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.
[Venice,] Vindelinus de Spira, 1472.
Magnificent incunable edition of the works of Lactantius, a fine product of the first Venetian press, established in 1469 by Johannes de Spira and continued by his brother Vindelinus from 1470 until 1473. This was the fifth impression of the works of Lactantius, the hugely successful North-African...
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.
A Description of the East, and some other Countries.
London: W. Bowyer for the Author, [‘and sold by J. and P. Knapton, W. Innys, W. Meadows, G. Hawkins, S. Birt, T. Longman, C. Hitch, R. Dodsley,...
First edition, demy folio issue. The traveller and cleric Pococke (1704-1765), was educated at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, and graduated BA in 1725, BCL in 1731, and DCL in 1733. His family’s ecclesiastical connexions and his facility at navigating the complexities of clerical patronage enabled...
OVIDIUS Naso, Publius, and Pedro Sánchez de VIANA (transl. and ed.).
Las transformaciones. [issued with:]...
Valladolid, Diego Fernández de Córdoba, 1589.
First edition, a copy of notable provenance, of perhaps the most successful early Spanish translation of Ovid’s Metamorphoses, by Pedro Sánchez de Viana (1545–1616), published along with his substantial commentary. In the age of Cervantes (another master of literary transformations), Ovid...
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...
‘Synechia sive summa lectionum Plutarchicarum a domino conrectore huius scholae Salderianae praelectarum. ...
[Brandenburg an der Havel, 1620.]
An unpublished early seventeenth-century manuscript recording lectures on Plutarch’s pedagogical work On the Education of Children, bound with a scarce printed edition of the same text, and a rare edition of the poems of Theognis and other Greek lyric poets, each with numerous marginal and...
SENECA, Lucius Annaeus.
L. Annei Senecae opera, et ad dicendi facultatem, et ad bene vivendu[m] utilissima, per Des. Erasmum...
Basel, ‘in officina Frobeniana’, 1529 [(colophon:) Basel, Johann Herwagen, March 1537].
Second Erasmus edition of the moral essays and letters of Seneca, owned and annotated by Ludovicus Carinus (d. 1569), friend and later foe of Erasmus himself.
Urbis Romae topographia.
Rome, Valerio & Luigi Dorico, September 1544.
First illustrated edition (third overall), showing the archaeology and antiquities of Rome as known in the sixteenth century. First published in octavo by Antonio Blado in 1534 and reprinted at Lyons by Sébastien Gryphe later the same year, Marliani’s topography of Rome remained the foremost...
An Historicall Collection of the continuall Factions, Tumults, and Massacres of the Romans and Italians during...
London, Printed for William Ponsonby. 1601.
First edition. Fulbecke’s Historicall Collection ‘was a narrative history of the last years of the Roman republic and it is significant as one of the very few attempts by a Renaissance Englishman to write such a work … An interesting attempt to weave together such often-contradictory...
CLEMENT OF ALEXANDRIA (Titus Flavius CLEMENS).
Paris, Sebastien Nivelle, 1572.
A thoroughly annotated copy of this early edition of the complete works of Clement of Alexandria, in the Latin translation of Gentian Hervet. Clement lived and wrote in the second and third centuries, one of the most important interpreters of Christianity within an established Greek philosophical...
Opera Q. Septimii Florentis Tertulliani inter Latinos ecclesiae scriptores primi … per Beatum Rhenanum … e tenebris...
Basel, Johann Froben, July 1521.
First edition of the collected works of Tertullian, an attractive copy rubricated in red and (more unusually) silver, annotated in a near contemporary hand.
The Lives of the noble Grecians and Romanes, compared together by that grave learned Philosopher and Historiographer,...
Imprinted at London by Richard Field for Bonham Norton, 1595.
Second edition of North’s celebrated translation of Plutarch, first published in 1579, which has long been recognized as a major source for Shakespeare, providing not only the historical framework for Titus Andronicus, Julius Caesar, Anthony and Cleopatra, and Coriolanus,...
SENECA, Lucius Annaeus (attributed).
Liber ad Gallione[m] de remediis fortuitorum.
[Leipzig, Jacobus Thanner, 1517].
An extensively annotated copy of a very rare early sixteenth-century edition of this successful tract of moral philosophy. Whilst its entire manuscript tradition was unanimous in attributing this work to Seneca, and eminent scholars with a profoundly intimate knowledge of Senecan philosophy...
PLUTARCH [and Jodocus BADIUS Ascensius (editor)].
Vitae … novissime … longe diligentius repositae, majoreque...
Venice, Melchiorre Sessa [the elder] & Pietro Ravani, 26 November 1516.
First substantially illustrated edition of Plutarch’s Lives, with signs of early reading. First published in this popular translation in Paris in 1514 by French scholar-printer Jodocus Badius Ascensius (1462–1535) in collaboration with Jean Petit, the text is here accompanied by seventy-eight...
T. Livii Patauini […] ex XIIII Decadibus Historiae Romanae ab Urbe condita, Decades, prima, tertia, quarta,...
Paris, [Michel Vascosan for] Oudin Petit, 1543 [– Michel Vascosan for himself and Oudin Petit, 1542].
A much-praised edition of Livy’s History, reprinting Vascosan’s 1535 edition and including the philological corpus on Livy by the most established humanists of the time: Rhenanus, Gelenius, Grynaeus, Glareanus, Badius Ascensius, Valla, and Sabellico.
JUSTINUS, Marcus Junianius, and Lucius FLORUS.
[Epitome historiarum:] Justini historici clarissimi in Trogi Pompei historias...
[Venice, Bartolomeo Zani, 3 February 1503].
A thoroughly annotated copy of a greatly influential compendium of Trogus’s monumental forty-four-book Historia of the world from Babylon to the Augustan era.
Orationum tomi tres, nunc primum latine versi a Gulielmo Cantero Ultraiectino. Huc accessit orationum tomus...
Basel, Peter Perna and Heinrich Petrus, 1566.
First edition in Latin, a remarkable copy once owned by one of the preeminent music theorists and composers of Renaissance Italy, Gioseffo Zarlino. The translation was prepared from the Greek by the German scholar Wilhelm Canter (1542–1575), author of an acclaimed Syntagma, a systematic...
Dione historico delle guerre et fatti de Romani. Tradotto di Greco in lingua vulgare per M. Nicolo Leoniceno. Con...
Venice, Niccolò Zoppino, March 1533.
First edition of Dio’s Roman History in any language, translated into Italian from the original Greek by Niccolò Leoniceno and preceding the Greek editio princeps, printed by Robert Estienne in 1548, by some fifteen years.
De arte gymnastica libri sex, in quibus exercitationum omnium vetustarum genera, loca, modi, facultates,...
Venice, [Lucantonio II] Giunta, 1587.
Third edition of ‘the first illustrated book on gymnastics’ (Morton). A physician occupying senior posts in the medical faculties of Padua, Bologna, Rome, and Pisa, Girolamo Mercuriale (1530–1606) draws heavily on accounts of ancient exercise to argue for its medical benefits, being the...
Aiax flagellifer. Callimachi Cyrenaei Hymni in Iovem & Apollinem. Ioanne Lonicero interprete. Genetliacon divo...
Basel, [Johann] Herwagen, August 1533.
First separate edition of Sophocles’s Ajax, with a facing Latin version by humanist philologist and theologian Johann Lonitzer (c. 1499–1569), printed with his translation of Callimachus’s hymns to Apollo and Zeus and his ode celebrating the birth of the future Wilhelm IV of Hesse-Kassel...