11 - 13 July 2000
DIONYSIUS Halicarnassensis (fl. 30-8 B.C.). Antiquitates romanae. Translated from Greek into Latin by Lapus Biragus. Treviso: Bernardinus Celerius, 24 or 25 February 1480.
Chancery 2° (295 x 205mm). Collation: [110 2-78 8-96 10-378 386] (1/1 blank, 1/2r dedication, 1/4r text, 38/6r translator's postscript and colophon, 38/6v blank). 299 leaves (of 300, without first blank); 1/5.6 possibly supplied from another copy. 37 lines, shoulder notes. Type: 1:113R. ILLUMINATED BY A CONTEMPORARY ITALIAN ARTIST, the dedication leaf with gold dots and frame incorporating 9-line initial and wide floral border with coat-of-arms, first text leaf with 9-line initial and extensions, and 11 initials in gold and colours opening each book. (Repaired tear in 15/3, marginal paper flaw in 21/5, one other neat marginal tear, a few initials lightly rubbed or smudged, the arms somewhat rubbed.) English early 19th-century red morocco, wide gilt border with inner border tooled in blind, gilt spine, marbled endpapers, gilt edges (board edges lightly scuffed). Provenance: occasional contemporary marginal notes; Sir John Hayford Thorold, Syston Park (1773-1831, Syston Park armorial and monogrammatic bookplates, sale 12 December 1884).
FIRST EDITION of Dionysius of Halicarnassus' history of Rome from its beginnings to the First Punic War. It is the first dated book printed by the itinerant printer Celerius at Treviso; Celerius had previously printed briefly at Venice and Padua. At least six variants of the final paragraph and colophon have been recorded, but no priority of issue has been determined. The colophon of the present copy corresponds to the British Library copy IB.28412b, but with the author's name in the previous line given as 'LAMPUS'. HC *6239; BMC VI, 895 (IB.28412b); GW 8423; Goff D-250.
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