Phaedrus. Fabularum Aesopiarum libri V. Amsterdam: Ex Typographia Francisci Halmæ, 1701.

    First edition. Quarto. [32], 160, [84, index] pages. Title printed in red and black with engraved vignette, added engraved vignette title by P. Boutats after J. Goeree (included in pagination), large folding engraved portrait of the dedicatee (Johann Wilhelm Friso, Prince of Orange) by P. Van Gunst after B. Vaillant, eighteen engraved plates (each with six medallion subjects) by and after Jan Van Vianen, six engraved headpieces, thirty-two engraved tailpieces (including repeats), and nine engraved historiated initials.

    Quarter vellum with exposed thongs over paste-paper boards, manuscript spine lettering and decoration. Faint stain along gutter margin of title page and a small repaired tear to the verso of the folding portrait, else a very clean and well-margined copy in a handsome binding.

    More Information:

    Phaedrus was "the author (in Latin) of a collection of fables in five books containing some hundred stories, published probably in the thirties of the first century AD. There is also an appendix of another thirty-two fables, probably also by Phaedrus. The collection includes fables proper, a number of anecdotes (e.g. about Aesop, Socrates, and Menander), and defences of the author against detractors. The fables are based on those of Aesop and on beast-stories from other sources which had come to be attributed to Aesop. They are written in verse and their object is two-fold, to give advice and to entertain. They are generally serious or satirical, dealing with the injustices of life and social and political evils, but occasionally they are light and amusing. In general they express patient resignation Many of the stories are well known to us, having been handed down through medieval times to the present day. They include 'The Wolf and the Lamb', 'The Fox and the Sour Grapes' and 'King Log and King Watersnake'" (The Concise Oxford Companion to Classical Literature). "I have always considered this as a correct and very sumptuous edition It is ornamented with a great number of small plates, or medallions, in which the subject of the fable is very ably and spiritedly executed. The type is peculiarly rich and bold, and is hardly equaled by any Dutch edition of a classic: it has a few perspicuous notes, and an excellent index" (Dibdin). Brunet IV, col. 588. Cohen-de Ricci, cols. 797-798 ("Très belle édition, bien illustrée"). Dibdin, Greek and Latin Classics, II, p. 280.


    Ebert 16589. Graesse V, p. 252. Landwehr, Fable Books, 247.

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