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B[roelmann], S[tephan]. Epideigma, Sive Specimen Historiae Vet. Omnis et purae Florentis atq... Two parts in one volume. Cologne: 1608. First and only edition.

B[roelmann], S[tephan]. Epideigma, Sive Specimen Historiae Vet. Omnis et purae Florentis atq... Two parts in one volume. Cologne: 1608. First and only edition.

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B[roelmann], S[tephan]. Epideigma, Sive Specimen Historiae Vet. Omnis et purae Florentis atq. Amplae civitatis Ubiorum, er eorum ad Rhenum Agrippensis Oppidi, quod pòst Colonia. Claudia. Aug. Agrippinensis. In aliquot primis æris laminis, ex horis succisivis & Commentarij Rer. civilium Parte I. & II. Quæ sunt Originum priscarum & Ubio-Romanarum. S(tephanus) B(raelmanus) A(grippinensis) ic. Two parts in one volume. Cologne: printed by Gerard Grevenbruch for the author, 1608. First and only edition.


Quarto (12 1/8” x 7 ½”, 307mm x 190mm): ):(4 A-G2 H4 (H4 blank) I2 χ1 K-M2 N4 (–N4) O2 2χ1 [$1 in 2s signed; $2 in 4s signed; –):(1, B1]. 37 leaves, pp. [12] (title, blank, engraved part-1 frontispiece-title, 4pp. to the reader, 2pp. explication of the frontispiece, 2pp. dedicatory odes), [36] (7 doublepage plates with text, 1 single-page plate with text), [6] (engraved part-2 frontispiece-title, blank, 3pp. explication of the frontispiece, blank), [18] (4 double-page plates with text), [2] (errata, blank). [=xii, 36; vi, 18, ii] With two engraved title-pages and 12 engraved plates, of which 11 are double-page. Bound in contemporary vellum over boards. On the spine, a russet morocco label gilt (SPECIMEN HISTORIÆ/ CIVITA[TIS UB]IORUM). Boards splayed, and a little soiled. Tail skinned and frayed. Part of the spine label perished. Initial two leaves partly worn and soiled at the upper foreedge. Quire L (part 2, pl. 2) split at the fold halfway from the bottom. Evenly and mildly tanned throughout. Early ink manuscript ownership of the Paris Jesuit College (Collegij Paris. Societatis IESU.) to the upper edge of the titlepage. Stephan Brölmann (1551–1622) was a professor and lawyer in Cologne, where he lived, died and was a tireless advocate for the city’s antiquity and importance. The city name (Cöln or Köln in German, Cologne in French and English from Latin colonia, colony) had its Latin root as well as a Germanic root submerged in Latin: Ara (or Oppidum) Ubiorum, meaning Altar (or Fort) of the Ubii. The Ubii were a tribe that allied with Julius Caesar in 55 bc to facilitate Roman control of the province of Germania Inferior; a veteran’s colony was set up at Ara Ubiorum. Later, the Ubii came under the patronage of Julia Agrippina, wife of the Emperor Claudius; thus the full title of the ancient city was Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium. Brölmann belonged to one of the patrician families of Cologne, and so burnishing the reputation of the city burnished his own. He distinguished himself from other aristocrats with the rigor of his historical investigation. He explored the remains of the Roman-era walls and collated the physical remains of the ancient colony with descriptions in surviving sources. He came into possession of two manuscripts, the Chronicle of Gottfried from the church of St. Pantaleon and a historical account from Eberbach Abbey, which he collated with classical sources to create the fullest-yet account of the development of the city. The historical commentary — a preliminary step to a much fuller but never realized account, covering the foundation of the city to the end of the Roman empire — is in the form of the explications of images: maps, city views, historical events and collections of surviving primary sources (inscriptions and coins especially). The maps and plans likely come from the Hogenberg firm; some, at least, come from Brölmann’s own observations and perhaps even drawings. The union of research and primary sources makes the Epideigma a vital document of European history. Complete copies such as the present example (notably the errata leaf) are quite rare, with no copies in American institutions. The copy was preserved in the collection of the Paris Jesuit College (Collège de Clermont), which was dissolved and then disbursed by the University of Paris. The connection is best understood in the Dreikönigsgymnasium, the oldest and preeminent school in Cologne, which from 1556 to 1778 was run by the Jesuits. Meurer, Atlantes Colonienses BLM 1; VD17 23:233223F. $9,000.

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