GREEK & LATIN
& THE ANCIENT WORLD AT LARGE
Including selected Biblical Greek &
Incorporating occasional NEO-LATINITY
Roman Poets, Orators, Rhetoricians, &c. (but No Nudity, Please)
for 16th-Century Students
(A Schoolboy's Study). Suetonius Tranquillus, Gaius. Suetonii Tra[n]quilli liber illustrium virorum. Lipsiae: Valentini Schumann, 1518. 4to (19 cm, 7.5").  pp., XXXIX,  ff.
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As Hadrian's private secretary, Suetonius was intimately familiar with then-current events and with the historical record; he made use of the imperial archives as well as contemporary gossip to write his biographies and histories, particularly his best known work, the De Vita Caesarum (known in English as the Twelve Caesars). The Illustrium Virorum (a.k.a. On Famous Men), accounts of prominent men of letters, provide much of what is known about Roman authors of the period and were consulted by many subsequent biographers — despite having survived in only partial form. Also known as De viris illustribus urbis Romae, the work has in the past been attributed to Aurelius Victor, Cornelius Nepos, and Pliny the Younger as well as Suetonius.
The present copy is a very uncommonschoolbook edition. The main text is printed in roman and surrounding additions in gothic type; the title-page is printed in red and black within a woodcut framework of allegorical figures.
This entry is repeated in the
Evidence of readership: In the present copy, the first five lives were extensively annotated in Latin by an early hand, with both interlinear and shouldernotes. Evidence of something else: In the present copy, inkblots cover significant portions of three nude figures in the title-page frame!
Provenance: 19th-century ownership stamp of the Redemptorist house in Ilchester, England; later 19th-century stamp and label of the Redemptorists' provincial library of Baltimore; 20th-century stamps of the Redemptorists' library at Mount St. Alphonsus.
WorldCat and NUC Pre-1956 do not locateany U.S. institutional holdings of this edition.
VD16 P3514; Schweiger, II, 1140 (under Victor); Index Aurel. 110.780. Not in Adams. Early 19th-century half roan and marbled paper–covered sides, spine with gilt-stamped title-label; three corners lacking leather, binding scuffed overall, spine leather rubbed, hinges (inside) tender. Title-page darkened with edges somewhat tattered, early inked ownership inscription (faint), two closed tears, two institutional rubber-stamps, and paper shelving label affixed in lower portion of woodcut title-page border; “censoring” inkblots as above with some bleeding to subsequent two leaves. Back pastedown with pocket and slip, one endpaper rubber-stamped. Pages age-toned; some shouldernotes, running headers, and pagination shaved. A nice example of a surviving, utilized, classroom copy of a classic Classical work. (32635)
section of this
catalogue . . .
Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-lettres. Choix des mémoires de l’Academie Royale des inscriptions et belles-lettres. Londres: T. Becket & P. Elmsly, 1777. 4to (27 cm, 10.6"). 3 vols. I: , iii, , lx, 656 pp. (pagination skips 17–32, text uninterrupted). II: , iii, , ccviii, 495, [1 (blank)] pp. III: , iii, lxviii, , 696 pp.; 1 fold. plt., 2 plts.
Sole edition thus:
Three-volume set of selected pieces from the Histoire et mémoires
de l’Académie, a massive collection of French-language commentary
and criticism on Greek and Latin classics. The printing of the Histoire et
mémoires commenced in 1717 and ran through 1809, with the total number
of volumes coming to 51; the present compilation offers especially noteworthy
treatises from the beginning of the series through 1763.
Click the image to the left
for an enlargement.
The third volume includes two plates and one oversized, folding plate reproducing two inscriptions and a frieze, engraved by E. Malpas.
Uncommon outside of Great Britain.
ESTC T113913; Brunet, I, 26; Lowndes, I, 5. Contemporary treed calf, spines gilt extra, with gilt-stamped leather title and volume labels; leather worn at edges and moderately rubbed with joints cracking. Front pastedowns with private bookplates and signs that a plate was removed on front free endpaper (one vol. endpaper holed); impressions of old pencilled shelf numbers on title-pages (and one lightly inked old date). First two leaves of vol. III with upper margins stained and final leaf browned; some pages with a few spots of faint foxing, most clean and crisp.
Aelianus, Claudius. [4 lines in Greek, then] Aeliani de natvra animalivm.... Londini: Gulielmus Bowyer, 1744. 4to (26.2 cm, 10.4"). 2 vols. I: xiv, xxvii, [35 (index)], 603,  pp. II: –1128, [88 (index and addenda)] pp.
Attractive 18th-century printing of Abraham Gronovius’s edition, here presented in the original Greek with Conrad Gesner’s Latin translation and comments on facing pages, and with additional commentary by Daniel Wilhelm Triller. Dibdin calls this an “excellent and ample edition” of the Natura Animalium, an entertaining collection of animal-related tales and folklore compiled by Aelian, a 2nd-century a.d. Roman scholar of rhetoric and Greek literature who borrowed much of the material from earlier Greek authors. The work includes one of the earliest known references to fly-fishing, a description of the Macedonian fashion of catching river fish with lures constructed of feathers and bright red wool.
Neat ownership signature of “J.W. Blakesley, Trin. Coll.”
— very likely the Dean Blakesley who, among other things, wrote the first
English life of Aristotle and edited Herodotus.
ESTC T88657; Dibdin, I, 232; Schweiger, I, 2. Contemporary vellum-covered
boards, covers framed and panelled in blind with central blind-stamped strapwork
medallions, spines with gilt-stamped leather title and volume labels; front
joints repaired and now strong, vellum soiled. Front free endpapers with early
inked owner's name as above; shadow of shelf number once pencilled on title-page,
erased. Spotting of various sorts and minor smudging in upper margins of some
pages; leaves otherwise clean.
Aldine Imprint, Distinguished Binding Style
Aeschines; & Demosthenes. [four lines in Greek, then] Graeciae eccellentium [sic] oratorum Aeschinis & Demosthenis orationes quatuor inter se contrariae. Venetiis: Apud Federicum Turrisanum, 1549. 8vo (16 cm, 6.4").  pp., 75, , 112 ff.
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First Torresani edition: Collected speeches of the two great political rivals of 4th-century b.c. Athens, presented in two separate sections. The volume is elegantly printed in an attractive Greek type with distinctive open-work decorative capitals, and bears the famous Aldine anchor on the title-page (Frederico Torresani, a son of Aldus's partner and father-in-law, married Aldus's sister Paola). Renouard notes that “ce volume bien exécuté, et indubitablement dans l'Imprimerie dont il porte l'ancre et le titre avec le mot Aldus, est un des plus rares de cette époque.”
Provenance: Front pastedown with 20th-century bookplate of Kenneth Rapoport (an American collector of early and scientific books).
Binding: 16th-century dark red morocco, unusually and interestingly gilt-ruled in all-over vertical stripes on covers and horizontal stripes on spine, in imitation of the Aldine binding style of Diego Hurtado de Mendoza (1504–75, a Spanish diplomat, poet, humanist, and governor of Granada), differentiated by the addition of a gilt roll frame and a central cartouche of two cherubs maintaining either a baronial coronet or a very fancy halo over a partially obscured coat of arms: a possibly leonine creature rampant, sable. (The spine bears a more elaborate coronet.) Evidence of silk ties at top, bottom, and fore-edges of the binding; all edges gilt.
Searches of NUC and WorldCat locate only eight copies in North America.
Renouard, Alde, 1549:5; Adams A255; Index Aurel. 100.894; Graesse, I, 28; Brunet, I, 76. Binding as above, spine with later gilt-stamped leather title-label; extremities rubbed, edges and spine extremities refurbished some time ago, joints starting from extremities and spine leather with small cracks, furniture now lacking with four small holes left behind on each cover. Endpapers and first few leaves with slim tracks of worming, affecting a few letters of text without loss of sense. Ahandsome volume despite above notes, and an impressive, uncommon example of the Torresani-Aldine partnership. (31311)
A Roman's History of theRoman Empire
R. ESTIENNE, 1544
Ammianus Marcellinus. Rerum gestaru[m] libri XVIII. Paris: Rob. Stephani [Robert Estienne], 1544. 8vo (15.8 cm, 6.25"). 513 (i.e., 543) pp.
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A native of Antioch who served under Julian against the Persians, Ammianus Marcellinus (ca. 320–95?), was a Roman historian whose Rerum gestarum (written around A.D. 390) essentially continued Tacitus's work, dealing with the era 79–378. Books 17–26 of his text were discovered by Poggio and first printed at Rome in 1474; in 1533 Accursius corrected many errors and added the recently found final five books. The first 16 books, dealing with the period 79–352, have perished.
This is a reimpression of the edition by Sigismund Galenius (Basel, Froben, 1533), with the original prefatory letter of 1533 by Hieronymous Froben, son of the famous printer. In Latin with some Greek, the text ishandsomely printed in italic by Robert I of the great Estienne printing house, with his device on the title-page and capital spaces with guide letters.
Evidence of Readership: This volume shows an interesting style of annotation, an early reader having highlighted lines and whole passages of lines by inking minute, very neat double quotation marks in the margins next to themat apparently significant distances from the print. A few other lines are marked with asterisks and there are a handful of actual notes and corrections.
Provenance: Bookplate of Kenneth Rapoport, a modern American collector of early and scientific books.
Adams A972; Renouard, Estienne (2nd ed.), p. 61, no. 17; Dibdin, I, p. 255n; Index Aurel. *104.839; Graesse, I, 104. Not in Schreiber, Estiennes. 18th-century vellum; editor, title, and timespan of the work in gilt on painted spine compartment; edges speckled red. Vellum lightly chipped at top, with scattered dark spots and a bit of mild worming; traces of former label at base of spine. Pastedowns and first and last few leaves with light worming; a few inkspots, light and/or marginal; annotations as above. A clean, attractive copy. (31358)
17th-Century French Politics: “François, que faites-vous?”
Anonymous. [drop-title] Cassandre françoise. [Paris: 1615]. 8vo (17.1 cm, 6.75"). 22, [2 (blank)] pp.
Anonymous political pamphlet warning of impending disaster for
all of France as a result of the proposed marriage between Louis XIII and Anne
of Austria, making use ofclassical
analogies for various important figures and events. The
title is taken from the header; Lindsay & Neu's main entry for the piece
describes the work has having 16 pages, although at least three holdings describe
22 pages as seen here.
WorldCat and Lindsay & Neu combine to locate eight copies in the U.S.
the images for enlargements.
Lindsay & Neu 3238 (note collation variation). Recent
paper–covered boards, front cover with printed paper label. A few pages
institutionally pressure-stamped; inked numeral in upper outer corner of p.
2. Light foxing; pinhole worming in lower margins, not touching text. Two
leaves with inner margins reinforced. A nice copy of an uncommon item. (27773)
A HandsomeDated Binding — Initials, “A.W.” — 1539
Arrianus. [three lines in Greek, romanized as] Arrianou Peri Alexandrou anabaseōs historiōn biblia oktō. [then in Latin] Arriani De expeditione sive Rebus gestis Alexandri Macedonum regis libri octo, nuper & reperti, & quàm diligentissimè in lucem editi. Historiam quoque eandem, olim quidem a Bartholomaeo Facio latinitate donatam, nunc vero ... mendis repurgatam, hic adiungi curavimus ... Basileae: [Robertus Winter, 1539]. Vol. 1 of 2. 13,  pp.,  ff. (lacks last 8 leaves).
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The author's most important work, written after the example of
Xenophon's Anabasis, this is an account of Alexander the Great, and of
India and Iran in his time. The edition bears a prefatory epistle by Nicolaus
Gerbel (1485–1560), its editor.
Present here is vol. I containing the original Greek text, the Latin translation
having been printed in a separate volume. Incomplete at the end, it
lacks the final eight leaves or the last part of the Indica (37.3–43.14),
only, with Arrian's Anabasis Alexandrou (Campaigns of Alexander)
as Books 1–7.
Contemporary alum-tawed pigskin over bevelled boards, remnants of the metal
closures. Covers elaborately blind-embossed with several rolls and devices.
Front cover has in its center panel the initials “A. W.,” the
date 1539, and medallions of Manfred of Saxony and Luther, while the rear
cover's center panel has medallions of Melanchthon and Erasmus.
Graesse, I, 227; Legrand, Bibliographie hellénique,
III, 388; Adams A2009. Binding toned to a pleasing dark tan. Old bookplate
on front pastedown. Front free endpaper torn with loss. Vol. I only, and lacking
those final eight leaves; the Anabasis complete. (20418)
Litterati of Antwerp Salute One of Their Own — Portrait after Peter Paul Rubens
Woodcut *&* Engraved Versions of the Plantin Device
Asterius, Episcopus Amasenus. S. Asteri Episcopi amaseae homiliae Graecè & Latinè nunc primùm editae Philippo Rubenio interprete. Antverpiae: Ex Officina Plantiniana, apud viduam & filios Ioannis Moreti, 1615. 4to (24.13 cm, 9.5").  ff., 284, pp.,  ff.
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First edition. A multi-part memorial volume from the Plantin–Moretus press in honor of Philippe Rubens (1574–1611), brother of the famed artist, whose Greek and Latin rendition of the Homilies by Asterius, Bishop of Amasia (ca. 375–405), occupies the first section of the text, here in Greek and Latin printed in double columns. Little is known about Asterius, Bishop of Amasea, and there has been much scholarly debate regarding exactly which homilies should be attributed to his authorship and which to other early Christians, including Asterius the Sophist; the Catholic Encyclopedia online says his works provide “valuable material to the Christian archaeologist.”
The second section here includes verses Rubens composed in the later years prior to his death in 1611 and dedicated to illustrious members of his circle including the humanist Justus Lipsius, Janus Woverius, and Peter Paul Rubens and Isabelle Brant, who married in 1609. Brant’s father, Jan, composed the introductory letter to the reader.
The volume was published at the request of Cardinal Ascanius Columnas in an edition ofonly 750 copies, and was printed at Antwerp at the press of Moretus’ widow and sons with the famous Plantin device appearing in two versions (engraved, to the title, and woodcut, to the final recto).
A full-page engraved funeral portrait of Rubens engraved by Cornelius Galleafter Peter Paul Rubens signals the beginning of the third section, in which Jan Brant records the life of his son-in-law’s brother and transcribes his epitaph. Even Balthasar Moretus contributes an epigram in honor of the deceased.
In the fourth section, Rubens’ own orations and selected letters appear, i.a. his funeral oration to Philip II of Spain. Josse DeRycke contributed the final funerary tribute.
Done up in fully elegant Plantin–Moretus style, the volume has in addition to its careful typography and full-page plate and devices been lavished throughout with two-line block initials and four-line historiated woodcut initials; also, it offers several intricate woodcut tailpieces.
Searches of NUC Pre-1956 and WorldCat locate only eight copies in U.S. institutions, one of which has been deaccessioned; most arenot in obvious places.
Graesse, I, 241; Corpus Rubenianum, XXI (1977), 152. Period-style full brown calf, covers framed in blind double fillets, spine with gilt-stamped red leather title-label, raised bands with blind tooling extending onto covers. With a few odd spots to the text only, this is aremarkably fine, crisp copy. All edges green. (28878)
Bailey, John J. Waldimar. A tragedy, in five acts.
New York: [Pr. by J. Van Norden?], 1834. 8vo (24 cm, 9.4"). 124, , 6 pp.
Bailey's privately printed drama ("Not Published," the title-page
trumpets) seems to have been well received, judging by the appended reviews;
many of the contemporary critics made particular mention of their desire to
support the piece as an outstanding American effort at tragedy. The
historically inspired plot is set at Thessalonica during the fourth century,
and revolves around the love of popular soldier Claudius for Hersilia, daughter
of the despotic general Waldimar.
Sabin 2736. Publisher's textured cloth, front with gilt-stamped
title, greatly faded with extremities rubbed and worn, spine with paper shelving
label and some loss of cloth. Title-page and some others lightly stamped by
a now-defunct institution. Two short edge tears, some corners slightly crumpled;
the occasional spot, stain, or foxing — a good copy.
Travels of Anacharsis the younger in Greece. During the middle of the
fourth century, before the Christian æra.... The first American edition.
Philadelphia: Pr. by Bartholomew Graves and William McLaughlin for Jacob Johnson
& Co., 1804. 8vo signed in 4s (22 cm, 8.625"). Vol. I: xviii, 419, [1 (blank)]
pp.; fold. map; II:  f., iii, [1 (blank)], 403, [1 (blank)] pp.; III: vii,
[1 (blank)], 463, [1 (blank)] pp. (lacking half-title); IV: vii, [1 (blank)],
496 pp. (lacking half-title).
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Translated from the French by William Beaumont for the original
English printing. Really a textbook on the
daily life and culture of ancient Greece, primarily centered
around Athens, this lengthy work is "so written, that the reader may frequently
be induced to imagine he is perusing a work of mere amusement, invention, and
fancy" (p. iii). Footnotes citing a multitude of classical sources back up Barthelemy's
imagined journey, which is illustrated with an attractive engraved map by du
Shaw & Shoemaker 5809. Recently rebound in period-style
tan cloth over light blue paper sides, spines with paper labels. Contemporary
ownership inscription to front fly-leaf in each volume. Map with light offsetting
and short tear just starting along one fold. First 20 leaves of vol. II waterstained
and last 10 foxed; scattered incidences of spotting in all volumes, pages
generally clean. A
nice-looking set, and still as it always was! a work offering
a pleasant way to absorb ancient history. (2736)
Richard. Remarks upon a late discourse of free-thinking: In
a letter to F.H. D.D. by Phileleutherus Lipsiensis. Part the second. London:
John Morphew & E. Curl, 1713. 8vo (19.7 cm, 7.75"). , 82,  pp.
First edition of the second portion of one of the best-known responses to Anthony Collins's landmark Discourse of Free-Thinking. Bentley here takes up where he left off in the first part of the Remarks (considered a crushing rebuttal of Collins's treatise, and of deism as interpreted in the Discourse), moving on to assess many of the citations and classical references from p. 90
onwards of Collins's work. Writers whose words Bentley feels Collins misrepresented include Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Epicurus, Plutarch, Cato, and Cicero.
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ESTC T53381. On Bentley's response to Collins, see: Dictionary of National Biography. Recent marbled paper–covered boards, front cover with gilt-stamped leather title-label. Faint crease lines occasionally visible, pages otherwise clean. (20751)
First Greek O.T. Printed in England
Bible. O.T. Greek. Septuagint. 1653. [four lines in Greek, then] Vetus testamentum graecum. Londini: Rogerus Daniel, 1653. 8vo (17.5 cm, 6.9"). , 1279, , 186,  pp.
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First edition of the Septuagint printed in England, edited by the scholar and Socinian controversialist John Biddle. Two issues of this edition are known to exist: This is a copy of issue B: Further, there are two states of issue B: This is the variant with 16 lines of text in the dedication. The Greek type is small, but readable and elegant.
This edition includes the Scholia, with a separate title-page (“In Sacra Biblia Graeca ex versione LXX. interpretum Scholia; simul et interpretum cæterorum lectiones variantes”); the Old Testament is printed in double-column format, and the title-page in red and black.
Darlow & Moule 4692; ESTC R210989; Wing B2718; Bowes, Catalogue of Cambridge Books, 266; Rumball-Petre 254. Contemporary speckled calf, covers framed in triple blind fillets, spine with gilt-stamped leather title-label (chipped) and blind-tooled ray decorations in head and foot compartments; sides with small scuffs and patches of mild to moderate discoloration, leather chipped at head of spine and nicked at lower front edge, spine leather showing thin cracks. Pastedowns and front free endpaper lacking, back free endpaper and fly-leaves partially excised. Pages trimmed very closely, in a few cases touching headers or first or last letters. Title-page with early inked ownership inscription, lined through. Occasional small ink spots, touching but virtually never obscuring letters; one leaf with three words corrected in an early inked hand; scattered instances of early underlining in colored pencil. Mild age-toning. A landmark of Bible printing in England. (30034)
ROMAN Political Science in itsOriginal State
Bilhon, Jean Fréderic Joseph. Du gouvernement des Romains, considéré sous le rapport de la politique, de la justice, des finances, et du commerce. Paris: Chez Louis (pr. by Pierre Didot l'Ainé), 1807. 8vo (21.2 cm, 8.4"). viii, 312 pp.
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Sole edition, here unopened and uncut in the publisher's paper wrappers, of this treatise on ancient Roman government and economics. Bilhon also published Principes d'administration et d'économie politique des anciens peuples, appliqués aux peuples modernes and Éloge de J.J. Rousseau.
Uncommon: OCLC and NUC Pre-1956 find only eight U.S. holdings.
Goldsmiths'-Kress 19346.100. Publisher's rose paper wrappers, rebacked in paper wrapper edges chipped and hinges (inside) reinforced. Half-title and title-page institutionally rubber-stamped, front pastedown with institutional bookplate and early inked numeral, half-title with small inked ownership inscriptions. Signatures unopened, edges untrimmed; pages age-toned throughout, some with a little foxing; a nice copy. Now housed in a neat rose-maroon cloth clamshell case with gilt-stamped leather title-label. (25268)
A Not-So-Brief History ofTime
Brady, John. Clavis calendaria; or, a compendious analysis of the calendar: Illustrated with ecclesiastical, historical, and classical anecdotes ... second edition. London: Pr. for the author & sold by Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, & Brown, et al., 1812–13. 8vo (21.6 cm, 8.5"). 2 vols. I: xxxvi, 387,  pp.; 1 plt. II: , 395,  pp.
Second edition of this popular survey of the history of time and calendars from the ancient world onwards, following the first edition of 1812. Brady here describes the rituals and lore associated with the regulation of time, in all its divisions and subdivisions; much material from the lives of the saints is present. Allibone quotes the London Quarterly Review's assertion that “Especially to students in divinity and law, [the work] will be an invaluable acquisition; and we hesitate not to declare that, in proportion as its merits become known to the public, it will find its way to the libraries of every gentleman and scholar in the kingdom.” Contemporary opinion seems to have borne that prediction out, as the subscribers list here (carried over from the first edition) is substantial and the work went through several editions in the first few years after its initial publication.
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Vol. I is illustrated with one wood-engraved plate depicting a Saxon almanac, and seven in-text engravings depicting Odin, Frigga, Thor, and the other deities with days named in their honor.
Provenance: Signature on title-pages of George Buckton, vol. I dated 1812 and vol. II dated 1813.
Allibone 237 (listing 1813 & 1814 eds. only); NSTC B4120. Contemporary treed calf, rebacked preserving original spines with gilt-stamped titles, gilt-ruled and -dotted compartment bands, and gilt-stamped compartment decorations; original spine leather chipped, cracked, and darkened as by fire. Covers with corners and edges unobtrusively rubbed; portions nearest spines showing evidence of heat exposure; hinges (inside) reinforced. Front pastedowns each with institutional bookplate, vol. I front pastedown with bookseller's ticket and affixed early cataloguing slip, vol. I back pastedown and vol. II front pastedown with inked library inscription. Title-pages with inked ownership inscriptions as above. Offsetting from plate and to endpapers from binding, pages otherwise clean though with all edges (i.e., of closed book) darkened. A particularly handsome exemplar of popular scholarship of the day. (25436)
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