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La geomance . . . livre non moins plaisant & recreatif, que d'ingenieuse invention . . . avec la roue de Pythagoras. [Ed. Gabriel du Preau]. Paris, Jean Corrozet,

CATTAN Christophe (1558.)


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Printer's device on title-page, numerous woodcut diagrams and tables (one of them full-page).4to. [6], 178, [2]ff. 19/20th century vellum back marbled boards.

First edition of this treatise and one of the most important works on geomancy, astrology, magic and "secrets" in general. This is the variant issue with Corrozet's name appearing in the imprint. It was extremely influential and a further three editions appeared before 1577, with an English translation appearing in 1591. It is illustrated with elaborate tables for the casting of horoscopes and genitures; the wheel of Pythagoras on folio 175v is mentioned by Brun (Le livre Français illustré de la renaissancep. 150) who says it is in the style of Oroncé Finé. Edited by Gabriel du Préau who is also known for his translation into French of the Hermetic dialogues Pimander.Geomancy has a medieval rather than a classical background and is a system of divination related to markings on the ground, and it became very popular during the Renaissance. Cattan cast geomantic tableaux for his acquaintances at the French court. "The text describes the method of casting the points and forming the figures; discusses the meanings of the figures and their correspondences with elements, animals, planets, etc.; summarizes the questions appropriate to each house (with examples); and thoroughly covers the various ways to interpret the tableau" (Elizabeth Z. Bennett, Medieval Geomancy). Title-page and last leaf soiled, one preliminary ink stained and remargined, one upper margin defective (corrosion due to ink), elsewhere a few minor stains.Adams C1128 (Gilles issue). Thorndike VI, p. 472. Caillet 2093.

Stock Code: 46465