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Bidding Information
Lot #    8469
Auction End Date    10/19/2004 1:56:00 PM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Le Antichità Di Beroso Caldeo Sacerdote
Author    Berosus the Chaldean: tr. Da M. Francesco Sansovin
City    Venice
Publisher    Altobello Salicato
Publication Date    1583
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   [8], 104 [i.e. 112] ff., 195:135 mm., light age and damp staining, few minor wormholes. A good copy bound in modern half leather and marbled paper boards. Rare - no sale record in ABPC.
   A collection of spurious fragments of the works of Greek and Roman writers attributed to Berosus the Chaldean and translated into Italian, annotated and illustrated by Francesco Sansovino (1521-1586). The full title is Le Antichita: Et díaltri Scrittori, cosi Hebrei, come Greci, et Latini, che trattano delle stesse materie. There is an attractive printerís device on the title page and many decorative initial letters and head-pieces within the text. The title page is followed by a four page dedication to Roberto Strozzi of Florence by Sansovino; a table of contents; a list of writers, and the text. Among its contents is the Babylonian conception of creation, know only from this work until 1875.

Berosus is the name of a native historian of Babylonia and a priest of the great god Bel (Bel-Marduk). He flourished during and after the lifetime of Alexander the Great, although the exact dates of his birth and death are unknown. It is certain, however, that he lived in the days of Alexander (356-326 B. C.) and continued to live at least as late as Antiochus I Soter (280-261 B. C.), to whom he dedicated his famous history of Babylonia. Little is known of him with certainty. According to Vitruvius and Pliny (whose testimony, taken as a whole, is to be accepted with caution), Berosus was profoundly versed in the science of astronomy and astrology; that much is certain. Leaving Babylonia, he settled for awhile in Greece, on the island of Cos, where he opened a school of astronomy and astrology. From there he passed to Athens where his wonderful learning and remarkable astronomical predictions brought him such fame that a statue with a gilt tongue was erected in his honor in the public gymnasium. Vitruvius attributes to him the invention of a semi-circular sundial. Berosusís history of Babylonia, probably written under the title of "Babyloniaca", is referred to under the title of "Chaldaica" by Josephus and Clement of Alexandria.

   Cat. Encyc.; Grässe, I, 137; New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge
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Listing Classification
16th Century:    Checked
Italy:    Checked
History:    Checked
Language:    Italian
Manuscript Type
Kind of Judaica