ETYMOLOGICUM MAGNUM GRAECUM -- \kEtymologikon mega\K. Edited by Marcus Musurus (c.1470-1517). With poems by Musurus and Johannes Gregoropoulos, Venice: Zacharias Kallierges, first press, for Nikolaos Blastos and Anna Notaras, 8 July 1499.
Super-median 2° (393 x 273mm). Collation: A10 B-ς AA-ΓΓ8 ΔΔ6 (A1r Greek verse by Musurus and Gregoropoulos, A1v editor's preface, A2r text, ΔΔ5v colophon, ΔΔ6r register, ΔΔ6v blank). 224 leaves. Type 1:121Gk. 50 lines, double column. Woodcut headpieces (3 blocks in 12, 10 and 1 impressions), one to each section of the alphabet (23) except υ, woodcut devices of Bastos and Kallierges, 10- and 5-line woodcut initials. All woodcuts, headings, brackets, capital to each entry and signatures in first quire printed in red. (Light ink stain on one leaf, corner of final leaf torn.) 16th-century blindtooled calf over pasteboard, possibly Swiss, sides panelled, outer border of wyvern roll, central panel of vertical floral and foliate rolls (rebacked, rubbed, corners restored, without 4 ties). Provenance: Agostino Giustiniani, Bishop of Nebbio (1470-1536, inscription on first leaf, partly deleted) -- two early inscriptions on flyleaf (deleted) -- Alice Millard 1934 (sold to Estelle Doheny, $690) -- Estelle Doheny (bookplate, sale Christie's NY, 22 October 1987, lot 110).
IMPORTANT ASSOCIATION COPY OF THE FIRST EDITION of a 12th-century etymological dictionary published to serve as a reference book for the reading of poetry, especially Homer. It was owned by Agostino Giustiniani, Bishop of Nebbio, who was both editor and publisher of the 1516 Genoa Polyglot Psalter. This edition is Kallierges' first typographical production. It was an all-Greek enterprise, with editor, printer and one of the publishers all being Cretan. It took Kallierges five years to develop this Greek fount, whereas Blastos solved the problem of casting accents in one piece with a letter to create different sorts. (Aldine type mostly included separately cast accents.) For full discussions of Musurus's preface and verse, the privilege taken out by the partnership with the Venetian authorities, the technicalities of casting the Greek type and accents, and Aldus's role in marketing the book, see Proctor, Printing of Greek and Barker, Greek Script & Type. The paper for this edition is an uncommon size, between royal and imperial, and may have been specially commissioned from the mill for this edition. HC *6691; GW 9426; BMC V, 580 (IC. 24733-35); IGI 3720; Sander 7710; Essling 1184; Legrand I, 23; Goff E-112.