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Pliny's Natural history, annotated by the Italian scholar Hermolaus Barberus

Opus divinum, cui titulus historiae naturalis, multoqua[m] antehac unqua[m] prodiit in luce[m] castigatius, una cu[m] annotationibus Hermanolai Barbari ...
Paris, Jean Petit (colophon: Nicolaus Sauetier), 1526. 2 parts in 1 volume (bound in reverse order). Folio. With title-page to the main work (bound second) printed in red and black and title-page to the index (bound first), each in a four-piece woodcut border. Contemporary or near contemporary calf, with the boards richly blind-tooled in a panel design; rebacked with part of the original backstrip laid down.
€ 18,000
Rare Paris edition of Pliny's Historiae naturalis, in the original Latin, the first edition with annotations by Hermolaus Barbarus (1454-1494). Pliny's Natural history is one of the largest single works to have survived from the Roman Empire and purports to cover the entire field of ancient knowledge, based on the best authorities available at the time. It encompasses the fields of botany, zoology, astronomy, geology and mineralogy as well as the exploitation of those resources. It remains a standard work for the Roman period and the advances in technology and understanding of natural phenomena at the time. Pliny's accounts of some technical advances are the only sources for those inventions. Hermolaus Barbarus was an Italian Renaissance scholar. He first published his discussions of Pliny's Natural history separately in 1492 as Castigationes Plinianae, which offers more than 5000 corrections to the original text. Due to this work and other classical works he translated or edited he became a leading authority on Latin and Greek antiquity.
With manuscript inscriptions on title-page. The two parts bound in reverse order. Binding rebacked and restored, but with most of the central tooling on the boards still clear. Text in very good condition, with only a couple marginal water stains and some minor thumbing.
Bird 1910; Moreau III, 1078; USTC 145768; not in Adams; BMC French; Durling; Hunt; Wellcome.
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Related Subjects:

Early printing & manuscripts  >  Art History & Literature | Medicine & Pharmacy | Natural History & Science
Literature & linguistics  >  Greek & Roman Classics
Natural history  >  Botany (General) | Zoology (General incl. Faunas)
Science & technology  >  Astronomy & Mathematics | Mineralogy & Gems