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Historia de gentibus septentrionalibus, .... sic in epitomen redacta, ut non minus clare quam breviter quicquid apud Septentrionales scitu dignum est, complectatur.Antwerp, Christopher Plantin, 1558. 8vo. With Plantin's woodcut device and 135 fine woodcut illustrations by Arnaud Nicolai in text. Early 17th-century gold-tooled calf, with charming centrepiece on both boards.
Adams O-143; Collijn II, 250; Rooses, Plantin, p. 39; Voet 1811 (variant A). First edition of the abridged version of the first important history of the Nordic countries originally published in Rome in 1555. Magnus describes the history, customs and folklore of Scandinavia, Iceland and Greenland, but also deals with mining and metallurgy, military subjects and natural history with a large part devoted to fish, fishery and whaling. Three "truths" feature heavily in the account: the region is the cradle of warfare, the haunt of demons and the realm of cold. Would-be invaders are warned that ice, snow and cold have produced a hardy people, distinguished by their courage, strength and bravery. As the book would remain an authority for centuries, Magnus's book played an important part in establishing the stereotypes of the Nordic countries as cold and barren, with a rugged coast guarded by maelstroms and sea monsters.The present abridgement was compiled by Cornelius Grapheus, an Antwerp town clerk and, according to the introduction, judged by Plantin to be of interest for publication. The numerous woodcuts are reduced copies of the illustrations in the original 1555-edition.Olaus Magnus (1490-1557) was a Swedish writer and ecclesiastical. Being the younger brother of the Archbishop of Uppsala, he obtained several ecclesiastical preferments and was employed on various diplomatic missions. His Historia de gentibus septentrionalibus was intended as an extended commentary on one of the earliest maps of the Nordic countries, created by Magnus and published in 1539. All of this work was based on a journey to Norrland in 1518-1519 during which Magnus also visited Nidaros (modern Trondheim).With a skilfully executed small restoration to top of spine, some scratches on sides, binding otherwise good. Internally in very good condition, only some small restored tears in the title-page and some occasional, very minor foxing along the extremities.
      [Bookseller: ASHER Rare Books (Since 1830)]
Last Found On: 2017-09-01           Check availability:      NVvA    

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