Continental

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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. CELSUS, ‘Aurelius’ [Aulus] Cornelius.

    Aurelii Cornelii Celsi de re medica libri octo. Accessere in primum eiusdem, Hieremiae...

    Leiden, ex officina Plantiniana, apud Franciscum Raphelengium, 1592.

    Important Plantin edition of the De medicina of the first-century Roman encyclopaedist Celsus, accompanied with humanist commentary, this copy with annotations and with the ownership inscription of Charles Seron, doctor to Louis XIV.

    £1750

  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. CATULLUS, TIBULLUS, PROPERTIUS.

    Carmina.

    [Milan, Philippus de Lavagnia] for Johannes de Colonia and Johannes Manthen [in Venice], 1475.

    A handsome copy of the second edition of Catullus, Tibullus and Propertius, a close reprint of the edition by Vindelinus de Spira, 1472. Statius’s Silvae also formed part of the edition, but it is not present here; the parts are sometimes found separately, as ISTC notes, and almost half...

    £40000

  6. 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

  7. [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

  8. TERENCE Afer, Publius. 

    Comoediae sex, tum ex Donati commentariis … diligentius quam unquam antehac emendatae; Aelii Donati...

    Paris, Robert Estienne, 1529. 

    First folio edition of Terence’s comedies by Robert Estienne.  The printer had already produced a small, octavo edition of Terence’s works in 1526.  Confident in its success, and through access to an excellent and ancient manuscript of the fourth-century commentary by Aelius Donatus, ‘in...

    £1500

  9. QUINTILIAN, Marcus Fabius, and Jacques-Louis d’ESTREBAY (ed.).

    Compendium libri secondi, tertii, et quinti institutionum...

    Paris, Thomas Richard, 1558.

    Apparently unrecorded edition of a very rare compendium of Quintilian’s oratory by Jacques-Louis d’Estrebay (or Estrebee, 1481–1550?), humanist, translator, professor of Rhetoric at Rheims and subsequently at the College of Sante-Barbe in Paris, and a proof-reader for the Estiennes. The...

    £350

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. MERCURIALE, Girolamo.

    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...

    £2750

  13. 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

  14. GIRALDI, Lilio Gregorio. 

    De Deis gentium varia et multiplex historia, in qua simul de eorum imaginibus et cognominibus agitur,...

    Basel, Oporinus, 1548. 

    First edition of the most important mythography to be published after Boccaccio’s Genealogiae deorum gentilium and before Conti’s Mythologiae, with extensive marginalia in the first part. 

    £2500

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. JUVENAL, Decimus Junius, and Aulus PERSIUS Flaccus. 

    D. Junii Juvenalis et Auli Persii Flacci satyrae. 

    Birmingham, John Baskerville, 1761. 

    Baskerville’s celebrated edition of Juvenal and Persius in its earliest state with no cancels, in splendid contemporary red morocco. 

    £450