Old Books

Old_Books-Collection_IMG_0458I love old stuff, particularly coins and books. Unfortunately, I don’t have the enthusiasm of youth, the time to travel nor the money to collect them anymore. Old stuff is now rare, harder to find and, mostly, more expensive. So I have to make do with enjoying what I already have (and sometime sharing this pleasure with others).

Unlike some of my friends, I don’t have really rare stuff (one has a page from a Book of Hours or another has a 1661 french edition of Suetonius!) but I have just a little more than a dozen ancient books that I cherish. Some because they are history books or works of an ancient author, others just because they are old (and despite the fact they are insipid religious documents).

Inspired by a question I was asked on Facebook, I invite you to share my joy after the jump >>

Old_Books-1581_IMG_0106[Iustiniani Augusti] Digestorum sev pandectarum (Pars qvarta [liber XX – XXVII]), De Pignoribvs et hypothecis, Cum Priuilegio Regis, Lvgdvni [London], Apud Gulielmu Rouillium, 1581.

My oldest book is volume four (books 20 to 27) of a 1581 latin edition of the Digest or Pandects by the emperor Justinian I which constitute a compendium of Roman laws.

[ WorldCat ]

Old_Books-1593_IMG_0105Aesopi Phrygis: Fabulae Elegantissimis iconibus veras animalium speciesad viuum adumbrantibus; Gabriae Graeci Fabellae XLIII ; batrachomyomachia Homeri, hoc est, ranarum et murium pugna. galeomyomachia, hoc est, felium et murium pugna tragoedia graeca. Haec omnia cum latina interpretatione ; accesserunt Auieni antiqui autoris fabulae. Editio postrema, caeteris omnibus castigatior. M D XCIII [1593]. Apud Ioan[nem] Tornaesium, Typ. Regivm Lvgd[uni] [London].

More interesting is this 1593 illustrated edition of Aesop’s Fables with opposing Greek and Latin texts.

[ WorldCat ]

Old_Books-1633_IMG_0103Svmma Omnivm Conciliorvm et Pontificvm, Rothomagi [Rouen], Apud Ioannem de la Mare, M DC XXXIII [1633].

This 1633 latin edition offers a compilation of conciliar and pontifical edicts. Those canonico-legal texts are rather insipid but the thick velum book with a pig-skin cover has quite a nice look.

[ WorldCat ]

Old_Books-1643_IMG_0104Qvinti Horatii Flacci Poemata, Amstelod [Amsterdam], Apud Ioa[nnem] Ianssonium, MDCXXXXIII [1643].

A 1643 latin edition of the poems of Horace.

[ WorldCat ]

Old_Books-1664_IMG_0102Lucien, de la traduction de N. Perrot, Sr. d’Ablancourt, à Amsterdam, chez Jean de Ravestein [Johannes Van Ravesteyn], M D C LXIV [1664].

My favourite old book: a 1664 old-french edition of the works of Lucian of Samosata.

[ WorldCat ]

Old_Books-1716_IMG_0108The Apologies of Justin Martyr, Tertullian, and Minutius Felix. In Defence of the Christian Religion with the Commonitory of Vincentius Lirinensis, Converning the Primitive Rule of Faith, Translated from their originals, by William Reeves, In Two Volumes, London, 1716.

More recent but interesting is this English translation of three christian apologistsJustin Martyr, Tertullian, and Minutius Felix.

[ WorldCat ]

Old_Books-1748_IMG_0107Histoire de l’Empereur Jovien et traductions de quelques ouvrages de l’Empereur Julien [Les Césars, Misopogon, Lettres, Fable Allegorique], par l’Abbé de la Bleterie [en deux tomes], à Paris, chez Prault fils, M DCC CLVIII [1748].

18th century french history book about the Emperor Jovian with translation of ancient texts by Emperor Julian.

[ WorldCat ]

Old_Books-1752_IMG_0114Sermons du Père de Segaud. Tome Troisième, À Paris, Chez Hippolyte-Louis Guerin, M DCC LII [1752].

A volume of religious texts about Lent from mid-18th century, in French. Uninteresting but still a nice old book.

[ WorldCat ]

Old_Books-1761_IMG_0109Histoire de France, depuis l’établissement de la monarchie jusqu’au règne de Louis XIV, par M. l’Abbé Velly [en 30 tomes], À Paris, Chez Desaint & Saillant, M DCC LXI [1761].

A superb collection of books about the history of France, but which doesn’t covers the french revolution since it was published before it happened! A nice set of 30 volumes!

[ WorldCat ]

Old_Books-1764_IMG_0112Méditations sur les Vérités Chrétienne et Ecclésiastiques, Anonymes [Joseph Chevassu], [en 6 tomes], À Lyon, Chez Jean-Marie Bruyset, M DCC LXIV [1764].

“Tirées des Epîtres & Évangiles qui se lisent à la sainte Messe tous les dimanches. Pour se disposer à célébrer ou à communier dignement, connoître les devoirs du Sacerdoces, & se mettre en état de faire les Instructions utiles aux Ecclésiastiques & au Peuple, pour touts les jours & les principales fêtes de l’année. Depuis l’avent, jusqu’au premier Dimanche de Carême.”

Extracts of the Bible to prepare oneself (but mostly priests) for the mass’ celebration. Boring religious stuff, but a nice mid-18th century old book nevertheless.

[ WorldCat ]

Old_Books-1784_IMG_0113Méthode pour la direction des âmes dans le tribunal de la pénitence, et pour le bon gouvernement des paroisses. Anonyme [Joseph Pochard], À Besançon, Chez Lepagnez l’aîné, M DCC LXXXIV [1784].

Similar to the previous title, but late-18th century. Two volumes in the in-duodecimo format (in-12: each printed sheet [folio] was folded to give twelve small sheets or twenty-four pages; this very common format was varying according to the size of the original folio, but it was averaging the size of today’s pocket format).

[ WorldCat ]

Old_Books-1787_IMG_0111Les Siècles Chrétiens, ou Histoire du Christianisme. Dans son établissement et ses progrès depuis J.C. jusqu’à nos jours, Anonyme [Gabriel Marin Ducreux], [en cinq tomes], À Paris, chez Gueffier & Moutard, M DCC LXXXVII [1787].

A late-18th century book about the history of Christianity.

[ WorldCat ]

Old_Books-1817_IMG_0115Lycée, ou cours de littérature ancienne et moderne, par J. F. Laharpe [Tome quatrième, cinquième et sixième], À Paris, Chez Et. Ledoux et Tenré, 1817.

Three volumes (out of sixteen ?) from an history of ancient and modern literature. I have a lot of those early 19th-century books, but this one has a relatively interesting subject.

[ WorldCat ]

Old_Books-1896_IMG_0116Journal de la Jeunesse, Paris, Hachette, 1896.

This is the annual compilation (with its characteristic red-binding) for a periodical dedicated to well-off kids between ten and fifteen years-old, published between 1873 and 1914. It offers a mix of educational articles and short stories (Source: Wikipedia). This is the compilation for 1896. Interesting subject and still old enough to be cherished.

[ WorldCat ]

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