1. In somnium Scipionis Libri duo: et septem eiusdem libri Saturnaliorum
Macrobius, Ambrosius Theodosius
Cologne: Eucharius Cervicornus, 1521. [5 leaves]. I-CXLVI. Printers mark on Verso
Macrobius wrote his Expositio In Somnium Scipionis ex Cicerone [Commentary on the Dream of Scipio by Cicero] in the early fifth century, basing it on the last part of Cicero’s De Republica, in which the Roman general, Scipio Aemilianus [Africanus the Younger], is transported to the heavens by the spirit of his famous grandfather. From this vantage point he is able to look down upon the earth and he saw the earth’s different climatic zones, from cold at the poles to hot at the equator.. Cicero’s theme is the transience of human glory and the importance of ruling justly, but Macrobius’ lengthy commentary expands on its cosmic vision. One of a group of energetic encyclopaedists of the late empire, Macrobius transmitted to future generations some part of classical science when the original works were lost.
The value of this work lies in the Macrobius world map. Please note that this version is not comparable to the latter maps much reduced in size!
The phantom of Terra Australis, an unknown south-land, haunted the minds and maps of cosmographers for more than two millennia. It was felt that an undiscovered southern continent had to exist because the known land masses of the southern hemisphere were not sufficient to balance those of the northern half of the globe. The notion of such balance is enshrined in the Macrobian world map, first envisioned in the 5th century and presented here in the version from 1521, in a new edition of a fifth-century work by Macrobius. On these maps, the polar extremities are declared frozen (frigida). The southern continent, is called temperata antipodum nobis incognita (“the temperate zone of the Antipodes which is unknown to us”). In the North you can see the mythical Island of Thule also spelled Thula, Thila, or Thyïlea. It played a great role in the imagination of the Nazi’s.
People were convinced that this world “on the other side” would never be known as it lay beyond the impassable ocean, called Aveus oceani, the great boiling sea. It has a hot (perusta) zone and again a cold one. Early Christians found the concept difficult to stomach. If each of these lands were inhabited, how did the descendants of Adam get there? And how was the mission of the apostles, to convert the entire world, feasible? Despite these concerns, Macrobius’ book and map circulated throughout the Middle Ages in hundreds of manuscripts and was a basic text of medieval science
TWO OTHER POST INCUNABULA ARE BOUND IN
2. Auli Gellii noctium atticarum libri undeviginti : cum gratia et privilegio imperiali ad sexennium. Printed in Strassburg 1517. Aedibus Ioannis Knoblouchi, Mense Mario. Anno M.D.XVII. Ductu Matthiæ Shurerij.
[10 leaves] 106 pages [26 leaves].
Attic Nights is, a commonplace book, or compilation of notes on grammar, philosophy, history, antiquarianism and other subjects, preserving fragments of many authors and works who otherwise might be unknown today.
3. M. Fabii Quintiliani Oratoriarum institutionum lib. XII. una cum Declamationibus eiudem argutissimis, ad horrendæ vetustatis exemplar repositis, diligenterque impressis.
Coloniæ in ædibus Eucharii Cervicorni & Heronis Fuchs. Anno virginei partus. M.D.XII. mense martio. (1521). Title in red and black within illustrated border. Many errors in foliation. Dedicatory epistle of the Oratoriarum institutionum lib.XII.
[6 leaves] I-CLIX
Institutio Oratoria (English: Institutes of Oratory) is a twelve-volume textbook on the theory and practice of rhetoric by Roman rhetorician Quintilian. It was published around year 95 CE. The work deals also also with the foundational education and development of the orator himself. read less
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