Computus ecclesiasticus et astronomicus ... noviter impressum.

[Colophon:] Venice, Bernardino Vitali, 17 February 1501.

4to, ff. [11], [1 (blank)]; woodcut device to title, woodcut initials; one small wormhole (touching only a few letters), some light foxing; very good in modern half vellum, grey paper sides, spine lettered in ink; marginal annotations in sixteenth-century hand (trimmed), marginal ink stamp to title (erased).


US $5954€5263

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Rare first edition, the Erwin Tomash copy. ‘Arnald of Villanova ... was born either in Villa Nova (Spain) or Villeneuve (France). He died in a shipwreck in 1314. He lectured on philosophy and medicine in both Barcelona and Paris but is known chiefly for his large number of works on alchemy. Despite the fact that the title page declares this to be a new edition, no earlier printed versions are known ... The work is strictly a computus and covers only calendar computations (epact, golden number, etc.) and does not directly address arithmetical calculation. In keeping with the time in which it was written, it uses only Roman numerals’ (Erwin Tomash Library). ‘A good example of the works on the ecclesiastical calendar in use in the Middle Ages’ (Smith, p. 74.).

Provenance: the numerous marginalia show a close analysis of the text by a near contemporary reader. From the library of Erwin Tomash (1921–2012), known for his early pioneering work with computer equipment peripherals, for establishing the Charles Babbage Institute, and for his outstanding library on the history of computing.

Library Hub (Copac) finds two copies only (Cambridge and Glasgow); OCLC finds only one in the US (Smith College).

EDIT 16 12938; Palau 365596; Sander 609; Tomash & Williams A97; USTC 801626.

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