Policraticus, sive de nugis curialium, et vestigiis philosophorum, libri octo.  Accedit huic editioni eiusdem Metalogicus.  Cum indice copiosissimo. 

Leiden, Joannes Maire, 1639. 

8vo, pp. [16], 931, [1]; *2 a cancel; title printed in red and black with woodcut device, woodcut initials and ornaments; a very few light marks; a very good copy in contemporary British calf; joints a little worn and slightly cracked at head, two small holes at foot of spine; ownership inscriptions of ‘Phil. Whitefoot’ and ‘Christopher Baret Anno 1647’ to front free endpaper, manuscript index in a seventeenth-century hand to rear free endpaper.


US $722€667

Add to basket Make an enquiry

Added to your basket:
Policraticus, sive de nugis curialium, et vestigiis philosophorum, libri octo.  Accedit huic editioni eiusdem Metalogicus.  Cum indice copiosissimo. 

Checkout now

Attractive Maire edition of the two principal works of the twelfth-century scholar, diplomat, and bishop of Chartres, John of Salisbury, both completed by 1159 and dedicated to Thomas Becket. 

‘On the Policraticus (‘The statesman’) more than on any other of his works ... rests John’s reputation as a humanist scholar.  It was very widely read later in the middle ages ...  In eight books John explores the opposition between the pursuit of philosophy and the habits of courtly life.  The Policraticus seems to be at once a work of political theory, a manual of government, a mirror of princes, a moralizing critique of life at court; and also an encyclopaedia of letters and learning, a storehouse of exempla and historiae, and a didactic philosophical and ethical treatise.  It recommends to lax, epicurean courtiers a wide programme of education in letters, philosophy, and law.  Although it is certainly fat, the work is not in fact as loosely organized as it first appears: John seems to have started upon it when, in disgrace with the king, he meditated on the theme of fortune (book 7).  Then he wrote a ‘mirror of princes’ (book 4), and then the books on courtiers.  Finally in the summer of 1159 he expanded these essays, and bound them all together in eight books’ (ODNB). 

‘The Metalogicon was written to defend the study of all the seven liberal arts from becoming streamlined and narrowly career-orientated.  The work is the fruit of John’s years of study during which he had learned the value of a broad education in which the powerful weapons of dialectic are mastered, but kept under control by a firm grounding in grammar and the other liberal arts’ (ibid.). 

The Policraticus was first published circa 1480, and the Metalogicon in 1610 (in an incomplete and faulty Paris edition). 

Brunet III, 547. 

You may also be interested in...


CRUIKSHANK, Percy.  P. Cruikshank’s Comic Almanack for 1864, containing numerous Illustrations in Oil Colour Printing, useful Information, etc., etc.  To be continued annually. 

A very rare colour-printed almanac by the nephew of George Cruikshank, apparently the first of a short series.  The calendar pages are each accompanied by some ‘Notes of the Month’, and a jest at the foot, and commemorate recent events such as the burning of the Titian gallery at Blenheim, the Indian Mutiny, the introduction of new bankruptcy laws, and the death of Prince Albert.  The illustrated verses include ‘An Appeal against the Income Tax’, and ‘Term Commences’, in which a man is squeezed by lawyers; and the other illustrations include some comic ‘Fashions for 1864’ and some offensive jokes on the US Civil War and Emancipation. 

Read more


The Medea of Euripides, from the Text and with a Translation of the Notes of Porson; critical and explanatory Remarks, partly original, partly selected from other Commentators; Illustrations of Idioms from Matthiae, Dawes, Viger, &c, &c.; Examination Questions, and copious Indexes … for the use of Schools and Colleges. 

Student edition of Euripides’s Medea, interleaved and annotated with profuse translation notes by a contemporary university student of Greek at Balliol College. 

Read more