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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)

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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.

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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.)
YUL)
;

 

CHAPTER XIV

[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.

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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.

 

Featured post

Das Narrenschiff :: The ship of fools

5770105The 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.

5770105

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.

259L18403_9RMGQ

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.

Holdings

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)

 GW

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   
260L18403_9RMGQ

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.

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.

5770105

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.

259L18403_9RMGQ

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.

Holdings

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)

 GW

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   
260L18403_9RMGQ

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.

Bookplate 3368.5 (ashton-3368.5 (broom) (page 146)

DSC_0027

225J     Rooke Churche            Martin Fumee approximately 1540-approximately 1590

 

The historie of the troubles of Hungarie: containing the pitifull losse and ruine of that kingdome, and the warres happened there, in that time, betweene the Christians and Turkes. By Mart. Fumee Lord of Genillé, Knight of the Kings order. Newly translated out of French into English, by R.C. Gentleman         

London : imprinted by Felix Kyngston, 1600. (Entered 4 December 1599.)  $1500

DSC_0028

225J     Rooke Churche            Martin Fume e approximately 1540-approximately 1590

 

The historie of the troubles of Hungarie: containing the pitifull losse and ruine of that kingdome, and the warres happened there, in that time, betweene the Christians and Turkes. By Mart. Fumee Lord of Genillé, Knight of the Kings order. Newly translated out of French into English, by R.C. Gentleman         

 

London : imprinted by Felix Kyngston, 1600. (Entered 4 December 1599.)  $1500

 

Folio,
A-2K6 (lacking Kk6 blank?)  .Bound in full appropriately tooledbrown calf.           A translation, by Rooke Churche, of: Histoire des troubles de Hongri; beside publishing History of the troubles of Hungary, containing the pitiable loss and ruin of this kingdom and the wars of that time in iceluy, between the Christians and the Turks, by Mart. Fumée  , Sieur of Genillé (1595) He also published
True and perfect love, written in Greek, by Athenagoras, Athenian philosopher, containing the honest love of Theagenes and Charide, Pherecides and Melangenie (1599). The so-called translation of the True and Perfect Love was written in 1569. It is said that it was Guillaume Philandrier who supposed the original of Athenagoras , and that having sent it to Fumée as a new discovery, he translated it in good faith. Further more Fumée made a translation of the History of the West Indies by Francisco López de Gómara
(translated and adapted from Alexandre Cioranescu, Bibliography of French Literature of the 16th Century , Paris, Klincksieck, 1959)

(translated and adapted from Alexandre Cioranescu, Bibliography of French Literature of the 16th Century , Paris, Klincksieck, 1959)
STC Bookplate 3368.5 (ashton-3368.5 (broom) (page 146)

DSC_0027

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book plate of Richard Banastre,  ca 1605? London?  This Bookplate  is in the STC Bookplate 3368.5 (ashton-3368.5 (broom) (page 146)   Cambridge has a book  Listed as C I* .16.32 (F).

In the Cambridge catalogue I find:  Atheomastix siue aduersus religionis hostes vniuersos (politicos maxime) dissertatio / auctore nobili ac erudito viro Guilielmo ab Assonleuilla Domino de Bouchault.
Guillaume d’ Assonleville seigneur de Bouchaut, 1565-1597. ; Jan Moretus 1543-1610, printer.; -> Richard Banastre former owner.; Plantijnsche Drukkerij, printer.
Antuerpiæ : Ex officina Plantiniana, apud Ioannem Moretum, M. D. XCVIII [1598].
Available at University Library Order in Rare Books Room (Not borrowable) (H*.11.27(E) )

(Banister, Richard, 1570?-1626.)
Richard Banister (died 1626), was an English oculist of Stamford, Lincolnshire. He was educated under his relative, John Banister, the surgeon. He devoted himself especially to certain branches of surgery, such as ‘the help of hearing by the instrument, the cure of the hare-lip and the wry-neck, and diseases of the eyes.’ He studied under various persons eminent in these subjects, among whom were ‘Henry Blackborne, Robert Hall of Worcester, Master Velder of Fennie Stanton, Master Surflet of Lynn, and Master Barnabie of Peterborough.’ To complete his education he studies the works of authors such as Rhazes, Mesne, Fernelius, and Vesalius.

This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: “Banister, Richard”. Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.

Folio,
A-2K6 (lacking Kk6 blank?)  .Bound in full appropriately tooled brown calf.

This book is  translation, by Rooke Churche, of: Histoire des troubles de Hongri;

beside publishing History of the troubles of Hungary, containing the pitiable loss and ruin of this kingdom and the wars of that time in iceluy, between the Christians and the Turks, by Mart. Fumée  , Sieur of Genillé (1595) He also published
True and perfect love, written in Greek, by Athenagoras, Athenian philosopher, containing the honest love of Theagenes and Charide, Pherecides and Melangenie (1599). The so-called translation of the True and Perfect Love was written in 1569. It is said that it was Guillaume Philandrier who supposed the original of Athenagoras , and that having sent it to Fumée as a new discovery, he translated it in good faith. Further more Fumée made a translation of the History of the West Indies by Francisco López de Gómara
(translated and adapted from Alexandre Cioranescu, Bibliography of French Literature of the 16th Century , Paris, Klincksieck, 1959)

(translated and adapted from Alexandre Cioranescu, Bibliography of French Literature of the 16th Century , Paris, Klincksieck, 1959)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book plate of Richard Banastre,  ca 1605? London?  This Bookplate  is in the STC Bookplate 3368.5 (ashton-3368.5 (broom) (page 146)   Cambridge has a book  Listed as C I* .16.32 (F).

In the Cambridge catalogue I find:  Atheomastix siue aduersus religionis hostes vniuersos (politicos maxime) dissertatio / auctore nobili ac erudito viro Guilielmo ab Assonleuilla Domino de Bouchault.
Guillaume d’ Assonleville seigneur de Bouchaut, 1565-1597. ; Jan Moretus 1543-1610, printer.; -> Richard Banastre former owner.; Plantijnsche Drukkerij, printer.
Antuerpiæ : Ex officina Plantiniana, apud Ioannem Moretum, M. D. XCVIII [1598].
Available at University Library Order in Rare Books Room (Not borrowable) (H*.11.27(E) )

(Banister, Richard, 1570?-1626.)
Richard Banister (died 1626), was an English oculist of Stamford, Lincolnshire. He was educated under his relative, John Banister, the surgeon. He devoted himself especially to certain branches of surgery, such as ‘the help of hearing by the instrument, the cure of the hare-lip and the wry-neck, and diseases of the eyes.’ He studied under various persons eminent in these subjects, among whom were ‘Henry Blackborne, Robert Hall of Worcester, Master Velder of Fennie Stanton, Master Surflet of Lynn, and Master Barnabie of Peterborough.’ To complete his education he studies the works of authors such as Rhazes, Mesne, Fernelius, and Vesalius.

This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: “Banister, Richard”. Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.

COPY LEFT 220px-Copyleft.svg

https://copyleft.org

 

 

Sebastian Brant ~ The Ship of Fools (Das Narrenschiff)

La Pirata

The Ship of Fools Fully Fraught and Richly Laden with Asses, Fools, Jack-daws, Ninnihammers, Coxcombs, Slenderwits, Shallowbrains, Paper-Skuls, Simpletons, Nickumpoops, Wiseakers, Dunces, and Blockheads, Declaring their several Natures, Manners and Constitutions; the occasion why this Ship was built, with the places of their intended Voyage, and a list of the Officers that bear Command therein.

If for this Voyage any have a mind, They with Jack Adams may acceptance find, Who will strain hard ere they shall stay behind. But to assemble these Foles in one bonde. And theyr demerites worthely to note. Fayne shal I Shyppes of euery maner londe.

from the prologue to The Ship of Fools – Translated by Alexander Barclay.

None shalbe left: Barke, Galay, Shyp, nor Bote.
One vessel can nat brynge them al aflote.
For yf al these Foles were brought into one Barge
The bote shulde synke so sore shulde be the charge.

The sayles ar hawsed, a…

View original post 296 more words

All aboard the McShip of Fools: Das Narrenschiff

via All aboard the <em>McShip of Fools</em>: Das Narrenschiff

Found wealth is not the same as if you had earned it yourself

via Found wealth is not the same as if you had earned it yourself

The renaissance dealt with difference by shipping the mad out

via The renaissance dealt with difference by shipping the mad out

Das Narrenschiff

57701255770145UB Basel : [Das Narrenschiff] [3]5770105The 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.

5770105

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.

259L18403_9RMGQ

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).

5770137Complete 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 Bodly 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.

Holdings

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)5770119 2

 GW

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   
260L18403_9RMGQ

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.

(Price reduced)The first published catalogue of the Cottonian Library

Maybe no other book I have in my current stock is more like the Internet than this one?

I can spend hours upon hours reading (looking) through this book, An example is this entry:

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This is entry ” NERO D IV.

To sign up for my printed catalogues please follow this link https://marketingsuite.verticalresponse.com/s/websitesignupform43980465111563

https://marketingsuite.verticalresponse.com/s/websitesignupform43980465111563

In modern form

Cotton MS Nero D IV (still the same 300 years later.. that is a good system)

ate c 700-3rd quarter 10th century

Title Gospel-book (‘Lindisfarne Gospels’)

Content (1) prefaces (ff. 3r–9r); (2) canon tables (ff. 10r–17v); (3) Gospel of Matthew (ff. 18v–89v); (4) Gospel of Mark (ff. 89v–130r); (5) Gospel of Luke (ff. 130r–203r); (6) Gospel of John (ff. 203v–259r); (7) a colophon (f. 259r).According to the colophon on f. 259r, this manuscript was written by Eadfrith, bishop of Lindisfarne from 698 until his death in or around 721. There has been considerable debate whether Eadfrith made the Lindisfarne Gospels before or after he became bishop: for recent interpretations, see Gameson, From Holy Island to Durham, and Brown, The Lindisfarne Gospels, pp. 13–83. The Old English gloss was added by Aldred, provost of Chester-le-Street (fl. c. 970), who was responsible for adding the colophon on f. 259r. This states (Brown, The Lindisfarne Gospels, pp. 102–04): “Eadrith, bishop of the Lindisfarne church, originally wrote this book, for God and for St Cuthbert and – jointly – for all the saints whose relics are in the island. And Ethiluald [Æthelwald, Oethilwald], bishop of the Lindisfarne islanders [acceded by 731, died in 737 or 740], impressed it in the outside and covered it – as he well knew how to do. And Billfrith the anchorite [fl. 750 x 800] forged the ornaments which are on it on the outside and adorned it with gold and with gems and also with gilded-over silver — pure metal. And I Aldred, unworthy and most miserable priest, glossed it in English between the lines with the help of God and St Cuthbert.” The decoration comprises: (i) prefatory carpet page (f. 2v) and Jerome incipit page (f. 3r); (ii) canon tables (ff. 10r–17v); (iii) the Gospel carpet pages (Matthew, f. 26v; Mark, f. 94v; Luke, f. 138v; John, f. 210v); (iv) the Gospel incipit pages (Matthew, f. 27r; Mark, f. 95r; Luke, f. 139r; John, f. 211r) and the Chi-rho page (f. 29r); (v) the evangelist miniatures (Matthew, f. 25v; Mark, f. 93v; Luke, f. 137v; John, f. 209v); (vi) decorated initials (e.g. ff. 5v, 8r, 18v, 19r, 90r, 91r). For the decoration of the manuscript, see for example Gameson, From Holy Island to Durham, and Brown, The Lindisfarne Gospels, pp. 272–394.

WOW, hidden up on the top shelf ten books over,under the Bust of Nero!

”Written and illustrated probably by Eadfrith, Bishop of Lindisfarne from 698 to 721, the Lindisfarne Gospels is amongst our greatest artistic, linguistic and religious treasures.

The book is a copy of the four Gospels included in the New Testament, together with other text traditionally included in medieval copies, such as letters of St Jerome appended as prefatory material. For full details of the text, see the catalogue description accompanying the digital images of the manuscripts.

The date and place of origin of the Gospels have been much debated, as both are based on the interpretation of a colophon, or inscription, added at the same time as the English gloss near the end of the tenth century, and on the style of decoration of the text. The identifying inscription was made by Aldred (fl. c. 970), Provost of the community at Chester-le-Street, about six miles north of Durham.

– See more at: http://www.bl.uk/collection-items/lindisfarne-gospels#sthash.oeVSpZNd.dpuf

“The Lindisfarne Gospels formed part of the famous collection of manuscripts formed by the antiquary Sir Robert Bruce Cotton (b. 1571, d. 1631). The Cotton library was inherited and augmented by Sir Robert’s son, Sir Thomas Cotton (d. 1662), and grandson, Sir John Cotton (d. 1702). Sir John negotiated the transfer of the collection to the nation at his death, as confirmed in 1701 by Act of Parliament (12 & 13 William III, c. 7). This Act states that the library was to ‘be kept and preserved … for Publick Use and Advantage’, and that it should ‘not be sold, or otherwise disposed of’. This was the first time that the British nation became responsible for a collection of books or manuscripts, an important stage towards the creation of a national, public library.

In 1753, the Cotton library formed one of the foundation collections of the newly-established British Museum. Sir John Cotton is therefore regarded as the first benefactor of the British Museum (and hence of the British Library).

– See more at: http://www.bl.uk/collection-items/lindisfarne-gospels#sthash.oeVSpZNd.dpuf  ”

But before I get deeper into the entries I’ll describe the book in hand, or rather books..

 

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Catalogus librorum manuscriptorum Bibliothecæ Cottonianæ. Cui præmittuntur illustris viri, D. Roberti Cottoni, equitis aurati & baronetti, vita: et Bibliothecæ Cottonianæ historia & synopsis. Scriptore Thoma Smitho, ecclesiæ anglicanæ presbytero

bound with

Catalogi librorum manuscriptorum Angliæ et Hiberniæ in unum collecti, cum indice alphabetico &

Catalogi manuscriptorum Oxoniensium pars altera, quæ collegiorum & aularum codices veteres complectitur

&

Catalogi librorum manuscriptorum. Tomi prioris pars tertia, quæ Universitatis Cantabrigiensis antiquitate et genere omni scientiarum celeberrimæ codices scriptos complectitur

&

Tomus secundus: qui librorum manuscriptorum ecclesiarum cathedralium et aliarum celebrium bibliothecarum in Anglia catalogos continet

&

Qui librorum manuscriptorum ecclesiarum cathedralium et aliarum celebrium bibliothecarum in Anglia catalogos continet

&

Librorum manuscriptorum catalogi. Voluminis secundi pars altera, quæ bibliothecarum aliquot hibernicarum codices scriptos complectitu.

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ad.1 Oxonii : e Theatro Sheldoniano, MDCXCVI. [1696]  (Wing  S-4233)

ad.2 Oxoniæ : e Theatro Sheldoniano, an. Dom· MDCXCVII. [1697]  (Wing  C-1253)

$2,900

 

Needless (maybe) to say these are Big books, Folio 14 3/4 x 8 1/2 inches , The page count for the first book, By Smith is [12], L, [2], 159, [25] p., [1] leaf of plates : port. ; The next book bound in has a page count which goes like this [32], 72, 71-374, [44], 88, [10], 89-274, [i.e. 174], [32], 256, 253-255, 356-403, [25], 65, [9] p.  DSC_0148

This is a nice clean and unfortunately unmarked  copy.. [about a decade ago I had a copy owned by a German library in the early eighteenth century which was used as a ‘shopping-list’ with price entries in hand].

These books have been together since the Seventeenth century yet they are bound in full twentieth century full calf  which s solid and a very suitable binding for a book which should be used heavily to this day!

 

This wonderful collection of over a thousand pages of catalogue entries gives us an unprecedented view of the books in the major collections of British  libraries in the late Seventeenth century, it also gives us a view of how books are amassed and collected as well as catalogued.

What library doesn’t NEED this? ( I ask politely yet emphatically !!!) Really can I afford to sell this? I am asking $2,900, alas I know I shall regret it as soon as it moves on to its new home.

I look through the entries over and over again, There are a Lot of books not in her which I would want to have on my shelves, and this is quite telling. I am drawn to Literature, Philosophy and what I think of as books for scholars on the edge of their profession.  Library catalogues really tell us more than they intend.

I was an Archaeologist (not exactly by choice)  before I found myself as a rare book …(what s the word..). Seller is the most respectable , procurer might fit but none of those  really state what it is. I generally buy books I find interesting at what I consider bargains and price them what  think they are ‘worth’. This book is  so important, so much fun and so special to me .. I’ll price it  less that What I think it is worth but at the ‘market value?’ {but if you don’t like it let me know}... Give me a good reason and it is yours…

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These BOOKS

The first catalogue is compiled by Thomas Smith, who was a scholar and lecturer at Magdalen College, Oxford, who refused to take oaths to William and Mary after the revolution of 1688 and moved to London, where he became the unofficial librarian of the Cotton Library until the death of Sir John Cotton (grandson of the founder, the antiquarian and bibliophile Sir Robert Cotton who assembled the most important private collection of medieval manuscripts and historical documents in seventeenth-century England). This is the first printed catalogue of the library, now part of the British Library. The ‘Vita D. Roberti Cottoni, Equitis Aurati & Baronetti’, ‘Bibliothecæ Cottonianæ Historia Et Synopsis’, and ‘Librorum Manuscriptorum Bibliothecæ Cottonianæ Catalogus’ each have divisional title-page and engraved head-piece.The Cottonian library was transferred to the British museum in 1757DSC_0141

 

In 1700, the Cottonian library was willed to the British nation and eventually moved to Ashburnham House at Westminster, which was thought to be a safer location. But, two years after the move, on October 23, 1731, there was a fire. The trustees broke into the burning building and carried away, or threw from the windows, hundreds of threatened volumes. Of the 958 manuscripts in the library, several hundred were severely damaged either by fire or water and thirteen completely destroyed, including a unique copy of The Battle of Maldon and Asser’s Life of Alfred. Tightly bound between its leather covers, the Beowulf manuscript survived but was burnt along its exposed edges. (Interestingly, it was not cataloged at the time as being damaged.)

The Cotton or Cottonian library was collected privately by Sir Robert Bruce Cotton MP (1571–1631), In 1588 English politician Sir Robert Bruce Cotton began collecting original manuscripts, an activity which he continued until his death in 1631. an antiquarian and bibliophile, and was the basis of the British Library.  After the Dissolution of the Monasteries, many priceless and ancient manuscripts that had belonged to the monastic libraries began to be disseminated among various owners, many of whom were unaware of the cultural value of the manuscripts. Cotton’s skill lay in finding, purchasing and preserving these ancient documents. The leading scholars of the era, including Francis Bacon, Walter Raleigh, and James Ussher, came to use Sir Robert’s library.   Richard James acted as his librarian. The library is of especial importance for sometimes having preserved the only copy of a work, such as happened with Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.

Along with the Supression act of 1536 official state records and important papers were poorly kept, and often retained privately, neglected or destroyed by public officers. Sir Robert collected and bound over a hundred volumes of official papers. By 1622, Sir Robert’s house and library   was a valuable resource and meeting-place not only for antiquarians and scholars but also for politicians and jurists of various persuasions, including Sir Edward Coke, John Pym, John Selden, Sir John Eliot, Thomas Wentworth.

Such important evidence was highly valuable at a time when the politics of the Realm were historically disputed between the King and Parliament. Sir Robert knew his library was of vital public interest and, although he made it freely available to consult, it made him an object of hostility on the part of the government. On 3 November 1629 he was arrested for disseminating a pamphlet held to be seditious (it had actually been written fifteen years earlier by Sir Robert Dudley) and the library was closed on this pretext.  Cotton was released on 15 November and the prosecution abandoned the following May, but the library remained shut up until after Sir Robert’s death; it was restored to his son and heir, Sir Thomas Cotton, in 1633.

Sir Robert’s library included his collection of books, manuscripts, coins and medallions. After his death the collection was maintained and added to by his son, Sir Thomas Cotton (d. 1662), and grandson, Sir John Cotton (d. 1702).   Sir Robert’s grandson, Sir John Cotton, donated the Cotton library to the Great Britain upon his death in 1702. At this time, Great Britain did not have a national library, and the transfer of the Cotton library to the nation became the basis of what is now the British Library.  The early history of the collection is laid out in the introductory recitals to the British Museum Act 1700, which established statutory trusts for the Cotton library.

“Sir Robert Cotton late of Connington in the County of Huntingdon Baronett did at his own great Charge and Expense and by the Assistance of the most learned Antiquaries of his Time collect and purchase the most useful Manuscripts Written Books Papers Parchments [Records] and other Memorialls in most Languages of great Use and Service for the Knowledge and Preservation of our Constitution both in Church and State

which Manuscripts and other Writings were procured as well from Parts beyond the Seas as from several Private Collectors of such Antiquities within this Realm [and] are generally esteemed the best Collection of its Kind now any where extant

And whereas the said Library has been preserved with the utmost Care and Diligence by the late Sir Thomas Cotton Son of the said Sir Robert and by Sir John Cotton of Westminster now living Grandson of the said Sir Robert and has been very much augmented and enlarged by them and lodged in a very proper Place in the said Sir Johns ancient Mansion House at Westminster which is very convenient for that Purpose

And whereas the said Sir John Cotton in pursuance of the Desire and Intentions of his said Father and Grandfather is content and willing that the said Mansion House and Library should continue in his Family and Name and not be sold or otherwise disposed or imbezled and that the said Library should be kept and preserved by the Name of the Cottonian Library for Publick Use & Advantage….”

The trustees removed the collections from the ruinous Cotton House, whose site is now covered by the Houses of Parliament. It went first to Essex House, The Strand, which, however, was regarded as a fire risk; and then to Ashburnham House, a little west of the Palace of Westminster. From 1707 the library also housed the Old Royal Library (now “Royal” manuscripts at the British Library). Ashburnham House also became the residence of the keeper of the king’s libraries, Richard Bentley (1662-1742), a renowned theologian and classical scholar.

The Ashburnham House fire

The Cotton Genesis was badly damaged in the Ashburnam House fire.

On 23 October 1731, fire broke out in Ashburnham House, and many manuscripts were lost, while others were badly singed or water-damaged: up to a quarter of the collection was either destroyed or damaged. Bentley escaped while clutching the priceless Codex Alexandrinus under one arm, a scene witnessed and later described in a letter to Charlotte, Lady Sundon, by Robert Freind, headmaster of Westminster School. The manuscript of The Battle of Maldon was destroyed, and that of Beowulf was heavily damaged.  Also severely damaged was the Byzantine Cotton Genesis, the illustrations of which nevertheless remain an important record of Late Antique iconography. Mr. Speaker Onslow, as one of the statutory trustees of the library, directed and personally supervised a remarkable programme of restoration within the resources of his time. The published report of this work is of major importance in bibliography. Fortunately, copies had been made of some, but by no means all, of those works that were lost, and many of those damaged could be restored in the nineteenth century.

The British Museum and Library

In 1753 the Cotton library was transferred to the new British Museum, under the Act of Parliament which established it. At the same time the Sloane Collection and Harley Collection were acquired and added, so that these three became the Museum’s three “foundation collections”. The Royal manuscripts were donated by George II in 1757. In 1973 all these collections passed to the newly established British Library.

Sir Robert Cotton had organised his library according to the case, shelf and position of a book within a room twenty-six feet long and six feet wide. Each bookcase in his library was surmounted by a bust of various historical personages, including Augustus Caesar, Cleopatra, Julius Caesar, Nero, Otho, and Vespasian. In total, he had fourteen busts, and his scheme worked by Bust-Shelf letter-Volume number from end. Thus, the two most famous of the manuscripts from the Cotton library are “Cotton Vitellius A.xv”

Detail of a miniature of gold-digging ants in the land of Gorgoneus, from the Marvels of the East, England, 4th quarter of the 10th century, Cotton MS Vitellius A XV, f. 101r - See more at: http://britishlibrary.typepad.co.uk/digitisedmanuscripts/featured-manuscripts/page/27/#sthash.QyoF6xrb.dpuf

and “Cotton Nero A.x.” In Cotton’s own day, that meant “Under the bust of Vitellius, top shelf (A), and count fifteen over,” for the Liber Monstrorum of the Beowulf manuscript, or “Go to the bust of Nero, top shelf, tenth book” for the manuscript containing all the works of the Pearl Poet. The manuscripts are still catalogued by these call numbers in the British Library.

 

The Marvels of the East (sometimes called The Wonders of the East) is a unique and fascinating text which first appeared in the 4th or 5th century. It is a composite work of long and complicated pedigree, although scholars have been able to track down a number of its sources. These include the works of Isidore of Seville, St Augustine, Virgil and Pliny, and other texts of ultimately classical origin. – See more at: http://britishlibrary.typepad.co.uk/digitisedmanuscripts/featured-manuscripts/page/27/#sthash.QyoF6xrb.dpuf

 

 

Catalogi librorum manuscriptorum Angliæ et Hiberniæ in unum collecti, cum indice alphabetico

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Catalogi librorum manuscriptorum Angliæ et Hiberniæ in unum collect, cum indice alphabetico  is the first edition of Edward Bernard’s (1638–1697) effort to catalogue the Manuscripts in Great Britain, colloquially  known as “Bernard’s Catalogue” it is a catalogue of manuscripts in British and Irish libraries, and served as a major tool for scholars. Humfrey Wanley (1672 – 1726) assisted him with this compilation great union catalogue of manuscripts in British libraries is described by de Ricci as “one of the most notable achievements of early English bibliographers .” a collection of six distinct catalogues of manuscripts in six different libraries in Great Britain, Part I of vol.1 contains a life of Bodley, a description of the Bodleian, and lists various collections of manuscripts contained in it, such as those of Pembroke, Cromwell, Digby, Ashmole, etc. Part II lists manuscripts of Oxford colleges; Part III those in Cambridge colleges. Part I of vol. 2 contains the manuscripts in public, cathedral, and school libraries, and some fifty private collections. Part II of vol 2 contains the Irish libraries.  All parts have general indices.

These two great tomes represent a national catalogue of manuscripts held in the British isles!

 

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