Lot 535
  • 535


1,500 - 2,000 GBP
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  • Hoc in volumine haec continentur: M. Val. Probus de notis Roma… Petrus Diaconus de eadem re… Demetrius Alabaldus de minutiis… Ven. Beda De computo per gestum digitorum [etc.]. Venice: Giovanni Tacuino, 1525
5 parts in one volume, 4to (216 x 148mm.), title printed in red and black, full page woodcut of a sibyl standing beneath an arch, contemporary blind-stamped pigskin over wooden boards, two clasps, modern folding cloth box, binding lacks catches


Biblioteca degli Israeliti di Mantova, inkstamps; bought from Gilhofer & Ranschburg, Lucerne, 1989


Tomash & Williams A54, B121, P57, P115; Edit16 34902; Sander 5902; Smith, Rara arithmetica, 140n; USTC 851407

Catalogue Note

This volume contains the FIRST PRINTING OF BEDE’S COMPUTUS. “Bede documented the medieval form of hand gestures known as finger numerals, and his is the first printed record we have of them. Bede’s description is short and contains no diagrams. It simply lists the finger positions used to represent integers from 1-9,999 and adds a very short remark on the Greek alphabetic number system” (Tomash & Williams).

The other treatises deal with weights and measures, and listings of the abbreviations used in Roman official and legal writings among other things.