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    Pontanus's Latin Translation of the Greek Text of
    Ptolmy's
    Centrum Sententiae

    Joannes Jovius Pontanus (Giangioviano or Giovanni Giovaino Pontano) and Claudius Ptolemaeus (Ptolomaeus). Centum Ptolemaei Sententiae Ad Syrum Fratem A Pontano E Graeco In Latinum Tralatae, Atque Expositae. Eiusdem Pontani Libri XIIII. De Reb. Coeslestibus. Liber Etiam De Luna Imperfectus. Venice: Aldus & Andreas Torresano, 1519. First Aldine Edition. Quarto in eights. 3a-3z8, 3A-3R8. 310ff=602, [38] pages. Aldine device on verso of last leaf. Contemporary calf in panel design with central Venetian device, spine banded, spine title on old paper label. Covers rubbed, head caps worn off, lacks ties, corners opened, old owner's note on front free endpaper: "Leonhardi Nyschelin Tiguriai, 1774.", light dampstain at head in second half, large margins, paper in fine condition. From the Krown & Spellman Collection.
    Please visit HA.com/6127 for an extended description of this lot.


    More Information:

    Giovanni Pontano (1429-1503) humanist, diplomat, scholar, and poet. He was the driving forces behind the Neapolitan Academy and its official leader after 1471. He was secretary of state in Naples in 1486. He was also considered to be able to write pastoral poetry as good as, or superior to, his classical models.

    "Like Ficino, Pontano undoubtedly acquired his taste for astrology early in life. His first teacher was Gregorius Tifernas, a master of the Greek tongue but, nonetheless, an adept in astrology. When Pontano came first to Naples, he met Lorenzo Bonincontri, who was, next to Pontano, the greatest astrological poet of the Italian Quattrocento....The earliest astrological compositions of Pontano are the translation of and commentary on the pseudo-Ptolemaic Centiloquio and the early books of the De rebus coelestibus...As one turns over the pages of the De rebus coelestibus one is struck by the fact that one is reading a handbook of social psychology as well as a textbook of astrology...he took the view that the perfect, incorruptible skies had a shaping power over the corruptible sublunary matter...Pontano passes over the spiritual element, the divine soul...It is this startling silence that turns Pontano's astrological system into a milestone in the history of social psychology. Pontano's theory that the matter of man is inclined by stellar influences establishes the necessity of a horoscope. If one knows in advance what one's inclinations are, one can shape one's character according to these dispositions if they are good, and check those weaknesses that are unsocial...In this book Pontano defends astrology vigorously by showing that the sciences of which Pico approved are filled with errors, and by asserting that astrology is the most certain science. " [Don Cameron Allen, The Star-Crossed Renaissance,1941.]

    Nostradamus quotes his first proposition of the commentary on pseudo-Ptolemy: 'Soli numine divino afflati praesagiunt & spiritu prophetico particularia' ['Only those inspired by the divine godhead can prophesy, and only those inspired by the spirit of prophecy can prophesy detailed events' .

    This volume contains Pontanus' Latin translation of the Greek text of Ptolomy's "Centrum sententiae' with Pontanus' extensive commentary, as well as, Pontanus' astronomical works, 'De rebus coelestis," and De luna imperfectus, and other short philosophical texts.

    An edition appeared in 1512 of Pontano's astrological works contained in this volume, but this is the first reissue of these works designed to compliment Aldus' 1518 edition of his literary writings in two volumes.

    EDIT 16 cnce 47484. BM STC (Italian) 542,533. Adams P2215. Ahmanson-Murphy 161. Ransom 164. Houzeau-Lancaster I,3644. Renouard 87,7. Caillet 8828 "Plein de verve et d'esprit, mais d'une excessive obscenite(?)." Riccardi 303. Brunet IV,808. Hoffmann III,328 (Later edition) Cantamessa 3556.

     



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