CURSUS PHILOSOPHICUS, PARS I, LOGICAE, a disputation on Aristotle, in Latin, DECORATED MANUSCRIPT ON PAPER
[?Silesia], 1643193 x 151mm. 154 leaves, first and last as pastedowns, paginated from the title page in two sequences, the second incomplete, with some misnumberings, averaging between 40 and 50 lines written in black ink in an antique cursive hand between two verticals and two horizontals ruled in blind, justification: approximately 175 x 110mm, headings in antique capitals, foliate pen endpieces, one diagram in pen and wash, engravings pasted inside upper and lower covers (wormed at beginning and end into engravings, a few tears, some dog-eared corners). Contemporary vellum with torn paper lettering piece with Disputationes et quaestiones logicae (tear at lower joint, lightly wormed, two ties modern replacements).
1. The anonymous author, or student writing up lectures, dated his work 1643 on the title page and at the end of the dedication to the Trinity, p.3. He was presumably a member of a Catholic seminary or university.
2. Johannes Bernhard von Herberstein: his 17th-century ex libris as Captain of the King in Glogów (Glogau) in Silesia. The same name and location is inscribed on several books preserved in the castle library of Libochovice (Libochowitz), where the owner is identified as dying in 1630 (B. Fabian, Handbuch der historischen Buchbestände in Deutschland, 2003). If the present lot, dated 1643, was owned by the same holder of the name, the book collector has been misidentified.
3. Christoph Wenzel, Graf von Nostitz (1643-1712): his engraved armorial bookplate pasted to first leaf, possibly his red shelfmark, 18, on spine. A major patron of art as well as bibliophile, the count built a library to house his exceptionally rich book collection at his residence at Lobris, near Javory (Jauer) in Silesia. Nine books with his bookplate have passed by descent and are now in the castle library at Planá (Plan). The bulk of his famous library was sold in 1933-34 (see Fabian, as above). At least one other of his books came from von Herberstein, a copy of Johann Bocksberger, Neue Biblischen Figuren, 1565, sold Bassenge, Berlin, 26 April 2007, lot 709.
Title page to work, Cursus philosophicus in tres partes divisas, anno 1643, p.1; dedication to the Trinity, p.2; title to first part, Logicae, p.3; The first part, divided into six Disputationes, each sub-divided into Quaestiones, each subdivided into Articuli, some of which are further divided into Difficultates, pp.5-247; Conclusiones from p.1, new numbering sequence; five blank leaves.
This Cursus philiosophicus is an example of an academic genre that flourished in Catholic universities and seminaries in the first century of the Counter-Reformation. Inspired by the conservatism that wanted to revitalise Catholicism by a return to its medieval intellectual roots in scholasticism, the Cursus philosophicus was a survey of scholastic philosophy, usually, as here, in the form of a disputation on the works of Aristotle. This is unlikely to be an authorial copy, since the text breaks in Disputatio 3, Quaestio 3, Articulus 4, leaving just over two pages blank. Other blank spaces have been carefully filled with HOC NIHIL EST OMISSUM or HIC NIHIL DE EST in decorative wreathes, suggesting that in this case the writer hoped to find the missing text.
Other decoration consists of pen endpieces of foliate or linear patterns and a pen and wash diagram between pp.120-121. An engraving of the arms of Austria (ruler of Silesia for much of the 17th century) is pasted insde the upper cover. An engraving of a personification of Justice and Piety before a view of Antwerp, designed by Maarten de Vos (1532-1603) and engraved by Raphael Sadeler (1561-1626), is pasted within the lower cover.