Frankfurt: Martin Lechler for the heirs of Christian Egenolff, 1572.
Quarto: 20.5 x 15.6 cm.  pp. Collation: A-N4 (with blank leaf N4 present)
SECOND HEIRS of EGENOLFF EDITION (1st 1566). THE SECOND EDITION OF THE “LUCIDARIUS” TO INCLUDE THE “FARMERS’ COMPASS”.
Bound in attractive brocade wrappers, with endpapers from a 15th century vellum manuscript with small initials in gold and colours. Title page printed in red and black (and with two small woodcut monsters and Atlas in modern (i.e. 16th c.) clothing holding a compass and supporting the Earth. Illustrated with woodcuts throughout. Slight spotting in places, a few underlinings to the opening leaves, gathering K bound after L.
An attractive edition of this popular compendium of knowledge, illustrated with 19 woodcuts, including a full-page world map, taken from the reduced edition of the Nuremberg Chronicle; a small schematical map of the climate zones, a full-page woodcut showing 20 monsters (inhabitants of distant lands); an eclipse, and two mnemonic hands for telling time. Appended to the text is a second work, the “Bauren compass (“Farmers’ Compass”), with mnemonic woodcuts of hands and instructions for using the hand as a sundial. According to Schorrach, the full-page woodcut of twenty monsters is based on a cut in Heinrich Steiner's editions of the Lucidarius (Augsburg 1540, etc.) The forward to the farmer’s compass names “Jacob Köbel, Statschreiber zu Oppenheim” as the author.
The Lucidarius is a compendium of theological and scientific knowledge: geographic, meteorological, medical, and eschatological, a sort of medieval proto-encyclopedia for the layman. It is written in the form of a dialogue between an avid pupil and a wise teacher, the Lucidarius (“Erleuchter” “illuminator”). The prologue tells us that the book will reveal knowledge and wisdom hidden in other books (“die in andern büchern verborgen seind”), i.e. the Latin, Greek, and Hebrew books of the learned. With its emphasis on hidden knowledge and its sections on eschatology, the book shares affinities with the books of prophecies and “secrets” popular in the same period, such as Lichtenberger’s “Prognosticon” and the “Book of the Sybils.”
Despite its medieval origins, (The book was commissioned by Henry “The Lion”(1129-1195), Duke of Saxony and Bavaria, from the chaplains in Braunschweig) the book enjoyed immediate and lasting popularity through the early modern period, during which the book underwent some changes; the eschatological became Protestant-oriented (as it did in 16th c. editions of Lichtenberger) and, beginning with the 1566 Egenolff edition, the inclusion of the “Farmers’ Compass”.
At the beginning of the first book, which could appropriately be given the title: 'Of God, creation and arrangement of the world', the conversation between master and disciple deals first of all with the nature of the Trinity and God's omnipresence. This is immediately followed by questions about the activity of the Creator, chaos, the 4 elements, the angels and the fall of Lucifer, with descriptions of Hell, Heaven and Paradise.
The order of the universe and the earth’s place in it is followed by a discussion of the earth’s climatic zones. This is followed by a fairly extensive geographical outline of the “known” world: Asia, Europe, and Africa, as well as a number of islands (such as Crete, Sardinia and the mythical St. Brenden’s Isle.) This section includes information mined from the Imago mundi of Honorius Augustodunensis (d. after 1156.) There is a focus on the distant lands of Asia with their rich treasures, their wonderful people (including the Blemmyes) and animals.
“The description of continents and countries is followed by a longer piece that deals with scientific matters, primarily astronomical and meteorological: the course of the stars, eclipses, the origin of the winds, earthquakes, hail, snow, rain, rainbows, etc. and finally over some physiological matters, e.g. of the development and nutrition of the child in the womb.
“In the second book, the master answers the questions directed to the order of Christianity, "how the holy godliness was exalted and how it was ordered by anegenge". Major sins after Adam's fall. This is followed by allegorical interpretations of the church institutions, the times of day, the priestly vestments, the Mass, Chrism, baptism, etc.
“Finally, the third book, in which the last part of the Elucidarium (cf. Migne, l'atr. lat. Tom. 172, col. 1157 ff.) is directly transferred, includes the description of life after death and of retribution. We hear about purgatory, about the punishment of the damned in hell, about the joy of the blessed, about the Antichrist, about the last day with its judgment on the living and the dead, and about the end of this world.”(Schorrach, Entstehung, Überlieferung, und Quellen des Deutschen Volksbuches Lucidarius, 1894)
“At Strasbourg around 1534-35, a ‘reformed’ Lucidarius was printed at the instance of Jacob Kammerlander that was designed as reading for Protestants. It was also the first of the editions to include materials from contemporary writings. On Asia and Africa it follows Franck's Weltbuch rather than the traditional account preserved in the earlier manuscript and printed versions of the Lucidarius. The Frankfurt editions of the Lucidarius [such as our edition], which soon predominated, followed Kammerlander's revision with regard to geographical description. The printers also added cosmographical features of their own devising to their editions, which serve to illustrate the greater attention they and the public were paying to the overseas discoveries.
“A "Farmer's Compass" and world map were appended to the editions published from 1566 to the end of the century, and from 1580 onward a world map became a regular feature of the illustration program. The German Lucidarius in prose traveled to neighboring countries where it appeared in Danish, Czech, and Dutch versions.”(Lach, Asia in the Making of Europe, Volume II: A Century of Wonder. Book 2: The Literary Arts · Volume 2, p. 338)
Mnemonics & Calendrics:
The “Farmers’ Compass” that concludes the volume gives instructions on how to use the hand as a sundial, using a straw. It includes two illustrations for instruction. The first of these shows the left hand, with markings to be memorized, the other two show a practitioner holding the straw and calculating the time of day using his new “hand sun dial”.
VD 16, L 3097 (and K 1600 for Köbel); Heitz-R. 346; Richter, Egenolffs Erben 343; Karl Schorbach, Lucidarius “Entstehung, Überlieferung und Quellen des deutschen Volksbuches Lucidarius” 60; Zinner 2584; for the map: Shirley 20