Continental

Contact Alex Day, Andrea Mazzocchi, Jonathan Harrison or Sally Deegan

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.

 
  1. GAY, John.

    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...

    £400

  2. 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...

    £8500

  3. ZAMPELIOS, Spiridion.

    Βυζαντιναι Μελεται [Byzantine Studies]...

    Athens, Christos Nikolaidos, 1857.

    First edition. Spyros Zampelios was a champion of the continuity theory in the history of the Greek nation in the crucial decades of the mid nineteenth century, and the first Greek historian to adopt a tripartite examination of historical periods, divided into ancient, medieval and modern Hellenism....

    £350

  4. FREEMAN, Arthur.

    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...

    £15

  5. [CICERO, Marcus Tullius.]

    Commentarii Philippicarum Marci Ciceronis cum annotationibus Georgii Trapezuntii Philippi Beroaldi et...

    Paris. Thomas Caseus for Jean Petit, [1514].

    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...

    £950

  6. CORNELIUS NEPOS.

    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...

    £125

  7. MELA, Pomponius.

    Cosmographia, sive De situ orbis.

    [Venice, printer of Pomponius Mela, 1477].

    Second edition, very rare. This is the variant issue without date or place of printing, and is one of only five books known to have produced by the anonymous printer who has been named after the present edition. Mela’s description of the world, also known under the title Chorographia,...

    £25000

  8. SUETONIUS, and Isaac CASAUBON (editor).

    C. Suetoni Tranquilli De XII. Caesaribus libri VIII.

    Geneva, Etienne Gamonet, 1605.

    Second edition of Casaubon’s Suetonius. Isaac Casaubon’s impressive edition, the first to contain a full commentary, was first published at the Estiennes’ Geneva press in 1595 for Jacques Chouët. In some copies of the present edition the place of printing is omitted from the title.

    £375

  9. XENOPHON.

    De Cyri regis Persarum vita atque disciplina, libri VIII.

    Paris, Andreas Wechel, 1572.

    First edition of Joachim Camerarius’ Latin translation of Xenophon’s Cyropaedia, a partly fictional work on the life and education of Cyrus the Great which served as a model for medieval and renaissance mirrors of princes, including Machiavelli’s Il Principe. A beautiful...

    £875

  10. LUCRETIUS.

    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.

    £600

  11. POCOCKE, Richard.

    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...

    £8000

  12. NEPOS, Cornelius.

    De vita excellentium imperatorum. Interpretatione et notis illustravit Nicolaus Courtin ... in usum serenissimi...

    Paris, Frères Barbou, 1726.

    An attractive later Delphin edition (first 1675) of the surviving biographies of the first-century BC Roman writer Cornelius Nepos. Part of an original series of ‘Lives of famous men’ (De viris illustribus), the surviving biographical sketches, mostly of generals, include Themistocles and Hannibal....

    £275

  13. 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,...

    £1400

  14. DIO CASSIUS.

    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.

    £2750

  15. BENTLEY, Richard.

    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.

    £750

  16. PLINY the Younger.

    Epistolarum libri X & panegyricus.

    Leiden, [Bonaventure & Abraham] Elzevir, 1640.

    First Elzevir edition, handsomely bound for the Irish politician Thomas Wogan Browne.

    £450

  17. [WESLEY, John (editor).]

    Excerpta ex Ovidio, Virgilio, Horatio, Juvenali, Persio, et Martiali: in Usum Juventutis Christianæ....

    Bristoliæ: Typis F. Farley … 1749.

    First edition of one of the textbooks that Wesley compiled for the school that he founded at Kingswood, Bristol, in 1748. Finding contemporary textbooks inadequate, he published an astonishing number of works for his pupils – grammars, editions of classics, and other introductions to learning....

    £1100

  18. RAMUS, Petrus. (Commentator) - VIRGILIUS MARO, Publius.

    Georgica, P. Rami professoris regii praelectionibus illustrata, ad Carolum...

    Paris, 1564.

    Second editions of Ramus' extensive commentaries on Virgil's two poems on country life, which he wrote in order to react against the dry doctrines of several French schools who based their teaching of nature on Aristotle's physics. He wanted to keep in contact with the concrete realities of nature and...

    £2000

  19. GROVES, John.

    Greek and English dictionary, comprising all the words in the writings of the most popular Greek authors; in the...

    London, for Cowie, Jolland & Co., 1838.

    Seventh edition of Groves’s popular Greek–English dictionary, with charming doodles and cheeky notes by William Salked Brook of Woodbridge, Suffolk, dating from his time at Magdalen College School and then Oriel College Oxford (BA 1880). Brook appears to have inherited the volume from his father...

    £150

  20. LIVY, Titus, and Thomas RUDDIMAN (editor).

    Historiarum ab urbe condita libri qui supersunt, cum omnium epitomis,...

    Kincaid, & J. Brown, 1751.

    A very attractive set of the first Ruddiman edition. One of the last works prepared by Thomas Ruddiman (1674–1757), this ‘superb edition of Livy’ (ODNB) was highly praised for its accuracy and is a fine testament both to his classical scholarship and to his printing house. The son of a Banffshire...

    £1200