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Prospero Alpini
ALPINI, Prospero.

ALPINI, Prospero.
(1553 - 1616)

(Born: Marostica, Italy, 23 November 1553; Died: Padova, Italy, 6 February 1616) Italian physician.

Alpini graduated with a medical degree from the University of Padova, and became from 1580 to 1584 a doctor in the city of Cairo in Egypt. He returned to Venice becoming a reader in botany at the local university.

Biographical references: Catholic Encyclopaedia. Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th edition. Internet search.

1. Latin, 1735 [First edition].
Prosperi Alpini, | [...4 lines of titles and memberships...] | Historiæ Ægypti Naturalis | Pars Prima. | Qua continentur | Rerum Ægyptiarum | Libri Quatuor. | Opus Postumum | Libri Quatruor. | Opus Postumum | Nunc Primum | Et auctoris Autographo, diligentisune recognito, editum; at- | que ex codem Tabellis Æneis XXV. Illustratum | & uberrimo Indice auctum. | [ornament] | Lugduni Batavorum, | Apud Gerardum Potvliet. | MDCCXXXV.

2 vols. [Vol 1] 4°: [18], 1-248, [12] p., plates. [Vol 2] 4°: [10], 1-306, [26] p., plates. (102 plates total). Title in red and black.

Contents: [Vol 1] [2 pgs], Title page, verso blank.; [8 pgs], Dedication to Joanni Emo.; [4 pgs], "Prosper Alpinus | Benevolo Lectori."; [4 pgs], "Index Capitum" (=table of contents).; 1-248, Text.; [12 pgs], "Index | Rerum Memorabilium."

[Vol 2] [2 pgs], Title page, verso blank.; [1 pg], Sectional title page, "Prosperi Alpini | Ægypti | Historiæ Naturalis | Tomus Posterior."; [1 pg], Blank.; [3 pgs], Dedication to Joanni Mauroceno.; [1 pg], "Lectori Optimo."; [2 pgs], "Iclitæ | Nationi | Germanæ."; 1-148, Text.; [149], Sectional title page, "Joannis Veslingii | Mindani | [...3 lines...] | De | Plantis Ægyptiis | Observationes Et Notæ | Ad | Prosperum Alpinum."; [150], Blank.; 151-153, Dedication to Nicolao Contareno.; [154], "...V.C. | Jo. Veslingii."; [155]-[156], Page in Greek.; 157-216, Text.; [217], Sectional title page, "Joannis Veslingii | Mindani."; [218], Blank.; [219]-[221], Dedication.; [222]-[225], "Joannes Veslingius | Lectori Suo S." (=preface).; [226], Laudatory poem.; [227]-306, Text.; [2 pgs], "Noi Reformatori del Studio di | Palos."; [14 pgs], "Index | Rerum..."; [10 pgs], "Index Secundus, | Sive | Index."

Very scarce. Alpini's Rerum Aegyptiarum contains in the first volume, "a pioneer and undeservedly neglected contribution to Egyptology. Edited after Alpini's death by Bartolomeo Cellari, it contains a wealth of information on the natural history (including zoology and mineralogy), customs, and ancient monuments of Egypt" (DSB). The second volume contains Alpini's work on the plants of Egypt that first appeared in 1592. It is a pioneer study of Egyptian flora which introduced exotic plants to European botanical circles. The editor used the 1640 edition, which was annotated by Johann Vesling [1598-1649].

Bibliographical references: BL [982.d.25.]. Cleveland Herbal & Botanical Collections, 1992: no. 378. Nissen (BBI): 20. Pritzel, Thesaurus Literaturæ Botanicæ, 1871-3: no. 113. Roller & Goodman, Catalogue, 1976: 1, 31. Wood, Literature of Vertebrate Zoology, 1931: p. 188.

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