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    Description

    First English Edition of an Ancient Poem on
    Astronomy and Astrology

    Marcus Manilius. [Thomas Creech, translator]. The Five Books of M. Manilius, Containing a System of the Ancient Astronomy and Astrology: Together with the Philosophy of the Stoicks. Done into English Verse. With Notes. London: Jacob Tonson, 1697. First English edition. Octavo. a-d8, e2, B-I8, K4, B-F8, G4, L4. (2), 68, 134, 88, (8) pages. Frontispiece and five plates. Contemporary sheep, rebacked in calf, rubbed and chipped at edges, morocco spine label chipped. Frontispiece and errata repaired, pasted on. Verso of title page repaired. Small clean diagonal cut in a1. a6-b8 small dog ears to lower right margin with very minor paper loss, not affecting text. e1 cornered repaired, no loss. F4 small hole at top, no loss. Some foxing and browning, few ink stains, otherwise in very good condition. From the Krown & Spellman Collection.
    Please visit HA.com/6127 for an extended description of this lot.


    More Information:

    "Manilius, a Roman poet, author of a poem in five books called Astronomica. The author is neither quoted nor mentioned by any ancient writer. Even his name is uncertain, but it was probably Marcus Manilius; in the earlier manuscript the author is anonymous, the later give Manilius, Manlius, Mallius. The poem itself implies that the writer lived under Augustus or Tiberius, and that he was a citizen of and resident in Rome. According to R. Bentley he was an Asiatic Greek; according to F. Jacob an African. His work is one of great learning; he had studied his subject in the best writers, and generally represents the most advanced views of the ancients on astronomy (or rather astrology). He frequently imitates Lucretius, whom he resembles in earnestness and originality and in the power of enlivening the dry bones of his subject. Although his diction presents some peculiarities, the style is metrically correct. Firmicus, who wrote in the time of Constantine, exhibits so many points of resemblance with the work of Manilius that he must either have used him or have followed some work that Manilius also followed. As Firmicus says that hardly any Roman except Caesar, Cicero and Fronto had treated the subject, it is probable that he did not know the work of Manilius. The latest event referred to in the poem (i. 898) is the great defeat of Varus by Arminius in the Teutoburgiensis Saltus (A.D. 9). The fifth book was not written till the reign of Tiberius; the work appears to be incomplete, and was probably never published" -EB 11th edition).

    Wing M430, ESTC R4238, Wellcome IV: 44, Rothschild I: 1495, Astronomy.



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    Auction Dates
    August, 2015
    5th Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
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