ETYMOLOGICUM MAGNUM GRAECUM -- \KEtumologikon mega\k. Edited by Marcus Musurus (c.1470-1517). With poems by Musurus and Johannes Gregoropoulos. Venice: Zacharias Kallierges, first press, for Nicolaos Blastos and Anna Notaras, 8 July 1499.
Super-royal 2o (416 x 276 mm). Collation: A10 B-[omega] AA-CC8 [should be Greek cap Gamma, cap F without small extention] \KDD\k6 (A1r Greek verse by Musurus and Gregoropoulos, A1v editor's preface, A2r text, \kDD\K5v colophon, \kDD\K6r register, \kDD\K6v blank). 224 leaves. Type 1:121Gk. 50 lines, double column. Woodcut headpieces (3 blocks in 12, 10 and 1 impressions), one to each section of the alphabet (23) except \Ku\k, woodcut devices of Blastos and Kallierges, 10- and 5-line woodcut initials. All woodcuts, headings, brackets, capital to each entry and signatures in first quire printed in red, the red printed before the black. (First leaf with margins extended, lower corner of margin \KP\k1 repaired, a few minor marginal repairs, some very minor marginal soiling or pale spotting.) Early 19th-century blind-paneled and -tooled calf, edges gilt, perhaps by Lubbock of Newcastle or an Aberdeen binder (rebacked preserving backstrip, corners repaired, some scratches). Provenance: a few neat early marginal annotations -- Acquired from John Fleming, 1968.
FIRST EDITION of a 12th-century etymological dictionary published to serve as a reference book for the reading of poetry, especially Homer. THIS EDITION IS KALLIERGES' FIRST TYPOGRAPHICAL PRODUCTION. It was an all-Greek enterprise, with editor, printer and one of the publishers all being Cretan. It took Kallierges five years to develop this Greek fount, whereas Blastos solved the problem of casting accents in one piece with a letter to create different sorts. (Aldine type mostly included separately cast accents.) For full discussions of Musurus's preface and verse, the privilege taken out by the partnership with the Venetian authorities, the technicalities of casting the Greek type and accents, and Aldus's role in marketing the book, see Proctor, Printing of Greek and Barker, Greek Script & Type. The paper for this edition is an uncommon size, between royal and imperial, and may have been specially commissioned from the mill for this edition. LARGE COPY. HC *6691; GW 9426; BMC V, 580 (IC. 24733-35); IGI 3720; Sander 7710; Essling 1184; Legrand I, 23; Goff E-112.