4to, pp. 23, [1 (blank)]; woodcut Saint-André device to title within composite typographic frame, woodcut initials, headpieces, and ornaments, text printed in parallel Greek and Latin on facing pages; a few (mostly marginal) spots, final leaf a little dust-stained; modern patterned boards with gilt morocco lettering-piece.
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Ex Nicolai Damasceni universali historia seu de moribus gentium libris excepta Iohannis Stobaei collectanea, quae Nicolaus Cragius latina fecit, et seorsum edidit.
First edition of Krag’s translation of Nicolaus of Damascus’s observations on the customs of the peoples of the ancient world. The observations on forty ancient peoples (among them the Iberians, Celts, Phrygians, Assyrians, and Ethiopians) are extracted from the Universal History of the Augustan historian Nicolaus of Damascus (c. 64 BC–after 4 AD), a text which has come down to us only in fragments (in this case, through Stobaeus’s Florilegium).
The original Greek is here accompanied by a Latin translation by the Danish historian and philologist Niels Krag (or Cragius, 1550–1602), whose best-known work, De Republica Lacedaemoniorum, was published in the same year and draws on Nicolaus’s description of the Spartans; the two works are often found together.
The apparent publisher of both works, Pierre de Saint-André (1555–1624), was a member of the Calvin-Commelin printing dynasty and appears in numerous imprints between 1574 and 1608. He was, however, never a printer, and appears to have pursued a career as a hat-merchant instead; Bremme suggests that he lent his name to his half-brother Jean Calvin, whose own name – if confused with that of his uncle, the reformer – might hinder sales in Catholic markets.
See Bremme, Buchdrucker und Buchhändler zur Zeit der Glaubenskämpfe (1969), pp. 225-226.
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