POLYBIUS (205?-125? B.C.). Historiarum libri qui supersunt, in Greek and Latin. Edited by Isaac Casaubon. Paris: Jérome Drouard, 1609.
2° (354 x 221mm). 45-page dedicatory preface by Casaubon to King Henri IV of France, 10-page comment on the Latin translation by Casaubon, 1-page corrigenda, Latin and Greek text in double column, title printed in red and black, separate title to commentary of Aeneas Tacticus, printer's device on both titles, head- and tailpieces, historiated and decorative initials. (Short tear into text in last leaf.) 18th-century calf, gilt spine with elephant crest in each compartment, leather titling label in second (rubbed, a few chips in spine, short splits in front hinge). Provenance: Isaac Casaubon (1559-1614), presented to "amico intimo" Didier Hérauld (ca.1575-1649, 2 leaves of MS tables in Greek and Latin, underlinings in text and occasional marginal annotations); purchase inscription "de Mr. Man Libraire le 5e fevrier 1650" on front pastedown; Sir Andrew Fountaine (binding).
PRESENTATION COPY OF THE FIRST COMPLETE GREEK EDITION OF POLYBIUS and the editio princeps of Aeneas Tacticus. Casaubon determined to edit and translate the works of Polybius in 1595, and his appointment as Librarian to the Royal Library in 1605 gave him access to a collection of Greek manuscripts which was second only to the Vatican. Casaubon used a recent manuscript as the basis for his Greek text, and poured his energy into the Latin translation. Writing to Ritterhusius, he stated that work on the Polybius had been his "refuge and solace". The great 19th-century editor of Polybius, Schweighäuser, wrote that "there is not a page of it which does not show how much Polybius owes to the learning and sagacity of that industrious editor" (Pattison p.224). The extended Latin dedication to Henri IV was considered a masterpiece of modern Latin.
The present copy was given by Casaubon to Didier Hérauld, a close friend who was, like Casaubon, a Greek scholar and a Protestant. Hérauld was professor of Greek at the Protestant academy at Sedan, a centre of refuge where the duc de Bouillon held court, and his manuscript notes show a careful reading of Casaubon's Polybius. Hérauld and Casaubon corresponded, visited each other, and Casaubon was godfather to Hérauld's son, Isaac. Brunet IV: 789; M. Pattison, Isaac Casaubon, London: 1875, pp.231-227.