Continental

Contact Alex Day, Barbara Scalvini, Andrea Mazzocchi or Jonathan Harrison

Our Continental department specialises in incunabula, Greek and Latin classics, early vernacular imprints, and notable texts from the Renaissance, the Reformation and the early modern era, with a specific section devoted to medieval manuscripts, fragments and illuminations.

We regularly issue lists and catalogues, offering a wide variety of literary, historical and philosophical books printed in Italy, France, Spain, Germany, Switzerland, the Low Countries, Eastern Europe and Russia. Woodcuts, early engravings, notable bindings, notable marginalia, rare manuscript or printed survivals, and books with a remarkable provenance are among our keenest interests, and feature regularly in our stock.

 
  1. ZAMPELIOS, Spiridion.

    Βυζαντιναι Μελεται [Byzantine Studies]...

    Athens, Christos Nikolaidos, 1857.

    First edition. Spyros Zampelios was a champion of the continuity theory in the history of the Greek nation in the crucial decades of the mid nineteenth century, and the first Greek historian to adopt a tripartite examination of historical periods, divided into ancient, medieval and modern Hellenism....

    £800

  2. CAESAR.

    Caii Julii Caesaris invictissimi i[m]peratoris co[m]mentaria seculor[um] iniuria antea difficilia et valde mendosa. Nunc...

    (Colophon) Venice, Agostino Zani, 17 August 1511.

    A handsome copy of the first illustrated edition of Caesar’s Commentaries published in Italy, adorned with charming half-page woodcuts at the opening of the De bello Gallico and De bello civili and with smaller vignette cuts at the beginning of each book. Describing Caesar’s campaigns in Gaul from...

    £4000

  3. ARISTOPHANES.

    Comoediae ex optimis exemplaribus emendatae studio Rich. Franc. Phil. Brunck.

    Strasbourg, Jean-Georges Treuttel (colophon: typis Joannis Henrici Heitz), 1782-3.

    [with:]
     
    --- Comoediae in Latinum sermonem conversae. Strasbourg, Bauer and Treuttel, 1781.
     
    Three vols in one, 8vo, pp. 182; 199, [1]; 128.
     
    Engraved arms to titles, engraved tail-pieces; occasional light spotting; a very good set in contemporary vellum boards, gilt-lettered...

    £400

  4. MELA, Pomponius.

    Cosmographia, sive De situ orbis.

    [Venice, printer of Pomponius Mela, 1477].

    Second edition, very rare. This is the variant issue without date or place of printing, and is one of only five books known to have produced by the anonymous printer who has been named after the present edition. Mela’s description of the world, also known under the title Chorographia, was written...

    £35000

  5. PLINY, the Elder.

    C. Plini secundi des wijdt-vermaerden natur-kondigers vijf boecken. Handelende van de nature. I. Vande menschen....

    Amsterdam, [Christoffel Cunradus for] Joost Hartgers, 1650.

    One of several Dutch editions of selections from Pliny’s Natural History to appear in the half-century following the publication of the first Dutch translation in 1610. The present edition, like many of the others, is enlarged to include much information not available to Pliny (the additions are printed...

    £800

  6. NEPOS, Cornelius.

    De vita excellentium imperatorum. Interpretatione et notis illustravit Nicolaus Courtin ... in usum serenissimi...

    Paris, Frères Barbou, 1726.

    An attractive later Delphin edition (first 1675) of the surviving biographies of the first-century BC Roman writer Cornelius Nepos. Part of an original series of ‘Lives of famous men’ (De viris illustribus), the surviving biographical sketches, mostly of generals, include Themistocles and Hannibal....

    £275

  7. RAMUS, Petrus. (Commentator) - VIRGILIUS MARO, Publius.

    Georgica, P. Rami professoris regii praelectionibus illustrata, ad Carolum...

    Paris, 1564.

    Second editions of Ramus' extensive commentaries on Virgil's two poems on country life, which he wrote in order to react against the dry doctrines of several French schools who based their teaching of nature on Aristotle's physics. He wanted to keep in contact with the concrete realities of nature and...

    £2000

  8. STOBAEUS, Johannes.

    [Graece et Latine]. Sententie ex thesauris Graecorum delectae... à C. Gesnero... traductae.

    Basel, [printed by Oporinus for Froschauer, 1549].

    Second, ‘in every respect preferable’ (Dibdin) edition of Gesner’s Stobaeus, acclaimed as ‘the first critical impression of the text of the Florilegium’ (idem), philologically and critically much superior to the first, published in 1543. Gesner’s parallel printing of the Greek...

    £2250

  9. DIOGENES LAERTIUS.

    [Greek title] De vitis, dogmatis & apophthegmatis eorum qui in philosophia claruerunt, libri X. (Edited by Henri...

    [Geneva], Henri Estienne, 1570.

    First Estienne edition of The Lives of the Philosophers, a very important edition in the original Greek, “in which appear for the first time many passages discovered in manuscripts by Estienne. The volume also contains 36 pages of important textual annotations by Henri Estienne and 3 pages of notes...

    £1400

  10. HERODIAN and ZOSIMUS.

    ΗΡΩΔΙΑΝΟΥ ΙΣΤΩΡΙΑΝΟΥ ΒΙΒΛΙΑ Η. Herodiani Histor. Lib. VIII. Cum Angeli Politiani...

    [Geneva]. Excudebat Henricus Stephanus Anno 1581.

    First edition thus, dedicated to Philip Sidney (1554-1586), who even at this date was beginning to achieve mythic status as the hope of Protestant Europe – a community for which Henri Estienne, a Huguenot exile in Geneva, was defiantly catering. Estienne had met Sidney at Heidelberg in 1573, and they...

    £1500

  11. EPICTETUS. [DU VAIR, Guillaume, translator].

    Le Manuel d’Epictete.

    Paris, Abel L’Angelier, 1591.

    Rare first edition of this translation of the “Encheiridion” or “Manual” of Epictetus’ principal doctrines; an earlier translation by Antoine Du Moulin had been published in 1544.

    £1800

  12. TYRTAEUS and CALLINUS.

    Les chants...traduits en vers par Firmin Didot.

    Paris, Firmin Didot, pere et fils, 1827.

    One of only 100 copies - all hors de commerce - of this deluxe folio Didot edition of some of the oldest martial elegy verses of the Western tradition: the surviving works of the Spartan poet Tyrtaeus and the Ephesian poet Callinus (7th-6th century BC). The text is preceded by an engraved Lettre to Firmin...

    £6000

  13. [KRAG, Niels, editor.]

    NICOLAUS, of Damascus. Ex Nicolai Damasceni universali historia seu de moribus gentium libris excepta Iohannis...

    [?Heidelberg], Pierre de Saint-André, 1593.

    First edition thus. Comprises observations on the customs of different peoples (Iberians, Celts, Phrygians, Assyrians, Spartans and so on) from the Augustan historian Nicolaus of Damascus’ Universal history, only fragments of which have come down to us (in this case via Stobaeus). The text is printed...

    £400

  14. MABLY, Gabriel Bonnot, Abbé de.

    Observations on the Romans. Written originally in French …

    London: Printed for R. Griffiths … 1751.

    First English edition of this Roman history (first published in the same year in Geneva as Observations sur les Romains). Mably studies episodes from the pre-imperial era (the seven kings, Gracchi and Punic wars), before skimming the vast majority of imperial dynastic rule to finish with a chapter...

    £875

  15. HORACE.

    Opera omnia.

    Paris, A. Mesnier [printed by Didot fils with the type cut by Henri Didot], 1828.

    A scarce Miniature Book. “One of the typographical wonders and an unsurpassed feat as far as minuteness and beauty of type is concerned” (Spielmann 201).

    £600

  16. ISOCRATES.

    Orationes et epistolae gravitatis et suavitatis plenae de Greco in Latinum pridem conversae, nunc recognitae, per Hieronymu[m]...

    Paris, Michel de Vascosan, 1553.

    A handsome Latin edition of twenty-one works by the Athenian orator Isocrates (436-338 BC) whose work was highly influential on later education, oratory and writing. Isocrates studied under Socrates and the sophists, before establishing a famous school of rhetoric which attracted pupils from all parts...

    £750

  17. AVGERINOS, Hypatios.

    Πονηµατα δραµατικα. [Ponemata dramatika.]

    Trieste, Loyd, 1849.

    Very rare first edition of Avgerinos’ dramas of Greek Romanticism, three pieces uniting sentiments of nationalism, liberty and philhellenism with aesthetic and literary reflections on the style and scope of dramatic poetry.

    £1500

  18. JUVENAL AND PERSIUS.

    Satyrae.

    Paris, Robert Estienne, 1544 [i.e. 1545 (colophon)].

    First edition thus, ‘the earliest attempt at printing variant readings in an edition of Juvenal & Persius’ (Schreiber). For this edition Estienne used the new italic type cut for him by Claude Garamond and inaugurated the year before with the first volumes of the nine-volume Cicero. ‘The text is...

    £950

  19. JUVENAL.

    Satyrae [with commentary by Domizio Calderini].

    Vicenza, Henricus de Sancto Ursio, Zenus, 1480.

    A heavily-annotated copy of the only edition of Juvenal’s Satires printed in Vicenza, the first book printed by Henricus de Sancto Ursio. It is the second edition of the Satires to contain Domizio Calderini’s commentary (first published in Venice in 1475).

    £6000