|BALDERIC LE ROUGE.|
Chronicon Cameracense et Atrebatense, sive Historia utrisque Ecclesiae, III Libris, ab hinc DC sere annis conscripta. Nunc primum in luce edita, & notis illustrata Per G. COLVENERIUS.
| Douay, Ioan. Bogarde, 1615. Sm.8vo. Contemp. vellum. With engraved printer's vignette on title, 9 engraved illustrations of seals and dice in text, and 3 large folding plates, partly in woodcut and partly engraved, of three different tables for a popular lottery game. (40), 601, (1 blank, 16) pp. Editio princeps of a mediaeval chronicle of Cambray and Arras, containing the earliest known description and representation of a lottery game, which had been invented by Wibold, a French divine from Cambray who died in 965. Inspired by the "Rythmomachia" or "Philosophical Game" of Pythagoras, the game was called by Wibold "Ludus regularis seu clericalis", but it was also known as "Alea regularis contra alea secularis". It was played with a dice with letters instead of numbers, and a board with the names of 56 virtues arranged in squares all around the middle. At the end of the book 3 different tables are given to play this game, two with square boards to be played with dice, and one circular board to be played as a wheel of fortune with a turning pointer in the middle. On verso of two of these tables explanatory text is present, and the game is extensively explained in chapter 88 of the first Book, pp. 143 ff., and is further discussed in the notes at the end, on pp. 461 ff. The folding tables, size ca. 42 x 37 cm, were meant to be cut and mounted to be played with, including the engraved figures of dice. In text the list of names of the virtues, and the figures of dice were given too. The chronicle itself is of interest, written by the French historian Balderic the Red, bishop of Noyon and Tournay, as it gives numerous accounts of scholarly reseach and curious details. The book presents the history from Clovis to 1090, as the author died in 1097. But the outstanding feature now is the representation of a mediaeval lottery game, which according to the inventor could be of use at schools or for charity. The importance of this chronicle was rediscovered in 1834 by Le Glay, who published a new edition based on three manuascipts, and in the preface discussed and explained the lottery game present in it. His Latin edition then was also translated into French in 1836, by Faverot and Petit Good copy of the rare first edition, with the bookplate of Pierre Briffaut.- (Ms. entry on title) Brunet I, 621 Graesse I, 260 cf. Introduction to the new edition by Le Glay, Cambray & Paris, 1834 NUC lists 1 copy only|