13 results
Bombed Copy of “Defensor pacis”
In September 1807, early in the Anglo-Danish War of 1807–14, the British fleet bombarded the city of Copenhagen. Among the buildings struck was the Church of the Holy Trinity, which housed in its attic the University Library of Copenhagen. Some grenades fell through the roof, and this book belonging to the library was among those that were hit. Shown here are the bombed book and the grenade. The book is the first printed edition of, ironically, Defensor pacis (The defender of peace), a major work of medieval political philosophy ...
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Royal Library (The), Denmark
Newspaper About the Country that the Spaniards Found in 1521, Called Yucatan
This small tract contains one of the first European descriptions of the Aztec civilization of Mexico and the earliest known European attempt to picture the city of Tenochtitlán (present-day Mexico City). Most likely published in Augsburg in 1522, the work is a translation into German of an earlier Spanish account of Hernando Cortes’s expedition to Tenochtitlán in 1519-20. The city is pictured rather fancifully as having five towers and five bridges. Another woodcut shows an Aztec religious ceremony involving human sacrifice. Cortés first reached Tenochtitlán in November 1519. He ...
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John Carter Brown Library
A Tale of Two Gardens: Apricot Garden, Bamboo Garden
Eryuan ji (Gatherings in two gardens) was printed as a composite work by Xu Lun when he was provincial governor in Taiyuan, combining the “Painting of an Elegant Gathering in the Apricot Garden,” depicting a gathering attended by nine eminent persons including Yang Rong and Yang Shiqi, and the “Painting of a Longevity Gathering," depicting the 60th birthday party for Tu Yong, Zhou Jing, Lü Zhong, and others.
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Library of Congress
Journal of Magellan's Voyage
This manuscript volume, dating from around 1525, details Ferdinand Magellan's voyage around the world in 1519-22. The work is attributed to Antonio Pigafetta, a Venetian scholar who was born in Vincenza, Italy, around 1490 and who accompanied Magellan on the voyage. Pigafetta kept a detailed journal, the original of which is lost. However, an account of the voyage, written by Pigafetta between 1522 and 1525, survives in four manuscript versions: one in Italian and three in French. This version, in French, is from the library of Yale University, and ...
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Yale University Library
Tribute Roll
The Matrícula de tributos (Tribute roll) records in pictographic writing the tributes that subject towns paid to Mexico-Tenochtitlan, the center of the triple alliance of Mexico, Tetzcoco, and Tacuba in the period just before the conquest of Mexico by the Spanish. The roll was very likely copied or elaborated on from a pre-Hispanic original circa 1522-30 by order of the conqueror Hernán Cortés, who wanted to learn more about the economic organization of the alliance's empire. Each page of the Matrícula represents one of 16 tributary provinces. The main ...
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National Institute of Anthropology and History INAH
General Gazetteer of Two Counties and Three Passes
This rare edition is one of 413 local gazetteers of China acquired for the Library of Congress by American agricultural botanist and explorer Walter T. Swingle (1871–1952). Swingle traveled to Asia in 1918–19 and collected a large number of books on botany. Gazetteers contain detailed descriptions of a locality at a given period and provide in-depth information and sources for the study of Chinese history, geography, local economy, culture, language and dialects, biographies, and the administration of local government. The author of this printed gazetteer is unknown. The ...
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Library of Congress
Gazetteer of Zhongdu, the Middle Capital
The first Ming emperor, Hongwu (1328–98), also well known by his personal name Zhu Yuanzhang, established the national capital in Nanjing. He also renamed Linhao (present-day Linhuai, Fengyang, Anhui Province), where he was born, as Zhongdu and designated it as the middle capital. Construction began there in 1372 of an imperial city with imposing palaces and a capital with inner, middle and outer cities and nine gates, but the emperor suddenly stopped the building in 1375. Although Zhongdu never became the political center of China, some of the concepts ...
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Library of Congress
Genealogy of the Liu Family of Xiuyi Mining
Chinese genealogical works are historical records that document the pedigree, deeds, and events relating to a patriarchal clan. A genealogical work generally was composed of: a preface; table of contents; rules of compilation; rules and instructions to be observed by clansmen; images of the ancestral temple, tombs, and portraits; pedigree charts; and biographies of worthy members of the clan. Also included were the names of the person or persons responsible for issuing the work, as well as a postscript. Such works complement the available general historical records and are an ...
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Library of Congress
Annotated Book of Alchemy by Tao Zhi
Tao gong huan jin shu (Annotated book of alchemy) is an important work on alchemy, based on an original text by Tao Zhi, a Daoist priest of the ninth century. Shown here is a Ming edition of the Jiajing period (1522–66), in one juan, one volume, annotated by Shao Fu, a native of Wulin. Shao Fu was also referred to as Qiwan in one of his other works, Jingyang han shi ji (Stone inscriptions of Jingyang). He studied Daoist theory, and his commentaries reflect his knowledge on the subject ...
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Library of Congress
Collected Essays on Timber-Felling in the Western Region
This Ming dynasty work in two juan, in one volume, was printed in black and blue inks during the Jiajing reign (1522–66). It is the only known copy. The author was Gong Hui, who received his jin shi degree in 1523 and then held various official posts. As vice president of the Bureau of Public Works, he supervised the water conservancy work at the Huai River. When he was military governor-general in south Jiangxi, he suppressed the powerful bandits operating in the region. He was dispatched to Sichuan to ...
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Library of Congress
Ceremonial Etiquette for the Newly Appointed Officials
Xin guan dao ren yi zhu (Ceremonial etiquette for the newly appointed officials) is a Ming edition of two juan, in two volumes, on ceremonies and rules for new officials. The author is unknown, but inside the book is an inscription indicating that it was a reprint of an original edition printed by imperial order. The preface, dated 1565, was written by Guo Banshan and states that the original work was owned by Liu Zizhen, who reprinted the book on the advice of one of his friends. Many similar works ...
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Library of Congress
Memorials from Luo Shan
Luo Shan zou shu (Memorials from Luo Shan) is a collection written by Zhang Fujing (1475–1539), whose original name was Zhang Cong. The pronunciation of Cong was the same as that of Emperor Jiajing’s personal name, so Zhang was given the name of Fujing. Zhang received his jin shi degree at the age of 47 after a number of attempts. He rose quickly in government service, becoming grand secretary of the Imperial Library and, within six years of beginning his career as an official, grand cabinet secretary. Zhang ...
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Library of Congress
Narrative Letter by Hernán Cortés
The name of Hernán Cortés (1485–1547) and the controversy surrounding him are linked to the conquest of Mexico, which was the most important event of his life. Cortés was born in Medellín, Spain. He studied at the University of Salamanca, took part in Spain’s conquest, in 1506, of Hispaniola and Cuba, and rose to become a municipal official in Cuba. In 1518, he took command of an expedition to secure the interior of Mexico. Cortés’s letters are an essential source for understanding the early Spanish presence in ...
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National Library of Spain