Description

    The Best of All Early Editions of Lucian with Two Dialogues Not Normally Present After Being Listed on the 1559 Index Librorum Prohibitorum

    Lucian of Samosata. Luciani Dialogi et alia multa opera quorum index est in proximis paginis. Imagines Philostrati. Eiusdem Heroica. Eiusdem vitæ Sophistarum. Imagines Junioris Philostrati. Descriptiones Callistrati. [Venice: In aedibus Aldi, & Andreæ Asulani soceri, October], 1522.

    Third edition in Greek and second Aldine edition of Lucian's Dialogues (the editio princeps was published in Florence in 1496, and the first Aldine edition was published in 1503) and second edition of the Philostratean texts and the Callistratus. Folio. [10], 447, [3], 450-571 [i.e., 572], [2] pages. 55 lines plus pagination. Title and preliminaries in Greek and Latin, text in Greek. Greek and roman letter. Aldine woodcut anchor and dolphin device on title and on verso of final leaf. Capital spaces with guide letters. Imprint from colophon. With a preface by Franciscus Asulanus.

    Eighteenth-century red morocco. Covers paneled in blind with gilt corner ornaments, spine ruled in blind and tooled and lettered in gilt with five raised bands, gilt board edges and inner dentelles, all edges gilt. Endpapers lightly browned at the edges from turn-in glue. Light foxing throughout and a few leaves with minor worming. Tiny bookseller's ticket at bottom of front pastedown. A handsome and sturdy copy in very good condition.

    "The first of these Aldine editions...is very imperfect, and apparently taken from inaccurate MSS., without any collation of the editio princeps. The second is rather more valuable, and has served as the basis of many subsequent editions. It exhibits in some places a purer text than the Florentine edition" (Dibdin, Greek and Latin Classics II, pp. 190-191).

    "Printed from a copy of the preceding, with MS. corrections by Aldus. Its text forms the groundwork of most of the subsequent editions...Many copies of this and of the preceding edition are castrated by the Congregation of the Index Expurgatorius, which tore out the pages 385-92 and 435-440, in order to destroy two passages, p. 386 and 436" (Ebert).

    The two dialogues placed on the Index Librorum prohibitorum (Index of Prohibited Books) in 1559 are present in this copy. They are the "Peregrinus," a satirical narrative of the career of a fanatical Cynic and apostate Christian (a historical character) who, in pursuit of notoriety, had himself burnt alive on a pyre, and the "Philopatris," a Greek dialogue attacking Christianity which purports to be the work of Lucian, but probably dates from the tenth century.

    "Lucian's satirical dialogues are numerous, and together with his fantastic tales are his most characteristic works, showing his wit and inventiveness as well as his hatred of cant, hypocrisy, and fanaticism, especially in religion and philosophy" (The Oxford Companion to Classical Literature).

    The additional works are: "Imagines" ("Images") of Philostratus the Elder (pp. 450-482) and of Philostratus the Younger (pp. 483-493), two sets of descriptions of pictures which the authors purport to have seen in a Neapolitan collection; "Heroica" of Flavius Philostratus (pp. 493-523), a dialogue in which the ghosts of heroes of the Trojan war appear; "Descriptiones" of Callistratus (pp. 523-529), descriptions of fourteen statues in imitation of the "Imagines"; "Vitae sophistarum" ("Lives of the Sophists") of Flavius Philostratus (pp. 530-571).

    BM, STC Italian, p. 396. Brunet III, cols. 1206-1207. Ebert 12374. Renouard, p. 95, 4.


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