4to, pp. 40; printer’s device on title, one large and several 5-line finely engraved initials, some criblé, some historiated, some grotesque; a very good copy in modern marbled boards, the manuscript ownership inscription of Cardinal Altemps (1561-1595) on the title-page.
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Iacobi Blanchoni ucessiensis adversus Ludovicum beneventanum abbatem selestensem defensionum liber.
First edition of a very rare work of sixteenth-century Lyonnese Neoplatonism, an elegantly-printed de Tournes edition. Ostensibly a simple series of remarks against the theses of the (presumably sternly Scholastic) abbot of Selestan, this is a tract of Renaissance moral philosophy. The theme of dignitas hominis concentrated the philosophical efforts of several Lyonnese men of letters inspired by Ficino and Pico della Mirandola. Like Charles de Bovelles and P. Boaistuau, Jacques Blanchon systematically harmonizes Aristotle’s philosophy and science with the hermetic thought associated with the writings of Hermes Trismegistus.
Anticipating Charron and Montaigne, Blanchon does not accept demonology and witchcraft, exposing the foolishness of popular beliefs largely on grounds of common sense rather than strict Scholastic rationalism. Further chapters address ideas and knowledge, nature, the soul, the impact of need on morality, human freedom from predestinations and from the stars, and some false etymologies. Blanchon was also the author of a tract ‘De summo hominis bono’ published in the same year.
Adams B2099. Rare: two locations in the UK (Cambridge and St. Andrews), one in the US (Newberry), one in France (BNF) and two in Switzerland (Basel and Bern).
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GETTING INTO A STORM WITH STURM PAPPUS, Johannes.
Defensiones duae, quibus D. Ioannis Sturmii rectoris Antipappis duobus respondetur, Maiori, & Epitomico. De charitate, et condemnatione Christiana, secunda. De libro concordiae, et de confessione ecclesiae Argentinensis, tertia.
Rare first edition of Pappus’s most important work in his pamphlet war with Johannes Sturm over the Lutheran Formula of Concord and its imposition in Strasburg. Pappus (1549-1610) studied in Tübingen and Basel before becoming professor of Hebrew and then of history at Strasburg. In 1578 he was appointed professor of theology and pastor of Strasburg minster. His advocacy for the Lutheran confession over the Tetrapolitan brought him into a long-running conflict with Johannes Sturm (1507-89), beginning with Sturm’s 1578 Antipappus to which the Defensiones duae was Pappus’s reply. The dispute ended in 1581 when Pappus succeeded as head of the church in Strasburg after the death of Johann Marbach and promptly suppressed the remnants of Reformed practice and enforced Lutheranism.
VD16 P327. Rare: Worldcat records only three copies in the UK and the US (Oxford, Harvard, Luther Seminary).
EUROPE’S FIRST MAJOR STOCK MARKET BOOM AND COLLAPSE [LAW, John].
Extrait du registre de la Compe. des Indes aujourduy 22 feurier 1720 [and copies of other items relating to Law’s Mississippi System].
A contemporary manuscript by an anonymous copyist reproducing some of the key documents surrounding John Law’s Mississippi system and the Visa instituted following its collapse. In just four years, Law completely transformed the French monetary system to a paper money/bank credit system and substituted shares in the Compagnie des Indes (the Mississippi Company) for the national debt. Having won great personal wealth and risen to the position of France’s finance minister, Law was forced to leave France in December 1720 following the collapse of his system.