HEBREW IN THE HEAVENS
title + (x) + 290 + (1) pp. misnumbered from page 65, signatures continuous, engraved title folded, 15 folded woodcut plates on 11 leaves, 2 folded Star Charts, text woodcuts, text a little browned, sm.8vo, contemporary vellum, inscribed on the title "Tobiae Hollanderi 1676" , who was the author of Amaltheum Astronomicum 1699.
First published in French in 1629 and in English in 1650, with the title "Unheard-of curiosites concerning the Talismanic Sculpture of the Persians, the Horoscope of the Patriakes and the Reading of the Stars." This edition was the first to have the complete collection of plates and charts. It is divided into four parts, Qua Orientalis Defendunter, De Sculptura Talismannica Persarum, De Horoscopo, and De Lectura Stellarum. On publication the book was denounced by the Sorbonne, and Gaffarel was forced to issued a retraction of the work. However it became very popular, with Rene Descartes who approved, and Pierre Gassendi who publicly defended it. Sir Thomas Browne referred to it in his Pseudodoxia Epidemica. Gaffarel included two large folding plates of "The Cellestial Constellations expressed by Hebrew Characters", and asserted that the letters of the Hebrew Alphabet could be interpreted from the constellations, and that the Heavens could be read like a book. Cardinal Richelieu became Gaffarel's patron, making him his librarian, and sending him to the East to collect rare books and manuscripts.
Stock ref: 13373