Folio, pp. [xx], 632 (erroneously paginated 630), ; Greek and Latin text in parallel columns throughout, historiated woodcut initials and shoulder-notes; very light traces of dampstaining in the title, the outer margin of the initial leaves and the final leaf, else very clean and crisp, a very good copy in contemporary full vellum over wooden boards, panelled spine with gilt morocco lettering-piece and the remains of a paper library label at foot; contemporary ownership inscriptions on the title, one cropped in the upper margin, with the surviving motto ‘Rien trop’, and another in Latin, still sixteenth-century, ‘Ad Anselmum Demazechiis pertinet’ (?Anselmo Mazechi), further inscription (Girardet, canon) dated 1771 on the front paste-down.
US $2952 €2516
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 text and the Latin translation of Stobaeus’ excerpts from hundred of Greek writings – an invaluable source for texts many otherwise lost – was a key and lasting achievement of humanist philology.
Adams S 1873; Dibdin II, 429; Hoffmann III, 632 f.
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REBUTTAL OF SAVONAROLA BY A FORMER ACOLYTE [SAVONAROLA]. POLITO, Ambrogio Caterino.
Discorso … contra la dottrina, et le profetie di Fra Girolamo Savonarola.
First edition, very rare (‘raro e ricercato’, Bongi), of a condemnation of Savonarola’s theology, doctrine and prophecies by a former Savonarola acolyte, ‘one of the most fiery Catholic polemicists of his times’ (ibid., our translation), who four years earlier had published a confutation of Luther’s theology. The first part examines the attractiveness, plausibility and success of Savonarola’s preaching. Bishop Polito, a member of the same order as the Ferrarese friar, relives the times of his own past sympathies for Savonarola, and offers, with all the benefits of an insider’s outlook, an analysis of the reasons for Savonarola’s rise and popularity. Yet he finds Savonarola’s depiction of a corrupt Church (‘almost embodying the Antichrist, as the Lutherans say’, p. 8v.) grossly misrepresentative, and feels that heresy infiltrates Savonarola’s doctrines much as leprosy affects without remedy a body which might yet appear to have intact parts.
DEDICATED TO PHILIP SIDNEY HERODIAN and ZOSIMUS.
ΗΡΩΔΙΑΝΟΥ ΙΣΤΩΡΙΑΝΟΥ ΒΙΒΛΙΑ Η. Herodiani Histor. Lib. VIII. Cum Angeli Politiani Interpretatione, & huius partim Suplemento, partim Examine Henrici Stephani: utroque Margini adscripto. Eiusdem Henrici Stephani Emendationes quorundam Græci contextus Locorum, & quorundam Expositiones. Historiarum Herodianicas subsequentium Libri duo, nunc primùm Græcè editi.
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 encountered each other again at Strasbourg and Vienna. In 1576 Estienne addressed his Greek New Testatment to Sidney. This is the only other book he dedicated to him. In his flattering epistle, he says that Sidney is so learned in reading Greek that translations are superfluous for him. ‘Apparently a young aristocrat who could read Greek, especially one from the remote island kingdom of England, was an object of wonder’ (Osborn, p. 89).