21 May 2014
APOLLONIUS RHODIUS (c.295-c.215 B.C.). Argonautica, in Greek. With the scholia of Lucillus of Tarrha, Sophocles and Theon of Alexandria (1st century A.D.). Edited by Janus Lascaris (1445-1535). Florence: [Laurentius Francisci de Alopa,] 1496.
Median 4º (233 x 165mm). Collation: a-?8 ?4 (a1r editor's introduction, a1v life of the author, a2r text with commentary surround, ?3r Greek colophon, ?3v-4 blank). 171 leaves (of 172, without final blank). Type: 5a,b:114Gk, 5c:111Gk. 33 lines of commentary. (Mostly marginal spotting throughout.) Late 18th-century green half morocco (spine head chipped, extremities rubbed). Provenance: manuscript translation of the colophon in an early hand -- James Lewis Knight Bruce (1791-1866, judge; Roehampton bookplate).
EDITIO PRINCEPS. The Argonautica is the best surviving account of the mythical story of Jason and the Argonauts and the quest for the Golden Fleece. Janus Lascaris, the Greek refugee scholar employed by Lorenzo de'Medici as his librarian, not only edited the text but designed the type with which it was printed. He originally conceived it as an upper case alphabet only, and added the lower case specifically for printing the scholia in this edition, and it makes its first appearance here. (See R. Proctor, The Printing of Greek in the 15th Century p.79 and N. Barker, Aldus Manutius and the Development of Greek Script and Type in the Fifteenth Century, p.42.) HC *1292; GW 2271; BMC VI, 667 (IB. 28023); BSB-Ink. A-650; CIBN A-478; Bod-inc. A-361; Flodr, Apollonius Rhodius 1; Goff A-924.
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