<<   N. 3607   >>

★ Hebenstreit, Johann [?-1569]. Prognosticon// Physicvm:// Des Jhars Jhesu// Christi, 1565. Auff ergangene// Exempla der verloffenen Historien, und// alten Weissagungen gegründet//[…] Mit höchstem fleisse Warnungs wie//se gestalt Durch// Joannem Hebenstreit Philosophiae// et Medicinae Doctorem, der löblichen Frie//destadt Erffordt verordenten// Physicum. [In D4 verso: Gedruckt zu Erffordt, durch Georgium Baw//man, zum bunten Lawen, bey S.// Paul.] [Anno 1564].

In 4° (20 cm), A-D4, cc. [16]. Incisione al frontespizio (in un cielo tormentato un drago e due soli neri. Sotto di loro un soldato e uno scheletro). Un epigramma al verso del titolo. Carattere gotico. Dedica a Heinrich von Staupitz.

Questa rarissima plaquette è oggetto di un bel commento di William (Bill) Cotter, libraio antiquario di Austin, Texas, nel suo catalogo A short list of early books in medicine 1528-1722 (giugno 2022). Lo riproduco di seguito perché merita senz’altro: “First edition of an especially virulent astrological prediction for the year 1565 by the Erfurt physician and astronomer Joannes Hebenstreit, who produced prognostications for every year from 1553 until his death in 1569, but exemplars from some of these years have not survived. The text surrounding the bizarre title woodcut sums up Hebenstreit's main points well: in 1565 the Pope will die, the Turks will perish, plague will reign, war will ravage, the Empire will fall. The arresting title woodcut illustrates a soldier and a skeleton bearing coffin upon a catafalque covered with a mortcloth and topped with a papal tiara, all set against a backdrop of a burning city, the smoke from which roils in a turbulent sky where a dragon encircles two foreboding, eclipsed suns. Each of Hebenstreit's predictions are provided in graphic, apocalyptic detail, and he offers ideas for neither remedy nor prevention. Indeed, in the final section, Hebenstreit predicts not only a resurgence of plague, but something new and even worse: a fresh pestilence that will bring with it untold suffering and an unimaginable symptomatology that will drive the afflicted mad before it kills. The most doomsaying prognostication in Herbstreits’ oeuvre”.

Esemplari: Herzog August Bibliothek, Wolfenbüttel; Bayerische Staatsbibliothek München; Staatsbibliothek Berlin (2: 1 esemplare con cc. [18] e l'altro con cc. [16]); Sächsische Universitäts und Landesbibliothek, Dresden; Herzog August Bibliothek, Wolfenbüttel (esemplare con cc. [18]); Universitätsbibliothek Mannheim; Universitäts und Landesbibliothek Sachsen-Anhalt, Halle; British Library.

Bibliografia: Zinner n. 2370; Grassi p. 329; Houzeau-Lancaster 14786 (per opere quali quella descritta, ma dal 1565 al 1568).