[Reisch, Gregor]. [Margarita philosophica.] Aepitoma omnis phylosophiae. Alias margarita phylosophica tractans de omni genere scibili. Cum additionibus: que in aliis non habentur.

(Strasbourg, Johann [Reinhard, gen.] Grüninger, 23 February 1504).

4to. [287] ff. (B-C6, D-E8, F28 [!], G8, H6, J8, K4, L-N8, O6, P-Q8, R6, S-V8, X6, Y-Z8, a8, b4, c7 [6+1: includes "c medium" between c2 and c3], d-e8, f6, g-h8, i4, k-l8, m6, n-p8; published thus without a gathering A, agreeing with ÖNB copy). With title woodcut, 8 pp. of musical notes, and numerous (32 large, 12 almost full-page, and hundreds of small) woodcuts in the text (wanting the woodcut map and the folding plate on musical theory). Contemp. wooden boards with blindstamped pigskin spine and one central brass clasp.


The first encyclopedic work in modern European history. The first Strasbourg edition, a revision of the Freiburg first edition published the previous year. In the manner of a dialogue between teacher and student, the book discusses the sciences and liberal arts, including music (with notes), medicine, geometry, surveying, etc. Grüninger modified several woodcuts from the first edition and added others; he also incorporated a brief Hebrew grammar by Conrad Pellicanus, making this the first Strasbourg-printed book to include Hebrew type (cf. Schmidt).

Among the illustrations are a map of the world on f. c6r and many charming miniature woodcuts in the margins. Occasionally, details of the initials (F11r) and woodcuts (e.g., F18v, c2v [salamander], and c3v [dragon]) have been coloured in red. Several contemporary underlinings and marginalia, including a lengthy note on earthquakes that supplements the printed text by additional sources, such as the Arabian astronomer Abu Ma'shar: "Erdbebung bedeute straff Gottes. Naturliche Ursachen nemlich die Hitz und würckung etlicher Planeten, mit der Sonnen, als Martis, Iovis, Saturni, und sönderlich sagt Albumasar vom Saturno. Bedeuten stets künfftig Unglück, wie auch Plinius danen saget, das kein Erdbidem zu Rom geschehen sey one Bedeutung künfftiger ding [...]" (c5v). Some browning and fingerstaining; quires S and e misbound; several small edge defects (larger in d5, k6); paper defects to D4 and (almost touching text) d6. Some worming near beginning and end of volume, also concerning the binding; some damage to spine-ends.


VD 16, R 1034. BM-STC 731. Proctor 9891. Schmidt (Grüninger) 66. Ritter 1984. Muller 24, 26. Smith, Rara, 82. Sabin 69123. Ferguson (Reisch) 201f. Alden/L. 504/2. Zinner 849. Eitner VIII, 183. Not in Adams.