13 June 2002
PORPHYRIUS (233-c.305). Homericarum quaestionum liber, in Greek. -De Nympharum antro, in Greek. Edited by Janus Lascaris (1445-1535). Rome: [Vittore Carmelio and/or Zacharias Callierges] at the press of the Greek Gymnasium ('in gymnasio Mediceo ad Caballinum montem'), 1518.
4° (197 x 134mm). Collation: \Ka\k10 \Kb-e\k8 \Kf\k2 (\Ka\k1r title in Greek and Latin, \Ka\k1v Greek verse by Lascaris, \Ka\k2r text). 44 leaves. 25 lines. Type: Alopa Greek type 5c:111 with large and small capitals, and Roman type 81. (Single marginal wormhole filled in final leaves.) English gold-tooled blue-grey hard-grained morocco, c.1830, gilt edges (very lightly spotted). Provenance: Medici Palatine Library (armorial stamp on title) -- 'MD' stamped on title.
EDITIO PRINCEPS. It is one of only a handful of books printed at the press of the Greek College at Rome (see lot 24). The College was was founded in 1513 with the support of Pope Leo X (Giovanni de' Medici) and under the direction of Janus Lascaris. Three years later it began to issue Greek texts, using Greek types designed by Lascaris and used 20 years previously at Florence by Lorenzo di Alopa. Cf. A. Hobson 'The Printer of the Greek Editions "In gymnasio Mediceo ad Caballinum montem"', Studi di biblioteconomia e storia del libro in onore di Francesco Barberi, Rome: 1976: 331-335; E. Layton, The 16th-century Greek Book in Italy, pp.323-329; D.E. Rhodes, 'The Printing of a Group of Greek Books in Rome', Studies in Early Italian Printing, London: 1982, pp. 111-113.
RARE. Adams P-1919; Brunet IV: 823; Hoffmann III, p.283 (describing it as 8° with 44 lvs.); Isaac 12304.
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