Remnant Trust Exhibit

The University Libraries, the Office of Student Affairs, and the School of Social Work are hosting an exhibit of rare books and materials from The Remnant Trust in Mullins Library in the spring 2014 semester, from Tuesday, January 21 to Monday, May 12.

Open Book with Subjects

This exhibit represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for visitors to view—and handle—extremely rare materials, ranging from a cuneiform tablet dating to 2200 B. C. to the first printing of the Emancipation Proclamation in 1862. Below is a list of works included in the exhibit.

The Remnant Trust exists to elevate educational standards and the public’s understanding of individual liberty and human dignity through the precedent setting, hands on availability of the world’s great ideas in original form. Believing that great ideas belong to everyone, the Remnant Trust makes available a world class collection of manuscripts, first and early edition works in original form.  Collections of this magnitude and quality are found deep in the archives of prestigious institutions, under lock and key and accessible only to a privileged few.

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By contrast, the Remnant Trust’s vision is to provide the opportunity for individuals to hold, examine, read and discuss manuscripts, first and early editions of such works as the Declaration of Independence, Magna Carta, The Federalist Papers, Mary Wollstonecraft, Frederick Douglass, Aristotle, Marx, Smith, and many more.  The Remnant Trust is a place where everyone from scholars to school age children can handle, read, and learn from the wisdom contained in these works, ideas that span over 2500 years.  Additionally segments of the collection are loaned to universities, colleges, secondary schools, and other venues to host multi-disciplinary exhibits and provide access to those unable to travel to the collection located in Winona Lake, Indiana.

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Sumerian Foundation Cuneiform Cone

2500 B. C.

A Sumerian tapered shaped terracotta foundation cone incised with numerous columns of cuneiform. The Sumerian Foundation Cone is an important piece of ancient Sumerian history. Decorating the walls of temples with a pattern of small clay nails was a feature of the Sumerian early dynasty period. To insure that the temples of various Gods would last forever, they were built on scared ground and the foundations were laid with great ceremony. Special objects were carefully placed in the foundation and walls. This foundation cone was one of the types of special objects that were commonly used. There were usually covered with inscriptions and dedications to that event. The cones were embedded into Temple foundations and usually gave the names of the Ruler and to what Gods the temple in question was dedicated to, so that if it fell into disrepair, it may be later rebuilt and re-dedicated accordingly. Translation for the foundation cone: BE OF GREAT JOY FOR ALONG THE 142 LENGTH OF YOUR CANAL ARE TWELVE FIELDS BELONGING TO YOU WHICH PRODUCE SIX OKAN UNITS OF GRAIN WATERING THE PLANTS REQUIRED THE LIFTING OF WATER BY THE MEN FOR THIRTY DAYS TO PRODUCE SIXTY-TWO (KA) UNITS OF GRAIN. SIXTY-ONE DOING IT WITH GREAT JOY! (REPEAT)

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Sumerian Cuneiform Terracotta Tablet

2200 B. C.

Sumerian terracotta tablet with cuneiform inscriptions. The Sumerians flourished in southern Babylonia from the beginning of the fourth to the end of the third millennium B.C. During this time they were the dominant culture of the entire ancient near east. Their written language allowed them to produce a vast body of literature that included epics and poems and the religious and spiritual concepts developed by the Sumerian were a profound influence on all the peoples of the near east. The Sumerians developed, and were probably the originators of a system of writing before 3000 B.C. that was adopted by nearly all the peoples of the near east, Their cuneiform or wedge-form writing became one of the most important systems of writing in the world. Thousands of clay tablets and inscriptions that have been preserved tell about the Sumerian government, law, business practices and religion. The tablets also show that the Sumerians had some knowledge of mathematics, astronomy, and medicine. Translation for Sumerian Terracotta Tablet: GOD OF PROSPERITY BORN TO AN AND GAZED UPON BY URAC CU-SUEN, LIKE NANNA EXHERT IN JUDGMENT, BEFORE ENLIL, FROM YOUR BIRTH YOU WERE A MAN OF MIGHT WHOSE NAME WAS PROCLAIMED BY NANNA! CU-SUEN, HEROIC SON OF AN, BELOVED OF ENLIL, HEAD HELD HIGH IN THE LAPIS-LAZULI E-KUR, GIVEN BIRTH BY URAC, CHOSEN BY THE HEART OF URAC, YOU HAVE BEEN ELEVATED OVER ALL THE LANDS. ORNAMENT AND AUGUST SERVANT OF ENLIN WHOSE SCEPTRE HAS REACHED FAR, WHO ALONE HAS ENLIL'S EAR! ENDOWED WITH MAJESTIC STRENGTH, CREATION OF LUSTROUS AN, FAVOURTIE OF NINLIL CU-SUEN, PROVIDER WHO RADIATES BEAUTY!

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Magna Carta

circa 1350

Contains Magna Charta; Statues of the Realm, and Register of Writs. First Issued in 1215 as a result of an angry encounter, on the plains of Runnymeade, between an assembly of Barons and King John over the right of the King to obtain funds from a few powerful families. It was this understanding of the Magna Charta as a declaration of the rights of 'We the People' that fostered the charters written by the American colonies. The Magna Charta, the Great Charter of English liberties granted by King John in 1215 under threat of civil war, is one of the most influential documents ever published and its significance has grown immeasurably with the passage of time. The Magna Charta holds 'a unique place in popular imagination; quite early in its history it became a symbol and battle cry against oppression, each successive generation reading into it a protection of their own threatened liberties.

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The Federalist

1788

This is the most famous and influential American political work. When Hamilton invited his fellow New Yorker Jay and Madison, from Virginia, to join him in writing the series of essays published as The Federalist, it was to meet the immediate need of convincing the reluctant New York State electorate of the necessity of ratifying the newly proposed Constitution of the United States. The eighty-five essays, under the pseudonym 'Publius,' were designed as political propaganda, not as a treatise of political philosophy. In spite of this The Federalist survives as one of the new nation's most important contributions to the theory of government. The Federalist exerted a powerful influence in procuring the adoption of the Federal Constitution, not only in New York but also in the other states. There is probably no work in so small a compass that contains so much valuable political information. The true principles of a republican form of government are here unfolded with great clearness and simplicity.

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Archimedes
Archimedes opera

1675

The mathematician and engineer Archimedes (ca 287-212 B.C.) was one of the greatest minds of antiquity, making important discoveries in geometry, statistics, hydrostatics and mechanics. He determined the value of Pi. He was also a practical engineer who constructed war machines and other devices for his patron. He is said to have invented a system of com-pound pulleys capable of lifting entire ships and their contents in order to demonstrate to King Hieron the principle of mechanical advantage. He is also said to have de-signed the water pump that we now know as the Archimedes Screw in order to raise water from the hold of another King Hieron's ships. Greek and Latin text in double columns. A sumptuously bound copy for Queen Marie de' Medici, widow of Henry IV of France, of this important edition of Archimedes. This is the first edition of the influential translation and commentary of David Rivault.

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Aristotle (Pseudo-Aristotle)
Ethics, Politics & Economics

1483

Three books in one volume. An extremely early incunable printing of Aristotle and among the earliest obtainable printings of the greatest of all philosophers. Goff shows only three copies of the printing in America. Two copies may lack portions of the text. This one being complete. (384 -322 B.C.) In Aristotle's Politics (eight books), the good of the individual is identified with the good of the city-state. The study of human good is thus a political inquiry, as it is in Plato. Aristotle discusses different types of government, finally preferring monarchy, an aristocracy of men of virtue, or constitutional government of the majority. Slavery is considered natural in Aristotle's Politics, because some men are adapted by nature to be the physical instruments of others. Aristotle's Rhetoric treats methods of persuasion; the Poetics is his great contribution to literary criticism. Called by Dante 'the master of those who know,' Aristotle mastered every field of learning known to the Greeks. His influence on St. Thomas Aquinas and the medieval world, through the translation of the Arabic scholar Averroes, was profound and enduring.

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Augustine of Hippo
Citie of God

1610

Augustine received his early training primarily in Latin literature and earned his living as a teacher of rhetoric in Carthage, Rome, and Milan. He joined the Manichaeans for a number of years but became disillusioned and was converted to Christianity. His Confessions vividly record his spiritual life, he preached and wrote prolifically, defining points of Christian doctrine and engaging in theoretical controversy with the Manichaeans, the Donatists, and the Pelagians. City of God is an apology for Christianity against the accusation that the Church was responsible for the decline of the Roman Empire. It interprets human history as a conflict between the City of God, which includes the body of Christians belonging to the Church, and the Earthly City, composed of pagans and heretical Christians. Augustine foresees that, through the will of God, the people of the City of God will eventually win immortality, those in the Earthly City, destruction

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Bacon, Francis
Of the Advancement and Proficiencies of Learning or the Partitions of Sciences

1640

First Complete English Edition, translated from the Latin edition of 1620. The importance of this work in the history of scientific thought can hardly be exaggerated. It is the greatest of Bacon's works, and the central pile of that edifice of philosophy on which the world had bestowed his name. It was received with unbounded applause of the learned, both in his own and foreign nations and placed the frame of its author above that of every other living author.

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Bible
Vulgate Bible

13th Century

In Latin, Illuminated Manuscript on Parchment. Northern France, Paris. The earliest examples of these portable Bibles were copied in Paris at the end of the 1220's or the early 1230's, and the format was adopted quickly throughout Europe.

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Bible
Enoch I

1450

This newly discovered copy of the apocalyptic and pseudepigraphic biblical book of the lost prophet Enoch, the great-grandfather of Noah, is arguably the 'most important Jewish writing that has survived the Greco-Roman period.' Scholars believe that the earliest Ethiopic versions (of which the present manuscript is one of just two extant) preserve the closest record of the Aramaic (and possibly Semitic) versions written in the time of the Old Testament.

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Bible
Gutenberg Bible Leaf

1455

A leaf (Baruch) of the first book ever printed. The Gutenberg Bible is one of the most important works in the annals of history as it was the first major book produced via printing press. Its production heralded the beginning of the 'Gutenberg Revolution,' the age of the printed book. The Gutenberg Bible, printed by Johannes Gutenberg in Mainz, Germany, is also aesthetically beautiful and renowned for its artistic qualities. This is a page of one of the first finished copies of the Gutenberg Bible, which was completed around 1455. The Gutenberg Bible is really an edition of the Vulgate and, thus, is written in Latin.

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Bible
King James Bible "He" Version. First Edition.

1611

First Edition, First Printing King James Bible. Two editions of the Bible are recognized as having been produced in 1611. They are known as the 'He' and 'She' Bibles. They are distinguished by their rendering of Ruth 3:15; the first edition reading 'he went into the city,' where the second reads 'she went into the city.' However, Bibles in all the early editions were made up using sheets originating from several printers, and consequently there is very considerable variation within any one edition. There are fewer than two hundred of the original printings of 1611 'He' Bible known to exist of today.

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Boethius
The Consolation of Philosophy

1507

The helm of government should not be left to unscrupulous or criminal citizens lest they should bring corruption and ruin upon the good citizens... two things upon which depend the entire operation of human actions: they are will and power. Born at Rome in 380, Roman statesman and philosopher, regarded by tradition as a Christian Martyr. During the reign of the emperor Justin, Boethius came to be suspected by his monarch of disloyal sympathies and, despite his noble birth and was cast into prison, condemned unheard, and executed by order of Theodoric. During his imprisonment, he reflected on the instability of the favor of princes and the inconstancy of the devotion of his friends. The reflections suggested to him the theme of his best -known philosophical work, the Consolation of Philosophy (De Consolatione Philosophiae), one of the most interesting examples of prison literature the world has ever known. Its literary genre, with regular alternation of prose and verse sections, is called Menippean Satire, after Roman models of which fragments and analogues survive. One of the most widely copied works of secular literature in English, it was translated into Elizabethan English by Queen Elizabeth herself and influenced many of the literary classics including Beowulf, Chaucer, and Dante.

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Cicero, Marcus Tullius
De Officis

1446

A handsomely written and extensively glossed folio edition of Cicero's principal philosophical and ethical works used as a schoolbook for instructing students in grammar and morals in the fifteenth century. This manuscript was prepared by an unknown scribe for Nicolai Renciade in 1446. Renciade was the student of Giovanni de Juvianello, professor of grammar, rhetoric and poetics in Viterbo. This manuscript contains De Officis, Cicero's last major work of his career. It also contains Paradoxa stoicorum (an introduction to Stoicism in 46 B.C.), his dialogue on friendship titled Laelius seu de amicitia and De senectute, written in 44 B.C. after the death of his daughter.

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Congress of the United States of America
Articles of Confederation

1789

First book printing of the Articles of Confederation. Originally and formally known as the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union, this written constitution of the United States of America was the first to specify how the national government was to function. Drafted between 1776 and 1777, this temporary working constitution, made up of thirteen articles, justified the Congress in its supervision over revolution—in the form of independence from the British crown—which would become known as the American Revolution.

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Copernicus, Nicolai
De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres)

1617

First edition to contain explanatory notes and the first with source notes to the Greek used by Copernicus. That Nicholas Copernicus delayed until near death to publish De revolutionibus has been taken as a sign that he was well aware of the possible furor his work might incite; certainly his preface to Pope Paul III anticipates many of the objections it raised. But he could hardly have anticipated that he would eventually become one of the most famous people of all time on the basis of a book that comparatively few have actually read (and fewer still understood) in the 450 years since it was first printed. Copernicus was born into a well - to-do mercantile family in 1473, at Torun, Poland. After the death of his father, he was sponsored by his uncle, Bishop Watzenrode, who sent him first to the University of Krakow, and then to study in Italy at the universities of Bologna, Padua and Ferrara. His concentrations there were law and medicine, but his lectures on the subject at the University of Rome in 1501 already evidenced his interest in astronomy. Returning to Poland, he spent the rest of his life as a church canon under his uncle, though he also found time to practice medicine and to write on monetary reform, not to mention his work as an astronomer. In 1514, Copernicus privately circulated an outline of his thesis on planetary motion, but actual publication of De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres) containing his mathematical proofs did not occur until 1543, after a supporter named Rheticus had impatiently taken it upon himself to publish a brief description of the Copernican system (Narratio prima) in 1541. Most of De revolutionibus requires a great deal of the modem reader, since sixteenth century methods of mathematical proofs are quite foreign to us; this is evident in the section of Book VI that is included. However, Book I and Copernicus' preface are more readily accessible. It must be noted that the foreword by Andreas Osiander was not authorized Copernicus, and that Osiander, who oversaw the book's printing, included it without the author's knowledge and without identifying Osiander as its author.

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Douglass, Frederick
My Bondage & My Freedom

1855

Published in 1855, My Bondage and My Freedom is an autobiographical slave narrative written by Frederick Douglass. It is the second of three autobiographies written by Douglass, and is mainly an expansion of his first, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, discussing in greater detail his transition from bondage to liberty. After a two-year stay in Great Britain, where he earned enough money to buy his freedom, he founded The North Star, a newspaper he published for seventeen years, advocating the use of black troops during the Civil War and civil rights for freedmen.

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Erasmus, Desiderius
The Praise of Folly

1549

This world as it is being lived just now has become a complete absurdity,' was all Erasmus intended to convey. 'Allow me, therefore, my friends, to call upon the Goddess of Folly to explain to you how our religious, political, and social fabric has now assumed proportions of such grotesque stupidity and imbecility that only a complete fool can any longer hope to be happy while living under this kind of dispensation.'
Erasmus lived long enough to welcome more than forty editions of his Praise of Folly. Nor did he have to wait long for his foreign translations. The first of these, a French one, appeared in 1517. Then in rapid succession came others in German, Dutch, Flemish, and English.
'For these kind of Men that are so given up to the study of Wisdome are generally most unfortunate, but chiefly in their Children; Nature, it seems, so providently ordering it, lest this mischief of Wisdome should spread farther among mankind. For which reason 'tis manifest why Cicero's Son was so degenerate, and that wise Socrates's Children, as one has well observ'd, were more like their Mother than their Father, that is to say, Fools.'

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Euclid
Elements

1545

Greek mathematician who lived in the third century B.C. in Alexandria. His most famous work, Elements, is considered to be history's most successful textbook. It is a collection of definitions, postulates, and proofs. Although many of its results originated with earlier mathematicians, one of Euclid's major accomplishments was to present them in a single logically coherent framework. Almost nothing is known of Euclid outside of what he presented in the Elements and his other surviving books.

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Galileo
Dialogo di Galileo Gali-lei linceo matematico supremo dello studio di padova [Galileo's Dialogues]

1710

Rare and Important issue of Galileo's exposition and proof of the Copernican system. This is the first edition to include the appended letters from Galileo and Foscarini and the Kepler 'Commentario,' which discuss the Copernican system and its immediate import. The publication of the Dialogo led to Galileo's trial before the Inquisition and sentence to perpetual house arrest. The title was not removed from the 'index librorum prohibitorum' until 1823. In 1610 Galileo published his 'Sidereus Nuncius,' in which he described the construction of his telescope and his observations using his new instrument. His discoveries did not prove that Copernicus's heliocentric theory was correct, but they did show that geocentric philosophy of Aristotle and the geocentric system proposed by Ptolemy were incorrect, providing strong evidence for the heliocentric theory -- an implausible theory which had largely been ignored for sixty years after Copernicus's death. His new support for the Copernican system reopened the controversy, and in 1615 he was officially silenced as regards the truth of astronomy. The Dialogo was designed both as an appeal to the great public and as an escape from silence. In the form of an open discussion between three friends -- intellectually speaking, a radical, a conservative, and an agnostic -- it is a masterly polemic for the new science. It displays all the great discoveries in the heavens which the ancients had ignored; it inveighs against sterility, willfulness, and ignorance of those who defend their systems; it revels in the simplicity of Copernican thought and, above all, it teaches that the movement of the earth makes sense in philosophy, that is, in physics. Astronomy and the science of motion, rightly understood, says Galileo, are hand in glove. There is no need to fear that the earth's rotation will cause it to fly to pieces. Galileo pioneered the study of motion and its mathematical analysis, a field whish was taken up by Descartes and Huygens and culminated in the massive achievements of Newton in dynamic and gravitational astronomy.

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Hippocrates of Kos
Coi Prefagiorum Libri

1512

Hippocrates (approximately 460-377 B.C.), a Greek doctor known today as the Father of Medicine. Little is known of his life except that he traveled extensively in the eastern Mediterranean and lived for a time on the island of Cos where there was a famous medical school. Hippocrates first established an empirical system of medicine based on a combination of bedside experience and a collation of the many individual data which then formed the basis of clinical teaching. He freed medicine from superstition and the influence of priest craft and derived his system from the accumulated empirical knowledge of Egypt, Cnidos and Cos. The ideal of the humane and learned physician originates with Hippocrates and the 'Hippocratic Oath' still remains the classic expression of the duties, ethics, and moral standards of the medical profession today. Hippocratic methods were employed by the Greeks for centuries, but suffered an eclipse during the Middle Ages when a combination of magic and scholastic theories prevailed. The Renaissance and the classic revival brought the Hippocratic writings again to the forefront and they have remained an inspiration to medical research and ethics ever since.

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Isocrates
Orations and Epistles of Isocrates

1752

Translated from the Greek by Mr. Joshua Dinsdale. Isocrates (436-338 B.C.), an ancient Greek rhetorician, was one of the ten Attic orators. In his time, he was probably the most influential rhetorician in Greece and made many contributions to rhetoric and education through his teaching and written works. Greek rhetoric is commonly traced to Corax of Syracuse, who first formulated a set of rhetorical rules in the fifth century B.C.. His pupil, Tisias, was influential in the development of the rhetoric of the courtroom, and by some accounts was the teacher of Isocrates. Within two generations, rhetoric had become an important art, its growth driven by the social and political changes, such as democracy and the courts of law.

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Jefferson, Thomas
Notes on the State of Virginia

1801

Jefferson's only book-length work. Graduate of the College of William and Mary, Jefferson was admitted to the bar in 1767 and sat in the Virginia House of Burgesses from 1769 to 1775. As a delegate to the Continental Congress (1775-1776), he drafted the Declaration of Independence. While he was a member to the Virginia House of Delegates (1776-79), he supported the abolition of primogeniture and entail, the establishment of religious freedom, and the separation of church and state. After serving as a wartime governor of Virginia and as a member of Congress, he succeeded Franklin as minister to France, where he published his Notes on Virginia (1784-85), still considered a valuable source of information about the natural history of Virginia as well as about 18th century political and social life. Perhaps the most versatile of the founding fathers, he is remembered for his faith in the capacity of the people to govern themselves through representative institutions.

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Justinian I
The Four Books of Justinian's Institutions, Codex Justinianus or Corpus Juris Civilis

1687

His full title was Flavius Petrus Sabbatius Iustinianus Augustus, but he is known as Justinian I, or Justinian the Great. Very rare landmark work in jurisprudence. Issued between 529-534 by order of Byzantine emperor, this book is the basis of Latin jurisprudence, including ecclesiastical Canon law and a unique document about the life in Roman society at that time.

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Koran
Koran Manuscript

18th century

An illuminated Koran Manuscript. The Koran is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims consider the exact word of God and the Final Testament, following the Old and New Testaments. Its literally meaning is 'a recitation.' It is regarded widely as the finest piece of literature in the Arabic language. The Quran is divided into 114 suras of unequal length, which are classified either as Meccan or Medinan depending upon their place and time of revelation. Muslims believe that the Koran was verbally revealed through the angel Gabriel from God to Muhammad gradually over a period of approximately twenty-three years. It began in 610 CE, when Muhammad was forty, and concluded in 632 CE, the year of his death. Muslims believe that the Koran was precisely memorized, recited and exactly written down by Muhammad's companions after each revelation was dictated by Muhammad. Shortly after Muhammad's death, the Koran was compiled into a single book by order of the first Caliph Abu Bakr and at the suggestion of his future successor Umar. Hafsa, who was Muhammad's widow and Umar's daughter, was entrusted and became guardian of the only copy of the Koran after the second Caliph Umar died. Uthman, the third Caliph, asked Hafsa to borrow the Koran so several copies could be made and sent to main centers of the expanding empire. The Koran copies written helped in establishing the standard dialect of Arabic language, the Quraish dialect now known as Fus'ha, Modern Standard Arabic, which began to have slight differences. The copies of the Koran made also helped to standardize the text, and invalidated all other versions of the Koran. The present form of the Quran text is accepted by most scholars as the original version compiled by Abu Bakr.

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Koran
Koran

1734

This is the first accurate translation of the Qur'an, or Koran, into English, and its magisterial qualities are still held in high esteem. Sale's preliminary discourse and notes display a remarkable acquaintance not only with the works of European writers upon Mohammedanism and its history, but also with native Arab literature.

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Lincoln, Abraham
Emancipation Proclamation

1862

First Public Printing in the New York Times Sep 23, 1862. A proclamation issued by President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863, declaring that all slaves in areas still in rebellion against the U.S. were henceforth to be free. The proclamation did not affect slaves in the border states nor in territory under U.S. military occupation. A preliminary proclamation had been issued on September 22, 1862, after the Union success at Antietam had bolstered the likelihood of ultimate victory over the Confederacy. Slavery was not completely abolished until the adoption of the thirteenth amendment to the Constitution in 1865.

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Locke, John
Essay on Human Understanding

1690

Educated at Christ Church, Oxford, Locke was a lecturer in Greek, rhetoric, and philosophy at that university and apparently practiced medicine, though he never received a medical degree. He became confidential secretary to the Earl of Shaftesbury, who, as one of the proprietors of Carolina, induced Locke to write a well -known constitution for the colony in 1669. Suspected of complicity in Shaftesbury's plot against the government, Locke was forced to leave England, and he lived in the Netherlands from 1684 to 1689. He returned to England at the accession of William and Mary and was appointed commissioner of appeals. First edition, first issue, with an inlaid leaf at the front bearing Locke's full signature above the bookplate of Richard Palmer. With several contemporary ink corrections and additions. 'The Essay Concerning Humane Understanding... was the first attempt on a great scale, and in the Baconian spirit, to estimate critically the certainty and the adequacy of human knowledge.' '[Locke's] design... covers a remarkably wide field of investigation into human knowledge; it is the first modern attempt to analyse it.' 'Locke's authority as a philosopher was unrivalled in England during the first half of the eighteenth century... His spiritual descendant, J. S. Mill, indicates his main achievement by calling him 'the unquestioned founder of the analytic philosophy of mind.''

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Luther, Martin
To The Christians of the German Nation

1553

With this battle cry, 'To the Christian Nobility of the German Nation concerning the reformation of the Christian Commonwealth,' Martin Luther opened his campaign of 1520 with the first of three great tracts—the manifesto of the Reformation. After Luther's dialectic defeat in his bitter disputation in 1519 with Johannes Eck at Leipzig on the supremacy of the Pope, these three tracts made his position clear to himself and to the world at large. Religion was now seen to be on the side of a movement for liberty and the German humanists stood united behind Luther. 'To the Christian Nobility' was published in the middle of August 1520 and by the eighteenth of the month, four thousand copies were sold; seventeen further editions were published in the sixteenth century. It was soon followed by the two other revolutionary tracts: 'Concerning Christian Liberty' (on justification by faith alone) and 'On the Babylonian Captivity of the Church '(criticizing the sacramental system of the church).

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Marx, Karl
Communist Manifesto

1848

Commissioned by the Communist League and written by communist theorists Friedrich Engels and Karl Marx, it laid out the League's purposes and program. The Manifesto suggested a course of action for a proletarian (working class) revolution to overthrow the bourgeois social order and eventually to bring about a classless and stateless society.

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Newton, Isaac
Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica

1714

It is difficult to say precisely where the intellectual influences on Isaac Newton begin and where the impact of his work ends. Newton's masterpiece alone is known simply as The Principia. The first two books treat of mechanics, the third of the solar system. Newton states his three laws of motion which established the relationship between mass, force and direction: he treats of the movement of bodies through gases and liquids, defines mass and force and the corpuscular theory of light. Most important of all, he refutes the then prevailing theory of the vortices of Descartes, and established the principle of universal gravitation and motion of the planets. Copernicus, Newton and Einstein are the three cornerstones of our conception of the universe. This is the revised text of what Einstein referred to as 'perhaps the greatest intellectual stride that it has been granted to any man to make.'

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Ovid
Metamorphosis

1505

Sammelband* containing Metamorphisis by Ovid, 1505; Officiis by Marcus Tullius Cicero, 1493; Orations by Urceus, 1506; and Hystoricus by Justinus. The Metamorphosis or 'Books of Transformations' is a Latin narrative poem by the Roman poet Ovid, considered his magnum opus. Comprising fifteen books and over 250 myths, the poem chronicles the history of the world from its creation to the deification of Julius Caesar within a loose mythical-historical framework. Although meeting the criteria for an epic, the poem defies simple genre classification by its use of varying themes and tones. Ovid took inspiration from the genre of metamorphosis poetry, and some of the Metamorphosisderives from earlier treatment of the same myths; however, he diverged significantly from all of his models.
*A Sammelband is multiple different texts bound as one volume. Often done by the wealthy of the time in order to include their favorite pieces together.

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Paine, Thomas
Common Sense

1793

A political treatise first published on January 10, 1776 urging immediate separation from England. Of this Paine states, 'Every thing that is right or natural pleads for separation. The blood of the slain, the weeping voices of nature cries, tis time to part.' Within a few months, more than a hundred thousand copies were published in America. The work was influential in bringing about the Declaration of Independence, as Jefferson was an avid supporter of many of Paine's ideas and cautions. Of government and society, Paine makes the claim, 'Society is produced by our wants, and government by wickedness: the former promotes our happiness positively by uniting our affections, the latter negatively by restraining our vices....The first is a patron, the last a punisher. Society in every state is a blessing, but government even in its best state is but a necessary evil.'

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Paine, Thomas
Age of Reason

1794

Before Paine was imprisoned, he started his most controversial major work, Age of Reason, and continued writing behind bars. While he commended Christian ethics, believed Jesus was a virtuous man, and opposed the Jacobin campaign to suppress religion, he attacked the violence and contradictions of many Bible stories. He denounced the incestuous links between church and state. He also defended the deist view of one God and a religion based on reason. He further urged a policy of religious tolerance.

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Plato
Gorgias

1475

Plato's Gorgiasconsists of dramatic dialogues concerning rhetoric between Socrates and three individuals: Gorgias, Polus, and Callicles. In the first conversation, Gorgias admits that rhetoric is a set of verbal tricks that are learned and used for advantage but that offer no insight into ultimate truth. In the second conversation, Polus is forced to conclude that rhetoric is not an art but a form of flattery. In the third and final conversation, Callicles and Socrates eventually agree on the meaning of the 'good life,' specifically that what matters most is how one is judged as a person when one dies. Plato sets up for a definition of the arts that lies behind today's institutions of higher learning. Medicine and law are arts—forming parts of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences—because they can be learned through training and a system of rules. Whereas rhetoric, cookery, make-up are not, be because some people are naturally good at them.

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Pliny the Elder
The Historie of the World

1601

The first English edition of Pliny the Elder's Natural History, translated by Philemon Holland (1552-1637) and published in London in 1601 as The Historie of the World. This compendium of ancient knowledge about the natural world and man's place in it exposed many English readers for the first time to Greek and Roman ideas about everything from physics, astronomy, and zoology, to agriculture, physiology, and the arts. Despite its many fanciful elements (such as the claim that men could live to 800 years of age) and dubious ideas about medicine ('the braines of a wild boar is highly commended against the venom of serpents'), Pliny's work had been much admired in its original Latin form throughout the Middle Ages, and with the birth of printing in the fifteenth century, it became one of first books to be produced on a large scale and in scholarly editions. Holland's translation came to be admired in its own right. Pliny would not be translated into English again until the nineteenth century, and some still consider Holland's version to be the most charismatic.

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Plutarch
The Virtues of Women and the Parallel Lives

1485

Plutarch (46 - 120) Greek biographer and miscellaneous writer, was born at Chaeronea in Boeotia. After having been trained in philosophy at Athens, he traveled and stayed some time at Rome, where he lectured on philosophy. The celebrity of Plutarch, or at least his popularity, is mainly founded on his forty-six parallel lives, a series of biographies of famous men, arranged in tandem to illuminate their common moral virtues or failings.

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Polo, Marco
Travels

1627

A rare early 17th-century Italian edition of Marco Polo's description of his journey across Asia in the late 13th century, one of the most significant and resonant travel accounts in the history of human endeavor, and a key text in the perception in Europe of the East during the last Middle Ages and the Renaissance. This edition, printed by Righettini in Trevi in 1627, is recorded in one other U.S. location. Polo's account includes vivid descriptions of cities, waterways, architectural monuments, industries, natural resources, plants, and animals as well as reports on customs and traditions.

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Robertus, Anglicas
Commentary Petrus Hispanus

1250

This is the commentary by Robertus Anglicus on one of the most important medieval compendia on logic written by Petrus Hispanus or Peter of Spain. Extremely rare commentary, of which there are only two other known manuscripts, and which remains unpublished, except for extracts; preserved in its original binding, this manuscript in comparison with the other two would provide a basis for a much-needed critical edition of this important text on logic.

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Rousseau, Jean Jacques
Social Compact

1797

Rousseau, a Swiss born French philosopher, author, political theorist, and composer, was one of the leading figures of the Enlightenment. His chief work, The Social Contract, a treatise on the origins and organization of government and the rights of citizens. Rousseau's thesis states that, since no man has any natural authority over another, the social contract, freely entered into, creates natural reciprocal obligations between citizens. The individual, as basic political unit, surrenders his rights to the State, and is legally equal to all other members. The third book is a discussion of three forms of government; democratic, which Rousseau distrusts; aristocratic, which, if elective, is acceptable; and monarchic, which is preferable, if headed by an ideal ruler. Like Montesquieu, Rousseau states that practical, moral, and theoretical considerations should determine the best form of government for any people. That all minorities must submit to the general will or be banished is the conclusion of the fourth book. Though an individualistic work, it reveals Rousseau as a firm collectivist. Some critics assert that the injustices of collectivism and 'democratic despotism' during the French Revolution and later in the 19th and 20th centuries were, in part, derived from his work.

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Schedel, Hartmann
Nuremberg Chronicles

1500

Das Burch der Croniken Under Geschichten, or The Nuremberg Chronicle was the most ambitious illustrated book of the incunable period and a point in the evolution of humanistic history. The Nuremberg Chronicle is a pictorial history of the earth from creation to the 1490s published in 1493. Its structure follows the story of human history as related in the Bible while also including digressions on natural catastrophes, royal genealogies and the histories of a number of important Western cities. It is considered one of the most outstanding examples of early printing and is an excellent reflection of the spirit of its time. It simultaneously demonstrates the influence of the Renaissance humanism, and it shows a society in the process of transformation from medieval to modern, and from a scribal culture to a print culture. In 1493, the year the Chronicle was published, the city of Nuremburg was the most advanced among the German cities in the arts and crafts and commercial relations, and also the first city in Germany to make paper. The Chronicle contains 1809 prints, taken from 645 actual woodcuts. The Chronicle retains its splendor from a typographical perspective because the area and number of woodcuts are larger than in any other book of its century.

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Shengji Ti
The Illustrated Life of Confucius

1592

This large album tells the life of the great political philosopher Confucius who lived in China approximately 551 - 479B.C. (Chinese name Kung Fu-tse). Confucius was a Chinese political and ethical philosopher and would-be reformer. Failing to achieve personal ambitions and success, Confucius taught a large number of disciples who carried on, developed, and greatly altered his teachings, so that, by the second century B.C., they formed the dominant philosophy in China. In Chinese, illustrated manuscript with 103 woodblocks, on paper.

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Stanton, Elizabeth Cody
Address to the Legislature of New-York, Adopted by the State Woman's Rights Convention

1854

The Woman's Rights Convention was Stanton's audience for her Address; the Convention then closed it as its Address to the Legislature, and distributed it to legislators on February 20, 1854. This is the second issue of the first edition, located according to OCLC, only at AAS. OCLC records only microforms of the first issue; and according to Stanton's Selected Papers, copies of the first issue 'have not been found.' Stanton writes: 'It is not enough for us that by your laws we are permitted to live and breathe... We are persons, native, free-born citizens, property-holders, tax payers, yet are we denied the right of exercise of the elective franchise. . . . We are classed with idiots, lunatics, and negroes.' Stanton also denounces males' 'inordinate love of power.'

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Tocqueville, Alexis
Democracy in America

1841

Tocqueville's important and influential analysis of American democracy, one of the outstanding intellectual achievements of the nineteenth century. This important edition contains a hand-colored folding map of North America with information from the census of 1840, published here for the first time in America.

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Torah
Torah: Egyptian Scroll Covenant with Abraham from Genesis 15:4 - 17:23

16th century

This hand-written Torah fragment is very well preserved. It is a very old fragment (16th Century) from Egypt and is written on deer skin. After the Genizah Egyptian Torah find from the 12th Century, Egyptian Torah fragments are of the most highly prized. Geniziah fragments of the Ben Ezra Synagogue are seldom seen or made available. Scrolls from ancient Egypt are very distinctive in their deep reddish color and very rare as well. This deep reddish color is due to the process used in making the scroll. This process ages to a deep reddish color over the centuries. This very soft leather parchment holds its ink very well and the hand written letters remain very dark and easy to read despite centuries of use in Synagouge.

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Virgil
Opera Vergiliana

1515

Great Roman poet. He was in the maturity of his powers at the most critical epoch of Roman national life, one of the most critical epochs in the history of the world. Keeping aloof from the trivial daily life of his contemporaries, he was moved more profoundly than any of them by the deeper currents of emotion in the sphere of government, religion, morals and human feeling that were then changing the world; and in uttering the enthusiasm of the hour, and all the new sensibilities that were stirring in his own heart and imagination, he had, in the words of Sainte -Beuve, 'divined as a decisive hour of the world what the future would love.' He was also by universal acknowledgment the greatest literary artist that Rome produced.

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William of Ockham
Summa Logicae

1522

In Summa Logicae, Ockham puts forward a new philosophical program designed to supersede the views of his contemporaries and predecessors, views that receive extensive and trenchant criticism in the course of its many pages. The program and the movement it engendered is called 'nominalism.' Its guiding principle is the conviction that only concrete individuals exist and any other purported entities are no more than names, traditionally expressed as the maxim not to multiply entities beyond necessity, a formulation known as 'Ockham's Razor.' This principle has a wide range of application, and it has deep theological and well as philosophical consequences. The Summa Logicae lays out in systematic detail Ockham's account of logic and language, providing him with the necessary groundwork for applying his Razor.

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Wollstonecraft, Mary
A Vindication of the Rights of Woman

1792

Classic work on freedom, equality, and education. 'Wollstonecraft's major work caused an outcry when it was published and is hailed as a cornerstone of feminism.... The central theme of the work on women's rights was that they should be educated to carry a responsibility in society equal to that of men. In disagreement with Rousseau, Wollstonecraft urged `rational fellowship instead of slavish obedience.'' Vindication of the Rights of Woman was written in a 'plain and direct style, and it was this as well as the idea of writing a book on the subject at all, which caused the outcry that ensued... she argued for equality of education for both sexes... and co-education. It was a rational plea for a rational basis to the relation between the sexes... Its chief object was to show that women were not the playthings of men but ought to be their equal partners, which they could be only if they were educated in the same way.' 'She was the first woman to articulate publicly a request for women's suffrage and coequal education... Although Wollstonecraft is best known as a feminist thinker, her philosophies are not limited to women's issues... Wollstonecraft advocates liberty and equality for all humanity. Advancing arguments for political rights, she argues for the removal of traditional injustices of rank, property, class, and gender... The key to freedom lies in the reasoning individual conscience, not in laws or dogma... Wollstonecraft adamantly asserts that education inculcating reason will eventually emancipate all humankind from all forms of servitude (political, sexual, religious, or economic).

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