Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    William Drummond. The Oedipus Judaicus. London, 1811.

    More Information:

    William Drummond. The Oedipus Judaicus. London: A. J. Valpy, 1811.

    First Private Edition [One of fifty copies]. Inscribed on half-title: "To G. W. Meadley Esq. With the Author's best Compts." Octavo. p2, a2, 2p1, A-2A8. [8], 2lxxxii, [2], 381, [1], [2 advertisements] pages. Sixteen lithographed plates by T. Baxter. Original publisher's paper-backed blue boards, title on paper label, boards and spine soiled and darkened, front cover detached, some loss to backstrip at head and foot, edge-wear, occasional foxing, old owner's name "G.W. Maedley, Sept. 3, 1853" on front free end paper, otherwise internally in good condition. Comes in a supplied mismatched slipcase. From the Krown & Spellman Collection.

    Drummond (1770-1828), scholar and diplomatist, first attracted scholarly attention with his A Review of the Governments of Athens and Sparta published in 1795 when he was but 25 years old. He became a member of Parliament and was sent to Naples as minister plenipotentiary. He then became ambassador to the Ottoman Porte. Though he wrote other works on ancient history, his most famous work is the Œdipus Judaicus. " ...his most daring work writing was Œdipus Judaicus printed for private circulation in 1811 (Only 50 copies were printed!). It was an attempt to prove that many parts of the Old Testament are allegories, chiefly derived from astronomy (thus Joshua is a type of the Sun in the sign of Ram, Jerico the Moon in her several quarters) and was accompanied by a very polemical preface, published separately. This curious anticipation of modern theories professed to be written from the standpoint of a theist." -DNB.

    "As one reviewer said, 'It could only be brought out occasionally, when the servants were busy, and the children a-bed--lest a single glance into one of its pages should either excite plebeian horror, or produce too early a contempt for old fashioned opinions." - As quoted in Joscelyn Godwin's The Theosophical Enlightenment, 1994, who should be seen for a fuller account of the author and his work.

    NSTC D1861. Lowndes 676.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2015
    4th-5th Wednesday-Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 521

    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 on Nov 5, 2015 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 December 12 Arms & Armor, Civil War & Militaria Signature Auction .

    Learn about consigning with us

    Heritage has gone above and beyond my expectations in handling all of my transactions in a thoroughly professional manner. I would not hesitate to recommend them to anyone worldwide for the exemplary auction and valuation services they provide.
    Richard H.,
    Corsicana, TX
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search