Calendarium Perpetuum, Et Libri Oeconomici, Das ist, Ein stetswerender Calender, darzu sehr nützliche und nötige Haußbücher. Vor die Haußwirt, Ackerleut, Apotecker, Kauffleute, Wanderßleute, Weinherrn, Gärtner, den gemeinen Handwercksleuten und all den jenigen so mit Wirtschafften oder Gastungen umbgehen. Darinnen begrieffen ist, Ein gemeine Prognostication, auff eine jederzeit des Jahrs, alle Kreuter, Wurtzel, Blumen und Samen, die man in einem jeden Monat zur Artzney nützlich, samlen, Auch wie sich ein Mensch im Essen und Trincken, und andern sachen der Gesundheit dienlich halten sol. Auch allerley Jarmerckte, sampt vielen andern nützlichen Auffmerckungen, einem jeden in seinem stande sehr nützlich und dienstlich. Jetzund aus sonderlichen Ursachen vom Autore verbessert, wie die Vorrede an den Christlichen Leser außweiset, auch mit schönen Figuren gezieret

Autore: COLER, Johannes (1566-1639)

Tipografo: Paul Helwich

Dati tipografici: Wittenberg, 1600


FIRST ILLUSTRATED EDITION

4to. [6] leaves, 288 pp., [26] leaves. Collation (:)4 (:)(:)2 A-Z4 Aa-Nn42A-2F42G2. Title printed in red and black within an ornamental border, colored printer's device (repeated at the end), large colored woodcut on leaf (:)4verso, 12 woodcuts with the occupations of the months in the calendar (repeated in the text), 6 larger woodcuts (some repeated, including one of a wine cellar), and 29 smaller woodcuts in the text (some repeated, showing herbs and various farm animals). Contemporary vellum over boards, ties missing, lightly rubbed and soiled, rebacked, green tinted edges, newer endpapers. Some browning throughout due to the quality of the paper, a few marginal tears, upper margins partly cut a bit short, but for a reference work of daily use in very good condition, preserved in a half-morocco box.

EXTREMELY RARE FIRST ILLUSTRATED EDITION. Coler's Calendarium stood at the beginning as one of the most notable publishing ventures in early modern Germany, and as a treatise on domestic economy and medicine arranged by months is the first of its kind written in Germany.

First published in 1591 as Calendarium oeconomicum et perpetuum, and again in 1592, it was followed by four undated unchanged reprints, until 1600 when the present totally revised edition appeared. In 1593 appeared the first volume of the Oeconomia oder Hausbuch (in three parts), which Coler intended as a supplement to the Calendarium,and what is considered to be the starting point of the genre of Hausväter- literatur (literature on husbandry). In 1595 was published the second volume of the Oeconomia (containing parts four and five), in 1596 an appendix (forming part six). In 1597 appeared the third (parts seven to nine) and fourth (parts ten to thirteen) volume, followed in 1599 by volume five (parts fourteen to sixteen), and in 1601 by volume six (parts seventeen to twenty). The first collective edition of all twenty parts was published in 1604 with a reprint of the present edition of the Calendarium. Coler continued to revise his work until his death in 1639, and until the end of the century more than fifty editions of the various parts and fifteen complete folio editions appeared (K. Lindner, Das Hausbuch des Johann Coler, Druckgeschichte und Bibliographie, in: “Festschrift fu?r Claus Nissen”, E. Geck & G. Press- ler, eds., Stuttgart, 1973, pp. 505-509).

The Calendarium was sold separately, in fact all known copies of the present edition are not bound with any part of the Oeconomia. Coler and the publisher Paul Helwich obtained a privilege for ten years for the Calendarium from Emperor Rudolph II, dated Prague, March 29, 1697, which is printed for the first time in the present edition on the title-page verso. In the preface to the ‘Christian Reader' (leaves (:)(:)1-2) Coler explains the main reason that induced him to publish a new edition completely revised, augmented and provided with numerous illustrations: he wanted to denigrate a pirated edition printed under the name of one Adam Dietenhauser, with the title Haußbuch, at Konstanz by Nicolaus Kalt in 1599. Whereas the earlier editions of the Calendarium consisted of 88, respectively 92 leaves, the present edition counts 176 leaves (also considering the space needed for the illustrations, the text was considerably augmented).

The Calendarium is specially addressed (as stated on the title page) to farmers, traders, craftsmen, itinerant journeymen, wine growers, gardeners, and apothecaries. Coler gives in great detail for each month the current astro-medical rules for bloodletting and dispensing of medicines according to the various signs of the zodiac. He also gives directions for the collecting of officinal herbs and their use over the year. Each month opens with a calendar printed in red and black and a large woodcut showing the labors of the month, the time of sunrise and sunset, and giving popular aphorisms on health measures, e.g. in March: “Am tage Mariae Verku?ndigung hu?te dich vor Aderklassen” (‘On Lady-day abstain from blood-letting'), the character of a child born under the sign of the zodiac of that month, e.g. in the sign of Aries: “Kinder in diesem Zeichen geboren [...] sein behertzt, ku?hn und zenckisch [...]” (‘Children born under this sign are spirited, bold and quarrelsome [...]'). There follows a general consideration of the moth with mainly astronomical and meteorological aspects, then a long chapter on health rules (in prose and verses), the medical herbs to be collected, and instructions regarding gardening and agriculture (cf. W.-D. Mu?ller-Jahncke, Medizin und Pharmazie in Almanachen und Kalendern der frühen Neuzeit,in: “Pharmazie und der gemeine Mann. Hausartznei und Apotheke in der frühen Neuzeit”, ed. J. Telle, Weinheim, 1988, p. 41; and E. Johansson, Hygienische und medizinische Ratschläge im ewigen Kalender des Johannes Colerus,in: “Sudhoffs Archiv für Geschichte der Medizin und der Naturwissenschaften”, 33, 1/2, 1940, pp. 55-103).

“Colers Calendarium ist ganz regelmässig angelegt. Nach der Vorrede des Verfassers, bedeutsam für das Verständnis des Werkes und eines gesonderten Wortes würdig, schliesst sich das Kalendarium der Monate an, durchgängig auf je zwei Seiten verteilt. Ihm folgen unterschiedlich lange Darstellungen des jeweiligen Monats im Sinne einer ökonomischen Praktik. Der astrologische Gehalt der traditionellen Bauernpraktik tritt zurück. Der Realitätsbezug der Arbeitsanweisungen gewinnt an Raum. So erscheint di Beschreibung der Monate als Präsentation dessen, was die Zeiteinheiten im Wechsel der Jahreszeiten für den die Arbeit anweisenden Landmann, den lenkenden Hauswirt, tatsächlich bedeuten, wenngleich kalendarische Tradition, überkommenes Literaturgut, gelehrtes Zitat und astrologische Spekulation unübersehbar bleiben. Dem Kalendarium folgen allgemeine Kalenderregeln und, als selbstständiger Teil, ein alphabetisches Verzeichnis ‘aller Jarmerkte oder Messen'. Ein solcher Katalog, der wichtige Meßpla?tze des alten Reiches, aber auch benachbarter Gebiete nennt, geho?rt in einen guten Kalender [...] Schon hier, in der astrologischen Praktik des ‘Calendariums', finden sich Spuren dessen, was im zweiten Textteil der Monatsdarstellung als ökonomische Praktik so eindrucksvoll hervortritt. Es gehört zu den charakteristischen Merkmalen des Colerschen Buches, daß Spekulation, Magie, und was sonst in den Kalendern aufzutauchen pflegte, zurücktreten und statt dessen Rationalität und Realismus der Sachinformation vorherrschen” (G. Frühsorge, Nachwort, in: “Johann Coler, Calendarium oeconomicum”, Leipzig, 1988, pp. 7-8, 9-10).

Johannes Coler, a native of Goldberg (Silesia), spent his youth in Berlin and obtained his first instruction from his father Jacob, who was a distinguished Lutheran theologian in the consistory of the electoral court, professor of philosophy at the university of Frankfurt a.O. and collaborator to Eli- as Hutter's Hebrew edition of the Bible. He then attended schools in Frankfurt, Berlin and Görlitz, where Laurentius Lodovicus from Löwenberg (Silesia), was his teacher. After this basic training in linguis & artibus, Coler was tutor in 1586 and 1587 for two landed gentry families from Silesia. In 1588 his parents sent him to the University of Frankfurt a.O., where he studied philosophy with Pelargus and Gartius and medicine with Johann von Knobloch, a student of Jodocus Willich. He finished his  studies after three years without a degree and became tutor again, this time in Vienna in the house of Jacob Bieler, imperial war commissioner in Hungary and Croatia. According to his father's wishes, he also studied law there. He spent the next years in Berlin, were his Calendarium was published in 1591. In 1595 Coler continued his law studies at the University of Jena, and then returned to Berlin to work there as a lawyer. But he changed his mind and started to study theology in Breslau, obtained a degree at Rostock and became a preacher in Doveran and in 1603 archdeacon in Parchim (Mecklenburg). In the same year appeared the last volume of his Oeconomia. From his father he not only inherited his opponency to Calvinism, Anabaptists, and other sects, but also the former's passion for farm management. From him he obtained a manuscript on De re rustica, the contents of which, however, where modelled mainly on authors of classical antiquity. In his own work Coler wanted to store the contemporary knowledge on the subject. Thus, among the authors cited are not only the great classics like Cato, Varro, Columella and often Palladius, but also modern authors as Conrad Gessner. To manage a household was for Coler a “ grosse ma?chtige Kunst”, which he also called “Oeconomia” in view of the dispositions serving for securing food supply, which was of primary significance for survival in view of the always present danger of bad harvest and famine (cf. I. Richarz, Oikos, Haus und Haushalt. Ursprung und Geschichte der Haushaltso?konomik,Göttingen, 1991, pp. 138-148).

In 1616 he published at Wittenberg his main theological work, Oeconomia Ecclesiastica, a presentation of the beliefs of Lutheranism confronted with those of the Catholic Church, of Calvinism and of Islam. In 1519 Coler was appointed superintendent of the Parchim church district by Duke Adolph Friedrich von Mecklenburg, a position he held until his death (cf. H. Geistefeldt, Johannes Coler,in: “Forstliche Biographien aus Mecklenburg-Vorpommern”, M. Schorcht, ed., Schwerin, 1999, pp. 71-76; and P. Hahn, Das Haus im Buch. Konzeption, Pulikationsgeschichte und Leserschaft der ‘Oeconomia' Johann Colers, Epfendorf, 2013, pp. 24- 29).

VD-16, ZV 3769 (3 copies - Berlin, Erfurt, Leipzig; 1 uncomplete copy in Halle); Index Aureliensis, 142.702; Universal STC, no. 673956; K. Lindner, op. cit., pp. 518-519, no. 1.07; K. Lindner, Bibliographie der deutschen und der niedeländischen Jagdliteratur, Berlin, 2015, cols. 125-126, no. 11.0369.07; C.A. Wimmer & I. Lauterbach, Bibliographie der vor 1750 erschienenen deutschen Gartenbücher, Nördlingen, 2003, p. 52.


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