Olaus Magnus: Historia de Gentibus Septentrionalibus, Romae 1555: Description of the Northern Peoples, Rome 1555. Volume I. Haklyut Society Second Series, Volume 182. Translated by Peter Fisher and Humphrey Higgens. Edited by Peter Foote, with annotation derived from the Commentary by John Granlund. Published by the Haklyut Society, London, 1996. Binding tight and pages clean. Dust-jacket slightly faded on spine and with small nicks on top edge.
The Swedish scholar and prelate, Olaus Magnus, last Catholic archbishop of Uppsala, lived the latter half of his life in exile. In January 1555 he issued from his own press in Rome his magnificent Historia de Gentibus Septentrionalibus, lavishly illustrated with some 480 woodcuts.
This is only the second full translation to appear in modern times. There is little history in the sense of chronological narrative in the Historia, which touches on a vast variety of topics, snowflakes and sea-serpents, elks and artillery, sables and saltpetre, watermills and werewolves. Much of it was culled from ancient authorities, but much of it was also derived from the author's personal observations, especially those made on his early travels in North Sweden.