|Moderated by: alchemyd|
|Jean d’Espagnet, the ‘Anon. Galli ’, published (and authored) the famous Enchiridion Physicæ restitutæ, to which is appended the Arcanum Hermeticæ philosophiæ, in 1623.
The date is given by all the authors I came across (including Tom) as the year of its first edition.
But here, Ferguson [I, 250], listing the different editions, writes: “in Latin, Paris, 1608, 8° (which is the first).”
Honestly, I have never seen such an edition, or even in a library catalogue.
Ferguson obviously didn’t make that up. Chances are that he simply used (the hardly reliable) Lenglet-Dufresnoy, who apparently never saw the book himself; or Caillet 3667, quoting it:
« Paris, 1608, in-8°. Cité par Lenglet-Dufresnoy (d’après un Catalogue de l’abbé HOUEL, p.12) comme la première édition de cet ouvrage très rare, mais bien connu. »
So, did any of you actually saw this 1608 edition? Does it even exist? Or is it, more likely, only a mistake that kept being used as a reference?
P.s.: The canon VIII of the Arcanum Hermeticæ philosophiæ, warning the aspirant against the traps set by sophistic and deceitful alchemists (‘false Philosophers’); and the following one, advising him to chose only few but trusted authors, is a strange echo (or source, if the mythical 1608 edition end up being real) of the same advices formulated in the V. Andrea’s Confessio Fraternitatis (“we must earnestly admonish you that you put away, if not all, yet most Books written by false Alchimists”), and in the end of his Fama, with his program of offering ‘to the pure-hearted a Catalogue, or Register” of the valuable books of ‘Chymia’.
French translation : L'Ouvrage secret de la philosophie d'Hermez (1651) :
Last edited on Wed Apr 7th, 2010 03:35 am by Carl Lavoie
|The source of the error (if error it is) seems to be Abbé Houel's catalogue:
Maggs had a copy of the 1623 edition of the book for sale and remarked:
"There may have been an edition printed in 1608, but no copies are known."
And here is Lenglet du Fresnoy's reference:
Last edited on Wed Apr 7th, 2010 12:43 pm by Paul Ferguson
Rafal T. Prinke
|Another possibility is a misreading of the entry in Borel's _Bibliotheca chimica_ (p. 82) which states: "in 8. & in 64. Paris 1638" and does not list any other edition. So it could be copied as 1608 at some point and then perpetuated.
BTW: the format of 64. must be really small?
|Rafal T. Prinke wrote:
7.6 cms high by 5 cms wide to be precise. Just the right size for hiding it from the Inquisition
Bit like this:
Attached Image (viewed 367 times):
Last edited on Thu Apr 8th, 2010 04:12 pm by Paul Ferguson