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HYGINUS, Caius Julius (fl. 2nd century). Poeticon astronomicon. Edited by Jacobus Sentinus and Johannes Lucilius Santritter. Venice: Erhard Ratdolt, 22nd January 1485.
HYGINUS, Caius Julius (fl. 2nd century). Poeticon astronomicon. Edited by Jacobus Sentinus and Johannes Lucilius Santritter. Venice: Erhard Ratdolt, 22nd January 1485.

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HYGINUS, Caius Julius (fl. 2nd century). Poeticon astronomicon. Edited by Jacobus Sentinus and Johannes Lucilius Santritter. Venice: Erhard Ratdolt, 22nd January 1485.

Chancery 4o (210 x 148 mm). Collation: a-g8 (a1r blank, a1v woodcut diagram of sphere, a2r text, g7v Sentinus' verses to the reader, g8r colophon, g8v blank). 56 leaves. 32 lines. Roman type 8:91 (text), Gothic types 3:91 (inscriptions on two cuts), 10:65 (inscription on diagram), Greek type 91 (a few words). Woodcut diagram of the sphere, 47 astrological woodcuts, white-on-black floriated 11-line and smaller woodcut initials. Manuscript correction to caption of diagram on a1v, as in other copies, and possibly made in the printing house. (Pale stain on b6, two marginal wormholes not affecting text.) 19th-century half brown morocco, marbled boards, by Canape-Belz (light wear along joints). Provenance: a few errata corrected and notes on blank G8v in an early hand); C.S. Ascherson (bookplate; collection sold to Bernard Quaritch in 1944/45).

THE EARLIEST PRINTED REPRESENTATIONS OF THE CONSTELLATIONS

A TALL COPY of the third edition, the second illustrated, set from Ratdolt's 1482 edition. The series of woodcuts constitutes the earliest printed representation of the constellations and served as a pictorial model for all later celestial portrayals. To this edition is added the diagram of the sphere. The woodcuts, attributed to Johannes Lucilius Santritter, derive from medieval manuscript sources and depict figures in medieval European costume. The text is attributed to Hyginus the mythographer and based on Greek sources, particularly Aratos' Phaenomena. Blending myth and science, the work explains the basics of astronomy, the 42 constellations and the zodiac. The text was first published in an unillustrated edition in Ferrara in 1475. HC 9063*; BMC V, 289 (IA. 20540); BSB-Ink H-460; CIBN H-335; Essling 286; Pr 4398; Redgrave 48 ("There is a vigour and quaintness about these woodcuts which merit recognition."); Roller & Goodman I:576; Sander 3473; Goff H-561.

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