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MERULA, Gaudenzio.

Memorabilium Gaudentii Merulae

Novariensis ultra primam editionem et recognitum... cum emendatione et scholiis Pomponii Castalli Olivetani.

Lyon, Macé Bonhomme, 1556 Stock Code: 63754
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First edition published in France, the third and most extensive overall. Gaudenzio Merula (1500-1555) was born of a humble family in Borgolavezzaro, near Novara. He held teaching appointments in Milan, at the Academy in Novara, and subsequently at Vigevano and Turin. In 1554 he was charged with Protestant heresy, first before the bishop of Novara and subsequently in Milan. "His Memorabilia, printed at his native town in 1546, then at Venice in 1550, and at Lyons in 1556 in an enlarged edition, contain some alchemy as well as astrology, natural philosophy, history and theology" (Lynn Thorndike, History of Magic and Experimental Science, pt. 9, p. 547). The book was prohibited until purged of anticlerical passages, but he was cleared of the other charges of heresy, only to fall ill and die shortly after the termination of his second trial. Pages 417 and 418 contain a short notice of the "insulae Americae." The book is rare in commerce, with no copy at auction since 1951.

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Octavo (167 x 103 mm). Later brown morocco to 16th-century style, plain raised bands, spine gilt-lettered in second compartment, old gilt edges.


5 woodcut figures in the text.


Contemporary ownership inscription at head of title, contemporary Latin marginalia to title verso and extensively to the last leaf blank verso, underlining and marginalia elsewhere, the brown ink occasionally having spread, manuscript diagram to blank A6 verso. A very good copy.


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