Rare Gemology Book: Marbode, (de Marboeuf) Bishop of Rennes; Marbo= Dei Galli Poetae Ve= tustissimi de lapidibus pretiosis..1531.
Item Number: Book 563-C
Marbode, (de Marboeuf) Bishop of Rennes; Marbo= Dei Galli Poetae Ve= tustissimi de lapidibus pretiosis Encheri= dion, cum scholijs Pictorij Vil= lingensis. Eivsdem Pictorii De lapide molari carmen. Lectori. Qui cupis emunctim gemmarum scire medullas, Huc uenias, totum continet iste liber: Qui decies senis capitellis nomina dicit, Et species, patrias, quid ualeant’q; simul. Anno M. D. XXXI.
Octavo, no pagination, 55 leafs of text numbered one side for 110 pages of text, 2 pages of index. No publisher on title page, but attributed to Freiburg in Breisgau.
This extremely rare edition of Marbode is complete and in a 20th century calf with gilt titles, and gilt ruled borders. Binding is pristine, text is clean with the early signature of the Earl of Hemre (?) on the title page. In exceptionally nice condition.
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Marbode (1035-1123) was a French theologian and eclesiastical writer. He was born and educated in Angers France where he taught and became the head of the education system of the city of Angers. In 1096 Pope Urban II appointed him Bishop of Rennes a post he held to just before his death in 1123.
His treatise on the medical virtue of precious stones is in didactic verse and was one of the most popular lapidaries through the 16th century. The work was edited by German Physician Georg Pictorius. (1500-1569) who was first a school master in Freiburg in Breisgau.
Marbode describes nearly 60 precious stones with their peculiar virtues, both natural and magic. Marbode’s treatise is a major work in the early origins of science. In it the author attempts to separate the supernatural from the natural and advances the idea that the knowledge of precious stones is useful and a means of power for men. The idea of “stone-lore” is a constant theme throughout the book.
In fact Marbode's intention in writing the treatise was, as he tells us in his Prologue, to reveal the secrets concerning stones. His concern is with the stones' descriptions, locations and powers, specifically with regards the art of medicine. Each stone's character or its life can be known by God's grace. God had given each precious stone its own special powers. Marbode constantly tells the reader that the stones are power-laden and this power is to be exploited by men, who know the secrets.