(Paris: Claude Chevallon, 1534; Lyon: Melchior et Gaspard Trechsel pour les héritiers Simon Vincent, 1535). 165 x 105 mm. (6 5/8 x 4 1/4"). 8 p.l., 552 pp.,  leaf (blank); 303,  pp.,  leaves. Two separately published works bound in one volume. Second Edition of the first work; First Complete Edition of the second.
OUTSTANDING CONTEMPORARY BLIND-STAMPED CALF over bevelled wooden boards, covers framed by intriguing roll featuring a well with a bearded man as a spout, a vase with a man's head as stopper, and a two-faced ornament, central panel with floral tools, raised bands, ink [shelf?] number on spine, two brass clasps, lettering on fore edge of text block. Printers' devices on title pages. Neat contemporary ink marginalia and underlining. First work: Adams, P-1336; Moreau, IV, 111; STC French 352; USTC 209091. Not in Blackmer, Atabey, or Koç. See Capdepuy, "Grands espaces et territorialité," in "Les Cahiers de Recherches Médiévales et Humanistes," https://doi.org/10.4000/crm.12431. Second work: Baudrier XII, 244; USTC 146940. ◆Leather just slightly worn away where two bands intersect with joints, one small wormhole on back cover, first title page faintly darker than the text, otherwise only the most negligible of imperfections. AN EXCEPTIONALLY FINE COPY, the text entirely fresh, clean, and bright, and the binding with its decoration as sharp as ever.
This handsomely bound volume contains two works that look at Europe in relation to other parts of the world. First printed in Cologne in 1531, the first title here contains commentaries by the erudite Pius II on Europe and its situation vis-à-vis the Ottoman Empire, including preparations for a Crusade. The work is notable for its role in establishing "European" identity. According to Capdepuy, "In the geographical texts issuing from the Greek tradition, Europe was only an abstract space, controversial, without relationship with the inhabitants. During the Middle Ages, Europe was gradually perceived as the territory of the western Christendom. The study of Aeneas Sylvius Piccolomini's texts . . . makes it possible to clarify a territorial swing of Christendom, from the Mediterranean Sea towards Europe, at the time of the fall of Constantinople to the Turks in 1453 and of the advance of their troops into the Southeast of Europe. This process of territorialization of Europe . . . is new by the use, unique in his century, of the name of 'Europeans,' revealing the idea of a social group identified by its localization in Europe, and not by its language, Latin, or by its religion, Christian. Thus this naturalization of the European identity will grow in the following centuries." Born to a noble family but lacking in material wealth, Piccolomini (1405-64) took an unconventional path to the priesthood. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, "he gave himself up to diligent study and the free enjoyment of sensual pleasures," travelling widely, pursuing humanistic interests, and fathering at least two illegitimate children. In 1446 Piccolomini was moved to mend his ways and join the Church, rising to the rank of cardinal in 1456 and pope in 1458. The second title in our volume is an early printing of one of the first European works of ethnography. A brief version (88 leaves) was printed in Augsburg in 1520, but this is the first edition with the complete text. The German humanist Boehme (ca. 1485-1535) used mostly Classical sources to describe the customs, laws, and cultures of peoples in Africa, Asia, and Europe. The work was extremely popular, going through multiple editions in the 16th century. (ST16609)