A Historical Question - or should that be "An"?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by praetoritevong, Nov 13, 2008.

  1. Hey guys,

    I recently saw one of Jason England's posts where he outlines the history of the Strike Second Deal... This inspired me to ask two questions here:

    Firstly, does anyone have any suggestions on notable magic books which are still available (if such exist on any sort of regular basis) - the catch being that it must have been distributed before the commencement of the 20th Century, i.e. Pre 1900?

    The other question I have is even more specific and obscure: Does anyone know of any texts on gambling/cheating with cards, or magic/conjuring in general - and again, here's the killer catch - which has been written in Latin, preferrably Golden Age Latin? No translated-into-English editions please, only original Latin.

    I don't expect an answer for the latter, incidentally - it is only to satiate my curiosity, but I would be very impressed if anyone knew of one.
  2. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2007/apr/10/italy.books - here is a new article on a new find - it's what you're looking for ;) (or are curious about)

    "After lying almost untouched in the vaults of an Italian university for 500 years, a book on the magic arts written by Leonardo da Vinci's best friend and teacher has been translated into English for the first time.

    The world's oldest magic text, De viribus quantitatis (On The Powers Of Numbers) was penned by Luca Pacioli, a Franciscan monk who shared lodgings with Da Vinci and is believed to have helped the artist with The Last Supper.

    It was written in Italian by Pacioli between 1496 and 1508 and contains the first ever reference to card tricks as well as guidance on how to juggle, eat fire and make coins dance."

    seems pretty much like the first ever book on the art of magic!

  3. "The translation of De viribus quantitatis will be published next year to coincide with its 500th anniversary."

    Now that is exciting!

    Great find mate, thanks a lot for that :) I suppose if I'm ever in Bologna, I'll be sure to take a look at the original Italian..
  4. A E I O U and sometimes Y

    therefore no "an" =]
  5. That's something to put on your CV.
  6. I think it would mean getting a job automatically. And then being promoted in the same day. To the position of your boss. Who steps down from his post to make way for your greatness:p

    Gustav ;)
  7. To answer the syntactical question, yes, it should be an "an" because the emphasis is on the second syllable, as in "an hotel". However, nowadays either article is acceptable.

    On a more on topic point, some of the key pre-20th century magic texts (in print) are as follows:

    * Reginald Scot - The Discoverie of Witchcraft (maybe "Witchcrafte") - this was a 1584 work debunking the then-current idea that unexplainable acts were the result of supernatural powers. Therefore it revealed many ruses and moves that would nowadays be called sleight-of-hand or magic, including the double lift, although it didn't yet bear that name (the double turnover was a much later concept though, which came to prominence in New York with Dai Vernon and Dr Daley).

    * Professor Hoffman (aka Angelo John Lewis) - Modern Magic, More Magic, Later Magic and Latest Magic - These were published between 1876 and 1918, however, even though Latest Magic was 20th century, the material had been floating around for a long time before that. Therefore, they can all be said to be 19th century works.

    * August Roterberg - The Modern Wizard, Latter Day Tricks, New Era Card Tricks - This trilogy was published between 1896 and 1897. Out of the three, it is possibly New Era Card Tricks that is the most influential, publishing a detailed description of the Hermann Pass, and (possibly) influencing Erdnase.

    * Edwin Sachs - Sleight of Hand - This was published before 1885 (I don't know the exact date, but the 2nd edition was 1885). Dai Vernon praised this book and said it was much under-read by magicians. It is a fairly comprehensive explanation of the common manipulation techniques of the day with cards, coins and other small objects.

    There are probably a lot more. I'll have a look through my library (which is a pretty grandiose term for my small collection of texts) and see if I can find anything else that fits your pre-20th century specification. I surprised myself when I looked at some of my books and found that they were published after 1900.
  8. Hey - I've been away for a while so I never got around to thanking you, so yeah, uhh, thanks TeeDee ^^

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