THEOCRITUS (1st half of 3rd century B.C.). Eclogae triginta, in Greek. - THEOGNIS (1st half 6th century B.C.?). Sententiae elegiacae, in Greek. - PYTHAGORAS (attributed to). Aurea carmina, in Greek. - PHOCYLIDES (mid-6th century B.C.). Poema admonitorium, in Greek. - HESIOD (fl. ca. 700 B.C.). Theogonia. -Scutum Herculis. -Georgicon libri duo, all in Greek. - And other works, selections from gnostic poets. Edited by Aldus Manutius and Franciscus Roscius. Venice: Aldus Manutius, February 1495 .
Super-chancery 2o (306 x 208 mm). Collation: A.A-D8 E.E-G6 ZZ.zs10 AA.aD.dds8 EE.es6 a-b8 c10 d-e8 (A.A1r title in Greek and Latin, A.A1v dedicatory letter to Battista Guarino, Theocritus' eclogues, Genus Theocriti & de inventione bucolicorum, G6v blank, ZZ.zr Cato's Distichs translated by Planudes, Sententiae septem sapientium, De invidia, ZZ.z0r register, ZZ.z0v blank; AA.ar Theognis' Sententiae elegiacae, G.ggv Sententiae monostichi per capita ex variis poetis, D.ddr Pythagoras' Aurea carmina, E.eer Phocylides' Poema admonitorium, E.eev Carmina Sibyllae Erythraeae de Christo Iesu, E.eev Differentia vocis, a1r Hesiod, e7v register, e8r colophon, e8v contents of Hesiodic works). 140 leaves; first state, uncorrected setting, of quires Z.F. (two outermost sheets) and . 30 lines. Types: 1:146Gk (text), 2:114R (title), 6:83R (dedication, colophon, contents). 38 woodcut floral or interlaced headpieces printed from 8 blocks and 40 woodcut initials from 20 blocks. (Narrow dampstain at fore-edge of first few leaves, very light spotting in last leaf and a very few upper margins.) Early 17th-century flexible vellum, red edges (lightly worn at extremities, lightly soiled, without two fore-edge ties), modern buckram slipcase.
Provenance: Christopherus Muchel?: pastedown inscription -- S.W.: armorial stamp on title, another stamp erased from title -- miscellaneous 18th- and 19th-century bibliographical annotations on flyleaves -- Stuart B. Schimmel: bookplate; sale Christie's New York, 16 May 1986, lot 74 (to Lathrop Harper).
EDITIO PRINCEPS of 12 Theocritean idylls, Theognis' Sentences of the Seven Sages, Hesiod's Theogony, and Heracles' Shield; the first edition in Greek of Cato's distichs; second edition in Greek of 18 Theocritean idylls and Hesiod's Works and Days (first published in Milan, ca. 1480), and of the Pythagorean golden verses, and Phocylides (first published in the Aldine Lascaris, 1495). Theocritus is credited as being the originator of pastoral poetry, and his idylls strongly influenced poets from Virgil to Milton.
Aldus published this compendium of Greek verse at the request of his former teacher, Battista Guarino, who wanted to lecture on the texts at Ferrara. Late in the press run a manuscript was found which supplied lines missing from Theocritus's idyll Megara, and Aldus reset the two outermost sheets of quire F and all of quire G to correct the text.
HC 15477*; BMC V, 554 (IB. 24402-8); CIBN T-101; Hoffmann III, 373; Renouard, Alde, 5.3; Essling 888; Sander 7235; Goff T-144.