54 results in English
Sangallo’s Sienese Sketchbook
The so-called Sienese sketchbook of the famous architect and engineer Giuliano da Sangallo was originally in the library of Sienese scholar Giovanni Antonio Pecci. The librarian Giuseppe Ciaccheri, a committed and passionate collector who enriched the Biblioteca comunale degli Intronati di Siena with works of art of outstanding quality, acquired it in 1784. Together with the Codice Barberiniano in the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, the sketchbook bears witness to the architect's prolific production of drawings and is a valuable source of knowledge about his work. The small format and the ...
Codicil of Queen Isabel the Catholic, Executed at Medina del Campo, on November 23, 1504
On November 23, 1504, three days before her death, Queen Isabella of Spain signed, in Medina del Campo, a codicil before the same notary, Gaspar de Gricio, and five of the seven witnesses who had been present on October 12 for the signing of her last will and testament. In the testament, the queen addressed the fundamental aspects of government by the Catholic monarchs. In the codicil, besides reaffirming what she had stipulated in the testament, she addressed questions directly affecting peninsular government and showed her concern for Spanish policy ...
Contributed by National Library of Spain
The Encyclopedia of Medicaments
This book is a printed edition of the Pandectarum Medicinae (Encyclopedia of medicaments) by Matthaeus Sylvaticus (died circa 1342), consisting of an alphabetized list of medications (primarily of herbal origin). Sylvaticus relies on the work of Simon of Genoa (flourished end of 13th century), who provided a lexicon of Latin, Greek, and Arabic medical terms in his dictionary, Clavis Sanationis. Sylvaticus also draws upon works by Greco-Roman authorities such as Galen, Dioscorides, and Paulus Aegineta (seventh century). Among his other sources were the writings of important scientists from the Islamic ...
Contributed by Qatar National Library
The Greater Luminary
This volume contains Luminare Maius (The greater luminary), and an antidotarium (book of antidotes), by Joannes Jacobus de Manliis (1490). It is based on the works of the Nestorian Persian physician Yūḥannā Ibn Māsawayh (circa 777–857), known in the Latin West as Mesue, and “other distinguished physicians.” Also included is an edition of Pandectarum Medicinae (Encyclopedia of medicaments) by Matteo Silvatico (also known by his Latinized name, Mattheus Sylvaticus, circa 1280–circa 1342), which consists of an alphabetized list of medications, primarily of herbal origin. Sylvaticus relied and expanded ...
Contributed by Qatar National Library
Abū Ma‘shar’s Eight Treatises Regarding the Great Conjunctions, the Annual Revolutions, and Their Origins
Ja‘far ibn Muḥammad al-Balkhī (787–886), known as Abū Ma‘shar (and as Albumasar in the Latin West), was one of the most-renowned astronomers of the Middle Ages. His fame in Europe rested upon numerous Latin translations of his astronomical works from the original Arabic. He was born in the Persian city of Balkh (present-day Afghanistan), on 20th of Ṣafar, 171 AH (August 10, 787). He most likely received his early education in Balkh prior to moving to Baghdad, as his works are often colored by a distinct Persian ...
Contributed by Qatar National Library
The Threefold Lily of Practical Arithmetic
Johannes Huswirth (Sanensis) was a German arithmetician who flourished around 1500. Nothing is known of his life. That he is sometimes referred to as Sanensis suggests that he may have come from Sayn, Germany. Arithmetice Lilium Triplicis Practice (The threefold lily of practical arithmetic) presents basic arithmetic operations such as addition and multiplication for whole numbers and fractions. It treats much of the same material that Huswirth had covered in an earlier work, Enchirdion Algorismi (Handbook of algorithms). The work includes two woodcut illustrations; one of God the Father and ...
Contributed by Qatar National Library
The Book of Fridays
The first book printed in Armenian was the Urbathagirq (The book of Fridays), which was published in Venice in 1512 by Hakob Meghapart (Jacob the Sinner). Little is known about Hakob Meghapart, or why he styled himself “the Sinner” (or “the Sinful”). Armenia was at that time under the rule of the Ottoman Turks, and the Diaspora community played a critically important role in keeping alive the Armenian language and literary tradition. Written in Grabar (Classical Armenian), the book consists mainly of prayers and remedies for the sick, together with ...
Armenian Liturgical Calendar
Parzatumar (Armenian liturgical calendar) was the second book printed in Armenian, after the Urbathagirq (The book of Fridays). Both books were published by Hakob Meghapart (Jacob the Sinner), who in 1512 settled among the Armenian community in Venice and established the first Armenian press. In this copy, from the National Library of Armenia, the two works are bound together. Little is known about Hakob Meghapart, or why he styled himself “the Sinner” (or “the Sinful”). Armenia was at this time under the rule of the Ottoman Turks, and the Diaspora ...
Song Book by Hakob Meghapart
Tagharan (Song book), a collection of odes for the soul and the body, was one of the first five books published by Hakob Meghapart (Jacob the Sinner), who established the first Armenian printing press in Venice in 1512. Little is known about Hakob Meghapart, or why he styled himself “the Sinner” (or “the Sinful”). Armenia was at that time under the rule of the Ottoman Turks, and the Diaspora community played a critical role in keeping alive the Armenian language and literary tradition. The book is written in Grabar (Classical ...
Epistles, Gospels, and Popular Readings in the Tuscan Language
This devotional book in Italian ('the language of Tuscany'), published in 1495 by Piero Pacini da Pescia (active, circa 1495-1514), is considered the greatest Florentine illustrated book of the 15th century. It contains 144 large woodcuts, all but eight original to this text, 24 small images of saints and prophets, and a series of 14 different border styles. The large number of images, along with the quality of the designs and execution, make this work a treasure of Florentine design and one of the truly important sources for the study ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Guide to Operations on Irrational Radicals for Neophytes
This mathematical treatise by Muḥammad b. Abi al-Fatḥ Muḥammad b. al-Sharafī Abi al-Rūḥ ‘Īsā b. Aḥmad al-Ṣūfī al-Shāfi‘ī al-Muqrī, was written in 1491-92 (897 AH). It begins with a "General Introduction," followed by two main parts, with a concluding section on the study of cubes and cube roots. Part I, "Operations on Simple Irrational Radicals," is divided into four chapters. Chapter 1 covers simplification of radicals. Chapters 2, 3, and 4 deal respectively with the multiplication, addition and subtraction, and division of radicals. Part II, on "Operations with Compound ...
Five Books of the Sentences
This codex from the Plutei Collection of the Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana in Florence is a compilation of texts related to the Christian Church in Visigothic Spain. As stated on the colophon, the volume was originally made for King Matthias Corvinus of Hungary (1443–90). It includes Sententiarum libri V (Five books of the sentences) by Taio Samuel (died 683), followed by a collection of writings by the Church Fathers chosen by Isidore of Seville, and a letter by Quiricus, bishop first of Barcelona and then of Toledo, to Taio Samuel ...
History of Rome
Historia by Appianus of Alexandria (circa 90−160) is a narrative of the history of Rome from the Republic (circa 509−27 BC) to the second century AD. The present codex, from the Plutei Collection of the Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana in Florence, is a translation from the original Greek into Latin by Pier Candido Decembrio (1399−1477), commissioned by Pope Nicholas V (1397−1455). In the colophon (recto of folio 151), the copyist, Carolus Hylarii Fatarius, states that the manuscript originally was intended for the library of King Matthias Corvinus ...
Collection of the Essential Medical Herbs of Materia Medica
Ben cao pin hui jing yao (Collection of the essential medical herbs of materia medica) was compiled and illustrated by imperial order of Emperor Xiaozong (ruled 1487−1505) of the Ming dynasty. The manuscript was completed in the 18th and last year of his reign, called Hongzhi (1505). It was the only officially published work on materia medica. After Emperor Xiaozong died, the manuscript was kept in the imperial court and not printed for more than four centuries. However, a number of expertly copied manuscripts with color illustrations did appear ...
Contributed by National Library of China
The Luxuriant Dew of the Spring and Autumn Annals
Attributed to the Han dynasty scholar Dong Zhongshu (circa 179−circa 104 BC), Chun Qiu fan lu (The luxuriant dew of the Spring and Autumn annals) was an elaboration on the Spring and Autumn Annals, which date from about the 720s to the 480s BC. Dong’s work focuses on the Gongyang Commentary (On the Annals) and its school, which predated his work by a century or more, with references to the five elements theory (fire, earth, metal, water, and wood) and the interaction between heaven and mankind. Four different ...
Contributed by National Library of China
Fatwa on the Millennium
Kashf ‘an mujawazat hadha al-ummah al-alf (Fatwa on the millennium) is a portion of a more comprehensive genealogical work, Lubb al-Lulab fi Tahrir al-Ansab (The essence of constructing genealogies). It treats the Last Days in Sunni eschatology. The fatwa (legal opinion) was stimulated by a question brought to the author, al-Suyuti (1445−1505), regarding the resurrection of the Prophet Muhammad within a thousand years of his death. Al-Suyuti states that many people are interested in the question of the millennium. He dismisses this belief, saying that it ...
Flemish Psalter
This Flemish Psalter from the library of the Irish College in Paris was made in Bruges (present-day Belgium) around 1500. The manuscript is written in Latin on vellum, and it has a 19th-century binding. Psalters are religious books, especially popular in the Middle Ages, containing the psalms (poems that are sung) from the Bible, often with other devotional texts. Richly decorated, the Psalter includes a fully illuminated page depicting the Tree of Jesse and a miniature of King David, the main author of the psalms. Twelve illuminations, each composed of ...
Contributed by Irish College in Paris
World Chronicle with the Descent of the Kings of England from Adam and Eve to Richard III
This manuscript, produced in London around 1500, traces the genealogy of the kings of England from Adam and Eve to Richard III. The manuscript was made in the manner of William Caxton (circa 1422–92), the first English printer. Written in English, on vellum, the volume still has its original brown calf binding. Illustrations are mostly large compositions in pen and ink and include images of the Last Judgment and the fall of the rebel angels, the Creation, the fall of Adam and Eve, and Noah’s ark. Also included ...
Contributed by Irish College in Paris
The Garden of the Virgin Mary
The 1510 manuscript Jungfru Marie örtagård (The Garden of the Virgin Mary) is the work of an anonymous nun at the Brigittine monastery at Vadstena in eastern Götaland, Sweden, and is the sole surviving source for the Swedish psalms, collects and lessons, hymns, and commentaries used in daily office by the nuns at the monastery. From the late 14th century to about 1530, the Vadstena monastery contributed significantly to the development of a nascent Swedish cultural identity, largely through the language that developed and was taught there. Most of the ...
Adam and Eve in Paradise
Lucas Cranach, the Elder (1472-1553) was a leading artist of the German Renaissance. He served as court painter at Wittenberg to Frederick the Wise of Saxony and was a friend and advocate of Martin Luther, the leader of the Protestant Reformation. He was also a master printmaker. This 1509 woodcut depicts Adam and Eve beneath an apple tree, surrounded by animals, with Eve being tempted by the serpent. Man’s fall from grace was a popular theme in the Reformation era. Between 1510 and 1540 Cranach painted Adam and Eve ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Small Passion. The Expulsion from Paradise
Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528) is generally considered Germany’s greatest artist. In addition to being one of the monumental figures in the history of Western printmaking, he was a painter and wrote important early works of artistic theory dealing with such topics as geometry, perspective, and the measurements of the human body. Much of his work was religious. From his early 20s until his death at the age of 57, Dürer worked on at least six different versions of the Passion--the story of Christ's suffering between the Last Supper and ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Concerning Discovered Islands: Letter of Christopher Columbus, to Whom Our Age is Greatly Indebted, Concerning Islands Recently Discovered in the Indian Ocean
This small work, published in 1493, is a Latin edition of a letter by Christopher Columbus announcing his discoveries of the previous year. It most likely was produced in Basel, Switzerland, by Jakob Wolff, a well-known printer who was active in Basel from 1488 to 1518. The work contains some of the first published images purporting to show the New World, including one depicting Columbus landing on a shore and making contact with indigenous people, and one showing the building of a town. At the top of both illustrations are ...
Contributed by John Carter Brown Library
On the New World or Landscape Recently Discovered by the Illustrious King of Portugal Through the Very Best Pilots and Sea Experts of the World
This work is the only known copy of a Dutch translation of a letter from Amerigo Vespucci (1454-1512) to Lorenzo de Medici (1463-1503), describing Vespucci's third voyage to America, undertaken in 1501-02 in the service of the king of Portugal. The work was published in Antwerp circa 1507 by the famous Flemish printer Joes van Doesborgh. The book is a translation of a Latin text, published in Paris in 1503, under the title Mundus novus (New world), which was itself a translation from Vespucci’s original Italian. In the ...
Contributed by John Carter Brown Library
Map of the Entire World
This early-16th century map by Martin Waldseemüller (1470-1521) is the only known copy of this particular world map, and contains an early appearance of the name “America.” The map is generally known as the “Admiral's Map,” because at one time it was believed to have been the work of Columbus, often referred to as “the Admiral.” Waldseemüller was a German scholar and cartographer who, in 1507, published Cosmographiaie Introductio (Introduction to cosmography) in which he suggested that the New World be called “America.” In the same year, Waldseemüller and ...
Contributed by John Carter Brown Library
Columbus Manuscript
In this manuscript, enscribed Cadiz, Spain, November 20, 1493, Christopher Columbus describes the new lands he has discovered, which he calls the East Indies. The manuscript is written on linen paper and bears a watermark. In 1978, the eminent historian Edmundo O’Gorman authenticated the document and backed its acquisition by CONDUMEX.
Introduction to Astronomy, Containing the Eight Divided Books of Abu Ma'shar Abalachus
Ja‘far ibn Muḥammad al-Balkhī (787–886), known as Abū Ma‘shar, lived in Baghdad in the 9th century. Originally an Islamic scholar of the Hadith (the prophetic traditions of Muhammad) and a contemporary of the famous philosopher al-Kindī, Abū Ma‘shar developed an interest in astrology at the relatively late age of 47. He became the most important and prolific writer on astrology in the Middle Ages. His discourses incorporated and expanded upon the studies of earlier scholars of Islamic, Persian, Greek, and Mesopotamian origin. His works were translated ...
Contributed by Qatar National Library
Commentary of Hugo of Sienna on the First [Book] of the Canon of Avicenna Together with His Questions
Ugo Benzi (also known as Hugo of Siena) was born in Siena about 1370. Educated in the liberal arts, he later developed an interest in medicine and undertook formal studies at the University of Bologna. He became a renowned physician, scholar, and teacher of medicine at several universities in Italy. He prepared commentaries on the medical classics of the time, works by the Greek Hippocrates, the Roman Galen, and the famous Islamic scholar Abū ‘Alī al-Ḥusayn ibn ‘Abd Allāh ibn Sīnā (980–1037), commonly known as Avicenna. These texts formed ...
Contributed by Qatar National Library
Flowers of Avicenna
Abū ‘Alī al-Ḥusayn ibn ‘Abd Allāh ibn Sīnā (980–1037), commonly known as Avicenna, was born at Afshaneh, near Bukhara in Persia (present-day Uzbekistan). By the age of 10, he was well versed in the study of the Qur’an and various sciences. He was the most famous and influential of the many Islamic scholars, scientists, and philosophers of the medieval world. He was foremost a physician but was also an astronomer, chemist, geologist, psychologist, philosopher, logician, mathematician, physicist, and poet. A prolific writer in all of these fields ...
Contributed by Qatar National Library
A verger's dream: Saints Cosmas and Damian performing a miraculous cure by transplantation of a leg. Oil painting attributed to the Master of Los Balbases, ca. 1495.
Saints Cosmas and Damian were early Christian martyrs who, according to legend, practiced medicine without payment and therefore were represented to the public as medical ideals. In this Spanish altarpiece, the saints appear in a vision, dressed in the full finery of academic doctors as they perform the miracle of transplanting a leg. The vision is described in a book of 1275 by Jacobus de Voragine, Legenda aurea (The golden legend). The vision was received in the Church of Saints Cosmas and Damian, in Rome, by a verger who had ...
Contributed by Wellcome Library
A Map of the Entire World According to the Traditional Method of Ptolemy and Corrected with Other Lands of Amerigo Vespucci
Martin Waldseemüller's 1507 world map was the first map to depict a separate Western hemisphere with the Pacific as a separate ocean. The map grew out of an ambitious project in St. Dié, France, during the early 1500s, to document and update new geographic knowledge derived from the Portuguese and Spanish explorations of the late 15th and early 16th centuries. Waldseemüller's map was the most exciting product of that research effort. It drew upon data gathered during Amerigo Vespucci's 1501-02 voyages to the New World. In recognition ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Guidebook for Students on the Use of Arithmetic
This guidebook is a short commentary on a work on arithmetic entitled al-Wasīla (The tool) completed in the 14th century by Shihāb al-Dīn Ahmad ibn Alī ibn Imād. The commentary is by the renowned Egyptian scholar known as Sibt (grandson of) al-Māridīnī (1423–1506), who taught mathematical sciences at Alazhar for a long time. The body of the work begins with a general discussion on numbers, and forms a standard introduction to arithmetic. The manuscript, which was completed by Ahmad ibn Yūnus al-Chalabī al-Hanafī in 1496 (AH 903) at the ...
The Life of Meriasek
Until recently, when Beunans Ke came to light, Beunans Meriasek was the only known saint's play in Middle Cornish. St. Meriasek was of Breton origin. The play presents his career, starting with his early education in Brittany and his arrival in Cornwall, recounting the various miracles he performed, then moves on to his return to Brittany, where he became Bishop of Vannes and eventually died a Christian death. Incorporated into the narrative are a number of individual tales, including incidents from the life of St. Sylvester and a miracle ...
Contributed by National Library of Wales
The Nuremberg Chronicle
The Liber chronicarum, a universal history compiled from older and contemporary sources by the Nuremberg doctor, humanist, and bibliophile Hartmann Schedel (1440–1514), is one of the most densely illustrated and technically advanced works of early printing. It contains 1809 woodcuts produced from 645 blocks. The Nuremberg entrepreneur Sebald Schreyer and his brother-in-law, Sebastian Kammermeister, financed the production of the book. Michael Wolgemut and his son-in-law Wilhelm Pleydenwurff executed the illustrations in around 1490, a time when their workshop was at its artistic peak and the young Albrecht Dürer was ...
Contributed by Bavarian State Library
A Book Concerning the Nature of Things. Natural Questions in Seven Books
Under the influence of Italian humanism and of his book-collector tutor János Vitéz, the Archbishop of Esztergom, Matthias Corvinus of Hungary (1443–1490) developed a passion for books and learning. Elected king of Hungary in 1458 at the age of 14, Matthias won great acclaim for his battles against the Ottoman Turks and his patronage of learning and science. He created the Bibliotheca Corviniana, in its day one of Europe’s finest libraries. After his death, and especially after the conquest of Buda by the Turks in 1541, the library ...
Contributed by Bavarian State Library
The Medical Formulary of Al-Samarqandī
Little is known about the author of this treatise on medical remedies, Nağīb al-Dīn Al-Samarqandī, apart from the fact that he was killed during the pillage of Herat (present-day Afghanistan) by the Mongols in 1222. His premature death notwithstanding, al-Samarqandī composed an impressive number of medical treatises dealing with pharmacology, dietetics, toxicology, and ophthalmology, and books on medicine in general. Al-Samarqandī showed a degree of modernity and independent thinking in his treatment of pathology. He appeared to set aside the theory of the four humors of the body dating back ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
The Great Ming Gazetteer of Xinghua Prefecture
This manuscript edition of the gazetteer of Xinghua Prefecture, Fujian Province, is in 54 juan in 12 volumes. It was compiled jointly by Zhou Ying (1430–1518) and Huang Zhongzhao (1435–1508), both from Fujian. Xinghua became a prefecture in the second year (1369) of the reign of the first Ming emperor, Hongwu. The town with its seaport was important for the local economy and overseas trade. Both Zhou Ying and Huang Zhongzhao received the prestigious jin shi (doctoral degree). A follower of Zhu Xi’s Neo-Confucianism, Zhou Ying held ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Zhejiang Provincial Civil Examination Records
This book is a collection of civil examination records from Zhejiang Province, dated the eighth year of the Zhengde reign (1513) of the Ming dynasty. The civil examination system in China officially began in the first half of the seventh century and continued with various modifications until its abolition in 1905 in the late Qing dynasty. Its purpose was to train and select qualified officials to form an efficient bureaucracy to administer the vast nation under the emperor. The system was designed to reward merit in any male candidate, rather ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Metropolitan Civil Examination Records from the Sixth Year of the Hongzhi Reign (1493)
This is a collection of civil examination records in two juan, in four volumes, dated the sixth year (1493) of the Hongzhi reign (1488–1505). The civil examination system in China began in the first half of the seventh century and continued with various modifications until its abolition in 1905 in the late Qing dynasty. Its purpose was to train and select qualified officials to form an efficient bureaucracy to administer the vast nation under the emperor. The system was designed to reward merit in any male candidate, rather than ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
In Praise of the Most Serene Ferdinand, King of Spain, 'Baetic' and Ruler of Granada, Besieger, Victor, Triumphant: And On the Recently Discovered Islands in the Indian Sea
This book is a compilation of two texts, both relating to events in the momentous year of 1492. The first is a drama in Latin by an Italian author, Carlo Verardi (Carolus Verardus), written in a combination of verse and prose, which recounts the military campaign during the reign of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella to capture Granada, the last Moorish territory on the Iberian Peninsula. The annexation of Granada marked the end of eight centuries of Muslim rule in Spain and Portugal and concluded the long struggle known in ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
The Italian Poems of the Master Francesco Petrarcha
Francesco Petrarca (also known as Petrarch, 1304–74) was an Italian poet and scholar, often called the Father of the Renaissance. The greatest scholar of his era, Petrarch advocated the basic continuity between Christianity and the classical culture of Greece and Rome. While he wrote mainly in Latin and personally discovered many long-lost Latin manuscripts, he is best known for his Italian lyric poetry, much of it written to Laura, the idealized subject of his love who is identified by many scholars as Laure de Noves (circa 1308–48) of ...
Divan of Sultan Husayn Mirza
This folio includes ten lines of poetry from a divan (compendium of poems) written in Chagatay Turkish by the last Timurid ruler, Sultan Husayn Mirza (1438–1506). Executed in nasta'liq script through a process of découpage, the fragment belongs to a now dispersed manuscript possibly calligraphed by Sultan 'Ali al-Mashhadi around 1490. Sultan Husayn Mirza b. Mansur b. Bayqara was ruler of Khurasan, based in its capital city of Herat (present-day Afghanistan), from 1469 to his death in 1506. The city was an important cultural center, attracting both Turkish ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Ghazals of Amir Khusraw Dihlavi
This calligraphic fragment includes a number of ghazals (lyric poems) composed by the Persian poet Amīr Khusraw Dihlavī (circa 1253–1325), whose pen name or signature "Khusraw" appears at the top of the central column of diagonal verses. The ghazals are executed in black Nasta'liq script in three columns, with the verses appearing on a beige paper and framed by cloud bands on a background painted in gold. Several triangular panels fill in the spaces remaining at the intersection of the diagonal verses and the rectangular frame. These panels ...
Contributed by Library of Congress