THE LIFE OF THESEUS

Theseus sive de ejus vita rebusque gestis liber postumus. Accedunt ejusdem paralipomena de pagis atticis et excerpta ex v. cl. Jacobi Sponii itinerario de iisdem pagis.

Utrecht, François Halma, 1684.

3 parts in one vol., 4to, pp. 1: [8], 136, [12], 2: 52, [8], 3: 40; main title in red and black with woodcut ornament, divisional titles, woodcut initials, head- and tailpieces, text in Latin and Greek; small marginal chips to first few leaves, a little browning and creasing; overall very good in contemporary Dutch vellum over boards, spine later lettered in ink; short split to upper joint, boards slightly bowed; armorial bookplate ‘R.H. C.C.C. Oxon. Comm.’ (see below) and inscriptions ‘pret. 7s’ and ‘A.J. & M. Atwood 1859’ to upper pastedown.

£400

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Theseus sive de ejus vita rebusque gestis liber postumus. Accedunt ejusdem paralipomena de pagis atticis et excerpta ex v. cl. Jacobi Sponii itinerario de iisdem pagis.

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First edition of this posthumously published work by the eminent Dutch classical scholar and antiquary Meursius (1579–1639), giving an account of the life and deeds of Theseus, the mythical hero and king of Athens, including a chapter on his slaying of the Minotaur.

The principal text is followed by various notes on ancient Attica gathered from Meusius’s manuscripts, encompassing, for example, the cult of Heracles, the discovery of fire, Marathon, Plato’s garden, and the place where Xerxes sat to watch the battle of Salamis. The final part comprises Greek inscriptions collected by the pioneering French archaeologist Jacob Spon (1647–1685).

Provenance: with the handsome early Jacobean armorial bookplate of Robert Hoblyn (1710–1756, Franks 14910). Born at Nanswhyden in Cornwall, Hoblyn entered Corpus Christi College Oxford at the age of sixteen, graduating as Bachelor of Civil Law in 1734. Between 1742 and 1754 he served as MP for Bristol. ‘Robert Hoblyn, a well-known book collector, of an old Cornish family, made his fortune by tin mining, supplying the brass working industry at Bristol, in association with his father-in-law ... Returned as a Tory for Bristol, he voted regularly against the Government and was classed as Opposition in 1747’ (The History of Parliament). Hoblyn is not listed on Book Owners Online.

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