5 April 2016
CONFUCIUS (551-479 B.C.). Sinarum philosophus, sive scientia sinensis latine exposita. Edited by Prospero Intorcetta (1626-1696), Chrétien Herdtrich (1625-1684), François de Rougemont (1624-1676), and Philippe Couplet (1623-1692). Paris: Daniel Horthemels, 1687.
4 parts in one volume, 2° (331 x 206 mm). Folding engraved map, engraved portrait of Confucius. Contemporary calf gilt (rebacked preserving old spine, slight repairs to fore-corners). Provenance: M. Flinck (early signature on title-page); “J.H.” early initials on title; unidentified armorial bookplate.
FIRST EUROPEAN EDITION OF CONFUCIUS with a dedication to Louis XIV, preceded only by fragmentary translations.
An early translation of Ta hsüeh, Chung yung and Lun yü, three of the four Confucian texts chosen by the neo-Confucian philosopher Chu Hsi in 1190 to be included in the collection known as the Sìshu (“Four Books”). The fourth book, the works of Mencius, and the reason for not printing it, are discussed in a note printed on p. 159 at the end of book three. The translation was done under special license from Louis XIV by members of the Jesuit Society.
In addition to the first three books of Confucius, the work includes his biography, valuable essays on Chinese history and culture, and much factual information. This copy contains the one page 'Extrait du Privilege du Roy,' and includes the 8-page. 'Tabula Genealogica' not called for by Cordier. A FINE TALL CRISP COPY. Brunet II, 2221; Cordier Sinica I, 1389-1393; Lust 724; Morrison 438-439; Pei-tang 1358; Pfister 326-327.
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