17 April 2000
RHETORES GRAECI -- Rhetores in hoc volumine habentur hi. Aphthonii Sophistae Progymnasmata.... Venice: Aldo Manuzio, November 1508.
Volume 1 only (of 2). Royal 4o (285 x 185 mm). Latin title with large woodcut Aldine anchor device, publisher's Latin dedication to Janus Lascaris, Greek table of contents, Demetrios Ducas' prefatory letter and all texts in Greek. (Title lightly soiled and with several discreetly repaired wormholes, some occasional pale marginal browning). Early 19th-century calf-backed boards (worn, spine cracking). Provenance: contemporary marginalia at end of prefatory letter and on first leaf of the first work -- Ezequiel Leguina (modern pencil note on front pastedown stating that the book belonged to him) .
EDITIO PRINCEPS of this highly important collection of Greek texts on the theory of oratory. This work includes the two major omissions from the Aldine Aristotle of 1495-98, the Poetics and Rhetoric, and rhetorical treatises by Aphthonius, Hermogenes, Sopater, Dionysius Halicarnassus, Demetrius of Phalerum, and Menander. Except for Demonsthenes and Isocrates, Aldus published the theoretical Greek texts well before the actual orations (Aeschines, Lysias and the remaining texts were published in 3 volumes in 1513). Part II of this edition was published six months after the first and the two volumes are rarely found together. Renouard considered this edition the most "truly precious" of all the Aldine imprints for its combination of beauty of execution and rarity.
Adams R-447; Ahmanson-Murphy 83; Brunet IV, 1265; Hoffmann I, 279 and III, 340; Renouard 54.4.
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