24 November 2009
SOPHOCLES (c.496-406 B.C.) Tragaediae septem cum commentariis, in Greek. Venice: Aldus Manutius, August 1502 [or the following winter].
Aldine 8° (153 x 93 mm). 196 leaves, including 3 blanks. Woodcut Aldine device on verso of final leaf. (Sometime washed, occasional faint dampstaining, a few leaves with light browning or spotting.) 20th-century flexible vellum. Provenance: early Latin marginalia with subsequent early (?) Greek marginalia throughout (slightly cropped) -- Giovanni Baptista Pinelli (ink stamp to title).
EDITIO PRINCEPS, of fundamental importance both textually and typographically. The Aldine edition remained the most readily available source for study of Sophocles's text until the 19th century. The edition was the first Greek book issued in Aldus's portable format, and uses the smallest and most delicate of the Aldine greek types. 'By any standard it is a masterpiece' (N. Barker, Aldus Manutius, New York 1992, p. 89). Adams S-1438; Norman 1976; Renouard Alde 34:6.
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