7 June 2006
ERASMUS, Desiderius (c.1466-1536). Apopthegmatum, sive Scite Dictorum. Basel: Hieronymus Froben, Johannes Hervagius, and Nicolaus Episcopius, March 1531.
4° (206 x 153mm). Roman type, some Greek. Woodcut printer's device on title and a larger version on final verso, historiated initials. 16th-century German pigskin over pastepaper boards, panelled with blind roll tools, missing fore-edge ties (spine darkened, extremities a little worn). Provenance: Maximilian Ilsungus, 1563 (inscription; some annotations) -- A. ?Sachtleben (18th-century inscription).
FIRST EDITION. Although ostensibly a translation from Greek of Plutarch and other classical authors, the Apopthegmatum is generally considered an original work by Erasmus, since he expands his role from translator to commentator. He addressed it to William Duke of Cleves as a study aid useful to princes, and it was much mined for classical quotations by contemporary and later authors. Erasmus used the Aldine Plutarch as a source, emending and correcting it before translating it. Cf. Rummel, Erasmus as Translator of the Classics, 1985, pp. 120-125. Bezzel 194.
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