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. LAFFREY.

    ‘Abregé de l’histoire ancienne avec des reflexions philosophiques & politiques par Mr. Laffrey.’

    C. 1760s.

    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).

    £750

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. [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

  7. 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

  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. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. MARTIAL, Marcus Valerius.

    Epigram. [epigrammatum] libri magna diligentia nuperrime castigati, adiectis doctissimis commentariis...

    Lyons, [(colophon:) Jean Moylin for] Romain Morin, 4 April 1522.

    A handsome early Lyons edition of Martial’s epigrams, with the commentaries of Calderino, Merula, and Poliziano, and illustrated with sixteen attractive woodcuts by Guillaume le Roy. Le Roy’s blocks, previously used to illustrated a 1510 Lyons Ovid, are copied from the unattributed woodcuts...

    £1450

  15. 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

  16. GIBBON, Edward.

    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.

    £14000

  17. BEVER, Thomas.

    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.

    £1500

  18. 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...

    £850

  19. 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...

    £350

  20. MARTIAL.

    M. Ualerii Martialis epigrammata. Opera, et industria Andreae Frusij, Soc. Iesu Theologi.

    Cuneo, typis Ioannis Baptistae Benentini, 1705.

    Scarce pocket edition of Martial’s Epigrams as edited by the notable French Jesuit André des Freux (c. 1515–1556), published in the city of Cuneo in Piedmont.

    £175