Our Continental department specialises in incunabula, Greek and Latin classics, early vernacular imprints, and notable texts from the Renaissance, the Reformation and the early modern era, with a specific section devoted to medieval manuscripts, fragments and illuminations.
We regularly issue lists and catalogues, offering a wide variety of literary, historical and philosophical books printed in Italy, France, Spain, Germany, Switzerland, the Low Countries, Eastern Europe and Russia. Woodcuts, early engravings, notable bindings, notable marginalia, rare manuscript or printed survivals, and books with a remarkable provenance are among our keenest interests, and feature regularly in our stock.
APULEIUS (Julien FLEURY, editor).
Lucii Apuleii Madaurensis Platonici philosophi opera interpretatione et notis illustravit...
Paris, Frederic Leonard, 1688.
First Delphin edition of the works of Apuleius, ‘une des meillures éditions qui soient dans la collection des Ad usum’ according to Brunet, comprising the Metamorphoses, his popularisations of Platonic philosophy, and excerpts from his lectures known as the Florida. The Delphin classics were a landmark...
BASIL, Saint, and Janus CORNARIUS (editor).
[Opera, Greek] Απαντα τα του θειου …...
Basel, Hieronymus Froben and Nicolaus Episcopius, 1551.
Editio princeps of St. Basil’s complete works in the original Greek. In 1532 Froben had published, under the editorship of Erasmus, an edition containing the De Spiritu Sancto, the Hexaemeron, the Homilies on the Psalms, twenty-nine further homilies, and some letters....
A Dissertation upon the Epistles of Phalaris, Themistocles, Socrates, Euripides, and Others; and the Fables of Aesop.
London, Printed by J. Leake, for Peter Buck … 1697.
First edition, the separate issue, of what is arguably the greatest and most familiar exposure of a literary forgery, demolishing the attribution of celebrated ‘ancient’ texts on linguistic and historical grounds.
The History of the legal polity of the Roman State; and of the rise, progress, and extent of the Roman laws.
London, Strahan and Cadell, 1781.
Sole edition of a legal history conceived along the lines of Gibbon’s history, an account that was meant to furnish leaders of the emerging British Empire with a helpful knowledge of the past from the perspective of the evolution of legal systems.
[CICERO, Marcus Tullius.]
Commentarii Philippicarum Marci Ciceronis cum annotationibus Georgii Trapezuntii Philippi Beroaldi et...
Paris. Thomas Caseus for Jean Petit, .
Rare edition, attractively printed and with occasional contemporary annotations, of Cicero’s Philippics, comprising Cicero’s text along with the commentaries of the Cretan humanist George of Trebizond (1396–1486), the Bolognese rhetorician Filippo Beroaldo (1453–1505), and the Perugia...
Cornelii Nepotis vitae excellentium imperatorum, editio nova emendatior.
Amsterdam, J. Wetstein, 1745.
An uncommon pocket edition of Cornelius Nepos’s Lives, attractively bound with striking gilt endpapers. The only surviving work by the first-century BC biographer Cornelius Nepos, the Vitae excellentium imperatorum once formed part of a broader De viris illustribus. The...
DASSIER, Jean and Jacques-Antoine.
‘An Explanation of Dassier’s Medals being a Representation of a Series of Events...
London, c. 1795-1800.
An exceptionally fine illustrated manuscript, with drawings after the series of sixty medals of Roman history from Romulus to the Age of Augustus produced by Jean Dassier and his son in 1740-1743. The drawings are executed with considerable finesse, adding detailed elements not clearly visible...
DIOGENES LAERTIUS, [and Henri ESTIENNE (editor)].
Περι βίων, δογμάτων και αποφθεγμων...
[Geneva,] Henri Estienne, 1570.
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,...
To tou Epiktetou encheiridion. Ex editione Joannis Upton accurate expressum.
Glasgow, Foulis, 1751.
The first miniature Foulis edition of Epictetus in Greek, and the first Foulis Epictetus in Greek only; it had been preceded by a larger format, duodecimo (1748) edition in Greek and Latin. A 1765 reissue was, according to ESTC, reset.
Catullus Carmen 17.6 and Other Mysteries. A Study in Editorial Conflict, Eccentricity, Forgery, and Restitution....
London, The Author, 2020.
This partly historical, partly philological essay offers a general account of the early preservation, post-medieval recovery, and Renaissance evolution of the text of Catullus, with specific reference to one speculative reading in Carmen 17 (‘De Colonia’), and certain humanist twists and forgeries...
Achilles. An Opera. As it is perform’d at the Theatre-Royal in Covent Garden ... with the Musick prefix’d to each Song.
London: Printed for J. Watts ... 1733.
First edition of Gay’s last ballad opera; he was arranging for its production at the time of his death. The work is a farcical burlesque of classical myth, in which Achilles, dressed as a woman, is admitted to the court of Lycomedes, who falls in love with him while he in turn is trying to woo...
The history of the decline and fall of the Roman empire.
London, printed for W. Strahan & T. Cadell, 1776–88.
First editions of all six volumes of Gibbon’s ‘masterpiece of historical penetration and literary style’ (PMM). The first volume here is of the second variant (of two), with the errata corrected as far as p. 183 and X4 and a4 so signed.
[Opera] Homeri quae extant omnia: Ilias, Odyssea, Batrachomyomachia, Hymni, Poematia aliquot, cum latina versione omnium...
Basel, [colophon: ‘ex officina Hervagiana’] Eusebius Episcopius, 1583.
First edition of Jean de Sponde’s Homer, his chief work of classical scholarship. A protestant humanist and poet from the Basque country, Sponde is best known today for his striking collection of lyric verse, the Sonnets d’amour and Sonnets de la mort published posthumously circa...
HOMER, and Alexander POPE (translator).
The Iliad of Homer. Translated from the Greek by Alexander Pope, Esq. Philadelphia,...
McCulloch, P. Stuart, 1795.
First American edition of Pope’s rendering of the Iliad. Pope began his reinterpretation of Homer’s epic poem when in his early twenties. Following several years of ‘great pain and apprehensions’, as Pope drafted his text on the backs of letters sent to him and his mother (now preserved...
Paris, A. Mesnier [printed by Didot fils with the type cut by Henri Didot], 1828.
A scarce Miniature Book. “One of the typographical wonders and an unsurpassed feat as far as minuteness and beauty of type is concerned” (Spielmann 201).
Quinti Horatii Flacci Opera cum novo commentario ad modum Joannis Bond.
Paris, Didot, 1855.
The deluxe issue of Didot’s Horace, a fine early photographically-illustrated work, complete with all the photographic plates, headpieces and maps, and printed on fine paper.
[KRAG, Niels, editor.]
NICOLAUS, of Damascus. Ex Nicolai Damasceni universali historia seu de moribus gentium libris excepta Iohannis...
[?Heidelberg], Pierre de Saint-André, 1593.
First edition thus. Comprises observations on the customs of different peoples (Iberians, Celts, Phrygians, Assyrians, Spartans and so on) from the Augustan historian Nicolaus of Damascus’ Universal history, only fragments of which have come down to us (in this case via Stobaeus). The text is printed...
LACTANTIUS, L. Coelius, and Onorato FASCITELLI (editor).
[Opera:] Divinarum institutionum lib. VII, De ira Dei liber...
Lyons, Jean de Tournes and Guillaume Gazeau, 1548.
First edition of Lactantius’ works to be printed by de Tournes and Gazeau, in an attractive contemporary French morocco binding, from the library of André Morellet, a friend of Benjamin Franklin, and translator of Beccaria and Jefferson.
‘Abregé de l’histoire ancienne avec des reflexions philosophiques & politiques par Mr. Laffrey.’
A charming manuscript summary of ancient history, compiled for a young female member of the Bellew family, and once in the library of the eminent Scottish Jacobite Andrew Lumisden (1720–1801).
De rerum natura libri sex.
Paris, Hiérosme de Marnef and Guillaume Cavellat, 1567.
Rare pocket edition of Lucretius, a reissue of de Marnef and Cavellat’s similarly rare 1564 edition, with the same collation. The great poem is preceded by Petrus Crinitus’s brief biography of the author.