Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    Joseph of Exeter, (Iscanius) [incorrectly, Dares Phrygius & Dictys Cretensis ] & Libanius. Dicts Cretensis Et Daretis Phrygii, De Bello Troiano Historia. Declamationes tres Libanii Sophistae eiusdem fere argumenti. Lyon: Antoine Blanc, 1598. Small 8vo. A-P8. 240pp. Nineteenth-century calf, labels chipped, front hinge cracked; paste-paper endpapers, paper toned, minor stains. Printer's mark on t.p. From the Krown & Spellman Collection.
    Krown & Spellman retail: $400

    More Information:

    "Joseph of Exeter, in Latin Josephus Iscanus fl. 1190, mediaeval Latin poet, was, as he tells us himself, a native of Exeter, being the fellow-townsman and lifelong friend of Baldwin , archbishop of Canterbury. About 1180 he went to study abroad at Gueldres, and while there became a friend of the learned Guibert, who was abbot of Florennes from 1188 to 1194, and afterwards of Gemblou; with Guibert, Joseph carried on a friendly correspondence, of which a portion has been preserved (Martne, Veterum Scriptorum et Monumentorum Nova Collectio, i. 936-9). In 1188 Archbishop Baldwin, when passing through France on his way to the Holy Land, induced Joseph to accompany him on the crusade; after the archbishop's death in 1190 Joseph returned home. Nothing further is known of his life, though he appears to have resumed his correspondence with Guibert. The statement that Joseph survived till the reign of Henry III is due to a misapprehension; the king whom he alludes to under this name in a passage of the 'De Bello Trojano' is undoubtedly the young King Henry, son of Henry II (Jusserand, p. 97)...

    Joseph has been very justly praised as one of the best of mediaeval Latin poets. Warton calls him 'a miracle of the age in classical composition.' His chief poem, however, was long current under the names of Dares Phrygius and Cornelius Nepos. Leland was the first to recognise its real merit and author. The poems ascribed to Joseph are: 1. 'De Bello Trojano,' in six books; this would appear from the reference to the young King Henry to have been written before 1183, in which year the prince died; and since the poem was dedicated to Baldwin when archbishop, it must have been completed after 1184. There seems to be no reason to suppose that Joseph had made use of the 'Roman de Troie' of Beno"t de Sainte More, which appeared in 1184. Joseph took for the foundation of his poem the works which pass under the names of Dares Phrygius and Dictys Cretensis. In his style he approaches most nearly to Statius, but he shows acquaintance with Virgil (e.g. lib. i. ll. 179, 290; cf. Jusserand, pp. 68-9). There is a manuscript at Westminster Abbey; others are Digby 157 in Bodleian Library; Magdalen College, Oxford, 50; Bibl. Nationale 15015. The last named is doubtless one of two which Leland says he had seen at Paris; it contains some notes in a thirteenth-century hand, which are probably Joseph's own."

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2014
    6th Thursday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 7
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 301

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    25% on the first $100,000 (minimum $14), plus 20% of any amount between $100,000 and $1,000,000, plus 12% of any amount over $1,000,000 per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
    Track Item

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2021 June 6 Arms & Armor, Civil War & Militaria Signature Auction - Dallas.

    Learn about consigning with us

    We had a wonderful time in New York during the October 2013 Historical Manuscripts auction that featured my mother’s papers collected during her tenure as Martin Luther King, Jr.’s secretary. In fact, the entire experience from beginning to end has been a pleasure.
    Howard Ballou,
    Brandon, MS
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search