On timekeeping, with a world map

Beda Venerabilis. Opuscula complura de temporum ratione diligenter castigata.

Cologne, Johannes Prael for Peter Quentel, May 1537.

Folio (215 x 310 mm). (14), 18, (6), CXXVI, (4) ff. With 35 woodcuts in the text, initials, and printer's device on recto of final leaf. Contemporary vellum.


First edition of Beda's collected writings on historical and astronomical chronology. The section "On the Reckoning of Time" (De temporum ratione) includes an introduction to the traditional ancient and medieval view of the cosmos, including an explanation of how the spherical earth influenced the changing length of daylight, of how the seasonal motion of the sun and moon influenced the changing appearance of the new moon at evening twilight, and a quantitative relation between the changes of the tides at a given place and the daily motion of the moon. "Ce volume contient les principaux traités de l'auteur sur le calendrier" (Houzeau/L.). The woodcut world map on d1, evidently redrawn from those of Petrus de Alliaco and Ambrosius Macrobius (Shirley 12 & 13), shows the four continents of the old world surrounded by water, the southern hemisphere labeled as "nobis incognita frigida".

Very slightly browned; title page shows insignificant fingerstaining; otherwise an excellent copy with a very few contemporary marginalia.

VD 16, B 1440. Zinner 1657. Houzeau/L. 1074.