Phaenomena et Prognostica ... C. Iulii Hygini Astronomicon. Cologne: for Theodorus Graminaeus, 1569
Folio (11⅞ x 7¼ in.; 302 x 184 mm). Woodcut printers device on title and verso of last leaf, 41 astronomical woodcuts and 7 allegorical planetary woodcuts; some light browning, heavier on a few leaves, some occasional spotting, with dampstains in upper gutter margin and in the lower margin of the last few quires. Seventeenth century red morocco, gilt roll-tooled frame with floral stamps at four corners, spine gilt, gold-stamped supralibros of Don Ramiro Núnez de Guzmán, Duke of Medina de las Torres, impaled with those of his second wife Anna Carafa Aldobrandini, Princess of Stigliano and Duchess of Sabbionetta, surrounded by acrostic inscription, in center of lower cover the same shield containing an emblematic device of a flower under stars and the legend "Revoluta Foecundant," all edges gilt; rebacked with most of original spine laid down, endpapers renewed with old paper, a few small dark stains on covers, some cracking in leather of lower cover.
Adams A-1518; VD16 A3200; Zinner 2476
First use of these illustrations which are unique to this edition.
The 41 constellation woodcuts are based on charts of Albrecht Dürer (1515) but include details lacking in that source. The constellations are depicted as they would appear on a globe, with the figures seen from the rear, and the circles (the Tropics, the equinox and solstice) depicted and coded to the commentary. The stars, which are of magnitudes 1 to 6, are identified with arabic numerals corresponding to positions in the Ptolemaic catalog, and in some cases have been corrected from that source.
The Greek poet Aratus of Soli (c. 315-245 BC) wrote the Phaenomena as a versification of a lost prose treatise by his contemporary Eudoxus of Cnidus, giving a detailed description of the configurations and positions of the constellations. Aratus follows this with a section on weather prognostication, erroneously given the separate title Diosemeia. The text of this edition first appeared in the Paris 1559 edition of Guillaume Morel, who included commentaries by the Roman authors Cicero, Rufius Festus Avienus and Germanicus Caesar. Theodorus Graminaeus (Dieter Gras), who was a professor of astronomy and mapmaker in Cologne, added illustrations of the constellations, his own commentary and a new section on the planets with seven allegorical woodcuts. His preface, addressed to the university senate, extols the virtues of the liberal arts and his role as a publisher in promoting them.
Don Ramiro Núnez de Guzmán (d. 1688) was the son-in-law of the Conde-Duque de Olivares by his first marriage to Donna Maria, Marquesa de Heliche. He served as Viceroy of Naples from 1638-1644. He owned a large and important library with over 430 manuscripts and over 4500 printed books, all uniformly bound in red morocco with his coat of arms impaled with those of his second wife.
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