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. THUCYDIDES.

    ΘΟΥΚΥΔΙΔΗΣ. THVCYDIDES.

    (Colophon:) Venice, Aldus, May 1502.

    A handsome copy of the first edition of the Greek text of Thucydides’ Peloponnesian War, printed by the great Aldus Manutius, with an interesting provenance.

    £25000

  2. [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

  3. 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

  4. MARLIANI, Bartolomeo.

    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...

    £5500

  5. 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.

    £1500

  6. 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....

    £3200

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. HOMER.

    [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...

    £1250

  11. [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...

    £300

  12. 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

  13. PERUCCI, Francesco.

    Pompe funebri di tutte le nationi del mondo, raccolte dale storie sagre et profane.

    Verona, Francesco Rossi, 1639.

    First edition of Perucci’s extensively illustrated account of funeral practices, inscribed by a Scottish antiquary and documented book collector. A fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and later the Royal Society, Walter Bowman (1699–1782) travelled extensively over the course of five decades...

    £1350

  14. 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

  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. 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

  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. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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