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  BOOKS 

MACROBIUS. [An important Classical geography with an early world map]
Macrobii Ambrosii Aurelii Theodosii, Viri Consularis, et illustris, In Somnium Scipionis, Lib. II. Saturnaliorum, Lib. VII. Ex uarijs, ac uetustissimis codicibus recogniti, & aucti. Lyons: Sebastian Gryphius, 1556. 8vo, contemporary vellum, with blind-stamped illustrated cecoration; two works in one; title with printer's device, pp. 177, with woodcut map, five diagrams & two initials; & pp.178-567, five initials, + (73) (index). Ink collector's stamp and small label on title page.
Two works by Macrobius Ambrosius Theodosius, written in the early 5th century. 'In Somnium Scipionis' is a commentary on Cicero's 'The Dream of Scipio', the final part of his 'Republic'. In a fictional dream, the Roman general Scipio Aemilianus has a cosmic vision in which the universe is made up nine celestial rings, and he hears the 'music of the spheres'. He then sees the climate belts of Earth, with the Antipodes separated from the known world by a region of fire (Perusta). In this commentary, Macrobius interprets these visions, with diagrams to illustrate the theories. The original version of his map, first printed 1483, was important as one of the first maps to show the world as a globe, and for showing an Antipodes to counterbalance the land in the Northern Hemisphere. When this edition was published the 'Perusta' theory was controversial: as the Bible stated that the whole world was re-populated by the sons of Noah there could be no unreachable Antipodes. The 'Saturnalia' is an account of a banquet held during the holiday of the Saturnalia, and the discussions of the guests on various subjects, both historical and philosophical. The importance of the work is the quotations taken from earlier authors, including Seneca and Plutarch, often from texts now lost. The collector's stamp reads'Bibl. Bernhard Vrat' (Vratislavia - Wrocław). See SHIRLEY: World 13.
[Ref: 19652]    £1,350.00 ($1,716 • €1,516 rates)


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