JUSTINUS, Marcus Junianus (3rd century?). Epitome in Trogi Pompeii Historias Philippicas. Venice: Nicolaus Jenson, 1470.
Royal half-sheet 4° (271 x 189mm). Collation: [1-1410] (1/1r preface, 1/1v Liber primus, 14/10r colophon, 14/10v blank). 138 leaves (of 140, lacking 5/5.6). 30 lines. Type 1:115R. 1/1r with later illuminated 6-line initial, gold on a ground of blue, with coloured foliate spray into margin, and later illuminated coat-of arms of argent and vert in pale, three nails pairle counter-charged, other initial spaces of 2- to 6-lines filled with red or blue initials. (First few leaves thumb-soiled, occasional browning, 8/3r stained, small but heavy stain affecting lower outer corners almost throughout, a few other marginal stains near end, 10/3 with partially repaired tear at outer margin, final leaf with repairs on verso.) 17th-century crimson morocco, gilt triple fillet, gilt spine with repeated floral motif, gilt and marbled edges (joints split, some scuff marks, spine frayed at head and foot). Provenance: coat-of-arms on 1/1r (unidentified) -- Edward Vernon Utterson (1776-1856, book label, note of his purchase from Payne and Foss in 1844 on front blank, the same blank with erased pencil inscription, two quotations from Dibdin in ink, and a further note stating 'a copy of this work produced £31.10 in the Paris sale') -- Sir Thomas Phillipps (1792-1872, ink shelf mark 4957 altered in pencil to 5143, on front free endpaper).
FIRST EDITION of one of the four earliest books, all dated 1470, printed by Nicolaus Jenson, second printer at Venice; with Jenson's type, Bruce Rogers considered 'the roman letter was done once, perfectly, and for all time.' Justinus' epitome of the Historia Philippica by Pompeius Trogus was made about the third century. The original work was a great universal history of the first century A.D., valued for its concentration on the history of peoples outside Italy, and including a description of the Macedonian empire founded by Philip and greatly expanded by Alexander. As it does not survive, the Epitome of Justinus has become the most significant witness to Hellenistic historiography. H 9647; BMC V, 167 (IB. 19615); Pell 6890; IGI 5552; Flodr, Iustinus 1; Goff J-613.