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

PICTORIUS Georg (1558)

£2500.00 

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EARLY ILLUSTRATED GUIDE TO PAGAN GODS

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 Alsatian physician and prolific writer Georg Maler's (latinised to Pictorius; 1500-1569) attractive illustrated guide to ancient, pagan gods, with each deity, excepting a handful of duplicated blocks, 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. 

J. Seznec, Survival of the Pagan Gods, pp. 228-9. VD16 P2662. BMSTC (German), 695. Adams, P1164. 

(OCLC: North America: Toronto Public Library, Newberry Library, Huntington.  UK: Cambridge, Glasgow, National Art Library).

Stock Code: 246602

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