PLINY the Elder. Historia mundi naturalis … Hoc est: Amplissimum, perspicacissimumque, nec non plane mirandum totius universi, rerumque naturalium speculum [Frankfurt Martin Lechler for Sigmund Feyerabend,] 1582.
Folio. Full mottled calf bordered in gilt with a floral design to upper and lower covers, 5 raised bands, panels blind stamped, red spine label titled in gilt, edges red; pp.[xvi, without the two blanks], 528, , , beautiful woodcuts by Jost Ammann, Heinrich Burgkmair, Christian Weiditz and probably others in the text; a sturdy copy in an attractive 18th-century binding with later skilful reback, some scuffing to upper back cover, some mild toning occurring throughout and slight marginal loss on page 190.
Scarce Latin edition of Pliny's Natural History bound with a commentary by Sigmund Gelen and a 186-page index. The Natural History is one of the largest single works to have survived from the Roman Empire. The work is divided into 37 books, organised into ten volumes including sections on astronomy, mathematics, geography, human physiology, zoology, botany, agriculture, pharmacology, mining, mineralogy, sculpture and precious stones. This edition is illustrated with various woodcuts, including many on the animals of the natural world such as lions, bears and dragons. This is the only work of Pliny the Elder to have survived to the present. The Natural History is considered in some ways to be an early ancestor of the modern encyclopaedia, as the organisational structures and indexing seen here are echoed in various ways throughout the works of later authors.
VD16 P 3550; Adams P 1579; Nissen, ZBI 3191.