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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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
"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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
The Qur’an in the Earliest Printed Version, with the Life and Teachings of Muhammad and Other Works
This volume contains the first-ever printing of the Qur’an, presented in the 12th-century Latin translation by the English scholar Robert of Ketton. This translation was commissioned by Abbot Peter the Venerable of the monastery of Cluny in France, who was also responsible for monasteries in Spain. Islam was still a strong presence in Spain in the 1300s, although Muslim control of the Iberian Peninsula was waning. When this edition was printed 400 years later, Islam was again a pressing concern for Christian authorities: in 1529 the Ottoman Turkish sultan ...