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    Agrippa, Heinrich Cornelius von Nettesheim. De Incertitudine & Vanitate Omnium Scientiarum Et Artium Nobilitate Et Praecellentia Foeminei Sexus, eiusdemque Supra Virilem Eminentia; Alter De Matrimonio Seu Coniugio... Frankfurt & Leipzig: Haeredum Plenerianorum [Heirs of Plener], 1714. 12mo. )(12 [Lacks )(1, blank?, A-2D12, 2E6. [22], 660pp. Contemporary morocco, title gilt (rubbed off), head chipped, small cracks in front hinge,old notes on f.f.e.p.s, old owner's purchase note on t.p. "Ex auctione M. Pries 753," paper flaw repair on )(4. From the Krown & Spellman Collection.
    Krown & Spellman retail: $450

    More Information:

    Henri Cornelius Agrippa (1486-1534/8), a learned man who began his career as secretary to and later soldier under the emperor Maximilian, served also as physician to the mother of Francis I , and professor at many universities throughout Europe.  On account of his writings he was constantly at odds with ecclesiastics whose methods of reasoning he criticized.  "Originally published in 1529, the Declamation on the Preeminence and Nobility of the Female Sex argues that women are more than equal to men in all things that really matter, including the public spheres from which they had long been excluded.

    Rather than directly refuting prevailing wisdom, Agrippa uses women's superiority as a rhetorical device and overturns the misogynistic interpretations of the female body in Greek medicine, in the Bible, in Roman and canon law, in theology and moral philosophy, and in politics. He raised the question of why women were excluded and provided answers based not on sex but on social conditioning, education, and the prejudices of their more powerful oppressors."

    The work on the uncertainty of scientific knowledge was his most famous work. It is a criticism and historical essay illustrating the emptiness and instability of art and man's efforts at such, while at the same time a tracing of man's evolution and progress.  Despite Agrippa's stature as a great man of learning, it is an expression of disappointment and dissatisfaction with all his achievements, learning, and experience, so full of information and "hard knocks" that it went through numerous editions and translations into Dutch, English, French, German and Italian.

    Agrippa "was to a large extent a dabbler and trifler who did not adhere to any given interest for long, just as he did not stay in any one place. Except that always he kept coming back to occult science. Even in De incertitudine  he gives information and reveals his knowledge of the field of occult science, devoting a score of its 85 chapters to occult arts and listing past writers on such subjects as chiromancy and natural science," -Thorndike V, 133.  It is also said, upon observation of the close relationship between Agrippa and his black dog, whom he called "Monsieur," that the dog was nothing less than Agrippa's familiar.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2014
    23rd Thursday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 6
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 242

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