14 December 2000
Property of a Northeast Collector
AESCHYLUS (525-456 B.C.). Tragoediae sex, in Greek. Edited by Franciscus Asulanus. Venice: Andreas Torresanus at the Aldine Press, February 1518.
Aldine 8o (158 x 100 mm). Greek type, editor's Latin preface to the reader in italic type. Woodcut device on title-page and final verso. (Traces of adhesion at gutter of title-leaf, slight discoloration to first and last leaves.) 19th-century English red straight-grained morocco, arms of the Earl of Malmesbury gold stamped on sides within single gilt fillet border, smooth spine gilt panelled with a crowned eagle tooled at top, turn-ins gilt, gilt edges (slight wear to corners and extremities of spine); morocco-backed slipcase and folding chemise. Provenance: James Harris, 1st Earl of Malmesbury (1746-1820), Hurn Court library (binding, sale Christie's, 30 March 1050, lot 404, to Scribners).
EDITIO PRINCEPS. Aeschylus was the last of the major Greek literary authors to be printed. "The Aldine press issued the Greek text in 1518; but its linguistic difficulty was so great that many passages defied the editor's efforts to make the poetry intelligible" (Wilson, p. 158). The manuscript used was defective, lacking the end of Agamemnon and the beginning of Coephores, which led Asulanus to mistakenly conflate the two into a single play.
A pretty copy with ample margins. Adams A-262; Ahmanson-Murphy 143; Renouard 85.9
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