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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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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.
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...