Apotheseos tam exterarum gentium quam romanorum deorum libri tres. Nomina, imagines, & earundem imaginum complectentes allegorias. Basel [Nicolaus Brylinger,

PICTORIUS Georg (1558)



Lion and hourglass device of Nicolaus Brylinger on title page, woodcut initials, 25 half-page woodcut illustrations of deities (from 18 blocks; several repeated), Roman and Greek type.   

Sm. 8vo (155 x 101mm). [4]ff. 135pp. Eighteenth-century blue paper wrappers, spine with faded red label at head with abbreviated title, remnants of label at foot with shelfmark (general minor wear). 

Basel [Nicolaus Brylinger],

Rare first edition of this illustrated guide to ancient, pagan gods by the Alsatian physician and prolific writer Georg Maler's (latinised to Pictorius; 1500-1569). Each deity, excepting a handful of duplicated blocks, is depicted in a woodcut surrounded by their associated symbols (Diana, goddess of the hunt, raises a bow and arrow; Neptune emerges from the waves on horseback, carrying a trident; Vesta, goddess of the hearth, fans the sacred fire; Mercury carries his caduceus, and so on). 

The work is dedicated to Wilhelm Werner, Graf von Zimmern (1485-1575). Following his dedication, dated 1 December, 1557,  is a preface to the reader (dated the last day of the same month) and a bibliography of authors whose works Maler consulted and quoted in the writing of this text; they are principally classical, although contemporary scholars are listed amongst them, including Erasmus, Guglielmo Gratarolo, Henricus Petrus, and others. The text is structured as a dialogue between Greek philosophers Theophrastus and Evander. A final index provides a useful guide to the reader of the deities described. 

Very sporadical marginal annotation and underlining. 

VD16 P2662. BMSTC (German), 695. Adams, P1164. 

J. Seznec, Survival of the Pagan Gods (1953), pp. 228-9.

OCLC: North America: Toronto Public Library, Newberry Library, Huntington only.

Stock Code: 246602

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