[HOMER] -- [Commentary on the Iliad]. Homeri interpres pervetustus, in Greek. Edited by Janus Lascaris (1445-1535). Rome: in Gymnasio Mediceo Caballini montis [Vittore Carmelio and Zacharias Kallierges? for Angelo Colocci], 1517.
4o (252 x 190 mm). Collation: s8 s10 s10. 172 leaves. Greek and roman types. 3-line initial spaces, some with guide letters. (Tiny worm-track in gutter of first 4 leaves, occasional light foxing.) Early-18th-century English gold-tooled red morocco, bound for the Earl of Pembroke, sides with small border rolls, spine gilt, black morocco lettering-piece, gilt edges, later paper shelf-mark label at foot of spine.
Provenance: 17th-century Greek marginal notes in first quire (cropped) -- Thomas Herbert, eighth Earl of Pembroke (1656-1733), statesman, President of the Royal Society (1689-90): binding, instructions to binder on flyleaf -- [Hesketh & Ward] -- [Lathrop Harper]
FIRST EDITION of Janus Lascaris' edition of the ancient notes on the Iliad commonly but erroneously known as the Didymus scholia. This is the first of five books produced between 1517 and 1520 for Angelo Colocci, patron of Greek printing at Rome, at the press of the short-lived Collegium Graecum founded by Leo X in 1513 for the education of young Greeks. The college was directed by Lascaris, "arguably the greatest of all Greek scholars of the first generation after the fall of Constantinople" (Barker, Greek Script & Type, p. 15). All the editions of the Collegium are printed in the types used by Lascaris for the editions that he had produced at Florence; presumably Lascaris brought to Rome a set of matrices or punches of this type, which were, according to Barker (p. 75), cut by the eminent Cretan printer Zacharias Kallierges.
Kallierges had left Venice in 1514 and set up his second press in Rome, printing editions of Pindar, Theocritus, and the Greek Horae for Cornelio Benigno, the chancellor of Agostino Chigi. Kallierges was also involved in the Collegium, and the last of the Collegium editions gives his name in the imprint. On these grounds, and because during this period Kallierges ceased printing from his own types, Barker argues that Kallierges probably came to Rome at the behest of the Collegium in order to direct their press. He would have been assisted by Vittorio Carmelio, described as magister stampator Graechus in a document in the Vatican archives recording that he received a salary from the Vatican from 22 September 1515 until 30 July 1517 (Anthony Hobson, "The printer of the Greek editions 'In Gymnasio Mediceo ad Caballinum montem,'" in Studi di biblioteconomia e storia del libro in onore di Francesco Barberi, Rome 1976, pp. 331-335).
A FINE COPY. Adams D-440; Isaac 12303; Legrand 56.