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The Luminous Treasure with Acceptable Answers to Matters of Faith
Aḥmad ibn ʻAbd al-Laṭīf ibn Aḥmad al-Bashbīshī (1631–85) was an Islamic jurist of the Shāfiʻī school of jurisprudence. He was born and died in the village of Bashbīsh in the region of Al-Mahalla in the Nile delta of Egypt. He studied Islamic jurisprudence in Cairo and taught at the Cairo-based Al-Azhar Mosque, long considered the foremost institution in the Islamic world for the study of Sunni theology. Al-Tuhfa al-Saniyya bi Ajwibat al-Masaa’il al-Mardhiyya (The luminous treasure with acceptable answers to matters of faith) is a collection of writings ...
Contributed by
King Abdulaziz University Library
A Modern Depiction of Ireland, One of the British Isles
Abraham Ortelius (1527-98) was a Flemish engraver and businessman who traveled widely to pursue his commercial interests. In 1560 he became interested in scientific geography during a voyage with Gerardus Mercator. Ortelius’s major work, Theatrum orbis terrarum (Theater of the world), was published in Antwerp in 1570, at the threshold of the golden age of Dutch cartography. Theatrum presented the world in its component parts and reflected an age of exploration, broadened commercial connections, and scientific inquiry. Now considered the world’s first atlas, the original Theatrum was enhanced ...
Contributed by
Library of Congress
El melopeo y maestro: Treatise on the Theory and Practice of Music
Pedro (Pietro) Cerone (1566–1625) was born in Bergamo, Italy. After training as a musician, singer, and priest in Italy, he travelled to Spain as a pilgrim to Santiago de Compostela in about 1593. A year later, mired in poverty and living in Madrid, he came under the protection of Santiago Gratii (Caballero de Gracia), in whose music academy he was able to work. Thanks probably to Caballero de Gracia, he was able to serve in the Royal Chapel of Phillip II and later that of Philip III. Around 1603 ...
Contributed by
National Library of Spain
Bill of Sale from Henry Walker to William Shakespeare, 1613
This deed of bargain and sale, dated March 10, 1613, records William Shakespeare's purchase of a gatehouse in the Blackfriars district of London, from Henry Walker, citizen and minstrel of London. Shakespeare paid £80 of the £140 selling price up front, and on the day after the conveyance he mortgaged the remaining £60 back to Walker. William Johnson, citizen and vintner of London, and John Jackson and John Heminge, gentlemen, acted as trustees in Shakespeare's interest. They also were in charge of the sale of the property following ...
Contributed by
Folger Shakespeare Library
Trevelyon Miscellany, 1608
Thomas Trevilian, or Trevelyon, a London craftsman of whom little is known, created his miscellany in 1608 when he was about the age of 60. The bulky manuscript of 290 double-sided folios contains texts and images appropriated from books, woodcuts, and engravings of his day. Part one of the manuscript (leaves 3–36) consists of historical and practical information: a time line; an illustrated calendar; moralizing proverbs; a series of computational tables and astronomical diagrams; lists of families linked to William the Conqueror; distances between London and cities around the ...
Contributed by
Folger Shakespeare Library
Final Concord Between William Shakespeare and Hercules Underhill
The final concord between William Shakespeare and Hercules Underhill is the confirming title to Shakespeare's New Place house in Stratford-upon-Avon, signed Michaelmas 1602. Shakespeare originally purchased New Place in May 1597 from William Underhill. Underhill was poisoned two months later by Fulke Underhill, his oldest son and heir, who was hanged for the crime in 1599. When Hercules Underhill, Fulke's younger brother, came of age, Shakespeare protected his title to New Place by paying him to reconfirm the purchase. As was the custom, three copies of the final ...
Contributed by
Folger Shakespeare Library
Classified Divinations on Military Affairs
This work in 21 juan was compiled by Li Kejia of the Ming dynasty. Presented here is a Wanli edition of 1597, in six volumes. It is the earliest extant copy. The frame of the pages is 19.5 centimeters high and 13.5 centimeters wide. The borders are double-lined. Each single page has 11 columns, each with 22 characters. There is a red square seal impression of the National Central Library. Preceding the text are two prefaces, by Zhu Yuyi and Zhang Shoupeng, dated 1597. It also has an ...
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National Central Library
Traditional Chinese Medical Methods of Treatment of Smallpox and Measles
This work was compiled by Wan Quan (1495–1580), a famed physician of the Ming dynasty. A native of Luotian, Hubei Province, Wan Quan came from a family of physicians. His works, such as one on Su wen (Basic questions), followed the schools of Zhang Zhongjing, Liu Hejian, Li Dongyuan and Zhu Danxi, the four great physicians of the Jin and Yuan dynasties (1115–1368). At least ten works are known to have been written by Wan Quan. His subjects cover a wide range of topics, including fevers, maintenance of ...
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National Central Library
Drafts of Letters Sent by Balthasar Moretus I, 1598–1607
The Officina Plantiniana, also known as the Plantin Press or Plantijnse Drukkerij, was established in Antwerp in 1555 by Christopher Plantin (1520–89), the greatest typographer and printer-publisher of his day. The Officina grew to become the largest printing and publishing house in Europe and helped to make Antwerp, along with Venice and Paris, one of the most important centers of printing in the West. Shown here is a volume containing copies of the letters sent by Balthasar Moretus I (1574–1641) during the years 1598–1607. Plantin’s son-in-law ...
Contributed by
Museum Plantin-Moretus/Print Room
General Ledger, 1600–1608
The Officina Plantiniana, also known as the Plantin Press or Plantijnse Drukkerij, was established in 1555 by Christopher Plantin (1520–89), the greatest typographer and printer-publisher of his day. The Officina grew to become the largest printing and publishing house in Europe and helped to make Antwerp, along with Venice and Paris, one of the most important centers of printing in the West. Shown here is a ledger that provides a summary of the daily journaux (account books) of the activities of the press in the years 1600–1608 when ...
Contributed by
Museum Plantin-Moretus/Print Room
Akogi
Noh is a classical Japanese performance art that developed into its present form during the 14th and 15th centuries under the patronage of the shogunate. It became one of the favorite pastimes of the ruling class in Japan. Noh drama consists of dance and music. An utai-bon (book of lyrics) was made for each song in the drama. Noh was most popular during the 17th century, so many utai-bon, or Noh libretti, were published at that time. Shown here is a part of an utai-bon of Kanze-ryū style, one of ...
Contributed by
National Diet Library
The Tales of Ise
Ise monogatari (The tales of Ise) is a collection of some 125 brief episodes, combining elements of prose and poetry, that dates from the early Heian period (9th−10th centuries). The protagonist is believed to be modeled on Ariwarano Narihira (825−80), a handsome aristocrat who had many romantic affairs. The main character’s romances, friendships, heartbroken wandering life, and various other stories are narrated in a style that owes much to waka (literally, Japanese poems). The work had a great influence on later Japanese literature, including Genji monogatari (The ...
Contributed by
National Diet Library
Chronicle of Japan, Volumes 1 and 2
Nihon shoki (Chronicle of Japan) is the first official Japanese history book, edited by Imperial Prince Toneri and others and completed in the fourth year of the Yōrō era (720). The 30 volumes cover the period from the mythological age to the time of the Empress Jitō (end of the seventh century). The first and second volumes, which deal with the mythological age, have been highly regarded in Japan since ancient times. The oldest existing manuscript of Nihon shoki dates from the Heian period (794−1185). The first published edition ...
Contributed by
National Diet Library
New Map of the Wonderful, Large and Rich Land of Guiana...
This hand-colored map of Guiana (present-day French Guyana, Suriname, and Guyana) is the work of Jodocus Hondius (1563-1612), the patriarch of one of the most famous Dutch mapmaking families. The map includes annotations in Dutch about the indigenous peoples of northern South America, along with fantastic illustrations of South American animals. The Amazon and Orinoco rivers are both well depicted on the map.
Contributed by
National Library of Brazil
New and Precise Depiction of the Southern Part of America, Which Includes: Brazil, the Carribean, the New Kingdom of Guiana, Castilia del Oro, Nicaragua, the Antilles, and Peru: And Beneath the Tropic of Capricorn, Chile, the Rio de la Plato, Patagonia & the Straits of Magellan
This folding map of South America and the West Indies, printed on two separate sheets, with uncut margins, was engraved for the second edition of the fourth part of Hulsius' collection of voyages, which consists altogether of 26 parts. The "Vierte Schiffart" (Fourth voyage) is an account of Ulrich Schmidel's voyage to Brazil and the Rio de la Plata from 1534 to 1554. In this second edition of the map, three islands have been inserted below the bottom border of the lower map, with the name "Francisci Draco Ins ...
Contributed by
Library of Congress
Safinah Fragment
This calligraphic fragment is the first page of an album in a longitudinal shape (safinah). At the top are a fine illuminated panel and finial (sarloh) with gold and blue flower and vine motifs. In the upper and lower corners, two gold and blue illuminated triangles (or thumb pieces) fill the spaces between the rectangular frame and the diagonal lines of text. The text is written in black nasta'liq on beige paper. It includes three bayts (verses) praising God and describing humans' inability to comprehend His power: "Praise ...
Contributed by
Library of Congress
Verses in Persian and Chaghatay
This calligraphic fragment includes a number of verses in Persian and Chaghatay Turkish (Turkish spoken in Central Asia). A continuous Persian lyrical poem (ghazal) is written in the top and bottom horizontal rectangular panels. Another ghazal appears written in diagonal in the right and left vertical columns. Both ghazals are by the famous Persian poet Shaykh Sa'di (died 1292) and address moral issues. In the central text panel, verses in Chaghatay Turkish are written in black nasta'liq script on beige paper, surrounded by cloud bands on a gold ...
Contributed by
Library of Congress
Belgium as a Lion
In the 16th and 17th centuries, maps of the Low Countries frequently were drawn in the form of a lion, known by its Latin designation, Leo Belgicus. The “Belgian” lion usually included all of the 17 provinces variously referred to as the Netherlands or the Low Countries, even though the seven provinces of the north broke away in 1581 to form the Dutch Republic. Symbols of Dutch patriotism, these maps often appeared in 17th-century Dutch paintings, hanging on the walls of inns or private homes, as in Jan Vermeer’s ...
Contributed by
Library of Congress
Description of the Coasts, Points, Harbours and Islands of New France
This portolan-style chart on vellum was compiled by Samuel de Champlain (1567-1635), the founder of New France, and was originally intended for presentation to the King of France. One of the great cartographic treasures of America, the map offers the first thorough delineation of the New England and Canadian coasts from Cape Sable to Cape Cod, showing Port Royal; Frenchman's Bay; the St. John, St. Croix, Penobscot, and Kennebec Rivers; and Mount Desert Island, which Champlain himself named. The place names and coast line correspond closely to Champlain's ...
Contributed by
Library of Congress
Concerning the Savages, or, the Voyage of Samuel Champlain, from Brouage, Made in New France in 1603...
This book is an account of Champlain’s first voyage to New France, or Canada, in 1603. Amyar de Chastes, the governor of Dieppe, received from King Henry IV of France a grant of land in Canada, and asked Champlain to accompany him on a voyage to explore the territory. The expedition left Honfleur on March 15, 1603, and reached Tadoussac after a 40-day Atlantic crossing. Champlain first explored some 50-60 kilometers up the Saguenay River. He then proceeded up the Saint Lawrence River to near present-day Montreal. He returned ...
Contributed by
John Carter Brown Library
Manual Vocabulary of the Spanish and Mexican Languages: In Which are Contained the Words, Questions, and Answers Commonly and Usually Found in the Treatment and Communication Between Spaniards and Indians
This work, published in Mexico City in 1611, is the first edition of the most important and most frequently reprinted Spanish work on Nahuatl, the language of the Aztecs. It contains both a Spanish-Nahuatl (pages 1-100) and a Nahuatl-Spanish (pages 101-160) dictionary, in which the Nahuatl words are spelled out phonetically. Classical Nahuatl, the language of the Aztec Empire, was written with a pictographic script. About 1.5 million people in Mexico still speak dialects of Nahuatl that are descended from the language spoken by the Aztecs.
Contributed by
John Carter Brown Library