8 - 9 October 2001
SEXTUS EMPIRICUS (2nd and 3rd centuries A.D.) Pyrrhoniarum hypotypωseωn libri III. Translated by Henri Estienne. Geneva: Henri Estienne, 1562.
8o (169 x 108 mm). Collation: A-S8. Printer's device (Schreiber 15) on title. 19th-century calf ruled in blind and gilt by Thouvenin, gilt edges (light rubbing to joints). Provenance: purchased from Thulins Antikvariat, Stockholm, May 1967.
FIRST EDITION of Henri Estienne's Latin translation, "which is also the first appearance in print of this influential work by Sextus Empiricus, Greek physician and Sceptic philosopher, the original Greek text was not printed until 1621. The book is among Henri Estienne's rarest; this rarity is undoubtedly due to the book's great popularity: it is the book which introduced Scepticism into French thought--it was from Sextus, and in fact, from Henri Estienne's Latin translation, that Montaigne derived the Sceptic formulas with which he adorned the joints and rafters of his library... The volume opens with an important autobiographical preface by Estienne, addressed to the magistrate and diplomatist Henri de Mesmes (1532-1596), in which he speaks of his fits of depression." (Schreiber). Starting in 1558 Henri Estienne called himself "Huldrici Fuggeri typographus" ("Ulrich Fugger's printer") on the title page. For a period of ten years he received generous financial backing from the heirs of Augsburgs banking family. Adams S-1027; Schreiber The Estiennes 149.
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