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Pliny's “Historia naturalis”, edited by Caesarius, friend of Erasmus

Naturalis historiae opus ...
(Colophon: Cologne, Eucharius Cervicornus, 1524.) Folio. With both title-page and part-title in a decorated woodcut border in four pieces. Calf (ca. 1700?), with gold-tooled spine; rebacked with original backstrip laid down. [16], 311, [60] ll.
€ 22,500
First edition of Pliny's Natural history as edited by Johannes Caesarius (1468-1550), a humanist and close friend of Erasmus. Pliny's Natural history is one of the largest single works to have survived from the Roman Empire to the modern day and purports to cover the entire field of ancient knowledge, based on the best authorities available at the time. It encompasses the fields of botany, zoology, astronomy, geology and mineralogy as well as the exploitation of those resources. It remains a standard work for the Roman period and the advances in technology and understanding of natural phenomena at the time. Pliny's accounts of some technical advances are the only sources for those inventions, such as hushing (using water to wash away soil) in mining technology or the use of water mills for crushing or grinding grain. Archaeological excavations have confirmed much of what he wrote.
''We know from Pliny that there were important pearl fisheries in the Gulf ... Pliny identifies Tylos (Bahrain) as a place famous for its pearls ... [He] attests that pearls were the most highly rated valuable in Roman society, and that those from the Gulf were specially praised ... The pearl related finds at the site of El-Dur indicate the site was integrated into the maritime trade routes linking the Roman Empire, the Persian Empire, India and South Arabia'' (Carter).
Book 6 contains a chapter giving the first detailed account of the regions around the Gulf, including what are now Qatar, the Emirates and Oman.
With bookplate and owner's inscriptions. Some underscoring and some manuscript annotations in the margins (occasionally shaved). Some minor thumbing in the lower right corner, otherwise in very good condition. Rebacked, as noted. Adams P-1556; BMC German, p. 704; Durling 3689 (imperfect copy); Hunt 23.
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