54
54
Bede (673-735)
DE NATURA RERUM ET TEMPORUM RATIONE LIBRI DUO. NUNC RECENS INVENTI, & IN LUCEM EDITI. BASEL: HENRICPETRI, MARCH 1529
Estimate
1,5002,000
LOT SOLD. 1,875 GBP
JUMP TO LOT
54
Bede (673-735)
DE NATURA RERUM ET TEMPORUM RATIONE LIBRI DUO. NUNC RECENS INVENTI, & IN LUCEM EDITI. BASEL: HENRICPETRI, MARCH 1529
Estimate
1,5002,000
LOT SOLD. 1,875 GBP
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

The Erwin Tomash Library on the History of Computing

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London

Bede (673-735)
DE NATURA RERUM ET TEMPORUM RATIONE LIBRI DUO. NUNC RECENS INVENTI, & IN LUCEM EDITI. BASEL: HENRICPETRI, MARCH 1529
Folio (280 x 194mm.), woodcut initials, later half vellum over blue boards, modern folding box, occasional light staining, binding somewhat worn
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Provenance

"Mallarii", early inscription on title-page with motto in Greek; Bishop's College, Cheshunt (an Anglican theological college which closed in 1968), armorial bookplate dated 1915; bought from Jonathan Hill, New York, 1988

Literature

Tomash & Williams B122; VD16 B1439; USTC 615411; Zinner 1374

Catalogue Note

This volume, edited by Johann Sichardt (1499-1552) from an unknown manuscript, contains two of Bede's works, the first on the nature of things, based on the work of Isidore of Seville, and the second on the reckoning of time. Bede, however, disputed Isidore's traditional chronology, which led to him being accused of heresy for putting the date of Christ's birth in the wrong age. The calculations for the date of Easter had extra significance in England in the seventh century, as the Synod of Whitby had declared that the Celtic Church should follow Roman practice rather than its own traditional dating. "Bede's treatment of Easter brings together the study (one might almost say, the scientific study) of computation with analogical theology, historical learning, and the homiletic use of history. This well illustrates the integrated nature of his superficially diverse works" (J. Campbell, ODNB).

The first chapter of the chronological work, entitled "Book on calculating or speaking with fingers", describes a system of finger reckoning (up to 9,999 on two hands, though rarely used for numbers over 100).

The Erwin Tomash Library on the History of Computing

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London