italian translation by Giovanni Horologgi. The chronicle focuses on the First Crusade and its political consequences, with sections the invasion of Egypt of 1167, on the Persians and Turks. In addition to descriptions of places like Damascus, Edessa and Tyrus, it provides accounts of battles and sieges in the Mediterranean, from Jerusalem to Sicily, and even an account of the origins of the Turks, shedding light on their perception and ‘mythography’ in medieval Christianity. History blends with ‘mirabilia’, magic and even mild humour, as in the episode of the enchantresses who sought to throw a charm onto the Christian stone throwers attacking the walls of Jerusalem, but they were killed, ‘to the laughter and cheerfulness of all outside’, by one of their enormous stones. For its priceless details, ‘Historia’ was the main historical source for Tasso’s poem ‘Gerusalemme Liberata’, especially for its portrayals of Turkish princes.

Four copies recorded in the US.
USTC 4021523; Röhricht, Bib. Geog. Palestinae, p.23. Not in Brunet.


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WHITE, Richard.


Historiarum Britanniae Insulae.

[Douai], apud Carolum Boscardum, 1598-1607.


FIRST EDITIONS of Books 6-11. Small 8vo. 11 books in 3 vols, I: pp. (xvi) 3-469 (iii); II: pp. (viii) 123 (iii), (viii) 96, (iv) 108, (viii) 174 (ii); III: pp. (viii) 142 (ii), (viii) 110 (ii). Roman letter, little Italic, occasional Greek. Woodcut printer’s device to couple of t-ps, author’s engraved portrait to verso of vol. 1 t-p, author’s large engraved arms to α7 verso, woodcut initials and ornaments. First t-p a little dusty, verso of last leaf of vol. 1 slightly browned at margins, preliminaries α8 of vol. 1 (cancels of second ed.) and a4 of Part IX slightly short at foot, couple of outer edges shaved, tiny worm trail to last two text ll. of vol. 3. Fine, clean copies in polished calf c.1700, single gilt ruled, outer edges gilt, raised bands, spine gilt-lettered, gilt Golden Fleece device of Longepierre or Martin Folkes in compartments, a.e.r., silk bookmarks, minor loss at head of spine and upper joint of vol. 1. Bookplate of James Elwin Millard to front pastedowns staining some eps, ms. ‘Stamford July 27th 1695’ (Thomas Grey, 2nd Earl?) to first t-p, ms. casemark to ffep of vols 2-3, occasional C17 annotations.

Finely bound, complete set of this account of ancient British history. ‘One of the rarest books in the whole class of English history when containing the whole Eleven Books’ (Heber catalogue, p.294). ‘The work is very seldom found complete, most of the copies wanting the latter parts, especially parts X and XI, which are extremely scarce’ (Lowndes). Books X and XI are ‘very difficult to find; a complete set is paid very dearly in England’ (Brunet). Indeed.

Richard White of Basingstoke (1539-1611) studied at Oxford, Louvain and Padua, where he became doctor ‘in utroque’. After converting to Catholicism, he fled to Douai, where he was university professor, and later rector and ‘comes palatinus’. ‘Historiarum Britanniae’, his greatest work, traces the origins of Britain from its mythical foundation by the Trojan Brutus to the last ancient Briton/Welsh king, Cadwallader, and the early Anglo-Saxon rulers. Following mainly the traditional account of Geoffrey of Monmouth, based in turn on ancient Welsh bardic songs, it reports, with White’s commentary, the deeds of ancient Briton kings, including Lear and Arthur. An original point is his identification of Arthur with Riothimius, the ‘king of the Britons’ who reached Gaul in 468AD, according to Jordanes’s ‘Historia Getica’. White engaged with the historiographic debate, of great political importance in Tudor England, on the so-called ‘British History’, started by Polydore Vergil’s criticism of Geoffrey’s narrative in the 1530s. This opposed the legendary medieval national history, the basis of Tudor mythography and much cherished by Protestant Patriots, against the developing antiquarian method, keener on philology and historical evidence. More generally, the work is White’s attempt ‘to reclaim “the British History” for the Catholic tradition, while at the same time being an expression of its exiled author’s sense of himself as a patriotic Englishman’ (MacColl, ‘Richard White’, 245).

Books 1-5 were issued in one vol. and a single t-p in Arras (Atrebatum) in 1597. In this copy, as in at least another seven, the original t-p (A1) of vol. 1 was cancelled with a new t-p dated Douai, 1602, and preliminaries.

The charming golden fleece device gilt to the spines achieved bibliographical fame being used by the great French collector and playwright, Hilaire Bernard de Requeleyne, Baron de Longepierre (1679-1721). In the same year an English collector also employed the same device—Martin Folkes (1690-1754), a mathematician, antiquary and astronomer, and a prominent Freemason. He was a fellow of the Royal Society during the presidency of Isaac Newton, and beaten to that office by Sir Hans Sloane. This copy is unhelpfully not present in either library catalogue.

No complete sets recorded in the US.

Lowndes XI, 2902; Brunet V, 1331; Adams W91; Allison & Rogers I, 1369. Not in Duthilloeul, Bib. Douaisienne. A. MacColl, ‘Richard White and the Legendary History of Britain’, Humanistica Lovaniensia 51 (2002), 245-57.


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PIGHIUS, Stephanus Vinandus.


Annales magistratuum et provinciar. S.P.Q.R. ab urbe condita.

Antwerp, ex Officina Plantiniana, 1599.


FIRST EDITION. Folio. pp. (xxiv) 469 [i.e., 467] (iii). Roman letter, with Italic. Engraved architectural t-p with allegorical figures of Fame, Justice, Prudence and the Tiber, 8 ¼-page engravings of classical deities, coins or scenes from Roman history, large woodcut printer’s device to verso of last, decorated initials and ornaments. Intermittent slight browning, light water stain to upper edge, ink burn to early ownership inscription on t-p, traces of chewing to upper and lower edge of first two gatherings. A very good, tall, well-margined copy in contemporary Flemish calf, lacking ties, stubs from rubricated C14 astrological ms. on vellum used as spine lining, single gilt and double blind ruled, centre panel bordered with roll of gilt ropework, large gilt fleurons to outer corners, large gilt corner- and centrepieces with interlacing ribbons and tendrils, raised bands, large gilt fleurons to compartments, a.e.g., expert repair to corners, head and foot of spine, and upper joint, small repairs to surface of corners. C17 ms. ‘Liber iste ex (?) et musaeo dep[re]ndet P. Mareschal Dñi de Boulans [Francisci Bouchard medicinae et (?)] doctoris Bisontini [Besançon] emptus decem libris 15 iunii 1634 de vastatione castelli Vildestein [Villedestin]’ and C18 ms. author biography to verso of fly, C17 inscriptions ‘Ex Lib. F. Bouchard med. doctoris & dono N. Viduae N. Domini [Christmas] D.’ and ‘A Monsieur P. Mareschal Baronis de Bouclan’ to lower blank t-p margin, modern label to rear fep.

In 1634, this copy was in the library of Pierre Mareschal, Baron de Bouclans, an influential personality in the government of Besançon, in France-Comté. He was an esteemed collector of Gallo-Roman antiquities, including epigraphic specimens, and books. The note says that, on 15 Jun 1634, he purchased from a physician in Besançon ten books which came from the ransacking of the Castle of Villedestin (Waldenstein), in Lower Alsace, owned by the Abbey of Murbach. The observation, arguably in Mareschal’s hand, that this work was ‘rarissimus’ (both scarce and excellent) reveals an early bibliophile’s interest in ‘rarity’, and the great appreciation in which the work was held by contemporary antiquaries. François Bouchard (fl. second half of the C17) was professor of medicine at Besançon, and the author of an account on the autopsy of ‘a monstrous child exposed in a public street at Leiden’ in 1672.

The splendid binding was most likely produced in the same workshop as BL C27k9, printed in Antwerp in 1601, given the identical corner- and centrepieces.

A splendidly bound copy of the first edition of this monumental survey of the chronology of the magistrates and officers of ancient Rome and its imperial provinces. ‘He who writes on Roman history cannot dispense with the work of Pighius’ (Niebuhr, ‘Lectures’, 1849). Stephanus Vinandus Pighius (Étienne Vinand, 1520-1604) was an antiquary from the Duchy of Clèves, patronised by Cardinal Farnese during an Italian stay, and later librarian of Cardinal Grenvelle and tutor of the Duke of Clèves’s son. He wrote ‘Annales’ in the later years of his life, but only published the first of three volumes; the other two were edited posthumously by the humanist Andreas Schott, following Pighius’s ms. notes. Based on a huge variety of fresh research into printed and ms. sources, ‘Annales’ lists all known Consuls, Censors, Dictators, Masters of the Horse, Praetors, Aediles, Tribunes and Quaestors, for every year from the foundation of the Republic. Pighius occasionally used fictious but verisimilar names to fill numerous gaps. His models were the histories of Rome published by C. Sigonius (1556) and O. Pavinius (1557), partly based, in turn, on the annals carved on the Capitoline Marbles (or Consular Fasti). This was a monument built under Augustus to celebrate the consular office, and which detailed, in stone, the Consuls in office each year since 509BC. A masterpiece of early modern historiography and antiquarianism, ‘Annales’ remained influential for centuries, being widely used by Gerard Vossius and reprinted by Johann Graevius. 

The C14 rubricated vellum ms. used as spine lining contains parts (e.g., ‘De aptatione et corruptione’) of Albumasar’s ‘Liber introductorii maioris ad scientiam judiciorum astrorum’, in John of Seville’s Latin translation.

UNC, Huntington and Lehigh copies recorded in the US.

Adams, P1197; Pettigree & Walsby, Netherlandish Books, 25570. Not in Brunet. G.C. Sampson, ‘The Rediscovery of a Sixteenth Century Work on Roman Magistrates: the Pighius Fasti’.


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Naturalis Historiae. [with] Index in […] Naturalem Historiam.

Venice, apud Paulum Manutium, 1559, 1558.


Folio. 2 parts in 1, separate t-ps, ff. (xxviii) 976 columns [pp. 488], 36 unnumbered pp.; 66 unnumbered ff., A⁶ B⁸ a-z⁶ ²A-²B⁶ C-R⁶ S⁴ 3a-3c⁶ A-L⁶. Italic letter with Roman, mostly double column. Woodcut printer’s device to t-ps, decorated initials. A little finger-soiling or slight marginal spotting to t-p and first leaf, slightly adhering at gutter, a handful of ll. somewhat foxed, occasional mostly marginal spotting, small light water stain to few margins and towards gutter of last leaf, small worm trail repaired to lower blank margin of final gathering. A very good, large copy, most edges untrimmed, in C18 straight-grained morocco, arabesque and feather tool gilt ruling, later gilt composite centrepieces, rebacked in calf c.1800, gilt-lettered morocco label, rubbed. Early ms. ex-libris ‘Alberti de Albertis Tusculanensis’ to t-p, C16 ms. monogram PA within lozenge to verso of last, C17 marginal note.

A very good copy of this Aldine edition of Pliny’s monument, revised by Paulus Manutius after his 1535-36 and 1540 editions; the index based on that of 1538. Pliny the Elder (23-79AD) was an administrator for Emperor Vespasian and a prolific author. The ‘Historia’ is a masterful encyclopaedia of theoretical and applied natural sciences detailing all that was known in these fields in the first century AD. Based on hundreds of Greek and Latin sources clearly marked in this edition, its ten books introduce the reader to astronomical questions like the nature of the moon and its distance from the earth; pharmacopoeia, ointments and herbal remedies; natural phenomena including rains of stones; world geography and the ethnographic study of remote ‘gentes mirabiles’; descriptions of all animal and tree species, wild and domesticated; horticulture from cultivation to the treatment of plant mutations and illnesses; metals and gold mining; mineralogy and pigments for painting.

Thanks to a wide and intense manuscript circulation, ‘the “Historia” soon became a standard book of reference: abstracts and abridgements appeared by the third century. Bede owned a copy, Alcuin sent the early books to Charlemagne […]. It was the basis of Isidore’s “Etymologiae” and such medieval encyclopaedias as the “Speculum Majus” of Vincent of Beauvais’ (PMM 5). Renaissance humanists considered the ‘Historia’ a mine of ancient knowledge.

The early annotator of this copy glossed a section on exotic animals in India and Africa—including the ‘catoblepas’, first described by Pliny—by adding a reference to an animal missing, in his opinion, from the list: the ‘camelopardalis’ (i.e., giraffe). He cross-referenced the section from Dominicus’s ‘Polyanthea’ (1503) which discusses the ‘unequal’ composition of the ‘camelopardalis’, with a horse’s neck, bovine hooves, etc. The early ownership can be traced to Frascati (Tusculanum), in the outskirts of Rome.

Brunet IV, 716; Renouard 177:2; Ahmanson-Murphy 575.


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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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[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 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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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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