P is for…


Image of a phagotum from Introdvctio in Chaldaicam lingua[m], Syriaca[m], atq[ue] Armenica[m], & dece[m] alias linguas (1539)

A musical instrument invented by Afranio Ambrogio in the 16th century, akin to the bagpipes, is rather bizarrely described and depicted here in the middle of his nephew Teseo Ambrogio’s ground-breaking 1539 grammar of the Syriac language.


Printing Press


In 1493, the Nuremberg Chronicle appears, and details the history of the world through to the year of publication. On one of its very final pages – and on the penultimate leaf of Fasciculus temporum (1482) – is a reference to a recent invention: ‘’Ars imprimendi libros …’’: the printing press. We can see it hard at work here in Paris on the title page of Bolton Library M.3.13 two decades later.