21 June 2004
PLATO. Opera quae extant omnia, [Paris or Geneva]: Henri Estienne, 1578. 3 volumes, 2°, woodcut devices on titles, headpieces, initials (some minor worming at front of vol. I, some light browning), 17th-century speckled calf (joints split, rubbed and scuffed).
FIRST COMPLETE EDITION which boasted a newly established Greek text, collated from manuscripts and earlier editions of Plato, and a new latin translation from Jean de Serres, which Estienne himself revised and corrected. This edition remained the indispensable instrument for Platonic studies for two centuries. 'Of all Henri Estiennes' publications the Plato is perhaps the most lavishly decorated: besides numerous woodcut initials, culs-de-lampe, and a striking elaborate title-device, it is the only publication in which Estienne used his entire series of decorative headpieces. Although this sumptuous Plato further contributed to Estienne's financial ruin it is also (after the Thesaurus) the work which most contributed to his fame' (Schreiber p.170). Adams P1439; Schreiber 201.
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