ARISTOTLE (384-322 B.C.) Opera, in Greek. With works by Galen (129-199? A.D.), Theophrastus (ca. 370 - ca. 287 B.C.), Philo Judaeus (ca. 30 B.C. - 45 A.D.), Alexander Aphrodisiensis (fl. early 3rd century A.D.) and other authors. Edited by Aldus, Thomas Linacre, Justin Decadyos, Gabriel Bracius and others. Venice: Aldus Manutius, 1 November 1495 - June 1498.
Aldine 2o (303 x 203mm [vol.1], 306 x 205mm [vol.2], 296 x 203mm [vol.3], 301 x 201mm [vol.4], 297 x 200mm [vol.5]). Collation and contents as in the Botfield copy (Christie's London, 30 March 1994, lot 39), except: vol.3 without the blank conjugate of P0+1 and without the blank XX8 but with the mounted errata slip on kk10v, the blank 1/2 present in vol.4, the first 228 leaves of vol.4 (quires 1, aaa-DDD) bound with vol.1. 234, 300, 466, 520, 330 leaves. Types 1:146Gk (text), 3:108R (vol.1 colophon and contents table), 4:81R (vol.1 dedication), 2:114R and 7:114Gk (other dedications). 30 lines and headline (no headlines in vol.1). Numerous woodcut floral and interlace headpieces and Greek initials, woodcut diagram (vol.1, I1r). (The first leaf creased, a few leaves slightly browned or foxed, occasional unobtrusive mostly marginal spots or stains, one small wormhole in the margin of vol.1 quires m-s, ca. 10 leaves with small tears in margins not touching text, 2 leaves (vol.1, e6; vol.2, t3) with old paper mends in margins.) 17th- or early-18th-century French red morocco, spines gilt (18th-century lettering-pieces, vol.2 labelled vol.3, vol. 3 labelled vol.2, edges somewhat worn, neat repairs to some joints, corners and headcaps).
Provenance: the Politics (vol.5) annotated in Latin by a 17th-century owner; Louis-Emery Bigot of Rouen (1626-89), editor, collector of classical literature and Aldine editions (engraved armorial bookplate in vols. 2 and 5; 1706 Paris sale).
EDITIO PRINCEPS OF ARISTOTLE and of all the other texts included. The Aldine Aristotle was the largest venture of Greek printing in the fifteenth century and the first major objective of Aldus's program to publish Greek literature in the original language. These five volumes include all the then-known works attributed to Aristotle and his pupil Theophrastus, as well as other works associated with the Aristotelian corpus. With the addition of Aristotle's Rhetoric and Poetics (published by Aldus in the Rhetores graeci of 1508) and Theophrastus's Characters (edited by Willibald Pirckheimer in 1527), the Aldine edition of Aristotle determined the text of these two authors until the nineteenth century. In preparing this edition, Aldus relied on manuscripts located or copied by contemporary Greek scholars in Italy; a number of these sources survive and form the basis for studying the editing of the Aldine Aristotle (see Martin Sicherl, Handschriftliche Vorlagen der Editio princeps des Aristoteles, Mainz 1976). The first two Aldine Greek types (146 and 114mm), both represented here, were cut by Francesco Griffo and were apparently modelled on the hand of Immanuel Rhusotas; many accents were cast separately and set through vertical kerning (see N. Barker, Aldus Manutius and the Development of Greek Script and Type in the Fifteenth Century, New York 1992, ch. 6 and 7).
FINE COMPLETE SET. Goff A-959; BMC V, 553 (IB. 24392-95), 556 (IB. 24431-33), 555 (IB. 24423-25), 556 (IB. 24435-37), 558 (IB. 24463-65); BSB Ink. A-698; CIBN A-504; Essling 862; Flodr, Aristoteles 1; GW 2334; HC *1657; IDL 405; IGI 791; Klebs 83.1; Oates 2162-4, 2172, 2170, 2173-4, 2182; Pellechet 1175; Polain 289; Proctor 5547, 5553, 5555, 5556, 5565; Sander 591; Stillwell Science 570; Dibner Heralds 73; Grolier Medicine 2; Osler 229; PMM 38; Renouard Alde 7.5, 10.1, 11.2, 11.3, 16.1; Wellcome 414; Norman 70. (5)