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    Editio Princeps of Zosimus

    Herodian of Syria and Zosimus. [Greek Title:] Herodiani Histor. Lib. VIII. Cum Angeli Politiani Interpretatione, & Huius Partim Supplemento, Partim Examine Henrici Stephani: Utroque Margini Adscriptio. Eiusdem Henrici Stephani Emendationes Quorundam Græci Contextus Locorum, & Quorundum Expositiones. Historiarum Herodianicas Subsequentium Libri Duo, Nunc Primum Græci Editi. [Geneva:] Henri Estienne, 1581. Editio princeps of Zosimus. Quarto. ¦4, a-z4, A-K4. [8], 182, [2], 79, [1] pages. Estienne device on title page [Schreiber 18], text in Greek and Latin in columns, ornamental head-pieces and initials. Full contemporary limp vellum, yapp fore-edge, lacking ties. Covers soiled and warped, small signs of biopredation, holograph ink title on spine and faded ink notation on front cover, minor vellum loss at head and foot of spine; holograph ink names and notations on endpapers, title page, and both sides of final leaf; early ink underscoring to first fifty-four pages, worming in margins (a few side notes slightly affected), pages cockled, dampstains, minor foxing and soiling; else in good condition. From the Krown & Spellman Collection.
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    "Herodian's historical work narrates the events of the fifty-eight years between the death of Marcus Aurelius and the proclamation of Gordianus III (180-238). The narrative is of special value for supplementing Dion Cassius, whose history ends with Alexander Severus. His work has the value that attaches to a record written by one chronicling the events of his own times, gifted with ordinary powers of observation, indubitable candor and independence of view. But while he gives a lively account of external events-- such as the death of Commodus and the assassination of Pertinax -- the barbarian invasions and the spread of Christianity go unnoticed...His style, models on that of Thucydides and unreservedly praised by Photius, is on the whole pure, though somewhat rhetorical and showing a fondness for Latinity. Extensive use has been made of Herodian by later chroniclers, especially the 'Scriptores historiae Augustae' and John of Antioch." [EB]


    This edition also includes the editio princeps of the first two books of the history of Zosimus (5th-6th centuries). "As Polybius had narrated events by which the Roman Empire had reached its greatness, so Zosimus undertook the task of developing the events and causes which led to its decline. As the commencement of this decline, he goes back to the change in the constitution of Rome, introduced by Augustus... His style is fairly described by Photius as concise, clear, pure, and not unpleasing." [Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography.]


    "For this edition of Herodian, which he dedicates to Sir Philip Sidney, Estienne has thoroughly revised, and made additions to, the popular Latin translation of Angelo Poliziano; he prints corrections, additions, and textual comments in the margins. The second part of the editio princeps of the Roman history, written in Greek, by Zosimus, who wrote in the early sixth century, and whose work is our most important source for the period 395-410; Estienne has added his own Latin edition." [Schreiber]. 


    Schreiber 209. Renouard 149:7. Hoffmann II, 222-3. Moeckli 101. Adams H388.

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    Auction Dates
    August, 2015
    5th Wednesday
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