36 results in English
Compendium of Latin Translations of Persian Astronomical Tables
This volume is a compendium of six works that includes Latin translations of portions of the Zīj-i Sulṭānī by Muḥammad Ṭaraghāy ibn Shāhrukh ibn Tīmūr (1394–1449), known as Ulugh Beg. The other works include an excerpt from the Taqwīm al-Buldān (entitled “A Description of Khwārazm and Transoxiana from the Tables of Abū al-Fidāʾ”) by Abū al-Fidāʾ Ismāʿīl Ibn ʿAlī (1273-1331), and a star table by Muhammad ibn Muhammad Tizīnī. Ulugh Beg (“Great Commander” in Turkish) was a grandson of Tīmūr (known in the West as Tamerlane) and the ...
Contributed by Qatar National Library
Muḥammad al-Farghānī’s Elements of Chronology and Astronomy
Aḥmad ibn Moḥammad ibn Kathīr al-Farghānī (flourished 861) was an astronomer who worked at the court of the early Abbasid caliphs. He appears to have been active in the court of al-Ma’mun, and he may well be the same figure who is said to have been entrusted by al-Mutawakkil with the construction of the nilometer in Cairo.  In that case, he would have been active from the early decades of the ninth century to his death in 861 (spanning the rules of al-Ma’mun, al-Muʿtaṣim, al-Wāthiq, and ...
Contributed by Qatar National Library
The Bay of All Saints
This map by Joan Blaeu (1596-1673), one of the most important Dutch cartographers, shows the Bay of All Saints off the coast of Brazil. The bay was named by Amerigo Vespucci, who is said to have entered it on All Saints’ Day, November 1, in the year 1501. Located on the bay is the city of Salvador.
New and Accurate Picture of All Brazil / Johann Blaev I.F.
This map of Brazil is the work of Joan Blaeu (1596-1673), one of the most important Dutch cartographers. Originally trained as a lawyer, Blaeu joined the Amsterdam business of his father, the cartographer Willem Blaeu (1571-1638). With his father and brother Cornelis (died 1648), Joan Blaeu published the Atlas Novus (New atlas), an 11-volume work consisting of 594 maps. Joan Blaeu later became the official cartographer of the Dutch East India Company. During the 1600s, the Netherlands became a major naval and commercial power, and its maps reflected its seafaring ...
Rosary and Service Dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary and Other Devotions Combined in Honor of the Most Holy Trinity and in Worship of the Most Venerable Queen of the Heavens
Rosarium et Officium Beatae Mariae Virginis (Rosary and service dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary), a Latin devotional book published in Vilnius, Lithuania, in 1678–79, is regarded as one of the rarest and most important Belarusian publications of the 17th century. The book was created by Oleksandr Tarasevych (circa 1640–1727), an outstanding master of book design, engraving, portraiture, and heraldic and panegyric printing, whose best works compare favorably with those of the great West European artists. Tarasevych created his most innovative works, including the prints for Rosarium, in ...
A Collection of Japanese Paintings
This picture book is by Hishikawa Moronobu (died 1694) a representative artist in the earliest days of ukiyo-e. It consists of 20 pictures depicting popular scenes from classical Japanese literature, including Ise monogatari (The tales of Ise), Genji monogatari (The tale of Genji), and yōkyoku (chants of Noh plays). Moronobu was the first artist who put his signature on printed books. On the colophon of this work, he identifies himself as Yamato-e-shi (artist of classical Japanese paintings), thereby showing his professional confidence in himself as an artist. The National Diet ...
Contributed by National Diet Library
Map of the Whole World
The first world map published in Japan appeared in 1645. Shown here is a popular version of that first map, published in 1671. It is divided into two parts: the right side contains an oblong egg-shaped world map with the east at the top, while the left side depicts people from 40 countries in national costume. The latter are arrayed in five rows of eight, depicting people both of existing countries, such as Portugal and the Netherlands, and imaginary countries, such as “Dwarf Country” and “Giant Country.” These maps are ...
Contributed by National Diet Library
Holographic Will and Codicil of Jeanne Mance, Co-Founder of Montreal
Jeanne Mance (1606−73) was the first lay nurse to practice in Montreal, founder and first bursar of the Hôtel-Dieu de Montréal, and an iconic figure in the history of Montreal. She first arrived in Canada in 1641, inspired by her religious conviction to serve the settlers and the indigenous people by establishing a hospital. She oversaw construction of the Hôtel-Dieu, and made several journeys back to France to secure resources for the project. She deserves to be recognized as the founder of the city, along with the French military ...
The Course of the River of the Amazons, Based on the Account of Christopher d’Acugna
Nicolas Sanson (1600-67) is considered by many to be the founder of the French school of cartography. Originally from Abbeville, he was also known as Sanson d’Abbeville. He was trained as a military engineer but became a prolific cartographer who produced over 300 maps. Around 1643, he began publishing maps, working with publisher Pierre Mariette. This 1680 map of the Amazon most likely is a reprint by his son Guillaume (1633-1703), who carried on the family firm after Nicolas’s death. The account referred to in the title is ...
Africa, or Greater Libya
This map of Africa by Nicolas Sanson, royal geographer to Kings Louis XIII and XIV, and commonly known as the father of French cartography, was published by Sanson’s own house in 1679 in Paris. The map was based, according to Sanson, on a composite of information drawn from other maps as well as “upon the observations of Samuel Blomart.” It also may have drawn on the Dutch writer Olfert Dapper’s work of 1668, Naukeurige Beschrijvingen der Afrikaensche gewesten (Description of Africa). The continent is presented as “Greater Libya ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Map of the Sea and Land Routes from Edo to Nagasaki
Presented here is a pictorial route map, published in 1672 (early Edo period), that depicts the journey from Edo (present-day Tokyo) to Nagasaki. The first volume shows the land route from Edo to Kyōto. Starting from Edo Castle, it proceeds to Kyōto along the Tōkaidō, which was the main road in the Edo period. It depicts stations on the route, natural scenery, and famous places, such as Mount Fuji (in the 11th scene), accompanied by explanatory text. The second volume shows the route from Osaka to Nagasaki. It depicts mainly ...
Contributed by National Diet Library
The City of Salvador
This 1671 map of Salvador on the northeastern coast of Brazil is from the monumental work by the Dutch writer Arnoldus Montanus (1625-83), De Nieuwe en Onbekende Weereld: Of Beschryving van America en ’t Zuid-land (The new and unknown world: Or description of America and the southland). Montanus was a Protestant minister and headmaster of the Latin School in the town of Schoonhoven. He wrote books on church history and theology, the history of the Low Countries, and the peoples and cultures of the Americas and Australia. (The “Southland” in ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
The History of the Caribby-Islands
This early study of the Caribbean is an English translation of a French work published anonymously in Rotterdam in 1658 under the title Histoire naturelle et morale des iles Antilles de l'Amerique (Natural and moral history of the Antilles). The original author was Charles de Rochefort (1605-83), who identified himself in subsequent editions of the book. Not much is known about de Rochefort. The available evidence suggests he was a Protestant pastor sent to be a minister or chaplain to French-speaking Protestants in the Caribbean. He based his work ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Seasonal Almanac Based on the Coptic Calendar
The author of this work, Shaykh al-Islām Ahmad al-Bashtakī, lived in Bashtak near central Cairo. The work goes through the 13 months of the Coptic calendar: Tūt (Thout), Bāba (Paopi), Hātūr (Hathur), Koihak (Koiak), Tūba (Tobi), Imshīr (Meshir), Baremhāt (Paremhat), Barmūda (Paremoude), Bashons (Pashons), Bawna or Būna (Paoni), Ibīb (Epip), Misurī (Mesori), and the Days of Nasī (ayyām al-nasī; also known as the Little Month, Pi Kogi Enavot, or El Nasii). The work gives the corresponding months in the Roman and Persian calendars, notes the astrological significance of days, and ...
A Drawing (with a Western Perspective) of the East Indies from the Promontory of Good Hope to Cape Comorin
This portolan map by the Dutch engraver, publisher, and map seller Frederick de Wit (1629 or 1630-1706) shows the Indian Ocean from the Cape of Good Hope to the west coast of India (Malabar). The map was first published in 1675 and was reprinted in 1715. It is oriented with east at the top. Kishm is placed in the present-day United Arab Emirates (UAE) and repeated as “Quaro” and “Quiximi.” The shape of the Arabian or Persian Gulf differs from that shown on other maps. There is a big island ...
Contributed by Qatar National Library
100 Poems by 100 Poets
This illustrated book of Ogura hyakunin isshu (One hundred poets, one hundred poems) is a collection of one hundred 31-syllable classical Japanese poems (waka), each by a different poet. The collection is organized chronologically from Emperor Tenji (626-671) to Emperor Juntoku (1197-1242). Each of the poets is depicted by a woodblock print created by Hishikawa Moronobu (1618-circa 1694). Morobonu is often considered the first Ukiyo-e artist.
Contributed by National Diet Library
Soga's Robes
Nara-ehon are illustrated manuscripts or hand-printed books and scrolls produced in Japan from the Muromachi period (1336-1573) through the middle of the Edo period (1600-1867). This rectangular nara-ehon depicts the story of the Soga brothers, Soga Jurō Sukenari (1172-93) and Soga Gorō Tokimune (1174-93), and their quest for revenge for their father's death. The Soga Monogatari (Tale of the Soga brothers) tells how, after 18 years of hardships, the brothers fulfill their quest, but also how Sukenari is killed and Tokimune captured and executed by Minamoto Yoritomo (1147-99), the ...
Contributed by National Diet Library
A Complete Study of the Chinese Zither
This book includes both research on Chinese music and detailed and complete marginalia. Although the book has been damaged, it remains valuable. The prefatory note on the use of the book records its contents, including detailed research into the origins of notes and pitches; complete standards for the construction of a floor zither (qin); a compilation of the theories of musicologists; a compilation of digests of fingering techniques; a strict comparison of tunes that have been handed down or recovered, with detailed collation of measures and lines; edited essays of ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Trakai Castle Court Year Book for 1677–78
At the height of its power in the 15th century, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania ruled over the territory of present-day Belarus, Latvia, Lithuania, and Ukraine, and parts of Estonia, Moldova, Poland, and Russia. In the Union of Lublin of 1569, the Grand Duchy and the Kingdom of Poland merged to form the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The commonwealth had a highly developed legal and administrative system, based on local land courts that decided civil cases involving the gentry and castle courts that dealt with other local matters, including criminal cases. Courts ...
The Exquisite Book on Effective Spices
This 17th-century manuscript by Zawraq al-Maghribī is a treatise on the uses of herbs and animal body parts. Based on the teaching legacy of his father, Ḥafṣ Īsā ibn Husayn, the author states that he personally has tested all the information contained in the book. The work is divided into 12 sections, methodically arranged with reference to the human body, literally from head to toe. Chapter 1 covers headaches; Chapter 2, the digestive tract and the chest; Chapter 3, the stomach, liver, pancreas, kidneys, and bladder; Chapter 4, the stomach ...
Articles about the Transfer of New Netherland on the 27th of August, Old Style, Anno 1664
On August 27, 1664, a fleet of four British warships under the command of Colonel Richard Nicolls sailed into the harbor of New Amsterdam (present-day New York City) and demanded that Peter Stuyvesant, the director-general of the Dutch colony of New Netherland, surrender the colony to the British. The out-gunned Stuyvesant had no choice but to comply, and under English rule Nicolls became the first governor of the renamed Province of New York. This document lists the articles of capitulation by which the colony was surrendered and that established the ...
Remonstration of the Administrators of the Dutch West India Company to their Lords the State General about Several Examples of Tyranny and Violence by the English in New Netherland
In the 1660s, colonists from the English colonies of Connecticut and Massachusetts to the east and northeast and Maryland and Virginia to the south and southwest increasingly infringed on the Dutch colony of New Netherland, which was located in parts of present-day New York, New Jersey, Delaware, and Connecticut. This remonstrance, or complaint, published in Schiedam in 1663, was an appeal by the directors of the West India Company to the States-General, the ruling body of the United Provinces of the Netherlands, for increased protection against the incursions of the ...
Brief and Concise Plan Intended to be a Mutual Agreement for Some Colonists Willing to go to the South River in New Netherland
Pieter Cornelis Plockhoy was a Dutch Mennonite and social reformer, born in the city of Zierikzee circa 1625. He moved to Amsterdam in 1648, where he became well known in the city’s intellectual circles. In 1658 he went to London where he tried unsuccessfully to gain the support of Oliver Cromwell, the antiroyalist Lord Protector of the Commonwealth, for the establishment of utopian settlements in England. Plockhoy returned to Netherlands in 1661 and in 1662 concluded a contract with the Amsterdam magistrates for the establishment of a settlement on ...
Short Story about New Netherland [...] and Special Possibilities to Populate
This pamphlet, published anonymously in Amsterdam in October 1662, concerns the establishment of a settlement on the South River (as the Dutch called the Delaware River) in New Netherland by the Dutch Mennonite and social reformer Pieter Cornelis Plockhoy. The pamphlet consisted of proposals sent to the magistrates of the city of Amsterdam to gain their support for the settlement, which Plockhoy intended to be for poor and needy families and based on reformist principles. The pamphlet was partly intended to reassure investors that the settlement would also be a ...
Treatise on the Rules and Meters of Poetry
Risalat-i‘Urūḍ va Qafiyah (Treatise on the rules and meters of poetry) is about rules and conventions to be followed in writing good poetry. The manuscript, copied in Kashmir, India, in 1677 (1088 AH) from a work by an unknown author, discusses different aspects of the writing of poetry and elucidates the different elements and considerations used in creating good poetry.
The Quintessence of Medicine
The author of this treatise, Isma‘īl ibn Muhammad al-Husayn al-Jurjānī (circa 1042–1136), also known as al-Sayyid Isma‘īl, was one of the most-famous physicians and prolific writers on medicine of his time. He was a student of the noted Persian physician Ibn Abī Sādiq Al-Nīšapūrī, who followed the teachings of Ibn Sīnā (Avicenna) and was nicknamed Buqrāt al-tāni (The second Hippocrates). Thanks to his proficiency in medicine, al-Jurjānī was employed by the shahs of Khvarazm, Qutb al-Dīn Muhammad (1097–1127) and ‘Azīz b. Muhammad (1127–56). The former ...
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The Explanation of the Abridgment on Calculus
The present manuscript preserves an extensive commentary on the 17th-century mathematical treatise Al-Ḫulāṣa fī al-Ḥisāb (The abridgment on calculus), which was composed by Bahā' al-Dīn Al-‘Amilī (1547–1621), one of the leading intellectuals of 17th century Safavid Persia (present-day Iran). Born in the city of Baalbek (present-day Lebanon), Al-‘Amilī was an important figure in many different fields of knowledge, including theology, mysticism, poetry, astronomy, mathematics, and architecture. His main contribution to mathematics, the Al-Ḫulāṣa fī al-Ḥisāb, was well known and is the subject of the commentary by ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Makian As It Appears from the Side of Ngofakiaha
This view of the island of Makian and the village of Ngofakiaha in the Maluku Islands (present-day Indonesia) is from the Atlas Blaeu-Van der Hem. Representing the entire surface of the Earth, the 50 volume work is often considered the most beautiful and most remarkable atlas ever composed. The collectors atlas (a special form of compiling cartographic material) was based on the Atlas Maior (Great atlas), published in Amsterdam by Joan Blaeu (1596–1673) in various editions between 1662 and 1672. This was the largest and most expensive book produced ...
Contributed by Austrian National Library
Occasional Notes by Lü Wancun Printed at the Tian Gai Lou Workshop
The commentator of this civil-examination records collection, Lü Liuliang (formal name of Lü Wancun, 1629–83), was a native of Chongde, Zhejiang Province, who lived at the end of the Ming and the beginning of the Qing dynasty. His grandmother was a member of the Ming imperial family. At the age of eight he already wrote essays in the approved style. He achieved the ju ren degree but withdrew because of his opposition to the Manchu regime. He became a teacher and often added his comments to his students’ essays ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Occasional Notes by Lü Wancun Printed at the Tian Gai Lou Workshop
The commentator of this collection, Lü Liuliang (formal name of Lü Wancun, 1629–83), was a native of Chongde, Zhejiang Province, who lived at the end of the Ming and the beginning of the Qing dynasty. His grandmother was a member of the Ming imperial family. At the age of eight he already wrote essays in the approved style. He achieved the ju ren degree but withdrew because of his opposition to the Manchu regime. He became a teacher, and often added his comments to his students’ essays. His works ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
The New and Unknown World: or Description of America and the Southland
This monumental work by the Dutch writer Arnoldus Montanus (1625?-83) reflects the fascination of 17-th century Europe with the New World. Montanus was a Protestant minister and headmaster of the Latin School in the town of Schoonhoven. He wrote books on church history, theology, the history of the Low Countries, and the peoples and cultures of the Americas and Australia. (The “Southland” in the title of his book refers to the recently-discovered Australia.) Montanus never visited the New World and his work contains numerous errors and fantastic conceptions about ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Life and Deeds of the Cunning Rogue Guzman de Alfarache
Vida y hechos del picaro Guzman de Alfarache (The life and deeds of the cunning rogue Guzman de Alfarache) is an important early example of the picareseque novel, a fictional genre that developed in Spain and that takes its name from picaro, a Spanish word meaning rogue or rascal. Written more as a moralizing discourse than for amusement, Guzman de Alfarache offers all of the features of the picaresque novel. The author, Mateo Alemán (born in Seville in 1547, died in Mexico circa 1615), developed an original personal style, not ...
Contributed by National Library of Spain
The History and the State of Jamaica under Lord Vaughan
The History and the State of Jamaica under Lord Vaughan is a 71-page, handwritten report that chronicles events in Jamaica under John Vaughan, Earl of Carbery (circa 1639–1713; known as Lord Vaughan), governor of Jamaica 1674–78, and under his successor, Charles Howard, Earl of Carlisle (1629–85). The report covers the geography, geology, and climate of Jamaica; its demographics, including native peoples, free men, indentured servants, and slaves; trade; the British army stationed on the island; government institutions and the salaries of officials; and the history of the ...
Saint Ignatius of Loyola, Founder of the Society of Jesus: Heroic Poem
S. Ignacio de Loyola, fundador de la Compañia de Iesus: Poema Heroyco (Saint Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus: Heroic poem) is an epic work about the life of Saint Ignatius, founder of the Jesuit order, by Hernando Domínguez Camargo (1606–59), a Colombian poet and Jesuit priest. Domínguez Camargo drew upon the genre of Spanish and Italian epic poetry and the body of hagiographic literature that had developed about Ignatius to produce this extraordinary work of literature. The poem, contained in five large volumes, consists of ...
Commentary on "The Compendium of Plain Astronomy"
This work is a commentary on Mulahhas fī al-Hay'a Al-Basīta (The compendium of plain astronomy), a treatise on theoretical astronomy by Maḥmūd ibn Muḥammad Jighmīnī. A renowned Persian mathematician and astronomer, Jighmīnī was born in the village of Jaghmīn, in the region of Khwarizm in present-day Uzbekistan. He died circa 1221 during the cataclysmic Mongol conquest of Khwarizm. Several popular commentaries were written on his treatise. On the cover of this manuscript a handwritten note from a previous owner states: “This is a commentary of the 'Handbook of al-Jighmīnī ...
Contributed by Qatar National Library
The Comprehensive Book on Medicine
One of the earliest pioneers in the history of medicine, Abū Bakr Muḥammad ibn Zakarīyā al-Rāzī  (also known by the Latinized version of his name, Rhazes or Rasis, circa 865–circa 925) was a Muslim Persian polymath, physician, and philosopher. He was born in the city of Rayy, near present-day Tehran, Iran, and spent most of his life between his birthplace and Baghdad, the capital city of the Abbasid caliphate. He taught medicine and was the chief physician in both cities. He made major and lasting contributions to the fields ...
Contributed by Yale University Library