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Bruno, Giordano (1548-1600)

Summa terminorum metaphysicorum... Accessit eiusdem praxis Descensus, seu applicatio Entis ex manuscripto, per Raphaelem Eglinum Jconium Tigurinum Rudolph Hutwelcker, 1609.

€ 15.000
Giordano Bruno's philosophical lexicon
Bruno, Giordano (1548-1600). Summa terminorum metaphysicorum... Accessit eiusdem praxis Descensus, seu applicatio Entis ex manuscripto, per Raphaelem Eglinum Jconium Tigurinum. Rudolph Hutwelcker, 1609.

8° (155x95 mm). Collation: A-P8, Q4. [16], 229, [3] pages. Roman and italic type. Woodcut ornament on the title-page; woodcut headpieces and decorated initials. Some diagrams in the text. Contemporary limp vellum; smooth spine with running stitches, and traces of inked title, in a contemporary hand. Traces of ties. Binder's waste from a printed seventeenth-century German almanac. Covers slightly stained, text block detached from the spine. A good, unsophisticated copy. A small section from the outer blank margin of the title-page cut and restored, without any loss. Some spots, a few stains, especially on the first leaves, with marginal foxing. On the recto of the front flyleaf, the inked annotation 'Prima Aprilis', and the number '519', pencilled in red by a more recent hand.

Provenance: given by a certain Reiter to Rev. Leib in 1773 (ownership inscription on the verso of the front flyleaf, ‘Ex libris R.d Leib à R.D. Leibn à R D: Reiter dono oblatus anno 1773', and on the title-page, 'Ex Libris Rd Leib').

The rare second and definitive edition of this work by the celebrated philosopher from Nola, Giordano Bruno. After several years wandering between Geneva, Paris, London, Prague, and several cities in German-speaking areas, Bruno returned to Venice in August 1591 but was ultimately deemed a heretic and burned at the stake in Rome at Campo de' Fiori in 1600.

Bruno's Summa terminorum metaphisicorum relays a series of lectures given by him in Zurich; he compiled the text in 1591, while still in the Swiss city. The work aims to provide a lexicon of philosophical terms, which have been divided here into fifty-two concepts according to the model of Aristotelian Metaphysics, among other systems of logic.

The book was edited posthumously by the theologian Raphael Egli (1559-1622), who had become acquainted with Bruno in Geneva, and who later attended his lectures in Zurich. Egli had published a first edition of the Summa terminorum metaphysicorum in Zurich in 1595, while the Nolano was imprisoned at the Sant'Uffizio in Rome. This text was produced on the basis of a manuscript owned by Egli himself which contained only the first part of the work, the De Entis descensus. The enlarged edition of 1609 is introduced by the unchanged dedicatory epistle to Friedrich Salis which had previously been appended to the Summa of 1595, but also includes the significant addition of the Praxis descensus seu applicatio Entis. Bruno's texts are followed by the Tractatus de definitionibus – then erroneously attributed to Athanasius – and the Terminorum quorundam explicationes by Rudolf Goclenius, professor of logic and moral philosophy at the University of Marburg.

Of this Marburg edition two versions of the title-page are known, with and without mention of Egli's affiliation and reference to Goclenius's Terminorum quorundam explicationes. The copy presented here is one of only seven copies known to bear the title-page in the shorter form, and is considered in first issue. There are also variants in the tabula of the errata.

For other works by Bruno in this catalogue see nos. 154 and 161.

I. Salvestrini, Bibliografia, no. 210; Sturlese, Bibliografia, no. 29; E. Canone, “Nota” to G. Bruno, Summa terminorum metaphysicorum. Ristampa anastatica dell'edizione Marburgo 1609, Roma 1989, pp. XI-XXII; Philobiblon, One Thousand Years of Bibliophily, no. 183.