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De Bry Rare Books

Earliest description of Hieroglyphics, Salamanders, Elephants etc - "Sacris Notis & sculpturis libri duo" - The Hieroglyphics of Horapollo - 1551

Earliest description of Hieroglyphics, Salamanders, Elephants etc - "Sacris Notis & sculpturis libri duo" - The Hieroglyphics of Horapollo - 1551

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Horapollo - "Sacris Notis & sculpturis libri duo"

Greek translation by Philippus (Edited by Jean Mercier)

Published in 1551 in Paris: Kerver (First Kerver bilingual edition in Greek and Latin)

Octavo (165x105mm approx)

Complete: [20], 240, [4]

Lovely 20th Century full red moroccan binding with beautiful tooled decoration inside the front and back covers. Slipcase with marbled decoration. The book was bound in 1982 by Antolin Palomino - the well known Spanish Book Binder

This book, "The Hieroglyphics of Horapollo", was reportedly written in the 5th Century and is the earliest book attempting to decipher the ancient egyptian hieroglyphic symbols. The translations are mostly inaccurate and symbolic, but the work was hugely popular during the renaissance, and its popularity led to the spread of emblem books which used images as symbols.

The book has an early picture of a salamander, which was mythically thought to be able to survive fire and to have medical or even poisonous qualities. Other creatures shown in the pictures include an elephant, serpents and crocodiles with fanciful descriptions below. Many of the descriptions came from Pliny, the famous Ancient Greek Writer

 

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