Author: Praetorius Matthaeus, 1635 - 1704
Title: Mars Gothicus, id est tractatus historicus: exhibens veterum Gothorum militiam, potentiam, arma, machinas, exercitationes bellicas, acies, castrametationes, leges, stipendia, poenasque militares &c. Ex variis classicisque plerumque auctoribus deductus.
Title in English: The Gothic Mars, that is, a Historical Tract: Depicting the Military, Power, Weapons, Equipment, Military Training, Combats, Preparation of Military Camps, Laws, Wages of Warriors, Military Punishments etc., of Ancient Goths. Derived Mainly from Various Classic Authors.
Typis Monasterii Olivensis, S.O.C. Imprimebat Johannes Jacobus Textor, Factor 1691.
Format: Folio.  + 92 + p. Roman & italic letter. Typographical ornaments, edges gilt; worn.
Binding: contemporary mottled sheep.
The author, a pastor from Memel, East Prussia sought to establish that the Goths originally came from the lands bordering on the river Vistula. His dedication is to John Sobieski III King of Poland (1674-96), who sent a letter of protection to the monastery in 1676 (Benzing). The printer Johann Jacob Textor came from Bamberg. The volume closes with heroic poems by Michael Anton Hack, Abbot of Oliva, in honour of Sobieski, as Saviour of the West, for his decisive intervention during the Turkish siege of Vienna in 1683. The Cistercians had founded the Monastery in 1186, and the Treaty of Oliva (1660) was signed there.
Brunet, Dictionnaire de Geographie Ancienne et Moderne, 964, describes this book as one of the two most sought after imprints from this press. Toned throughout owing to the quality of the paper, otherwise a very good copy with contemporary manuscript quotes from a Latin poem on recto of front fly leaf.
Reference: Brunet, Dictionnaire de Geographie Ancienne et Moderne, 964.
Matas Pretorijus (~1635–1704), who was born in Klaipėda, was a historian, ethnographer, writer, and translator from Lithuania Minor. His work The Gothic Mars describes the military of the Goths: their army, weapons, military techniques, and fortifications. The author contrasts the Goths to the Prussians, Samogitians, and Lithuanians, comparing their weapons, outfits, and manner of fighting. The book was published near Gdansk, in the Olyva Cistercian Monastery in 1691. The printing house added some verses by the Abbott of the monastery, Father Mykolas Antanas Hackis (1630–1703), which worship the King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania Jan Sobieski. The book includes a dedication to the king.
Reference: "The Collection of Lawyer Jaunius Gumbis: the Past Preserved in Books". Museum and Collector - 7. Vilnius: National Museum of Lithuania, 2018, p. 335.
Published: "The Collection of Lawyer Jaunius Gumbis: the Past Preserved in Books". Museum and Collector - 7. Vilnius: National Museum of Lithuania, 2018, p. 334-335.