21 May 2014
HERODOTUS (c.490 - c.425 B.C.). [Histories, in Greek.] Edited by Aldus Manutius (c.1452-1515). Venice: Aldus Manutius, September 1502.
Aldine 2º (318 x 204mm). Ruled in red. Collation: AA-RR8 SS4 (AA1r Greek and Latin title, printer's woodcut anchor-and-dolphin device [Fletcher 2a], AA1v dedicatory letter, AA2r text, SS4r register and colophon, SS4v device [Fletcher 2]). 140 leaves. Greek types 3:84 (text) and 4:79 (dedication), italic type 1:80 (title, dedication), roman type 10:82 (register, colophon). 55 lines and headline, initial-spaces with guide-letters. (Title lightly yellowed and with light soiling, faint dampstain in the inside margin throughout with many leaves neatly strengthened and repairing occasional losses in this margin, the last few leaves with small dampstain and repairs in the top margin.) Early 19th-century diced calf, sides ruled in gilt (rebacked preserving part of original spine). Provenance: 'Sum Adami Clerici et amicorum liber' (inscription on binder's blank).
EDITIO PRINCEPS of Herodotus's history of the Persian Wars, one of the most important texts edited by the great scholar-printer-publisher himself. Aldus claims in the dedication that he corrected the text from multiple exemplars, one of the few instances where such a claim by him is justified and can be verified. He was the first to have access to the 'Florentine' codices, where Valla had used the so-called Roman family of manuscripts for his translation. The printer's copy was discovered in Nuremberg by Brigitte Mondrain in 1993 (Scriptorium 49 , pp. 263-273). The Herodotus was designed to match the Aldine Thucydides of four months earlier: they share a paper stock, all types and the number of lines per page. Isaac 12782; Renouard 35.8; Murphy 50; Sansoviniana 67; Laurenziana 64; Dionisotti & Orlandi XL.
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Sarah van Welden
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