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.
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,...
Plautinae viginti comediae emendatissimae cum accuratissima ac luculentissima interpraetatione doctissimorum virorum Petri...
Venice, Simone Bevilacqua for Marco Firmiano, 17 September 1499.
A most interesting copy of this incunable edition of the plays of Plautus, formerly in the library of the noted English playwright and diplomat Sir George Etherege (1636–1692) – being his earliest known acquisition – and later passing into the ownership of the surgeon Charles Bernard (1652–1710)....
[CICERO, Marcus Tullius.]
Commentarii Philippicarum Marci Ciceronis cum annotationibus Georgii Trapezuntii Philippi Beroaldi et...
Paris. Thomas Caseus for Jean Petit, .
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...
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...
Lucii Flori rerum ab urbe condita liber primus [– quartus].
[Venice, in aedibus Aldi et Andreae Soceri, March 1521.]
Florus’s epitome of Roman history, extracted from the Aldine edition of March 1521 which comprised an epitome of Livy, Florus, and Niccolò Perotti’s translation of Polybius.
[(Colophon:)] Venice, Nicolao di Aristotile detto Zoppino, March]1525.
An attractive illustrated edition of twenty-seven of Plutarch’s lives, extensively annotated by a Papal tax-collector, in a striking contemporary binding.
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.
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...
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.
Orationes et epistolae gravitatis et suavitatis plenae de Greco in Latinum pridem conversae, nunc recognitae, per Hieronymu[m]...
Paris, Michel de Vascosan, 1553.
A handsome Latin edition of twenty-one works by the Athenian orator Isocrates whose work was highly influential on later education, oratory and writing. Isocrates (436–338 BC) studied under Socrates and the sophists, before establishing a famous school of rhetoric which attracted pupils from...
RAMUS, Petrus. (Commentator) - VIRGILIUS MARO, Publius.
Georgica, P. Rami professoris regii praelectionibus illustrata, ad Carolum...
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...
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.
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,...
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...
RAMUS, Petrus (Pierre de la RAMÉE).
Liber de militia C. Julii Caesaris, cum praefatione Joannis Thomae Freigii.
Frankfurt, Andreas Wechel, 1584.
An attractively bound copy of Ramus’s uncommon treatise on Caesar’s military tactics, with unusual edge decoration.
[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...
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.
SENECA, Lucius Annaeus.
L. Annaei Senecae Cordubensis tragoediae decem. Quibus adiectae sunt variae lectiones. Et selectis exemplaribus...
Milan, Pandolfo Malatesta, 1617.
An extremely rare pocket-sized Jesuit school edition of the tragedies of Seneca, likely intended for use at the Jesuit College at Brera, in Milan, with a charming doodle from a bored young student.
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...
PLINY the Younger.
Epistolarum libri X & panegyricus.
Leiden, [Bonaventure & Abraham] Elzevir, 1640.
First Elzevir edition, handsomely bound for the Irish politician Thomas Wogan Browne.