20 November 2002
HIEROCLES of Alexandria (fl. 408-50). In aureos versus Pythagorae opusculum. Translated by Joannes Aurispa (1376-1459). Rome: Arnoldus Pannartz, 21 September 1475.
Imperial 8° (250 x 144mm). Collation: [1-108 11-126] (1/1r translator's address to Pope Nicholas V, 1/3r text, 12/5v colophon, 12/6r register, 12/6v blank). 92 leaves. 24 lines. Type: 2:115R. 2- to 4-line initial spaces. (First page lightly soiled, light marginal staining in final quire, very occasional marginal wormhole.) Contemporary Italian goatskin, blindstamped with ropework tools, slightly rubbed and scratched, repairs to head and foot of spine, lacking clasps, pastedowns from a legal document on vellum. Provenance: some early marginal annotations -- inscription on front pastedown 'Vtini IX Kal. Junij, 1657'.
SECOND EDITION. This is the major work of the neoplatonic philosopher Hierocles of Alexandria, a commentary on the Golden Verses of the Pythagoreans, consisting of a synopsis of Pythagorean doctrine. It was intended as an introduction to philosophy, which Hierocles defines at the beginning of the work as 'a purification and perfection of natural life: a purification from our irrational, material nature and the mortal form of the body, a perfection in the recovery of our proper happiness, leading to divine likeness'. This is an unusually wide-margined copy, retaining a few deckle edges. H 8546; BMC IV, 61 (IA. 17917); CIBN H-89; Klebs 516.2; Goff H-152.
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