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Rodger Friedman Rare Book Studio

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Relacion verdadera de los daños ocasionados en el Reyno de Sicilia, por el terremoto sucedido en los dias 9. y 11. del mes de Enero deste presente año; traduzida de Italiano. .

Sicilian Earthquake of 1693]. Quarto: text (207 x 156 mm) in portfolio (23 cm); . [4] pp. Bound in later plain paper wraps, the lower inside cover with an unidentified 18th-century line-engraving featuring geometric figures (not associated with the text). Fore-edges of wraps wrinkled and soiled. Interior: Fore-edges a bit ragged, minor stains. Anonymous 19th-century manuscript summary of contents to upper wraps, misdating the pamphlet to 1609. Protected in custom portfolio, using period style decorated paper over stiff boards, with cloth backstrip and magnetic closure. The only edition, and the only known copy of the Spanish translation of a news flyer printed in Rome (by Domenico Antonio Ercole) just two weeks after the devastating earthquake that struck Sicily on January 9th and 11th, 1693. Now historically regarded as the most powerful earthquake in Italian history, the twin events combined to reduce to ruins more than 70 towns and cities, and to cause the deaths of more than 60,000 people. The quake completely demolished the city of Noto, leading to the construction on the site of a planned city now considered a masterpiece of the Sicilian Baroque and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. At the time of the earthquake, Sicily was a controlled by Aragonese (Spanish) rule, and so the event affected a Spanish-speaking public in addition to the Italians.
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Opera di agricoltura: nela q[ua]l si co[n]tiene a che modi si debbe coltivar la terra.

Crescenzi, Pietro de' (1233-1320). Octavo (17 cm); [784] pages (signed A-BBB8, plus index signed with maltese cross8). One full-page woodcut illustration within patterned border. Floral border around title (at the top of which is a cat and mouse, similar to the image used by Sessa), and floriated initials at the beginning of each of the 12 books. Modern vellum binding, reusing an 18th-century morocco label; tail edge of text block titled in contemporary manuscript. Title with small oil stain transferring to following several leaves until disappearing at the fifth leaf, outer conjugate of first and last gatherings guarded, last leaf extended at fore-margin with Japanese mending tissue. Good, crisp copy. A sixteenth-century Italian translation of "Ruralia commoda," one of very few treatises on agronomy to appear during the Middle Ages, and the first printed modern text on agriculture when it was published in 1471. The book's enormous influence over Italian agriculture is evident even today in the rural Tuscan landscape, The manual covers all aspects of maintaining a productive farming household, including hydrology, organization of land and dwelling, planting, growing, harvesting, wines and wine-making, olive trees and their fruit, the cultivation of fruit trees but also of cedar and woodland trees, care of livestock, control of insects and pests, and on and on. The text was reprinted some 57 times in all the major European languages, including Polish, before 1700!
De prodigiosis Tyberis inundationibus ab orbe condito ad annum MDXXXI.

De prodigiosis Tyberis inundationibus ab orbe condito ad annum MDXXXI.

Gomez, Luis (1482-1542). Quarto (21 cm); [18] leaves. Title within elaborate woodcut border of interlocking wreaths guarded by Minerva and Mars, flanking a roundel populated with figures of Tiburnius, Minerva, the Capitoline Wolf, a cornucopia, and other symbols of Rome. Roundel of Tiburnius on A4v. Recently bound in 18th-century (?) Greek printed leaf, red-and-black, over a vellum spine, unletterd. Title page trimmed close on bottom edge and on right edge, slightly affecting image. Occasional light foxing. Manuscript annotation on last page describing floods of 1566 and (in more detail) of 1570. In the aftermath of the flood of 1530 that left thousands dead and homeless in Rome, Cardinal Luis Gomez published this retrospective account of the Tiber and of its 23 recorded floods beginning in the 5th century BCE. After an interesting essay on the naming of the Tiber and on its centrality to the life of Rome, Gomez divides the book into chapters on floods before Christianity (eight of them) and after (fifteen), with an extra chapter on the famine, epidemics, and misery each flood leaves behind. Gomez provides notable observations of snakes in the city in enormous numbers following the 1530 flood. His method is not scientific, however, attributing the cause of the flooding to divine will. Incidentally, the 1530 flood is commemorated on the wall of the basilica of Santa Maria Sopra Minerva in Rome with a plaque about 20 feet off the ground showing the high water mark. A handwritten note following the text alludes to additional floods in 1566 and 1570.