De natura locorum librum mira eruditione, & singulari fruge refertum, & iam primum summa diligentia revisum, in lucem æditum, quem leges diligentius, vel si Cosmographia vel Physica profecisse te volveris. Albertus MAGNUS.
De natura locorum librum mira eruditione, & singulari fruge refertum, & iam primum summa diligentia revisum, in lucem æditum, quem leges diligentius, vel si Cosmographia vel Physica profecisse te volveris.

De natura locorum librum mira eruditione, & singulari fruge refertum…
De natura locorum librum mira eruditione, & singulari fruge refertum, & iam primum summa diligentia revisum, in lucem æditum, quem leges diligentius, vel si Cosmographia vel Physica profecisse te volveris.

Strassburg, M. Schurer, for the brothers Leonhard & Lucas Alantse, 1515.

Small quarto, [iii], XLIII ff; woodcut border on title-page, woodcut historiated initials; large woodcut device on final page, showing two griffins supporting a shield; small bookplate pasted at blank centre of title; a fine copy in early limp vellum.

One of the earliest examples of comparative geography, arguing for a southern continent

An influential early study of climate and weather, which argues for the existence of a populated southern or antipodean continent. This is a very rare book: European Americana locates only four copies. First published the previous year in Vienna from its 13th-century manuscript, this was one of the very earliest examples of comparative geography, the text including interesting speculations about lands to be found south of the equator, while the editor, Georg Tannstetter -- the Bavarian mathematician, astronomer and astrologer who was mainly active in Vienna -- mentions Vespucci (f. XVII) in confirmation of the author's theories about habitable lands in distant unknown regions. Following the Macrobian model Albertus writes that between the heat of the equatorial zone and the cold of the southern polar zone there must exist a mean temperate zone capable of supporting life, a temperate and habitable Southern hemisphere,; the editor Tannstetter adds in a side-note: `Behold he concludes that it is habitable at 50º beyond the equator, as Vespucci has discovered and described by his voyages in previous years`.

An influential early study of climate and weather, which argues for the existence of a populated southern or antipodean continent. This is a very rare book: European Americana locates only four copies. First published the previous year in Vienna from its 13th-century manuscript, this was one of the very earliest examples of comparative geography, the text including interesting speculations about lands to be found south of the equator, while the editor, Georg Tannstetter -- the Bavarian mathematician, astronomer and astrologer who was mainly active in Vienna -- mentions Vespucci (f. XVII) in confirmation of the author's theories about habitable lands in distant unknown regions. Following the Macrobian model Albertus writes that between the heat of the equatorial zone and the cold of the southern polar zone there must exist a mean temperate zone capable of supporting life, a temperate and habitable Southern hemisphere,; the editor Tannstetter adds in a side-note: `Behold he concludes that it is habitable at 50º beyond the equator, as Vespucci has discovered and described by his voyages in previous years`.

Like those of Macrobius, the works of Albertus Magnus (1206-1280) survived in manuscript into the age of printing, at which point they began to have a widespread influence. He was one of the pre-eminent medieval men of science, and the teacher of Thomas Aquinas. He is usually cited as the equivalent in the physical sciences of Roger Bacon in mathematics. The two were among the most famous of the scholastic philosophers of the Middle Ages: they used their training in Aristotelian logic and critical method to attempt to grasp the entire contemporary science of nature.

'In the De naturâ locorum he enlarges upon the system of the zones and the relations between man and the earth. He furnished proofs of the sphericity of our planet that are still popularly repeated to-day; he calculated accurately the duration of the day and the seasons in the different quarters of the globe. Ebb and flow, volcanology, the formation of mountain-ranges and continents - all these subjects furnish him material for clever deductions. He carefully recorded the shifting of coastlines, which men at that time already associated with the secular upheaving and subsidence of continents. He also ascertained the frequency of earthquakes in the neighbourhood of the ocean. He closely observed fossilized animals. He knew that the direction of the axes of mountain-ranges influenced the climate of Europe, and, on the authority of Arabian writers, he was the first to refute the old error that the intertropical surface of the earth must necessarily be quite parched…' (The Catholic Encyclopedia).

This item can be seen in our latest catalogue.

Provenance: Bookplate of Franz Anton II, Graf Thun-Hohenstein (1809-1870), from his library at Schloss Tetschen (now Decín, in the Czech Republic).

Alden, 'European Americana', 515/3; Harrisse (BAV), 78.

Price (AUD): $17,500.00

US$12,359.78   Other currencies

Ref: #4505240