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A survey of the cities of London and Westminster

“Because I know that time is always time

And place is always place and only place

And what is actual is actual only for one time

And only for one place”

Ash Wednesday T.S. Eliot. 1930

 

Before giving a description of such a momentous book, I feel a bit of framing is due. Much has been written about this wonderful huge book, yet I feel it is necessary to state that this book is indispensable for anyone doing research on any subject relating to Early Modern London. Stow’s initial foray into the subject set the bar high for detailed description of the physical and social environment of London. This edition, by far the best is the work of three generations of Antiquaries, the catalogues of books, records and manuscripts excerpted is impressive in its own right and would be an irreplaceable library on its own. But this work is manifest of cultural shifts and maintains differing scholars approaches to understanding of the recording and preserving of cultural heritage, the list of subscribers depicts the capital invested in this undertaking.

 

947G      John Stow   1525-1605

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A survey of the cities of London and Westminster: containing the original, antiquity, increase, modern estate and government of those cities. Written at first in the year MDXCVIII. By John Stow, citizen and native of London. Since reprinted and augmented by A.M. H.D. and other. Now lastly, corrected, improved, and very much enlarged: and the survey and history brought down from the year 1633, (being near fourscore years since it was last printed) to the present time; by John Strype, M.A. a native also of the said city. Illustrated with exact maps of the city and suburbs, and of all the wards; and likewise of the out-parishes of London and Westminster: together with many other fair draughts of the more eminent and publick edifices and monuments. In six books. To which is prefixed, the life of the author, writ by the editor. At the end is added, an appendiz of certain tracts, discourses and remarks, concerning the state of the city of London. Together with a perambulation, or circuit-walk four or five miles round about London, to the parish churches: describing the monuments of the dead there interred: with other antiquities observable in those places. And concluding with a second appendix, as a supply and review: and a large index of the whole work.

 

London: printed for A. Churchill, J. Knapton, R. Knaplock, J. Walthoe, E. Horne, B. Tooke, D. Midwinter, B. Cowse, R. Robinson, and T. Ward, 1720                  $18,000  

 

Two Folio volumes 15 1/4 X 9 inches.

vol I :Map of London, π2, (B)-(D)2,(a)-(d)4,(e)-(f)2 Q2, A-Z4, Aa-Pp4,Qq2,[end of first book]  B-Z4, Aa-Dd4,[end of second book] A-Z4, Aa-mm4,Nn3 [end of 3rd book]

vol II : π1,A-P4, A-Z4, Aa-Zz4, Aaa- Lll4, Mmm2 [end of book V] A-Z4, Aa-KK4, Ll-Rr2.  Each of the 6 ’books’ has its own pagination, and is introduced by a drop-head title.

There are 70 full Page (and 30 of those folding) Maps and Plates .

The Fold-out of “Elizabethan London ” is lacking as in many copies,  otherwise these two volumes are complete and almost in perfect condition, The Large foldout map of the city of London  DSC_0245has been reinforced on the back and there are a few pages with margin repairs not touching the text. All the pages are crisp and clean. It is truly a stunning copy.

This copy is beautifully and expertly bound in modern quarter calf, over marbled boards, quite a Stately set of volumes indeed! . The binding is in fine working order.

“In the century following Stow’s death, however, the Tudor capital so lovingly depicted and recorded in Stow’s Survey was dramatically transformed. The huge growth of the metropolis, the devastation wrought by the Great Fire of 1666 and the subsequent rebuilding of the City made an updating of the Survey highly desirable. It was to answer this need that John Strype (1643-1737), the ecclesiastical historian and biographer, published a new, hugely expanded version of Stow’s Survey of London in 1720.”

First Issue with “1698” for 1598 on the title page (?) John Stow’s Survey of London, first published in 1598, brims with amusing descriptions and anecdotes as well as highly detailed accounts of the buildings, social conditions and customs of the time, based on a wide range of classical and medieval historical literature, public and civic records, and Stow’s own intimate knowledge of the city where he spent his life. “The reader of A Survey travels with Stow through each of the city’s wards and the adjoining city of Westminster, learns about the wall, bridges, gates, and parish churches . . . DSC_0232 2[Stow] also records the negative aspects of urban growth, in the shape of unsightly sprawl, filth, the destruction of ancient monuments, and above all poverty. His book approaches the thoroughness of an encyclopaedia . . . It is noteworthy that while Camden’s Britannia was written in Latin for the educated élite, Stow’s Survey was composed in the language of his fellow countrymen.” This edition, of 1720, greatly expanded with interpolated amendments by John Strype, is considered the best and most desirable.

DSC_0235 “Throughout his life at Low Leyton, Strype crossed the River Lea into London each week to meet and converse with his antiquarian friends and to call on his contacts in the book trade. . . . The Survey had been repeatedly revised and enlarged in order to keep up with the changing aspect of the post-fire city, now much expanded and altered in its religion and other ways. . . . Although Strype had arranged most of the work by 1707, and the engravings had been prepared, it was set aside after the publication of Edward Hatton’s New View of London in 1708, which seemed to cover much the same ground and was considerably smaller and cheaper. . . . Finally, once the defects of Hatton’s book were acknowledged another agreement in November 1716 led to the Survey’s publication at the end of 1720. . . . The print run was probably more than 500 copies . . . To quote Merritt, ‘By this stage the Survey has a multiple personality, switching with little warning from nostalgic Elizabethan antiquary [Stow] . . . to diligent post-Restoration recorder of events [Strype] and back again’ (Merritt, 87).” (ODNB).

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Richard Grafton] had the audacity to enter into historical controversy (impar congressus) with the great John Stow. This ‘merry old man,’ footing it over England in search of Antiquities because he could never learn to ride, sometimes suspected by Government of being insufficiently Protestant, now begging with a basin in the street, now spending £200 a year on his library, holds a very high place in the history of learning. Even those who, like Camden, distrusted his judgment, allowed his industry. His Chaucer (1561) was his first but by no means his best work: he helped to swell the Chaucerian apocrypha. His Summary of English Chronicles (1565) looks at first like a retrogression from Hall; we are back at the annalistic form and the London tradition with its lists of bailiffs and mayors. But the important thing is that Stow is not a mere compiler but (as we call it) a ‘researcher.’ He uses the literary sources but he adds ‘paynfull searche’ into records, and ‘diligent experience.’ He collected not only books but charters and legal documents. He bought up the collections of others, and his own assisted both Speght and Parker. In 1580 came the Chronicle of English from Brute unto this present year, re-issued in 1592 as the Annals. The Survey of London (1598) was re-issued in 1603 and afterwards enlarged by other hands.

DSC_0238Its modern editor finds this work ‘instinct with’ a ‘life’ which the Annals lack. It is a treasure–house of old customs, old splendors, old gaieties and hospitalities, already vanished or vanishing when the author wrote. Stow had no stylistic ambitions; his works were, as he said ‘written homely.’ His prose varies between mere note–making (see the account of printing under year 1458 in the Summary) and tolerably vivid narrative. In general it is just such an unobtrusive medium as keeps our attention on the facts, and therefore good for its purpose; recte olet ubi nihil olet.” (page 298-299, English Literature in the Sixteenth Century, C.S. Lewis)
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 Maslen & Lancaster. Bowyer ledgers, 584; Lowndes V, 2526. Gibson’s Library, p. 258. ESTC Citation No. T48975.

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Strype’s Survey of London

J.F.Merritt

University of Nottingham

The creation of the 1720 edition

If John Stow’s Survey of London is probably the most famous single work ever written about England’s capital, then the enlarged and updated edition of the same book published some 120 years later by the famous ecclesiastical historian John Strype surely stands as one of the most remarkable works of scholarship ever produced about the city, and is regarded even today as a standard and invaluable work of reference for historians of the capital. Just as London’s boundaries and population had vastly expanded in the years between Stow and Strype’s works, so Strype’s edition dwarfs Stow’s original work. In two stout folio volumes, Strype’s monumental composition provides not just an updated account of the City that brings it down to the early eighteenth century, but also vastly extends the work’s range both geographically (to take in the sprawling suburbs of the metropolis) and thematically (to discuss a panoply of new subjects, from the Great Fire and the provision of water and public health to workhouses and the Bank of England). This is combined with a famous collection of ward and parish maps, and a fine set of plates of prominent buildings. The whole is appropriately preceded by the first detailed life of John Stow, with a full-page reproduction of his funeral monument. 1

The Survey of London is a work which has attracted many different editors in its history, and Strype’s own remarkable edition cannot be used effectively without an understanding of its relationship to the original and subsequent texts of this remarkable work.

John Stow’s own Survey of London was first published in 1598. But he did not intend this to be his last word on the subject. In 1603 he published a new edition with many important corrections and additions, and he clearly intended to embark on further elaborations and refinements, prevented only by his death in 1605. Work on a new edition of the Survey began not long after Stow’s death. His first posthumous editor was the incorrigible Anthony Munday — playwright, pageant-writer, polemicist, and (apparently) a spy reporting against both puritans and Catholics. Munday claimed of Stow that, while still alive, ‘much of his good mind he had formerly imparted to me, and some of his best collections lovingly delivered me, prevailing with mee ? to proceed in the perfecting of a Worke so worthy’. 2 Munday’s new edition of the Survey, published in 1618, sought to update Stow’s text in a number of ways. Another edition, published in 1633 after Munday’s death, took things further, including a substantial new section entitled ‘A Returne to London’, which sets out to document a resurgence in London church repair, rebuilding and beautification, undertaking a parish-by-parish survey of the capital’s churches. A further bizarre appendix presents an accumulation of miscellaneous, almost random, material, under the title ‘The Remaines or Remnants of Divers Worthy Things which should have had their Due Place and Honour in this Worke, if Promising Friends had Kept their Words’. 3

The unwieldy sprawl of Munday’s 1633 edition showed that Stow’s work clearly required a more effective editor. Nevertheless, no further editions of Stow were attempted. Instead, the text of the Survey (usually the 1633 edition) was raided by later authors for material that they could insert into their own works on London. This was the case in James Howell’s Londinopolis (1657) and Thomas de Laune’s The Present State of London (1681; 2nd ed 1690). In 1694 a concerted attempt was made by Richard Blome (who had produced a new edition of William Camden’s Britannia in 1673) to complete a new edition of Stow’s Survey ‘with large additions and improvements’. While new maps and much new text were generated, however, the edition itself was never published. 4

In 1702, two of the publishers involved in the abortive 1694 edition of the Survey drew up an agreement to edit the Survey with one of those writers who had initially been approached to provide materials for the 1694 edition. This was John Strype. Strype is best known to us as an ecclesiastical historian, but also enjoyed fame as an accomplished editor of texts and historical documents, including an immensely popular account of Ceylon (and indeed, his ecclesiastical annals and biographies were often essentially compendia of extracts of transcribed documents). His edition of the Survey was apparently completed by November 1707, but Strype and his publishers then found that booksellers would not accept the work because of the simultaneous publication of a much slimmer and cheaper rival — Edward Hatton’s New View of London — which used significant amount of materials from Stow (although self-consciously abandoning Stow’s structure and methodology). Like Blome’s edition, Strype’s 1708 Survey was therefore aborted. Nevertheless, the deficiencies of Hatton’s work meant that the demand for a scholarly updating of Stow’s Survey were undiminished, and by the second half of 1716 the edition was back on track, and Strype’s edition of the Survey was finally published in December 1720. The work, in two folio volumes, was priced at a princely six guineas, and somewhere between 500 and 700 copies were published, with 271 subscribers listed in the work itself. 5

The drawn-out process by which Strype’s edition emerged can help to explain some of the peculiarities of the text as it was finally published. Strype clearly had access to the text and other materials of Blome’s abortive 1694 edition. He scrupulously indicates all Blome’s additions to the original Survey with the marginal note ‘R.B.’ —but this means that some of these sections stop abruptly in 1694. The maps in Strype’s edition are also essentially taken from Blome’s 1694 edition, although with some minor alterations made in 1707 (although, unlike the text, Blome’s name is unceremoniously removed from the maps). Strype also does not seem to have altered the main body of the text that he completed for the 1708 edition, so that changes occurring between 1708 and 1720 are often missed. The written account of the city therefore essentially describes London as it was in 1708. 6 Even the list of stage coaches and carriers is dated 1707. Strype did, however, add a number of new and supplementary sections to the work.

The earlier history of the Survey under the editorship of Stow and Munday can also explain some other gaps and anomalies in the coverage of Strype’s edition. For example, the entries for different London parishes provide plentiful information on Jacobean church-building, because Strype has taken the separate, consolidated account of early Stuart church-building–which Munday appended to the 1633 edition–and redistributed this material within the overall entries on each individual parish. But Strype’s edition contains virtually no reference to any church-building or decoration in London parishes during the Laudian campaign of the 1630s and surprisingly little on the later seventeenth century. There had, of course, been no shortage of such building, but there had been no Munday around to record it, and Strype made no use of parochial documents to investigate these matters further. 7

Other anomalies of the edition’s coverage can be explained by the practicalities of the gathering of material. The chance enthusiasm of certain clergy and parish officials, for example, seems to explain why some parishes, such as St James Clerkenwell and St Botolph Aldgate, are far more fully documented than others, especially for the later seventeenth century. 8 It is also not surprising to find that Strype’s own parish of Low Leyton receives more attention than its suburban location might otherwise have afforded it, as does the parish of Hackney, where he held a lectureship. While Strype does not seem to have consulted parish records such as churchwardens’ accounts (so that his accounts of parochial donors are dependent on the tables and monuments visible in churches when he and his assistant ‘I.W.’ visited them), nevertheless the support of Bishop Compton of London meant that Strype had access to diocesan materials of a type which neither Stow nor Munday had available. Strype relied heavily on the recent 1693 episcopal visitation returns to update the perambulation portion of the Survey, while information from an earlier visitation of 1636 helped to fill in gaps about the pre-Fire character of certain parishes.

Some omissions in the edition also reflect simple time constraints. As late as October 1719, it was noted that information on nine livery companies was still missing, and in the final version three livery companies are bereft of a brief history, with only their coat of arms provided (II.v.247). Yet by July 1720 Strype was still supplying new material for the appendices, much to the consternation of the booksellers who begged him to ‘put a stop to the great Enlargements which we perceive are like to be made in the second Appendix for We have Exceeded by 80 sheets of Our first Computation already’. 9

While we may note its many omissions, however, it is just as important to emphasize the enormous amounts of new material which Strype introduced to the Survey. It should also be recognized that Strype did not merely add new material by describing recent events and institutions, but also drew on medieval and Tudor sources to expand significantly the coverage of the period before Stow wrote his first edition. For example, Strype’s account of the parish of St Martin in the Fields, Westminster is enriched by his use of Burghley’s papers for an account of an enclosure riot in 1592 (II.vi.79-80). 10

 

Strype and the 1720 Survey

If it is important for the reader of Strype’s edition to understand how the work stands within the series of continuations of Stow’s original work, it is equally important to appreciate how John Strype’s own preoccupations played a vital role in shaping the 1720 edition.

Strype’s experience as an editor clearly led him to take a keen interest in identifying Stow’s original text. He explains in his preface that he wished to return to the uncorrupted Stow because ‘since the Author’s Death there having crept in a great number of Errors, as it happens in After-Editions’. Contemporaries had increasingly tended to conflate the versions of the Survey produced by Stow and Munday. Strype therefore made it a priority to disentangle the publishing history of the Survey by introducing a system of marginal annotations, so that Stow’s original text could be identified. This partly reflected Strype’s conviction that Munday was greatly inferior to Stow as a scholar, but also his esteem for Stow himself. Not the least notable addition to the Survey that Strype introduced was the ‘Life of Stow’ which prefaces the whole work, along with a full-page reproduction of Stow’s funeral monument. Strype’s ‘Life of Stow’ marks a significant moment in the rehabilitation of Stow’s reputation. Strype presents him as a paragon of honest and intuitive scholarship, compassionate to the poor, and specifically refutes charges that he was overly credulous or unscholarly in his working methods. He makes no attempt to hide Stow’s Catholic sympathies, but explains them in terms of a response to the sacrilege of the early Reformation, and offers a rounded, realistic and above all sympathetic account of his trials and tribulations.

Strype clearly admired Stow as a fellow scholar and editor. But for all his editorial scruples, his concern to follow Stow’s method, and the practical pressures that significantly shaped the content of the book, Strype’s edition of the Survey is not entirely lacking in evidence of Strype’s own religious and intellectual preoccupations. 11

The son of a Dutch immigrant silk merchant, John Strype grew up in a family with strong non-conformist links. This was particularly true of the family of his mother, Hester van Strype, who is known to have sheltered non-conformist ministers in her London house during the 1665 plague. After the death of his father, the young Strype also came under the influence of his brother-in-law John Johnson, a dedicated Presbyterian minister. It was Johnson who in 1663 arranged for Strype to transfer from Jesus College, Cambridge to the more amenable Catherine Hall, where John Lightfoot (who had earlier supported Presbyterianism at the Westminster Assembly) was master. Despite this background, however, Strype ultimately decided to position himself firmly within the ranks of the established church — a decision which alienated him from most of his close-knit family for many years. 12 The influence of some of this background may be glimpsed in his treatment of the stranger communities in the pages of the Survey. While condemning the naturalization of alien merchants, Strype still does his best to defend the rights of the stranger communities to be exempted from the requirements of religious conformity. In part, he does this by emphasizing, not their shared membership of an international Protestant community (as puritans had traditionally done) but rather the degree to which their behaviour echoes that of the established church. Thus he notes how French Protestants at St Anne Soho use the English liturgy in French translation, with episcopally-ordained ministers officiating and sometimes wearing Anglican garb (II.v.294-305; II.vi.85).

Strype was closely involved in the religious politics of his day. He served as minister at Low Leyton, just outside London, from 1668 until his death, and it was from here that he supported Henry Compton, bishop of London, even when the latter was suspended by James II in 1686. Strype was also involved in clandestine publications criticizing James’ religious policies. Thereafter, Strype’s strong support for the Glorious Revolution led to his formal institution as rural dean of Barking by the grateful Bishop Compton, and he was additionally rewarded with a lectureship at the nearby parish of Hackney. In the years that followed, Strype’s position as dean of Barking extended beyond a merely pastoral one, as he also participated in electioneering for the Essex Church-Tory party. 13

Strype’s religious sentiments — fiercely anti-Jacobite and anti-Catholic, disapproving of Dissenters, and passionately committed to the established church — can also be seen to have found outlets in sections of the Survey. Thus, while Strype follows Stow in including Fitzstephen’s encomium of Thomas Becket at the end of the medieval account of London, he adds a stinging editorial addition that this was written by ‘a Monk, the Pope’s sworn Creature ? in the very Depth of Popery’ (II.Appendix, p.15). It is also notable that, while later eighteenth-century editors of the Survey felt obliged to denounce the anti-Catholic inscriptions on the Great Fire Monument, Strype was comfortable merely to report these additions to the Monument without comment. 14

The Survey also bears witness to Strype’s profound concern with the moral life of the City, encapsulated in his enthusiasm for such contemporary organizations as the Society for the Reformation of Manners. He introduces a new section to the Survey that is specifically concerned with ‘the late Endeavours used in the City for the restraining of Vice’, which describes ‘in what State Religion and Good Manners stand here at present’, partly by an approving overview of the various Societies (II.v.30-52). Like Munday and Stow, Strype gives an account of charities and almshouses, but this is no mere catalogue of good works — this is clearly a topic that excites Strype’s particular interest. He gives a meticulous account of the workhouse in Bishopgate Street, with case studies of its successes (I.i.197-202). This concern with the instruments of social control and moral reform is very much of its time, and conspicuously different from the world of Stow and Munday, where the very fact of the founder’s charity claimed most attention.

Needless to say, this preoccupation with the need to maintain social order means that Strype makes little space in his edition of the Survey for the discussion of sports and pastimes. As a diligent editor he reproduces Stow’s account of ‘the customary Sports used in the City’, but rather than supplementing this with an updated account of such pursuits, Strype rather oddly chooses to append a bloodcurdling account of ‘some of their customary Punishments in former Times, of Shame or Pain, or both, for divers Sorts of Crimes and Misdemeanours: Such were Pillorizing, Carting, Riding, Whipping.’ (I.i.257-8). The association of the two topics in Strype’s mind seems clear. It is hardly surprising that virtually the only allusion that Strype makes to theatrical drama in the capital focuses on the City’s attempts under Elizabeth to regulate potentially dissolute players and the ‘lewd Matters of plays’ (II.v.244-6).

Strype’s edition also breathes the spirit of its age in its provision of statistical information. Strype’s modish fascination with political arithmetic shines through in page upon page of statistics and tables charting matters such as the volume of livery company charity, amounts spent yearly on the diet of the poor, numbers received into and discharged from the capital’s workhouses, and a lengthy account of fire insurance rates, complete with charts to calculate premiums. Similarly, the state of contemporary London’s wealth and income, and its role at the centre of overseas trade, are celebrated, along with lengthy discussions of trading companies and the Bank of England (e.g. II.v.256-73, 404-8, 445-7).

Strype’s edition of the Survey of London is, then, a remarkable compendium of information about the capital. For all of its omissions, the anomalous chronological range of some sections, and the idiosyncrasy of others, its editor still manages to muster a huge amount of material gathered from an extraordinary range of sources. The two hefty volumes may lack the immediate personal touch and focus of Stow’s own Survey, but this is not because Strype himself was simply a dispassionate observer of events. As we have seen, he had his own agenda and beliefs as well. The unwieldiness of the Survey partly reflects the task that Strype set himself — to preserve Stow’s original text and the essential structure of Stow’s work, but also to integrate the additions of Munday, Blome and Strype himself within the same framework. What it gains in comprehensiveness, it loses in coherence. Not the least bewildering aspects of the book is the cacophony of editorial voices. The authorial ‘I’ can be found reporting events witnessed in the 1540s, conversations in the 1620s, or visiting Westminster Hall in the 1650s in order to see the standards seized at the Battle of Worcester (I.ii.66; I.iii.16; II.vi.49). The Survey of Strype’s edition has a multiple personality, switching with little warning from nostalgic Elizabethan antiquary to triumphalist Jacobean pageant-writer to diligent post-Restoration recorder of events and back again. Instead of a perambulation where Stow takes the reader by the hand through London’s streets, it is now a huge boisterous party — with Munday, Blome, Strype and others all coming along, interrupting one another, hailing the new and the old using the same authorial ‘I’ — an ‘I’ that is sometimes nostalgic and regretful, sometimes enthusiastic and forward-looking.

It emphatically does not conform to our modern sense of a scholarly edition of a celebrated work. Nevertheless, Strype’s sprawling edition creates an altogether richer melange of materials. Rather than being frozen in the past, the Survey of London lives in Strype’s present, speaking of new developments as well as recording old ones. Moreover, as a repository of the knowledge, ideas and manuscript discoveries of this most indefatigable of antiquaries, Strype’s Survey of London still represents a treasure trove for the historian of London.

END

Footnotes

  1. Much of the following text is adapted from J.F. Merritt, ‘The reshaping of Stow’s Survey’, in J.F. Merritt (ed.), Imagining Early Modern London. Perceptions and Portrayals of the City from Stow to Strype, 1598-1720 (Cambridge, 2001), pp. 52-88.
  2. Munday, Survey (1618), ‘The Epistle Dedicatory’, sig. 2.
  3. For a fuller discussion see Merritt, ‘Reshaping’, pp. 54-67.
  4. Ibid., pp. 67-73.
  5. John J. Morrison, ‘Strype’s Stow: the 1720 Edition of ‘A Survey of London’’, London Journal 3 (1977), pp. 42-7, 54 n.68.
  6. Ibid., pp. 41, 47.
  7. Merritt, ‘Reshaping’, p. 86.
  8. Ibid., p. 84 n.114.
  9. Ibid., pp. 85-6; Morrison, ‘Strype’s Stow’, p. 47.
  10. See also J.F. Merritt, The Social World of Early Modern Westminster (Manchester, 2005), pp. 202-5.
  11. For a fuller discussion see Merritt, ‘Reshaping’, pp. 76-84.
  12. John J. Morrison, ‘John Strype: historian of the English Reformation’, PhD thesis, University of Syracuse (1976), pp. 21-8, 37.
  13. Ibid., pp. 33, 67, 70-3, 284, 287-97.
  14. I.ii.181; Survey (1754), I.ii.501-2.

And to bring us no now, one of my favorite things to do in London is to follow the Old wall, much of which s marked on the sidewalk roads and Walls themselves, Of course Stow did this and there is an Appendix to this edition giving you as guided tour

 

 

 

 

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“Truth consists of an adequation between the intellect and a thing”

930G Thomas Aquinas 1225-1274. editor Theodoricus de Susteren.

Summa de veritate celeberrimi doctoris s[an]cti Thome Aquinatis. que olim … me[n]dis scatebat. Nouissime iam per … magistru[m] nostru[m] Theodericum de Susteren co[n]uentus Coloniens[is] fratru[m] predicatoru[m] regentem … laboriose reuisa … feliciter incipit.

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930G Thomas Aquinas 1225-1274

Summa de veritate celeberrimi doctoris s[an]cti Thome Aquinatis. que olim … me[n]dis scatebat. Nouissime iam per … magistru[m] nostru[m] Theodericum de Susteren co[n]uentus Coloniens[is] fratru[m] predicatoru[m] regentem … laboriose reuisa … feliciter incipit.

Cologne : Heinrich Quentell, 7 Mar. 1499                                        $11,500

Folio 10 1/2 X 8 inches 2°: A-Z6,Aa-Gg6; {signature Dd signed De)   Third Edition/The final 15th century edition.

Blind-tooled front and back covers (including some blind-tooled letters), full calf on DSC_0122thick boards. Clasps missing, catchplates present. Foxing throughout, with some red and green ink dots along edges. Front pastedown shows slight signs of water damage. Occasional small red stains on text block (e.g. E3v and Q5), likely from the books’ rubricator, but otherwise a clean text block. “Summa de veritate celeberrimi doctoris sancti Thome Aquinatis…”First written around 1256, Thomas Aquinas’ “Disputed Questions on Truth” defends “the view that truth consists of an adequation between the intellect and a thing… Most importantly, he develops a notion of truth of being (what might be called “ontological truth”) along with truth of the intellect (what might be called “logical truth”)” (Wippel, 295)

DSC_0126Sections include: Truth; God’s Knowledge; Ideas; The Divine Word; Providence; Predestination; The Book of Life; The Knowledge of Angels; The Communication of Angelic Knowledge; The Mind; The Teacher; Prophecy; Rapture; Faith; Higher and Lower Reason; Synderesis; Conscience; The Knowledge of the First Man in the State of Innocence; Knowledge of the Soul After Death; The Knowledge of Christ; Good; The Tendency to Good and the Will; God’s Will; Free Choice; Sensuality; The Passions of the Soul; Grace; The Justification of Sinners; and The Grace of Christ.

For each topic, Aquinas reviews the topic’s Difficulties, and then responses with ‘To the Contrary’ and ‘Reply’. Aquinas concludes each topic with an “Answers to Difficulties” section, demonstrating his typical insightful worldview and readable literary style.“Everything is a being essentially. But a creature is good not essentially but by participation. Good, therefore, really adds something to being (“Good” [U1v]

translation from   http://dhspriory.org/thomas/QDdeVer21.htm).

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Goff T181;(Columbia University, Union Theological Seminary;HEHL; LC ;Massachusetts Historical Society;YUL)  ;  BMC I, 289/90; Only one Copy in The British Isles (BL)

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Impressa Agrippine. opera atq[ue] impe[n]sis p[ro]uidi viri Henrici Quentell. ciuis eiusdem. Anno salutis humane nonagesimonono supra millesimumquadringentesimu[m] Ipso die celebritatis autoris cursu felici ad finem vsq[ue] perducta.

 

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Holland’s Pliny: 1601 one of the Most Important Elizabethan Science Books

881G     Gaius Plinius Secundus. (23-79); trans. Philemon Holland Pliny the Elder 1552-1637

The Historie Of the World: Commonly called, the Natvrall Historie of c. Plinivs Secvndvs. Translted into English by Philemon Holland Doctor of Physicke. The first [and second] Tome[s].

 

London: Adam Islip,1601                                                                                     $11,000

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DSC_0019Folio 11 3/4 X 8 inches. [π]6, ¶4 a-b6 A8 B-3I6 3K4; A-3G6 3H4 3I-3O6 3P8 (lacking blank leaves 1 and 3P8) First edition second issue. Title pages to both volumes both with a large woodcut device. This copy is bound in contemporary English calfskin, ruled in blind, rebacked with an appropriate gilt spine.it is an impressive copy.. A generally excellent, crisp, bright copy with very minor faults: repaired  tears on the corners of leaves Aii-Avii in the second book with loss of a few words on each page  A few signatures with very light marginal dampstains. Occasional rust spots, marginal tears, or marginal natural paper flaws.

An impressive book

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“All [of Pliny’s] works have been lost, except for the ‘Naturalis Historia.’ An atmosphere of excess surrounds the work. We know that Pliny claims never to have read a book so bad as not to have any value at all; and Pliny was constantly reading, taking notes, and indexing. The final result was a work in thirty-seven books, intended to inventory the total knowledge possessed by man. The indefatigable Pliny worked his way through impressive numbers: 34,000 notices, 2,000 volumes read, from 100 different authors, and 170 dossiers of notes and preparatory files (‘I have not knowingly omitted any piece of information, if I have found it anywhere.’).“Pliny remained popular in the Renaissance. He was one of the most frequently consulted authorities on many subjects for Valla and many other humanists; there were at least forty-six editions of his work by 1550; and he was translated in Italian by Landino (published in 1501) and into English by Philemon Holland (1601). But gradually the intense philological work of humanist scholars on the one hand and the new discoveries of the scientific revolution on the other began to throw doubt upon Pliny’s reputation as an infallible authority, and in the end his reputation could not even be rescued by blaming the manuscripts. Yet as Pliny has lost his practical value as a reference handbook for the modern period, he had gained in historical importance for the information he transmits concerning ancient art, science, folklore, religion, and material culture. It is precisely Pliny’s intellectual defects—his bland indifference to theoretical rigor, his refusal to engage in systematic analysis and selection—that make him so precious for modern scholars interested in the ancient world. Unlike scholars who had greater intelligence, more self-confidence, or simply more time at their disposal, he preserves everything and passes it on to us.” (Conte)

DSC_0021“Along with the patriotic aims of an Englishman and a literary voyager Holland [the English translator of this volume of Pliny] has a theory of his art, though only hints of it are given in his prefaces. What he calls his ‘meane and popular stile’ might be taken as a generic representative of the best early seventeenth century writing. Holland’s unusual learning and care chastened his prose without robbing it of colloquial energy, concrete amplitude, and metaphorical color. His slight but frequent additions are made in the interest of complete and vivid clarity and emotional effect. And the whole tone of his work reflects his Elizabethan veneration for, and sense of contemporaneous intimacy with, the great men and events and the ethical wisdom of antiquity. Pliny’s philosophy gave him some qualms, but these were satisfactorily quieted. In his life and in his work Holland was a fine example of the Christian humanist.” (Bush)

This is one of the Most Important Elizabethan Science Books.

The Natural History of Pliny the Elder is more than a natural history: it is an encyclopaedia of all the knowledge of the ancient world It comprises 37 books with mathematics and physics, geography and astronomy, medicine and zoology, anthropology and physiology, philosophy and history, agriculture and mineralogy, the arts and letters 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, and Dicuil, the Irish geographer, quotes him in the ninth century. It was the basis of Isidore’s Etymologiae and such medieval encyclopedias as the Speculum Majus of Vincent of Beauvais and the Catholicon of Balbus. One of the earliest books to be printed at Venice, the centre from which so much of classical literature was first dispensed, it was later translated into English by Philemon Holland in 1601, and twice reprinted (a notable achievement for so vast a text) Over and over again it will be found that the source of some ancient piece of knowledge is Pliny. (PMM 5) .

Holland’s first book, the first complete rendering of Livy into English, was published in 1600 when he was nearly fifty. It was a work of great importance, presented in a grand folio volume of 1458 pages, and dedicated to the queen.  The Livy was followed in the next year by an equally huge translation, of the elder Pliny: The Historie of the World, Commonly called, the Naturall Historie. This encyclopaedia of ancient knowledge about the natural world had already had a great indirect influence in England, as elsewhere in Europe, but had not been translated into English before, and would not be again for 250 years. (ODNB)

Pforzheimer, 496; STC (2nd ed.), 20029.5

An history of the wonderful things of nature!

985G Joannes Jonstonus 1603-1675

An history of the wonderful things of nature: set forth in ten severall classes. Wherein are contained I. The wonders of the heavens. II. Of the elements. III. Of meteors. IV. Of minerals. V. Of plants. VI. Of birds. VII. Of four-footed beasts. VIII. Of insects, and things wanting blood. IX. Of fishes. X. Of man. Written by Johannes Jonstonus. And now rendred into English, by a person of quality.

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London: printed by John Streater, living in Well-Yard near the Hospitall of St. Bartholomew’s the Lesse, and are to be sold by the booksellers of London, 1657                        $3,200

Folio ∏2 A4 (a)4 B-2X4 2Y2. First Edition Bound in full calf, original covers, rebacked with a new spine and gilt lettered label, new endpapers. Binding rubbed, covers have some scuffs and small repairs to worm damage, corners repaired, shelf wear to edges, heavy unsightly browning to 56 pages, all text Unknownlegible, (the heavy browning affects the first part of the book) the rest of text has pale age-browning and spotting, an occasional ink splash, small loss to 1 lower corner, neat ink name on endpaper, otherwise an acceptable working copy, good copy only.

The first (and only?) translation, by John Rowland, of: Jonstonus, Joannes. Thaumatographia naturalis. It is a collection of observations and references of natural marvels, retrieved from all ancient and contemporary literature, and organized by the author into a series of distinct sections. Jonston organizes the text into ten classes that describe: the heavens, the elements, meteors, minerals, plants, birds, quadrupeds, insects and bloodless animals, fish and men. The fourth on fossils and minerals is quite extensive with references to Albertus Magnus, Pliny and Theophrastus. A section within the class of plants, discusses tobacco and includes early references to nature in America.
Some of the subjects covered include : Creation of the World; Stars, Planets, Heavens, Sun, Moon, New Stars; Fires in the Waters, Fires under the Earth; Minerall Baths, Navigation in the Sea, Salt of the Sea, Miracles of some Countries, Mountains; Earth-Quakes, Dew Manner and Honey, Rainbow; Loadstone,The fourth class describing minerals, stones and fossils occupies pages 91-126, Jewels found in the Bodies of Living Creatures, Gold, Silver, Emeralds, Topaz; Plants: Tobacco, Vine, Palm-Trees etc; Birds: Eagle, Hawkes, Owls, etc; Animals: Elephants, Horse, Crocodile, Bear, Unicorn, Divers Serpents, Camel, Beaver etc; Silk-Worms, Bees, Spanish Fly, Glo-Worms Locusts, Oysters, Pearls, Scorpions, Tarantula etc; Whale, Pike, Sea-Serpents, Salmon, Sword-Fish etc; Gyants, Pigmies, Monstrous Births, Walkers in the Night, Dreams, the Wonderful Strength and Agility of some People etc. MORE …..An Appendix follows the Eighth Classis: Wherein there is contained the observation of Andreas Libavius, a most famous Physitian, concerning SILK-WORMS, a singular History, Anno 1599, at Rotenburgh.

Wing J1017; Gibson, R.W. Francis Bacon,; 453; NLM 17th cent.,; 6272; ESTC (RLIN),; R001444;Ward & Carozzi, Geology Emerging, 1984: no. 1221

Some of my favorite parts! (transcribed)

CHAP. XIIII. Of Juices that grow into stones.

I had allmost forgot juyces that harden like stones. Nature hath wonderfully spoted herself in them, sometimes it hardens be∣fore it touch the ground, and somtimes when it is fallen down. Both these ways are seen at Amberga, where there are white pillars made by it. Agricol. l. de effl. ex terra. What ever drinks it in, is made a stone, if it be but porous. Hence you shall find stony Fountaines▪ and Wood and Bones that are dug up. When the workmen in time of Warr fled into the Mines of Lydia, about Pergamus, the entrance be∣ing shut up, they were strangled, the den was afterwards made clean, and there were found Vessels of stone fill’d with a stony juyce. About the Coast of Elbog, there are great-firr Trees, with their barks, in the cracks whereof a fire stone of a Golden colour growes. About Cracovia in Bohemia, there are Trees with boughes, out of which there are Whet-stones with corners; which was a Present▪ sent from the Lords of Columbratium, to Ferdinand the first. Hildesham hath beames laid upon heaps; the heads of these somtimes stick forth, these being stricken with Iron or with another stone, not unlike the marble at Hildesham, they smell like the sent of burnt horn. There is also Wood changed into a stone, and in the cracks of it there is Ebony dug forth, which Teophrastus was not ignorant of, that it lay hid scattered in the hollow o other stones. Looking Glasses, rubbing Cloths, Garments, Shoos, being brought into a quarrey in Assus of Troas become stones, Mucianus. But stones that congele from juyce are commonly soft and brittle. In the hot Baths of Charlsthe 4th, many stones together are found, hollow like Hives, half Globe figu∣red, so great as peae, they grow from the drops of the hot waters falling down. But those earthen Vessells that are found in the Earth; were Pichers for dead mens bones, because in all of them covered with lids, there were ashes, and in some Rings were found, wee saw such a one in the Library Thoruniense. It was the fashion of the Antients, as all know, to burn and lay up their ashes. In Italy also some urns were found of glasse. Caesar Carduinus had foure found in the fields of Naples: but what hapned at Verona, see Bertius in desci. agri Veronen.

MEteors are made of Exhalations, the Sun and the rest of the Stars draw them forth; and the subterraneall fire is the worker of very many of them. We shall speak nothing of them. These are some hurtfull, some safe, as may be proved by many Examples. At the foot of the Mountain Tritulum Halveatum, there are waters you must ascend by 43 degrees; to a place of sweating, It is in length three miles, the more you are lifted up above them, the hotter you are; the more you descend into them, the cooler. Those draw flegme from the parts, and cure distillations from the head. There is a hot Bath near the hot waters that run forth of the Lake Agnanum; The ditches are covered with Turves of grasse, and stones being removed, a hot vapour is sent out, that makes them sweat that receive it. Out of Avernus a Lake of Campania, before Agrippa had cut down the Woods that covered it, and laid it open, the Exhalations were so thick that came forth, that the birds were killed that flew over it. At the Lake of Agnanum in Italy, there is a Mountain, in which there is a narrow Cave, it declines moderately downwards, being 8 foot long; if you touch the earth of it with your foot or hand, it feels hotter than the rest, it choaks any living creature that is cast in by the venomous blast, deprives them of sense and motion, though you pull it out pre∣sently; but cast the same presently into the next Lake, it is a wonder how it restores their life again, Camer. Cent. 7. Mirab mem. 50. In the Island Ebusus, Exhalations do so infect the ground, that if they fall upon places where Serpents are, the pestilent Creatures cannot endure them. In the great places of refreshment at Baianum there is a ditch, the water whereof sends forth such hot vapours, that wax Candles will melt, & be put on by them; and they are so pernicious, that men fall down dead therewith. In Babylon there is a Cave also, out of which riseth such a pestilent vapour, that it kills all that draw it in. Also Pluto∣nium in a little hill of a Mountainous Country hath so moderate a mouth, that it can receive but one Man, but it is wonderfull deep: It is compassed about with square pales, and that so many as would compasse in half an Ace, which are so full of clowdy thick dark∣nesse, that the ground can hardly be seen. The Ayr hurts not those who come to the outside of the pales, as being clear from that dark∣nesse, when the winds blow not; If a living Creature goes in, he dies immediately. Bulls brought in fall down, and are drawn forth dead. Lastly, at Hierapolis in Syria, as Dio in the Life of Trajan writes, there is a den of a filthy and deadly smell; what living creature sucks it in, is destroyed by it; Only Eunuchs are free from the venom and hurt of it, Scaliger, Exerc. 277. Sect. 4.

CHAP. XIX. Of the Salmon, and the Turdus.

A Salmon about Colen is two cubits long, and they are greater amongst the Miseni; and at Dessavia, neere the River Albis, from 24, to 36, pounds weight. In Helvetianeere Tigurus they are ta∣ken somtimes above 36, pound weight. Albertus saith, the intestine of it, is divided into many parts like to fingers. Gesner writes, that he observed two passages from the very throat of one that he dissected: they stretched downward, one to the Maw by the Wezand, and the other was namelesse. In the River Mulda neere to Dessavia, if the Sal∣mon striving to overcome the precipice of the water, be frustrated at the second or third leap, he swims to the foard, and there he will lye hid under stones and gravel, and pine away: he is full of brasse co∣lour’d spots, and his beck is bent like a great hook. In Scotland in Autumn they meet in little Rivers or places fordable, where they joyne bellies, and lay eggs, and cover them in the gravel▪ at which time the male is so spent, spending his milt and seed, and the female with her spawn, that they are nothing but bones and prickels and skin. That leannesse is infectious, for they will infect all the Salmons they come neere. It is an argument thereof, that oft times they are taken, and one side is consumed, the other not so. From their eyes covered in the sand, little fishes breed the next spring that are so soft, that untill they be no bigger than a mans finger, if you presse them with your fingers, they will run as from congeled moysture. Then first, as Nature leads them, they hasten to the Sea, and in 20, days, or a little more, it is incredible how great they will grow, when they come from the Sea, against a River that runs thither, they shew a wonder. For the Rivers that are straightned with Rocks, and Banks, on every side, and therefore run down swiftly, when they fall with a great fall, the Salmons do not presently swim forth by the Channel, but they fling themselves up crooked by force of the water, and so are carried in the Ayre, before they fall. That they are live∣ly, is seen by their heart taken forth. Robertus Constantinus testifies that he saw the heart of a Salmon that was unbowelled, that was wet with a moyst sanies, and it lived after it was taken forth above a day. There are some different kinds of Turdi. Some have as it were some skiny yellowish Apophyses hanging down from their lower chop▪ somtimes they vary, and are all for the most part Gold colour, or colour of the Amethyst or blew. Their eyes are extreme great, and a black circle goes about a Golden Apple▪ a Golden circle about the black, and lastly a black circle goes about them all. The fins by the gills are wholly Gold colour, but of the brest they are all blew, except their nervs that are Gold colour’d. The fin that is from the anus, and that which is on the back, and taile, where they are joyn’d to the rump, are Gold colour’d, but sprinkled with little red blood spots, the rest are blew.

 

 

A very good explanation of book formats!

In this blog post, we will be looking at the variety of formats of Hunter’s printed books, and uncover the technical terms, which are commonly used to describe the books’ formats.

via William Hunter’s Library: the Shapes of Books — University of Glasgow Library

An history of the wonderful things of nature!

985G Joannes Jonstonus 1603-1675

An history of the wonderful things of nature: set forth in ten severall classes. Wherein are contained I. The wonders of the heavens. II. Of the elements. III. Of meteors. IV. Of minerals. V. Of plants. VI. Of birds. VII. Of four-footed beasts. VIII. Of insects, and things wanting blood. IX. Of fishes. X. Of man. Written by Johannes Jonstonus. And now rendred into English, by a person of quality.

Unknown-1

London: printed by John Streater, living in Well-Yard near the Hospitall of St. Bartholomew’s the Lesse, and are to be sold by the booksellers of London, 1657          SOLD

Folio ∏2 A4 (a)4 B-2X4 2Y2. First Edition Bound in full calf, original covers, rebacked with a new spine and gilt lettered label, new endpapers. Binding rubbed, covers have some scuffs and small repairs to worm damage, corners repaired, shelf wear to edges, heavy unsightly browning to 56 pages, all text Unknownlegible, (the heavy browning affects the first part of the book) the rest of text has pale age-browning and spotting, an occasional ink splash, small loss to 1 lower corner, neat ink name on endpaper, otherwise an acceptable working copy, good copy only.

The first (and only?) translation, by John Rowland, of: Jonstonus, Joannes. Thaumatographia naturalis. It is a collection of observations and references of natural marvels, retrieved from all ancient and contemporary literature, and organized by the author into a series of distinct sections. Jonston organizes the text into ten classes that describe: the heavens, the elements, meteors, minerals, plants, birds, quadrupeds, insects and bloodless animals, fish and men. The fourth on fossils and minerals is quite extensive with references to Albertus Magnus, Pliny and Theophrastus. A section within the class of plants, discusses tobacco and includes early references to nature in America.
Some of the subjects covered include : Creation of the World; Stars, Planets, Heavens, Sun, Moon, New Stars; Fires in the Waters, Fires under the Earth; Minerall Baths, Navigation in the Sea, Salt of the Sea, Miracles of some Countries, Mountains; Earth-Quakes, Dew Manner and Honey, Rainbow; Loadstone,The fourth class describing minerals, stones and fossils occupies pages 91-126, Jewels found in the Bodies of Living Creatures, Gold, Silver, Emeralds, Topaz; Plants: Tobacco, Vine, Palm-Trees etc; Birds: Eagle, Hawkes, Owls, etc; Animals: Elephants, Horse, Crocodile, Bear, Unicorn, Divers Serpents, Camel, Beaver etc; Silk-Worms, Bees, Spanish Fly, Glo-Worms Locusts, Oysters, Pearls, Scorpions, Tarantula etc; Whale, Pike, Sea-Serpents, Salmon, Sword-Fish etc; Gyants, Pigmies, Monstrous Births, Walkers in the Night, Dreams, the Wonderful Strength and Agility of some People etc. MORE …..An Appendix follows the Eighth Classis: Wherein there is contained the observation of Andreas Libavius, a most famous Physitian, concerning SILK-WORMS, a singular History, Anno 1599, at Rotenburgh.

 

Wing J1017; Gibson, R.W. Francis Bacon,; 453; NLM 17th cent.,; 6272; ESTC (RLIN),; R001444;Ward & Carozzi, Geology Emerging, 1984: no. 1221.

Marinus Becichemus Scodrensis

982G Marino Becichemo 1468-1526

Hoc libro continentur haec opera Becichemi : Panegyricus serenissimo principi Leonardo Lauretano et illustrissimo Senatui Veneto dictus. Centuria epistola[rum] quaestionu[m] eide[m] principi atq[ue] senatui dicata: in qua su[n]t capita plura ad arte[m] oratoria[m] & ad artificiu[m] orationu[m] Ciceronis spectantia. Item sunt castigationes multae in asinu[m] aureu[m] & in multa alio[rum] aucto[rum] opa. Castigationes in totum victorinum. Castigationes in totum opus rhe. de inuentione. Castigationes in omnes libros rhe. ad herennium. Castigationes in tres libros de oratore. Castigationes in quattuor libros floridorum Apuleii. Itam sunt artes. De componenda epistola. De componendo dialogo. De imitatione. De componenda funebri orationes. De componenda nuptiali oratione. Expecta lector propediem secundam centuriam.

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Venetiis : A Bernardino Veneto de uitalibus, VIII. Idus octobris 1506                                                                $3,800

Folio 12 1/4 X 8 1/2 Inches.    A-E6 ; a4 ,b4, c–x6 Y-Z4z4 verso blank SECOND Edition The first was printed in Brescia 1504 by Angelo e Giacomo Britannico.   Bound in a nice 20th century full dark brown calf binding,BY JON ROBBINS. The first leaf has had its margins strengthened but in no way obtrusivly, The peper is very thick and this copy has good margins with some deckel edges. The typography is rather crude for an Italian book of this time .
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Marin Beçikemi (aka Latin: Marinus Becichemus Scodrensis or Becichemi, Bicichemo, Becichio, Bezicco)  {there are a lot of searches here…} was an Albanian 15th and 16th century humani s{t, orator, and chronist. Born in Shkodër he had seen 26 out of his 30 family members die in the Siege of Shkodra from the Ottoman Empire. In 1503 he published a panegyric to the Venetian Senate concerning the siege.  He wrote commentaries on Cicero, Pliny the Elder and other classical philosophers. He was a professor of rhetoric at the University of Padova.
Panzer VIII, 383
In OCLC I could find one copy ILLINOIS
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More about Beçikemi : “In 1492 (according to S. Gliubich,  Illustrious Men of Dalmatia , Vienna-Zara 1856, p. 25) B. was called by the Senate of the Republic of Ragusa as rector of the schools. During his stay in this city, and precisely in 14951 he dedicated to the Senate his Castigationes et observationes in Virgilium , Ovidium , Ciceronem , Servium et Priscianum . It turns out that at the beginning of October 1496 he was in Naples as secretary of the Venetian patrician Melchiorre Trevisan, a Venetian fleet administrator who came to the aid of King Ferrandino.  Beçikemi had obtained this assignment for the Manin family’s intervention (according to Gliubich), and it may well have been a public office. While serving Trevisan he went to France, probably in 1499; in September Trevisan was appointed general administrator with the task of occupying that part of the duchy of Milan assigned to the Venetians, and it seems likely B. has been his secretary during the campaign.
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In the year 1500, when Beçikemi took Venetian citizenship, marks a radical change in his life. Probably at the end of the year he opened a school of human letters in Venice (perhaps his letter mentioned in Sanuto, Diarii , III, 786,  Sept. 15, reports the request), rivaling with Raffaele Regio, and including among his students Vittore Cappello, Gian Ludovico Navagero, Marc Anthony Contarini and Augustine Beaziano. On 28 Nov. 1500 he pronounced the funeral prayer for Giambattista Scita in Venice in front of a large audience, probably Pietro Bembo, who estimated the Scita, for whom he wrote an epitaph at this time. At an uncertain date, but probably between 1500 and 1502, he competed in the convent of St. Stephen in Venice with the Regio on the excellence of Cicero or Quiatiliano. He had meanwhile had close relations with Venetian patriots and literate, such as Girolamo Donato, Marco Dandolo, Antonio Condulmer, Giorgio Emo and Bernardo Soranzo.

DSC_0133Perhaps during the early months of 1501 Beçikemi transferred his school to Padua, but in November he accepted a three-year course for the Brescia Study Chair, with the annual salary of 112 ducats (a wage higher than others were paid)  . At the same time he had received a request from Vicenza to teach in the public school of that city, but he chose Brescia perhaps because the salary was higher and because Brescia was the city where he had studied. He pronounced the public proclamation in the Brescia study on July 30, 1503. Meanwhile, John Calfurnio, a rector of the Padua Study (January 1503), uttered a communion of funeral prayer. The Paduan Rectors recommended him for the succession of Calfurnio, but he obtained the seat of the Regio.

During the period when Beçikemi taught in Brescia he prepared a collection of works for printing, and the privilege granted on September 26. 1505 seems to have already been ready: Collectanea in Plinium , Artificium Orationum Ciceronis , Centuriae tres Variarum Observationum , Adnotationes Virgilianae , Observations in Livium et Fabium , Commentaries in Persium , In Libros de Oratore et Rethoricos Ciceronis .

Not all of these works have been handed down to us, and perhaps they were never even finished by the author. At this time Beçikemi had already printed the V ariarum observationum collectanea , Brescia 1504 (see Brunet, Manuel …, I, 730), gathering his works already edited. It is believed in Brescia perhaps in 1503, in Primum Plinii observationum librum collectanea (see the catalog of the British Museum) and perhaps the first edition of Praelectio in C. Plinium … Collectane in Primum Naturalis Historiae librum ( cum epistula nuncupatoria , Brixiae year 1503 conscripta ); Other editions of the latter work are: Oratio qua Brix . Senatui praelectio in C. Plinium , Ferrariae 1504 (in Oxford’s Bodleian ) and Oratio here the most flourishing Senate Brix . gratias agit … [Venetiis or Brixiae 1504?] (in the Vatican). Subsequently several reprints reproduce the. B.’s observations with works on the same topic by Niccolò Perotti and Cornelio Vitelli: Marini Bechichemi… Elegans ac doced in C. Plinium praelectio . Eiusdem Plini praefatio in libros Historiae naturalis diligenter ac cum iudicio recognita . Eiusdem Scodrensis collectane in primum Plinii … Luteciae 1519. It seems that the year 1504 is the first edition of the Panegyricus serenissimo principi Leonardo Lauretano and illustrious Senatus Veneto dictus [Brixiae 1504] (see catalog of the Vatican ). In 1505 Panegyricus was re- published with Epistolicarum Quaestionum : Centuria first , curated by British Angel [Brixiae 1505]. B. complained that this edition was printed with too many errors, and therefore gave the manuscript of the text to Antonio Moretto for a reprint that appeared as: Marinus Bechichemus … Opera … Panegyricus … Centuria epistolicarum quaestionum … Castigationes multae . .. Artes de componenda epistola , de composendo dialogo , de imitatione , de componenda funebri oratione , de componenda nuptiali oratione , Venetiis, Bernardo de ‘Vitali, 1506 (also this is full of typographical errors). Following this literary production, it is not surprising that in November 1505 Beçikemi’s conduct was renewed by the Senate Brescia for three years and with the same salary. In June 1508 he asked for a temporary visit to Rome for a visit made necessary by the fact that his father’s father had given a son of Beçikemi (Marco, a boy of twelve) a canonician of the Brescia Church. It seems that, having obtained a regular license, he would no longer return to teach in Brescia: certainly at the end of 1508, Francesco Arigoni was appointed to his post. The three most distinguished students of Beçikemi in Brescia were Filippo Donato, son of Girolamo, Pietro Soardo and Gian Antonio Cattaneo.

From Rome, Marinus Becichemus Scodrensis moved to Venice, perhaps due to some friction he was concerned with at the time of the Cambrai League. In the middle of July 1509, he was appointed a reader of humanity for the students of the Chancellery, holding the school with Girolamo Calvo of Vicenza and reading Pliny, Cicero and Virgil: “do lection the matina et poi disnar, demum la evening play together, which is nice to see “, according to Marin Samito ( Diarii , XII, Col. 296).

In May 1514, Beçikemi da Venezia was looking for a place as a professor at Mantua and it was related to Isabella d’Este, who wrote: “Messer Marino is not a suspect person in account, before being retired against his will in Venice the Venetians, then to be the man waiting in letters without impassing of others “(letter of 16 May 1514 to the Count of Caiazzo, published by A. Luzio and R. Renier, in Culture and Literature by Isabella d ‘ Este , in Gior . Stor . Of letter italia , VII [1901], p. 226). On May 19, 1514, Isabella sent to Beçikemi a custodian, but he remained in Venice, perhaps because of a cause pending in that city. Later he was busy writing a poem (now lost), in which he praised the Marquis, the Marquess and all the writers of the Mantuan circle: perhaps for this he obtained a copy of the Chronicle of Mantua by Mario Equicola by Gian Giacomo Calandra, secretary of Isabella. The 6th gen. 1515 wrote to Calandra that he was looking for a protector to dedicate the poem. In March.following his son Marco, canonical, “docto and accustomato”, was killed in Venice (see Sanuto, Diarii , XVIII, 166, XL, 778), and Beçikemi, addressed the marquise of Mantua in a  letter in which he  said that he would soon be to Mantua carrying two of his works worthy of being published. However, he appears to have stayed in Venice, retaining his position as a teacher at the Chancellery.”

 

Copyright ABCs – ‘The Art of Reading’

‘Proverbs and other Moral Sayings’. Some of these latter phrases are still familiar to us today, such as ‘Rome was not built in a day’; ‘a cat may look upon a king’; and ‘a rolling stone gathers no moss’. Some, however, are more unfamiliar and sound strange and amusing to a modern ear, such as ‘good wine needs no bush’; ‘great boast and small roast’; ‘children and chicken are always pecking’; and ‘hungry dogs will eat dirty puddings’.

Echoes from the Vault

This week Lizzie reports on an item discovered by the Lighting the Past team from within the ‘L’ section of the Copyright Deposit Collection. You can see the previous posts in the series here.

Image from The Art of Reading: Or, the English Tongue made Familiar and easy to the meanest Capacity (s LB1525.3S65)

The Art of Reading: Or, the English Tongue made Familiar and easy to the meanest Capacity by P. Sproson, was a source of education for youth of the eighteenth century, but today provided a source of amusement in the Lighting the Past office. With table after table of phrases which are, as even Sproson admits, ‘a little trifling or childish’, one can find both familiar and absurd phrases within these pages.

Sproson’s audience, delicately described in his title as those of ‘the meanest capacity’ are clarified to be ‘that province of little people’…

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Rock! Fall

[Cover Photo: Jon Kameen/Twitter] A rockfall on Yosemite’s El Capitan has killed one and left another injured during the popular climbing month of September reports USA Today. According to reports, a multitude of wintesses saw the rockfall happen on Wednesday afternoon on what is commonly referred to by climbers as “The Waterfall Route.” It is so […]

via Rock Fall ‘The Size Of An Apartment Building’ Kills 1 On El Capitan @Yosemite — Unofficial Networks

Saint Jerome and fake news

I’ve always Loved St Jerome!

Gleeson Gleanings: News & Updates from Gleeson Library | Geschke Center, USF

We have a tradition here at Gleeson Library for the last 24 years: we celebrate the feast of Saint Jerome on September 30th. Why? Because Jerome is the patron saint of librarians and Jerome spent his life searching for the truth. 

 Jerome was born in 347 and died on September 30 in 420. He was a translator, theologian and priest. His translation of the Bible, called The Vulgate, was considered the most important translation of the Bible for over 1,000 years.
In Jerome’s time, the church was still defining Christian doctrine and beliefs. There were raging controversies about questions like the nature of Jesus (how could he be both human and divine) and the nature of the Trinity. Jerome took very strong positions on these kinds of issues. He had a reputation for being a difficult and argumentative person because of this. (I suspect many of us would not have…

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Medea, Jason and their Marriage

I was think of the Poison crown…

David Allsop Classics

Medea helped Jason succeed in his quest for the Golden Fleece betraying her family and killing her brother in the process. Jason brought Medea back to Greece with him and they ultimately settled in Corinth. Jason would not have succeeded in his quest without Medea’s help and she feels betrayed by him when he leaves her for the princess of Corinth (Euripides Medea 475-91). Through examining the importance Medea places upon her marriage and Jason’s oath some insight can be obtained into the reasoning behind her act of revenge.

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