LAZIUS, Wolfgang (1514-1565). Comment[arium] rerum Graecarum libri II. In quibus tam Helladis quam Peloponnesi, quae in lucem antea non venerunt, explicantur. [Vienna:? Raphael Hoffhalter,] 1558. 2° (369 x 257mm). Title printed in red within a large historiated woodcut border, which recalls Lazius’ commentaries on Austrian history and other works, dedication printed in red surrounded by the etched imperial arms, 3 woodcut plates of Greek coins, note to the reader within a hand-drawn frame of Renaissance ornaments containing scrolls, dolphins, fruit and cherubs, 2 large double-page folding etched maps, one of Greece (including the Peloponnese and coast of Asia Minor) in book I and one just of the Peloponnese in book II, both with an additional description within a large etched border pasted on blank front of map. (Margins of title lightly soiled, first map with discolouration from the pasted slip, light worming in inner gutter of a few leaves at beginning, a few margins lightly waterstained, last gathering browned, light spotting.) Contemporary limp vellum, manuscript title on spine (a little warped, with a few light stains). Provenance: Bibliothek Oberherrlingen (bookplate) – manuscript inscription (foot of title).
SCARCE FIRST EDITION of this history of Greece, one of the earliest works to contain etched maps. The second edition was published without illustrations. Wolfgang Lazius or Laz was an Austrian physician, cartographer and humanist. The maps, drawn by Lazius himself as he states in the dedication, are highly attractive and contain a wealth of information and detail. The first is based on Ptolemy, the second on Italian models. There is no mention of a place of publication or publisher in the work. Adams suggests that it was published by Andreas Wechel in Frankfurt am Main but that seems rather unlikely as Wechel was still printing in Paris until 1572. Graesse lists Vienna as the place of publication which is supported by VD 16 and Karrow, who list Raphael Hoffhalter as the publisher. Adams L-346; Graesse IV, 130; Karrow 49/G; VD online 16 L 846.