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Lot 0257

PONTANO, GIOVANNI. [I] Ioannis Ioviani Pontani Opera Omnia soluta oratione composita. [at colophon:] Venetiis in aedibus Aldi, et Andreae Soceri Mense Iunio, 1518. [Venice: Aldo Manuzio and Andrea Torresani, June 1518].

[together with:]
[II] Ioannis Ioviani Pontani De Aspiratione Libri duo. Charon Dialogus. Antonius Dialogus. Actius Dialogus. Aegidius Dialogus. Asinus Dialogus. De Serome Libri Sex. Belli, quod Ferdinandus Senior Neapolitanus Rex cum Ioanne Andeganensium duce gessit, Libri Sex. [at colophon:] Venetiis in aedibus Aldi, et Andreae Soceri Mense Aprili, 1519. [Venice: Aldo Manuzio and Andrea Torresani, April 1519].

[together with:]
[III] Centum Ptolomaei Sententiae ad Syrum fratrem à Pontano è Graeco in latinum tralatae, atque expositae. Eiusdem Pontani Libri XIIII. De reb. coelestibus. Liber etiam de Luna imperfectus. [at colophon:] Venetiis in aedibus Aldi, et Andreae Soceri Mense Septemb. 1519. [Venice: Aldo Manuzio and Andrea Torresani, September 1519].

3 volums in-4to, stiff vellum with labels and gilt title at spine, ff. (4), 327, (1); ff. 318; ff. 301, (19).

First collected edition of Pontano's works, also complete with the controversial dialogue Charon, in which Pontano attacks priests, bishops and monks and that, for this reason, was censored and mutiled in the most part of the copies by the Inquisition.

The third volume of poems is devoted to astrology, Ptolemy's Sentences, starts and moon.
Cameron Allen: «Like Ficino, Pontano undoubtedly acquired his taste for astrology early in life. [...] The earliest astrological compositions of Pontano are the translation of and commentary on the pseudo-Ptolemaic Centiloquio and the early books of the De rebus coelestibus. As one turns over the pages of the De rebus coelestibus one is struck by the fact that one is reading a handbook of social psychology as well as a textbook of astrology. He took the view that the perfect, incorruptible skies had a shaping power over the corruptible sublunary matter. Pontano passes over the spiritual element, the divine soul. It is this startling silence that turns Pontano's astrological system into a milestone in the history of social psychology. Pontano's theory that the matter of man is inclined by stellar influences establishes the necessity of a horoscope. If one knows in advance what one's inclinations are, one can shape one's character according to these dispositions if they are good, and check those weaknesses that are unsocial. In this book Pontano defends astrology vigorously by showing that the sciences of which Pico approved are filled with errors, and by asserting that astrology is the most certain science».

Also Nostradamus quotes Pontano and his first proposition of the commentary on pseudo-Ptolemy: Soli numine divino afflati praesagiunt & spiritu prophetico particularia («Only those inspired by the divine godhead can prophecy, and only those inspired by the spirit of prophecy can prophesy detailed events»). Renouard, 82.3; 87.6 e 87.7; Adams P-2215. BM STC (Italian) 542,533. Caillet 8828: «Plein de verve et d'esprit, mais d'une excessive obscenité». Olschki 12243 (only the first volume); Brunet IV, 808: «Bonne èdition et dont on trouve difficilement les trois volumes rèunis et bien conservé»; Riccardi I, 303: «Fra queste diverse ediz. distinguesi per pregio ed eleganza tipografica quella stampata d'Aldo negli anni 1518-19 [...]».Ransom 152, 163 & 164. Houzeau-Lancaster I, 3644. Cantamessa, 3556. Don Cameron Allen, The Star-Crossed Renaissance, 1941.


A wonderful set, very clean and crisp.

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[Astrology, Forbidden Books] Pontano 1518-19, 3 vols

Estimate €2,500 - €3,500
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