Scriptores astronomici veteres

June and [17] October 1499

The limited market for expensive Greek books forced Aldus to add Latin and vernacular titles to his catalogue. Like the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, the Scriptores astronomici veteres was printed in 1499 and dedicated to Guidobaldo da Montefeltro, Duke of Urbino and heir to the magnificent library of Federico da Montefeltro, rich in illuminated manuscripts.

An inscription on leaf Alpha 1 recto–Astronomicon Hoc scriptum Manlij cum Gemblacensi codice contulit Geuartius et seorsim Wendelinus anno 1644–records collations of a manuscript of Manilius’s Astronomica by Jan Gaspar Gevaerts (1593–1666), a well-known philologist and poet from Antwerp, and the Flemish astronomer Govaert Wendelen (1580–1667). The two scholars worked closely together and the inscription is attributable to Wendelen’s hand; which of them owned the volume is not clear.

A later owner was the English translator and poet Edward Sherburne (1618–1702), who marked the title page with his ownership note “F.S L.A”, meaning Felix Servator Lympidarum aquarum Armiger (a Latin version of his name); among his books in 1670 he listed a copy of the edition, doubtless this one, which he could have bought from Gevaerts’s library, auctioned at Antwerp in September 1666. From Sherburne the book entered the collection of John Moore, Bishop of Ely (1646–1714), and after Moore’s death it was presented with the rest of his library to Cambridge University Library by King George I in 1715.

Inc.3.B.3.134[1827], fol. A1 recto

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