A discussion of interesting books from my current stock A site


August 2013

Novae motuum coelestium ephemerides Brandenburgicae


369G Origanus, David. (1528-1628) Novae motuum coelestium ephemerides Brandenburgicae, annorum LX :incipientes ab anno 1595, & desinentes in annum 1655, calculo duplici luminarium, Tychonico & Copernicaeo, reliquorum planetarum posteriore elaboratae, & variis diversarum nationum calendarijs accomodatae : cum introductione hac pleniore, in qua chronologica, astronomica & astrologica ex fundamentis ipsis tractantur

Francofurti cis Viadrum : Typis Ioannem Eichorni : Apud Davidem Reichardum bibliopolam Stetinensem,1609                             $5,500

Large Quarto, . Engraved title page showing Ptolemy and Pliny. Numerous woodcut illustrations and diagrams. A-Z6,Aa-Zz6,Aaa-Vvv6. This copy is in its original full calf binding (English or Scottish?), It lacks the  clasps and catches. The text is Complete and in overall good condition. Approximately first ten leaves with tears and/or loss of paper at the margin, some browning, three leaves trimmed with some loss of information (possibly printer error), Signatures Oo and Pp were missed on most of the support cords in the original sewing. Provenance: University of Aberdeen Library, Ex Libris on the inside front board stamped “cancelled”.

Origanus developed a geo-heliocentric model of the Solar System, which emphasized the Earth’s axial rotation. He attempted to

Origanus 369G
Origanus 369G

justify his support for the motion of the Earth with passages from the Bible. He believed that magnetism explained the Earth’s rotation and that the tides were a consequence of it. Origanus also thought the universe to be nearly infinite. There are only three copies in

Origanus 369G
Origanus 369G

NUC. – Revision of the first published work in 1599, which was in 1603  placed on the Index Librorum Prohibitorum. This Edition includes Tycho Brahe’s tables for sun and moon used here for the first time. But the crucial difference between Tycho’s 1587 geo-heliocentric model and those of other geo-heliocentric astronomers, such as Paul Wittich, Reimarus Ursus, Helisaeus Roeslin and David Origanus, was that the orbits of Mars and the Sun intersected. Further Origanus in contrast to Tycho Brahe,   was convinced that the Earth rotates.  David Origanus (1558-1628) was professor of mathematics at Frankfurt. Noted chiefly as a compiler of ephemerides and almanacs, he authored the Astrologia Naturalis, published posthumously at Marseilles in 1645, and wrote on the comet of 1618. First published in 1599, the Ephemerides Novae (Here 1609) were issued at the time when those of Stadius (ca 1527–17 to 1579) had begun to show great error.   “Computed with the greatest diligence from the hypotheses of Copernicus and the Prutenic canons,” (Thorndike, VI, p.61) they were accommodated to the horizon of Frankfurt on the Oder for use with either calendar. In the present work the Prutenic canons of the first edition have been replaced with the newly calculated tables of Tycho Brahe.

Thorndike VI,p61; Zinner, E. Geschichte und Bib. der astronomischen Lit. (1964 ed.),; 4247; Houzeau & Lancaster. Astronomie (1964 ed.),; 14952; Lalande. Bib. astronomique,; p. 150; Nicolaus Copernicus Gesamtausgabe: Biographia Copernicana Band IX: p.155 #115 : Harald Siebert ,Die grosse kosmologische Kontroverse: Rekonstruktionsversuche anhand des. Page 112 See also : DAVID ORIGANUS’S PLANETARY SYSTEM (1599 AND 1609) Daniel Omodeo, Pietro November 2011 Journal for the History of Astronomy;Nov2011, Vol. 42 Issue 4, p439 {this article discusses the astronomical and cosmological theories of German astronomer David Tost, or Origanus. Particular emphasis is given to Tost’s understanding of the planetary system and the Earth’s motion. The astronomer developed a geo-heliocentric model of the Solar System, which emphasized the Earth’s axial rotation. He attempted to justify his support for the motion of the Earth with passages from the Bible. He believed that magnetism explained the Earth’s rotation and that the tides were a consequence of it. Tost also thought the universe to be nearly infinite.}

Eclipses Origanus 369G
Eclipses Origanus 369G



In astronomy and celestial navigation, an ephemeris (plural: ephemerides; from the Greek word ἐφημερίς ephēmeris “diary”, $(KGrHqJ,!nwFEF2eRs6yBRrg7M(,4w~~60_57“journal”) gives the positions of astronomical objects in the sky at a given time or times. Historically, positions were given as printed tables of values, given at regular intervals of date and time. Modern ephemerides are often computed electronically from mathematical models of the motion of astronomical objects and the earth. Even though the calculation of these tables was one of the first applications of mechanical computers, printed ephemerides are still produced, as they are useful when computational devices are not available.

The astronomical position calculated from an ephemeris is given in the spherical polar coordinate system of right ascension andDSC_0078declination. Some of the astronomical phenomena of interest to astronomers are eclipses, apparent retrograde motion/planetary stations, planetary ingresses, sidereal time, positions for the mean and true nodes of the moon, the phases of the Moon, and the position(s) of Chiron and other minor celestial bodies.

Ephemerides are used in celestial navigation, astronomy and astrology.

Glasgow Incunabula Project update (23/8/13)

Glasgow Incunabula Project update (23/8/13).


361G Mather, Cotton. 1663-1728

Magnalia Christi Americana: Or, The Ecclesiastical History of New England, from its First Planting in the Year 1620. Unto the Year of Our Lord, 1698. In Seven Books. I. Antiquities: In Seven Chapters. With an Appendix. II. Containing the Lives of the Governours, and Names of the Magistrates of New-England: In Thirteen Chapters. With an Appendix. III. The Lives of Sixty Famous Divines, by whose Ministry the Churches of New-England have been Planted and Continued. IV. An Account of the University of Cambridge in New England; In Two Parts. The First Contains the Laws, the Benefactors, and Vicissitudes of Harvard College; with Remarks upon it. The Second Part contains the Lives of some Eminent Persons Educated in it. V. Acts and Monuments of the Faith and Order in the Churches of New-England, passed in their Synods; with Historical Remarks upon those Venerable Assemblies; and a great Variety of Church-Cases occurring, and resolved by the Synods of those Churches: In Four Parts. VI. A Faithful Record of many Illustrious, Wonderful Providences, both of Mercies and Judgments, on divers Persons in New-England: In Eight Chapters. VII. The Wars of The Lord. Being an History of the Manifold Afflictions and Disturbances of the Churches in New-England, from their Various Adversaries, and the Wonderful Methods and Mercies of God in their Deliverance: In Six Chapters: To which is subjoined, An Appendix of Remarkable Occurrences which New-England had in the Wars with the Indian Salvages, from the Year 1688, to the Year 1698.

London: Thomas Parkhurst, 1702.                     $13,000

Magnalia Christi Americana 361G
Magnalia Christi Americana

Folio, 12.27 X 7.75. First edition [ ]1, A-C4, D2, B-F4, Aa-Ii4, Kk2, Aaa-Zzz4, Aaaa-Gggg4, Aaaa-Mmmm4, Nnnn2, Mmmmm-Mmmmm4, Nnnnn2, Aaaaaa-Llllll4, Mmmmmm1, Aaaaaaa-Ppppppp4 Including the final leaf, advertisments. The folding map is in very nice condition. Bound in 19th century full calf, a very solid copy. “The most famous American book of colonial times.” (Streeter) Mather’s work contains important contemporary accounts of all aspects of life in seventeenth-century New England including the arrival of the “Pilgrims” at Plymouth colony; a description of Boston; biographies of John Winthrop, Governor of the Massachusetts Colony and William Bradford, Governor of Plymouth Colony; a history of Harvard College, including a catalogue of the graduates from 1642 to 1698. Mather, an important figure in the Salem witch trials of 1692, devotes a chapter to the enumeration of “the Wonders of the invisible world in preternatural occurrences” in New England. The “Magnalia” also provides a great deal of contemporary information on the interactions (and wars) between the Europeans and the Native American tribes of seventeenth-century New England, including “A History of Remarkable Occurances, in the War which New-England had with Indian Salvages, from the year 1688 to the year 1698.” According to Sabin, the map of New England is often lacking. In this copy, the map showing the coast of (present-day) Maine, Massachusetts and Rhode Island has been preserved.

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“Cotton Mather, American Congregational clergyman and author, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on the 12th of February 1663. He was the grandson of Richard Mather, and the eldest child of Increase Mather and Maria, daughter of John Cotton. After studying under the famous Ezekiel Cheever (1614-1708), he entered Harvard College at twelve, and graduated in 1678. He was elected assistant pastor in his father’s church, the North, or Second, Church of Boston, in 1681 and was ordained as his father’s colleague in 1685. In 1688, when his father went to England as agent for the colony, he was left at twenty-five in charge of the largest congregation in New England, and he ministered to it for the rest of his life. He soon became one of the most influential men in the colonies. “He had much to do with the witchcraft persecution of his day. In 1692 when the magistrates appealed to the Boston clergy for advice in regard to the witchcraft cases in Salem he drafted their reply, upon which the prosecutions were based. He attended the trials, investigated many of the cases himself, and wrote sermons on witchcraft, the “Memorable Providences” and “The Wonders of the Invisible World” (1693), which increased the excitement of the people. Accordingly, when the persecutions ceased and the reaction set in, much of the blame was laid upon him; the influence of Judge Samuel Sewall, after he had come to think his part in the Salem delusion a great mistake, was turned against the Mathers; and the liberal leaders of Congregationalism in Boston, notably the Brattles, found this a vulnerable point in Cotton Mather’s armour and used their knowledge to much effect. “Mather took some part as adviser in the Revolution of 1689 in Massachusetts. In 1690 he became a member of the Corporation (probably the youngest ever chosen as Fellow) of Harvard College, and in 1707 he was greatly disappointed at his failure to be chosen president of that institution. He received the degree of D.D. from the University of Glasgow in 1710, and in 1713 was made a Fellow of the Royal Society. Like his father he was deeply grieved by the liberal theology and Church polity of the new Brattle Street Congregation, and conscientiously opposed its pastor Benjamin Colman, who had been irregularly ordained in England and by a Presbyterian body; but with his father he took part in 1700 in services in Colman’s church. Harvard College was now controlled by the Liberals of the Brattle Street Church, and as it grew farther and farther away from Calvinism, Mather looked with increasing favour upon the college in Connecticut; before September 1701 he had drawn up a “scheme for a college,” the oldest document now in the Yale archives; and finally (Jan. 1718) he wrote to a London merchant, Elihu Yale, and persuaded him to make a liberal gift to the college, which was named in his honour. “His later years were clouded with many sorrows and disappointments; his relations with Governor Joseph Dudley were unfriendly; he lost much of his former prestige in the Church his own congregation dwindled and in the college; his uncle John Cotton was expelled from his charge in the Plymouth Church; his son Increase turned out a ne-er-do-well; four of his children and his second wife died in November 1713; his wife’s brothers and the husbands of his sisters were ungodly and violent men; his favourite daughter Katherine, who “understood Latin and read Hebrew fluently,” died in 1716; his third wife went mad in 1719; his personal enemies circulated incredible scandals about him; and in. 1724/1725 he saw a Liberal once more preferred to him as a new president of Harvard. He died in Boston on the 13th of February 1728 and is buried in the Copps Hill burial-ground, Boston.” (EnBrit) Howes M-391; Streeter Sale 658; European Americana 702/127; Holmes, Cotton Mather 213; Sabin 46392; Church 806; McCorkle 702.3,680.4

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Every time I open this book, I get another and new appreciation for the Seventeenth century, even by 1708 I think people thought it was amazing.  This  volume of MISCELLANEA CURIOSA is ‘ a collection of Voyages” but it is so much more, it expresses the exuberance of discovery and the burning desire to know the world. This is the sort of book, which makes it clear why we Need to keep reading  and appreciating early books!!


 MISCELLANEA CURIOSA Containing a Collection of Curious Travels, Voyages, and Natural Histories of Countries, As they have been Delivered in to the Royal Society VOL. III     

London: for R. Smith, at the Bible under the Piazza of the Royal Exchange in Cornhill  1708.    $2,500

Octavo, .  First edition  430 (2) pp., 6 pl. Seven Plates five folding .

This copy is unfortunately bound in full library buckram.

Miscellanea Curiosa was published in 1708 as a “collection of curious travels, voyages, and natural histories of countries” that were submitted to the Royal Society. The travels encompass the years 1668 to about 1688. Included in this compilation are some letters by John Clayton, Rector of Crofton at Wakefield in Yorkshire, relating his visit to Virginia in the late seventeenth century. Here are some excerpts from Clayton’s letter:
“Having oftentimes been urged to give an Account of Virginia, by several of the Worthy Members of the Royal Society, I cannot but, as far forth as I am able, obey Commands whereby I’m so much honour’d, and shew my Respect by my ready Compliance; tho’ I am so sensible of my own Weakness and Incapacity to answer your Expectations, that before-hand I must Apologize for my self. And indeed by Sea I lost all my Books, Chymical Instruments, Glasses and Microscopes, which rendred me uncapable of making those Remarks and Observations I had designed, they were all cast away in Captain Win’s Ship, as they were to follow me; and Virginia being a Country where one cannot furnish ones self again with such things, I was discourag’d from making so diligent a Scrutiny as otherwise I might have done, so that I took very few Minutes down in Writing; and therefore, since I have only my Memory to rely on, which too has the Disadvantage of it’s own Weakness, and of the Distance of two Years since now I left the Country, if future Relations shall in some small Points, make out my Mistake, I thought this requisite to justify my Candor; for I ever judg’d it villanous to impose in matters of Fact; but Descriptions of things that depend on Memory may be liable to Mistakes; and yet the Sincerity of the Person that delivers them intire. But hereof I shall be as cautious as possible, and shall rather wave some things whereof I have some Doubts, and am uncapable now of satisfying my self, than in any sort presume too far. The Method I design is, first, to give an Account of the Air, and all such Observations as refer thereto; then of the Water, the Earth and Soil; the Birds, the Beasts, the Fishes, the Plants, the Insects; and lastly, the present State of the Inhabitants: But at present I shall neither trouble you nor my self with any more than an Account of what refers to the Air alone, being conscious the honourable Society may receive such a Glut with the Imperfection of this, as to excuse me from a farther Relation.  But before I begin, perhaps it may not be impertinent to acquaint you with some things that happen’d in our Voyage. We sail’d in the Ship Judith, Captain Trim Commander, ’twas Flyboat built, about 200 or 250 Tuns; she sprung a considerable Leak. When the Captain had made long and diligent Search, had tried all Methods that Sea-men use upon such Occasions, or he could think of, all in vain, and that the Leak encreased, he came pensively to consult me. Discoursing with him about it, and understanding that the Ship was cieled within; so that though the Leak might possibly be in the Fore-part, it would fill the whole Cavity betwixt the Cieling and the Planks, and so run into the Hold at all the Crevices of the Cieling up and down: I thereupon conceived, that where it burst in betwixt the Cieling and the Planks, it must needs make some Noise. He told me, they had endeavoured to find it out that Way, and according to custom had clapt Cans to their Ears to hear with; but the working of the Ship, the Tackle and the Sea made such a Noise, that they could discover nothing thereby. I happily bethought my self of the Speaking Trumpet; and having one which I had contrived for some other Conveniences, of a differing Shape from the common Sorts, I bid him take it and apply the broad End to the Side of the Ship, the narrow End to his Ear, and it would encrease his Hearing as much as it augmented the Voice the other Way, and would ward the Ear the too from the Confusion of foreign Noise. Upon the first Application, accordingly they heard it, tho’ it happened to be at a considerable Distance; and when they removed the Trumpet nigher, they heard it as if it had been the Current of a mighty River, even so distinctly, as to have Apprehensions of the bigness and figure of the Hole that the Water came in at; so that cutting there the Cieling of the Ship, they immediately stopt the Leak.

In the Sea I saw many little things which the Seamen call Carvels; they are like a Jelly, or Starch that is made with a cast of Blue in it; they Swim like a small Sheeps Bladder above the Water, downwards there are long fibrous Strings, some whereof I have found near hall a Yard long. This I take to be a Sort of Sea-Plant, and the Strings its Roots growing in the Sea, as Duck-weed does in Ponds. It may be reckon’d among the Potential Cauteries; for when we were one Day becalm’d, getting some to make Observations thereof, the sportful People rub’d it on one anothers Hands and Faces, and where it touch’d it would make it look very Red, and make it smart worse than a Nettle. In my Return for England we struck a Hauks-bill Turtle, in whose Guts I found many of these Carvels; so that it’s manifest
fest they feed thereon. ‘Tis commonly asserted by the Seamen, that they can smell the Pines at Virginia several Leagues at Sea before they see Land, but I could receive no Satisfaction as to this Point; I could not discern any such thing when at a moderate Distance, I fear much of this may be attributed to Fancy; for one Day there came three or four full Scent to tell me they were certain they smelt the Pines; but it afterwards prov’d that we were at that Time two hundred Leagues from the Shoar, so that I was satisfied that was therefore meer Fancy. Indeed we thought, by the general Accounts of the Ship, that we had been just on the Coast, but all were deceived by a Current we met with, that at that Time set about South-East, or East South-East, which when once becalmed we tried thus: We hoised out a Boat, and took one of the Scuttles that covered one of the Hatches of the Ship, tying thereto a great Weight, and a strong long Rope, we let it sink a considerable Depth, and then fastning it to the Boat, it serv’d as an Anchor, that the Boat could not drive; then with the Glass and log Line we found the Current set, as I say, Eastward, at the rate of a Mile and a half an Hour. This Current is of mischievous Consequence, it does not always run one way, but as it sets sometimes as we proved Easterly, so does it as they say, set at other Times Westerly, whereby many Ships have been lost; for then the Ships being before their Accounts, they fall in with the Land before they are aware. Thus one Year many Ships were lost on Cape Hattarasse, and thereabouts.”


A couple of Incunables

DSC_0012 DSC_0013

Jacopo de Voragine,

Sermones de tempore et de sanctis et Quadragesimales

Lyons: [Jean Bachelier and Pierre Bartelot], 8 Aug. 1499        $15,000
Quarto in eight s, 8 x 5.5 in.
Three parts in the following order:DSC_0061
Sermones de sanctis, [*6] A-Z8 AA10 [200] leaves;
  Sermones quadragesimales.  [*8] aa-ll8 ([96] ;
 Sermones de passione et de planctu Beate Virginis a-c6 ([18] leaves (This copy has the same contents as the copy at the BIBLIOTECA NACIONAL MEXICO)
 This copy is bound in nineteenth century quarter calf over red paste paper boards: It it rubicated in red and blue through out, with the beginnings of books have initials which have been painted with gold and ornate flowers.
Jacopo de Voragine is best known as the author of a collection of legendary lives of the saints, which was entitled  Legenda Sanctorum  by the author, but soon became universally known as  Legenda Aurea  (Golden Legend), because the people of those times considered it worth its weight in gold. If we are to judge the Golden Legend from a historical standpoint, we must condemn it as entirely uncritical and hence of no value, except in so far as it teaches us that the people of those times were an extremely naive and a thoroughly religious people, permeated with an unshakable belief in God s omnipotence and His fatherly care for those who lead a saintly life. If, on the other hand, we view the Golden Legend as an artistically composed book of devotion, we must admit that it is a complete success. It is admirably adapted to enhance our love and respect towards God, to foster our devotion towards His saints, and to animate us with a holy zeal to follow their example. The chief object of Jacopo de Voragine and of other medieval hagiologists was not to compose reliable biographies or to write scientific treatises for the learned, but to write books of devotion that were adapted to the simple manners of the common people.  (CE)   Goff J200



133g    Bonaventura, Saint (Pseudo-) (1221-1274), now attributed to Jacobus Capelli Mediolanensis .fl. 1250

DSC_0057Stimulus Divini Amoris devotissimus a sancto Johanne Bonaventure editus cordium omnium in amorem christi Jesu inflammatius post eiusdem varias impressiones incorrectas ultimate emendatus et correctus per eximium sacre pagine professorem Magistrum Johannem quentin canonicum et penitentiarum parisiensem.

Paris: George Mittelhus 4 April ,1493                  $3,800

Octavo, 5.5 x 4 inches.  Fourth edition, a7 (lacking title leaf) -R8 (last two leaves blank and lacking). This copy is bound in paper boards.

Edited by Johannes Quentin, this work of medieval Christian mysticism is an exquisite and rare book. The work, formerly attributed to Saint Bonaventure and Henri of Beaume (d. 1439), is now considered to be the work of Mediolanensis, a “Franciscan theologian and mystic. Lector of theology of Milan and alleged composer of a Summa Contra Hereticos, against the Kathars of Lombardy, 52 Conciones Quadragesimale and the renowned educative Stimulus Amoris [the shorter version, of which there are more than 90 manuscripts] centered on the love of/for Christ and the imitation of and the passive contemplation and union with God. There is some discussion as to whether Jacobus Capelli (known for the Summa) and Jacob of Milan (the author of the Stimulus Amoris) are one and the same person.”

“The Stimulus Amoris is a composite devotional work consisting of an independent series of meditations on the Holy Passion, of still unidentified authorship, followed by a treatise on the spiritual life and contemplation by Jacobus Mediolensis, and ending with some anonymous meditations on the ‘Pater Noster,’ ‘Ave Maria,’ ‘Salve Regina,’ etc.

“The Stimulus appears in several versions, but the one that became very popular in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries is this longer work, known in England as the Prikke of Love. [By the fourteenth century] one or more scribes had added the chapters on the Passion to the treatise of Jacobus and had vastly amplified that author’s work. Jacobus’ short treatise consisted of twenty-three chapters, in no perceptible order, some of which embodied fragments from St. Bonaventure, St. Bernard, and Saint Anselm.

“A few chapters dealt with contemplation, but the great number were rather elaborately worded instructions on the ordinary ascetic life mingled with devotional outpourings, full of the popularized pseudo-Dionysian mystical expressions. Only two of the chapters and a prayer halfway through the work deal with the Passion, and these were later extracted and formed the basis of the first part of the Stimulus. By the end of the fourteenth century the manuscripts show no less than fifteen chapters on the Passion, and an additional one crept in by the time of the first printing by the Brothers of the Common Life in 1476-1478.”
(All citations Clare Kirchberger, The Goad of Love)
Goff B-965; BMC VIII 126DSC_0058

DSC_0058In the Constitutions of the Society of Jesus, Ignatius of Loyola (1491–1556), founder of the Society, recommended that Jesuits follow the doctrines of Saint Thomas in theology and those of Aristotle in logic, natural philosophy, ethics, and metaphysics. After Loyola, the official position of the Society was further specified; Jesuits were supposed to teach “Aristotle and the true philosophy,” interpreted as Thomism. With the succession of Claudio Aquaviva as the fifth general of the Society (1581–1615), these issues took on a new vigor. The Society standardized its curriculum during this time. The Jesuits undertook extraordinary pedagogical discussions, ultimately leading to their ratio studiorum (uniform course of studies). The aim of this standardization was to enable Jesuits to propound a single philosophy that would maintain the Catholic faith; as Aquaviva said: “The primary goal in teaching should be to strengthen the faith and to develop piety. Therefore, no one shall teach anything not in conformity with the Church and received traditions, or that can diminish the vigor of the faith or the ardor of a solid piety.”

Aristotle, a 4th-century-BCE philosopher, port...
Aristotle, a 4th-century-BCE philosopher, portrayed in 1493 Nuremberg Chronicle as a 15th-century-CE scholar (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Together with these pedagogical innovations there was an explosion of Scholastic manuals. Among the widely read textbook authors at the time were the Coimbrans and Francisco Toletus. The Coimbrans (the Conimbricenses) were professors at the Jesuit College at Coimbra (Portugal), who issued a series of encyclopedic commentaries on Aristotle’s works. Chief among them was Pedro da Fonseca, who wrote his own commentary on Aristotle’s Metaphysics. Toletus was a professor at the Jesuit Collegio Romano who also published commentaries on Aristotle’s works. The Coimbrans wrote volumes by committee, presenting the works of Aristotle that were taught in the curriculum; they followed the model of the great medieval commentaries, each volume treating a specific text (Physics, On the Soul, On the Heavens, etc.), but with an elaborate (post-Renaissance) scholarly apparatus, giving both Aristotle’s Greek text and its Latin translation, as well as Latin paraphrases and quaestiones, the resolution of questions relevant to the text under discussion.  (Gale Encyclopedia of the Early Modern World:

Aristotelianism  Read more:

358G    Pererius , Benedictus.      1535-1610

De Communibus omnium rerum naturalium principiis & affectionibus, libri quindecim. Qui plurimum conferunt ad eos octos libros Aristotelis, quam de physicu auditu inscribuntur, intelligendos.         

Lyon, Sib[ylla]. a Porta, 1588.      $3,800

Octavo, 7 X 4.75 inches .  Probably a  sixth edition.( see Lohr) a8,e4, a-z8, A-Z8, Aa-Ii8.

On the title page of an old ownership entry cut (1 cm x 2 cm). Some old underlining and marginalia on nearly every page but nothing too substantial. On the final page of the text before the index: “lectio prima /Finiebatur 6 Calen: Maij 1591”. Blind embossed pigskin time, the cover stained. On the front cover on the center panel, the letters which have been rubbed out I can make out C and K and T , in the bottom panel is the date ‘1590’

DSC_0055Benedict Pereira, Pererius philosopher, theologian, and exegete, born about 1535, at Ruzafa, near Valencia, in Spain; died 6 March, 1610, at Rome. He entered the Society of Jesus in 1552 and taught successively literature, philosophy, theology, and Sacred Scripture in Rome. He published eight works, and left a vast deal of manuscript. (Sommervogel, infra, mentions twelve sets.) Pereira’s `navigation of a path somewhere between Alchemy and Science by reading and apropriating Aristotle seems quite influential on Jesuit Science .

see also;

Paul Richard Blum, “Cognitio falsitatis vera est”. Benedictus Pererius critico della magia e della cabala, in Fabrizio Meroi and Elisabetta Scapparone (eds.): La magia nell’Europa moderna: tra antica sapienza e filosofia naturale: atti del convegno, Firenze, 2-4 ottobre 2003, Firenze: Olschki, 2007, 345-362.

Paul Richard Blum, Benedictus Pererius: Renaissance Culture at the Origins of Jesuit Science, in Science & Education 15 (2006) 279-304.

Paul Richard Blum, Studies on Early Modern Aristotelianism, Leiden: Brill, 2012 (Chapter Nine: Benedictus Pereirus: Renaissance Culture at the Origins of Jesuit Science, pp. 139-182).

Marco Lamanna, “De eo enim metaphysicus agit logice”. Un confronto tra Pererius e Goclenius, in Medioveo 34 (2009) 315-360. 
Adams P-665; Lohr, Latin Arist. Comm., S. 318#23 .: Sommervogel VI


Henricus de Herpf (c. 1410-1477)

Sermones de tempore et de sanctis.


Speyer: Peter Drach, [after 17 January 1484, not after 1486]


Folio: 31.4 x 21.5 cm. 428 leaves, 48 lines, two columns. Collation: “1”8, “2”10, a-m8, n6, o-p8, q6, r-z8, A-L8, M10, N-Y8, Z6, AA6, BB-FF8. Complete. With all three blanks, a1, B8, and FF8, present. The BMC collation, calling for 8 leaves in signature n, is erroneous.


FIRST EDITION. THE SOLE 15th c. EDITION. Bound in contemporary blind-stamped calf over beech wood boards, with a hand-IMG_1985written vellum title strip affixed to the upper board; rubbed at extremities, without central and corner bosses and clasps. A wonderful, unsophisticated copy. The leather of the joints is cracked but the boards are firmly attached by the double rawhide sewing supports. Provenance: Benedictine monastery at Asbach; J.R. Ritman (BPH bookplate, #110, acquired from Rosenthal, 1985)

This is an extraordinarily fresh, complete example, rubricated throughout in red, with smaller initials and capital strokes. The leaves have very wide, clean margins throughout. Leaves d1-3, 6-8, N3 and 6 are printed on smaller (chancery) sheets, entirely untrimmed and with their deckled edges preserved.

IMG_1995With a neatly written, contemporary inscription to the recto of the first leaf, identifying the work: “Daily and Seasonal Sermons, Sermons for Saints’ Days, On Penance, and The Coming of Christ on Judgment Day.” This copy has only the most minor of faults, hardly worth the mention: a small smudge to leaf f8, a light dampstain to three leaves (A7-8, C2), slight worming at beginning and end, contemporary ms. note to first and small ownership inscription to second leaf. Housed in a custom box with the gilt label of the Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica.

IMG_2008There is no colophon, though Drach is the addressee of the introductory epistle (leaf 1b). Drach’s small, attractive printer’s device, modeled on that of Fust and Schöffer, appears on the final leaf of text.  Just above it are four lines of type that read:

“Reader, take these fruitful sermons of Henricus de Herpf

And grant that you be in the power of their hospitality

For if your library should receive them gently,

Then you may trust that they will give the great rewards of friendship.”

These lines are followed by a contemporary ms. note that appears to be a snide joke: “”Certain people find them to be tiresome.”


Peter Drach (d. 1504) operated an extensive printing and bookselling business from Speyer, situated on the Rhine, near Heidelberg in Germany. He participated in the Frankfurt and Leipzig book fairs, and his sphere of trade extended from Antwerp to Bohemia, and from Lübeck to Rome. Drach also sold books in the business centers Nuremberg and Augsburg, and in the university cities of Tübingen and Heidelberg. His most famous client was the humanist Jakob Wimpheling.

The Dutch mystic Henricus de Herpf (d. 1477) had a profound impact on later mystical writers, including Francisco de Osuna, who in turn influenced St. Teresa of Jesus.

From 1445, Herpf was a rector of the Brothers of the Common Life in Delft and, later, in Gouda, where he encouraged book production in particular. In 1450, on a pilgrimage to Rome, he joined the Franciscan Observance (the Capuchin reform) at the Convent of Ara Coeli. Upon his return to northern Europe, he served in several posts for the Franciscan Observants of the Cologne Province, including as provincial of the Province of Cologne (1470–73), then guardian of the convent of Mechlin in present-day Belgium, where he died in 1477.

“Herpf’s sermons concentrated on the explication of text and teaching through Scripture. The third sermon deals at length with drinking to excess. Perhaps because of his reputation as a great preacher, Herpf is mistakenly identified here as a member of the ‘praedicatorum’ (Dominicans). The mistake was caught during the press run, and corrected in print in some later copies to ‘minorum’ (Franciscans). This copy has the identification corrected in a contemporary hand, probably that of an employee in the printing shop.” (M. Ford, BPH catalogue).

Bibliographical references: HC 8527; GW 12225; BMC II, 493; Goff H-38; ISTC ih00038000; Simon, Bibl. Bacchia I, 118 & Gastronomica 839.



What I like about Libraries

No One really knows what is in any Library. It is the undiscovered potential which even in the ‘digital’ age which keeps one wanting to ‘know what you know”Image*2_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1%2Egmp_4008284%2Egde_4008284_member_264923415

First depiction of a dinosaur fossil !!

Feeling Like a Fossil myself quite often, I guess it would seem natural that an attempt to understand the remains of the nonexistent would be comfortable territory for me.

lphoto 3


Including The First Printed Illustration of a Dinosaur Fossil


Plot, Robert (1640-1696)

The Natural History of Oxford-shire, Being an Essay toward the Natural History of England  by Robert Plot, LL.D., Late Keeper of the Ashmolean Museum, and Professor of Chymistry in the University of Oxford. The Second Edition, with large Additions and Corrections: Also a short Account of the Author, &c

Oxford: Printed by Leon. Lichfield, for Charles Brome… and John Nicholson, 1705                 $4,700

Folio: 32.5 x 21 cm. a-c2, A-Z4, Aa-Zz4, Aaa-Bbb2

With 16 added engraved plates and an engraved folding map of Oxfordshire.

SECOND EDITION. Bound in contemporary English calf, nicely rebacked and recornered. Internally, this copy is in very good, clean condition with minor blemishes as follows: The t.p. has been mounted and the edges are foxed; there are marginal tape repairs to the lower and inner margins of the following two leaves; and Plate 16 has a small ink spot. The text is illustrated with a large folding map of Oxfordshire and sixteen full-paged engravings of fossils, minerals, plants, the fascinating Enston waterworks, and other marvels and curiosities, by Michael Burghers.

“Of all of the British naturalists of the late seventeenth-century, few represent the omnivorous curiosity of the Baconian tradition and its passion for collecting specimens and observations for their own sake so well as Robert Plot… In 1674 he drew up an itinerary patterned on those of earlier English antiquaries; but whereas they had been concerned with books and buildings to the exclusion of natural history and technology, Plot intended to tour England and Wales in search of ‘all curiosities both of art and nature such… as transcend the ordinary performances of the one and are out of the ordinary road of the other.’ He began with the county in which he was then living, starting work on his ‘Natural History of Oxfordshire’ in June 1674; by November 1675 he had a fine collection of minerals to exhibit to the Royal Society, and the book appeared in 1677. On the strength of the ‘Natural history’, Plot was appointed fellow of the Royal Society in 1677. He was secretary in 1682-1684 and thus joint editor of the Philosophical Transactions, most of which were printed at Oxford during his term of office; he was elected secretary in 1692. His success as a collector of rarities must also have helped when, in March 1683, the University of Oxford appointed him first keeper of the newly acquired Ashmolean Museum.

“Plot’s stress on the unusual and the anomalous, and his expectation that more can be learned from exceptions than from the general rule, apparently stemmed from his interpretation of the Baconian inheritance; this approach gives his natural histories a rather bizarre and curious flavor- his zoology tends to be teratology. He started with the heavens -curious meteorological phenomena observed in the country- then its airs (acoustic researches into sites famous for their echoes), waters—especially mineral and medicinal—and earths. The phenomena of erosion, which he called ‘deterration’, are discussed. He had some notion of stratigraphy, observing that ‘the Earth is here [Shotover Hill], as at most other places, I think I may say of a bulbous nature, several folds of diverse colour and consistencies still including one another.’

“Plot also made an extensive study of ‘formed stones’ or fossils, without appreciating that they could be used to identify strata. The controversy on the origins of fossils was then at its height. Plot argued, from the differences between fossil shells and any known specimens of the living shellfish they were thought to represent, that fossil shells were crystallizations of mineral salts; their zoomorphic appearance was as coincidental as the regular shapes of stalactites or snowflakes. Large quadruped fossils he considered the remains of giants, except for one identified as that of an elephant through comparison with an Elephant skull in the Ashmolean museum.

“One of [Plot’s] main objectives was to describe local crafts and farming techniques, in the hope of diffusing successful practices or new inventions throughout the country. Thus technological information is scattered through both his works on natural history, providing useful evidence on contemporary agriculture, mines, and such industries as the Staffordshire potteries.” (DSB)

“Some seventy species of fossils are described and figured by Robert Plot in his work on Oxfordshire, 1677. Here we have excellent descriptions and beautifully engraved drawings of these objects from the Jurassic and Cretaceous. Among them are many well-known forms…. He recognized the essential differences between those unrelated groups of bivalved shells, the brachiopods and the lamellibranchs”. (Challinor p. 62).

This work also contains the first depiction of a dinosaur fossil. The fossil femur, identified by Plot as belonging to an elephant, is now thought to belong to Megalosaurus. The illustration is bound before page 143.

ESTC T149630; Cf. Maddan 3130; Krivatsy 9110; Challinor 10; Ward and Carozzi 1801; Parkinson p. 118. Ornithological books in the Yale University Library, p. 229photo 4 photo 1

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