In astrologos coniectores libri quinque … Nunc primum prodit [sic] in lucem. Cum indicibus pernecessariis, iisque copiosissimis.

Lyons, Horace Cardon, 1615.

4to, pp. [xxviii], 351, [33 (index)]; title in red and black with woodcut device, woodcut initials, head- and tailpieces, woodcut diagrams to pp. 250, 259, and 260; some light foxing and toning, a few marginal paperflaws; very good in contemporary limp vellum; some stains and creasing to covers, lacking ties; inscribed at foot of title ‘Ex dono Horatii Cardon’, old circular ink stamp to margins of title-page and p. 1 ‘Biblioth. chret. pub. et gratuite à Grenoble'.


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In astrologos coniectores libri quinque … Nunc primum prodit [sic] in lucem. Cum indicibus pernecessariis, iisque copiosissimis.

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First edition of this thorough attack on astrology by degli Angeli (1542–1620), head of the Jesuit college at Rome, this copy with a presentation inscription by the Lyons publisher and printer Horace Cardon (1566–1641).

Targeted in particular at Gerolamo Cardano (1501–1576), In astrologos is divided into five books, the first three of which examine the alleged influence of the heavens on the terrestrial world, on conception and the foetus, and on birth and delivery. Along the way degli Angeli ridicules the attribution of marvellous events or monstrous births to the stars, dismisses the distribution of the parts of the body under the twelve zodiacal signs as mere fable, and argues that the human mind and will are free. In the fourth book ‘astrology is attacked through its own tenets … De Angelis is indignant that astrologers predict concerning the pope and that Christians listen to them. Indeed, they can deduce nothing from the stars concerning future honors, prosperity and adversity, or life and death’ (Thorndike). In the fifth and final book, he cites various Church Fathers and notes dissensions among astrologers themselves. A second edition was published at Rome later the same year.

Provenance: Given to an unknown recipient by the printer and publisher Horace Cardon. A native of the Italian city of Lucca, Cardon moved to Lyons as a child with his father, a silk worker. He became a significant figure in both Lyonnais publishing and politics, and was ennobled by Henri IV. With the ink stamp of the ‘Christian, public and free library at Grenoble’ (trans.), with its motto ‘Pharmaca animae’ (medicine of the soul), founded in 1818 and operational until c. 1830.

Sommervogel I, 387; USTC 4022052; Wellcome I, 313. See Thorndike, A History of Magic and experimental Science VI, pp. 202–204.

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