[HOOKE. Robert, ed.]


[HOOKE. Robert, ed.] Philosophical Collections

London, Printed for John Martyn, [Moses Pitt, Richard Chiswell], for the Royal Society, 1679-82.


FIRST EDITION. Compete set of 7 parts in one volume, 210 pp., 6 folding plates, one full-page engraving (no. 5, p. 161), one half-page engraving (no. 4, p. 92), Bound in modern half calf and buckram over boards by Sangorsky & Sutcliffe. A fine copy. 

The polymath Robert Hooke (1635-1703) was authorised by the Council of the Royal Society to publish the Philosophical Collections after the official Transactions ceased publication on Henry Odenburg’s death in 1677. Ordinary publication of the Transactions was resumed in January 1682- 3. The purpose of the journal was to provide an up-to-date account of any sicientific topic, such as physical, anatomical, chemical, mechanical, astronomical, optical, natural-philosophical and natural-historical observations, and to advertise the publication of such books. Complete sets of these seven numbers are very uncommon. The present volume also includes anatomical and medical studies. Hooke here published important papers, especailly An optical discourse, which concerned a cure for short-sightedness. One finds in the present collection Leeuwenhoek’s discovery of spermatozoa through the study of animal semen; Lana’s “flying chariot”; Borelli’s De motu musculorum; Tyson’s Anatomy of a porpess (sic); and astronomical observations by Hevelius, Flamsteed, and Cassini on the eclipse of Jupiter by the moon in 1679 and 1681. Furthermore, major discoveries by Malpighi, Moxon, Thomas Burnett, Edmund Halley, Bernoulli, and Leibniz are published in this series for the first time. The plates show Bernier’s flying machine, Borelli’s underwater breathing apparatus, and a new lamp invented by Robert Boyle. William Brigg’s A new theory of vision, a discussion of the optic nerves, is accompanied by a plate illustrating a dissected eye; this detailed physiological study of vision motivated Newton to republish it in 1685 with his own introduction. The Royal Society, founded in 1660, is the oldest scientific society in Great Britain and one of the oldest in Europe. Founders and early members included the scientist Bishop John Wilkins, the philosopher Joseph Glanvill, the mathematician John Wallis and the architect Christopher Wren, who wrote the preamble of its charter.

Keynes, Hooke 24. Norman 1100 (listing only 3 folding plates). See PMM 148 for the ‘Philosophical Transactions’.

POUILLY, Louis Jean Levesque de

[POUILLY, Louis Jean Levesque de]. The Theory of Agreeable Sensations : in which the Laws observed by Nature in the distribution of Pleasure are investigated ; and the Principles of Natural Theology and Moral Philosophy are established…A dissertation upon Harmony of Stile.

London, Printed for W. Owen, 1774.


8vo, pp. x (half title, title, preface), ff. 3 (contents and errata), pp. 216. Early nineteenth-century ink autograph of “L. Ritchie” on verso of half title. Bound in contemporary calf over boards, restoration to corners. Recently skilfully rebacked. An excellent copy.

An excellent and unsullied copy of this treatise demonstrating that happiness, which, according to the author, is the end of moral theology, can be reached by pursuing virtuous behaviour and the law of nature. The French philosopher Pouilly (1691-1751) illustrates the theory of agreeable sensations, which are those sensations provoked in men by a righteous moral conduct. Only these, according to the author, can lead man towards the fullest happiness and respect of God. He also interpreted and commented on Newton’s Principia.

ESTC T79271



ARISTOTELES. [Opera Omnia] Aristotelis Omnem logicam, rhetoricam, et poeticam disciplinam continens, tomus I [-VI]

Venice, [heirs of Aldo Manuzio the Elder, 1551-53] (colophon: apud Aldi filios, expensis nobilis viri Federici de Turrisanis eorum auunculi), 1551.


8vo. Vols 6, all lacking initial leaf (i.e. title pages): Titles: Aristotelis omnem logicam, rhetoricam, et poeticam disciplinam continens, Tomus I. (1551); Aristotelis De physica auscultatione, De coelo, De mundo ad Alex., De generatione et corruptione, et Meteorologicam disciplinam continens, Tomus II. (1551); Aristotelis De historia animalium disciplinam et reliquos huic disciplinae agnatos libros continens, Tomus III. (1553); Aristotelis Problemata cum Alex. Aphrodis. Probl. et mechanica, et metaphysices disciplinam continens, Tomus IIII. (1552); Aristotelis Moralia magna, et Moralia Eudem. et Moralia Nicomach. et Rei familiaris, civilis que disciplinam continens, Tomus V. (1552); Theophrastus. Theophrasti Historiam de plantis, et De causis plantarum, et quosdam alios ipsius libros continens, Tomus VI. (1552). Greek type, a little Roman. Decorated initials, large woodcut diagram on p. 122 of vol. 1, occasional early marginalia and underlining. Printer’s device on each t-p (here unfortunately wanting, as stated above) and also at end of each volume, except for vol. 3, which is complete without the final Aldine anchor. Light age yellowing to margins and occasional waterstaining. In early calf binding over boards with gilt ruled double fillet. Skilfully rebacked, perfectly blending in with the covers. Gilt spine in compartments with author’s name and volume numbers on red morocco labels. Bookplate showing the crest of the Clan Scott on pastedowns. A clean, fresh copy, unfortunately slightly incomplete. This most excellent and rare Aldine collection of Aristotle’s works printed in a handy 8vo format was the result of the erudite philological work of Federico Torresano. The brother of Giovanni Francesco and Maria, who married Aldo Manuzio the Elder, the “prince” of the Renaissance printers, Federico was son to Andrea Torresano the Elder, who trained in Nicolas Jenson’s workshop and then became Aldo’s first partner in business, together with Francesco Barbarigo. Federico was a learned editor of Ancient Greek and Latin authors and a successful printer active in Venice between 1538 and 1561. He married Paola, sister to Aldo. Besides editing several publications of classics, he took part in a printing enterprise called the Company of the Crown, which was devoted to the edition of law books, in association with other major families of printers active in Venice at the time, such as Gunti, Scoto, and Giolito de Ferrari. Adams, I, 1733; Goldsmid, p. 48: “a very valuable edition, rarely found complete”.

FICINO, Marsilio

FICINO, Marsilio. De Vita Libri tres, quorum Primus, de studiosorum Sanitate tuenda. Secundus, de Vita producenda. Tertius, de Vita coelitus comparanda.

Lyon, Apud Gulielmum Rouillium, sub scuto Veneto, 1560.


16mo, pp. 461 (iii), a-z A-F8. One work in three volumes bound together. Roman letter, some Italic. Title page with woodcut vignette of an eagle standing on a globe placed on a plinth and sided by two snakes; motto: “in virtute, / et fortuna.” Floriated initials, meanders, head- and tailpieces. Early ms. autograph in capital letters on front cover, twice, and in cursive on t-p: “Laurens Viguier”, probably the same person who left ink underlining and marginalia throughout the book. Stamp of the library of Saint Peter ad Vicula (Rome) on t-p and library shelf mark label on front pastedown. Some rare marginal spotting and light age browning to page edges. In a fine contemporary blind-ruled calf binding with gilt-tooled fleurons at centre of covers and towards corners; skilfully rebacked. A lovely copy.

The De vita libri tres (Three Books on Life) was written in the years 1480–89 by the Italian Platonist Marsilio Ficino. It was first circulated in manuscript form and then published on December 3, 1489. It was constantly in print throughout the middle of the seventeenth century. The present copy is an excellent pocket edition. The first book is about physical health, the second is about prolonging life, and the third (De vita coelitùs comparanda) is about astral influences. The work focuses not only on the soul and the body, but also, and especially, on the notion of “spiritus”. The work focuses on the health and wellbeing of the scholar. Scholars are described as being naturally prone to extremes of melancholy and thus the ambivalent influence of Saturn, which can be remediated by the influence of the benign planets (the Sun, Jupiter, Venus and Mercury). Ficino considers three types of things beneficial to the spirit: wines and aromatic substances, odours and clean air, and music. De vita is an amalgam of philosophy, medicine, magic, and astrology. Alongside passages explaining the immortality and divine source and nature of the soul, there are astrological charts and remedies, speeches from various Greek gods arguing with one another, philosophical digressions, medieval prescriptions for various ills, attempts at reconciling the Neoplatonism of Plotinus with Christian Scriptures, and magical remedies and talismans. Ficino was one of the major philosophical voices of the Italian Renaissance, but he was also a physician, and the son of a physician. De vita is an example of the medical thinking of the early Renaissance, steeped in Galen and Hippocrates and the theory of the four humours and their attendant Aristotelian qualities (e.g., hot, cold, moist,dry), but also beginning to align this viewpoint with the awakening sense of the archetypal significance of the pagan gods, derived from the first exposure in the West for many centuries to the dialogues of Plato and to the Corpus hermeticum.

Gültlingen X p. 128: 470; FB 70552; USTC 152867.




PHILOSTRATUS (Blount, Charles, Tr.) The Two First Books, of Philostratus, Concerning the Life of Apollonius Tyaneus…

London, Printed for Nathaniel Thompson, 1680.


FIRST EDITION. Folio, pp. (viii) 243 (i), A-2G4 2H6. Roman and Italic letter. Title-page in black and red. Full-page woodcut chart on p. 145. Bound in contemporary mottled calf with morocco panels, blind-tooled and rebacked; covers, edges and corners restored. Inner hinges reinforced with woven tape. Some waterstaining throughout, a little light browning. A good copy.

Philostratus “the Athenian” was a Greek sophist of the Roman Imperial period. He is remembered for two works in particular: Lives of the Sophists and Life of Apollonius of Tyana. The latter was written between 217 and 238 AD, and tells the story of Apollonius of Tyana (c. 40 – c. 120 AD), a Pythagorean philosopher and teacher. Philostratus wrote the book for Julia Domna, wife of Septimius Severus and mother of Caracalla. The translator Charles Blount (1653-1693) was one of the leading deists of his time. He published the first of his major works, Anima Mundi, in 1679. It is an essay on pagan doctrines about the nature of the human soul and its destiny in the afterlife, drawing heavily on Montaigne. His Philostratus consists largely of his own notes to Philostratus, with roughly four pages of Blount to one of Philostratus. His commentary draws attention to analogies between Christ and Apollonius of Tyana, the miracle working mystic (or sham magician) Greek philosopher born just before Christ. John Leland in his View of the Principal Deistical Writers (1754) notes that Blount’s work was “manifestly intended to strike at revealed religion.” Justin A.I. Champion in The Dictionary of Seventeenth-Century British Philosophers notes: “The classical texts with its parallel between the life of the magus Apollonius and Christ was problematic enough; the inclusion of a digest of skeptical materialist, and irreligious material unencumbered with warnings of heterodoxy was to provide a provocative and dangerous resource to the literature public. There were consequently moves to have the work suppressed and even burnt.”

ESTC R4123; Wing (CD-ROM, 1996), P2132



ARISTOTLE (Figliucci, Felice, Ed.). Tradottione antica de la Rettorica d’Aristotile…

Padua, per M. Giacomo Fabriano, 1548.


8vo, ff. (viii) 184, a8 A-Z8. Large vignette on t-p with personification of the goddess Fortune (a nude female body reclining on a dolphin at sea and holding a swelled sail). Italic, a little Roman. Capital spaces with small guide-letters. A few handwritten maniculae. T-p soiled, wormholes and tracking slightly affecting the lower inside part of the front cover, foot margin of t-p and first two leaves without text loss. Pages lightly browned to margins, rare light waterstains. Ink title on spine, rubbed caps, slightly damaged. In early limp vellum with yapp edges, remains of ties.

Felice Figliucci (1518-1595) was an Italian humanist, philosopher, and theologian. Born in Siena, he studied philosophy at the University of Padua, where he learned Platonism and Aristotelianism, joining these two thoughts as in the humanistic tradition established by Marsilio Ficino and Pico della Mirandola, which effected the sixteenth-century Christian Neoplatonism. He devoted a good deal of his carrier to the edition of Ficino’s works. He was for a time in the service of Cardinal G. M. Ciocchi Del Monte, afterwards Pope Julius III. Figliucci promoted the Tuscan language and fostered its use in the translation of classics, considering it no less worthy than Latin. He attended the Council of Trent, which was transferred to Bologna in 1547, giving him so the opportunity to visit Padua frequently and work on his Tradottione, which was a present to his patron Del Monte. According to a spread literary topos of the time, in the preface to the work, this translation is given by Figliucci as the result of the learned efforts of an anonymous writer from Siena.

Only 5 copies known in the UK, according to COPAC (BL and UCL, in London; Manchester and Oxford universities, and one copy with the National trust)



IAMBLICHUS (Gale, Thomas, Tr.). ΙΑΜΒΛΙΧΟΥ ΧΑΛΚΙΔΕΩΣ ΤΗΣ ΚΟΙΛΗΣ ΣΥΡΙΑΣ ΠΕΡΙ ΜΥΣΤΗΡΙΩΝ ΛΟΓΟΣ.= Iamblichi Chalcidensis ex Coele-Syria, De mysteriis liber. Præmittitur epistola Porphyrii ad Anebonem Ægyptium, eodem argumento.

 Oxford, E Theatro Sheldoniano, 1678.


FIRST EDITION. Folio, pp. (xl) 316 (viii), *-2*2 a-h2 A-Z4 Aa-Zz2 Aaa-Nnn2. Roman and Greek letter, some Italic; Greek and Latin in parallel columns. Large title-page vignette of the Sheldonian Theatre. Some light browning and spotting throughout. Ex libris on front pastedown of Richard Fort, lord of the Read Hall manor, Lancashire, during the beginning of C19th; another unidentified bookplate, probably French, with initials “C. E. De M. K.”. In early gilt-ruled polished calf over boards, joints (especially the upper one) somewhat worn and rugged, gilt lettering to decorated spine in compartments with raised bands, marbled pastedowns and fore-edges. Covers and corners a little rubbed, leather repair to lower corner of rear board. An excellent, crisp and clean copy.

This is the first edition of Iamblichus’s De mysteriis, provided with a Latin translation by the English Classical scholar, antiquarian and cleric Thomas Gale (1636-1702). Iamblichus (c. A.D. 250-325) is among the most important of the so-called Neoplatonic philosophers, second only to Plotinus. He was a student of Plotinus’s disciple Porphyry. His influential treatise Theurgia, or On the Mysteries of Egypt deals with a ‘higher magic’ which operates through the agency of the gods. Iamblichus also had a strong influence on other Renaissance authors like Ficino, Pico della Mirandola, and Giordano Bruno.  “In 1678 Gale published the editio princeps of the De mysteriis, with fragments of Porphyry’s Epistle to Anebo, Eunapius’s Life of Iamblichus, and a biographical entry from the Suda, a Byzantine lexicon. Gale had received an exemplar of the De mysteriis from his teacher, Isaac Vossius, and used this as the basis for his edition. This exemplar is now known as Leidensis Vossianus graecus Q22. A number of variants given in Gale’s notes, however, are from codices regii (Paris), given to him by E. Bernard, Professor of Astronomy in Oxford, and by the French scholar J. Mabillon. Gale, who was once Professor of Greek in Cambridge (1666), and later Dean of York Cathedral (1677), had originally planned an edition of all of Iamblichus’s works; only the De mysteriis appeared, and Gale recognised its weakness, including the drastic omission of words and phrases as a result of printing errors. Moreover, Gale’s Latin translation contains many of his conjectures, and does not always follow the Greek text.” Iamblichus: De mysteriis, translated with an Introdction by Emma C. Clarke, John M. Dillon and Jackson P. Hershbell, 2003, p xiv.

 ESTC R13749; Wing (CD-ROM, 1996), I26, Madan, III, 3179.


DIONYSIUS CARTHUSIANUS. In evangelium Johannis enarratio.

Paris, ex officina Jacques Gazeau, 1542.


8vo, ff. (iv) 275 (viii), ã4 a-z8 A-M8 N4, lacking last blank. Roman letter, a little Italic. Decorated initial, capital spaces with small with guide-letters, printer’s device on t-p. Age yellowing, quire f browned. Bound in modern paper over boards. An excellent, crisp copy.

This work of Denis the Carthusian (1402-71), “the last of the Schoolmen”, who was a very prolific writer, was published several times in Paris by different printers, such as Guillaume le Bret, Ambroise Girault, Jacques Kerver, Jean Ruelle, Jean de Roigny, and Charlotte Guillard, between 1541 and 1542. This scholastic monk appreciated the traditional university education, even though he was neither an Aristotelian, nor a Thomist. The Christian Platonism mainly informed his thought. He deserved the nickname of “Doctor Ecstatiucs” because of his divine ecstasies, which sometimes lasted up to seven hours.






SERINA, Giulio

SERINA, Giulio. De fato libri novem.

Venice, ex officina Iordani Zileti, 1563.


FIRST EDITION. Folio, ff. (x) 168 (xii), *4 **6 A-Z4 2A-2Y4. Roman letter, some Italic, a little Greek. Large vignette on t-p with a comet surrounded by seven small stars enclosed within an elaborate figurative framing. Two different faded library stamps on t-p, one of them repeated on front endpaper. Small wormholes and tracking throughout lower gutter, slightly affecting the text, occasionally. Rebacked, in contemporary gilt ruled calf binding with fleurons and cardinals coat of arms at centre of covers. Occasional light spotting and age yellowing to margins. A nice copy in good condition. Gauffered edges, a.e.g.

This is the first and only edition of Serina’s De fato (Concerning fate), which begins with a dedication letter to Cardinal Ercole Gonzaga, primary papal legate at the Council of Trent. It follows a Latin poem and the Perioche, that is, abstracts of the selected extracts included in the nine books of Serina’s work, which was edited by Girolamo Maggi. Before the core of the book begins, there are the tables of contents. Born in Brescia, Serina was a philosopher and theologian, and a cleric of the Order of Saint Gerome of Fiesole. He became the General of his Congregation three times. For forty years he read metaphysics, theology and philosophy at the University of Bologna, where he died in 1593. A polymath, Maggi was born in Tuscany in Anghiari 1523 and miserably died of strangulation by the hand of the Turks in Constantinople in 1572 because of the failed capitulation of Famagosta in Cyprus under the Ottoman onslaught. The book discusses the nature of fate through the consideration of those events that are determined by “casualty” or “necessity”, but also “contingency”, in which casual and necessary causes work together.



Opera omnia, in unum proxime post illius mortem collecta…

 Venice, Apud Juntas, 1574.


Large 4to, ff. (xx) 213 (i), †6 2†8 3†6 A-2C8 2D6, lacking †6 with portrait of the author. Roman and Italic letter, a little Greek. Printer’s device on title page and in large on final leaf, decorated initials, several illustrations. Repair to outer margin of t-p, slightly affecting the table of contents on the verso. Some mould on margins and soiling to blank margins of initial leaves, irregular browning or dampstaining throughout. Elegant marginalia in an early hand on the first book On Sympathy and Antipathy and the book of Joseph. In a modern quarter calf binding with marbled paper over boards, red morocco label to spine in compartments with gilt lettering and fleurons, a.e.b.

This is the second edition of the posthumous opera omnia of Girolamo Fracastoro (Verona, 1476-1478 ca., Affi, 1553), first published by the Giuntas in 1555. Fracastoro was an Italian physician who taught at the University of Padua. Fracastoro was a truly Renaissance man: poet, physician, philosopher, botanist, astronomer, geographer, author of some splendid carmina, verse epics on the Old Testament figure of Joseph and the new plague of syphilis, dialogues on poetics, intellection and the soul, and works on astronomy, febrile crisis, communicable diseases, the flooding of the Nile and the elemental constitution of wine. All serious-minded works, and so all for the consumption of the learned – humanists, fellow doctors and philosophers, and ecclesiastics like the reformist bishop of Verona, Gian Matteo Giberti, the highly educated cardinal Alessandro Farnese, dedicatee of De contagione, and Alessandro’s grandfather, the Farnese pope Paul III, to whom Fracastoro dedicated his work on astronomy, Homocentricorum sive de stellis liber.