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Historia Naturalis [Italian]. Tr. Christoforus - Plinius Secundus, Gaius - 1476. 
Nicolaus Jenson, 1476. Royal folio (345x230 mm). 413 ll. (of 415, first and last blanks replaced with ancient paper). Contemporary richly blind- tooled calf on pasteboards. Wide-margined copy in very good condition. The first edition ever printed in any modern language of the monumental compilation by Pliny the Elder (see item A), a source of upmost importance for the conception of natural phenomena - such as earthquakes, volcanoes, whirlwinds, thunders and lightnings - in the first century AD. Large used in Antiquity and Middle Ages, the Historia Naturalis was one of the earliest Latin texts to be printed. ?Pliny?s purpose [?] was to survey the universe and the natural objects that populate it. He devoted seventy-two pages (in a modern English translation) simply to a list of the contents of the Natural History and the authorities consulted. Among the subjects treated were cosmology, astronomy, geography, anthropology, zoology, botany, and mineralogy. Pliny had a flair for picking out matters of unusual interest, and he has often been described primarily as a purveyor of marvels. To be sure, natural marvels are not scarce in the pages of the Natural History. Pliny reported a series of celestial portents (including multiple suns and moons), thunderbolts called forth for prayers and rituals, the greatest earthquake in human memory (which demolished twelve cities in Asia) [?]? (D.C. Lindberg, The Beginning of Western Science, p. 140).
[Bookseller: Libreria Antiquaria Pregliasco]
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