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De resurrectione mortuorum libri III; De Deo Synagogae libri duo contra Casparem Barlaeam et eius vindicias

De resurrectione mortuorum libri III; De Deo Synagogae libri duo contra Casparem Barlaeam et eius vindicias

MENASSEH, BEN ISRAEL; VEDELIUS, NICOLAUS Two works in one volume. FIRST EDITION of both. 8° (14.5 x 10 cm); 1: [i], 8 4 A-H8, [iv], I-Y8, pp. 346. 2: [i], 8 8 A-R8, pp. 260. 1: Title page with printer s device (Emeth Meerets Titsma`h); dedicatory letter by the author; index. Pen inscription on title page. Roman letters, occasional Italic type and Hebrew letters. Floriated initials. Very small wormhole on bottom right corner, not affecting the text. 2: Title page with printer s device (CERTA BONUM CERTAMEN FIDEI); dedicatory letter by the author; index and Errata Typographica. Roman letters, occasional Italic type. Floriated initials. Corner of N1 torn off; worm-track on bottom right corner, not affecting the text. Contemporary vellum; title of 1 inscribed on spine. Fine copy. 1. Ben Israel Menasseh (1604-1657) was a Portuguese rabbi, kabbalist, writer, printer and publisher. In 1626 he founded the first Hebrew printing press in Amsterdam which was named Emeth Meerets Titsma`h. The Printer s device in the form of magical square in Hebrew on the title page spells out the name of the printing press he founded, which means Truth springeth out of the earth (Pslams 85:12). Menasshe was the author of many works on Hebrew theology, including the Nishmat Hayim, on the reincarnation of the soul, and The Conciliator, which was written to reconcile the contradictions in passages throughout the Bible. In 1655 Menasseh travelled to London, where he published his Humble Addresses to the Lord Protector (Cromwell), and where he stayed for two years. During his time in England he tried to obtain permission for the Hews to resettle in the country, but without success. The De resurrectione mortuorum libri III was originally written in Spanish and subsequently translated into Latin, most likely for a Christian audience. This work was written in response to the writings and challenges of Uriel Acosta, a sceptic philosopher who suggested that rabbis were the descendants of the Pharisees and who had also questioned the idea of the immortality of the soul. 2. Nicolaus Vedelius (1596-1642) was professor of philosophy and theology at University of Geneva (1618-1630), Deventer (1630-1639) and Franeker (1639-1642). He was in favour of a middle way between the Roman, Lutheran, Armenian and Anabaptist theories. The De Deo Synagogae libri duo was written in response to the work of Caspar Barlaeus (1584-1648), professor of logic at the University of Leiden and subsequently, in 1631, of philosophy at the University of Amsterdam. Only 3 copies of this text: Amsterdam University Library, Cambridge University Library and London, British Library. Bibliography: Menasseh: Fuks & Fuks-Mansfeld, pp. 99-135; NNBW X, cols. 604-613. De resurrectione mortuorum libri III: STCN 084840250. Vedelius: Rogge II, 1, 60; STCN 054385318
The Athenian Mercury. Volume 11

The Athenian Mercury. Volume 11, Number 22, Saturday, September 23, 1693.

DUNTON, John Folio (32 cm). Single sheet printed on both sides; double column. With advertisements. Top and bottom edges slightly torn, not affecting the text. Slightly browned, overall in good condition. The Athenian Mercury was a periodical written by the Athenian Society and published in London twice weekly between 17th March 1690* and 14th of June 1697. The publisher John Dunton was the editor in chief. The magazine, a remarkable example of one of the earliest coffee-house periodicals, was originally titled The Athenian Gazette or The Casuistical Mercury. The magazine included miscellaneous information on a wide-ranging variety of subjects, and it was also one of the first to employ the Question and Answer format. A spin-off magazine, The Ladies’ Mercury, was also published by The Athenian Society starting in 1693 which ran for four weeks. This was the first periodical specifically designed just for women. However, already The Athenian Mercury, can be considered in the context of gender representation as many questions regarded courtships and gender relations, as in the case of this issue in which the first question is posed by a woman regarding the courtship of her daughter. The Athenian Mercury also included advertisements for a variety of items, including elixirs, medicines and books. In this issue, amongst advertisements for books, microscopes and an elixir against ague, we find the advertisement for Cotton Mather’s book on the Salem witch-trials (no. 5 of this catalogue) which was published by Dunton in 1693. *1691 of the Gregorian calendar.
An historical essay concerning witchcraft. With observations upon matters of fact; tending to clear the texts of the Sacred Scriptures

An historical essay concerning witchcraft. With observations upon matters of fact; tending to clear the texts of the Sacred Scriptures, and confute the vulgar errors about that point. And also two sermons: one in proof of the Christian religion; the other concerning good and evil angels. by Francis Hutchinson, D. D. Chaplain in Ordinary to His Majesty, and Minister of St. James’s parish in St. Edmund’s-Bury.

HUTCHINSON, Francis FIRST EDITION. 8° (19.5 x 12 cm); [ii], pp. v-xv, [ii], pp. 270, [i, adv.]. Rare. Title page; dedicatory letter by the author to RH Thomas Lord Parker, Lord Chief Justice of England, RH Sir Peter King, Lord Chief Justice of Common Pleas and RH Sir Thomas Bury, Lord Chief Baron of the Exchequer; table of contents; one page of advertisement of books published by the author and books printed by the printers at the end of the book. Latin script, in English. Floriated initial and two ornamental decorations. Damp-stain on lower margin of pp. 237-257 and on last flyleaf and back pastedown; small tear on upper margin of first contents page. Apart from some minimal staining, the pages are fresh for their age and the text reads well. Bound in contemporary blind-stamped dark tan calf with tulip-like flowers on front and back; rounded corners with some minor damage; a.e r. Spine in six compartments with blind-stamped decoration. Ex-libris of David Laing Philips on front pastedown; handwritten inscription of earlier owner s name on first flyleaf, otherwise internally unmarked. A fine copy. Francis Hutchinson (1660-1739) was a British minister in Bury St Edmunds and, subsequently, in 1721 was made Bishop of Down and Connor in Ireland. He studied at Katharine Hall, Cambridge where he earned a B.A. in 1681 and an M.A. in 1684. In 1698 he also received a D.D. from Cambridge. The writing of An Historical Essay Concerning Witchcraft stemmed from contemporary events that occurred during the author s life, such as the infamous witch-trials that occurred in Bury St Edmunds between 1599 and 1694 and the 1712 trial of Jane Wenham. A draft of this book had been circulating since 1706, but Hutchinson was discouraged from publishing it. Hutchinson finally decided to publish the book in 1718. In An Historical Essay Concerning Witchcraft Hutchinson rationally approached witchcraft and deconstructed and dissected the witchcraft persecutions that had taken place in East-Anglia and New-England in the years prior. Hutchinson met, not only with Jane Wenham, but also with other survivors of the witch-hunts and regarded their persecution as the result of superstition. Historian Wallace Notestein has described Hutchinson s work as epoch-making and noted that it levelled a final and deadly blow at the dying superstition . Bibliography: Cambridge Alumni Database "Hutchinson, Francis (HTCN677F)"; Ian Bostridge. Witchcraft and its transformations, c.1650 1750, Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1997; Wallace Notestein, A History of Witchcraft in England from 1558 to 1718, preface, ix-xii.
Joh. Baptistæ Portæ . Magiæ naturalis libri viginti. Ab ipso . authore adaucti . repurgati

Joh. Baptistæ Portæ . Magiæ naturalis libri viginti. Ab ipso . authore adaucti . repurgati, etc.

PORTA, Giambattista (della) 12° (14 x 8.5), [ix], 670 pp., [xii]. Additional engraved title page, dated 1650 with small handwritten inscriptions of previous owner; title page with Pierre Leffen’s printer’s device; dedicatory letter and preface; index at the end of the volume. Printer’s device of Philippe de Croy on final index page. Roman letters, in Latin. Numerous woodcut illustrations and tables in the text and floriated initials at the beginning of each book. Right margins trimmed with occasional loss of word in the preface [vii, viii]; small tears on upper and right margins of engraved title page, title page and dedicatory letter. Tightly bound in dark calf, slightly cracked; simple gilt decoration on the front and back and on the spine; edges in red. A fine and very clean copy. Giambattista della Porta (1535 –1615) was an Italian philosopher, alchemist, comedy writer, scientist and polymath. He was the author of a number of works on memory, physiognomy, philosophy and magic. The Magiae Naturalis, or Natural Magic, was originally composed of four books and it was first published in 1558. It was then expanded to twenty books in 1589. The work was popular in Europe and it was translated in modern European languages (Italian, French, Dutch and English).   The work deals with popular science, cosmology, geology, optics, plant products, medicine, poisons, cooking, alchemy, distillation, glass colouring, glazes and ceramics, magnetic properties, cosmetics, gunpowder and cryptography. Giambattista della Porta draws both on the works of Ancient authors, such as Aristotle and Theophrastus, and contemporary works on magic and science but avoids discussing religion and ceremonial magic. Porta defends natural magic, distinguishing it from the superstitious he deems of demonological origin, by extending its field of investigation to philosophy, hoping to translate it into action. For Porta, magic was not a way to improve one’s self and to communicate with the divine, but a means to manipulate both men and things with crafty tricks. The natural magus is described by Porta as a trickster with the experience of the alchemist, with the education of a humanist and with a strong command of mathematics and astrology. According to Porta, as outlined in the second chapter of the first book of the Magiae Naturalis (Quid fit Magia) the magus must be rich, well-educated and hard working. In this work, we find points of contact with Agrippa von Nettesheim's De occulta philosophia.   Bibliography: Ferguson, II, 216. Duveen 481. Caillet 8852.
The Wonders of the Invisible World: Being an Account of the Tryals of Several Witches Lately Executed in New-England and of several Remarkable Curiosities therein Occurring.

The Wonders of the Invisible World: Being an Account of the Tryals of Several Witches Lately Executed in New-England and of several Remarkable Curiosities therein Occurring.

MATHER, Cotton Third London Edition. 4to., (194 x 141mm.), A2, B2, B4– [H]4, pp. [8], 9 – 64. Title page backed, half-title including imprimatur on verso; Author’s Defense and Presentation Letter by Chief Justice William Stroughton. Roman letter with some Italic and Gothic type at headings and occasionally within the text. Several small repairs throughout. Lower margins trimmed with occasional loss of catchwords; minimal loss at right margin of G2. Damp staining visible on upper-right corner of a few leaves at beginning and end; mild marginal foxing throughout; browning on initial and final leaves. Bound in fine modern calf, all edges in red. Overall, an excellent copy. The trials of ‘witches’ that were carried out within the community of Salem in 1692, are among the best-known examples of this infamous social practice of the 17th and 18th centuries. This book contains the first account of these trials written by Cotton Mather (1663 – 1728), one of the leading religious authorities of the second generation of Puritan settlers in Boston. Cotton’s father Increase, was a respected judge in the same community. Although not directly involved in the trials which led to the execution of 19 people, Increase wrote in defence of one of the judges, albeit criticising the importance that the court had placed on dreams and visions as evidence in the trials. Cotton Mather, in the preface, presents himself as a simple chronicler of the facts. However, he had been a central figure in the events that led to the staging of the 1692 trials. He had previously written ‘Remarkable Promises’ (1688), an essay against medical materialism and exalting the power of prayer and penitence in the healing of the body and mind.[1] In this essay, Mather passionately defended the existence of witchcraft as a way for evil spirits to harm both the body and the mind of people through humans endowed of “preternatural” powers. However, he also supported his father’s opinion, according to which a too great use had been made of dreams and apparitions as evidence during these trials. Overall, Mather’s influence over the 1692 trials has been seen by scholars as ambiguous. Although he publicly condemned the frenzied population and tried to dissuade the judges from using visions as evidence, it is also believed that he encouraged acts of violence against those who were found guilty. This is particularly manifest in the case of George Burrough, whose trial is described in the book. In spite of his political influence, he supported the judicial killing of innocent people. However, his call to moderation in carrying out death penalties to the accused has been seen as possibly attenuating the religious hysteria of the times. Besides being a first-hand account of the trials, this book also contains a wealth of information about the judiciary practices of the English colonies of North America. Furthermore, the book describes the spiritual world of Puritan settlers, in search of a balance between religious and communal zeal on the one hand, and the extreme conditions and fear of the unknown on the other. Through the live voices of the accused emerges the dissent that the religious and civil authorities were trying to repress. Individuals who refused to conform to the strict rules of the community, were often accused of witchcraft and accused of being responsible for any disgrace or illness that befell the settlers. This is the third London edition, which was printed by John Dunton the year after the events took place. It is a complete and excellent copy of a very rare edition of this book, which interest is paramount for researchers. Bibliography: BL T.1693.(4.); Holmes, 1241; Howes M399; Sabin 46605; Wing M1175.
Zohar Hadash 

Zohar Hadash 

NEUSTADT, Isaac b. Abraham 4to. pp. 89 [91], misnumbered. Hebrew letter, with title-page. Some browning throughout with foxing and wormholes occasionally affecting the letters. Bound in contemporary blind-ruled, blind-stamped calf on thick boards with fleur-de-lys design and central oval medallions on both covers. Spine in five compartments divided by raised bands covering sewing support. Original brass clasps in working order. A bit rubbed at head of spine and at outer corners; a little cracked to top hinge. The 'Sepher Zohar' ('Book of Splendor') is the fundamental text of Kabalah. This collection of texts was compiled in the 13th century by Moses de Leon, who presumably transcribed pre-existing oral traditions. This work was strongly condemned by Orthodox Jews, who were doubtful of its authenticity. However, the book enjoyed a wide circulation among Jewish communities in Europe and its teachings were absorbed and expanded by other rabbis for centuries. Far from being the product of an enclosed cultural circle, the compilation of this text has received various influences from neo-platonism to Christian mysticism. This is a rare first edition of the 'Zohar Hadash' ('The New Zohar') by Dutch cabalist Isaac of Neustadt, who commented upon the traditional texts composing the work. After the issue of the first printed version of the Zohar in 1558, further manuscripts appeared, which included other commentaries on the Torah and other books of the Tanakh. Rabbi von Neustadt allegedly owned one such manuscript and used it to expand the standard printed text. Bibliography: Steinschneider, M., Cat. Libr. Hebr. Bodl., no. 3500; col. 1074. Zedner, J., Catalogue of Hebrew Books in the British Museum, p. 706; Wolf, Bibl. Hebr. i., No. 1147; Jellinek, in Orient, Lit. vii. 254. Lajb-Fulks R. Hebrew Typography in the Netherlands, vol. 2, p. 428. Only nine copies recorded on WorldCat.