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    Hyginus's Handbook of Mythology

    Gaius Julius Hyginus [Attributed]; Palaephatus; Fulgentius; Aratos; and Proclus [Jacob Micyllus, editor]. Fabularum Liber...Eiusdem Poeticon Astronomicon Libri quatuor. Quibus accesserunt similiis argumenti, Palaephati de fabulosis vocum antiquarum interpretatione... Phurnuti De natura deorum, sive poeticarum fabularum allegoriis... Albrici philosophi de Deorum imaginibus... Arati fragmentum... Phaenomena... Procli de sphaera libellus... Basle: Johann Hervagius [Herwagen], 1549. Folio. a4, a-z6, A4. [8], 261, [23] pages. Printer's device on title page, 48 astronomical woodcuts. Handsome modern blind-tooled half-morocco over incunable covered boards, paper label. Title page repaired in blank margin, occasional foxing, old owner's name "Mariani Ruele, Carmelite, Rome 1737" on title page, old owner's stamp; small circular dampstain on the title page, minor repaired wormhole in inner margin of last few leaves, otherwise a nice crisp copy. From the Krown & Spellman Collection.
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    Hyginus, commonly confused with the freedman of the emperor Augustus, compiled this handbook of mythology, probably in the second century A.D. He was ignorant of Greek, which accounts for some of the absurdities present in his work, and the usual title Fabulae is due to the editio princeps of Micyllus who remains the only authority for the work since his manuscript is lost; this is the second edition of Micyllus, first published in Basel in 1535.

    Palaephatus (late 4th cent. B.C.) rationalized myths in this, his only extant work. It held considerable influence during the Byzantine period.

    Fabius Planciades Fulgnetius (circa A.D.467-532), probably the bishop of Ruspe exiled by the Vandals to Sardinia for his orthodox views, wrote the present offering in dialogue form, through which the muse Calliope reveals the meaning of the myths and Virgil the allegory upon which the Aeneid was composed.

    Lucius Annaeus Cornutus Phurnutus (fl. A.D.50), the freedman of Seneca, was a teacher of philosophy and rhetoric at Rome, counting Lucan and Persius among his disciples. Only one of his works, the present offering, is extant: in it he expounds the traditions regarding Greek mythology, using principles of Stoic criticism of such and incorporating allegory.

    Aratus (ca. 315-240/39 B.C.) was a stoic who under the patronage of the Macedonian king Antigonus Gonatas composed the present work. It is his best known work and concerns the northern and southern fixed stars, circles of the celestial sphere, the rising and setting of stars, and weather signs. As an astronomical poem, its style is based upon that of Hesiod and it incorporates Homeric terms.

    Proclus (A.D. 410/12-485) was a Neoplatonic philosopher, a prolific author, and the last great synthesizer of the Greek philosophical inheritance. He bore a great deal of influence upon Medieval and Renaissance thought.

    The Aratos and Proculus are printed in Greek and Latin.

    VD 16 H6480. Adams H1252. Houzeau/Lancaster 762. Zinner 1958. Wellcome I,3378. Schweiger I,464. Cantamessa 2202 (other eds.)

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    Auction Dates
    August, 2015
    5th Wednesday
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