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Classical Literature

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Roman, Greek, other ancient literature

Classical Literature

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1 Apuleius. Thomas Taylor The Fable of Cupid and Psyche, Translated from the Latin of Apuleius: To Which are Added, A Poetical Paraphrase on the Speech of Diotima, in the Banquet of Plate; Four Hymns, &c. &c. With an Introduction, In Which the Meaning of the Fable is Unfolded.
London Printed for the Author, and Sold by Leigh and Sotheby 1795 First Edition Thus Quarter Moroccco Very Good 
8vo. xvii, 152 pp. Quite a scarce version in book form, with no institutional copies found on Worldcat in the U.S. Brown morocco of spine is fairly heavily scuffed, cracked and rubbed. New endpapers. Text pages, of a nice rag content, have expected toning, and a few leaves have edge staining and finger smudging. Overall the leaves are handsome and clean. 
Price: 250.00 USD
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2 Aristophanes A Metrical Version of The Archarnians The Knights and The Birds in the Last of Which a Vein of Peculiar Humour and Character is for the First Time Detected and Developed
London William Pickering 1840 First Edition Three Quarters Leather Good to Very Good 
4to - over 9. Book. 70 + 89 + 103 pp. + errata page. First Edition of Frere's sparkling translations of three of Aristophanes' eleven surviving plays. The book was printed on the government printing press in Malta where Frere had retired for the sake of his wife's health, and published in London the following year. 4to, in 3 parts. Printed on laid paper with a blueish tinge; pts. 2 and 3 have colophons reading "Malta: Printed at the Government Press 1839". Binding tight. Light scattered foxing, with most pages clean. Upper margin of final pages have dampstain not quite touching page number. Leather has fair amount of wear and rubbing, but remains viable. Overall, somewhere between good and very good. 
Price: 600.00 USD
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3 Burckhardt, Jakob; Jakob Oeri, Ed. Griechische Kulturgeschichte (Vols 1 and 2)
Berlin and Stuttgart Verlag Von M. Spemann 1898 Decorated Cloth Good 
8vo - over 7. Book. Only 2 vols of 4. ix + 370 + 443 pp. Work by one of the great historians of the nineteenth century. Light soilage on boards of both volumes. Vol 2 front hinge starting. Some bowing to the boards. Generally clean, toned inside. 
Price: 25.00 USD
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4 Busby, Thomas The Nature of Things, A Didascalic Poem, Translated from the Latin of Titus Lucretius Carus, Accompanied with Commentaries . . . And the Life of Epicurus . . .
London J. Rodwell 1813 First Edition Hardcover Very Good 
Book. Folio - over 12. Two volumes, containing six books and biography. viii + xxii + 76 + xxxvi + 82 + xLii + 82 + xL pp for Volume One. 99 + xL + 118 + xL + 95 + xxviii + xix (Life) pp. in Vol Two. Modern full calf with raised spine bands, excellent condition. Binding tight. Light foxing scattered. Dampstain on early pages of Vol 1 and Vol 2, affecting frontis plate of Epicurus in Vol 1. Overall beautiful copy of extremely rare translation from Latin, very attractively bound. 
Price: 675.00 USD
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Flammulae Amoris S.P. Augustini Versibus et Iconibus Exornatae, Hoyer, Michael
5 Hoyer, Michael Flammulae Amoris S.P. Augustini Versibus et Iconibus Exornatae
Antwerp Henricum & Cornel Verdussen 1708 First Edition Full Calf Very Good 
12mo. 13 by 8.5 cm. [12], 286, [12] pp. 29 engraved plates, one for each chapter, plus engraved title page. Pages are overtrimmed on top. A few light ink scribbles on plate leaves. Modern full calf. 
Price: 300.00 USD
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6 John Dryden The Satyrs of Decimus Junius Juvenalis: And of Aulus Persius Flaccus. Translated into English Verse by Mr. Dryden, and several other Eminent Hands. To which is Prefix'd a Discourse Concerning the Original and Progress of Satyr. Adorn'd with Sculptures
London J. Tonson 1726 Fifth Edition Full Calf Good 
8vo. cxii, 296 pp. With 23 engraved plates. (One for each Satyr, plus two frontises. One Satyr in second work is lacking a plate.) Spine is dry and darkened. Joint extremities are rubbed and a bit rough. Calf on boards remains fresh. Light scattered soiling, generally clean. One leaf, in dedication, cxi and verso, with a lot of ink spotting. Plate to Satyr 16 of Juvenile with center tear and small loss, not greatly detrimental to image. 
Price: 135.00 USD
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7 Kraus, Theodor Histoire Mondiale de la Sculpture: Rome
Paris Hachette Realites 1980 Hardcover Fine Near Fine Jacket Jacket 
Book. 4to - over 9 - 12" tall. 191 pp. First French edition of study of sculptural heritage of Ancient Rome. Profuse use of photographs, including many in color. Both a serious overview and an attractive coffee table book. 
Price: 35.00 USD
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Le Vite de Filosofi Cavate da Laertio et Altri.  Nelle Quali Vi Sono Sentenze, et Detti Notabili.  Adornate de Bellissime, et Vaghe Figure di Gioseppe Salviati, accommodate a' luoghi loro. Opera Non Men Curiosa che giovevole ad ogni persona di virtu. Nuovamente Ristampate, & con somma diligenza ricorrette, & ampliate. Con Privilegio., Laertius, Diogenes [Laertio]
8 Laertius, Diogenes [Laertio] Le Vite de Filosofi Cavate da Laertio et Altri. Nelle Quali Vi Sono Sentenze, et Detti Notabili. Adornate de Bellissime, et Vaghe Figure di Gioseppe Salviati, accommodate a' luoghi loro. Opera Non Men Curiosa che giovevole ad ogni persona di virtu. Nuovamente Ristampate, & con somma diligenza ricorrette, & ampliate. Con Privilegio.
Vinegia (Venice) Presso Giovachino Brugnolo 1602 Contemporary full vellum Very Good 
70 numbered leaves, 140 pp. Small 4to, 7.75 by 6 inches, 19.5 by 15 cm. With 78 woodcuts of philosophers, writers and other figures whose biographies are here rendered as well as a few more allegorical subjects. Also in addition a few printer's devices and/or other woodcut ornaments. This is a translation of Laertius, a third century Greek biographer of philosphers of the Ancient World. The charm of this copy most definitely resides in the illustrations. Vellum boards splayed and with film of soilage. Skiver spine label worn and rubbed. Blank leaves, preliminary and at rear, with chipping and very browned. Some marginal foxing. Generally the text is clean and crisp, as are the illustrations, and the binding remains tight overall. 
Price: 2500.00 USD
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9 Longus. Illustrations by [Marcel] Vertes (1895-1961) Translated into French by Jacques Amyot. Edited by P. L. Courier Dahpnis et Chloe
Paris Manuel Bruker 1954 First Limited Edition Wraps Very Good 
No. 12 of 20. With a folio of three original ink drawings signed by Vertes, a folio of 10 engravings that were rejected for use in the book proper, and a suite of all the engravings used in the book. This copy is also inscribed by the artist to the collector/owner, which is not something called for in the limitation. 204 pp. Stylistically, the Hungarian-American Vertes brought a loose, near-abstraction sensibility to what nonetheless remained lucidly representational art. He executed his images with a spare economy while keeping his lines fluid and flowing. At times his output could look slapdash and improvisational; this effect, though, splendidly captured the emphemeral moment in an ever-changing scene, and we can sense easily movement and motion. Vertes was a modernist very much of his time and place. His was an oeuvre that dared to please the average man, and thus his work decorate such places as the lobby of the Carlyle Hotel in New York. Vertes was also a costume designer who won an Academy Award for his art direction and costume designs in the movie "Moulin Rouge" released in 1952. 
Price: 3750.00 USD
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10 Longus; translated from original Greek into French by J. Aymot Les Amours Pastorales de Daphnis et Chloe
Paris Librairie Marpon et Flammarion 1st Edition thus Hardcover Very Good No Jacket 
Book. 48mo - over 3 - 4" tall. 171 pp miniature book, measuring 7 by 5 cm or 3 by 2 inches. N.d., circa 1890. Welch 4714. Tiniest of ink-like blot spot in upper corner, with infinitesimal crease also on some pages. Gilt foreedges. Generally clean and tight. Small cameo illustration of cleric on title. 
Price: 135.00 USD
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11 Lucani, M. Annaei [Lucan or Lucanus] ; commentary by Hugo Grotius and Thomas Farnaby Pharsalia. Sive De Bello Civili Casaris et Pompeii [translated: On the Civil War Between Caesar and Pompey] Libri X Additae sunt in fine Hugonis Grotii Notae ex binis antehac editis junctae auctae correctae et Thomae Farnabii in margine, etc.
Amsterdam Apud Janssonio Waesbergios 1681 Full Calf Very Good 
330, [6] pp. 12mo, with copper engraved title page by Giovanni Van Den Avele. Pharsalia is considered a masterpiece, and possibly the masterpiece, of the Silver Age of Ancient Roman poetry. The epic poem concerns the Roman Civil War at the time of Caesar and most particularly the extended struggle between Caesar and Pompey the Great. Lucanus, writing a century later, during the reign of Nero, far from glamorizing the warfare, took a jaundiced view of the fraticidal battle, and his portrait of both Caesar and Pompey was far from flattering. His "epic poem", therefore, is epic in terms of length, scope and ambition, not in its portrayal of the principals. Because of the subject matter, the popularity of "Pharsalia" has crested at times when a society, still steeped in the Classical canon of literature, descended into civil strife, when the themes and point-of-view of Lucanus really resonated. Never was this more the case than in the seventeenth century, when this copy was printed. First there was the final emergence of the Netherlands from under the yoke of Habsburg rule, and then there was the English Civil War, just to mention two instances both highly germane to the edition at hand. Thus the notes by Grotius and Modern calf with a black spine label and marbled endpapers. The work is incomplete and breaks off during the tenth book which Lucanus was still working on when he was forced to commit suicide. The binding is tight. Some leaves with more toning than others but overall quite clean. There are leaves in which the margins are parlously tight or the header is even close to being partially cut-off -- this is the upshot of the compact size of the copy and was the way the copy was issued over three centuries ago. This particular edition is not mentioned in Brunet. 
Price: 340.00 USD
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12 Lucien. N. Perrot. Lucien, De La Traduction de N. Perrot, Sr. D'Ablancourt. Avec des Remarques sur la Traduction. Nouvelle Edition revue & corrigee (Two volumes)
Amsterdam Chez Pierre Mortier Libraire 1709 First Edition thus Half Morocco Very Good 
12mo. 16 by 10 cm. [16], 485, [11], [4], 530, [18] pp. With fourteen copper engraved plates, seven of which are folding, based on the illustrations by Dutch Baroque master Romeyn van der Hooghe. Brunet III 1211. Lucian of Samosata (125 - 180 A.D.) was an Assyrian satirist who wrote exclusively in Greek. Herein are contained, in French, his best-known works: "L'Histoire Veritable", "Dialogues des Morts", "Dialogues des Dieux". Clean and tight. Light wear to the binding. 
Price: 495.00 USD
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The Poems of Ossian, to which are prefixed a Preliminary Discourse and Dissertation on the Aera and Poems of Ossian, Macpherson, James ["translator"]
13 Macpherson, James ["translator"] The Poems of Ossian, to which are prefixed a Preliminary Discourse and Dissertation on the Aera and Poems of Ossian
New York John W. Lovell Company; Belford Clarke & Co. 1880 Hardcover Very Good 
Book. 8vo - over 7 - 9" tall. N.d. circa 1880s. 492 pp. One of the great counterfeits of literature. Supposedly the verse of third century Irish bard Ossian that were discovered in the 1760s, these were in fact mostly a pastiche of verses of James Macpherson, the alleged translator, and some traditional Irish verse passed on by oral tradition. Despite the spurious source of the poems, they are justly celebrated in their own right, and in terms of the authenticity, they do nobly capture the essence of ancient Irish folktales and epic. Some soilage on decorated boards. Toning to pages. Generally clean. Tight. 
Price: 40.00 USD
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Metamorphoses D'Ovide en Rondeaux Imprimez et Enrichis de Figures Par Ordre de sa Majeste, Et Dediez a Monseigneur Le Dauphin, Ovid
14 Ovid Metamorphoses D'Ovide en Rondeaux Imprimez et Enrichis de Figures Par Ordre de sa Majeste, Et Dediez a Monseigneur Le Dauphin
Amsterdam Abraham Wolfgang 1679 Hardcover Very Good Minus Le Clerc, Sebastien; Chauveau, Francois; Hagen, Christian; Le Brun, Charles (frontis) 
Book. 12mo - over 6 - 7" tall. [11], 462, [4] pp. 227 illustrations, including frontis, which was designed by Charles Le Brun. There is an exquisite pictorial image, 2.5 by 3 inches (with one exception) to each generally 15 line verse recounting concisely one of the Metamorphoses immortal tales and/or character trasnformations. Verse is on facing pages and caption below illustration describes the scene of the picture in prose. This is a Dutch reprint of 1676 Metamorphoses published by Isaac Benserade in Paris, Imprimerie Royale. Brunet IV 288. This particular copy appears to have minor elements of a mixed state, with the frontis possibly being from the earlier Paris edition. Pages 165/166, 457/458, 459/460, and the last three leaves (which is the 6 page index, appear to come from another edition as well, with the likelihood that most of these leaves -- are from a later edition or the facsimile of another edition, given a slight difference in the paper stock, the number typography, etc. (The final leaf bears the date of 1676.) In total, thus, there are seven leaves which are probably not issued by Wolfgang in 1679, and these include the frontis and a single other image, that of Leda and the swan, the latter of which is smaller than the other text images which are uniformly approx. 2.5 by 3 inches. Light offsetting to the illustrations. Some light soilage scattered throughout. A few minor closed tears or margin losses. One page with old, rather clunky tape repair. A few other spots with more subtle or discreet Japanese tape repair. Imagery is always sharp and vivid. Binding itself is tight, and modern full leather with raised bands and understated tooling, plus title labels, make this an attractive and very good copy. 
Price: 950.00 USD
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15 Professor Zappe Gemalde aus der Romischen Geschichte nach Millots Plane dargestellt Mit 48 Kupfern
Wien (Vienna) Anton Pichler 1817 Half Morocco Good 
4to. (27 by 21 cm, 10.5 by 8 inches.) 199, [1] pp., plus 48 copper engraved plates, including three that are folding and are more than double the size of the standard plates in their width. The plates, depicting scenes of Roman history, are full of gore, drama, action. They are rendered in the historical style that might be associated with the Baroque but was still certainly going strong in the ambitious canvasses of the early nineteenth century. The half morocco is rubbed along the joints and dry and scuffed elsewhere. The marbled boards are scuffed and have typical edgewear. The leaves are toned with some light soiling. A dampstain affects the margins of a bunch of pages, not affecting the plates. 
Price: 475.00 USD
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16 Publius Virgilius Maro (Virgil) Bucolica, Georgica, et Aeneis (2 volumes)
London A. Dulau & Co., printed by T. Bensley 1800 Full Morocco Very Good Plus 
8vo, 9.5 by 6 inches. 246, [2], 276 pp. With 12 engravings, including ones by Bartolozzi and Jos. Fittler. Attractive crisp printing. Occasional light foxing, but mostly clean. Minor edgewear chips to frontis plate now stabilized by discreet tape. Rebacked with green morocco that closely matches contemporary green morocco on boards. Lush moire silk endpapers. Some fading and wear to boards which still exude warmth and elegance. Tight overall. 
Price: 600.00 USD
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The Ides of March, Thornton Wilder
17 Thornton Wilder The Ides of March
New York Harper & Brothers 1948 First Edition Cloth, with Quarter Morocco Slipcase and Chemise Fine Very Good Plus Jacket 
This is Wilder's first novel after his string of big hits, and instant classics, on Broadway. Like the plays, though, Wilder is venturesome in approach, here embracing the hoary form of the epistolatory novel but applying it in a highly original manner. As the title might suggest, this novel is a retellng of the story of Julius Caesar, his times and the society he occupied and dominated. Wilder might not be strongly associated with historical fiction, but he was in fact a devoted classicist, and this foray into historical fiction found a receptive audience -- the novel sold extremely well upon its publication. Deservedly, one might add. Being a virtuosic stylist, Wilder avoids the stiltedness that afflicts so many attempts to capture Ancient Rome, and this work deserves to be placed alongside the two modern classics of Robert Graves who depicted a slightly later phase of Roman history. The dust jacket has minor chips and wear along the edges, now fully protected with mylar. The morocco on the slipcase's spine is lightly sunned. The case is otherwise solid and attractive, and with the chemise fully protects the first edtion copy. 
Price: 150.00 USD
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18 Virgilio (Publius Virgilius Maro, or Virgil) L'Eneide di Virgilio del Commendatore Annibal Caro. Libri Dodici. Novissima Edizione Ornata di Figure in Rame, ed Arrichita con le Traduzioni della Bucolica, Georgica, e Vita del medisimo Virgilio
Venezia Giammaria Lazaroni, e Domenico Tabacco 1750 Pebbled Half Cloth (Faux Leather) over Paper Paste Good Minus 
8vo. 20, 568 pp. With fifteen woodcut plates, with frontis, one for each canto of the Aenied, and one for the Bucolica and Georgica respectively. Some soiling throughout. All leaves of the Bucolica and a few of the Georgica have severe wormholing in the lower corner with only trivial touching of text. A few other leaves have corners overtrimmed or with loss. Still, an uncommon edition, with only three copies located on OCLC. 
Price: 195.00 USD
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19 Wheelwright, C. A. The Comedies of Aristophanes: Translated Into Familiar Blank Verse, with Notes, Preliminary Observations on Each Play, Etc. (2 volumes)
Oxford D. A. Talboys 1837 Hardcover Very Good 
Book. "To which is added a dissertation on the Old Greek Comedy from the German of Wachsmuth". Both volumes clean and tight, excepting a few pages with pencil underlining (these are in discussion, not plays proper). Some rubbing and shelfwear to half morocco over marbled boards. Five raised bands on spine, with gilt lettering and decoration. Lettering fairly bright, ornaments faded. 
Price: 150.00 USD
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Della Nuova Istoria.  Libri sei con Note.  Tradotti per la prima volta nella Italiana Lingua da Giuseppe Rossi, ed Aggiuntavi Un'Appendice Sopra Giuliano Lavoro del Chiarissimo Signor Spiridione Petrettini, Zosimo [translator Giuseppe Rossi];  Spridione Petrettini
20 Zosimo [translator Giuseppe Rossi]; Spridione Petrettini Della Nuova Istoria. Libri sei con Note. Tradotti per la prima volta nella Italiana Lingua da Giuseppe Rossi, ed Aggiuntavi Un'Appendice Sopra Giuliano Lavoro del Chiarissimo Signor Spiridione Petrettini
Milan Paolo Andrea Molina 1850 First edition thus Quarter leather Very Good 
Large paper presentation copy of this Byzantine history by a hold-out pagan who often took a jaundiced view of the policies, practices and actions of the Christian rulers. As stated on the title page, this is the first published version in Italian, and that in itself is significant as scholarship was emerging from the clerical yoke which had stifled it in so many ways following the Counter-Reformation on the Italian peninsula. [iv], 316 pp. 6 full page engravings; folding map of Armenia, Media, etc. -- the area between the Black and Caspian Seas. 4to, about 30 by 21 cm, or 11 by 8 inches. A few pages at rear remain uncut. Some scattered light foxing. A little heavier on half-title. Later decorated cloth boards with unusual red sunburst-like diaper pattern, which is bound in red leather spine. Boards are of a card stock thickness and don't lay entirely flat but flatten easily when shelved. Binding is tight. More on the substance of the work: the Church for obvious reasons sought to discredit him and his history, and by the same token, he has had his proponents for challenging the received history. This version of the work is especially scarce. 
Price: 1800.00 USD
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