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    Zonaras' History of the World

    Johannes Zonaras. Les Histories Et Chroniques du Monde... Paris: Michel de Vascosan, 1561. First Vascosan edition. Folio. *6, 2*4, A-2E6, 2F4, 2G-2Z6, Aa-Rr6, Ss4, å-A6, e8. (20), 756, (68) pages. Large decorative initials and head-pieces. Contemporary vellum, yapped fore-edge. Covers stamped with initials "IL", spine peeling, lower front hinge started, soiling, missing ties. Armorial bookplate of "The Right Honorable John, Earl of Strathmore" and of Harriman Lecomte de Nouy. Pages toned around the borders with occasional foxing or unobtrusive stains. Both title page and front pastedown endpaper soiled, holographic notes near their upper borders. Marginal dampstains on the last few pages, text generally crisp and clean. Overall a very good copy of this scarce book. From the Krown & Spellman Collection.
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    More Information:

    "Johannes Zonaras (died 1160). Byzantine historian and canonist of the twelfth century. A commander of the body-guard and imperial secretary, he was probably forced to retire into monastic life after the failure of the conspiracy to make Anna Comnena empress in 1118. Living in exile on an island far from the capital he devoted himself to writing. He composed an authoritative commentary to Byzantine canon law, commentaries on the poems of Gregory of Nazianzus and on the terminology of religious poetry. Various other exegetic books and lives of saints go under his name; he is also the author of at least one religious poem. As a historian he wrote a universal history from the creation to 1118. Zonaras never claimed to be more than a compiler. For Greek history he mainly used Herodotus, Xenophon, Plutarch, and Arrian. For Roman history to the destruction of Carthage he excerpted Plutarch and the first twenty-one books of Cassius Dio, for which he is our only important source. He was compelled to omit the history of the late Roman republic because he did not have the relevant books of Dio (he only gives some excerpts from Plutarch's Pompey and Caesar), but was able to use Dio's books 44-68 and is, together with Xiphilinus, our main source for the reconstruction of Dio's books 61-8. For the period after Domitian he followed Xiphilinus instead of the original Dio. He added information from other sources (e.g. Eusebius). Petrus Patricius was his chief source for the period between Severus Alexander and Constantine I. The rest derives from various chronicles, not all of which have been identified. Zonaras is especially important as a source for the period ad 450-550. His excerpts are faithful in content, but stylistically independent." - Oxford Index.

    Michel Vascosan (1500-1576), French bookseller and printer. He was printer of the University of Paris and the King's printer for Greek 1560-1576. He was one of the first to reject Gothic character in print and his many editions were esteemed in the book world.

    As with all of Vascosan's publications, a book of the utmost typographical elegance, with graceful initials throughout.

    Provenance: We believe this armorial bookplate of John Earl of Strathmore to be from the early eighteenth century (circa 1710), and to be from John Lyon, Fourth Earl of Strathmore, one of the greatest Scottish noble families of its time.

    BM STC French 450. Graesse VI:II: 518 (1563 edition).USTC 6114. Pettegree/Walsby 51733. Hoffman 622 (1563 edition).

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2015
    5th Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
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