DEMOSTHENES (c. 384-322 B.C.). Orationes, in Greek. - LIBANIUS (314-c.393, attributed to). Arguments. -Vita Demosthenis. - PLUTARCH. Vita Demosthenis. Edited by Aldus Manutius and Scipio Carteromachus. Venice: Aldus Manutius and Andreas Torresanus, November 1504.
2 parts in one volume, 2° (281 x 183mm). Collation: \Kp\k10 (1r title in Greek and Latin, Aldine anchor device, 1v Aldus's address to Daniel Clario, 4r Plutarch's Life of Demosthenes in Greek, 10v blank); aa4 bb-xx8 A-S8 T4 (aa1r second title, Aldine anchor device, aa1v blank, aa2r preface by Scipione Forteguerri (Carteromachus) in Greek, aa2v table of contents, aa3r Libanius's life of Demosthenes, AA4v Libanius's argument, bb1r orations and arguments, T1r list of variants found in the 3 MSS collated for the edition, T3v register and colophon, T4 blank). 322 leaves. 47 lines and headline. Aldine device (Fletcher f1) on both titles. Contemporary Flemish or northern French 2- to 7-line camaïeu d'or branch initials in gold on pink, purple or blue ground with gold modelling, over printed guide-letters. (Small dampstain at upper hinge to quire gg with small repair in title, a few initials rubbed, small repaired marginal wormtrack in final leaves.) English gold-tooled blue morocco, c. 1830s, wide border of small tools on sides, spines similarly tooled, scarlet glazed endpapers, edges gilt and gauffered earlier to a diapered design.
EDITIO PRINCEPS. The greatest of the Athenian orators, Demosthenes was studied by Cicero, and Quintilian exhorted students of rhetoric not only to study but to commit to memory his speeches. Individual orations had already appeared in print, notably Demosthenes' masterpiece, De corona, in editions of Cicero's De Oratore (GW 6750-2). As Aldus states in his address to Daniel Clario, his work on Demosthenes had occupied him for three years, owing to numerous interruptions, but that he issued it at last, in a small number of copies. Perhaps owing to the small initial print-run, the work was reprinted c.1520-27 (though still dated in print '1504'). The first edition (most easily recognised by the Aldine device) is considerably rarer than the reprint. Adams D-259; Ahmanson-Murphy 69; Bigliazzi, Laurenziana 89a; Hoffmann I, p.506; Renouard 47:7.