1510 Torentinus Elucidarius Classic Dictionary Geography Mythology P.-incunable For Sale
[Early Printing - Post-Incunabula - Hagenau] [Linguistics and Lexicography] [Dictionaries and Lexicons - Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Arabic, German]
[Classical Literature and Mythology - References]
Printed in Hagenau by Heinrich Gran for Johann Rynman, 1510.
Text mainly in Latin; with Greek and Arabic words transliterated in Latin characters; some words in German.
A scarce, elegantly printed post-incunable edition of "THE FIRST KNOWN ATTEMPT AT A POETIC DICTIONARY" (Renouard). The first edition was printed at Deventer by Pafraet in 1498 (very rare, not in Goff).
The Elucidarius is an explanatory dictionary of proper nouns in the field of geography, history, mythology, religion etc., gathered mainly from classical literature and arranged in alphabetical order.
The Elucidarius was one of the most successful and popular reference works of the first half of the 16th century and certainly the most important 'classical dictionary' of its time. It went through about fifty editions in the Low Countries, France, Germany, and Switzerland over the half-century following its first appearance in 1498.
Eventually it was adapted by Robert Estienne as a complement to the 1531 and 1536 editions of his Dictionarium. It also influenced other prominent late-Renaissance lexicographers including English ones, such as Thomas Elyot, Thomas Cooper, John Minsheu and Stephen Skinner.
"Cet opuscule est le premier essai que l'on connaisse d'un dictionnaire historique, contenant aussi la mythologie et la géographie ancienne. Augmenté successivement par Rob. Estienne, Charles Estienne et Frédéric Morel, il a été traduit ou plutôt imité dans plusieurs langues, notamment en français, par de Juigné Broissinière et Paul Boyer, dont les dictionnaires ont servi de base à celui de Moréri." (Louis G. Michaud, Biographie universelle ancienne et moderne: Vol. 41, p.701)
This fine Hagenau edition also includes a dictionary of Greek and Hebrew words transliterated and explained in Latin, which was first added to the 1505 edition of the Elucidarius. Also of considerable interest is the Vocabula Saracenorum (leaf L3 of this edition), a vocabulary of over 200 Arabic words borrowed (without attribution) from Breydenbach's famous Peregrinatio in terram sanctam.
Appended at the end are several supplementary short chapters: on numbers and weights (Smith's Rara arithmetica, Part II, p.76 cites this work as including "a chapter on arithmetic"), a list of "liberal arts", and a short zoological and botanical vocabulary listing the names of animals, plants, herbs and stones and gems (in most cases giving the German equivalent), and, finally, on the last page (L8r), a short vocabulary of legal terms (also with German translations).
The author, Hermannus Torrentinus (1450-1520), or Hermann Van der Beke, was born in Zwolle (just north of Deventer). He was a pupil of Alexander Hegius at Deventer, and became a member of the Brethren of the Common Life. At about 1490 he was a teacher of rhetoric at Groningen. After his father died and his mother was left without support, Torrentinus left the Order and returned to his native town Zwolle, where he, though blind, taught until his death. Torrentinus wrote several small books for use in his school, featuring texts by Virgil and Sabellico. The Elucidarius carminum is his most important and well known work.
Quarto (197 mm x 136 mm). Attractively bound in 19th-century full red morocco, boards blind-stamped with an interlacing ornament in Grolier style, and with a gilt-stamped heraldic insignia (griffin and crown). Spine with raised bands, lettered in gilt and decorated in blind; doublures richly tooled in gilt.
Printed throughout in gothic letter, text in double columns.
Author's preface on verso of title-page (A1v).
Colophon on L8 recto (verso blank).
Robert Clarence Pruyn, with his armorial bookplate.
Robert C. Pruyn (1847-1934), of Albany, New York, was an influential American inventor, banker, businessman, and politician.
The Pruyn family was one of the oldest and most esteemed Dutch families in New York. Pruyn graduated from Rutgers College in 1869. In 1871, Pruyn became president of the Embossing Company, one of the major toy manufacturers at the time. He was credited for five patents involving puzzles, dominoes, and building blocks. When John A. Dix became Governor of New York in 1873, Pruyn became an aide on the Governor's staff, and was later appointed a member of the New York State Board of Regents. Later Pruyn was named the President of National Commercial Bank of Albany and became one of the most successful investors of the early 20th century. Pruyn also was a member of various civic organizations. He established the 13,000 acre Santanoni Preserve in the Adirondack Mountains upstate of New York, which is today a state park and National Historic Landmark.
Very Good antiquarian condition. Complete. Binding slightly rubbed, with minor wear to extremities. First leaf (A1) slightly separating at upper gutter, but is securely attached. Most leaves with very light water-stain to bottom margin. Old repair to low margin of E1, not affecting text. Light staining and soiling to final quire. A small handwritten number to bottom margin of A2r. Else, a very clean, bright and wide-margined example in an extremely pleasing binding.
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The winner must contact us within three days, and payment is due within seven days after the end of the sale. Please be responsible and offer only if you have a serious intention to purchase the item.
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