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Prodigiorum ac ostentorum chronicon. Quae - LYCOSTHENES, Conradus. [WOLFFHART, C - 1557. [1279006]
Basel: Henricus Petri, 1557. 1st Edition. Hardcover. Folio - over 12 - 15" tall. Folio (285 x 194 mm). [12], 670, [2] pp. Signatures: a4 b2 A6 B-C4 D-Z6 Aa-Zz6 AA-II6 KK4 LL6. Errata, colophon and woodcut printer's device on final leaf LL6. About 1500 woodcut illustrations and repeats, several by H.R. Manuel Deutsch and David Kandel. Contemporary half vellum, spine with 3 raised bands, ink lettered in first compartment (binding soiled, boards and extremities somewhat worn, corners scuffed and bumped). Text little browned throughout, occasional minor spotting, little dampstaining to blank margins of few pages. About 6 pages with ink-cancelled text lines. Provenance: Joseph Aino(?) (illegible signature to title-page). A very good unsophisticated copy in an untouched binding. ----Thorndike VI, 489; Adams W-250; Durling, NLM, 2878; Wellcome I, 3917; Zinner, Geschichte und Bibliographie der Astronomischen Literatur 2177; Ackermann I, 565. - FIRST EDITION of an exhaustive anthology of monsters, prodigies and portents, copiously illustrated. In 1552 Lycosthenes published the first separate edition of Julius Obsequens, a Latin writer on prodigies. The publication was a success, and so, he undertook the present work. He believed that prodigies or portents had a religious significance and that they show "God's anger and severity towards crimes, and fortell great changes in the world". He admits that such occurrences often had natural causes, but that God was ultimately in control. His work of 1557 is arranged in a chronological order. It begins with the serpent talking to Adam and Eve and goes through to the year of publication.The woodcuts demonstrate land- and see monsters, siamese twins, meteorite falls such as the Ensisheim fall in 1492, hailstorms, shower of stones by volcanic eruptions, destroyed towns by earthquakes, plagues of locusts, comets and solar- and lunar eclipses. The illustration on p. 494, resembling a spaceship sighted in Arabia in 1479, is considered to be the earliest depiction of a UFO. The work was also published the same year in German. "Das Wunderbuch erzählt von merkwürdigen Ereignissen jeder Art und gibt, wie kaum ein zweites seiner Zeit, ein Bild des mittelalterlichen Aberglaubens. Ausser unzähligen Missgeburten, die noch Paré zum 19. Buche seiner Opera als Vorbild dienten, werden durch die Fülle der Holzschnitte (wohl mehr als 2000, inkl. Wdh.) dargestellt: Erdbeben, Steinregen, Folterungen, Goldregen, Land - und Seeungeheuer, Menschenfresser, Sonnen - und Mondfinsternisse, Epidemien usw. Vielleicht das am reichsten illustrierte Buch jener Zeit" (Ackermann). Very Good....
      [Bookseller: Milestones of Science Books]
Last Found On: 2016-12-01           Check availability:      Direct From Bookseller    

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