Paris: Aegidius Gorbinus, 1578. Item #03734
A Remarkable Survival of Three Books by Ramón Lull - 'Doctor Illuminatus'
One of Athanasius Kircher's Greatest Influences
LULL, Ramón. Opusculum Raymundinum de auditu Kabbalistico sive ad omnes Scientias introductorium. Incipit libellus de Kabbalistico auditu in via Raymundi Lullii. Paris: Apud Aegidium Gorbinum… 1578.
Twelvemo (4 3/8 x 3 1/8 inches; 111 x 80 mm.). 82 [i.e. 80] leaves (A8-K8). Woodcut printer's device on title (Renouard no. 376). Folding table and two woodcuts in the text, and five plates with woodcut diagrams including one with a volvelle with two moving parts. Title-page with the German Jesuit library stamps of "Domus Bonnensis" and "Bibl.script".
A fine copy of a rare and important work which includes among its five plates a volvelle mounted with its two movable parts still present.
Third Edition, the previous two appeared in 1518 and 1538 in Venice, all of which are very rare. "How successful was the thesis of 'De auditu kabbalistico' in the 16th and 17th centuries, could be shown by the impressive reception of this treatise, which ranges from about Giordano Bruno, Claude Duret, Johann Heinrich Alsted and Athanasius Kircher up to Leibniz" (G. Kurz [ed], Meditation und Erinnerung in der Frühen Neuzeit, p 115; trans.).
This text has found an important place in the body of Kabbalistic texts with its attribution to Ramón Lull (1232-1316). However there is evidence that this is the work of a Renaissance physician and Kabbalist scholar when one goes back to the original 1518 edition. Pietro Mainardi, born about 1456, obtained his doctorate at the University of Ferrara in 1490 and went on to teach medicine there until 1527. He was definitely a great scholar of Lull and while composing this work he drew heavily from Lull's Ars Brevis and inserted kabbalistic references and added, very effectively, some of his own. However he did not sign the work. He apparently wished to remain anonymous as the author so his name appears only in the colophon of the 1518 edition as the editor and publisher. Thus in later editions, with different publishers and colophons the work became Opusculum Raymundinum. The work definitely has very scholarly content and a form so similar as to be considered a work of Lull and would from then on be ascribed to him. Its great success is attested by several documents and printed texts in which quotations from the present work (De auditu) would mingle with the Kabbalistic text collections of Lull.
In addition, this is the first book that deepens and broadens the ars combinatorial method invented by Lull through which, by using diagrams, figures, or words, you can connect, in a sort of mechanical logic, information in each field to get closer to universal knowledge as well as to be able to memorize it. Many later scientists and philosophers (Bruno, Agrippa, Kircher, Alsted, Leibniz and his followers) or writers (Roussel, Raymond Queneau, Perec, Calvino, Eco ) were interested in the theories expressed here.
Palau 143.864; Duveen 370; Caillet 6846; E. Rogent & E. Duràn, Bibl. de les impressions lul-lianes, (Barcelona, 1927), no 120; C. Ottaviano, Lull’s L’ars compendiosa, (1930) p. 97, no. 17 (under "E Écrits apocryphes.").
LULL, Ramón. Ars Brevis Illuminati Doctoris Magistri Raymundi Lull. Quae est ad omnes scientias pauco & brevi tempore assequendas introductorium & brevis via, una cum figuris illi materiae deservientibus, necnon & illius scientiae approbatione. In cuius castigatione attendat lector quam castigatissimè Magister Bernardus de lavinhera artis illius fidissimus interpres insudatit… Paris: Apud Aegydium Gorbinum… 1578.
Twelvemo (4 3/8 x 3 1/8 inches; 111 x 80 mm.). 48 leaves (A8-F8). Woodcut printer's device on title (Renouard no. 376). woodcut diagrams on A5 recto, B1 recto, folding woodcut diagram between A6 and A7, B2 verso with a volvelle with two moving parts, folding table between B7 and B8.
A fine copy of a rare and important work with the plate with the volvelle mounted with its two movable parts still present.
Rare compendium edition of the Ars Magna - and therefore defined Brevis - of the Catalan philosopher and theologian Ramón Lull, who lived in the thirteenth century and was the author of numerous works of scientific argument, mystical-philosophical and even literary. The work of Lull ranks for many critics of the foundations of modern science and was studied and deepened by thinkers such as Nicola Cusano, Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, Giordano Bruno, Kircher, Cartesio, Descartes and Leibniz.
"This work, written at Pisa in 1308, was the most widely read and widely distributed version of the Art. It corresponded to a desire, peculiar to the second of the Art’s phases, to simplify the principles of the Art. The Ars Brevis starts by stating that it was written so as to facilitate access to the ‘Great Art’, specifically the Ars generalis ultima (1305-1308)".
"The Ars brevis operates in accordance with a remodelled version of logic that Llull dealt with in the Logica nova (1303): the ‘compartments’ containing two or three concepts correspond, therefore, to propositions and syllogisms. The Art shows one how to ‘find’ all possible propositions and syllogisms from the terms given in the Alphabet and how to verify their truth or falsity. The Tree of Science (1295-1296), on the other hand, reveals how the structure of principles and relations in the Ars brevis is linked with the whole of the intelligible world.
The Ars brevis contains thirteen highly dense parts. The first part presents the Alphabet; the second, the Figures; the third, the definitions of the Principles; the fourth, the Rules; the fifth, the Table; the sixth, the Evacuation of the Third Figure; the seventh, the Multiplication of the Fourth Figure; the eighth, the ‘mixing’ (‘mixtio’) or combining of the Principles and the Rules; the ninth, the nine Subjects; the tenth, the application [of the Art]; the eleventh, the questions; the twelfth, familiarisation [with the Art]; the thirteenth, ‘the way to teach this Art’". (See Anthony Bonner. Selected Works of Ramón Llull, volume 1, pp. 569-646).
"…The next twist in the path came from perhaps the strangest character in the history of Lullism, the German Jesuit Athanasius Kircher (1602-1680), scientist, mathematician, cryptographer, and student of Egyptian hieroglyphics. With the idea of perfecting Llull's Art, he published in Amsterdam in 1669 his vast Ars magna sciendi. This work begins in reforming the alphabet of the Art, inventing little symbols (a heart for Concordantia, a donkey for Animalia, etc) and continues with what Martin Gardner calls a fascinating mixture of Science and nonsense." (Anthony Bonner. Doctor Illuminatus. A Ramon Llull Reader, p. 68).
Palau, 14370-14384; Duveen, p. 370.
LULL, Ramón. Articuli Fidei Sacrosanctae ac Salutiferae legis Christianae cum corundem perpulchra introductione. Quos (caeteras leges omnes improbando) Illuminatus doctor Raymundus Lullius rationibus necessariis demonstrativè probat. Paris: Apud Aegydium Gorbinum… 1578.
Twelvemo (4 3/8 x 3 1/8 inches; 111 x 80 mm.). 66 [i.e. 64] leaves (A8-H8, I2). Woodcut printer's device on title (Renouard no. 376).
Articles of Christian faith, Holy law and healing affairs with a fine introduction.
"Deus in Virtue tua sperantes, & de tua gratia confidentes, intendimus probare articules fidei per necessarias rationes."
The three books bound together as a sammelband.
Twelvemo. Contemporary full yapp-edged vellum, manuscript title on spine, unidentified armorial bookplate on front paste-down. A remarkable survival in almost pristine condition. Housed in a fleece-lined, full brown scored calf clamshell case.
"The German Jesuit Athanasius Kircher (1601-1680), scientist, mathematician, cryptographer, and student of Egyptian hieroglyphics, was also a confirmed Lullist. He published in Amsterdam in 1669 a huge tome of nearly 500 pages titled Ars magna sciendi sive combinatoria. It abounds with Lullian figures and circles bearing ingenious pictographic symbols" (Gardner, Martin. Logic Machines and Diagrams).
Ramón Lull, Poet, Philosopher, Alchemist, Catalan Mystic - also known as Doctor Illuminatus… "The definitive Ars Magna, Lull’s greatest contribution to science - his attempt to unify all knowledge into a single system. Lull invented an ‘art of finding truth’ which inspired Leibniz’s dream of a universal algebra four centuries later. The most distinctive characteristic of [his] Art is clearly its combinatory nature, which led to both the use of complex semimechanical techniques that sometimes required figures with separately revolving concentric wheels - ‘volvelles’, in bibliographical parlance - and to the symbolic notation of its alphabet. These features justify its classification among the forerunners of both modern symbolic logic and computer science, with its systematically exhaustive consideration of all possible combinations of the material under examination, reduced to a symbolic coding. The Art’s function as a means of unifying all knowledge into a single system remained viable throughout the Renaissance and well into the seventeenth century" (DSB).