Woodcut printer’s device on title. 4 p.l., 400 pp. Small thick 8vo, cont. richly blindstamped pigskin over wooden boards, one of the stamps with “H M” with the date “160[?]”, two catches & one (of two) clasps. Hanau: G. Antonius, 1607.
THEODORICUS, Sebastianus. Novae Quaestiones Sphaericae, hoc est, de Circulis Coelestibus & primo mobili, in gratiam studiosae juventutis scriptae. Woodcut on title, numerous astronomical woodcuts in the text, three folding printed tables, & one large woodcut plate. 8 p.l. (the last a blank), 320 pp. Small 8vo. Wittenberg: L. Seuberlich for S. Selfisch, 1605.
LEMNIUS, Levinus. De Astrologia Liber unus… Woodcut printer’s device on title. 5 p.l., 25 leaves, 2 blank leaves. Small 8vo (light browning). Jena: T. Steinmann, 1587.
A pleasant sammelband of three noteworthy textbooks in a most attractive contemporary binding.
I. First edition. Keckermann (1573-1609), was a German theologian and philosopher best known for his “analytical method.” He studied at the universities of Wittenberg and Leipzig and became professor of Hebrew at Heidelberg. From 1602 until his death, he served as rector a the gymnasium of Danzig, his native town. This is one of many “systems” or textbooks which he wrote on all aspects of knowledge including logic, politics, economics, science, astronomy, geography, physics, etc.
“Keckermann was one of the earliest Western thinkers to use the term ‘system’ to describe academic treatises; his detailed discussion of the component parts of systematic textbooks appears to be the first of this kind and many have been without parallel during the entire seventeenth century.”–Joseph S. Freedman, “The Career and Writings of Bartholomew Keckermann (d. 1609)” in Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, Vol. 141, No. 3 (1997), pp. 305-64 & A.22 in his bibliography.
WorldCat locates no copy in the U.S.
II. A late edition (1st ed.: 1564) of a very popular textbook on astronomy which was the standard textbook on the subject at the University of Wittenberg for more than fifty years. Theodoricus (1501-78), a native of Windsheim, took his degrees in philosophy and medicine at Wittenberg and became professor of mathematics there. He surely knew Rheticus. ”His own manual of 320 small pages in four parts is arranged in the form of questions and answers, with the former set off in heavy type and with considerable use of the syllogistic form of proof in the answers …He cites Copernicus as well as Ptolemy for the relative magnitudes of earth and sun. He gives Copernicus’s figures for the maximum and minimum declination of the sun, and his estimate that this movement of the ecliptic approaching and receding from the equator is completed in 1717 years…the textbook of Theodoricus…appears to have been inflicted on the students at Wittenberg for several decades, since further editions appeared in 1567, 1570, 1578 and 1605.”–Thorndike, VI, pp. 34-35.
The large woodcut plate contains a number of figures designed to be cut up and used as movable parts on several of the text woodcuts. This is a rather wonderful survival.
WorldCat locates only one copy in the U.S.
III. Second edition (1st ed.: Antwerp: 1554) of the author’s first book. Lemnius (1505-68), studied medicine at the University of Louvain under Vesalius, Dodoens, and Conrad Gesner. He returned to practice in his native city of Zierikzee and had a broad interest in medicine, hygiene, geography, botany, and astrology. He is most famous for his book on the occult miracles of nature.
❧ II. Thorndike, V, 154 & Zinner 4066. III. Lindeboom cols. 1169-70. Zinner 3260.
Item ID: 3423