The astronomy, astrology and allied sciences of the Arabs, Persians and Turks

Beck, Matthias Friedrich. [At-Taqwim sana 609] sive Ephemerides Persarum per totum annum, juxta epochas celebriores orientis, Alexandream, Christi, Diocletiani, Hegirae, Jesdegirdicam et Gelalaeam [...].

Augsburg, Jakob Koppmayer for Lorenz Kroniger and the heirs of Gottlieb Göbel, 1695-1696.

Folio (213 x 330 mm). (9) pp. of text with an engraved headpiece, (27) pp. of engraved astrological charts, 80 pp. of text with 4 engravings in the text. Title-page printed in red and black. Contemporary unsophisticated boards.


Only edition of this rare treatise on the astronomy, astrology and allied sciences of the Arabs, Persians and Turks. Once "said to be the first book printed with Persian characters" (Anderson, The library of the late George H. Hart of New York City, Part II [1922], no. 471), it remains an impressive achievement, even if the oriental languages are here in fact rendered in Hebrew letters, while the Persian specimens are engraved (the first book in Persian characters was produced at Leiden more than a half-century earlier).

The Swabian theologian Beck (1649-1701) studied history and oriental literature at Jena, soon surpassing his teachers. "The principal object of his studies always remained the oriental languages; and his great knowledge of Hebrew, Samaritan, Chaldaic, Syriac, Ethiopian, Persian, Arabic, and Turkish gained him such renown that he even drew a pension from the Prussian crown for them" (ADB II, 218).

Lacks the 12 double-page letterpress tables after the engraved astrological charts (which are bound out of sequence). First and last leaf somewhat browned, otherwise very clean. Stamp "Eigentum der Stadt Augsburg" to title-page.


VD 17, 39:125183T. Caillet 901. Lalande p. 330. Gardner II, 102.

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