Title: Satyricon, in Quo De Nuptiis Philologiæ & Mercurij Libri Duo, & De Septem Artibus Liberalibus Libri Singulares. Omnes, & emendati, & notis, sive februis Hug. Grotii illustrate; Bound with Ludovici Carrionis Antiquarum lectionum commentarii III; Bound with Desiderii Heraldi Adversariorum libri duo. Quibus adiunctur est Animadversionum eiusdem in librum Iamblichi de vita Pythagore nuper primum editum liber unus.; Bound with Theophrasti Notationes morum. Isaacus Casavbonus recensuit, in Latinum sermonem vertit & libro commentario illustravit, 1599/1576/1599/1599
Author: Martianus Mineus Felix Capella; Ludovicus Carrio; Desiderius Heraldus; Theophrastus
Publisher: Ex officina Plantiniana, apud Christophorum Raphelengium; Antverpiae, apud Christophorum Plantinum; Parisiis, apud Ieremiam Perier; Lugduni, apud Antonium de Harsy
A unique and rare sammelband of several classical Greek works, including those by Capella, Theophrastus, and more. Two are Plantin Press imprints as well.
The first bound work is a late 16th century edition of Capella’s De nuptiis Philologiae et Mercurii, translating to “On the Marriage of Philology and Mercury”, which was alternatively entitled De septem disciplinis, which also translated to “On the seven disciplines". It was also just titled the Satyricon, being an elaborate didactic allegory written in a mixture of prose and elaborately allusive verse.
The style is wordy and involved, loaded with metaphor and bizarre expressions. The book was of great importance in defining the standard formula of academic learning from the Christianized Roman Empire of the fifth century until the Renaissance of the 12th century. This formula included a medieval love for allegory (in particular personifications) as a means of presenting knowledge, and a structuring of that learning around the seven liberal arts.
The work is composed of nine books, the first two of which are entitled De nuptiis Philologiae et Mercurii and recount how Mercury gives his bride, who is made divine, seven maidens each representing one of the liberal arts. The seven remaining books contain the declamations by each of the maidens on each of those arts, with the seventh book relating to mathematics, the eighth to astronomy, and the ninth to music.
The eighth book in particular describes a unique astronomical model of the era, in which the Earth is at the center of the universe and circled by the moon, the sun, three planets and the stars, while Mercury and Venus circle the Sun. This view was singled out for praise by Copernicus in Book I of his De revolutionibus orbium coelestium.
Of Capella, he was a Latin prose writer of Late Antiquity, and one of the earliest developers of the system of the seven liberal arts that structured early medieval education. In his works, he often presents philosophical views based on Neoplatonism, and like his near-contemporary Macrobius, who also produced a major work on classical Roman religion, Martianus never directly identifies his own religious affiliation.
The second work is a late 16th century edition of Antiquarum lectionum commentarii III, being a rare collection of notes on classical literature by the Bruges humanist and later Louvain law professor L. Carrio.
The third bound work is a late 16th century edition of Adversariorum libri duo by Desiderius Heraldus, being a set of poems in introductory pieces, including "De vita Pythagorae restituta" by Lud. Sammarthanus, and 2 pieces in honor of the author by F Sammarthanus and I. de Voweren. The text is primarily in Latin, with numerous passages in ancient Greek.
The final bound work is a first edition of Theophrasti Notationes morum, or Theophraste's Characters, being the version revised by the great Protestant Hellenist Isaac Casaubon, with his comments. This work contains thirty brief outlines of moral types and are the first recorded attempt at systematic character writing. Casaubon's work served as a model for later studies and in particular for La Bruyere who first translated Theophrastus, before imitating him and adding to those of the Greek philosopher, his own "Characters" inspired by the customs of his time. The text is primarily in Latin, with numerous passages in ancient Greek.
The signatures on the first title page indicate the provenance of J. G. Trembely and Gaspar Laurentius, of which the latter was a Protestant theologian, and professor in Geneva in the second half of the 17th century.
One vellum bound volume in octavo, (24)+336+(78), (16)+159, (16)+183+(11), (24)+351+(42) pages
On note of condition, this volume is good shape, though it varies from each of the four works. There is little to no rubbing or wear to the binding, with the pages of the first work being toned as well as stained in several pages. The second and third work are not toned, though there is foxing and staining throughout. The fourth work is toned, with heavy damp staining throughout. Based on collation, several pages appear be missing from the index of Satyricon despite appearing complete, and as is commonly noted, the two portraits of Henry of Bourbon, to whom the work is dedicated, are lacking.