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 Vincent of Beauvais

(1190? - 1264?)

(Born: 1190?; Died: Beauvais, France?, 1264?) French dominican & encyclopedist.

Little is known of Vincent de Beauvais' personal history. It is thought that he joined the Dominicans in Paris shortly after 1218, becoming subprior of the Dominican monastery of Beauvais by 1246. He was connected with the royal family being librarian and tutor to Louis IX, and tutor to his sons. With the exception of visits to Louis IX at Royaumont, he spent all his religious life in the monastery at Beauvais. A man of industry, Vincent undertook to write a systematic and comprehensive treatment of all branches of human knowledge.

Biographical references: Bourgeat, Etudes sur Vincent de Beauvais. Paris, 1856. Biographie Universelle: 43, 539-43. Dictionary of the Middle Ages: 12, 453b-455b [by G. Guzman]. Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th edition. LKG: 280. Nouvelle Biographie Générale (Hoefer). Sarton, Introduction, 1928-52: 2, pt. 2, 929-32. Touron, Hist. des hommes illustres de l'ordre de saint Dominique; Revue des quest. hist.. Paris, 1875. Zischka, Allgemeines Gelehrten-Lexikon, 1961: 670.

Speculum Naturale, 1475 (Leaf 1/2r)

1. Latin, 1475 [First edition].
Speculum Naturale ... [Strassburg, The R-Printer (Adolf Rusch), not after 1476].

2 vols. [Vol 1] 2°: [1-210 38 4-1210 138 1910 208 21-2510 26-3010 31-328 33-3810 (unsigned; 1/1 and 38/10 blank); 370l.; no pagination, foliation or signiatures. Signiatures in manuscript are recorded in the British Library copy as follows: a-b10 c8 d-m10 n8 o-t10 v8 x-z10 [Con]10 \OldAux10 A-E10 F-G8 H-N10. [Vol 2] 2°: [110 2-1410 156 168 17-3310 34-358] (unsigned; 35/8 blank); 328l.; no pagination, foliation or signiatures. Signiatures in manuscript are recorded in the British Library copy as follows: aa8 bb-oo10 pp6 qq8 ; AA-QQ10 RR-SS8. 698 leaves total between the two vols. Printed in two columns, type 100, 66 lines, with 3 to 12 line spaces left blank for capitals. Page size: 470 x 309 mm.

Contents: [Vol 1] 1/1 (=1), Blank.; 1/2r (=2r), "Incipit speculū naturale Vincentij beluacē[old SZ] | fratris ordinis pdicatorum. Et primo plogus [old aux]' | causa suscepti oPis et eius materia. Primū. | [Q12]Voniā ml'titudo li | brorum: Et temPis | breuitas: memorie | quoqz labilitas: nō | patiuntur cūcta q | scripta sūt Piter aī | mo comphēdi. Mi | chi omniū fratruz | mīplurimo[old aux] li= | bros assidue reuol | uenti: ac longo tē= | pore studiose legē | ti: visum est tandē (accedēte etiam maiorū meo[old aux] | consilio) quosdā flores p modulo ingenij mei ele | ctos: ex omibus fere quos legere potui.siue no | strorum .i. catholico[old aux] doctoruz: siue gentiliū scz | philosopho[old aux] et poetarū: et ex vtrisqz historico[old aux] | in vnū corpus volumīs quodā compendio et or | dine sūmatim redigere ..."; 1/6r (=6r), Table.; 3/2v (=22v), col. 1: "De innouatione mundi et luminariū celi. cvi."; 3/3r (=23r), "De diuersis mūdi acceptionibus. Ex | libro qui dicitur imago mundi."; 38/9v (=369v), col. 2, line 12: "quo Pacto simul omes eo quo venerant agmine | redeunt."; 38/10 (=370), Blank.

[Vol 2] 1/1r (=1r), Table.; 1/9r (=9r), "ij. [Dark C] De opere sixte diei. Et primo de anima | libus. Guillerinus de conchis. | [P]Iscibus itaqz et | auibus effectu | superio[old aux] ex aq | creatis: ..."; 35/7v (=327v), line 24, End: " ... | Hec que iam dicta sunt de antipo et ad= | uentu iudicis:dieqz iudicij de bono[old aux] remunera= | tione malorumqz damnatione breuiori hic stilo | perstricta sunt. sed latiore in fine speculi hysto= | rialis. Ppatescunt. Amen."; 35/8 (=328), Blank.

Edition princeps. Very rare. Printed by Adolf Rusch in the Strassburg print shop of Johann Mentelin [see notes below], the date of this first edition of Speculum Naturale (usually given as "not after 1478") was revised according to a purchase date found in the copy of the library of the Institution of Electrical Engineers, London. It forms two volumes of the author's Speculum Maius, which in a complete set of all four parts, is the largest incunabula known, consisting of seven enormous folio volumes, often found bound in ten.

Written in the mid-thirteenth century, the Speculum Maius is the greatest and most comprehensive of all the encyclopedias generated in the Middle Ages. It records a very complete overview of all the classical and ecclesiastical knowledge and information available to late medieval man. According to the original plan the work was divided into four main parts dealing respectively with nature, doctrine (science), morality and history (Speculum Naturale, Doctrinale, Morale, Historiale). The text of each of these sections consists of quoted extracts (some of them very long) from a large number of Latin, Greek, Arabic and Hebrew writings (some 450 authors represented). It is a superior effort over earlier, similar encyclopedias, due to Vincent's access to a larger, better library than other compilers. However, this compilation was more remarkable for its size than for its quality. Vincent did not take the time to assimilate his material into an organic text, instead he quotes from documents available to him without adding anything new or even applying a commentary to explain contradictions. The task was immense, and must have required a long time to compile. Vincent carefully quotes passages and assigns the extracts to their proper authors. During his lifetime Vincent was able to complete all the volumes with the exception of the Speculum Morale, which was written between 1310 and 1325. Yet as it was a part of the original plan, this section has been included in every printed edition of the Speculum Maius.

For the purposes of this work the Speculum naturale is the section of interest. It is organized in the form of a commentary on the first chapter of Genesis, and comprises a prologue and 32 books (with a total of 3,718 chapters). It is printed in two large folio volumes, and the subjects treated include geography, geology, mineralogy, agriculture, botany, astronomy, birds, animals, anatomy, physiology, and psychology. All of which are extensively discussed in an order suggested by the Biblical account of the creation. Book 8 describes precious and semiprecious stones in the form of a lapidary, based on the theories of Aristotle and Ibn Sīnā and influenced by Albertus Magnus. Book 15 covers Astronomy, Astrology, The Seasons, Temporal Divisions of the Liturgical Year; Book 28, Human Anatomy; Book 31, Human Reproduction; Book 32, Geography, World History.

Adolf Rusch. (Born: Ingweiler, Germany,      ; Died: Strassburg, Germany, 1479) German printer. German printer. Rusch is also known as the "R-Printer," a modern nickname derived from the peculiar majuscule R he used in his publications. Rusch married Johann Mentelin's daughter Salome, and inherited the family printing business in 1479. During his father-in-law's life, Rusch may have worked partly for him and partly as an independent. The print buisness was in turn succeeded to by Martin Flach.

Bibliographical references: Aiken, P., The influence of the `Speculum Majus' of Vincent of Beauvais on the works of Chaucer, Ph.D. dissertation, Yale University, 1934. Aiken, P., "Vincent of Beauvais and Chaucer's Knowledge of Alchemy", Studies in Philology, 12, (1944), 371-9. Aiken, P., "Vincent of Beauvais and dame Pertelote's knowledge of medicine", Speculum, 10, (1935), 281-7. BL [IC 682]. BMC XV: 1, 64 [IC 682]. Collison, Encyclopaedias, 1966: 60-2. Copinger, Hain's Repertorium, Supplement, 1898-1902: nos. 6253 & 6256. Creutz, R., "Die Medizin im `Speculum maius' des Vincentius von Beauvais", Sudhoffs Archiv, 31, (1938), 297-313. Goff: V-292. Klebs, Incunabula Scientifica, 1938: no. 1036.1. LKG: III 11. Meyer, H., "Ordo rerum und Registerhilfen in mittelalterlichen Enzyklopädiehandschriften", Frühmittelalterliche Studien, 25, (1991), 315-39. Oates, Cambridge 15th Century Books, 1954: no. 106. Osler, Incunabula Medica, 1923: no. 138. Paulmier-Foucart, M., "Une des tâches de l'encyclopédiste: intituler, les titres des chapitres du `Speculum naturale' de Vincent de Beauvais", in: Picone, M. [ed.], L'Enciclopedismo medievale, Ravenna 1994, 147-62 [Memoria del Tempo, vol. 1]. Polain, Catalogue, 1932: no. 3947. Rieunier, A., Quelques mots sur la médecine au Moyen Age d'après le `Speculum majus' de Vincent de Beauvais. Paris, 1893. Schuler, S., "L'encyclopédie médiévale en tant que véhicule de l'écriture pragmatique - le cas de réception et de transmission du `De architectura' de Vitruve dans le `Speculum maius' de Vincent de Beauvais", Vincent of Beauvais Newsletter, 20, (1995), 8-12. Stadler, H., "Albertus Magnus, Thomas von Chantimpré und Vincenz von Beauvais", Natur und Kultur, 4, (1906), 86-90. Thach: no. 11. Wellcome Catalog (Books): 1, no. 6632. (Rusch) BMC XV: 1, 59-60.

Speculum Naturale, 1481

2. Latin, 1481 [2nd edition].
Speculum Naturale ... [Strassburg, Printer of the `Legenda aurea', about 1481].

2°: [18]l., [1], 300l

Very rare. In the preparation of this colossal work, he was helped in the purchase of books by his royal patron Louis IX. The general title of Vincent's work is "Speculum Majus". The first part, "Speculum naturale", contains thirty-two books and 3718 chapters, and treats of theology, psychology, physiology, cosmography, physics, botany, zoology, mineralogy, agriculture. Book IX, chap. 40, contains an early reference to the use of the magnet for the purpose of navigation. The edition of the "Speculum naturale" in the Wheeler collection in the Library of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers (New York) was printed in Strasburg, probably in the year 1468. It is in two royal folio volumes containing 694 double column pages of 66 lines to the column. Like other incunabula, it was published without title-page, folio-number or printer's imprint. The second part, "Speculum doctrinale", in seventeen books and 2374 chapters, treats of logic, rhetoric, poetry, geometry, astronomy, instincts, passions, education, industrial and mechanical arts, anatomy, surgery, medicine, jurisprudence, and administration of justice. The third part, "Speculum historiale", in thirty-one books and 3793 chapters, brings the history of the world to A.D. 1250. A fourth part, "Speculum morale", appears in some additions, but its authenticity is questioned, Daunou (1761- 1840) affirming that it cannot be attributed to Vincent. The "Speculum majus" contains 80 books, divided into 9885 chapters, figures which give some idea of the magnitude of the work accomplished by the Dominican Friar in the first half of the thirteenth century. Other works of Vincent of Beauvais are: "De eruditione filiorum regalium"; "Tractatus consolatorius de morte amici", addressed to St. Louis on the death of one of his sons in 1260.

Bibliographical references: BMC XV: 2, 10 & 3, 860 [IC 1252; Basel, Amerbach?]. Copinger, Hain's Repertorium, Supplement, 1898-1902: no. 6257. Goff: V-293. Hain, Repertorium Bibliographicum, 1826-38: HC no. 6257. Hunt Botanical Catalog: no. 227 ??. Klebs, Incunabula Scientifica, 1938: no. 1036.2 [Nuremberg, 1486]. Polain, Catalogue, 1932: no. 3948. Proctor, Index, 1898-1906: no. 2056 [Nuremberg, Koberger, 1486]. Voulliéme (Berlin).

3. Latin, 1494 [3rd edition].
Speculum Naturale ... Venice, Hermannus Liechtenstein, 15 May 1494.

Bibliographical references: BMC XV: 5, 359 [IB 22009]. Goff: V-294. Hain, Repertorium Bibliographicum, 1826-38: HC 6241. Klebs, Incunabula Scientifica, 1938: no. 1036.3. Oates, Cambridge 15th Century Books, 1954: no. 1893. Polain, Catalogue, 1932: no. 3937 (III). Proctor, Index, 1898-1906: no. 4797.

Biblioteca Mvndi, 1624

4. Latin, 1624.
[Contained within a double rule box, in black:] Biblioteca Mvndi. | [in red:] Vincentii [in black:] Bvrgvndi | [...2 lines of titles and memberships...] | [in red:] Specvlvm Qvadrvplex, | [in black:] Natvrale, | Doctrinale, | Morale, | Historiale. | In quo totius naturæ [in red:] Historia, [in black:] omnium scientiarum [in red:] Encyclopædie, | [in black:] moralis Philosophiæ [in red:] Thesavrvs, [in black:] temporum & actionum humanarum | [in red:] Theatrvm [in black:] amplissimum exhibetur; ita ex optimorum auctorum ele- | gantissimis sententiis inter se concatenatis contextum opus, vt nihil vide- | ri [in red:] laboriosius, | [in black:] nihil ad sapientiam [in red:] vtilius, [in black:] denique ad honestam animi voluptatem inuentiri possit [in red:] iucundius. | [in black:] Omnia nunc accuratè recognita, distinctè ordinata, suis vnicuique autori redditis | exactè sententijs; summarijs prætereà & obseruationibus, quibus | anteà carebat, illustrata. | Oper{$\hat a$} & studio Theologorum [in red:] Benedictinorvm [in black:] Collegij | [in red:] Vedastini [in black:] in alma Academia [in red:] Dvacensi. | [large engraved rectangular vignette] | [in red:] Duaci, | Ex Officina Typographica Baltazaris Belleri, | sub Circino aureo. | [rule] | [in red:] Anno M. DC. XXIV.

[Engraved title page reads:]

[Within a heavily illustrated border, the top compartment reads:] Bibliotheca Mvndi | Sev | Veneralbilis Viri | Vincentiii Bvrgvndi | Ex Ordine Prædicatorvm | Episcopi Bellovacensis | Specvlvm Qvadrvplex | Natvrale, Doctrinale, Morale, | Historiale. | Omnia nunc recognita, correctissimè | castigata, citationibus, summarijs, | obseruationibusqz quibus hactenus | caruerunt, illustrata. | Opera ac studio Theologorum | Benedictinorvm Collegiii | Vedastini in Academia Dvacensis. [The bottom compartment reads:] Dvaci | Ex officina Typographica et sumptibus | Balthazaris Belleri | in Circino aureo. | M. DC. XXIV.

4 vols. [Vol 1] 2°: *8 A-Kkkkk6 Lllll8 a-c6 d7; ??l.; [16] p., cols. 1-2480, [50] p., title page in red and black, added engraved title page. [Vol 2] 2°: π1 A-Tt\^ Uuu8 a-b6 c7; ??l.; [2] p., cols. 1-1592, [38] p. [Vol 3] 2°: [Vol 4] 2°:

Rare. Volumes: (1) Speculum naturale, (2) Speculum doctrinale, (3) Speculum morale, and (4) Speculum historiale.

Facsimile reprint, 1964-5: Speculum quadruplex, sive, Speculum maius. Graz, Akademische Druck- und Verlaganstalt, 1964-65. 4 vols. [AzU Main BX1749 .V55]

Bibliographical references: BL. NUC.

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