A discussion of interesting books from my current stock A site

The “Praeparitio” is a gigantic feat of erudition.

945G     Eusebius of Caesarea                  c. 260-c. 340

Eusebius Pa[m]phili de eua[n]gelica preparac[i]o[n]e ex greco in latinu[m] translatus Incipit feliciter.               

DSC_0263 2[ Cologne, Ulrich Zel, not after 1473]                          $18,000

DSC_0005 3Folio 10 ¾  x 7 ¾  inches. [a]12, [b-o]10, [p]8      One of the earliest editions most likely the Second, (editio princeps : Venice 1470)  This copy is bound in a modern binding of half  period exposed quarter sawn beech boards and bound in quarter dark goatskin and tooled in blind.

This copy contains the fifteen books of the “Praeparatio evangelica,” whose purpose is “to justify the Christian in rejecting the religion and philosphy of the Greeks in favor of that of the Hebrews, and then to justify him in not observing the Jewish manner of life […] The following summary of its contents is taken from Mr. Gifford’s introduction to his translation of the “Praeparitio:

“The first three books discuss the threefold system of Pagan Theology: Mythical, DSC_0011 2Allegorical, and Political.  The next three, IV-VI, give an account of the chief oracles, of the worship of demons, and of the various opinions of Greek Philosophers on the doctrines of Fate and Free Will.  Books VII-IX give reasons for preferring the religion of the Hebrews founded chiefly on the testimony of various authors to the excellency of their Scriptures and the truth of their history.  In Books X-XII Eusebius argues that the Greeks had borrowed from the older theology and philosphy of the Hebrews, dwelling especially on the supposed dependence of Plato upon Moses.  In the the last three books, the comparson of Moses with Plato is continued, and the mutual contradictions of other Greek Philosphers, especially the Peripatetics and Stoics, are exposed and criticized.”

The “Praeparitio” is a gigantic feat of erudition, and, according to Harnack (Chronologie, II, p. 120), was, like many of Eusebius’ other works, actually composed during the stress of the persecution.  It ranks, with the Chronicle, second only to the Church History in importance, because of its copious extracts from ancient authors, whose works have perished.” (CE)
In explaining the plan of his treatise Eusebius promises  that his purpose shall be worked out in a way of his own, differing from the methods of the many Christian authors who had preceded him. This promise is further explained   as meaning that his arguments will not depend on his own statements, but will be given in the very words of the most learned and best known advocates of the Pagan religions, that so the evidence alleged may not be suspected of being invented by himself. The cogency of |xvi this mode of argument truthfully and fairly conducted is unquestionable, but it had not in this case such entire novelty as Eusebius seems to claim for it. We shall find as we proceed that many of his arguments are the same as those of the earlier Apologists, Aristides, Justin Martyr, Tatian, Clement of Alexandria, and Origen; that he constantly borrows long passages from their writings, including the same quotations from Greek authors, reproduced word for word with due acknowledgement. Those earlier authors had in fact adopted the very same method which Eusebius announced as distinctive of his own work. The quotations thus borrowed are however few in comparison with the great multitude gathered by Eusebius himself from all parts of the Greek literature of a thousand years, from works both known and unknown of poets, historians, and philosophers.

The peculiar value of the Praeparatio resulting from this wealth of quotation is universally acknowledged. ‘This book is almost as important to us in the study of ancient Philosophy as the Chronicon is with reference to History, since in it are present specimens of the writings of almost every philosopher of any note whose works are not now extant’ (G. E. L. Cotton, Dict. Gk. and R. Biogr., ‘Eusebius,’ 116b).

‘The Preparation exhibits the same wide range of acquaintance with the classical writers of Greece which the History exhibits in the domain of Christian literature. The list of writers quoted or referred to is astonishing for its length (see Fabric. Bibl. Graec. vii. 346). Some of these are known to us, even by name, only through Eusebius, and of several others he has preserved large portions which are not otherwise extant. . . . It was chiefly the impression produced by this mass of learning which led Scaliger to describe it as “divini commentarii,” and Cave to call it “opus profecto nobilissimum” (H. L. i. p. 178)’ (Lightfoot, Smith and “Wace’s Dict. Chr. Biogr. ii. 331)

It is also very interesting because of its numerous lively fragments from historians and philosophers which are nowhere else preserved, e.g. a summary of the writings of the Phoenician priest Sanchuniathon, or the account from Diodorus Siculus’ sixth book of Euhemerus’ wondrous voyage to the island of Panchaea, and writings of the neo-Platonist philosopher Atticus.

Eusebius (c. 263-339), Greek historian and exegete, Christian polemicist and scholar Biblical canon, became bishop of Cesarea in 314 and is considered as the father of Church History as his writings are very important for the first three centuries of the Christianity.

DSC_0264 3

In Book XI Eusebius proposes to show the agreement of Plato, as the representative of Greek Philosophy, with the Hebrew Scriptures. Adopting the threefold division of Ethics, Dialectic, and Physics, he notices the moral teaching of the sacred writers, their literary methods, accurate reasoning, and correct use of significant names, their knowledge of the natural world, and their contemplation of the ‘true being’ of things unseen (chapters 1-9). He then quotes the comments of Numenius, and his saying, What else is Plato than Moses speaking Attic Greek?, and Plutarch’s treatise on the Ei0 at Delphi (10, 11).

Other points of comparison are the ineffable nature of God, His unity, the Second Cause as contemplated by Philo, Plotinus, Numenius, and Amelius, the Third Divine Power of the Ps.-Platonic Epinomis (chapters 12-30).

The nature of the Good and of the Ideas, as stated by Plato in the Republic and Timaeus, is illustrated by xxiii quotations from Numenius, Philo, and Clement of Alexandria (21-25). The existence of evil powers, the immortality of the soul and the Divine image, as taught in the Alcibiades and Phaedo, and illustrated from Porphyry’s answer to Boethus On the Soul, the creation of the world and of the heavenly bodies, the goodness of God’s works, their changes and dissolution, the resurrection of the dead, and the final judgement, are all brought into the comparison, and illustrated from the Timaeus, Republic, Politicus, and Phaedo, and from a fragment of Plutarch On the Soul.

In Book XII the comparison of Plato with the Hebrew Scriptures is continued on the simple instruction of children, the need of faith, the qualifications of rulers as described in the Laws, the Gorgias, and the Republic (chapters 1-9); the picture of the just man and his fate in the Republic; Paradise and the garden of Zeus, and the origin of mankind male and female, in the Symposium; the Deluge, the right foundation of law, religious training, the use of poetry, music, and wine, and the control of the passions, all illustrated from the Laws (chapters 10-28).

Other subjects brought into the comparison are the contrast of true philosophy and spurious wisdom (Theaetetus), the education of women (Republic), and passages of the Laws and Republic corresponding to the Hebrew Proverbs and laws of Moses on ‘the memory of the just,’ riches and poverty, and the honour due to parents, on slaves, landmarks, and thieves (chapters 29-42). Other coincidences are found in the use of certain examples and figures of speech, in the division of a nation into twelve tribes, in the situation of the chief city, and in Plato’s thoughts on faults in education (Republic), on atheism, on God, and Divine providence (Laws).

In Book XIII Eusebius quotes with approval Plato’s opinions on the absurdities of Greek mythology in the Timaeus, Republic, and Eutliyphron (chapters 1-5), on stedfast adherence to truth even unto death in the Crito |xxivand the Apology of Socrates (chapters 6-11), adding the testimonies of Aristobulus and Clement to the agreement of Plato and other Greek philosophers with the Hebrew Scriptures (chapters 12, 13).

The remainder of the book treats of matters in which Plato’s teaching is condemned concerning the belief of the common people (Timaeus and Republic), a multitude of inferior gods and daemons, the nature of the soul (Timaeus) criticized by the Platonist Severus, the worship of the heavenly bodies (Laws and Timaeus), the treatment of women (Laws and Republic), unnatural vice, and the laws of murder.

In Book XIV the consistent truth of Hebrew doctrines adopted by Christians is contrasted with the contradictions and conflicts of Greek philosophers, showing how Plato criticized his predecessors in the Theaetetus and Sophista, and was himself criticized by his followers in the successive Academies, who in their turn are subjected to the keen satire of Numenius (chapters 1-9). The subject is continued in quotations from Porphyry, Xeno-phon, Plato, Plutarch, and especially from Aristocles On Philosophy against the schools of Parmenides who rejected the evidence of the senses, of Aristippus, Metrodorus, and Protagoras who believed them alone, and of the Pyr-rhonists who believed nothing at all. The doctrines of Epicurus are refuted from the writings of Aristocles, Plato, and Dionysius of Alexandria (chapters 21-47).

In Book XV the moral character of Aristotle is defended against the slanders of Epicurus and others by Aristocles; but where he differed from Plato and the Hebrews in regard to virtue and happiness, the ideas of God and His providence, the creation of the world, the fifth corporeal essence, the nature of the heavenly bodies, and the immortality of the soul, his doctrines are severely criticized by Atticus the Platonist (chapters 2-9).

His description of the soul as an enteleceia is further criticized by Plotinus, Porphyry, and Atticus (10-13); |xxv the Stoic philosophy is discussed by Aristocles, Areius Didymus, Porphyry, Longinus, and Plotinus (14-22), and the remainder of the book is occupied with a long extract from Plutarch, De placitis Philosophorum, on the various physical theories of the world, followed by the judgement of Socrates on such questions from the Memorabilia of Xenophon.

The literary value of the Preparation for the Gospel will be most fully appreciated by considering a separate list of the chief fragments of ancient authors for the preservation of which we are indebted to Eusebius in that work.

(a) Fragments of Poetry.

1. An interesting epigram by Callimachus on the simplicity of the primitive statues (99 b): this is contained in a fragment of Plutarch, De Daedalis Plataeensibus.

2. A fragment of Euripides, Melanippe Captiva, on the characters of bad and good women (466 d).

3. Large extracts in iambic verse from the Exodus, a tragedy by the Jewish dramatist Ezekiel (438 c 10-446 d 2), on which see Schürer, Jewish People, ii. 3. 224.

4. Fragments of an epic poem On Jerusalem by a Jew named Philo, 421 c, d, 430 c, 453 a. Cf. Schürer, ibid. 222.

5. Eight extracts from the epic poem of Theodotus On the Jews, describing Sichem, and narrating the story of the sons of Emmor (426 b-429 a). Cf. Schürer, ibid. 224. |xxvi

6. Many of the oracles quoted by Oenomaus in The Detection of Impostors (209 c-234 a).

7. All the oracles contained in the work of Porphyry On the Philosophy to be derived from Oracles (123 d-124 b, 145 a-146 b, 168 b, 175 c). These oracles with their contexts are carefully edited by Wolff in his work Porph. De Philos. ex Oraculis haurienda, of which they form the chief substance.

8. Pindar, Fr. Incert. 2 (105), Paean. 10 (33), both in 687 b.

9. The remarkable epigram on the Tetragrammaton and the Name of seven vowels (520 a).

To go no farther, the Greeks would be unable to state the etymologies even of the letters of the alphabet, nor could Plato himself tell the meaning or the reason of the vowels or the consonants.
But the Hebrews would tell us the reason of ‘Alpha,’ which with them is called ‘Al’ph,’ and this signifies ‘learning’:and of ‘Beta,’ which it is their custom to call ‘Beth,’ which name they give to a house; so as to show the meaning, ‘learning of a house,’ or as it might be more plainly expressed, ‘a kind of teaching and learning of household economy.’
‘Gamma’ also is with them called ‘Gimel’: and this is their name for ‘fullness.’ Then since they call tablets ‘Delth,’ they gave this name to the fourth letter, signifying therewith by the two letters, that ‘written learning is a filling of the tablets.’
And any one going over the remaining letters of the alphabet, would find that they have been named among the Hebrews each with some cause and reason. For they say also that the combination of the seven vowels contains the enunciation of one forbidden name, which the Hebrews indicate by four letters and apply to the supreme power of God, having received the tradition from father to son that this is something unutterable and forbidden to the multitude.
And one of the wise Greeks having learned this, I know not whence, hinted it obscurely in verse, saying as follows:

‘Seven vowels tell My Name,—-the Mighty God,
The everlasting Father of mankind:
The immortal lyre am I, that guides the world,
And leads the music of the circling spheres.’  28

You would find also the meanings of the remaining Hebrew letters, by fixing your attention on each; but this we have already established by our former statements, when we were showing that the Greeks have received help in everything from the Barbarians.
And any one diligently studying the Hebrew language would discover great correctness of names current among that people: since the very name which is the appellation of the whole race has been derived from Heber; and this means the man that ‘passes over,’ since both a passage and the one who passes over are called in the Hebrew language ‘Heber.’ 29
For the term teaches us to cross over and pass from the things in this world to things divine, and by no means to stay lingering over the sight of the things that are seen, but to pass from these to the unseen and invisible things of divine knowledge concerning the Maker and Artificer of the world. Thus the first people who were devoted to the one All-ruler and Cause of the Universe, and adhered to Him with a pure and true worship, they called Hebrews, naming men of this character as travellers who had in mind passed over from earthly things.
But why should I spend more time in collecting all the instances of the propriety and correctness of the Hebrew names, when the subject requires a special treatise of its own. However, speaking generally, I think that even by what has been said I have supplied the evidence of the art of reasoning among the Hebrews: if indeed, as Plato said, it is a task for no mean or ordinary men, but for a wise lawgiver and dialectician, to discover the kind of names naturally belonging to things,—-a man such as Moses who has made known to us the Hebrew oracles. So then what follows next after the subject of Dialectics, but to examine what was the condition of the Hebrew people in regard to Physics?

10. Part of the Orphic Hymn to Zeus, of which vv. 19-42 (except two or three) are found first in the fragment of Porphyry Peri Agalmatwn preserved by Eusebius P. E. 100 c 5-101 c 1.

(b) Historical Fragments.

1. In history we have first the long extract from the translation by Philo Byblius of Sanchuniathon’s Phoenician History contained in a fragment of Porphyry’s work Against the Christians preserved by Eusebius (31 a-42 b). If we could fully trust Porphyry’s testimony to the truthfulness of Philo, and to the genuineness and antiquity of the work of Sanchuniathon, the historical value of the extract could hardly be over-estimated: and we cannot wonder that the question of its authenticity has been a most fruitful source of criticism and controversy from the time of Scaliger and Grotius to our own days. ‘Few problems, in fact, in the circle of Semitic studies and of ancient history in general are of more importance than this.’ So writes M. Renan. Memoire sur l’Origine et le Caractere veritable de l’Histoire phenicienne qui porte le nom de Sanchoniathon, p. 6.

2. Diodorus Siculus. In 59 c 2-61 a we have an interesting fragment of the sixth book of the Bibliotheca, confirming his account of the sources of Greek theology from the Ιερα αναγραφη, or Sacred Record of Euemerus,|xxvii and adding the wonderful narrative of Euemerus concerning his voyage to the fabulous island of Panchaea in the Indian Ocean.

3. The large fragments of Philo Judaeus first known from Eusebius will be found in 322 d 11 on the Word or Second God, in 336 b Concerning Providence, in 355 c-361 b on the Exodus and the Law from a work otherwise unknown, entitled Hypothetica, and in 379 a-400 a a very long and important passage from the Apology for the Jews.

These fragments will be found placed together at the end of the sixth volume of Richter’s edition of the Greek text of Philo.

4. Among the most important of the historical fragments preserved for us by Eusebius are the long extracts from the work of Alexander Polyhistor Concerning the Jews, which occupy the larger part of Book IX, and have been very carefully edited in a special monograph by Dr. J. Freudenthal. The value of these extracts is much increased by quotations from lost works of authors otherwise unknown, Eupolemus, Artapanus, Molon, a certain Philo, and Demetrius, who all wrote on the history of the Jews. On the importance of the fragments see Schürer, ibid. ii. 3. 197.

5. The extract from the Chronicon of Julius Africanus (487 d-491 b) was edited from Eusebius by Dr. Routh in Rell. Sacr. ii. 269-78, who enlarged the text from Georgius Syncellus and added copious notes (423-37).

6. From the lost work of Abydenus On Assyrian History we have most interesting notices of the Flood of Sisithrus, i. e. Noah (414 d), of the Tower of Babel (416 b), of Nebuchadnezzar’s madness and of his fortification of Babylon (456 d).

(g) Philosophical Fragments.

It is in the region of Greek Philosophy that the wealth of quotation is most remarkable.

1. Among the Neo-Platonists we find Atticus, whose commentary on the Timaeus is sharply criticized by |xxviii Proclus, but of whose own writings there remain only the important fragments preserved by Eusebius; the first of which describes the threefold division of Philosophy into Ethics, Physics, and Logic, and eulogizes Plato as ‘a man from nature’s mysteries new-inspired,’ and ‘in very truth sent down from the gods, in order that Philosophy might be seen in its full proportions,’ (509 b-510 a). Also in the long and important extracts contained in Book XV, chapters 4-9, 12, 13, Atticus appears as a passionate defender of Plato against Aristotle.

2. From the Epitome of Areius Didymus we have a short extract on the Platonic Ideas (545 b), and several passages on the Stoic doctrines in Book XV, chapters 15, 20.

3. Numenius the Neo-Pythagorean is known almost exclusively from the long and numerous extracts preserved by Eusebius. From the contemplation of true ‘Being’ with Plato (525 c-527 a) he passes on to the nature of ‘the First and Second God’ (537 a), and to ‘the only Good’ transcending all essence, which can be contemplated only apart from sense ‘in a certain, immense, ineffable, and absolutely Divine solitude’ (543 d). In 650 d we find him defending Plato for ‘preserving both life and truth’ by withdrawing from Athens; and in 727 b-739 he describes The revolt of the Academics against Plato, under the leaders of the three, or more, Academies.

4. The fragments of Aristocles the Peripatetic contain an interesting criticism of Socrates and Plato, and of the divergent Socratic Schools (510 b-511 c), a defence of the veracity of the senses against the Eleatics Xenophanes and Parmenides (756 b-757 d), a long refutation of the Sceptics Pyrrho and Timon (758 c-763 d), strong and able censures of the Sophists, Cyrenaics, and Epicureans (764 c-768 d), and lastly a defence of the moral character of Aristotle against the slanderous |xxix  attacks of Epicurus, Timaeus of Tauromenium, Alexinus the Eristic, Eubulides, Demochares, Cephisodorus, and Lycon (791 a-793 c).

5. Of the three known fragments of Euemerus, the most important is contained in a fragment of the sixth book of Diodorus Siculus, itself preserved by Eusebius (Diod. Sic. iv. 179, Dindorf).

6. On the falsehood of oracles we have first a valuable fragment of Diogenianus directed against the fatalism of Chrysippus (136 d 3); then the vigorous and amusing invective of Oenomaus occupying no less than eighteen chapters of Book V (209 b-234 c); and the long series of extracts from the work of Porphyry On the Philosophy to be derived from Oracles, mentioned above (p. xxvi).

7. Of other works of Porphyry Eusebius has preserved many fragments of the Epistle to Anebo (92 a, 197 c, 740 d), on which see Parthey’s edition of Iamblichus De Mysteriis; a large part of the treatise De Statuis (97 d 2 note); several fragments of a work On the Soul, against Boethus; three long extracts from the Philological Lecture; fragments of the famous treatise Against the Christians (31 a, 179 d, 485 b).

8. A fragment attributed to Plotinus on the Entelecheia of Aristotle, which is inserted by Creuzer after Ennead. iv. 2.

9. From Plutarch’s treatise on the Daedala, or primitive wooden statues at Plataeae, and the worship connected with them Eusebius has preserved two very interesting fragments (83 c, 99 b); and though the long extracts from the Stromateis (22 b-25 b) and the De placitis Philosophorum (836 a-852 c) are not the work of Plutarch, but a compilation by some unknown writer from the Epitome of Aetius, this very ancient error in the title does not detract from their value. We are equally indebted for their preservation to Eusebius, to whose accuracy and fidelity Diels (Proleg. 5-10) pays an emphatic and even enthusiastic testimony. |xxx


Goff E119; BMC I 194

(United States of America: Boston Public Library
Indiana Univ., The Lilly Library (- 2 ff.)



[PLUTARCH] ‘THALES of Miletus, one of the seven sages, declared water to be the first principle of all things. This man is thought to have been the founder of philosophy, and from him the Ionic sect derived its name; for it had many successions. After studying philosophy in Egypt he came as an elderly man to Miletus. He says that all things come from water, and are all resolved into water. And he forms his conjecture first from the fact that seed, which is watery, is the first principle of all animal life; thus it is probable that all things have their origin from moisture. His second argument is that all plants derive nourishment and fruitfulness from moisture, and when deprived of it wither away. And the third, that the very fire of the sun, and of the stars, and the world itself are nourished by the evaporations of the waters. For this reason Homer also suggests this notion concerning water,

“Ocean, which is the origin of all.” 34

This is what Thales says.

‘But Anaximander of Miletus says that the first principle of all things is the infinite, for from this all are produced, and into this all pass away; for which reason also infinite worlds are generated, and pass away again into that from which they spring. So he says the reason why the infinite exists is that the subsisting creation may not be deficient in any point. But he also is at fault in not saying what the infinite is, whether it is air, or water, or earth, or any other corporeal elements; he is wrong therefore in declaring the matter while excluding the efficient cause. For the infinite is nothing else than matter, and matter cannot have an actual existence, unless the efficient cause underlie it.

‘Anaximenes of Miletus declared that the air is the first principle of all things, for from this all are produced, and into it they are resolved again. For example, our soul, he says, is air, for it holds us together; and the whole world too is encompassed by air and breath, and air and breath are used as synonyms. But he too is wrong in thinking that living beings consist of simple homogeneous air and breath; for it is impossible that the matter can exist as sole principle of things, but we must assume the efficient cause also. As for instance silver suffices not for the production of the drinking-cup, unless there be the efficient cause, that is the silversmith; the case is similar with copper and various kinds of wood, and all other matter.

‘Heracleitus and Hippasus of Metapontum say that fire is the principle of all things: for from fire, they say, all things are produced and all end in fire: and all things in the world are created as it gradually cools down. For first the coarsest part of it is pressed together and becomes earth; then the earth being resolved by the natural force of the fire is turned into water, and being vaporised becomes air. And again the world and all the bodies in it are consumed in a conflagration by fire. Fire therefore is the first principle, because all things come from it, and the end, inasmuch as they are all resolved into it.

‘Democritus, who was followed long after by Epicurus, said that the first principles of all things are bodies indivisible, but conceivable by reason, with no admixture of vacuum, uncreated, imperishable, not capable of being broken, nor of receiving shape from their parts, nor of being altered in quality, but perceptible by reason only; that they move, however, in the vacuum, and through the vacuum, and that both the vacuum itself is infinite and the bodies infinite. And the bodies possess these three properties, shape, magnitude, and weight. Democritus, however, said two, magnitude and shape; but Epicurus added to them a third, namely weight. For he said the bodies must be moved by the impulse of the weight, since otherwise they will not be moved at all. The shapes of the atoms are limitable, not infinite: for there are none either hook-shaped, nor trident-shaped, nor ring-shaped. For these shapes are easily broken, whereas the atoms are impassive and cannot be broken; but they have their proper shapes, which are conceivable by reason. And the “atom” is so called, not because it is extremely small, but because it cannot be divided, being impassive, and free from admixture of vacuum: so that if a man says “atom” he means unbreakable, impassive, unmixed with vacuum. And that the atom exists is manifest: for there are also elements (στοιχεῖα), and living beings that are empty, and there is the Monad.

‘Empedocles, son of Meton, of Agrigentum, says that there are four elements, fire, air, water, earth, and, two original forces, love and hate, of which the one tends to unite, and the other to separate. And this is how he speaks:

“Learn first four roots of all things that exist:
Bright Zeus, life-giving Hera, and the god
Of realms unseen, and Nestis, who with tears
Bedews the fountain-head of mortal life.”  35

For by “Zeus” he means the seething heat and the ether; and by “life-giving Hera,” the air; the earth by Aidoneus, and by Nestis and “the fountain-head of mortal life,” the seed, as it were, and the water.’

So great is the dissonance of the first physical philosophers: such too is their opinion concerning first principles, assuming, as they did, no god, no maker, no artificer, nor any cause of the universe, nor yet gods, nor incorporeal powers, no intelligent natures, no rational essences, nor anything at all beyond the reach of the senses, in their first principles.

In fact Anaxagoras alone is mentioned as the first of the Greeks who declared in his discourses about first principles that mind is the cause of all things. They say at least that this philosopher had a great admiration for natural science beyond all who were before him: for the sake of it certainly he left his own district a mere sheepwalk, and was the first of the Greeks who stated clearly the doctrine of first principles. For he not only pronounced, like those before him, on the essence of all things, but also on the cause which set it in motion.

‘”For in the beginning,” he said, “all things were mingled together in confusion: but mind came in, and brought them out of confusion into order.'”

One cannot but wonder how this man, having been the first among Greeks who taught concerning God in this fashion, was thought by the Athenians to be an atheist, because he regarded not the sun but the Maker of the sun as God, and barely escaped being stoned to death.

But it is said that even he did not keep the doctrine safe and sound: for though he made mind preside over all things, he did not go on to render his physical system concerning the existing world accordant with mind and reason. …


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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.


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


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)


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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Two manuscripts in one.


2) 181J    Psalterium Latinum.

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A fifteenth century Manuscript Psalter

Surrounded on every page by an untitled 18thcentury English History manuscript.

Tours, France circa 1430


 Quarto: 19.5 X 14 cm.  171 parchment leaves plus 1 unsigned with vertical catchwords.

A fifteenth-century manuscript Psalter with an early eighteenth-century English manuscript written in the margins throughout. The English work is mainly historical with long polemical passages concerning the Church of England. The primary aim of the author, who writes with a strong Catholic bias, is to demonstrate the illegitimacy of the reformed Church.

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This psalter has a long English Provenance, stretching   back to the first quarter of the sixteenth-century, when this Psalter was owned by Alice Lupset, the mother of the English humanist Thomas Lupset (See below for a full discussion.)

The Psalter:

The illuminations in this volume is exquisite, with all of the large initials done in gold and colors, with great skill. The nine large (7-line) gilt initials are all accompanied by full illuminated borders containing leaves, fruit, flowers, and vines in many shades of blue, red, green, yellow, and orange, with gilded highlights.  There are several other 4-line gilt initials in the text as well as many two and one –line initial letters.

180j1 2This manuscript prayer book contains the complete text of the Psalms of David. The first 118 Psalms. These are followed by eighteen named Psalms (Beth, Gimel, et cetera) These are followed by Psalms 119 through 150 and , finally, eight other Psalms.

180j1This manuscripts dates to ca 1430. None of the popular saints canonized in the 1440’s and 1450’s appear either in the calendar or in the litany of saints. This manuscript contains almost exclusively the names of universally honored saints and festival occasions for the church as its “red letter days”


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  • The sixteenth century:

A sixteenth century inscription on the final leaf informing us that this book belonged to Alice Lupset (died 1543/4) wife of the goldsmith Thomas Lupset (died 1522/3) and mother of the English Humanist.

The Inscription reads:

“Thes boke belongeth unto syster Lupshed sum tyme the wife of Thomas Lupshed gol smyth”

A second shorter inscriptionapparently in the same hand reads:

“Lent to syster Baker”

The feast days for English saints have been added to the calendar in an early sixteenth century hand (for example Cuthbert lear 2 recto) In accordance with Henry VIII’s Proclamation of 1534 the word “Papa” has been duly erased from all entriesin the calendar bearing the names of popes. The Addition of English names (which are written in an English cursive hand similar to the one usedfor the ownership inscriptions) and the erasure of the word “

Pope’ were quite possibly made by Alice Lupset herself.

  • Now to the seventeenth-century. There is a single signature, only partly legible, on the final leaf: “George {???}”


  • The eighteenth-century and nineteenth-century: The ownership inscription of James Leatherbarrow appears on the first leaf and reads :


“JasLeatherbarrow’s book 1751 No[vember] 13”


A nineteenth-century inscription on the rear flyleaf records the names of the subsequent owners of this manuscript: “This book belonged to James Leatherbarrow in 1751. See the name on the first page_by whom it was given to his Brother John Leatherbarrow, who gave it to his Daughter Mrs. Ann Lithgow, who gave it to her edest Daughter Mrs.Gasney & from her it came into the possession of her sister Elizabeth Lithgow. February 14, 1841” In another inscription John Lithgow identifies hiself as the son of Anne Lithgow.

From John Lithgow the manuscript  passed to William Ormerod (1818-1860)

The English manuscript :

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Surrounding, or rather filling the entire margins of the Psalter. The work is part religious, part history, and part chronicle. The, as of now, unidentified author’s purpose is to expose the usurpation of the Church and the throne of England by Protestants, beginning with Lord Somerset, and to demonstrate the legitimate authority of the Catholic Church by tracing the history of Christanity in England and chronicling – using lists excerpted from other sources- the succession of the kings and bishops of England. A number of printed and at least one manuscript work are quoted in full while others are digested or presented only in excerpt. The author of the manuscript then comments then comments upon these works, often at length, making the voices of our author and his sources difficult to parse.

The author cites a number of late seventeenth-century works, including Burnet’s “History of the Reformation”,and Jeremy Collier’s Historical Dictionary. A reference to John Harris’ Lexicon Technicumgives a terminus post quem of 1704

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Das Narrenschiff / Ship of fools

Das Narrenschiff

The ship of fools is an allegory, originating from Book VI of Plato‘s Republic, about a ship with a dysfunctional crew:

  1. Plato. “VI”. Republic. Translated by Jowett, Benjamin.
Imagine then a fleet or a ship in which there is a captain who is taller and stronger than any of the crew, but he is a little deaf and has a similar infirmity in sight, and his knowledge of navigation is not much better. The sailors are quarreling with one another about the steering––every one is of the opinion that he has a right to steer, though he has never learned the art of navigation and cannot tell who taught him or when he learned, and will further assert that it cannot be taught, and they are ready to cut in pieces any one who says the contrary. They throng about the captain, begging and praying him to commit the helm to them; and if at any time they do not prevail, but others are preferred to them, they kill the others or throw them overboard, and having first chained up the noble captain’s senses with drink or some narcotic drug, they mutiny and take possession of the ship and make free with the stores; thus, eating and drinking, they proceed on their voyage in such a manner as might be expected of them. Him who is their partisan and cleverly aids them in their plot for getting the ship out of the captain’s hands into their own whether by force or persuasion, they compliment with the name of sailor, pilot, able seaman, and abuse the other sort of man, whom they call a good-for-nothing; but that the true pilot must pay attention to the year and seasons and sky and stars and winds, and whatever else belongs to his art, if he intends to be really qualified for the command of a ship, and that he must and will be the steerer, whether other people like or not––the possibility of this union of authority with the steerer’s art has never seriously entered into their thoughts or been made part of their calling. Now in vessels which are in a state of mutiny and by sailors who are mutineers, how will the true pilot be regarded? Will he not be called by them a prater, a star-gazer, a good-for-nothing?[1]

203J Sebastian Brant(1458-1520)

DAS NARRENSCHIFF. {Hie vahet sich an das neü narren schiff vo[n] Narrogonia zu Nutz vnd Heylsamer ler zu vermeyden straffe der narrheyt } 

Basel, Johann Bergmann von Olpe, (12 Feb.) 1499.              $44,000

H0046-L145808727Quarto  (213 x 152mm.), 162 leaves (of 164), a-t 8 u v 6,  lacking two leaves: a1 (title) and a8, quire a defective with some loss of text, b1 detached, h8 and i1 defective, s1 torn without loss, s6-8 and t1-6 defective, u6 and quire v torn at upper corner, quire v becoming detached, occasional light staining.  With 112 (of 114)  large woodcuts mostly attributed to Albrecht Dürer and the Haintz Narr Master, a.o. and with elaborate ornamented and historiated woodcut borders on both sides on each page. Gothic type. 30 lines. Bound in original quarter pigskin over wooden boards, expertly restored, wit one original clasp.


First published in German in 1494 this is a milestone in the history of book illustrations with many woodcuts by Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528), printed from the original blocks. Sebastian Brant’s  work is present here in a rare third German edition printed by the original publisher. In splendid collaboration with this humanist- printer Johann Bergmann of Olpe, the Basel editions of the “Ship of Fools” have turned out as a “remarkably complete mirror of human life”, based upon the “very universality of Brant’s self-righteous surliness.and the picturesqueness of his metaphors” (Panofsky). The illustrations of human weakness in large woodcuts by the young Dürer and the Haintz Narr Master, a.o. are printed from the original blocks.

Its commentary on the boasting, pedantry, false learning, gambling, gluttony, medical folly, adultery, greed, envy, hatred, pride and other failings that mark humanity are sharp and telling, and, sadly, as relevant today as they were 450 years ago.


Before Goethe’s Werther arrived on the scene, this work was the most successful book ever published in Germany, immensely popular and read until it fell to pieces. This is one of literature’s most famous satires and a remarkable illustrated book. Sebastian Brant describes in his “Ship of Fools” the voyage of a ship bearing 100 fools, to the fools’ paradise of Narragonia, and he satirizes all the follies of his time including representatives of every human and social type.

PMM calls it “the first original work by a German which passed into world literature.and helped to blaze the trail that leads from medieval allegory to modern satire, drama and novel of character”.

The reference to the newly discovered America is found on fol. 76 verso (cf. Harrise, BAV, Additions, no. 21).

Complete incunabular editions were issued three times in German by the original printer Bergmann of Olpe with the Dürer woodcuts: These editions are unobtainable. Since 1906 most probably only 1 incomplete copy has been recorded in German book auctions.  

– In the United States there are only four copies of any Incunabular German  editions :  

:The Grüninger, ’11 Feb. 1494′ 1 copy

Morgan Library

1494- 2 copies : 

Morgan Library and Library of Congress   Lessing J. Rosenwald Collection (– a1) .

Bergmann, de Olpe, 3 Mar. 1495  1 copy:

 Metropolitan Museum of Art


GW 5047 (records only 11 copies complete or fragmentary in public libraries, the Bodl copy in Oxford is imperfect, as well as the Basel UB copy, the only one in Switzerland, see digitalisat);

Not in Goff : NO US COPIES                                                                                          HC 3742; Pr 7782; Hieronymus, Buchillus. 195; Wilhelmi 182; Panofsky, Dürer II, pp. 275-276; Meder p. 275; cf. PMM 37.


British LibraryBritish Library (IA.37957)

AustriaWien, ÖNB (Ink 12.H.16)
British Isles (without British Library)Oxford Bodley (imperfect)
FranceStrasbourg BNU (2, 1 imperfect)
GermanyBamberg SB
Berlin KupferstichKab
Berlin SB (copy destroyed)
Dresden SLUB
Schleusingen NaturhistM (Prov GymB)
SwitzerlandBasel UB (imperfect)


05047 Brant, Sebastian: Das Narrenschiff. Basel: Johann Bergmann, 12.II.1499. 4°
164 Bl. a–t⁸uv⁶. 1, Tab. 2 Sp. 30 Z. Typ. 4:220G, 5:109G. Init. b, h. 2 Randleisten pro S. 114 Hlzs., dar. 7 Wdh. DrM III.
Anm. 1. Beschreibung in MRFH [24.VII.2013].
Anm. 2. Antiquariat Hellmut Schumann (Zürich) November 2017 (def.).
Reproduktionen: Res.Publ. Unit 46. Basel UB (Digitalisat).
HC 3742. Schr 3560. CRF XIII 552. VB 615. Pr 7782. BMC III 797.IA 37957. Bod-inc B-504. Deckert 166. ÖNB-Ink B-641. ISTC ib01085100.
Bamberg SB. Basel UB. Berlin Kupferstichkab, *SB†. Dresden SUB. London BL. Oxford Bodl (def.). Schleusingen ehem. Gy. Strasbourg BNU (2 Ex., 1. Ex. def., 2. Ex. def.). Wien NB.
Gesamtüberlieferung: 11 Exemplare/Fragmente in öffentlichen Einrichtungen.
HC 3742; Schr 3560; Zehnacker 552; Voull(B) 615; Deckert 166; Bod-inc B-504; Sheppard 2563; Pr 7782; BMC III 797; GW 5047   

Navigating Dürer’s Woodcuts for The Ship of Fools

At the start of his career, as a young man in his twenties, Albrecht Dürer created a series of woodcuts to illustrate Sebastian Brant’s The Ship of Fools of 1494. Dürer scholar Rangsook Yoon explores the significance of these early pieces and how in their subtlety of allegory they show promise of his masterpieces to come.

Attributed to Albrecht Dürer, woodcut illustration for Chapter 85, “Not Providing for Death”.

The celebrated Nuremberg artist Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528) spent part of his journeyman years, from 1492 to 1494, in Basel, working as a woodcut designer for some of the most eminent publishers of his time, including Johann Bergmann von Olpe, Johannes Amerbach, and Nicolaus Kessler. Basel, along with Strasbourg, Augsburg and Nuremberg, was a prosperous commercial town and a leading artistic and publishing center in the North of the Alps. Dürer’s journeyman experience here was crucial in his formation as a woodcut designer deeply engaged in the early publishing industry. The most important woodcut project that he was involved with during this time was the design of an extensive illustration cycle to accompany *The Ship of Fools*, the satirical verses composed in German by Sebastian Brant (1457-1521) and published by Bergmann von Olpe in 1494. This collection of moralizing stories was an instant best-seller; so much so that in that same year, five separate pirated editions appeared in Strasbourg, Augsburg, Nuremberg, and Reutingen. No doubt, its numerous whimsical woodcuts depicting various types of foolish and sinful human behavior contributed to its great success, as these illustrations were copied in all subsequent editions until the late sixteenth century. Nowadays, in general, about two-thirds of the 114 illustrations (counting 9 repeating ones) in the 1494 edition are attributed to the young Dürer, while the rest, which are found inferior in design and cutting, are ascribed to anonymous masters, such as the so-called Master of the Haintz Narr (named after the namesake scene in The Ship of Fools). A more conservative view, expressed by the art historian Erwin Panofsky in 1945, attributes only one-third of the illustrations to Dürer.

The Master of the Haintz Narr, woodcut illustration for Chapter 5 , “Of Old Fools”.
Attributed to Albrecht Dürer, woodcut illustration for Chapter 14, “Of Insolence toward God”.

Overall, the woodcuts Dürer made during his journeyman years are not as impressive as those he created later as an independent master in Nuremberg. For example, hatching lines used for modeling consist here only of simple parallel lines, and the contour lines during this early period are depicted crudely and overly thick without much variation. The artist presumably simplified his illustrations so as to accommodate the limited skills of block-cutters (Formschneider) who were in charge of cutting the woodblocks he designed. Nevertheless, Dürer’s woodcuts in The Ship of Fools already reveal seeds of his stylistic elements and motifs found later in his career. They also betray a greater understanding of the book’s narrative and allegorical content, suggesting that he worked closely with Brant, possibly responding directly to the author’s demands and instructions. Dürer’s intimate knowledge of Brant’s text can best be illustrated by examining the original title page designed by the Nuremberg artist, The Fools on a Cart and a Boatload of Fools.

Dürer’s Fools on a Cart and a Boatload of Fools, the original title page.

This woodcut of Dürer’s occupies almost the entire title page and consists of two scenes that are vertically arranged. The upper compartment shows figures in fools’ caps — shaped like donkey’s ears and adorned with bells — riding a cart pulled by horses and being guided by fools. This uppermost register also has the book’s title, “The Ship of Fools” (“Das Narren Schiff”), carved on the same woodblock as the image. In the lower section, three boats of yelling and singing rowdy fools set out for their destination, “The Land of Fools” (“Ad Narragoniam”), as indicated in the caption. Attentive viewers may find it odd that two different allegorical subjects, both the multiple ships of fools and a single cart of fools, are juxtaposed in this original title cut of 1494. It differs greatly from the better-known title cuts of later years, all of which utilize the image of only a large ship of fools, thus visualizing the book’s title verbatim. This seemingly dissonant title cut of 1494, however, confirms that Dürer was indeed well aware of the structure and themes of Brant’s original German text at the time of its conception and original publication.

Despite the book’s title, in Brant’s original text, the idea of a ‘ship’ is not central, but rather, incidental. As noteworthy as the ship is, it is only one amongst a number of diverse motifs including a cart, a dance, a wheel of fortune, a net, a mirror, and a bagpipe. The ship motif became the book’s foremost leitmotif only when, while being translated into Latin, Jacob Locher, Brant’s pupil, extensively rearranged and revised Brant’s text to give it a semblance of unity, which was found lacking in Brant’s original. This Latin edition, translated and edited by Locher and first published by Bergmann von Olpe in 1497, became the standard version of The Ship of Fools’ text that was repeatedly copied in all following editions and translations.

Given all, at the time of the book’s first publication, Dürer’s title cut, with both the cart and multiple ships, advertise the book’s full content more adequately than its short, unilateral title. It complements the title words in communicating the book’s complex, multi-structural narrative elements to the reading public, and further, it mirrors the general structure of the book.

The Ship of Fools, which consists of 112 chapters, is roughly dividable into two parts. In contrast to the first half of the book (that is, the first 61 chapters), where the metaphor of a ship plays a small role except in chapter 48 (“A Journeyman’s Ship”), the ship motif is disproportionately greater in the second half: the prologue (since it was written last) and chapters 103 (“Of the Antichrist”), 91 (“Of Prattling in Church”), 108 (“The Schluraffen Ship”), and 109 (“ Contempt of Misfortune”). We gather that Brant gradually realized its symbolic importance in the process of his writing. The significance of the ship in the second part is even more apparent when one examines the text illustrations. Even when the ship is only briefly mentioned, or even not mentioned at all, it is still visually depicted, sometimes as a tiny object floating on a lake (or a sea) in the background, and sometimes far more conspicuously. This can bee seen in chapters 68 (“Not Taking a Joke”), 72 (“Of Coarse Fools”), 75 (“Of Bad Marksmen”), 80 (“Foolish News”), and 81 (“Of Cooks and Waiters”).

Attributed to Albrecht Dürer, woodcut illustration for chapter 103 , “Of the Antichrist”.
Attributed to Albrecht Dürer, woodcut illustration for chapter 75, “Of Bad Marksmen”.

The motif of a cart of fools is treated as a principal theme only twice in the book, once in chapter 47 (“On the Road of Salvation”) and another time in chapter 91 (“Of Prattling in Church”), where both the cart and the ship are addressed simultaneously. Less emphatically, the cart motif is mentioned once again in chapter 53 (“Of Envy and Hatred”). However, Dürer’s depiction of the cart, along with ships, on the title page serve well as metaphors for land- and sea-going vehicles carrying the fools, thus conveying the universality of all the fools described by the text.

With the editorial changes made to Brant’s text by Locher, who utilized ‘the ship of fools’ as the leitmotif throughout, not only in the first Latin edition of 1497 but also in all subsequent publications (both authorized and pirated), the book no longer reproduced or imitated the original title page design by Dürer. Instead, after 1497, a different woodcut, rendering only a large ship laden with fools and attributed to the Master of the Haintz Narr, repeatedly served as the title cut prototype. In 1494, the Master of the Haintz Narr’s woodcut originally appeared as the frontispiece on the verso of the title page, and also can be found as an illustration accompanying chapter 108, “The Schluraffen Ship.” As the concept of the ship became the most significant motif of the book, this woodcut became the most fitting image for the title cut, as it visualizes the two principal ideas of the book and its title — namely, both a ship and fools. However, it is Dürer’s original title cut for the 1494 edition which represents the book’s original structure and thematic concerns much more faithfully and allegorically.

Master of Haintz Narr, the frontispiece of the 1494 edition which became a popular choice for title page in later editions.

Throughout his career as a successful independent master in Nuremberg, Dürer continued to create woodcuts that were meant to accompany texts. He provided numerous humanist friends and Nuremberg publishers with woodcuts to illustrate their new publications. Best known works, of course, are his own illustrated books, such as the Apocalypse (1498; the second edition in 1511), the Large Passion (1511), the Life of the Virgin Mary (1511), and the Small Passion (1511). Here, the primary features are the woodcuts themselves, rather than texts, and significantly, he self-published them by hiring printers. Dürer’s later productions of such high caliber, innovation, and audacity cannot be fully understood without taking into consideration his invaluable journeyman experience in the large publishing companies and his participation in executing extensive illustration cycles such
as The Ship of Fools in Basel.

Rangsook Yoon is Assistant Professor of Art History at Central College in Pella, Iowa, specialising in Dürer’s early career as a print-maker and self-publisher. She is currently working on several articles dealing with Dürer’s woodcuts during his apprenticeship and journeyman years, as well as a book about the Apocalypse.

Certainly a quite rare Pigouchet Heures .

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172J [Printed Book of Hours (Use of Rome) In Latin and French]

DSC_0027 8Ces presentes heures a lusaige de Ro[m]me ont este faictes pour Simon Vostre Libraire domourant a Paris a la rue neuue nostre dame a le enseigne sainct Jehan l’evangeliste. [this is the exact title]

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No date here…

maybe from the calendar

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DSC_0027 7“He who wishes to know [the dates of] Lent, Easter, the Golden Number, the Sunday Number and leap year, from the year 501 to the year 520 inclusive, look at this figure of the line of this date and he’ll find there the things mentioned above”

Calendar on [a]1 verso for the years [1]501-[1]520.


Paris  [Philippe Pigouchet per] Simon Vostre.  1500            $28,000

Quarto 8 1/4 x 5 1/2 inches  a-l 8, ; A 8: (A 1-8 lacking).    88 of 96 leaves printed on vellum, lacking the “Sensuiuent les sept pseaulmes en françoys”(not surprisingly  other copies are lacking the final ‘A’ quire) .Initial spaces and spaces for initials within the line. Initials, paragraph marks and line fillers illuminated in gold on alternating red and blue grounds, red-ruled. (Some wear and darkening.) This copy is bound in full 18th century chagrin. It is a beautiful wide margined copy.

(Shagreen ,The word derives from the French chagrin, is a type of rawhide consisting of rough untanned skin, historically from a horse’s or onager‘s back, or from shark or ray.)














Large printer device of Adam and Eve.

DSC_0025 The present Horae are illustrated with 22 full-page engravings in the text and numerous and smaller cuts, metalcut historiated and ornamental borders on every page, many with criblé grounds ,depicting biblical scenes, the Virtues, the stag hunt, apple harvest and memento mori vignettes depicting including Pigouchet’s Dance of Death series (Claudin II, 53-53)

Pigouchet appears to have introduced the criblé technique, in which the black areas of a woodblock are punched with white dots, giving the page a lively tonality. Philipee Pigouchet’s collaboration with Simon Vostre lasted for over 18 years, during which period the duo produced hundreds of Books of Hours for European readers. The almanac was apparently kept standing in type for use in several Pigouchet editions .

Here are the 22 full page images

a.ii Astronomical man , with black criblé ground and the representations of the four temperaments as cornerpieces.


a.ii  the Holy Grail


b.i Martyrdom of St John


b.iii betrayal The Arrest of Christ . Judas with his bag of Gold.


b.Vii  The tree of Jesse

&. b.viii Mary: Annunciation

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c .vi The Virgin Mary the visitation Mary& Elizabeth

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d.iii Crucifixon

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d.iiii. Pentecost

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d.v  Christs Birth,in the manger.


d.vii   Shepherds at work

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e.i Adoration of the Shepherds “Gobin le Gay & Le Jean Roger” e.ii Virgin and child  adoration of the Magi.

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e.iii Presentation at the Temple

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e.v Flight into Egypt

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e.viii Death of the virgin “Pieta”

DSC_0029  Death of Uriah & f.vii Bathsheba

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g.vii Last judgment & g.viii Feast

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i.iii Holy trinity and church(Master of Anne of Brittany)or Meister Apokalypsenrose

DSC_0028 6 The Deposition Christ post cross Entombment.

DSC_0027 6k.viii assumption

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Pigouchet  used woodcuts based on designs by two of the leading illuminators of the period, the Master of the Très Petites Heures of Anne of Brittany and Jean Pichore. DSC_0032 5The Adoration of the Magi, Presentation to the Temple, Escape to Egypt, Death of the Virgin, David and Betsabea .

These gorgeous engravings belong to the First series of illustrations of Pigouchet’s Hours Books, : “The large and small cuts and the borders are from the same blocks as in the editions of 1496” with the exception of those that decorate the lives of the Virgin and Jesus, “in addition, there are series of border-panels with crible ground illustrating the seven cardinal virtues … »; Fairfax Murray French 289; Reinburg 33: «Pigouchet has apparently engraved these extraordinary miniatures and borders following designs created by a small network of artists and workshops, generally associated with an artist or artists styled differently as the Master of the Anne of Bretagne, the Master of the Very Small Hours etc. .. “. in the Office of the Dead, skeletons are pictured performing the cycle of the “dance of death;” panels of the calendar borders for each month contain the sign of the Zodiac, and vignettes of seasonal labors; DSC_0034 3.jpgnumerous panels filled with flowers, leaves, vines, animals, and grotesque figuresand  »; :  in the Office of the Dead, skeletons are pictured performing the cycle of the “dance of death;” panels of the calendar borders for each month contain the sign of the Zodiac, and vignettes of seasonal labors; numerous panels filled with flowers, leaves, vines, animals, and grotesque figures.

NO Holdings in the United States of America

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Goff H412; C 3106; Bohatta, H. Livres d’Heures;(1924) 730 = 705; Lacombe 109; Pell Ms 5892 (5878); Castan(Besançon) 554; Adams H1007; GW 13263

British Isles :Cambridge UL
Oxford Bodley

Canada:         Quebec Laval UL (vell)

France:          Besançon BM
Paris BN

Number of Holding Institutions. 5


Also give a look at :




174J   Niocola de Orbellis  (ca 1400-1475)


Eximii doctoris magistri Nicholai de orbellis super sentencias compendium per utile, elegantiora doctoris subtilis dicta summatim complectens.

Rouen : Martin Morin, for Jean Alexandre, 1497   [about 1500]          $13,000

Octavo, 61/2 x 4 inches

Signatures: a-i8 k4 A-E8 a-d48 e-f8 aa-ii8  kk-ss8 tt10, Last blank and filled with notes and Printers mark on the back  Printer’s mark on title page (cf. Brunet v.2, p. 363).

DSC_0029 Bound in 18th century tree calf, with gilt spine. Inital capitals supplied in red and printed capitals stroked in a faded yellow.  There are copious microscopic notes in latin, see images

Orbellis appears to have been professor of theology and philosophy in the University of Angers, where he enjoyed great reputation as an expounder of the teaching of John Duns Scotus. After 1465 he wrote his chief work, a commentary on the Four Books of Sententiae ‘Sentences’.
He died at Rome in 1475 and was interred in the church of the Ara Coeli on the Capitoline. Under the entry for the word Dorbel, the Oxford English Dictionary gives the date of his death as 1455. The meaning of Dorbel (based on the name of Nicholas de Orbellis) is given as: a scholastical pedant, a dull-witted person, dolt.
Not in Goff,  see O76.

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Two copies in the US  copy at St Bonaventures and Johns Hoplins.

Cosentini, F. La Bibliofilia,; 16 (1915), p. 425; Incunabula short title catalogue,; io00077500; Gesamtkatalog der Wiegendrucke,; M28154











Two Bifolia of a early 12th century Manuscript on vellum writes in proto gothic book hand.


218J   Two Bifolia written in a minuscule from  late 11th or early 12th century proto gothic book hand.(early form of Gothic script of the 11th and 12th centuries)

¶One bifolum. measures 340 x 234 mm and consists of 32 lines on both sides .                    ¶ Bifolum two measurse 330 x223mm and consists of 28 and 28 1/2

These two bifolia at one time  were the paste down and end pages for a 13th century brevary, they have been expertly removed from the binding ard are very legable.  These leves are  from the library of Herbert Bloch, Pope Professor of the Latin Language and Literature, at Harvard from 1941 to 1983 He served as President of Fellows of the Medieval Academy of America (1990–93).   He was the author of   The Atina Dossier of Peter the Deacon of Monte Cassino. A Hagiographical Romance of the Twelfth Century published in the series Studi e Testi 346 (1998).



The second Bifolium…

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What I can say about identification:

The script is easy to read as the letters conform to the type of the Caroline minuscule predecessor, except that the letters have-not  become angular but DO have developed feet. The individual letters are well separated and there are no incomprehensible rows of minims. Letters such as h, b and l have wedged ascenders .  The letter s is tall and t is short sometimes . There is no j, k, y or z in the example, but the letter w DOEs Not appear. The ST ligature appears, as found in some very formal Caroline minuscule text.

The vellum is swarthy and is with easily visible guide incisions.


The wonder fold!

The binder who (had to?) use these leaves as scrap was thinking of use, waste and time. DSC_0020 2On the first (larger) Bifolia, He decided to fold rather than trim the text!

Yes bad picture but a reverse “Z” fold.

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and The Binder watched the margins!


CLaMM (Classification of Latin Medieval Manuscripts) corpus, which is the basis for the Competitions on the Classification of Medieval Handwritings in Latin Script, jointly organized by Computer Scientists and Humanists (paleographers) at ICFHR2016 and ICDAR2017.

Four rare English pamphlets

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212JFrance. Sovereign (1589-1610 : Henry IV)
Articles made and published by the King of France, touching the re-establishment and re-appeale of the Iesuits to their liberties in France. With a sentence or decree made and published against them, by the Court of Parliament in Paris, the 23. day of December last past. 1611                                          SOLD
Quarto 7 3/4 x 5 1/2 inches..  First and only edition Leaf A1 is blank and missing, A-B4 complete  Pasted in paper wrapers. A very large copy with deckel edges and a tear and loss of 6 or so words on leaf A4 STC (2nd ed.), 13121.5 (Formerly STC 16829.5.); ESTC Citation No.   S92933
No copies outside of the British Isles!
  This was especialy important to the french Jesuits in North america at the time.
 British Isles Copies – Brit.Isles   British Library  Cambridge University Trinity College  Cambridge University Trinity College  Hatfield House  Middle Temple Library  Oxford University Christ Church  Oxford University Queen’s College
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214J Charles I, King of England, 1600-1649 — Drama.
The famous tragedie of King Charles I basely butchered by those who are, omne nesas proni patare pudoris inanes crudeles, violenti, importunique tyranni mendaces, falsi, perversi, perfidiosi, fædifragi, falsis verbis infunda loquentes : in which is included, the several combinations and machinations that brought that incomparable Prince to the block, the overtures hapning at the famous seige of Colchester, the tragicall fals of Sir Charls Lucas and Sir George Lisle, the just reward of the leveller Rainsborough, Hamilton and Bailies trecheries, in delivering the late Scottish army into the hands of Cromwell, and the designe the rebels have, to destroy the royal posterity.
[London?] : [publisher not identified]1649              $1,000
Quarto    3/4 x 5 inches A-F4 (lacking G1-3, as far as I can guess) First edition?
Wing (2nd ed.), F384 , ESTC R3816:
213J     JohnKeymores
John Keymors observation made upon the Dutch fishing, about the year 1601. Demonstrating that there is more wealth raised out of herrings and other fish in His Majesties seas, by the neighbouring nations in one year, then the King of Spain hath from the Indies in four. And that there were twenty thousand ships and other vessels, and about four hundred thousand people then set on work by both sea and land; and maintained only by fishing upon the coasts of England, Scotland, and Ireland
London: printed from the original manuscript, for Sir Edward Ford in the year 1664         . $2,800
Copies – N.America   Columbia University, Rare Book & Manuscript Library   Folger Shakespeare   Harvard University Graduate School of Business, Baker Library   Harvard University Houghton Library   Harvard University Houghton Library   University of Illinois   University of Minnesota   Yale University,
Quarto, 7 1/2 x 5 3/4 inches A-B . complete First edition (and only)
This copy is disbound. but in good condition.
Wing (CD-ROM, 1996), K390
More trade wars :
215J Stepney, George, 1663-1707.
An essay upon the interest of England; in the present circumstances of affairs, to which are added the proceedings of the House of Commons in 1677. upon the French king’s progress in Flanders.
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Dublin : re-printed, for Rob. Thornton, 1701.        $900
Quarto 8 x 6 inches A-E4  Second edition, the same year as the first.  While the London edition of 1701 is common, the Dublin edition is quite rare. ESTC Listing only two copies Copies – N.America: University of Minnesota and Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library. This is a wonderful copy with deckles on the bottom and outside edges and is disbound.
Stepney was the son of George Stepney, groom of the chamber to Charles II, and was born at Westminster. He was admitted on the foundation of Westminster School in 1676, and in 1682 became a scholar of Trinity College, Cambridge, becoming a fellow of his college in 1687. Through his friend Charles Montagu, afterwards Earl of Halifax, he entered the diplomatic service, and in 1692 was sent as envoy to Brandenburg. He represented William III at various other German courts, and in 1702 was sent to Vienna, where he had already acted as envoy in 1693. In Nov 1697 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society In 1705 Prince Eugene of Savoy requested Stepney’s withdrawal on the grounds of his alleged favouritism towards the Hungarian insurgents, but the demand was taken back at the request of John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, who had great confidence in Stepney. He was, nevertheless, removed in 1706 to The Hague. In the following year he returned to England in the hope of recovering from a severe illness, but died in Chelsea, London, and was buried in Westminster Abbey.Stepney had a full and accurate knowledge of German affairs, and was a great letter-writer. Among his correspondents was Gottfried Leibniz, with whom he was on friendly terms. Much of his official and other correspondence is preserved in the letters and papers of Sir John Ellis (Brit. Mus. Add. MSS. 28875-28947), purchased from the earl of Macclesfield in 1872, and others are available in the record office. He contributed a version of the eighth satire of Juvenal to the translation (1693) of the satires by John Dryden and others. . This is a wonderful copy with deckles on the bottom and outside edges and is disbound. 6/25/2018 () An essay upon the interest of England; in the present circumstances of affairs, to which are added the proceedings of the House of Commons in 1677. upon the French king’s progress in Flanders Second edition, the same year as the first.  the same year as the first.  While the London edition of 1701 is common, the Dublin edition is quite rare. ESTC Listing only two copies Copies – N.America: University of Minnesota and Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript .
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Murder and suicide and the Rye House plot.

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Essex’s innocency and honour vindicated: or, Murther, subornation, perjury, and oppression, justly charg’d on the murtherers of that noble lord and true patriot, Arthur (late) Earl of Essex. As proved before the Right Honourable (late) committee of Lords, or ready to be deposed. In a letter to a friend. Written by Lawrence Braddon (of the Middle-Temple) Gent. who was upwards of five years prosecuted or imprisoned, for endeavouring to discover this murther the third day after the same was committed.


207J.  Braddon, Laurence, d-1724.

London : printed for the author; and sold by most booksellers, 1690.  $2,700.                   This copy is bound in half speckled calf.

A principal contemporary source of the still mysterious death of Essex while imprisoned in the Tower, leading to Braddon’s own trial and imprisonment which lasted untill the landing of William III in 1688. 

The Rye House Plot, (1683), alleged Whig conspiracy to assassinate or mount an insurrection against Charles II of England because of his pro-Roman Catholic policies. The plot drew its name from Rye House at Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire, near which ran a narrow road where Charles was supposed to be killed as he traveled from a horse meet at Newmarket. By chance, according to the official narrative, the king’s unexpectedly early departure in March foiled the plot. Ten weeks later, on June 1, an informer’s allegations prompted a government investigation.

The facts remain cloudy, but the named figures in the plot included James Scott, Duke of Monmouth; Arthur Capel, Earl of Essex; Lord William Russell; Algernon Sidney; Sir Thomas Armstrong; Robert Ferguson; and Lord William Howard. All had allegedly met at the house of one Sheppard, a London wine merchant, and at their own houses and discussed various means of ridding the country of Charles II or denying the succession to his openly Roman Catholic brother, the future James II. The Rye House assassination was but one of the schemes discussed. After the plot’s exposure, Essex was arrested and died in the Tower of London, probably a suicide; Russell, Sidney, and Armstrong were tried, convicted of treason, and beheaded; the other figures escaped punishment.

Wing (2nd ed., 1994), B4101

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Richard Archdekin 1618-1693 (alias McGillacuddy)

833G Richard Archdekin 1618-1693 ,

THEOLOGIA QUADRIPARTITA :POLEMICA, Praecipuas Fidei Controversias, ad brevem, ac facilem Metrodum redactas, PRACTICA, Resolutiones Theologicas, ac omnia prope SACERDOTIS munia accommodatas, SACRA, Apparatum alphabeticum, cum Praxi et Conceptibus Contionum pro singulis anni Dominicis; CATECHETICA, Summam Doctrinae Christianae, selectissimis exemplis, et brevi explicatione illustratam complectens.

Pragæ : Typis Universitatis Carolo- Ferdinandae in Collegio Societ. Jesu ad S. Clementem,1678                              $2,800 
DSC_0038Octavo 6 1/2 X 4 inches π1,)(6, )o(8,A-Z8, Aa-Pp8,Qq4. {[XXVIII], 582, [XXXI]}(Ee6 is a medial blank)

First and only edition. This copy is bound in the original Vellum binding, two brass clasps, manuscript title on spine.It is printed on (bad) iron rich paper with quite a bit of natural browning. OCLC only lists one other copy Czech Republic STATE RES LIBR, OLOMOUC which is also uniformly brown.DSC_0037
The ‘ Controversias Fidei’ had a wonderful success. A few copies of the work which found their way to the university of Prague were received with such enthusiasm that some transcripts of the whole were made for the use of the students; and in 1678 the book was reprinted, without the knowledge of the author, at the University

Press.ARCHDEKIN, or ARSDEKIN, RICHARD an Irish Jesuit, who has adopted both forms of his name on his own title-pages, and is also known as Mac Cuddy, was the son of Nicholas Archdekin and his wife Ann Sherlock, and was born at Kilkenny 16 March 1618. He went through a course of classical studies, and for two years applied himself to philosophy before he entered the Jesuit order; and he studied theology for four years at Louvain. Entering the Society of Jesus at Mechlin 28 Sept. 1642, he was in due time enrolled among the professed fathers of the order. He was teaching humanities in 1650; he studied under the Jesuits at Antwerp and Lille; and arrived at the Professed House at DSC_0036Antwerp 26 March 1653. For six years he taught humanities, and he was professor of philosophy, moral theology, and Holy Scripture for a long period, chiefly at Louvain and Ant werp. His death occurred in the latter city 31 Aug. 1693.Father Archdekin, who was proficient in the Latin, Irish, English, and Flemish languages, composed the following works:— 1. ‘A Treatise of Miracles, together with New Miracles, and Benefits obtained by the sacred reliques of S. Francis Xaverius exposed in the Church of the Society of Jesus at Mechlin,’ Louvain, 1667, 8vo, in English and Irish. This very scarce book is supposed to be the first ever printed in the two languages in conjunction. 2. ‘Precipure Controversiie Fidei ad facilem methodum redactae; ac Resolutiones Theologicoe ad omnia Sacerdotis munia, pnesertim in Missionibus, accommodatse,’ Louvain, 1671, 8vo. At the end of this volume, which is a summary of theology, is usually found: 3. ‘ Vitie et Miraculorum Sancti Patricii Hiberniie Apostoli Epitome, cum brevi notitia Hibernioe et Prophetia S. Malachise’ (Louvain, 1671,8vo), a life of St. Patrick, with a short notice of Ireland, and the prophecy of St. Malachi respecting the succession of the popes. The ‘ Controversias Fidei’ had a wonderful success. A few copies of the work which found their way to the university of Prague were received with such enthusiasm that some transcripts of the whole were made for the use of the students; and in 1678 the book was reprinted, without the knowledge of the author, at the University Press. The third edition, which was printed at Antwerp with the author’s corrections and additions, was followed by a fourth and fifth at Cologne and Ingolstadt; and the sixth, again at Antwerp, by a seventh again at Cologne. These particulars are gathered from the prefaces to the eighth edition, which appeared at Antwerp in 1686 and where the title, the bulk, and the arrangement of the work are so altered that it would hardly be recognised as the same. 4The ‘ Controversioe Fidei’ of 1671 is a small octavo of 500pages. In the edition of 1686 the title is ‘Theologia Tripartita Universal and the three volumes quarto, of which it consists, comprise in all about 1,100 pages closely printed in double columns, containing about five times the matter of the ‘Controversial’ The work includes a life of Oliver Plunket, the catholic archbishop of Armagh, who was executed at London in 1681r and a life of Peter Talbot, the catholic archbishop of Dublin, who died in imprisonment at Dublin in 1680. In addition to these Archdekin’s work contains a number of anecdotes connected with the history of Ireland, introduced as examples in support of his theological doctrines. Archdekin’s work displays much order, knowledge, and precision, but some of his decisions in cases of conscience have been controverted by higher authority in the catholic church. In 1700 it was prohibited until correction should be made by the Congregation of the Index. The first edition published with the necessary corrections appears to have been also the last. It appeared at Antwerp in 1718, and was the thirteenth of the whole. (DNB)

In spite of its numerous editions, beginning with the year 1671, it was put on the Index in 1700, donec corrigatur. Although at least the Antwerp edition of 1718 was corrected, especially as regards the peccatum philosophicum, and the Cologne edition of 1730 was “revised and corrected”, yet in the Index of 1900 he is still referred to as an author previously condemned. He left in manuscript a “Theologia Apostolica”. Hurter speaks of him as auctor gravis et probabilista. Webb in his “Compendium of Irish Biography” (Dublin, 1878) declares of the treatise on miracles that “it is said to have been the first book printed in English and Irish conjointly.” (CE)

HURTER, Nomenclator, II, 399; SOMMERVOGEL, Bibliothèque de la c. de J. I, 515, WARE-HARRIS, Writers and Antiquities of Ireland (Dublin, 1764)Foley’s Records, vii. 15; Oliver’s Collectanea S. J., 231; O’Reilly’s Irish Writers, 198 ; Ware’s Writers of Ireland, ed. Harris, 203; Thomas Watts, in Biog. Diet. Soc. D. U. K.; Ribadeneira, Bibl. Scriptorum Soc. Jesu,,ed. Southwell, 718; Backer, Bibliotheque des Ecrivains de la Compagnie do Jesus (1869), 267; Foppens.Bibl. Belgica, 1066.] T. C. Sweeney? see DeBacker Sommervogel vol I col 515-521

A more complete list of his books:
1. Theses Sacrae in Epist. Pauli Ad Romanos et Primum Ad Corinthianos (Louvain, 1668).

2. Theses Sacrae in Sancta Jesu Christi Evangelia, (Louvain, 1669), Quarto.

3. Praecipuae Controversiae Fidei Ad Facilem Methodum Redactae (Louvain, 1671), Octavo.

4. Theses Sacrae de Verbo Dei et Creatione Mundi (Louvain, 1671), Quarto.

5. Vitae et Miraculorum Sancti Patricii Hiberniae, Apostoli Epitome Cum Brevi Notitia Hiberniae et Prophetia S Malachiae (Louvain, 1671), Octavo.

6. Theses Theologicae de Deo Uno et Triuno ([Antwerp], [1676]), Quarto.

7. Apparatus Materiae et Formae Pro Doctrina Sacra in Quavis Dictione Facile Methodo Paranda, et Pro Catechesi Cum Exemplis Illustranda. Cum Praxi Varia Assistendi Aegris Ac Moribundis, et Alias Functiones Sacras Rite Obeundi, (Antwerp, 1678), Octavo.

8. Theologia Quadripartita (Prague, 1678). {His Theologia Quadripartita, a guide to essential Catholic teachings and controversies with Protestants, was extremely popular, quickly selling out, and he produced an expanded form of the work in the same year, the Theologia Tripartita. The work received censure from the Inquisition and was thus emended at various points during the production of subsequent editons. Brussels MS 7299, f.71r-75v contains a summary of things to be emended by Archdekin. }

9. Theologia Tripartita Universa, Complectens Nunc Bibliothecam Perfectam Viri Ecclesiastici, Ordine Sequenti, (Antwerp, 1678), Octavo.


INDEX TITULORUM of Theologia Quadripartita


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