43 results in English
General Atlas of All the Islands in the World
Islario general de todas las islas del mundo (General atlas of all the islands in the world) is the greatest work by Seville cosmographer Alonso de Santa Cruz (1505–67). The atlas was begun during the reign of Holy Roman Emperor and King of Spain Charles V and finished in that of his son King Philip II, to whom it was dedicated. It consists of 111 maps representing all the islands and peninsulas of the world, and showing all the discoveries made by European explorers from 1400 to the mid-16th ...
Contributed by National Library of Spain
Unique Algebraic Remainders on the Sibṭ’s Commentary on the Yāsamīnīyya
This work is an elaboration of the commentary written by the Egyptian mathematician Sibṭ al-Māridīnī—i.e., a commentary on another commentary—on the urjūzah (versified introduction) to the science of algebra, originally composed by the Berber mathematician and man of letters Abū Muḥammad ‘Abd-Allāh al-Ishbīlī al-Marrakushī, also known as Ibn al-Yāsamīn, who died in 1204 (600 AH). Al-Yāsamīn summarized his mathematical knowledge in a versified treatise known as the Yāsamīnīyya (The treatise by al-Yāsamīn). Around the end of the 15th century, al-Yāsamīn’s verses were the object of a ...
The Oztoticpac Lands Map
Dated at approximately 1540, this map, a Mexican pictorial document with writing in Spanish and Nahuatl, relates to a lawsuit concerning the estate of Don Carlos Ometochtli Chichimecatecotl, an Aztec lord and one of the many sons of Nezahualpilli, ruler of Texcoco. Don Carlos was charged with heresy and publicly executed by the Spanish authorities on November 30, 1539. Litigation began on December 31, 1540, when a man identified as Pedro de Vergara petitioned the Inquisition to return to him certain fruit trees taken from the property of Don Carlos ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Account of the Composition of the Human Body
Juan Valverde was a Spanish medical anatomist who was born in Amusco, in the present-day province of Palencia, around 1525. He left for Italy around 1542, and later practiced medicine and taught in Rome. He was the great Spanish follower of the new anatomy established by Andreas Vesalius in 1543 with his work De humani corporis fabrica (On the fabric of the human body). Vesalius was responsible for a new vision of the human body in the modern world. Valverde helped to spread this vision through the 16 editions in ...
Contributed by National Library of Spain
Treatise on Field Fortifications
Giovan Battista Belluzzi (1506–54) was a San Marino native who served as chief military engineer to Cosimo I de' Medici (1519–74), duke of Florence. This manuscript, believed to be in Belluzzi’s own hand, was written for Stefano IV Colonna, a Florentine general also in the employment of the Medici family. The manuscript contains instructions for building military fortifications in remote areas, using only local resources such as earth and wood as structural elements. The text includes a discourse on how to evaluate the condition of the soil ...
The Method of Medicine
This book is a compendium of medical works, printed in Basel in 1541 by the shop of Heinrich Petri (1508–79), also known by his Latinized name Henricus Petrus. It includes the Latin translation of the 30th chapter of the celebrated al-Taṣrīf li man ‘ajiza al-ta’līf (The arrangement of [medical knowledge] for one who is unable to compile [a manual for himself]) by the important Andalusian physician Abū al-Qāsim ibn al-‘Abbās al-Zahrawī. The book also contains a four-part work concerning the treatment of wounds and lesions by ...
Contributed by Qatar National Library
Complete Book on the Judgment of the Stars
This book is a Latin translation of Ibn al-Rijāl Abū al-Ḥasan al-Shaybānī al-Maghribī al-Qayrawānī’s principal scientific work, Kitāb al-bāriʻ fī aḥkām al-nujūm (Complete book on the judgment of the stars). Known in the Latin West as Haly Abenragel, or Haly Albohazen, Ibn al-Rijāl was the astrologer and leading official at the court of the Zīrid prince Muʻizz ibn Bādīs (1007 or 1008–62) at Qayrawān (present-day Kairouan, Tunisia). Kitāb al-bāriʻ consists of eight books covering several different types of astrology. These include interrogations, nativities, the discussions of the ...
Contributed by Qatar National Library
Commentary on the Chapter Nine of the Book of Medicine Dedicated to Mansur
This work is a commentary in Latin by Italian professor and physician Giovanni Arcolani (died 1484, also known as Ioannis Arculani) on the ninth book of Kitāb al-ṭibb al-Manṣūrī (The book of medicine dedicated to Mansur) by the renowned Persian polymath Abū Bakr Muḥammad ibn Zakarīyā Rāzī (circa 865–circa 925). Known in the Latin West as Rhazes or Rasis, Rāzī was born in Rayy, just south of Tehran. He is generally considered one of the towering figures in medicine in the medieval period. His influence on ...
Contributed by Qatar National Library
Compendium of Medical Texts by Mesue, with Additional Writings by Various Authors
The renowned Nestorian Persian physician Yūḥannā Ibn Māsawayh (circa 777–857), known in the Latin West as Mesue, was born in Samarra, present-day Iraq. According to al-Qiftī, Yūḥannā’s father, Abu Yūḥannā Māsawayh, a physician at the famed medical center at Jundīshāpūr (in southwest Persia, near present-day Dezful), was asked to establish a hospital in Baghdad during the reign of Caliph Hārūn al-Rashīd (ruled 786–809). Ibn Māsawayh continued the work of his father in Baghdad, teaching medicine, composing medical works, and treating patients. Ibn Māsawayh began his career at ...
Contributed by Qatar National Library
The Seven Books on the Therapeutic Method, Which Is the Art of Curing, by John of Damascus from the Decapolis, Major Medical Authority among the Arabs
Yúhānnā Ibn Serapion was a ninth-century Nestorian physician known in the West as Serapion. He wrote two medical compendia (al-kunnāsh, in Arabic) in his native language of Syriac, the first in seven sections (al-kunnāsh al-ṣaghīr) and the second in 12 sections (al-kunnāsh al-kabīr). The larger of the two compendia is preserved in Istanbul as MS Ayasofya 3716. The shorter work was translated into Arabic by the secretary Mūsā b. Ibrāhīm al-Ḥadīthī on behalf of the physician Abu ’l-Ḥasan b. Nafīs. Al-kunnāsh al-ṣaghīr was translated into Latin by Gerard ...
Contributed by Qatar National Library
Commentary on the First Part of Avicenna’s “Canon of Medicine” and “Chapter on the Limbs” by Giano Matteo Durastante
This volume contains a Latin commentary on the first part of Avicenna’s Al-Qānūn fī al-ṭibb (The canon of medicine) by the Italian physician and philosopher Giovanni Battista da Mónte (known as Montano, 1498–1551), published in Venice in 1557. Montano was born in Verona. After first working in Brescia, he taught medicine at the University of Padua. He translated various works from Greek into Latin and wrote numerous commentaries on treatises by Hippocrates, Galen, and Avicenna, most of which were published posthumously by his followers. He ...
Contributed by Qatar National Library
A Clear Explanation of Averroes’ Introduction to the Commentary on Aristotle’s “Analytica Posterior”
This work is a commentary on Ibn Rushd’s prologue to his commentary on Aristotles’s Analytica Posterior (Posterior analytics) by the Italian philosopher and physician Giovanni Bernardino Longo (1528–99), published in Naples in 1551. Muhammad ibn Ahmed ibn Rushd (1126–98), known in the West by the Latinized version of his name, Averroes, was an intellectual luminary of the Islamic world. Although he wrote extensively on the religious sciences, natural sciences, medicine, and philosophy, his reputation in the West rests primarily on his commentaries on Aristotle. He belonged ...
Contributed by Qatar National Library
A So Far Unpublished Book on the Judgments of the Nativities by Abū ‘Alī, the Arabic Astrologer
Yaḥyá ibn Ghālib Khayyāṭ (died circa 835) was an astrologer and pupil of the great Jewish-Persian astrologer Māshāʼallāh (circa 730–circa 815). He was known to mediaeval Christendom as Albohali (variants include Alghihac and Albenahait). Ibn al-Nadīm includes in Abu ʿAlī’s list of works Kitāb al-Masāʾil (The book of interrogations) and Kitāb al-Mawālīd (Book of nativities), both of which are extant, together with several works that are now lost. The latter include Kitāb al-Madkhal (The book of introduction), Kitāb al-Maʿānī (The book of [hidden] meanings), Kitāb al-Duwal (The book ...
Contributed by Qatar National Library
Treatise on the Craft of Weight Measurement
This work is a treatise on the construction and use of the weighing balance (qabān, also qapān). It brings together geometric, mechanical, and arithmetic knowledge needed to construct and utilize measuring devices for weighing heavy and irregularly-shaped objects. The author’s name is unknown, but excerpts from another work by an already-deceased Shaykh ‘Abd al-Majīd al-Shāmulī al-Maḥallī are quoted in the treatise. The last page of the manuscript contains a sheet of verses that describe the basics of using a weighing balance, in a form that is easy to remember ...
Chalcedony Scriptures
Yu sui zhen jing is a book on feng shui astrology, compiled by Zhang Dongxuan and annotated by Liu Yunzhong of the Song dynasty. The National Central Library copy is a Ming edition, printed in the 29th year of the reign of Emperor Jiajing (1550) in Fuzhou, in 32 volumes. At the head of the work is the preface written by Zhang Jing (dated 1550). At the end of the work is a note in red ink indicating that “from here the leaves are missing.” It also has several prefaces ...
Contributed by National Central Library
Flemish Paintings on Tables
In the late 15th and first half of the 16th centuries, the cultivation, refining, and marketing of sugar became a major part of the expanding economy of the Canary Islands. The main drivers of the sugar economy were landowners, agents, and traders from Flanders, which at that time was part of the Spanish Empire. Antwerp became the great receiving and distributing center for Canary Island sugar in Europe. One result of this economic activity was the introduction of Flemish art into the Canaries. Art became a means by which the ...
"Munajat" of 'Abdallah Ansari
This calligraphic fragment includes a maxim drawn from the Munajat (Supplications) of the great Persian mystic and scholar Khwajah 'Abdallah Ansari (died 1088). The two lines describe the benefits of prayer and generosity. The two lines of text are executed in black nasta'liq script on beige paper and framed by delicate cloud bands on a gold illuminated background. The text panel is framed by a variety of borders and pasted to a sheet of purple paper decorated with gold interlacing flower motifs. Between and below the two main lines ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
The Special Features of French Antarctica, Otherwise Called America, and of Several Lands and Islands Discovered in Our Time
André Thevet (1516/17-92) was a Franciscan friar who traveled widely and, through his writings, helped to establish cosmographie--as geography was called at the time--as a science in 16th-century France. After making trips to Africa and the Middle East in the 1540s, he was appointed chaplain to the expedition of Nicolas Durand de Villegagnon, which set out from Le Havre in May 1555 to establish a colony in Brazil. The expedition landed near present-day Rio de Janeiro in November of the same year. In January 1556, Thevet fell ill ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Book of Royal Gemstones
This work, by Abu al-‛Abbās Ahmad b. Yūsuf al-Qaysī al-Tīfāshī, a 13th-century writer and mineralogist who was born in Tunisia and worked in Egypt, describes precious gems found in the treasuries of kings and rulers. The author lists 25 gemstones and dedicates a chapter to each. They include the ruby (yāqūt), emerald (zumurrud), topaz (zabarjad), diamond (almās), turquoise (fīrūzaj), magnetite (maghnātīs), agate (‛aqīq), lapis lazuli (lāzward), coral (marjān), and quartz (talq). In each chapter, the author discusses the causes of the gemstone’s formation, provenance, criteria for appraisal of ...
Correct Words and Variations in the Persian Language
This 16th-century manuscript is a Persian dictionary, written at the time of the Mongol expansion into Persia (present-day Iran). The format of the dictionary follows that of older Arabic dictionaries, in which words were arranged according to the last consonant. The manuscript is from the Bašagić Collection of Islamic Manuscripts in the University Library of Bratislava, Slovakia, which was inscribed on the UNESCO Memory of the World register in 1997. Safvet beg Bašagić (1870-1934) was a Bosnian scholar, poet, journalist, and museum director who assembled a collection of 284 manuscript ...
On the Art of al-Aroodh
This manuscript book from 1554 is in two sections. The first section is a grammatical work by an unknown author that compares the conjugation of verbs in Arabic and in Farsi, indicating changes in the forms each time a different tense is used, and that also contains a list of the singular and plural forms of many Arabic nouns. The second section of the book is a brief article, in Ottoman Turkish, by an unknown author, on the metrics of Arabic poetry. The manuscript is from the Bašagić Collection of ...
Grammar and Its Standards
This anonymous work from 1553 is a Persian grammar, written in Arabic. It includes some Arabic adjectives translated into Persian, and is written in a poor nasta’līq script. The manuscript is from the Bašagić Collection of Islamic Manuscripts in the University Library of Bratislava, Slovakia, which was inscribed on the UNESCO Memory of the World register in 1997. Safvet beg Bašagić (1870-1934) was a Bosnian scholar, poet, journalist, and museum director who assembled a collection of 284 manuscript volumes and 365 print volumes that reflect the development of Islamic ...
Preface of Nicolas Gerbelius to Sophianos’s Description of Greece
Nikolaos Sophianos was a 16th-century Greek priest, scholar, translator, and publisher. He was born on Corfu and sent to Rome at an early age, where he studied at the Greek school on the Quirinal. He completed the first grammar of the Modern Greek language and translated works from ancient into Modern Greek. At some point he left Rome to settle in Venice, where by 1545 he had set up a press. Sophianos’s only known cartographic work is this map of his native country. Known as the Hellados perigraphe (Description ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Publication of Offices
The Notitia dignitatum is a state paper that documents virtually the whole of the civil and military organization of the Roman Empire as it existed after the reforms of Emperor Diocletian (ruled, 284–305). The manuscript contains chapters on the high state offices, and each chapter is preceded by pages of illustrations depicting the insignia of the officials in these offices and objects characteristic of their functions. The original of the document, probably written around 425 in Rome, is lost, as is a copy from the Carolingian period. The Carolingians ...
Contributed by Bavarian State Library
Jewel Book of the Duchess Anna of Bavaria
This unique manuscript was commissioned in 1552 by Duke Albrecht V of Bavaria, the founder of what is today the Bavarian State Library. The manuscript is an inventory of the jewelry owned by the duke and his wife, Duchess Anna, a member of the Habsburg dynasty and a daughter of Emperor Ferdinand I. The work contains 110 magnificent drawings by the Munich court painter Hans Mielich. One of the most impressive of these drawings is the front page miniature showing Albrecht and Anna playing chess, with Albrecht portrayed as a ...
Contributed by Bavarian State Library
Nautical Chart of the Mediterranean Basin
This portolan nautical chart, of Catalan origin, illustrates the coastal areas of the Mediterranean Sea with a wealth of detail, with toponyms of the inhabited areas shown without regard to political-territorial divisions. Nautical charts came into use on sailing vessels in the Mediterranean toward the end of the 13th century, coinciding with much broader seafaring activity and exploration. These charts supplemented the written instructions, or portolanos, which had been used for several centuries and thus were called portolan charts. The main centers of production for these charts were Spain and ...
The Defense and Illustration of the French Language
Joachim Du Bellay was born in Anjou, western France, in about 1522. In 1549, he published l'Olive (The olive), his first collection of sonnets and the first cycle of love sonnets in the French vernacular. That same year, he put forward his ideas on the French language and poetic practices in this work, La Deffence, et illustration de la langue francoyse (The defense and illustration of the French language). Du Bellay shared his essay with friends, who later formed the group of 16th-century poets known as the Pleiades. His ...
The Most Memorable Strange Tales Observed from the Birth of Jesus Christ to Our Century
After studying law in several French universities, Pierre Boaistuau (1517–66) spent much time travelling throughout Europe in the service of different ambassadors, which gave him the chance to examine the curiosities of the contemporary world. Upon his return to Paris, he wrote and published his complete works in the brief period between 1556 and 1560. His books were the origin of two dominant genres in the second half of the 16th century: the histoires tragiques (tragic stories) and the histoires prodigieuses (strange tales). Histoires prodigieuses (Strange tales) was the ...
Genealogy of the Wang Family
This printed Chinese genealogy is in four volumes. 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. The title inscription ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
A Current and Precise Description of Portugal, Which Was Once Lusitania, by Fernando Alvarez Seco
Fernando Alvares Seco (fl. 1561-85) was a Portuguese mathematician and cartographer who made the first known map of Portugal. It was engraved by Sebastiano del Re and published in Rome in 1561. Abraham Ortelius (1527-98) later reprinted the map in his Theatrum Orbis Terrarum (Theater of the world), which was first published in May 1570. Ortelius was a cartographer and map publisher from Antwerp. From 1564 to 1570, he made maps of his own, but in 1570 turned to publishing the Theatrum. Known as the world’s first atlas, this ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Guizhou Provincial Civil Examination Records
This is a collection of Guizhou provincial civil examination records dated the 25th year (1546) of the Jiajing reign (1522–66) of the Ming dynasty. 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
Yunnan Provincial Civil Examination Materials
This work is a collection of Yunnan provincial civil examination records, in one juan and four volumes, dated the 34th year (1555) of the Jiajing reign (1522–66) of the Ming dynasty. 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 ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Tenochtitlán, 1521
This topographical map of Mexico City and its surroundings dates from around 1550, some three decades after the conquest of the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlán by Hernán Cortés in 1521. Tenochtitlán was founded in the 14th century on an island in the salt lake of Texcoco. Upon occupying the city, the Spanish pulled down its central parts and replaced the Aztec temples with buildings constructed in the Spanish style, but they left the street layout virtually intact. The map shows the new buildings. The cathedral (Iglesia Major) is in the ...
The Boban Aztec Calendar Wheel
This Aztec pictorial calendar wheel, commonly known as the Boban calendar wheel, is printed on amatl (fig bark) paper. Initially dated to approximately 1530, it has now been more accurately dated to 1545–46. The initial dating derived from the identification of two figures shown in the document, one said to be Hernán Cortés and another said to be Don Antonio Pimentel Tlahuitoltzin, depicted as the son of Ixtlilxochitl. The scholar Patricia Lopes Don has argued for the date of 1545–46 based on the fact that Don Antonio Pimentel ...
Contributed by John Carter Brown Library
Comment on the Lights of Revelations
This Ottoman manuscript is a ḥāshiyah (gloss) on the commentary on the Qur’an entitled Anwār al-tanzīl, which was composed by ‘Abd Allāh al-Bayḍawī, who died in about 685 AH (1286 AD). The gloss was written by Kemalpaşazade (died 940 AH [1533 AD]), and the present copy was transcribed from the author's holograph in 966 AH (1558 AD) by ‘Uthmān ibn Manṣūr. The text is written in Turkish Nasta’līq script in black ink, with the words qāla (I said) and aqūlu (I said), being indicators of quotations, in ...
Contributed by Walters Art Museum
Atlas of Battista Agnese
Battista Agnese (circa 1500–1564) was an Italian cartographer, born in Genoa, who worked in Venice between 1536 and 1564 and became one of the most important figures in Renaissance cartography. He created approximately 100 manuscript atlases, of which more than 70 are extant, either with his signature or attributed to his school. His atlases, which are considered works of art for their high quality and beauty, are mostly portolan, or nautical, atlases printed on vellum for high-ranking officials or wealthy merchants. This 1544 atlas contains 15 full-page illuminated plates ...
Contributed by National Library of Spain
The Lower Sorbian Testament of Miklawuš Jakubica, 1548
This 669-page manuscript contains the complete translation of the New Testament into Lower Sorbian by Pastor Miklawus Jakubica. It is one of the most important cultural documents relating to the Sorbian people of eastern Germany and an important source for the study of the West Slavic languages. Completed in 1548, Jakubica’s translation, which includes many colorful illustrations of flowers, trees, and animals, has never been printed. As the groundwork for his translation, Jakubica used Martin Luther’s translation of the Bible into German, as well as the Latin Vulgate ...
The Triumphs of Maximilian
Among the many endeavors undertaken by Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I (1459–1519) to further his legacy was his plan of a monumental allegorical triumph, to be composed of more than 200 woodcuts. Many of the foremost artisans of the time worked on the project, but it was stopped after the Emperor's death and thus was never finished. The Munich manuscript of the Turnierbuch (Tournament book, also known as The Triumphs of Maximilian) features copies of the preparatory drawings made by Hans Burgkmair the Elder (1473–1531), who was ...
Contributed by Bavarian State Library
English Coats of Arms
In the mid-16th century, tradesmen working for the Fugger mercantile and banking empire and commissioned by the Augsburg patrician and book lover Johann Jakob Fugger were busy acquiring new treasures, from sources near and far, for Fugger’s huge collection of books. To enlarge his collection of European dynastic history and heraldry, a special interest of Fugger’s in 1545–50, he procured this work, the latest version of the armorial of the English nobility. The collection opens with a magnificent coat of arms of King Henry VIII (reigned 1509 ...
Contributed by Bavarian State Library
Sixth Book on Architecture: On Habitations in and outside the Cities
The rediscovery in 1414 of the manuscript of De architectura libri decem (The ten books on architecture) by Vitruvius (circa 80–15 BC), the only treatise on architecture handed down from antiquity, caused a revolution in Renaissance architectural thought. One of the most important architects of the period, known both for his theoretical writings and the buildings he designed, was Sebastiano Serlio (1475–1554) of Bologna. Serlio’s seven books on architecture had a decisive influence on the evolution of the architecture of Venetian villas and palaces. Serlio’s influence ...
Contributed by Bavarian State Library
Amadis of Gaul
Amadís de Gaula (Amadis of Gaul) belongs to the genre of chivalric romances written in Spain in the late 15th century and the first half of the 16th century, often based on French sources. They are characterized as imaginative works of illusion, filled with wonders and enchantments. The Amadís of the National Library of Colombia is a beautiful volume of 600 pages (more than 1,500 pages in today's editions), printed in two columns in gothic type. It is illustrated with numerous woodcuts covering a wide variety of ...
Book of the Holy Gospel of Our Lord and God Jesus Christ
The first printing of the Syriac New Testament appeared thanks to the patronage of Ferdinand I, to whom a long preface is dedicated to begin the book. Johann Albrecht Widmanstetter (1506-1557) and Moses of Mardin, on whose handwriting the Syriac type for the book was based, were the forces behind the work. This Syriac type was produced by Kaspar Kraft under the direction of the French Orientalist Guillaume Postel (1510-1581). This edition of the New Testament has James, 1 Peter, and 1 John, but not the other General Epistles or ...