Saturday, 22 June 2013

Vicencio Juan de Lastanosa and the catalogue of his library

Vicencio Juan de Lastanosa (1607-1681) was a Spanish erudite and collector who gathered some 1500 rare books and manuscripts in his palace in Huesca. Athanasius Kircher and two secretaries of the King of France were among his correspondents. About 40 per cent of the books in the library were printed abroad; most of the items dated from the 16th to the 17th centuries. Lastanosa also gathered a huge coin collection from many historical periods (over 10000 old coins); he collected paintings - Caravaggio, Tiziano, Tintoretto, Ribera - engravings, maps, telescopes and microscopes, antiques and swords; his cabinet of curiosities included fossils, sculptures, cameos, medals and gemstones. Painters and writers (Baltasar Gracián, abbess Ana Francisca Abarca de Bolea) met in his literary circle.  

Next to the palace, there were five gardens, a hedge maze, a pond, and many species of trees, plants and flowers. The collections of Lastanosa were dispersed after his death; the catalogue of the library is kept in the National Library of Sweden (Kungliga biblioteket, ms. U-379); two other documents have been preserved (1). Lastanosa was buried in a crypt of the Catedral of Huesca. Unfortunately, the palace was demolished in 1894.

Further information in this website (Spanish):

Some rare books in Lastanosa’s library:

Scientific Works:
Camillo Leonardo, Speculum lapidum, Venecia, 1502.
De Peces, Aves y Animales (On Fish, Birds and Animals), by Conrado Gesnero, 3 vols., Tiguri, 1558.
A work on Mineralogy by Juan de Arfe Villafañe, El quilatador, Madrid, 1558.
A book on Veterinary Medicine by Pedro López de Zamora, Pamplona, 1571.
Juan Baptista Nazari, De la transmutación metálica, Brescia, 1599.
Joannis Remelini, Catoptrum microcosmicum, Aug. Vindelic. 1619.
Museum hermeticum, Francofurti, 1625.
Juan Terrentio Linceo, Rerum medicarum Novae Hispaniae, Roma, 1628.
Vicentio Moles, Philosophia naturalis sacrosancti corporis Christi, Antuerpia, 1639.
Hadriano Minsicht, Tesaurus et armentarium medicum chimicum, Lyon, 1640.

Other Works

On Horse Training: Pedro de la Nove, Lyon, 1621.
Thainot, Orchesographia, Lengres, s. d.
Fabricio Caroso, Ballarino, Venecia, 1581.
A work on prestidigitation and hand tricks, the Eutropelia by Juan Bautista de Moya, S. l. s. d.
Del Juego de los Naipes (Playing Card Games), José Paulo de Bevagna, Roma 1627.
Del Juego de las Damas (On Draughts), Juan García Canalejas, Zaragoza 1650
On Hunting: De Montería, Gonzalo Argote de Molina, Sevilla, 1582.
On Falconry: Juan de Franchieres, Fauconeria, París 1585.
On cage birds: Juan Bautista Xamarro, Conocimiento de las diez aves menores de jaula, Madrid 1604.
Martín de Andujar, Del arte de los sastres (The Art of Tailorship), Madrid, 1640.

Respublica sive status Regni Scotiae et Hiberniae divers. auctorum.
S. l. s. d.
Thomae Smithi Angli, De respublica Anglorum lib. 3. Belgii confederati respublica seu Gelriae, Holland., Zeland., Traiect, Tris., Transisal, Groning. Chorografica descriptio. S. l. s. d.
Russia seu Moscovia itemque Tartaria comentario topographico atque politico illustratae.
S. l. s. d.
Arabia seu Arabum vicinarumque gentium orientalium leges, ritus sacri et profani mores, instituta et historia.
S. l. s. d.
De imperio magni mogolis sive India vera comentarius e variis autoribus congestus.
S. l. s. d.

(1) Las tres Cosas más singulares que tiene la Casa de Lastanosa en este año de 1639, and Narración de lo que le pasó a Don Vicente Juan de Lastanosa a 15 de octubre del año 1662 con un Religioso docto y grabe

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

45 Lost Books

-          A luxury edition of the Iliad, prepared by Aristotle. Alexander the Great took it with him on all of his travels. 

-          Aethiopis and Sack of Troy, by Arctinus of Miletus. A continuation of the Iliad.

-          Homer’s Margites

-          Ctesibius’ Memorabilia. A compilation of his research.

-          On Mechanical Toys and Diversions (Automatopoeica), by Philo of Byzantium

-          On the Ocean, by Pytheas of Massalia

-          An account of Alexander’s expedition, by Callisthenes

-          Origins (Origines), a history of Rome, by Cato the Elder. The first prose history in Latin. 

-          Rerum memoria dignarum libri, an encyclopaedic work by Verrius Flaccus.

-          De vita sua, by Augustus

-          Historical Sketches, by Strabo 

-          History of Babylonia (Babyloniaca), by Berossus. Written ca. 290-278 BC, using ancient Babylonian texts. 

-          On Rome (Roma), in 4 parts: Roman Manners and Customs, The Roman Year, The Roman Festivals & Roman Dress by Suetonius.

-          Iter ('The Journey') by  Julius Caesar. It was composed during a trip from Rome to Spain (46 BC).

-          Pamphilus of Alexandria’s comprehensive lexicon in 95 books of foreign or obscure words.

-           De Bibliotecis, by Marcus Terentius Varro
-          Medea, by Ovid
-          Republic, by Zeno of Citium

-          An Etruscan dictionary & an Etruscan history, by Claudius

-          A Carthaginian history, by Claudius

-          Affairs in Asia, Affairs in Europe & On the Erythraean Sea, by Agatharchides

-          Geographica, by Eratosthenes
-          The Lives of Scipio Africanus, Augustus, Claudius and Nero, by Plutarch 

-          History of Constantine the Great, by Praxagoras

-          History of the German Wars & History of his Times, by Pliny the Elder

-          Catalogue of Women, by Hesiod 

-          Persica & Indica, by Ctesias. A history of Assyria, Persia and India.

-          On the Causes of Corrupted Eloquence, by Quintilian

-          De arte alea (a book on dice games), by Claudius

-          Critical Signs Used in Books, by Suetonius

-          Women Swimming (Kolymbôsai), by Alcman 

-          Euclid’s Book of Fallacies (Pseudaria)

-          Frying-Pan Men, by Aristophanes 

-          Men Who See Everything, by Eubulus 

-          Women Sailing Across the Sea,  by Alexis 

-          De jaculatione equestri, by Pliny the Elder 


Wednesday, 5 June 2013

40 Masterpieces of Short Fiction

'The Cop and the Anthem', by O. Henry

'Letter to a Young Lady in Paris', by Julio Cortázar

'The Fiddler', by Herman Melville

'The Sire de Maletroit's Door', by Robert Louis Stevenson

'Wakefield', by Nathaniel Hawthorne

'The Nose', by Nikolai Gogol

'Undr', by Jorge Luis Borges

'Believe in God', by Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer

'The Stranger', by Pedro Antonio de Alarcón

‘Mr. Higginbotham’s Catastrophe’, by Nathaniel Hawthorne

'Peter and Rosa', by Isak Dinesen

‘Misery’, by Anton Chekhov

'Mister Taylor', by Augusto Monterroso 

'The Fall of the House of Usher', by Edgar Allan Poe

'The Southern Highway', by Julio Cortázar

'Marriage à la Mode', by Katherine Mansfield

'The Raincoat', by Max Aub

‘The Buried Treasure’, by Erckmann-Chatrian 

'The Circular Ruins', by Jorge Luis Borges

'The Oval Portrait', by Edgar Allan Poe 

'The Drover's Wife', by Henry Lawson

'Drifting', by Horacio Quiroga

'Foot-prints on the Sea-shore', by Nathaniel Hawthorne

'Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius', by Jorge Luis Borges

‘The Third Person’, by Henry James

'The Overcoat', by Nikolai Gogol

'Leopoldo (his travails)' (Stories), by Augusto Monterroso

‘The Body Snatcher’, by Robert L. Stevenson

'Il Conde' (A Set of Six), by Joseph Conrad

‘The Necklace’, by Guy de Maupassant

‘Continuity of Parks’, by Julio Cortázar

'The Stars. The Tale of a Provencal Shepherd' (Letters from my Windmill), by Alphonse Daudet

'How I Got Rid of 500 Books', by Augusto Monterroso

'The Library of Babel', by Jorge Luis Borges 

'Wights Mountain', by Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer

'The Nail' (And Other Stories of Mystery and Crime), by Pedro Antonio de Alarcón

'The Arlesian Girl' (Letters from my Windmill), by Alphonse Daudet

'Journey Back to the Source' (War of Time), by Alejo Carpentier

'The Power of Childhood', by Leo Tolstoy

'Vint', by Anton Chekhov