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1722 - Astrological Hermetic Poetry - Banned by the Inquisition

1722 - Astrological Hermetic Poetry - Banned by the Inquisition


Zodiacus Vitae is a treatise on neo-Platonic/hermetic morality in poetic form composed of 12 songs (one for each zodiac sign), composed by Pier Angelo Manzolli (1500? -1543) under the pseudonym of Marcellus Palingenius de Stellata (the name is revealed by an acrostic to the first 24 lines of book 1). It is actually a virulent satire of the clergy, including popes (whose hypocrisy is strongly disputed), published in Venice in 1536 and dedicated to the Duke of Ferrara by its author. His vehemence earned him the wrath of the Inquisition and a blacklisting in 1559. Translated into several languages, the work was however a definite success and numerous editions circulated in Europe.


Zodiacus Vitae, ed est de Hominis vita, studio, ac moribus optime instituendis libri XII.MANZOLLI PIETRO ANGELO - Cm. 15, pp. 16, 407 (47). Beautiful engraved front door and frontispiece in red and black with central vignette. Leg. in rigid parchment. Marginal and clean specimen, in excellent condition. Estimated edition of this famous work that fascinated Italian and especially French writers for at least two centuries. There is little information about the author, from Stellata near Ferrara, and biographers sometimes describe him as an ecclesiastical or doctor, alchemist or even magician. Published under a pseudonym to fly off the inquisition's research, the work stands out for some very daring steps against the ecclesiastical world so much so that, discovered only after the author's death, the censors had in mind to unearth the body of Manzolli and burn it out of impiety. See Melzi II, 304. Brunet and Caillet cite this edition declaring it better than all the others.

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