Monday, December 27, 2010

Interesting Antiquarian Books - including Medieval Music


POPE, Alexander. Essay on Man. In Epistles to a Friend. Epistle I. Corrected by the Author. London: J. Wilford , 1733.

The four epistles of the Essay on Man were published successively on February 20, March 29, May 8, 1733 and finally on January 24, 1734. The first editions of the first three Epistles appear in variant states, the priority of which is not always clear, but none of which are of significance textually (except Griffith's issue "I" of Epistle I, which Pope revised).

The 'friend' to whom the Epistles were addressed was Henry St. John, Lord Bolingbroke. But this poem was not simply a statement of Bolingbroke's deistic philosophy. It has been referred to as 'a public, social and classical poem', a poem that takes into account Newton's impersonal universe but also interweaves a 'tissue of images from older and more human conceptions' (M. Mack, Works, Vol. III) and which examines the human condition against a Miltonic, cosmic bacground. Although Pope's perspective is well above our everyday life, and he does not hide his wide knowledge, the work is suggestive, dramatic, exciting, and sometimes even comfortably concrete: "Each beast, each insect, happy in its own: / Is Heaven unkind to Man, and Man alone?"

Pope died on May 30, 1744. He left his property to Martha Blount. With the growth of Romanticism Pope's poetry was increasingly seen as outdated and the 'Age of Pope' ended. It was not until 1930s when serious attempt was made to rediscover the poet's work.

Cabbalistic and Theosophicum 1760

Music Scores

berkeley music library

Thesaurus musicus, being a collection of the newest songs, with a thorow-bass to each song for the harpsichord, theorbo, or bass-viol, to which is annexed a collection of aires, composed for two flute.
(London: J. Heptinstall, 1693-96)

The Berkeley Theory Manuscript, (Jan 12, 1375)

Libro Sexto QVE Diego Pisador (b. 1510).
Libro de musica de vihuela (Salamanca: 1552)


Albertus Magnus and Michael Scot, De Secretis Mulierum 1702
This volume also included Michael Scot’s De Secretis Nature

A classic compilation on magical secrets in this case on the secrets of women and the secrets of nature, two texts which were among the most sought after in the 15th and 16th centuries. The content of the two works especially focus on women and childbirth, charms, advice and recipes for all sorts of occasions, magical cures for men and beasts, etc. Both authors derive much of their learning from a wide range of Classical and Mediaeval scientific and magical sources, such as Aristotle, Hermes, Galen, Albertus Magnus and his pupil Henry of Saxony. Together they constitute an exhaustive collection of secret knowledge related to the Grimoire tradition.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Oldest surviving Ethiopian Gospels now being studied

Garima Gospels

Radiocarbon testing has revealed that a pair of illustrated gospels kept in a remote monastery in Ethiopia may have been made as early as the 4th century and are perhaps the oldest surviving illustrated Christian works in existence. The Garima Gospels were first reported on in the 1950s, but it has only been within the last couple of years that scholars have been able to examine the work and help conserve it.

In 2006 the British-based Ethiopian Heritage Fund began a project to examine the Garima Gospels, which have been kept at the Monastery of Abba Garima in northern Ethiopia for hundreds of years. Scholars were allowed to take two parchment fragments from the manuscripts, and testing at Oxford University revealed that they date back to somewhere between 330 and 650 AD. It had previously been believed that the texts were no older than the twelfth century. According to legend, the manuscripts were brought to Ethiopia from Constantinople by Abba Garima in the year 494.

Jacques Mercier, a French specialist in Ethiopian art, believes that the manuscripts may have been created around 600. Both of them contain several pages of vivid illustrations typical of early Byzantine style, which include a depiction of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, a portrait of Saint Luke, and images of over twenty different birds.

Michelle Brown, a former British Library curator, tells the Art Newspaper that, “the Garima Gospels case vital light upon early Christian illuminated manuscript production and upon the role of sub-Saharan Africa…It is the sort of model the inspired such vibrant later Ethiopic art and is an important witness to the way in which the churches of the Christian Orient both absorbed the courtly Christian culture of Constantinople and developed their own voices and styles.”

The texts also received some conservation work, which was done in the monastery, as the texts were not allowed to leave its premises. Blair Priday of the Ethiopian Heritage Fund explained to the Daily Mail, “all the work on the texts was done in situ and everything is reversible, so if in future they can be taken away for further conservation we won’t have hindered that. The pages had been crudely stitched together in a restoration in the 1960s and some of the pages wouldn’t even turn. And they were falling to pieces. The Garima Gospels have been kept high and dry which has helped preserve them all these years and they are kept in the dark so the colours look fresh.”

The Ethiopian Heritage Fund was established in 2005 to undertake conservation of manuscripts and paintings in churches. They have worked on other medieval treasures, including two 15th century paintings of St. Mary. Priday added: ‘Ethiopia has been overlooked as a source of these fantastic things. Many of these old Christian relics can only be reached by hiking and climbing to remote monasteries as roads are limited in these mountainous regions.”

Discovery of Earliest Illuminated Manuscript - June 2010

Extreme Bookbinding - A Fascinating Preservation Project in Ethiopia - 2008

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Various Old and Ancient Books - Part 6

The Comedies of Terence 1765

Treasure of Traffick 1641

Institutions of Christian Religion by John Calvin 1536

Lady Elizabeth Carew
The Tragedie of Mariam, The Faire Queene of Jewry. 1613
Written by that learned, vertuous, and truly noble Ladie, E. C.
London: Printed by Thomas Creede, for Richard Hawkins,

Elizabeth Carew, viscountess of Falkland, wrote The Tragedie of Mariam not for public performance, but for reading or private presentation. It was printed in this first edition by Thomas Creede, who printed the second “Newly corrected” quarto edition of Romeo and Juliet in 1599 and other Shakespeare plays. This is the first published play by an Englishwoman.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Banned Books Exihibition

And now for something a little different....

This is a new Banned Books Exihibition that has been put online.

It comes from the University of Otago.

Otago is a province in the South Island of New Zealand.

This is the PDF Poster


Monday, March 8, 2010

Various Old and Ancient Books - Part 5

A Set of Fifty New and Correct Maps of England and Wales by Herman Moll, 1724
Herman Moll (c1654-1732) was a German emigre (though some references say Dutch) who came to London about in or before 1678 and worked as an engraver. He later set up his own firm and became, around 1700, the foremost map publisher in London. He often complained that other publishers copied his work.

An authentic 14th century church book of early music

Metamorphoses by Ovid
French edition published 1702
English edition published 1632 by John Lichfield at Oxford
Read Metamorphoses

The Metamorphoses by the Roman poet Ovid is a narrative poem in fifteen books that describes the creation and history of the world. Completed in 8 AD, it has remained one of the most popular works of mythology, being the Classical work best known to medieval writers and thus having a great deal of influence on medieval poetry.

Manual of Agriculture, Paris 1764

Leaf from a Manichaean Book
Manichaean priests, writing at their desks, with panel inscription in Uighur (Language)
Manuscript from Khocho, Tarim Basin, Western China
8th/9th century AD.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Various Old and Ancient Books - Part 4

Anglican Liturgie in French 1764

Leonardo Da Vinci's original notebook - he wrote in mirror writing.

Leo Africanus 1632

La Graunde Abridgement 1565

September 21, 2006
The oldest book in South Texas College of Law’s Fred Parks Library now dates back to the year 1565. The new acquisition is La Graunde Abridgement by Sir Anthony Fitzherbert.

The massive book, written in Latin, is a compilation of over 14,000 decisions that are the foundation for early English law. English law is grounded in common law, meaning that precedent guided judicial decisions, and this tome was the first thorough attempt made in the 1500's to create a summary of law providing attorneys with a resource for researching past rulings.

This edition of La Graunde Abridgement is from the second printing of the book in 1565. The first edition was printed in 1516. The author, Fitzherbert, was a Judge of Common Pleas in England.


Index to King James Bible 1615

King James New Testament 1611

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Various Old and Ancient books - Part 3

More old and ancient books from my Hard Drive.

Institutions of Christian Religion by John Calvin 1536
History and details of Institutions

Horace (Quintus Horatius Flaccus) (65-8 BC)
Horace. Opera cum Commentariis. Commentary by Badius Jodocus Ascensius and Antonio Mancinelli (Paris: Badius Jodocus Ascensius, 1516).

Homer Virgil Treatise 1695
Le Bossu, R., A. Dacier, et al. (1695). Monsieur Bossu's Treatise of the epick poem : containing many curious reflexions, very useful and necessary for the right understanding and judging of the excellencies of Homer and Virgil. London, Printed for Tho(mas). Bonnet.

The Hawley Book of Hours 1450
South Netherlands Book of Hours
The Hawley Hours (Misc. Ms. 146)
A Fine Illuminated South Netherlands Book of Hours in the Dutch translation ascribed to Gerardus Groot (Gerdde Groot).

Book of Hours
What, when, where, who, why and how.

Gibril ibn Bakhtyshu 1061 CE

Jabril ibn Bakhtyshu - Grandson of Jirjis ibn Jibril, second half of eighth century; physician to Ja'far the Barmakide, then in 805-6 to Harun al-Rashid and later to al-Ma'mun; died in 828-29; buried in the monastery of St. Sergios in Madain (Ctesiphon). Christian (Nestorian) physician, who wrote various medical works and exerted much influence upon the progress of science in Baghdad. He was the most prominent member of the famous Bakhtyashu family. He took pains to obtain Greek medical manuscripts and patronized the translators.
History of Islamic Science

Friday, February 19, 2010

Various old and ancient Books Part 2

The Geneva Bible 1603 (LARGE FILE)

Francis Bacon - Natural History - 1627

Euripides Greek 1778

Dell Opere 1710

Erasmus Latin New Testament

Erasmus Adagia First Edition 1500

Monday, February 15, 2010

Various old and ancient books

These are some ancient books saved to the My Picture file that have not been posted yet.

The Defence of Trade 1615 by Dudley Digges
Sir Dudley Digges (Digges Court, Barham, Kent, 19 May c. 1583 – 18 March 1639), of Chilham Castle, Kent (which he completed in 1616), was a Member of Parliament, elected to the Parliament of 1614 [1] and that of 1621, and also a "Virginia adventurer," an investor who ventured his capital in the Virginia Company of London. Among the "planters," who emigrated in the 1640s, was Digges's son Edward, who became Governor of Virginia.

Dudley Digges published several political and economic works, The Worthiness of Warre and Warriors (1604), The Defence of Trade (1615), Rights and Privileges of the Subject (1642), and, posthumously, The Compleat Ambassador: or Two Treaties of the Intended Marriage of Qu. Elizabeth of Glorious Memory (1655), a notable study of the two French marriage embassies, of Anjou and of Alençon, which revealed in unprecedented fashion the official despatches and correspondence and is a landmark in English historiography.

Codex Aureus 8th Century Viking (Note - This is a LARGE FILE)

This is a mid-ninth-century inscription, on folio 11 of the Codex Aureus ('Golden Book'), a copy of the Latin Gospels now in Sweden, in the Royal Library at Stockholm (Stockholm, Kungliga Biblioteket, MS A. 135). It records the presentation of the book to the monastic community of Christ Church, Canterbury. The inscription runs along the top margin, and is continued at the foot of the page.

Johannes Capreolus
Jean Capréolus (also, Joannes or John Capreolus) (born c. 1380 in the diocese of Rodez, France; died in that city 6 April 1444) was a French Dominican theologian and Thomist. He is sometimes known as the Prince of the Thomists. His Four Books of Defenses of the Theology of St. Thomas Aquinas sparked a revival in Thomism.

Only scanty details of his personal history are known. He was a Dominican affiliated to the province of Toulouse, and a general chapter of his order at Poitiers in 1407 assigned him to lecture on The Sentences in the University of Paris.

Bartholomaeus Anglicus (Bartholomew of England) (born before 1203–died 1272) was an early 13th-century scholastic scholar of Paris, a member of the Franciscan order. He was the author of On the Properties of Things (De proprietatibus rerum), dated at 1240, an early forerunner of the encyclopedia. Anglicus also held senior positions within the church and was appointed Bishop of Łuków although he wasn't consecrated to that position.

Angleterre Parliament 1748

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Piers Plowman

Piers Plowman (written ca. 1360–1387) or Visio Willelmi de Petro Ploughman (William's Vision of Piers Plowman) is the title of a Middle English allegorical narrative poem by William Langland. It is written in unrhymed alliterative verse divided into sections called "passus" (Latin for "step").

Piers is considered by many critics to be one of the early great works of English literature along with Chaucer's Canterbury Tales and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight during the Middle Ages.

It is commonly accepted that Piers Plowman was written by William Langland, about whom little is known. This attribution of the poem to Langland rests principally on the evidence of an early-fifteenth-century manuscript of the C-text (see below) of Piers held at Trinity College, Dublin (MS 212), which ascribes the work to one 'Willielmus de Langlond'.

However a new theory about the authorship has been put forward. That the author of Piers Plowman was actually the Bishop of Exeter in Devon - by the name of John Grandisson (1328-1369). John Grandisson also founded The Kings School in a town not far from Exeter called Ottery St Mary.

Friday, February 12, 2010

The Bay Psalm Book

The Bay Psalm Book
First Book ever to be printed in the United States of America
Published by Stephen Day
Cambridge Massachusetts 1640

The oldest surviving book printed in what became the United States is, as is widely known, The Whole Booke of Psalmes, a.k.a the Bay Psalm Book. Eleven copies of it are known to exist. People get excited about it; they want to come and see it. It's American. It's really old, it's historic and it's part of America's history.

Bay Psalm Book - showing Psalms

Comedies and Tragedies of Beaumont and Fletcher
Francis Beaumont & John Fletcher
Never Printed Before
London 1647

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

After a long break.....

Nieuhoff, Johannes. 1763
An EMBASSY from the East-India Company of the UNITED PROVINCES, to the Grand Tartar Cham emperor of CHINA, deliver'd by their Excellencies Peter de Goyer and Jacob de Keyzer, at His Imperial City of PEKING. Wherein the cities, towns, villages, ports, rivers, &c. in their passages from CANTON to PEKING, are ingeniously describ'd, by Mr. John Nieuhoff, steward to the AMBASSADORS.

Also an epistle of Father John Adams their autagonist, concerning the whole Negotiations. With an appendix of several remarks taken out of Father Athanasius Kircher, English'd, and set forth with their several Scolptures, By John Ogilby Esq. His Majesties cartographer, geographical printer and maker of the rolls in the Kingdom of Ireland. The second edition. London. 1673.

Folio, 431 p. (28x42 cm.) 2 page map of China, 2 page plan of Canton, 46 engr. plates

Letters to a Married Woman 1792

Mona Antiqua Restaurata

An Archaeological Discourse on the ANTIQUITIES, Natural and Historical, of the ISLE of ANGLESEY. The Ancient Seat of the British Druids.

In Two Essays.

With an APPENDIX containing a Comparative Table of ?? words and Derivatives of them in several tongues of Europe with remarks upon them.

Together with some LETTERS and Three CATALOGUES added thereunso

1 Of the Members of Parliament from the County of Anglesey
2 Of the High Sheriffs and
3 Of the Beneficed Clergy thereof

By HENRY ROWLANDS vicar of Llanjdam in the Isle of Anglesey.

Printed by AARON M?? for ROBERT OWEN Bookseller in ??
MDCCXXll (1722)


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I love books, I love reading them, I love owning them. I love History and Maps, Genealogy, Archaeology, and Sci Fi (Star Trek & Stargate) and Biographies.