ATHENAEUS of Naucratis (fl. c.200 A.D.). Deiphosophistae, in Greek. Edited by Marcus Musurus. Venice: Aldus Manutius and Andreas Torresanus, August 1514.
Super-chancery 2° (326 x 215mm). Collation and contents as Christie's 3 May 1995, lot 63. 167 (of 168, without blank B10) leaves, paginated. Aldine device (Fletcher no. f4) on first and last pages. Greek type 3bis: 90 (text), italic 1:80 (dedication) roman 12:90 (incidental). 45 lines and 2 headlines. Initial spaces with guide-letters. (One marginal tear expertly repaired, small wormhole in final leaves, some neatly filled.) Early 19th-century English red morocco, sides gold-tooled with Aldine dolphin device at centre, spine gilt in compartments, blue glazed endpapers, gilt edges, possibly by Charles Lewis (light fading at spine and upper edge, very lightly rubbed at extremities). Provenance: Count Karoly Imre Sandor de Reviczky (?, cat. p.62); George John, Earl Spencer (modern red leather booklabel); Manchester, John Rylands University Library (bookplate and deaccession label, sale Sotheby's 14 April 1988, lot 11).
EDITIO PRINCEPS of Athenaeus' only extant work. The title means 'men learned in the arts of the banquet', and the banquet is the forum for 23 learned men, some with the names of real persons, such as Galen and Ulpian, to discuss philosophy, literature, law, medicine and other disciplines. It also contains much practical detail pertaining to ancient food, wine and dining customs, with many anecdotes deriving from now lost authors. Aldus began to plan a Greek edition of Athenaeus soon after establishing his press; a one-page proof of an unrealised edition, printed in Aldus's second Greek type (first used in 1496) and containing the epitome of book 1, survives at the Pierpont Morgan Library (C. Bhler, 'Aldus Manutius and the Printing of Athenaeus,' Gutenberg-Jahrbuch 1955, pp.104-6). Adams A-2096; Ahmanson-Murphy Aldine Collection at UCLA 105; Hoffmann I, 394; Renouard p.67; Vicaire 50.