Title Opus Mathematicum, octo libros complectens, ... Item Isagogen Astrologiae Iudiciariae, & totius divinatricis artis Encomia.
Publisher Cologne: Theodore Baum, 1583.
Seller ID S13122
Folio. Collation: †6, A-4K4 [lacks 4K4 blank]. Pagination: , 624,  pp. xylographic device on title in an ornate frame, Adam and Eve with serpent and the tree of knowledge, 2 portraits of the author [with heading initials I.T.H. ae[tas] sue A[nno] 53], below portrait is the date 1562, numerous plates of chiromantic hands, physiognomic portraits, astrological charts, and zodiacal emblematic woodcuts, extensive index; small puncture affecting pp. 607-8. Original full vellum, title in manuscript on spine, edges blue; browned (as usual), lower margin worming from 4C3-4G4 (touching a few letters), ink stain at top edge (no text affected), leaves from 4H to end are supplied from other smaller copies, still a nice copy in very good condition. Armorial bookplate with manuscript initials T CA. Very good. Second edition, originally issued in 1562. Jean Taisnier (1508/9-62) was tutor to the pages of Charles V whom he accompanied to Tunis in 1535 and later to Italy. He taught at several Italian schools and he retired to Cologne after Charles’ death in 1558. “... his combination of interest in occult arts or pseudo-sciences with technology, measurement, something of mathematical method, and a yearning for new discovery through physical experiment represents his own choice and selection and makes him of some significance in the history of magic and experimental science.” – Thorndike V, p. 581. ¶ “Taisnier posed as a distinguished specialist in the art of chiromancy. He asserted, like Cocles, that his judgement had never gone astray in the examination of human hands, and he gives many instances of his successful past readings of palms. After consulting many painters, he found it advisable to draw his own figures of hands in order to have them exact.” – Thorndike V, p. 587. ¶ Selected contents: about color (p.21); about touch; relating to the characterization of planets of the solar system (p.29); Moon, etc.; ‘bestiales homines’ = humans with bestial tendencies (p.323); of lunatics (reading the palm of the hand) pp. 364-5; ‘mors extra patriam’= death outside the country (p.377); ‘homicidae uxorum’ = murdering of wives (p.379); ‘interpretes somniorum’ = interpreters of dreams (p.379); intoxicants (p.381); about hair (p.454); ‘de dentibus’ = teeth (p.465); etc., etc. ¶“Book 8 contains excerpts from Luca Gaurico, Hermes Trismegistus, Abraham ben Mei?r Ibn Ezra and Joannes ab Indagine.” – WorldCat. ¶ Owen Davies of the University of Hertfordshire, describes the influence of the 1559 papal Indexes of Prohibited Books produced from 1559 onwards. Instead of forcing a ban the list fueled interest in these very books, including among them works of “geomancy, hydromancy, pyromancy, and necromancy… chiromancy, physiognomy, and other branches of divination.” – Owen Davies, Grimoires: A History of Magic Books, Oxford University Press, 2010, p. 74. ¶ Johannes Taisnier (ca. 1508 - 1562), born in Ath, Belgium, he studied law, philosophy, mathematics and music before working as tutor at the court of Charles V between 1530 and 1550. “He travelled to Italy with the Royal Court where he had the opportunity to study in the Italian academies in Rome, Bologna and Padua, where it seems he picked up most of his chiromancy.” – [johnnyfincham.com]. Then, on the death of the king, he retired to private life to write this compilation on palmistry, astrology and physiognomy. Six sections of the book are devoted to the study of the hand and include hundreds of diagrams with palm lines and their significance. Taisnier deals with the interpretation of many traditional signs, such as those of wealth, manner of death, gives steps for the reading of palm lines according to a the astrological perspective and taking into consideration the influences of the planets. “After informing himself about the Moors and the Arabs he travelled to Asia, teaching mathematics.” He later taught at Malta, Sicily, Rome and Ferrara. While some have accused him of being both a capable scholar, they also accuse him of plagiarism, especially for this text. Nonetheless it was a common practice to compile all known knowledge of the day and reissue it, even if uncited. Taisnier worked variously as a scientist, physician, lawyer, mathematician, musician and philosopher. His travels took him to Europe, Asia, Africa and even America. ¶ VD 16 T73; Adams T-70 (also lacking blank 4K4); Caillet 10524; Leandro Cantamessa, Astrologia, 4398; Gardner, Astrologia, 1213; Johann Graesse, Bibliotheca Magica et Pneumatica,100; Houzeau-Lancaster 4885; Poggendorf II,1066; Sabattini 513 “Edizione divenuta rara”; Wellcome 6214 (inc.); Zinner 3115. [FULL TITLE: Opus Mathematicum, octo libros complectens, innumeris propemodum figuris idealibus manuum et physiognomiae, aliisque adornatum; quorum sex priores libri absolutissimae cheiromantiae theoricam, praxim, doctrinam, artem, & experientiam verissimam continent, septimus physiognomiae dispositionem, hominumque omnium qualitates & complexiones, octavus periaxiomata de faciebus signorum, & quid sol in unaquaque domo existens, natis polliceatur ... et naturalem astrologiam atque effectus lunae quoad diversas aegritudines. Item Isagogen Astrologiae Iudiciariae, & totius divinatricis artis Encomia.]