529J. Johannes Host von Romberch (c. 1480-c. 1533)
Congestorium artificiose memorie V.P.F. Joãnis Romberch de Kyrspe. Regularis obseruantie predicatorie: omnium de memoria preceptiões aggregatim complectens: opus oĩbus theologis: predicatoribus & confessoribus: juristis: iudicibus procuratoribus: aduocatis & notarijs: medicis: philosophis. Artiu[m] liberalium professoribus. Insuper mercatorib[us] nuntijs [et] tabellarijs pernecessarium
Venetijs Melchior Sessa Venedig: (Mensis Julij) 1533. Price $15,600.
Octavo, 16 x cm. signatures A-N8 This is the second edition, the first of 1520 is quite rare. Like the first edition it is illustrated with twenty-three text woodcuts. This edition has Sessa’s woodcut printer’s device on final leaf with register, some slight water staining to contents, bound in full contemporary parchment over boards, one set of alum-tawed ties intact, worming to covers, with a parchment tab pasted to fore-edge of one text leaf, slight worming, small hole to title patched; signed image of a book shop in Europe appears on the verso of leaf 35. In discussing mental images or symbols of information to be recalled, he offers the reader a section on visual alphabets, in which the images used resemble the shape of letters. G.P. Winship in pencil inside front board.
First published in 1520, Host von Romberch’s work draws on a wide variety of sources, including the Rhetorica ad Herennium, Quintilian, Francesco Petrarch (1304-1374), Jacobus Publicius (fl. 1465) and Peter of Ravenna (b. 1448). He gives to the usual use of memoryloci but as a novel twist, he employs Dante’s Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise.
This is a remarkable set of 23 mnemonics woodcuts partly copies from incunabula editions by J. Publicius. Romberch begins with a phrenological image and uses visual aids to create associations between letters and everyday objects and animals.
The earliest printed image of a book shop in Europe appears on the verso of leaf 35. In discussing mental images or symbols of information to be recalled, he offers the reader a section on visual alphabets, in which the images used resemble the shape of letters. Contains allegories, a phrenological representation, rows of picture and alphabet combinations, the figure of the Grammatica , a tree of knowledge and on leaf 34 verso, to represent the letter B, the picture of an ideal Italian city with shops. Among them the earliest European representation of a bookshop, the exterior of which can be seen with a large shop window (cf. Taubert, Bibliopola II, 18f.).
The final portion of Congestorium deals with the memorization of grammar and of abstract concepts from the sciences and theology. This portion is greatly influenced by Thomas Aquinas (1225?-1274)
Johann Host von Romberch (born on a farm at Romberg or Romberch in Westphalia c. 1480, died at the close of 1532 or the beginning of 1533) was a German Dominican, and writer. He was one of the seven Dominicans who distinguished themselves in the struggle against Martin Luther in Cologne. At the age of sixteen he entered the Dominican Order; he studied at the University of Bologna from 1516 to 1519.
In 1520 he was appointed to the theological faculty of the University of Cologne, and despite the many religious controversies he was engaged in, he found time for literary activity. The fact of his being appointed to the facility of Cologne University is proof of the opinion held of his orthodoxy in theology: that university held a sort of censorship over all the theological faculties of Germany.
His fellow members on the university faculty, Hoogstraten and Collin, besides being distinguished churchmen were eminent among later German Humanists.
(EDIT; 16 CNCE 22790; BM (STC) 335; BN 155, 248; Wellcome 5543; STC (Books Italy) II, 141; Harvard (Italian books) 239
November 29, 2021 at 8:01 PM
Excellent subject, James. My favorite scholar on the ‘theatre of memory’ is Dame Frances Yates. I learned much from her books, many of which I have here, brought at the Magical Child bookstore, NYC, 1980s. All best, MEM ___