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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. MILBANK, Augustus Sussex.

    A Treatise upon the political & social Condition of Europe, from the Fall of the Roman Empire, down to...

    [Richmond, M. Bell for] London, Messrs Hatchard & Son, and Richmond, M. Bell, 1847.

    First and only edition of a rare Yorkshire-printed treatise of social history by an amateur historian and educational enthusiast, inscribed by the author to the Countess of Sandwich.


  2. MIRANDULA (or MIRANDOLA), Ottaviano. 

    Illustrium poetarum flores. 

    Antwerp, Joannes Bellerus, 1563. 

    A remarkable copy, with numerous and eloquent contemporary annotations and additions in a French hand, of a scarce edition of an extremely popular collection of quotes and passages from classics of poetry, published by the renowned Flemish printer and composer Joannes Bellerus (Jean Bellère,...


  3. 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 Cornelius Nepos’s LivesThe 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 Lives include Themistocles,...


  4. NICOLAUS of Damascus, and Niels KRAG (editor). 

    Ex Nicolai Damasceni universali historia seu de moribus gentium...

    [Geneva or Heidelberg,] Pierre de Saint-André, 1593. 

    First edition of Krag’s translation of Nicolaus of Damascus’s observations on the customs of the peoples of the ancient world.  The observations on forty ancient peoples (among them the Iberians, Celts, Phrygians, Assyrians, and Ethiopians) are extracted from the Universal History...



    Commentaria in Aphorismos Hippocratis … Ioannis Guinterij Andernaciis medici industria velut e profundissimis tenebris...

    Paris, Simon de Colines, 1533. 

    First edition of this commentary on Hippocrates, bound with a richly annotated copy of Galen’s works in the translation by Thomas Linacre. 


  6. OVIDIUS Naso, Publius, and Pedro Sánchez de VIANA (transl. and ed.).

    Las transformaciones. [issued with:]...

    Valladolid, Diego Fernández de Córdoba, 1589.

    First edition, a copy of notable provenance, of perhaps the most successful early Spanish translation of Ovid’s Metamorphoses, by Pedro Sánchez de Viana (1545–1616), published along with his substantial commentary. In the age of Cervantes (another master of literary transformations), Ovid...


  7. 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 account of the funeral practices of Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas, extensively illustrated with engravings copied in reverse from Porcacchi’s 1574 Funerali antichi di diversi popoli, et nationi, inscribed by a Scottish antiquary and documented book collector....


  8. PINDAR. 

    Carmina, ex editione Chr. Gottl. Heyne. 

    Oxford, N. Bliss for M. Bliss and R. Bliss [– and London, for F. & C. Rivington, J. Payne & J. Mackinlay, W.H. Lunn, Longman, Hurst,...

    An attractive Oxford-printed pocket edition of Pindar’s Odes, as edited by Christian Gottlob Heyne. 


  9. PLINY the Younger.

    Epistolarum libri X & panegyricus.

    Leiden, [Bonaventure & Abraham] Elzevir, 1640.

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




    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.



    The Lives of the noble Grecians and Romanes, compared together by that grave learned Philosopher and Historiographer,...

    Imprinted at London by Richard Field for Bonham Norton, 1595.

    Second edition of North’s celebrated translation of Plutarch, first published in 1579, which has long been recognized as a major source for Shakespeare, providing not only the historical framework for Titus Andronicus, Julius Caesar, Anthony and Cleopatra, and Coriolanus,...


  12. 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...


  13. 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...


  14. POPE, [Alexander].

    The second Epistle of the second Book of Horace, imitated by Mr. Pope.

    London, R. Dodsley, 1737.

    First edition, the issue (presumably early) with the footnote on p. 12 misnumbered ‘16’ for 15.


  15. POPE, [Alexander].

    The sixth Epistle of the first Book of Horace imitated.

    London, L. Gilliver, 1737.

    First edition. Foxon P965; Rothschild 1638; Griffith 476.


  16. QUINTILIAN, Marcus Fabius, and Pierre GALLAND (ed.).

    M. Fabii Quintiliani … de oratoria institutione livre XII....

    Paris, Thomas Richard, 1554 [– 1550-1561].

    A mixed edition of Pierre Galland’s Quintilian, a hugely successful project from its first appearance in 1538. This copy joins the Institutio oratoria with the (now believed to be spurious, if contemporary) Declamationes, and conforms with the copy held at the Arsenal.


  17. QUINTILIAN, Marcus Fabius, and Jacques-Louis d’ESTREBAY (editor).

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

    Paris, Thomas Richard, 1558.

    Very rare third edition of this 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 title-page indicates...


  18. QUINTILIAN, Marcus Fabius.

    Institutiones oratoriae, ac Declamationes, cuiuscuius sint, summa accuratione nuper recognitae, cum...

    [Paris,] Badius Ascensius for Ascensius and Roigny, August [– September] 1533. 

    Rare reprint of Badius’s successful 1528 Quintilian, with the commentary of Peter Schade, German humanist author of an important work on rhetoric. 


  19. SANNAZARO, Jacopo. 

    Iacobi Sannazarii Opera omnia latine scripta, nuper edita. 

    Venice, heirs of Aldus Manutius and Andreas Asulanus, September 1535. 

    Enlarged posthumous Aldine edition of the collected Latin works of the Neapolitan poet Jacopo Sannazaro. 


  20. SENECA, Lucius Annaeus. 

    L. Annei Senecae opera, et ad dicendi facultatem, et ad bene vivendu[m] utilissima, per Des. Erasmum...

    Basel, ‘in officina Frobeniana’, 1529 [(colophon:) Basel, Johann Herwagen, March 1537]. 

    Second Erasmus edition of the moral essays and letters of Seneca, owned and annotated by Ludovicus Carinus (d. 1569), friend and later foe of Erasmus himself.