Περι βίων, δογμάτων και αποφθεγμων των εν φιλοσοφία ευδοκιμησάντων βιβλία ι. De vitis, dogmatis & apophthegmatis eorum qui in philosophia claruerunt, libri X.

[Geneva,] Henri Estienne, 1570.

2 parts in 2 vols, 8vo, pp. i: 8, 494, [2 (blank)], ii: 40, 432; printed in Greek and Roman letter; woodcut printer’s device on title; a very good copy in early nineteenth-century sprinkled paper over boards, manuscript labels to spines; rubbed.


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Περι βίων, δογμάτων και αποφθεγμων των εν φιλοσοφία ευδοκιμησάντων βιβλία ι. De vitis, dogmatis & apophthegmatis eorum qui in philosophia claruerunt, libri X.

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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 thirty-six pages of important textual annotations by Henri Estienne, and three pages of notes on the Fragments of Pythagoras by Willem Canter’ (Schreiber).

The Lives, in ten books, contain a vast quantity of information and is of particular value for the quotations it includes. The whole of the last book is devoted to Epicurus and preserves his three letters and all forty of the ‘Sovran Maxims’, the principle articles in his doctrine. ‘The account of Epicureanism, given with long direct quotations from the letters of Epicursu, is perhaps the most valuable feature of Diogenes’ book, not only for modern students, but also because it gave the Quattrocento humanists a fresh and reliable body of information about a philosophical school which Cicero had ridiculed and misunderstood…’ (Wilson, From Byzantium to Italy, p. 33). Diogenes also preserves the famous epitaph of Callimachus on Heraclitus, ‘They told me, Heraclitus, they told me you were dead…’.

Schreiber 178.

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