• Valuable Manuscripts and Print auction at Christies

    Sale 7760

    Valuable Manuscripts and Printed Books

    24 November 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 69

    ORPHEUS -- Argonautica. -Hymni. -PROCLUS (410/12-485). Hymni. All texts in Greek. Edited by Benedictus Ricardinus. Florence: [?Bartolommeo di Libri] for Philippus Giunta, 19 September 1500.

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    ORPHEUS -- Argonautica. -Hymni. -PROCLUS (410/12-485). Hymni. All texts in Greek. Edited by Benedictus Ricardinus. Florence: [?Bartolommeo di Libri] for Philippus Giunta, 19 September 1500.

    Median 4° (227 x 173mm). Collation: \Ka-x\k8 \Kh\k4 (\Ka\k1 Argonautica, \Kd\k3r Hymns, \Kh\k1 Proclus's Hymns, \Kh\k3r Latin colophon, 3v-4 blank). 52 leaves, with the final blank. 28 lines. Type: 4:121Gk (text), 1:97R (colophon). Woodcut decorative headpiece and initial opening each Orphic text printed in red. (First leaf lightly spotted and with ?stamp washed, faint marginal dampstain at end.) 19th-century English blue straight-grained morocco gilt, flat spine with Grecian urn motif (lightly rubbed).

    EDITIO PRINCEPS of both Orphic texts and Proclus's hymns. Now known to be of later date, the fragments of poems printed here were considered the work of a poet and theologian, Orpheus. According to St. Augustine, Orpheus was one of the few Greeks who could claim antiquity greater than the Hebrew poets, and so his works were accorded particular respect by Renaissance humanists. They were among the earliest texts translated by Marsilio Ficino. Constantine Lascaris lectured on them and was possibly involved in preparing the present edition (cf. Hoffmann Legrand, Bibliographie hellénique I, 1885, lxxxvi). HC *12106; BMC VI, 690 (IB. 28063a-b); BSB-Ink O-87; CIBN O-65; Hoffmann III, 31; IGI 7039; Sander 5229; Proctor, Printing of Greek, pp.66, 70; Goff O-103.


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