Thesaurus artificiosae memoriae, concionatoribus, philosophis, medicis, iuristis, oratoribus, procuratoribus, caeterisque; bonarum litterarum amatoribus: negociatoribus insuper, aliisque; similibus, tenacem, ac firmam rerum memoriam cupientibus, perutilis ...

Venice, Antonius Paduanius, 1579.

4to, ff. [xvi], 145, [1], with printer’s device on title, large folding woodcut table, two woodcut plates, and many full-page woodcuts in text; a little light browning, but a beautiful copy in contemporary limp vellum.

£2250

Approximately:
US $2946€2492

Make an enquiry

Added to your basket:
Thesaurus artificiosae memoriae, concionatoribus, philosophis, medicis, iuristis, oratoribus, procuratoribus, caeterisque; bonarum litterarum amatoribus: negociatoribus insuper, aliisque; similibus, tenacem, ac firmam rerum memoriam cupientibus, perutilis ...

Checkout now

an unusually well preserved copy of the first edition of one of the principal texts of the dominican art of memory.

Frances Yates writes that the Dominican tradition, originating from the scholastic emphasis on memory, is the most important in the history of the art of memory. ‘The Dominicans were naturally at the centre of this tradition, and in Johannes Romberch, a German, and Cosmas Rosselius, a Florentine, we have two Dominicans who wrote books on memory, small in format but packed with detail, apparently intended to make the Dominican art of memory generally known’ (Yates p. 114).

‘[In Rossellius’ work] the Dantesque type is given great prominence. Rossellius divides Hell into eleven places, as illustrated in his diagram of Hell as a memory place system ... Rossellius also envisages the constellations as memory place systems, of course mentioning Metrodorus of Scepsis in connection with the zodiacal place system. A feature of Rossellius’ book are the mnemonic verses given to help memorise orders of places, whether orders of places in Hell, or the order of the signs of the zodiac. These verses are by a fellow Dominican who is also an Inquisitor. These “carmina” by an Inquisitor give an impressive air of great orthodoxy to the artificial memory. ‘Rossellius describes the making of “real” places in abbeys, churches and the like. And discusses human images as places on which subsidiary images are to be remembered’ (ibid. p. 122).

This work also contains the first finger alphabet to appear in a book (see Volkmann, Ars memorativa, p. 170). ‘Rosselli gives instructions on how to position the fingers in order to make the individual letters ... The finger alphabet has obvious advantages, such as allowing one to construct a list of persons, things, or ideas to be remembered by actually making and repeating the letters on the hand in a familiar order. Once learned this system is a readily available reminder valuable in preaching sermons and allied activities ... Rosselli’s finger alphabet ... not only continues the mnemonic tradition but also suggests further development of the fingers and the hand as an instrument of visual communication, allied with, but effective as a substitute for oral and written language’ (Claire Richter Sherman, Writing on Hands. Memory and Knowledge in Early Modern Europe, 52).

Adams R803; Durling 3947; Wellcome 5572; Young p. 306.

S829

You may also be interested in...

MATTIOLI, Pietro Andrea, and Francesco CALZOLARI.

Compendium de plantis omnibus, una cum earum iconibus, de quibus scripsit suis in commentariis in dioscoridem editis, in eorum studiosorum commodum, atque usum, qui plantis conquirendis, ac indagandis student; accessit praeterea ad calcem opusculum de itinere, quo e Verona in Baldum montem plantarum refertissimum itur, iisdem studiosis utilissimum.

First edition of this scarce digest of Matthioli’s commentaries on Dioscorides’s Materia medica. A heavily illustrated compendium drawn from the author’s earlier Commentarii (Venice, 1554), the Compendium offers a practical enchiridion to medicinal botany, with almost one thousand entries containing detailed woodcuts and notes on the form, location, and uses of each plant.

Read more

A WONDER WORM MARINIS, Dominico de.

Dissertatio philosophico-medica de re monstrosa à Capuccino Pisauri per urinam excreta. Plura de sanguinis grumis, polypis, serpentibus, ac praecipuè de vermibus in corpore humano procreatis non iniucunda complectens ...

First edition of this scarce dissertation on worms focussing on the extraordinary case of a capuchin preacher from Pesaro who in 1677 passed a ‘monster’ worm in his urine, which upon subsequent examination was declared to be a serpent. The Dissertatio begins with a prefatory letter in Italian by Alessandro Cocci discussing the case of the capuchin friar Stefano da Cammerino who for 13 months had suffered from kidney pains and bloody and lumpy urine. Following treatment by Cocci and Cesare Cesareo, Cammerino passed, with excruciating pain, a long thin worm through his urinary meatus, initially trying to pull it out, only to break it in two, and then passing the remainder, to his subsequent great relief. The worm caused much local interest and Cocci describes how it was initially put on display to satisfy the curious, before being examined under a microscope. The conclusion of this examination was that the ‘prodigio della natura’ passed by Cammerino was in fact a serpent.

Read more