THESAURUS -- Thesaurus Cornu copiae. & Horti Adonidis, in Greek. Edited by Guarinus Camers (1450-1537), Carolus Antenoreus (fl. 15th century), Angelus Politianus (1454-94), Urbanus Bolzanius and Aldus Manutius. Venice: Aldus Manutius, August 1496.
Super-chancery 2° (309 x 208mm). Collation: *10 (1r title and contents, 1v Latin translation of contents, 2r-3v Aldus's Latin preface to all students, 3v Politian's Latin letter to Guarino, 4r Greek epigrams of Politian, Aristoboulos Apostolios, Scipione Forteguerri (Carteromachus) and Aldus himself, 4v Scipione's Greek letter to Guarino, 5r-6v Guarino's Greek preface to Piero de' Medici II, 7r-10r tract on Greek undeclinable words, attributed to Aelius Dionysius, 10v list of grammarians extracted); a-i8 K-L8 m-z8 &4 (selections in alphabetical order from Eustathius and other Greek grammarians, and shorter texts); A-D8 E6 F8 (writings of Herodian, Choeroboscus, Johannes Grammaticus Charax and others); G8 H6 I8 2K6 2L8 (extracts from Johannes Grammaticus, Eustathius on Homer, Gregorius Corinthius and other short texts, L7r-8r register, L8r colophon, L8v blank). 280 leaves, with duplicate K4.5 inserted as middle bifolium in quire 2K. Types: 1:146Gk, 2:114Gk and 2:114R. 30 lines. (Occasional very light spotting, light dampstain at extreme hinge.) French 18th-century blue-grey morocco gilt, triple fillet border on sides, floral and foliate tools in spine compartments, marbled endpapers, gilt edges (spine very lightly faded, short split at upper joint, corners just scuffed). Provenance: [Samuel Butler, Bp. of Lichfield (pencilled note on flyleaf stating that this is 'one of the finest specimens of Greek Aldines in the Bishop of Lichfield's Collection', sale Christie's, 1 June 1840, lot 2105, £3.10)].
FIRST EDITION of Aldus's compilation of Greek grammatical works, including the EDITIO PRINCEPS of Eustathius Thessalonicensis (fl. ca. 1160-92) and of many but not all of the other writings. It forms part of the Aldine printing programme designed to provide aids to students of Greek, and it comprises a lexicon as well as a selection of writings by various Greek grammarians particularly directed to reading Homer. The preface of this edition provides the primary evidence for dating the beginning of Aldus's activity, where he states that he has worked for 7 years without so much as an hour of solid rest. It was priced by the publisher at 1½ ducats. The last 3 words on C3r are crossed through in ink in the Aldine shop, and the duplicate K4.5 has 4 lines of bearer type at the bottom of K4v mistakenly inked.
The Botfield copy was previously owned by Samuel Butler, Bishop of Lichfield. It formed part of his famous Aldine collection, whose sale at Christie's in June 1840 was 'the most extensive series [of Aldines] ever submitted to Public sale of Books'. HC *15493; GW 7571; BMC V, 555 (IB. 24415-18); Goff T-158; CIBN T-109; IGI 9510; Hoffmann II, 116; Flodr 303 (Thesaurus); Ahmanson-Murphy 8; Renouard Alde, 9:1.